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2013 ZiPS Projections – Baltimore Orioles

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Baltimore Orioles. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
Readers with an interest in arbitrary-ish end points will be keen on learning that, among major-league catchers over the last two seasons, Matt Wieters is fourth overall by WAR with a mark of 9.1. Other readers — even those who are entirely wary of arbitrary end points — will recognize that Wieters is projected by ZiPS to produce in 2013 roughly what he averaged between 2011 and -12. In either case, he’s probably one of the five-best catchers in the major leagues.

For as much as it will cost the team — i.e. something like $2.5 million total — experimenting with a platoon of Wilson Betemit and Danny Valencia (or the recently acquired Russ Canzler, as the case may be) at DH isn’t the worst possible idea. Isolating platoon skill requires a considerable number of plate appearances; however, the switch-hitting Betemit has been better against righties (117 wRC+, .350 BABIP, 1752 PA) and Valencia has been better against left-handers (127 wRC+, .343 BABIP, 326 PA).

Pitchers
At first, Chris Tillman was a top prospect in the Mariners system. Then, following a trade, he was a top prospect in the Orioles system. Then, after three underwhelming half-seasons in the majors, he was a relative disappointment. Now, after a 2012 campaign that saw his velocity return and peripherals improve, he appears to be something not unlike an average major-league starter — an accomplishment that oughtn’t be ignored, even if it’s something less than prospect analysts have regarded as Tillman’s ceiling.

The Orioles bullpen accounted for a 13.86 WPA in 2012 — over five wins more than the second-place Texas Rangers by that measure. While certainly an accomplishment for the relief unit, it’s also the case that WPA isn’t predictive in any real sense. To their credit, however, the Baltimore bullpen remains quite strong. One thing to monitor: how the club uses Tommy Hunter, who’s likely to fill a long-relief role. After transitioning from the rotation last season, he saw his fastball velocity increase by 5 mph, and overall improvement in his peripherals.

Bench/Prospects
Following his first professional season, right-hander Dylan Bundy is projected by ZiPS to post league-average per-inning numbers as just a 20-year-old. Insofar as pitching prospects are the very definition of mercurial, there’s no guaranteeing his 2013 season will bring Great Success. That said, it would be surprising to see a less optimistic projection for him in these pages next year. Decidedly not a top prospect, but of some interest to the author, is 29-year-old Antoan Richardson — if only because Richardson used to receive very optimistic defensive marks from the now entirely secret CHONE projection system. A brief inspection of Baseball America’s Minor League Free Agent Tracker reveals that Richardson is now a member of the Minnesota organization.

Here’s a video of Richardson and his excellent Bahamian accent:

Depth Chart
Here’s a rough depth chart for the Orioles, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player (click to embiggen):

Orioles Depth

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Credit to MLB Depth Charts for roster information.

Batters, Counting Stats

Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Matt Wieters B 27 C 582 65 133 27 1 21 78 1 0
J.J. Hardy R 30 SS 585 71 140 26 2 20 65 0 0
Adam Jones R 27 CF 660 89 169 31 4 27 83 13 6
Manny Machado R 20 3B 619 66 143 28 6 18 70 11 6
Nick Markakis L 29 RF 617 69 155 33 3 14 65 6 2
Jonathan Schoop R 21 2B 617 67 140 24 3 14 60 9 7
Tyler Kelly B 24 2B 615 65 144 23 2 7 52 4 4
Yamaico Navarro R 25 3B 391 44 85 17 2 9 40 9 6
Nate McLouth L 31 CF 441 53 89 17 2 12 38 11 2
Trayvon Robinson B 25 CF 447 49 90 14 4 11 44 16 9
Chris Davis L 27 1B 560 63 130 25 1 25 76 3 2
L.J. Hoes R 23 LF 620 65 152 23 4 7 57 18 10
Nolan Reimold R 29 LF 329 38 72 13 1 12 36 6 2
Luis Exposito R 26 C 404 37 88 21 1 8 41 1 2
Ryan Adams R 26 2B 452 45 101 24 1 8 38 3 3
Chris Dickerson L 31 CF 294 34 59 13 2 5 22 14 3
Jim Thome L 42 DH 221 22 45 9 0 10 32 0 0
Jose Gil R 26 C 298 28 60 13 0 8 30 3 1
Wilson Betemit B 31 3B 389 39 87 19 1 13 46 1 1
Alexi Casilla B 28 2B 341 41 77 16 4 2 28 16 3
Danny Valencia R 28 3B 553 57 129 28 2 12 64 2 4
Xavier Avery L 23 CF 610 64 129 22 4 9 36 27 11
Lew Ford R 36 CF 233 26 52 9 2 8 33 4 1
Jason Pridie L 29 LF 265 26 60 9 2 6 24 7 2
Brian Roberts B 35 2B 223 25 49 12 0 4 24 7 2
Russ Canzler R 27 1B 572 64 123 29 3 18 70 4 4
Conor Jackson R 31 RF 323 32 72 15 0 5 34 4 1
Travis Ishikawa L 29 1B 223 21 45 12 1 4 26 1 1
Antoan Richardson B 29 CF 368 47 67 5 2 1 17 15 4
Taylor Teagarden R 29 C 199 17 34 7 1 6 21 0 0
Nick Johnson L 34 DH 176 16 32 6 0 4 14 1 1
Chris Robinson R 29 C 247 22 57 11 1 1 22 1 2
Jai Miller R 28 RF 437 45 77 19 1 18 49 6 2
Ryan Flaherty L 26 LF 450 46 96 18 2 12 53 4 3
Endy Chavez L 35 RF 229 20 52 9 1 3 16 6 2
Rhyne Hughes L 29 1B 405 41 81 20 2 12 43 4 2
Bill Hall R 33 2B 367 36 71 15 1 12 37 3 1
Josh Barfield R 30 LF 377 34 85 17 2 4 33 9 5

