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2013 ZiPS Projections – Boston Red Sox

Posted By Carson Cistulli On February 11, 2013 @ 8:00 am In 2013 ZiPS Projections,Featured,Red Sox | 30 Comments

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 Boston Red Sox. 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 / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
It’s important, of course, to acknowledge always that front offices — especially the sort which have a reputation for embracing all manner of analysis — that they might possess certain information to which we, baseball’s laypeople, are not privy. To whatever degree that might be the case, however, it’s difficult to imagine what information precisely the Red Sox might have with regard to Jonny Gomes, whom the club signed to a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason and intends, it seems, to deploy as their starting left fielder. While the bar is rather low for Gomes to earn his money, Dan Szymborski’s math computer suggests that Gomes’ odds of producing like an average major-leaguer aren’t excellent.

I asked Szymborski about the Gomes projection — and, in particular, to what degree it might account for platoon splits (Gomes having a reputation for possessing a large-ish one). To which question Szymborski replied: “ZiPS only knows past usage.” To that point, we ought to consider this when considering Gomes’s rather successful 2012 season: about 59% of Gomes’s plate appearances in 2012 were against left-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, only one-third of his plate appearances between 2009 and -11 were against lefties.

Pitchers
Of some concern to readers over the course of these ZiPS posts has been the relatively conservative projections for those players who have just produced excellent seasons. In light of same, it’s worth noting Jon Lester‘s forecast here. Lester, who posted WAR figures of 6.4 and 5.8 in 2009 and -10, respectively, was less effective so far as run prevention is concerned in 2011-12, during which pair of years he averaged only 3.5 WAR. Despite that, ZiPS projects him to improve upon his 2012 season both in terms of FIP relative to league average (91 FIP- in 2013 vs. 95 FIP- in 2012) and WAR (4.0 in 2013 vs. 3.3 in 2012) — in effect, regressing upwards to his previously established levels.

Boston’s preoccupation with relief help in recent offseasons — exemplified by deals which have netted them Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, and Mark Melancon (while also losing them Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick… and also Mark Melancon) — has, at the very least, allowed them to construct what appears to be a clearly above-average bullpen. Bailey and Hanrahan are joined by offseason signing Koji Uehara to form one of the better per-inning relief triumvirates in the league this year.

Bench/Prospects
It’s not completely outrageous — if the Jonny Gomes deal ever becomes a problem — to assume that outfield prospect Jackie Bradley might be the solution. After gaining considerable attention during his sophomore year at South Carolina, Bradley’s junior season was less impressive. The Red Sox took him with the 40th pick that summer anyway, and Bradley has been excellent so far as a professional. Acquired in the giant August trade with the Dodgers, Rubby de la Rosa‘s per-inning stats are encouraging, although ZiPS’ innings projection is duly restrained for a pitcher who’s thrown little more than a hundred of them over the past two seasons combined.

