Andrew Miller, Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz - Baltimore Orioles

It’s fun to dismiss projection systems when they say that your favorite ball club is going to finish in last place with 78 wins and highlight how awesome they are when they say that the free agents that left your team will decline in their new cities.

Steamer, a projection system from, seems to think that former Orioles Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis and Andrew Miller, will take a step back from the numbers they posted in 2014.

Let’s start with 2014’s home run king:

Nelson Cruz

2014 .271 .333 .525 40 108 3.9
Steamer .249 .310 .457 26 79 1.5

I initially expected part of Cruz’s home run decline to be because he’s playing in a more spacious ballpark in Safeco Field, but upon looking at his HitTrackerOnline page, that doesn’t appear to be a problem. Most of Cruz’s homers in 2014 would have left the yard in Seattle as well, which means that Steamer must think he’s simply due to take a step back in the power department.

That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Cruz last hit more than 30 home runs in 2009 and hit 27, 24 and 29 over the previous three seasons.

Nick Markakis

2014 .276 .342 .386 14 50 2.5
Steamer .266 .333 .379 12 55 1.1

Had he remained in Baltimore, I still would expect Steamer’s projections for Markakis to look very similar to what we saw with him in the Braves lineup. Truthfully, it’s not fair to expect him to return to the .300ish hitter he was in 2009-2012 after undergoing neck fusion surgery.

Andrew Miller

2014 62.1 14.87 2.02 1.51 2.3
Steamer 65.0 12.23 2.37 2.51 1.2

It would be hard for Yankees fans to be disappointed in a 2.37 ERA and 12.23 K/9. Miller had just a monster year last season between Boston and Baltimore and clearly Steamer thinks the only place to go is down. A 2.51 FIP isn’t much of a decline though, I still expect him to be a dominant part of New York’s bullpen that the O’s will have to deal with in 2015.

If you totally loved this article and are craving more on this topic, Jabby Burns and I discussed it this morning on Baltimore Sports Today.