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Matt Wieters 582 9.5% 19.1% .177 .286 .256 .328 .433 .328
J.J. Hardy 585 5.8% 15.2% .166 .275 .258 .303 .424 .310
Adam Jones 660 4.8% 18.8% .197 .306 .277 .323 .474 .342
Manny Machado 619 7.1% 19.2% .166 .289 .252 .309 .418 .313
Nick Markakis 617 8.9% 11.8% .147 .299 .281 .347 .428 .333
Jonathan Schoop 617 6.2% 19.8% .128 .292 .248 .302 .376 .293
Tyler Kelly 615 9.1% 15.8% .088 .306 .262 .334 .350 .303
Yamaico Navarro 391 8.2% 19.4% .136 .279 .241 .304 .377 .296
Nate McLouth 441 9.8% 18.6% .148 .263 .231 .317 .379 .305
Trayvon Robinson 447 8.7% 33.6% .138 .329 .225 .298 .363 .286
Chris Davis 560 6.4% 30.9% .198 .327 .252 .305 .450 .320
L.J. Hoes 620 7.6% 15.0% .091 .310 .269 .327 .360 .303
Nolan Reimold 329 8.8% 20.7% .174 .278 .246 .319 .420 .322
Luis Exposito 404 6.2% 20.8% .126 .281 .235 .285 .361 .282
Ryan Adams 452 6.2% 25.9% .120 .316 .242 .295 .362 .286
Chris Dickerson 294 10.2% 27.2% .124 .307 .229 .308 .353 .297
Jim Thome 221 12.7% 31.7% .204 .313 .234 .335 .438 .330
Jose Gil 298 6.4% 21.8% .136 .259 .221 .275 .357 .275
Wilson Betemit 389 8.7% 27.2% .171 .315 .249 .314 .420 .315
Alexi Casilla 341 6.5% 14.1% .097 .286 .250 .301 .347 .287
Danny Valencia 553 4.9% 17.5% .131 .281 .248 .284 .379 .285
Xavier Avery 610 7.7% 25.2% .105 .312 .236 .301 .341 .282
Lew Ford 233 6.9% 18.9% .173 .270 .243 .297 .416 .307
Jason Pridie 265 5.7% 22.6% .125 .295 .242 .284 .367 .284
Brian Roberts 223 8.1% 16.1% .119 .276 .244 .306 .363 .294
Russ Canzler 572 7.7% 27.3% .171 .299 .236 .297 .407 .304
Conor Jackson 323 8.7% 13.6% .104 .275 .247 .316 .351 .296
Travis Ishikawa 223 8.1% 24.7% .132 .293 .227 .300 .359 .278
Antoan Richardson 368 10.9% 22.8% .039 .287 .213 .315 .252 .266
Taylor Teagarden 199 8.0% 40.2% .152 .301 .191 .264 .343 .266
Nick Johnson 176 13.1% 23.9% .122 .275 .216 .341 .338 .306
Chris Robinson 247 4.0% 15.4% .069 .289 .247 .282 .316 .260
Jai Miller 437 8.0% 45.3% .190 .322 .194 .263 .384 .282
Ryan Flaherty 450 6.2% 23.8% .140 .282 .232 .283 .372 .283
Endy Chavez 229 3.9% 11.8% .094 .265 .244 .276 .338 .266
Rhyne Hughes 405 6.9% 31.9% .161 .296 .218 .275 .379 .283
Bill Hall 367 6.5% 37.3% .156 .306 .209 .262 .365 .272
Josh Barfield 377 3.7% 14.9% .093 .268 .237 .263 .330 .258

