2013 ZiPS Projections – Cincinnati Reds

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 Cincinnati Reds. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rockies / Royals / White Sox.

Batters
Something of which people never tire is to learn that there is both good news and also that there’s bad news. The bad news, in the case of the Cincinnati Reds, appears to be — at least so far as Dan Szymborski’s finely calibrated ZiPS projection system is concerned — appears to be that newly acquired Shin-Soo Choo is probably a pretty bad defensive center fielder. The good news, though, is that he’s still expected to be worth about three wins in 2013 — i.e. more than he produced in either 2011 or -12.

Otherwise, of some note — beyond the simple fact that the club’s offense is generally talented — is the not particularly optimistic projection for 34-year-old Ryan Ludwick, whom the Reds signed to a two-year, $15 million contract this offseason. In the present market, that’s not a horrible deal for a starting outfielder; however, Cincinnati will be looking to compete for the NL Central title this season, and will want at least average production from the position.

Pitchers
In a display of uncommon durability, five starters — Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, and Mike Leake — made a combined 161 starts for Cincinnati in 2012. Accordingly, ZiPS — which is rather conservative, generally, in this regard — projects two Reds pitchers (Cueto and Latos) to throw at least 190 innings, and another three (Arroyo, Bailey, and Leake) to cross the 160-inning threshold. The last of those (Leake) is unlikely to reach the mark in reality, however: it is generally understood that Aroldis Chapman, who was dominant in relief in 2012, will make the transition to the rotation this season.

Replacing Chapman at the back end of the Reds’ bullpen in 2013 will be Jonathan Broxton, whom the Reds signed to a three-year, $21 million deal at the end of November. His projection on a per-inning basis is encouraging, and there’s reason to believe that the addition of a cut fastball (about which, of course, ZiPS wouldn’t have any idea) will help him preserve the gains he exhibited after arriving in Cincinnati. Still, it’s also reasonable to wonder why a team would commit so substantially to a pitcher who, just the year before, was able only to find a one-year and $4 million contract with the Royals.

Bench/Prospects
Outfield prospect Billy Hamilton has mostly one tool (speed), but ZiPS indicates that he probably has enough of that one tool at this point so’s to make him something like a league-average player. Despite some offensive difficulties following a May promotion to Double-A last season, David Vidal also receives a relatively optimistic projection — relative to his age, if nothing else. Among pitchers, left-hander Tony Cingrani‘s development bears watching. He was among the best starters last year at both High- and Double-A. His role for 2013 is uncertain, although ZiPS indicates he might be capable of throwing league-average innings as a starter right now.

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

Reds 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
Joey Votto L 29 1B 579 80 142 35 1 26 87 9 5
Jay Bruce L 26 RF 623 86 142 28 4 32 101 8 5
Shin-Soo Choo L 30 CF 594 78 142 27 3 21 76 18 6
Brandon Phillips R 32 2B 645 85 166 32 2 17 78 14 6
Zack Cozart R 27 SS 591 78 138 30 4 15 49 10 2
Todd Frazier R 27 3B 552 66 124 28 4 21 76 10 4
Devin Mesoraco R 25 C 405 44 89 21 2 14 49 1 2
Ryan Hanigan R 32 C 327 25 76 11 0 4 28 0 0
Billy Hamilton B 22 CF 651 78 157 18 11 2 47 54 17
Ryan Ludwick R 34 LF 490 57 111 22 1 21 86 1 2
David Vidal R 23 3B 570 62 124 28 1 15 72 3 3
Scott Rolen R 38 3B 286 26 65 17 2 6 39 1 1
Chris Heisey R 28 LF 389 50 92 16 3 14 46 7 2
Henry Rodriguez B 23 3B 544 53 143 24 1 10 56 17 8
Nevin Ashley R 28 C 345 32 69 11 2 7 33 3 2
Tucker Barnhart B 22 C 418 39 92 19 2 4 37 1 3
Jack Hannahan L 33 3B 347 34 73 14 1 7 38 1 1
Kris Negron R 27 SS 478 53 94 15 4 10 40 15 4
Jason Donald R 28 SS 444 53 97 18 3 7 36 10 4
Corky Miller R 37 C 249 25 45 8 0 5 20 1 1
Marquez Smith R 28 3B 397 45 87 19 1 11 42 2 0
Xavier Paul L 28 LF 335 38 80 16 2 8 36 12 5
Mike Hessman R 35 1B 431 55 82 18 1 26 72 0 1
Cesar Izturis B 33 SS 243 20 56 7 2 1 16 4 2
Miguel Cairo R 39 3B 193 18 43 8 2 4 22 3 2
Ryan LaMarre R 24 CF 532 52 116 17 3 5 37 29 13
Emmanuel Burriss B 28 2B 326 35 72 9 2 1 20 16 6
Neftali Soto R 24 1B 563 59 124 25 1 23 74 1 1
Denis Phipps R 27 CF 524 59 110 23 4 14 56 8 6
Joey Gathright L 32 CF 161 16 35 4 0 0 12 5 3
Beau Mills L 26 1B 465 46 102 21 1 14 63 1 1
Willie Harris L 35 LF 288 29 55 12 1 5 25 5 4
Donald Lutz L 24 LF 527 55 117 21 4 16 63 6 5
Derrick Robinson B 25 LF 568 55 116 13 4 2 32 34 14

