ROTISSERIE: Quantifying Risk—The challenge we face

[We're excited and honored to provide this space to BaseballHQ founder Ron Shandler for a 3-part series on quantifying risk. Since his contract here with USA TODAY ended in 2015, he’s free-lanced for ESPN.com and The Athletic, and continues the fanalytic conversation at BABSbaseball.com. —Eds.]

How many plate appearances can you reasonably project for Byron Buxton? Seriously. I challenge you to give me a number that you are willing to commit to.

No? I'm not surprised. There are some players who have such elevated levels of risk that it's nearly impossible to commit to anything.

The two major building blocks of projections are skill and playing time. We have all sorts of advanced metrics to assess skill growth and decline, and trend data...

Almost!

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