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Matt Wieters 582 5.2 107 7 4.3 Todd Hundley
J.J. Hardy 585 4.7 97 9 3.5 Alex Gonzalez
Adam Jones 660 5.7 115 -4 3.4 Torii Hunter
Manny Machado 619 4.7 97 4 2.7 Steve Buechele
Nick Markakis 617 5.6 111 -4 2.0 Mark Kotsay
Jonathan Schoop 617 4.0 85 0 1.3 Blake Dewitt
Tyler Kelly 615 4.2 88 -2 1.3 Jeff Treadway
Yamaico Navarro 391 4.0 86 3 1.1 Ronnie Merrill
Nate McLouth 441 4.4 90 -3 1.0 Bubba Carpenter
Trayvon Robinson 447 3.7 80 4 1.0 Xavier Paul
Chris Davis 560 5.0 104 -3 1.0 Larry Sheets
L.J. Hoes 620 4.3 89 3 0.9 Dave Gallagher
Nolan Reimold 329 4.9 101 0 0.8 Aaron Guiel
Luis Exposito 404 3.5 76 -1 0.8 Wyatt Toregas
Ryan Adams 452 3.7 79 1 0.8 Travis Denker
Chris Dickerson 294 4.1 81 0 0.7 Pat Sheridan
Jim Thome 221 5.2 110 0 0.6 Reggie Jackson
Jose Gil 298 3.4 72 0 0.6 Jeff Winchester
Wilson Betemit 389 4.7 99 -10 0.5 Mike Blowers
Alexi Casilla 341 4.1 77 -3 0.5 Joe Inglett
Danny Valencia 553 3.7 80 -3 0.4 Josh Klimek
Xavier Avery 610 3.7 76 -3 0.4 Troy O’Leary
Lew Ford 233 4.5 93 -4 0.3 Brian Jordan
Jason Pridie 265 3.8 77 3 0.3 Jalal Leach
Brian Roberts 223 4.1 83 -3 0.2 Dave McKay
Russ Canzler 572 4.2 91 -2 0.2 Brandon Moss
Conor Jackson 323 4.1 83 0 0.2 Virgil Chevalier
Travis Ishikawa 223 3.7 80 3 0.2 John Mabry
Antoan Richardson 368 3.0 59 2 0.1 Lou Frazier
Taylor Teagarden 199 3.0 65 -2 0.1 Jayhawk Owens
Nick Johnson 176 3.9 88 0 0.0 Larry Sutton
Chris Robinson 247 3.1 64 -3 -0.1 Jeff Smith
Jai Miller 437 3.4 75 1 -0.1 Jeff Jones
Ryan Flaherty 450 3.7 78 0 -0.1 Troy Hughes
Endy Chavez 229 3.4 67 0 -0.3 Joe Orsulak
Rhyne Hughes 405 3.6 77 0 -0.3 Justin Sherrod
Bill Hall 367 3.3 70 -6 -0.4 Steve Scarsone
Josh Barfield 377 3.0 62 2 -0.6 Ricky Bell