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Joey Votto 579 16.6% 18.8% .242 .338 .300 .420 .542 .397
Jay Bruce 623 10.4% 24.4% .240 .296 .258 .337 .498 .347
Shin-Soo Choo 594 10.9% 20.4% .186 .323 .276 .369 .462 .361
Brandon Phillips 645 5.4% 12.4% .147 .297 .279 .326 .426 .324
Zack Cozart 591 5.6% 19.1% .151 .291 .252 .298 .403 .304
Todd Frazier 552 7.4% 24.6% .197 .296 .247 .310 .444 .325
Devin Mesoraco 405 8.6% 21.0% .184 .281 .245 .316 .429 .316
Ryan Hanigan 327 11.3% 10.1% .081 .290 .269 .357 .350 .300
Billy Hamilton 651 8.6% 23.2% .078 .354 .267 .330 .345 .305
Ryan Ludwick 490 8.4% 21.8% .198 .286 .253 .321 .451 .330
David Vidal 570 5.8% 25.6% .143 .297 .237 .286 .380 .287
Scott Rolen 286 6.6% 17.1% .149 .282 .249 .304 .398 .305
Chris Heisey 389 5.7% 22.6% .181 .306 .260 .313 .441 .324
Henry Rodriguez 544 4.4% 16.4% .110 .320 .279 .312 .389 .304
Nevin Ashley 345 6.7% 25.5% .116 .286 .223 .292 .339 .277
Tucker Barnhart 418 7.4% 21.1% .092 .301 .241 .298 .333 .277
Jack Hannahan 347 8.9% 21.9% .119 .288 .235 .307 .354 .292
Kris Negron 478 5.6% 26.2% .122 .279 .217 .275 .339 .272
Jason Donald 444 6.5% 22.5% .112 .304 .242 .306 .354 .291
Corky Miller 249 12.9% 17.3% .111 .248 .216 .333 .327 .295
Marquez Smith 397 6.0% 24.7% .148 .293 .238 .290 .386 .294
Xavier Paul 335 6.3% 22.4% .143 .320 .261 .311 .404 .306
Mike Hessman 431 7.0% 33.9% .250 .251 .209 .274 .459 .310
Cesar Izturis 243 3.7% 10.3% .061 .272 .247 .280 .308 .257
Miguel Cairo 193 4.1% 13.5% .134 .260 .242 .283 .376 .283
Ryan LaMarre 532 7.0% 26.3% .079 .327 .241 .306 .320 .281
Emmanuel Burriss 326 6.1% 12.9% .054 .280 .244 .299 .298 .265
Neftali Soto 563 5.5% 26.6% .183 .286 .237 .286 .420 .305
Denis Phipps 524 6.1% 30.3% .151 .306 .227 .278 .378 .284
Joey Gathright 161 5.0% 18.6% .028 .294 .236 .278 .264 .239
Beau Mills 465 5.4% 21.7% .151 .274 .236 .280 .387 .288
Willie Harris 288 9.7% 21.5% .115 .266 .217 .301 .332 .275
Donald Lutz 527 5.1% 29.8% .157 .315 .237 .285 .394 .290
Derrick Robinson 568 6.3% 21.1% .053 .286 .224 .275 .277 .245