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

Red Sox 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
Dustin Pedroia R 29 2B 609 76 156 35 2 17 66 20 6
David Ortiz L 37 DH 418 56 106 26 0 23 62 0 1
Shane Victorino B 32 CF 637 79 153 32 10 13 64 27 6
Jacoby Ellsbury L 29 CF 451 57 118 25 3 12 48 23 7
Will Middlebrooks R 24 3B 500 45 120 25 1 19 74 8 2
Mike Napoli R 31 1B 432 52 92 18 1 23 59 2 1
Stephen Drew L 30 SS 451 54 101 22 5 9 50 4 3
Jackie Bradley L 23 CF 516 59 112 25 2 8 41 18 9
Jarrod Saltalamacchia B 28 C 397 45 82 19 2 17 49 1 1
Ryan Lavarnway R 25 C 573 55 125 30 0 15 66 1 1
Daniel Butler R 26 C 396 32 80 21 1 7 40 1 0
Brock Holt! L 25 SS 548 60 133 26 5 2 49 11 9
Pedro Ciriaco R 27 SS 538 61 137 24 5 5 53 22 9
Jose Iglesias R 23 SS 506 45 118 15 1 2 34 14 5
Christian Vazquez R 22 C 471 43 99 22 1 9 47 1 2
Xander Bogaerts R 20 SS 499 51 111 25 2 15 53 4 6
David Ross R 36 C 163 14 35 7 0 6 23 0 0
Ryan Kalish L 25 CF 351 42 79 16 1 7 40 15 5
Ryan Sweeney L 28 RF 322 37 79 20 3 1 30 1 1
Daniel Nava B 30 LF 418 42 88 24 1 7 41 4 2
Alex Hassan R 25 LF 442 42 93 22 1 7 39 3 1
Jonny Gomes R 32 LF 391 47 81 15 1 15 54 4 2
Tony Thomas R 26 2B 383 41 78 19 4 8 40 11 3
Lyle Overbay L 36 1B 330 33 69 21 1 7 33 1 0
Mauro Gomez R 28 1B 574 61 134 36 2 17 77 3 1
Drew Sutton B 30 2B 339 33 69 21 2 3 32 2 3
Mitch Maier L 31 RF 260 28 52 8 3 4 23 3 1
Jason Repko R 32 LF 279 30 55 8 2 6 24 7 4
Mike Rivera R 36 C 195 17 36 8 0 3 16 1 1
Bryce Brentz R 24 RF 518 48 113 23 2 14 61 4 5
Scott Podsednik L 37 LF 297 24 67 9 2 1 14 12 3

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Dustin Pedroia 609 9.4% 10.2% .167 .298 .289 .357 .456 .352
David Ortiz 418 13.4% 14.8% .264 .300 .294 .388 .558 .385
Shane Victorino 637 7.7% 11.9% .158 .287 .267 .330 .425 .329
Jacoby Ellsbury 451 6.4% 13.1% .161 .305 .284 .333 .445 .340
Will Middlebrooks 500 4.6% 27.0% .179 .316 .255 .292 .434 .315
Mike Napoli 432 11.8% 27.5% .240 .297 .248 .347 .488 .356
Stephen Drew 451 9.5% 20.0% .146 .300 .250 .322 .396 .311
Jackie Bradley 516 9.3% 20.9% .118 .304 .249 .329 .367 .308
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 397 7.8% 31.0% .204 .290 .227 .290 .431 .310
Ryan Lavarnway 573 8.4% 23.7% .145 .298 .243 .311 .388 .305
Daniel Butler 396 7.8% 21.2% .123 .273 .225 .298 .348 .287
Brock Holt! 548 6.9% 16.8% .084 .320 .267 .320 .351 .291
Pedro Ciriaco 538 2.0% 17.7% .094 .315 .266 .281 .360 .275
Jose Iglesias 506 4.9% 13.4% .050 .292 .254 .298 .304 .266
Christian Vazquez 471 7.4% 23.4% .119 .288 .231 .294 .350 .283
Xander Bogaerts 499 6.4% 27.1% .161 .308 .242 .295 .403 .299
David Ross 163 9.8% 29.4% .173 .315 .241 .315 .414 .317
Ryan Kalish 351 7.7% 23.1% .122 .308 .248 .306 .370 .299
Ryan Sweeney 322 7.1% 15.5% .098 .317 .268 .321 .366 .299
Daniel Nava 418 9.6% 20.3% .129 .293 .240 .329 .369 .307
Alex Hassan 442 10.2% 20.8% .117 .296 .240 .328 .357 .305
Jonny Gomes 391 10.5% 28.4% .183 .306 .240 .332 .423 .328
Tony Thomas 383 6.3% 29.0% .146 .298 .222 .277 .368 .280
Lyle Overbay 330 10.3% 23.3% .149 .294 .235 .315 .384 .303
Mauro Gomez 574 5.7% 26.8% .171 .321 .252 .300 .423 .310
Drew Sutton 339 8.8% 24.8% .113 .307 .231 .307 .344 .283
Mitch Maier 260 10.0% 23.1% .114 .287 .227 .306 .341 .285
Jason Repko 279 6.1% 25.8% .118 .275 .217 .274 .335 .267
Mike Rivera 195 6.2% 30.8% .096 .284 .202 .263 .298 .246
Bryce Brentz 518 5.8% 30.9% .144 .318 .234 .282 .378 .284
Scott Podsednik 297 4.7% 17.2% .059 .296 .246 .283 .305 .259