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Jason Hammel R 30 23 23 133.0 118 44 13 125 59 55
Wei-Yin Chen L 27 25 24 155.7 84 32 21 160 76 71
Chris Tillman R 25 31 30 165.7 127 56 23 161 85 79
Dylan Bundy R 20 28 26 104.0 83 41 11 105 54 50
Tsuyoshi Wada L 32 17 17 107.7 95 38 17 109 58 54
Miguel Gonzalez R 29 25 16 102.3 75 41 13 105 56 52
Joe Saunders L 32 26 26 161.3 90 50 26 183 96 90
Darren O’Day R 30 58 0 53.3 52 13 7 48 22 21
Randy Wolf L 36 26 25 153.3 88 53 23 173 93 87
Troy Patton L 27 55 0 54.7 50 14 6 51 24 22
Jim Johnson R 30 59 0 61.7 40 16 6 62 28 26
Zach Britton L 25 26 25 134.0 90 60 16 148 81 76
Jake Arrieta R 27 28 25 144.7 114 68 20 150 89 83
Pedro Strop R 28 63 0 62.3 57 33 5 59 30 28
Luis Ayala R 35 56 0 62.3 42 16 7 66 30 28
Joel Pineiro R 34 15 14 81.7 42 20 11 95 48 45
Mike Belfiore L 24 41 0 65.7 57 30 6 64 33 31
Tommy Hunter R 26 31 21 134.7 77 32 25 157 86 80
Steve Johnson R 25 28 21 119.0 89 61 19 127 76 71
Zech Zinicola R 28 29 0 33.3 27 13 4 35 18 17
Zach Braddock L 25 39 0 33.3 36 19 4 31 18 17
T.J. McFarland L 24 26 26 140.3 69 60 18 163 92 86
Brian Matusz L 26 33 23 131.0 98 55 21 148 86 80
Stuart Pomeranz R 28 20 0 25.0 21 10 3 26 14 13
Robert Hinton R 28 44 0 59.0 47 23 8 63 34 32
Daniel McCutchen R 30 50 0 67.3 41 27 9 75 41 38
Rich Rundles L 32 24 0 25.3 17 12 3 28 16 15
Rob Delaney R 28 51 0 64.7 42 26 9 72 40 37
Miguel Socolovich R 26 44 0 64.0 51 36 9 66 40 37
Daniel Schlereth L 27 38 0 40.3 36 30 5 40 26 24
Zach Clark R 29 25 21 123.3 52 52 16 153 86 80
Adam Russell R 30 49 0 51.7 33 39 6 57 35 33
Jair Jurrjens R 27 23 23 122.7 64 42 24 151 88 82
Manny Delcarmen R 31 38 0 47.0 33 36 8 52 35 33
Mark Hendrickson L 39 27 0 54.3 23 21 11 69 42 39

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Jason Hammel 133.0 568 20.8% 7.7% .287 3.72 3.69 88 88
Wei-Yin Chen 155.7 659 12.7% 4.9% .269 4.10 4.58 97 109
Chris Tillman 165.7 714 17.8% 7.8% .275 4.29 4.59 102 109
Dylan Bundy 104.0 458 18.1% 9.0% .297 4.33 4.34 103 103
Tsuyoshi Wada 107.7 470 20.2% 8.1% .291 4.51 4.63 107 110
Miguel Gonzalez 102.3 453 16.6% 9.1% .289 4.57 4.71 108 112
Joe Saunders 161.3 717 12.6% 7.0% .287 5.02 5.10 119 121
Darren O’Day 53.3 221 23.5% 5.9% .281 3.54 3.78 84 90
Randy Wolf 153.3 686 12.8% 7.7% .292 5.11 5.13 121 122
Troy Patton 54.7 229 21.8% 6.1% .286 3.62 3.54 86 84
Jim Johnson 61.7 263 15.2% 6.1% .281 3.79 3.92 90 93
Zach Britton 134.0 610 14.8% 9.8% .301 5.10 4.77 121 113
Jake Arrieta 144.7 652 17.5% 10.4% .293 5.16 4.89 122 116
Pedro Strop 62.3 279 20.4% 11.8% .300 4.04 4.07 96 97
Luis Ayala 62.3 269 15.6% 6.0% .295 4.04 4.11 96 97
Joel Pineiro 81.7 360 11.7% 5.6% .295 4.96 4.63 118 110
Mike Belfiore 65.7 291 19.6% 10.3% .297 4.25 4.09 101 97
Tommy Hunter 134.7 593 13.0% 5.4% .291 5.35 5.25 127 125
Steve Johnson 119.0 545 16.3% 11.2% .292 5.37 5.42 127 129
Zech Zinicola 33.3 148 18.3% 8.8% .304 4.59 4.38 109 104
Zach Braddock 33.3 150 24.0% 12.7% .304 4.59 4.38 109 104
T.J. McFarland 140.3 644 10.7% 9.3% .297 5.52 5.33 131 127
Brian Matusz 131.0 596 16.4% 9.2% .304 5.50 5.05 131 120
Stuart Pomeranz 25.0 111 18.9% 9.0% .307 4.68 4.50 111 107
Robert Hinton 59.0 263 17.9% 8.7% .302 4.88 4.62 116 110
Daniel McCutchen 67.3 304 13.5% 8.9% .296 5.08 4.90 121 116
Rich Rundles 25.3 116 14.7% 10.4% .305 5.33 4.91 127 117
Rob Delaney 64.7 292 14.4% 8.9% .298 5.15 4.94 122 117
Miguel Socolovich 64.0 294 17.3% 12.2% .292 5.20 5.19 123 123
Daniel Schlereth 40.3 191 18.9% 15.7% .299 5.36 5.23 127 124
Zach Clark 123.3 575 9.0% 9.0% .307 5.84 5.45 139 129
Adam Russell 51.7 251 13.1% 15.5% .302 5.75 5.84 136 139
Jair Jurrjens 122.7 561 11.4% 7.5% .297 6.02 5.73 143 136
Manny Delcarmen 47.0 229 14.4% 15.7% .295 6.32 6.47 150 154
Mark Hendrickson 54.3 253 9.1% 8.3% .298 6.46 6.23 153 148