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Joey Votto 579 8.8 155 3 5.6 Todd Helton
Jay Bruce 623 6.1 120 2 3.2 Carlos Pena
Shin-Soo Choo 594 6.5 121 -9 3.1 Willie Crawford
Brandon Phillips 645 5.2 99 4 3.0 Johnny Logan
Zack Cozart 591 4.5 85 5 2.5 Eddie Miller
Todd Frazier 552 5.0 99 -2 1.9 Wade Rowdon
Devin Mesoraco 405 4.8 97 -1 1.8 Charles Johnson
Ryan Hanigan 327 4.6 90 4 1.7 Jerry Grote
Billy Hamilton 651 4.6 81 1 1.6 Milt Cuyler
Ryan Ludwick 490 5.2 104 -2 1.1 Jeff Conine
David Vidal 570 3.8 77 4 1.0 Russ Davis
Scott Rolen 286 4.3 86 3 0.9 Geoff Blum
Chris Heisey 389 5.1 99 0 0.9 Rod Allen
Henry Rodriguez 544 4.6 86 -4 0.9 Aurelio Rodriguez
Nevin Ashley 345 3.4 68 3 0.8 Francisco Morales
Tucker Barnhart 418 3.4 69 3 0.8 Donnie Scott
Jack Hannahan 347 3.8 76 3 0.7 Shanie Dugas
Kris Negron 478 3.4 64 2 0.7 Hector Tiburcio
Jason Donald 444 3.9 76 -3 0.6 Nick Green
Corky Miller 249 3.7 78 0 0.6 Rick Ferrell
Marquez Smith 397 4.0 79 0 0.6 Tim Olson
Xavier Paul 335 4.7 90 1 0.5 Leron Lee
Mike Hessman 431 4.2 92 0 0.2 Deron Johnson
Cesar Izturis 243 3.1 58 2 0.2 Tommy Thevenow
Miguel Cairo 193 3.7 75 -1 0.1 Mark Belanger
Ryan LaMarre 532 3.6 68 0 0.0 Vernon Thomas
Emmanuel Burriss 326 3.3 61 0 -0.1 Edgar Caceres
Neftali Soto 563 4.2 86 -2 -0.1 Willis Otanez
Denis Phipps 524 3.6 73 -3 -0.1 Mike Stellern
Joey Gathright 161 2.5 46 0 -0.4 Jim Buccheri
Beau Mills 465 3.8 76 0 -0.5 Tom Forrester
Willie Harris 288 3.3 69 -1 -0.5 Dann Howitt
Donald Lutz 527 3.9 79 -4 -0.6 Randy Byers
Derrick Robinson 568 2.8 49 3 -1.5 Angelo Nunley

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Johnny Cueto R 27 31 31 192.7 146 51 17 182 76 71
Mat Latos R 25 32 32 197.3 186 57 22 173 81 76
Aroldis Chapman L 25 26 26 143.7 161 65 16 108 62 58
Homer Bailey R 27 29 29 173.3 138 45 20 174 82 77
Sean Marshall L 30 73 0 66.3 76 18 5 55 21 20
Mike Leake R 25 29 27 166.7 114 41 25 179 91 85
Bronson Arroyo R 36 26 26 164.7 99 37 28 174 90 84
Tony Cingrani L 23 24 22 107.3 107 47 15 100 55 51
J.J. Hoover R 25 63 0 65.0 73 29 7 53 26 24
Sam LeCure R 29 49 0 60.0 63 22 7 51 25 23
Jonathan Broxton R 29 48 0 47.7 46 18 5 44 20 19
Alfredo Simon R 32 45 0 61.3 52 23 6 60 29 27
Nick Masset R 31 45 0 42.7 43 18 5 39 19 18
Jose Arredondo R 29 65 0 61.7 61 33 7 55 30 28
Chad Rogers R 23 22 22 125.3 84 49 20 137 77 72
Will Ohman L 35 50 0 40.3 36 17 5 38 20 19
Daniel Corcino R 22 26 26 127.7 95 67 19 133 79 74
Logan Ondrusek R 28 67 0 61.7 45 30 8 61 33 31
Kevin Whelan R 29 35 0 36.0 34 26 6 35 24 22
Loek Van Mil R 28 35 0 54.7 34 29 7 59 34 32
Kanekoa Texeira R 27 37 2 52.7 28 30 7 59 34 32
Ismael Guillon L 21 16 16 71.0 57 54 11 73 49 46
Drew Hayes R 25 56 0 57.3 51 43 8 56 36 34
Pedro Villarreal R 25 27 24 129.3 75 46 22 150 87 81
Justin Freeman R 26 57 0 62.3 46 23 12 68 40 37
Carlos Contreras R 22 39 0 50.3 41 32 9 52 33 31
Jeff Stevens R 29 45 0 57.3 44 36 9 60 37 35
Nick Christiani R 25 53 0 66.0 34 30 9 75 43 40
Wilkin De La Rosa L 28 40 2 47.0 31 35 7 52 33 31
Carlos Fisher R 30 48 0 56.0 48 49 9 56 40 37
Todd Redmond R 28 26 25 138.0 100 52 32 157 96 90
Kyle Lotzkar R 23 20 20 91.3 76 62 18 97 67 63
Greg Reynolds R 27 25 22 131.3 56 47 24 160 93 87
Josh Ravin R 25 23 12 64.0 46 57 12 72 51 48
Andrew Brackman R 27 32 13 81.3 51 61 14 93 62 58
Curtis Partch R 26 38 15 109.0 66 51 19 132 79 74
Chad Reineke R 31 25 21 120.0 64 50 24 144 88 82
Jeff Marquez R 28 21 18 92.7 45 46 17 113 72 67
Sean Gallagher R 27 31 20 108.3 67 79 23 125 89 83