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Dustin Pedroia 609 6.4 117 8 4.8 John Valentin
David Ortiz 418 8.2 150 0 3.4 Willie McCovey
Shane Victorino 637 5.5 101 0 2.9 Brian McRae
Jacoby Ellsbury 451 5.8 107 2 2.5 Del Unser
Will Middlebrooks 500 4.7 92 3 1.8 Joe Crede
Mike Napoli 432 6.1 121 -2 1.8 Nick Esasky
Stephen Drew 451 4.5 92 0 1.7 Lou Collier
Jackie Bradley 516 4.3 87 5 1.6 Rich Becker
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 397 4.3 90 -3 1.3 Dave Duncan
Ryan Lavarnway 573 4.3 87 -8 1.3 Chris Snyder
Daniel Butler 396 3.6 73 3 1.2 Blake Barthol
Brock Holt! 548 4.0 80 0 1.1 Ernest Riles
Pedro Ciriaco 538 3.8 71 3 1.1 Javier Guzman
Jose Iglesias 506 3.4 63 8 1.1 Al Pedrique
Christian Vazquez 471 3.5 72 0 0.9 Marcus Jensen
Xander Bogaerts 499 4.1 85 -4 0.9 Tony Batista
David Ross 163 4.6 94 1 0.8 Tom Wilson
Ryan Kalish 351 4.2 81 0 0.6 Scott Lusader
Ryan Sweeney 322 4.3 84 4 0.5 Dave Martinez
Daniel Nava 418 4.3 87 1 0.4 Nate Espy
Alex Hassan 442 4.2 84 1 0.4 Adam Leggett
Jonny Gomes 391 5.0 101 -7 0.3 Don Lock
Tony Thomas 383 3.7 72 -2 0.2 Brandon Powell
Lyle Overbay 330 4.3 87 0 0.2 Tom Wilson
Mauro Gomez 574 4.6 91 -5 0.1 Stan Royer
Drew Sutton 339 3.6 75 -4 -0.1 Bobby Scales
Mitch Maier 260 3.7 74 0 -0.2 Pat Sheridan
Jason Repko 279 3.1 63 3 -0.3 Thomas Johnson
Mike Rivera 195 2.6 50 -2 -0.3 Joe Oliver
Bryce Brentz 518 3.6 75 -2 -0.7 Jeff Deardorff
Scott Podsednik 297 3.3 58 -4 -1.0 Joe Orsulak

