Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.
Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Daniel Ponce de Leon's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.
The 2020 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2020 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.
9 games, 32 2/3 innings 4.96 ERA, 5.64 FIP, 1.316 WHIP 12.398 K/9, 5.510 BB/9, 2.25 K:BB
This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.
40 games (15 start, 25 relief), 100 innings, 5.000 IP/GS
3.06 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 1.220 WHIP 10.800 K/9, 4.410 BB/9, 2.45 K:BB
If Daniel Ponce de Leon (PDL) can put up these numbers over 100 innings this year, LOOK OUT WORLD. This is what everyone in their right mind should be drooling over with his possibilities as a pitcher. That said, this looks completely unrealistic to me as a starter/reliever hybrid.
40 games (15 start, 25 relief), 100 innings, 5.000 IP/GS 3.69 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 1.450 WHIP 8.910 K/9, 5.220 BB/9, 1.71 K:BB
This is why people are concerned about PDL. Look at that walk rate for THE BAD projections. If you're walking a guy every other inning on THE GOOD, then these are going to look like they do. Ugh.
(my system projection)
40 games (15 start, 25 relief), 100 innings, 5.000 IP/GS 3.34 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 1.327 WHIP 9.831 K/9, 4.785 BB/9, 2.05 K:BB
If all of my projections come true, I foresee the Cardinals going 8-7 in his starts.
I think if you're getting a 4.00 FIP out of 100 innings of Daniel Ponce de Leon and he's striking out 2 guys for every guy he walks, you're probably looking at a decent season out of him. I'd love to see the walk rate drop below 4 (or hell, even 4.5) even if it comes at the expense of a K an inning. I really feel like that would go a long way in his progression as a pitcher and not a thrower of good pitches.
Link back to all of my projections.