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Johnny Cueto 192.7 811 18.0% 6.3% .282 3.32 3.65 83 91
Mat Latos 197.3 822 22.6% 6.9% .273 3.47 3.48 87 87
Aroldis Chapman 143.7 604 26.7% 10.8% .257 3.63 3.72 91 93
Homer Bailey 173.3 739 18.7% 6.1% .291 4.00 3.85 100 96
Sean Marshall 66.3 272 28.0% 6.6% .293 2.71 2.55 68 64
Mike Leake 166.7 720 15.8% 5.7% .287 4.59 4.43 115 111
Bronson Arroyo 164.7 705 14.0% 5.2% .272 4.59 4.81 115 120
Tony Cingrani 107.3 469 22.8% 10.0% .290 4.28 4.43 107 111
J.J. Hoover 65.0 277 26.4% 10.5% .277 3.32 3.63 83 91
Sam LeCure 60.0 253 24.9% 8.7% .277 3.45 3.61 86 90
Jonathan Broxton 47.7 205 22.4% 8.8% .291 3.59 3.66 90 92
Alfredo Simon 61.3 267 19.5% 8.6% .297 3.96 3.89 99 97
Nick Masset 42.7 185 23.2% 9.7% .288 3.80 3.80 95 95
Jose Arredondo 61.7 273 22.3% 12.1% .281 4.09 4.10 102 103
Chad Rogers 125.3 562 14.9% 8.7% .290 5.17 5.12 129 128
Will Ohman 40.3 176 20.5% 9.7% .290 4.24 4.26 106 107
Daniel Corcino 127.7 583 16.3% 11.5% .291 5.22 5.35 131 134
Logan Ondrusek 61.7 276 16.3% 10.9% .277 4.52 4.68 113 117
Kevin Whelan 36.0 169 20.1% 15.4% .287 5.50 5.71 138 143
Loek Van Mil 54.7 252 13.5% 11.5% .292 5.27 5.27 132 132
Kanekoa Texeira 52.7 247 11.3% 12.1% .290 5.47 5.52 137 138
Ismael Guillon 71.0 340 16.8% 15.9% .291 5.83 6.00 146 150
Drew Hayes 57.3 271 18.8% 15.9% .293 5.34 5.54 134 139
Pedro Villarreal 129.3 584 12.8% 7.9% .296 5.64 5.42 141 136
Justin Freeman 62.3 278 16.6% 8.3% .290 5.34 5.33 134 133
Carlos Contreras 50.3 235 17.5% 13.6% .289 5.54 5.88 139 147
Jeff Stevens 57.3 268 16.4% 13.4% .290 5.49 5.59 137 140
Nick Christiani 66.0 303 11.2% 9.9% .292 5.45 5.25 136 131
Wilkin De La Rosa 47.0 228 13.6% 15.4% .296 5.94 6.14 149 154
Carlos Fisher 56.0 273 17.6% 17.9% .288 5.95 6.20 149 155
Todd Redmond 138.0 623 16.1% 8.3% .290 5.87 5.90 147 148
Kyle Lotzkar 91.3 433 17.6% 14.3% .292 6.21 6.19 155 155
Greg Reynolds 131.3 601 9.3% 7.8% .292 5.96 5.85 149 146
Josh Ravin 64.0 321 14.3% 17.8% .299 6.75 6.95 169 174
Andrew Brackman 81.3 398 12.8% 15.3% .296 6.42 6.48 161 162
Curtis Partch 109.0 510 12.9% 10.0% .309 6.11 5.72 153 143
Chad Reineke 120.0 554 11.6% 9.0% .294 6.15 6.05 154 151
Jeff Marquez 92.7 437 10.3% 10.5% .296 6.51 6.13 163 153
Sean Gallagher 108.3 529 12.7% 14.9% .290 6.90 7.00 173 175