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Jason Hammel 133.0 7.98 2.98 0.88 115 3.1 A.J. Burnett
Wei-Yin Chen 155.7 4.86 1.85 1.21 104 2.9 Rick Honeycutt
Chris Tillman 165.7 6.90 3.04 1.25 100 2.7 Jose Guzman
Dylan Bundy 104.0 7.18 3.55 0.95 99 1.6 Josh Johnson
Tsuyoshi Wada 107.7 7.94 3.18 1.42 95 1.4 Randy Wolf
Miguel Gonzalez 102.3 6.60 3.61 1.14 94 1.2 Brandon Backe
Joe Saunders 161.3 5.02 2.79 1.45 85 1.2 Kirk Rueter
Darren O’Day 53.3 8.78 2.20 1.18 121 0.9 Mike Schooler
Randy Wolf 153.3 5.17 3.11 1.35 84 0.9 Bob Knepper
Troy Patton 54.7 8.23 2.30 0.99 118 0.9 Mike Stanton
Jim Johnson 61.7 5.83 2.33 0.88 113 0.9 Kent Tekulve
Zach Britton 134.0 6.04 4.03 1.07 84 0.8 Harold Allen
Jake Arrieta 144.7 7.09 4.23 1.24 83 0.8 Ryan Bowen
Pedro Strop 62.3 8.23 4.77 0.72 106 0.7 Bryce Florie
Luis Ayala 62.3 6.07 2.31 1.01 106 0.7 Joe Slusarski
Joel Pineiro 81.7 4.63 2.20 1.21 86 0.6 Jason Johnson
Mike Belfiore 65.7 7.81 4.11 0.82 101 0.6 Felix Heredia
Tommy Hunter 134.7 5.14 2.14 1.67 80 0.4 Josh Towers
Steve Johnson 119.0 6.73 4.61 1.44 80 0.3 Tyler Walker
Zech Zinicola 33.3 7.30 3.51 1.08 93 0.2 Tim Layana
Zach Braddock 33.3 9.73 5.14 1.08 93 0.2 Darren Oliver
T.J. McFarland 140.3 4.43 3.85 1.15 78 0.2 Lee Guetterman
Brian Matusz 131.0 6.73 3.78 1.44 78 0.1 Dan Serafini
Stuart Pomeranz 25.0 7.56 3.60 1.08 92 0.1 Tim Layana
Robert Hinton 59.0 7.17 3.51 1.22 88 0.1 Lee Gronkiewicz
Daniel McCutchen 67.3 5.48 3.61 1.20 84 -0.1 Weston Weber
Rich Rundles 25.3 6.05 4.27 1.07 80 -0.1 Mike Venafro
Rob Delaney 64.7 5.84 3.62 1.25 83 -0.1 Weston Weber
Miguel Socolovich 64.0 7.17 5.06 1.27 82 -0.2 Terry Bross
Daniel Schlereth 40.3 8.04 6.70 1.12 80 -0.2 Steve Colyer
Zach Clark 123.3 3.80 3.80 1.17 73 -0.4 Dana Kiecker
Adam Russell 51.7 5.74 6.79 1.04 75 -0.5 Jerry Johnson
Jair Jurrjens 122.7 4.69 3.08 1.76 71 -0.6 Chris Baker
Manny Delcarmen 47.0 6.32 6.89 1.53 68 -0.8 Jarod Juelsgaard
Mark Hendrickson 54.3 3.81 3.48 1.82 66 -1.0 Boom-Boom Beck

***

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2012. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.09 ERA and the NL having a 3.92 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected WAR.