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Jon Lester L 29 30 30 188.3 173 69 20 179 89 83
Clay Buchholz R 28 24 24 147.0 102 54 16 145 73 68
Ryan Dempster R 36 27 27 163.0 133 56 21 169 87 81
Felix Doubront L 25 29 23 121.7 111 53 15 124 66 62
Allen Webster R 23 28 24 129.0 83 61 11 142 75 70
Koji Uehara R 38 43 0 39.7 49 6 5 31 13 12
Joel Hanrahan R 31 64 0 59.0 66 27 7 51 26 24
Junichi Tazawa R 27 61 0 80.0 74 30 8 79 39 36
Alfredo Aceves R 30 51 3 76.3 60 29 8 75 39 36
Brandon Workman R 24 26 26 126.7 79 41 19 144 77 72
Franklin Morales L 27 47 4 64.0 61 31 8 59 32 30
Craig Breslow L 32 63 0 59.3 52 21 6 57 28 26
Rubby de la Rosa R 24 12 10 51.3 48 27 5 50 27 25
John Lackey R 34 21 21 127.0 78 45 16 147 79 74
Vicente Padilla R 35 32 5 48.7 42 14 6 50 25 23
Andrew Miller L 28 66 0 51.0 64 40 5 41 26 24
Andrew Bailey R 29 37 0 35.0 32 11 4 34 16 15
Alex Wilson R 26 34 11 88.3 59 49 10 97 54 50
Daniel Bard R 28 68 0 66.0 59 41 7 61 35 33
Aaron Cook R 34 21 20 110.0 42 39 14 135 72 67
Daisuke Matsuzaka R 32 18 18 87.3 67 42 14 94 57 53
Josh Fields R 27 37 0 48.0 43 29 5 47 27 25
Drew Naylor R 27 16 13 82.7 44 26 11 100 54 50
Clayton Mortensen R 28 50 0 72.7 60 42 10 71 42 39
Mike MacDonald R 31 20 15 87.0 36 26 10 110 57 53
Chris Hernandez L 24 25 24 122.7 59 63 16 143 81 76
Brandon Duckworth R 37 19 15 84.0 46 44 13 100 59 55
Pedro Beato R 26 50 0 58.0 37 27 8 65 37 35
Drake Britton L 24 25 24 107.0 73 68 16 121 75 70
Anthony Carter R 27 44 0 59.0 38 32 9 68 41 38
Tom Cochran L 30 24 19 97.0 56 68 14 112 72 67
Steven Wright R 28 29 17 108.0 63 69 18 128 82 77

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Jon Lester 188.3 813 21.3% 8.5% .292 3.97 3.91 92 91
Clay Buchholz 147.0 640 15.9% 8.4% .280 4.16 4.43 97 103
Ryan Dempster 163.0 714 18.6% 7.8% .296 4.47 4.30 104 100
Felix Doubront 121.7 542 20.5% 9.8% .304 4.59 4.36 107 101
Allen Webster 129.0 590 14.1% 10.3% .308 4.88 4.58 114 107
Koji Uehara 39.7 156 31.4% 3.8% .271 2.72 2.80 63 65
Joel Hanrahan 59.0 255 25.9% 10.6% .288 3.66 3.90 85 91
Junichi Tazawa 80.0 349 21.2% 8.6% .306 4.05 3.94 94 92
Alfredo Aceves 76.3 333 18.0% 8.7% .293 4.24 4.34 99 101
Brandon Workman 126.7 565 14.0% 7.3% .299 5.12 5.04 119 117
Franklin Morales 64.0 282 21.6% 11.0% .288 4.22 4.49 98 104
Craig Breslow 59.3 256 20.3% 8.2% .290 3.94 3.75 92 87
Rubby de la Rosa 51.3 231 20.8% 11.7% .300 4.38 4.15 102 97
John Lackey 127.0 573 13.6% 7.9% .309 5.24 4.86 122 113
Vicente Padilla 48.7 210 20.0% 6.7% .303 4.25 3.98 99 93
Andrew Miller 51.0 234 27.4% 17.1% .295 4.24 4.41 99 103
Andrew Bailey 35.0 150 21.3% 7.3% .291 3.86 3.60 90 84
Alex Wilson 88.3 411 14.4% 11.9% .303 5.09 5.15 119 120
Daniel Bard 66.0 300 19.7% 13.7% .284 4.50 4.68 105 109
Aaron Cook 110.0 504 8.3% 7.7% .299 5.48 5.16 128 120
Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 398 16.8% 10.6% .296 5.46 5.34 127 124
Josh Fields 48.0 220 19.5% 13.2% .300 4.69 4.68 109 109
Drew Naylor 82.7 374 11.8% 7.0% .309 5.44 4.89 127 114
Clayton Mortensen 72.7 331 18.1% 12.7% .282 4.83 5.09 112 118
Mike MacDonald 87.0 397 9.1% 6.5% .313 5.48 4.88 128 114
Chris Hernandez 122.7 574 10.3% 11.0% .297 5.58 5.62 130 131
Brandon Duckworth 84.0 396 11.6% 11.1% .303 5.89 5.84 137 136
Pedro Beato 58.0 266 13.9% 10.2% .298 5.43 5.09 126 118
Drake Britton 107.0 510 14.3% 13.3% .303 5.89 5.83 137 136
Anthony Carter 59.0 277 13.7% 11.6% .304 5.80 5.60 135 130
Tom Cochran 97.0 471 11.9% 14.4% .301 6.22 6.19 145 144
Steven Wright 108.0 521 12.1% 13.2% .302 6.42 6.29 149 146