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Johnny Cueto 192.7 6.82 2.38 0.79 123 4.8 Roy Halladay
Mat Latos 197.3 8.48 2.60 1.00 118 4.5 John Thomson
Aroldis Chapman 143.7 10.08 4.07 1.00 113 3.0 Herb Score
Homer Bailey 173.3 7.17 2.34 1.04 102 2.8 Moose Haas
Sean Marshall 66.3 10.32 2.44 0.68 151 1.6 Chuck McElroy
Mike Leake 166.7 6.15 2.21 1.35 89 1.5 Chris Holt
Bronson Arroyo 164.7 5.41 2.02 1.53 89 1.5 Bill Gullickson
Tony Cingrani 107.3 8.97 3.94 1.26 96 1.4 Shawn Estes
J.J. Hoover 65.0 10.11 4.02 0.97 123 1.1 Bobby Jenks
Sam LeCure 60.0 9.45 3.30 1.05 118 0.9 Jason Frasor
Jonathan Broxton 47.7 8.68 3.40 0.94 114 0.6 Jay Powell
Alfredo Simon 61.3 7.63 3.38 0.88 103 0.5 Danny Kolb
Nick Masset 42.7 9.06 3.79 1.05 108 0.5 Mike MacDougal
Jose Arredondo 61.7 8.90 4.81 1.02 100 0.4 Calvin Jones
Chad Rogers 125.3 6.03 3.52 1.44 79 0.3 Zach McClellan
Will Ohman 40.3 8.04 3.80 1.12 96 0.2 Kevin Hickey
Daniel Corcino 127.7 6.70 4.72 1.34 78 0.2 Randy Veres
Logan Ondrusek 61.7 6.56 4.38 1.17 90 0.1 Jarod Juelsgaard
Kevin Whelan 36.0 8.50 6.50 1.50 74 -0.4 Bart Evans
Loek Van Mil 54.7 5.59 4.77 1.15 78 -0.4 Mike Zimmerman
Kanekoa Texeira 52.7 4.78 5.12 1.20 75 -0.4 Ed Sprague
Ismael Guillon 71.0 7.23 6.85 1.39 70 -0.4 Norm Charlton
Drew Hayes 57.3 8.01 6.75 1.26 77 -0.5 Bill Bene
Pedro Villarreal 129.3 5.22 3.20 1.53 73 -0.5 Pat Ahearne
Justin Freeman 62.3 6.65 3.32 1.73 77 -0.5 Dale Plummer
Carlos Contreras 50.3 7.34 5.73 1.61 74 -0.5 Agustin Montero
Jeff Stevens 57.3 6.91 5.65 1.41 74 -0.6 Marty McLeary
Nick Christiani 66.0 4.64 4.09 1.23 75 -0.6 Kevin Joseph
Wilkin De La Rosa 47.0 5.94 6.70 1.34 69 -0.6 James Wray
Carlos Fisher 56.0 7.71 7.88 1.45 69 -0.9 Marty McLeary
Todd Redmond 138.0 6.52 3.39 2.09 70 -0.9 Joe Law
Kyle Lotzkar 91.3 7.49 6.11 1.77 66 -1.0 Robert Person
Greg Reynolds 131.3 3.84 3.22 1.65 69 -1.0 Jon Asahina
Josh Ravin 64.0 6.47 8.02 1.69 61 -1.2 Jason Baker
Andrew Brackman 81.3 5.65 6.75 1.55 64 -1.2 Dallas Trahern
Curtis Partch 109.0 5.45 4.21 1.57 67 -1.2 Paul O’Malley
Chad Reineke 120.0 4.80 3.75 1.80 66 -1.2 R.A. Dickey
Jeff Marquez 92.7 4.37 4.47 1.65 63 -1.3 Mike Heathcott
Sean Gallagher 108.3 5.57 6.57 1.91 59 -2.1 Mike Romano

***

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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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


51 Responses to “2013 ZiPS Projections – Cincinnati Reds”

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  1. Pete says:

    Sure hope that Chapman comp isn’t prophetic.

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    • MDL says:

      Hoping the Chad Reineke one is.

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    • lexomatic says:

      Sid Fernandez (mid-late 80s version) looks much better by eyeball test for the rates posted here for Chapman.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1004001&position=P

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    • Baltar says:

      That was my second thought upon seeing it. My first thought was, “Herb Score!”

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    • Jimmy D says:

      What about the Rolen to Blum comp?
      Rolen’s career numbers 281/364/490 with 316 HR
      Blum’s career 250/310/384 with 99 HR.

      How about this comp: Ryan Zimmerman – 287/353/479 with 153 HR.
      Plus they both play(ed) great defense.

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      • They’re not career comps, but recent history comps – performance that happened 10 years ago is worthless in a projection.

        And given that Rolen turns 38 near the beginning of the season, his late 30s can’t be comparable to Ryan Zimmerman’s late 30s, considering Zim hasn’t sniffed 30 yet.

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      • Pete says:

        (This is a reply to Dan, but there’s no “Reply” button under his post)

        I just looked at Score’s BBRef page, and I can’t believe that’s Chapman’s #1 comp. Starting in his age-25 season (Chapman this coming season will be 25) Score was no longer any good – 86 ERA+, 1.55 WHIP, 1.1 k/bb.

        If it’s based on his age-24 season, Score was already an established starter, but that was the season he was hit and only pitched 36 innings (and Chapman doubled that last season). If it’s based on career through 24, that doesn’t make sense either, as Score already had 70 starts and 512 IP before his age-25 season (compared to only 135 IP for Chapman).

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      • Jimmy D says:

        Well that makes too much sense, Dan!

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  2. BaseClogger says:

    Honestly, that’s what I expect from Chapman and I’d take it. Rather than getting shutdown like Strasburg, they can move him back to the bullpen for the playoffs, where he with fortify what should already be a pretty decent relief corps.

    This is a really good team.

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    • Baltar says:

      Based on Dusty’s track record, he will more likely be overworked than shutdown. I hope Dusty receives orders to be cautious with him.

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      • gnomez says:

        Three. Hundred. Innings.

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      • BaseClogger says:

        My username is “BaseClogger” for chrissakes and I still think the Dusty jokes are overplayed.

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      • gweedoh565 says:

        Amen, BaseClogger!

        Also, it’s no longer true: Baker has gradually “improved” his pitcher usage over the years and has been around league average in terms of “pitcher abuse” since 2009:

        http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13948

        That article doesn’t include all of 2011 or any of 2012, but he had only 3 starts over 120 pitches in 2011 (1.9%) and only 2 in 2012 (1.2%), which is below average according to article.

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      • MLB Rainmaker says:

        The problem with Dusty isn’t the 120+ pitch counts, its the games when he leaves a kid in to throw 35+ pitches in the 2nd inning. The tires out, his mechanics go out the window, and he puts undue stress on his arm, but old DB doesn’t want to call a long reliever for some random April game…

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        • Jason says:

          And then he gets people bitching and moaning that he over-works his long relievers. Dusty get more unreasonable complaints than anyone outside of New York.

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  3. Haastile says:

    That’s a 100+ win team. Bailey’s projection is too low. He’s entering his prime and has improved in each of the past two seasons. I don’t see why he would take a step back from his 2012 numbers. He is one of my favorite fantasy pickups this year as I see him competing with cueto and latos for best of the staff. I see Votto hitting 25-35 points higher than his 300 avg projection. He hit 337 with a bum knee last year.

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    • Jay says:

      100 wins? My back of the envelope WAR math has them around 91. Still a very good projection coming from ZiPS. As for Bailey, ZiPS is projecting him for a lower FIP than he’s posted any year but 2010. I don’t think you can really quibble with that. I agree with you on Votto, but ZiPS is notoriously conservative on batting averages. I think Votto may be the first .300 projection of the year.

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      • Baltar says:

        Your back of the envelope calculation is correct based on 45 for replacement level and 46 for the depth chart (Note: Zym says that this calculation is invalid as a team projection.)
        I think the only higher one in the NL so far was Washington with 96.