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Jon Lester 188.3 8.27 3.30 0.96 110 4.0 Wilson Alvarez
Clay Buchholz 147.0 6.24 3.31 0.98 104 2.8 John Denny
Ryan Dempster 163.0 7.34 3.09 1.16 97 2.4 Steve Renko
Felix Doubront 121.7 8.21 3.92 1.11 95 1.6 Sebern Wright
Allen Webster 129.0 5.79 4.26 0.77 89 1.3 Mike Torrez
Koji Uehara 39.7 11.11 1.36 1.13 160 1.1 Dennis Eckersley
Joel Hanrahan 59.0 10.07 4.12 1.07 119 1.0 Ryne Duren
Junichi Tazawa 80.0 8.33 3.38 0.90 107 1.0 Bert Roberge
Alfredo Aceves 76.3 7.08 3.42 0.94 102 0.9 Mike Cather
Brandon Workman 126.7 5.61 2.91 1.35 85 0.9 Mike Thurman
Franklin Morales 64.0 8.58 4.36 1.13 103 0.8 Ron Villone
Craig Breslow 59.3 7.89 3.19 0.91 110 0.8 Alan Embree
Rubby de la Rosa 51.3 8.42 4.74 0.88 99 0.8 Jack Armstrong
John Lackey 127.0 5.53 3.19 1.13 83 0.7 Aaron Sele
Vicente Padilla 48.7 7.76 2.59 1.11 102 0.7 Dave Pavlas
Andrew Miller 51.0 11.29 7.06 0.88 103 0.5 Armando Almanza
Andrew Bailey 35.0 8.23 2.83 1.03 113 0.5 Doug Henry
Alex Wilson 88.3 6.01 4.99 1.02 85 0.5 Mike Timlin
Daniel Bard 66.0 8.05 5.59 0.95 97 0.5 Bart Miadich
Aaron Cook 110.0 3.44 3.19 1.15 79 0.3 Aaron Sele
Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 6.91 4.33 1.44 80 0.2 Chan Ho Park
Josh Fields 48.0 8.06 5.44 0.94 93 0.2 Bob Gibson
Drew Naylor 82.7 4.79 2.83 1.20 80 0.2 Mark Johnson
Clayton Mortensen 72.7 7.43 5.20 1.24 90 0.2 Scott Cassidy
Mike MacDonald 87.0 3.72 2.69 1.03 79 0.2 Steve Comer
Chris Hernandez 122.7 4.33 4.62 1.17 78 0.2 Scott Forster
Brandon Duckworth 84.0 4.93 4.71 1.39 74 -0.2 Ed Riley
Pedro Beato 58.0 5.74 4.19 1.24 80 -0.2 Rick Berg
Drake Britton 107.0 6.14 5.72 1.35 74 -0.3 Rafael Roque
Anthony Carter 59.0 5.80 4.88 1.37 75 -0.5 Jared Camp
Tom Cochran 97.0 5.20 6.31 1.30 70 -0.6 Eric DuBose
Steven Wright 108.0 5.25 5.75 1.50 68 -1.0 Michael Johnson

***

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.


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