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      • ZiPS projected 340 hitters in 2012 that ended up getting 200 plate appearances. ZiPS projected them to hit 262/328/414, they hit 262/329/418.

        Looking at BA title qualifiers, ZiPS projected, based on the .300 BA ODDIBE odds, that on average, that 24 of them would .300 hitters on average, 26 did.

        The reasons ZiPS projects so few .300 *mean* projections is that league BAs have dropped considerably, from .269 in 2006 to .268, .264, .262, .257, and in the last 2 years, .255. 2011-2012 (and ZiPS presumes, 2013) is a much worse BA environment than all average environment that all career .300 hitters have had.

        ZiPS has 4 players with a mean projection of .300 or higher (Cabrera, Braun, Cano, Votto). That’s a completely different thing than saying “ZiPS only projects there to be 4 .300 hitters in 2013.” That’s just not how probability works. Mauer’s at 48%, Posey 46%, Cargo 44%, Beltre 45%, Butler 41%, Ortiz 42%, Tulo 43%, Castro 38%, Reyes 37%, Kemp 36%, Molina 33% – obviously a lot of those guys *are* going to hit .300.

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      • Jay says:

        I certainly didn’t mean to offend your system Dan. I am a very big fan of ZiPS. Thank you for the primer though. When viewing ZiPS projections I must constantly remind myself to think probabilistically. Just as a poker player who plays all night would be lucky if he never took a single bad beat (despite having favorable odds in each of his particular hands), a projection system such as ZiPS would be “surprised” if only 4 players topped .300 despite ostensibly predicting it.

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      • Jay, it was more a general description while I was there, in addition to responding to your post. The “pessimistic!” comments are always lurking ’round the corner.

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      • Bob says:

        Well, yes and no. The depth chart summation is indeed 46 WAR. However, when you add up the individual position players and individual rotation pieces, you get 40 rather than 42 wins, due to so many more values being rounded up, rather than down.

        So, 89 as opposed to 91 (by this methodology, anyway). If they win more than 90, I’d be surprised. More than 92-or-3, I’d be shocked. Last year, the Reds were the “secret Orioles” of the N.L., as they won a hugely disproportionate number of close games (1 or 2 runs), and so vastly exceeded their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-order win totals.

        1st order 90 wins in 2012
        2nd order 88 wins
        3rd order 86 wins

        Jocketty has been properly aggressive in his off-season moves, and there’s no way this team will backslide, a la 2011. But Chapman and Choo are dicerolls, and they’d both have to turn out almost perfectly (like combining for double-digit WAR) for this team to equal last year’s W/L record, much less win 100 games.

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    • Ender says:

      Bailey’s ERA last year was more luck based than peripheral based so ZIPS is just assuming he pitches to the peripherals. If you buy into his 2nd half surge I could see him being a really good pitcher but it is pretty hard for a computer to just assume that is a new level given how few innings it was in.

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  4. Matt Hunter says:

    It’s pretty unbelievable that projecting a .338 BABIP for Votto is pessimistic. In fact, it’s pretty unlikely to be that low, as it’s only dropped below .340 once in his 5-year career. Once! That man is good at baseball.

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  5. KJ says:

    Why the huge drop-off for Ryan Ludwick? He posted a 161 OPS+ over the second half of 2012 and now he is suddenly a league average hitter?

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    • philosofool says:

      If you’re (1) a below average hitter in the previous season, (2) an average hitter in the season before that and (3) born before 1980, a good projection system is probably going to see the previous season as flukey rather than as a real improvement. So, he comes out the average of his last three seasons.

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    • BobbyS says:

      He’s been around a league average outfielder for a few years now… just happened to have a great second half, aided by a BABIP far about what he’s had over the last 2 or 3 seasons before that. It’s even actually a pretty similar projection to BJ’s! lol

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      • KJ says:

        This makes sense, unless there is a good explanation for your “flukey” season. In Ludwick’s case there is. Ludwick changed his approach when he was in pitcher-friendly San Diego leading to his mid-career struggles at the plate. When he returned to a hitter-friendly park he was able to find the mojo that he lost when he left St. Louis. As the season progressed he found more and more of that mojo.

        I don’t expect a 1.000 OPS season from Ludwick in 2013, but he is also not a league-average hitter at this point in his career. I think a realistic projection is something between .850-.900 in 2013.

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      • Baltar says:

        KJ, ZiPS doesn’t take subjective factors into account, and rightly so. Your projection is extremely optimistic.

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      • KJ, a good explanation would be one that was independent from the results, not one cobbled together ex post facto based on the results. If you have evidence *before* his huge 6 week run that his 4 *year* mojo disappearance was magically going to end, that would be something.

        (and he didn’t “get better” as the season went, he sucked for a few months, had an amazing 6-8 weeks, and then sucked again)

        If ZiPS spat out an .850-.900 OPS as a *mean projection* for Ryan Ludwick based on the facts in evidence, I would have deleted ZiPS and started over from scratch.

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      • KJ says:

        It wasn’t a 6-week run, more like a 18-week run. He had a bad April/March, got a little better in May and then was an allstar-caliber player from June through the rest of the regular season and through the playoffs when he hit 3 HRs and batted .333. I understand that ZIPS doesnt factor in the impact making a move to a different home ballpark, but I just don’t see any way that Ludwick OPS’es less than .800 OPS.

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      • Colin P says:

        If Ludwick meets that projection I wouldn’t be disappointed. He’s there to provide a little power.

        The real key to this team is that there are a lot of solid players and not many major weakpoints so long as health holds. Even with regression in terms of IP by the starters they have Cingriani to be a capable reinforcement.

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      • Ludwick certainly wasn’t hot in September.

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      • Ender says:

        Rickie Weeks looks like a HOF player for months at a time too, he still ends up being Rickie Weeks by the end of the season. Trying to assume a lot from a small sample is dangerous and would lead to a really bad projection system.

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  6. REM says:

    Anyone else surprised Hamilton’s offensive projection is that optimistic?

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  7. Matt says:

    The Mesoraco to Charles Johnson comp is amusing. Could not be more different behind the dish and from what the scouting reports said up to last year could not be more different when at the plate either. Maybe the sum is an equally valuable player? Just very different routes of acheiving said value?

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  8. It’s offense (I haven’t found much use for defensive comps)

    When you combine minor league translations (neutral league, neutral park), ZiPS’ best guess for Devin Mesoraco’s currentl level of offensive ability at this minute at 237/310/399. The best guess for Johnson after 1996 was 234/312/409. There’s a lot more in it, but comps will tend to be pretty close BA/OBP/SLG wise.

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  9. Ben Brennan says:

    Why don’t you guys do 95% confidence intervals rather than the mean projection? Do people get more confused than they are by the mean projections since your average sports fan doesn’t understand a normal distribution?

    Additionally, is there anywhere I could see your confidence intervals?

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  10. wanderin says:

    I think the projection is a little light for Frazier. Not sure I like using minor league historical stats for projecting future MLB performance, especially for someone like Frazier who spent the minors roaming from position to position. I think a 2.7 WAR average is much more in line with what folks should expect, with the potential of a 4.0 if things break right.

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    • Simply put, it’s much less accurate if your ignore minor league data. I’ve encountered this argument since the moment I started doing basic projections in the late 90s, for example, with Chris Singleton. Most sophomore slumps are, in fact, simply a player that was performing at a higher-than-expected level regressing to a more typical place in the career patterns.

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      • wanderin says:

        I’m mainly concerned with the defensive projection. I also wonder if the ZIPS projection is weighing his performance at 1B and the OF too heavily, when it is generally assumed that he will spend most of his time at 3B (his best position IMO) next season.

        Let’s not forget that he split time between four positions last year, but should be able to concentrate on 3B this season. He passes my eye test for the position, especially when one compares him to rest of the ineptness at 3B found across the league.

        Furthermore, I have to wonder why Broxton is only projected to throw 48 IP, when he should clearly set for 60-80 IP. He’s fully recovered from his injury.

        Between Frazier and Broxton, I think another 2 WAR is a conservative addition to the overall projection.

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  11. DoubleDave says:

    Dont you usually try to use same position players for the comps?
    Jay Bruce comp is Carlos Pena?

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  12. Marver says:

    Dan,

    Is the Latos comp. correct? John Thomson had a career K/9 of less than 6, which just makes the comparison seem quite odd given Latos’s K/9 prowess to-date.

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    • It’s closer than it looks – Coors is a rough park for strikeouts while Petco is very good (Great American about average). Add in that the Thomson years being compared to also include his final year in the minor (when it still looked like he’d be a better strikeout pitcher than he turned out to be) and NL average K/9 is nearly an entire strikeout a game higher than the mid-late 90s and the disparity gets trimmed down.

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