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2013 ZiPS Projections – Houston Astros

Posted By Carson Cistulli On January 3, 2013 @ 8:00 am In 2013 ZiPS Projections,Astros | 31 Comments

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, will be released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the very newest addition to the American League, the Houston Astros. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Athletics / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Rangers.

Batters
It’s good news for Houston that young third baseman Matt Dominguez — acquired last July in a deal with Miami for Carlos Lee — that Dominguez is projected to post a roughly league-average WAR in 2013. What’s less good news for Houston is that Dominguez is projected to be the second-best player on the team — after Jose Altuve, that is.

Of note regarding Houston’s forecasts is this: there are a number of starters (or two, at least) whose plate-appearance projections are rather low. Shortstop Jed Lowrie (332 PA) and center fielder Justin Maxwell (358 PA), for example, could conceivably produce almost twice as many wins, were they to play something closer to full-time.

Pitchers
Only one Astros pitcher (left-handed reliever Wesley Wright) is projected to post an ERA- (that is, park-adjusted ERA relative to league-average) lower than 100. Otherwise, ZiPS foresees literally every other Houston pitcher allowing runs at an above-average rate.

That’s not to say that the club doesn’t have pieces. Right-handed starter Bud Norris has an excellent slider and has struck out almost a batter an inning over 97 career starts. Rotation mates Lucas Harrell, Jordan Lyles, and Alex White all posted ground-ball rates above 50% in 2012. Those are all positives, of course — and, if any of those pitchers makes gains in another area, he could become average or better. On a team level, however, the Astros look likely to be conceding quite a few runs in 2013.

Bench/Prospects
What Houston does have is a lot in the way of promising young players — both in the form of potential stars and also future role players. Both first baseman Jonathan Singleton and outfielder Robbie Grossman — ranked first and 11th among Houston prospects, according to Marc Hulet — could make their major-league debuts this summer, and both would likely represent an improvement over whomever they’d be replacing. Meanwhile, Delino Deshields Jr. and George Springer are already regarded as something better than replacement level by ZiPS, despite the fact they’re probably more than a season away from the majors.

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

Astros 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
Jose Altuve R 23 2B 672 85 178 33 6 9 49 33 14
Matt Dominguez R 23 3B 596 64 139 27 2 14 66 0 1
Jed Lowrie B 29 SS 332 39 74 17 1 11 37 2 0
Carlos Pena L 35 1B 525 65 93 19 2 24 65 2 2
Jonathan Singleton L 21 1B 574 81 116 23 4 19 65 6 2
Brandon Laird R 25 3B 613 59 137 29 2 17 68 1 1
Justin Maxwell R 29 CF 358 47 67 13 2 15 42 13 5
Jason Castro L 26 C 384 44 81 16 1 6 35 1 1
Tyler Greene R 29 2B 427 52 88 18 2 12 34 18 4
Jake Elmore R 26 SS 555 56 120 22 3 2 39 19 9
Delino Deshields Jr. R 20 2B 647 79 128 19 4 10 53 55 18
George Springer R 23 CF 594 75 120 18 6 13 58 21 8
Che-Hsuan Lin R 24 CF 552 61 121 15 4 2 30 20 7
Fernando Martinez L 24 LF 439 50 97 21 2 14 45 1 2
Chris Snyder R 32 C 245 25 43 7 0 7 30 0 0
Robbie Grossman B 23 CF 628 83 123 25 4 10 50 12 9
Jonathan Villar B 22 SS 512 56 99 13 4 10 44 31 11
Marwin Gonzalez B 24 SS 418 41 96 20 2 3 30 6 4
Landon Powell B 31 C 222 25 42 5 0 5 19 0 0
Brett Wallace L 26 1B 604 67 132 26 1 17 63 1 1
J.D. Martinez R 25 LF 578 61 134 26 2 11 71 1 2
Carlos Corporan B 29 C 204 17 42 8 1 4 22 0 1
Domingo Santana R 20 RF 556 61 110 25 4 14 55 6 1
Brandon Barnes R 27 CF 575 59 112 29 3 12 54 10 5
Trevor Crowe B 29 CF 357 37 79 16 3 3 29 14 6
J.B. Shuck L 26 LF 520 58 118 15 5 0 31 12 8
Drew Locke R 30 RF 418 43 91 20 2 9 47 4 2
Jimmy Paredes B 24 2B 422 46 94 18 4 5 31 20 10
Nate Freiman R 26 1B 604 63 131 29 1 16 74 1 1
Marc Krauss L 25 LF 533 55 100 22 2 14 49 4 3

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Jose Altuve 672 5.5% 11.8% .116 .315 .287 .330 .403 .319
Matt Dominguez 596 5.5% 14.3% .132 .273 .251 .296 .383 .293
Jed Lowrie 332 10.2% 17.2% .177 .276 .253 .331 .430 .331
Carlos Pena 525 14.9% 29.5% .218 .265 .214 .341 .432 .334
Jonathan Singleton 574 13.4% 30.7% .179 .322 .236 .338 .415 .327
Brandon Laird 613 4.7% 21.0% .146 .277 .239 .279 .385 .287
Justin Maxwell 358 10.1% 35.5% .196 .295 .211 .297 .407 .307
Jason Castro 384 9.9% 21.1% .106 .293 .238 .316 .344 .290
Tyler Greene 427 7.5% 29.3% .151 .305 .229 .297 .380 .296
Jake Elmore 555 9.9% 16.6% .071 .297 .247 .325 .318 .287
Delino Deshields Jr. 647 8.3% 28.1% .099 .303 .221 .294 .320 .278
George Springer 594 8.1% 34.8% .129 .334 .224 .292 .353 .283
Che-Hsuan Lin 552 8.3% 15.4% .059 .290 .244 .316 .303 .282
Fernando Martinez 439 5.5% 27.3% .167 .306 .241 .297 .408 .303
Chris Snyder 245 13.5% 27.3% .135 .269 .208 .324 .343 .290
Robbie Grossman 628 12.1% 26.0% .117 .308 .229 .330 .346 .299
Jonathan Villar 512 7.4% 31.3% .112 .305 .216 .280 .328 .268
Marwin Gonzalez 418 5.3% 14.6% .085 .286 .249 .291 .334 .270
Landon Powell 222 9.9% 25.2% .102 .270 .213 .294 .315 .268
Brett Wallace 604 7.0% 27.8% .145 .317 .242 .311 .387 .303
J.D. Martinez 578 7.4% 22.1% .120 .314 .254 .313 .374 .301
Carlos Corporan 204 5.4% 25.5% .120 .290 .228 .282 .348 .266
Domingo Santana 556 6.8% 38.1% .149 .340 .217 .284 .366 .287
Brandon Barnes 575 6.1% 31.3% .134 .293 .211 .264 .345 .266
Trevor Crowe 357 7.0% 18.2% .094 .291 .242 .296 .336 .278
J.B. Shuck 520 9.0% 11.7% .053 .289 .252 .320 .305 .278
Drew Locke 418 5.7% 22.2% .131 .284 .234 .282 .365 .281
Jimmy Paredes 422 3.8% 25.8% .102 .309 .236 .265 .338 .261
Nate Freiman 604 6.5% 23.5% .143 .288 .236 .293 .379 .292
Marc Krauss 533 9.8% 31.9% .144 .295 .212 .293 .356 .286

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Jose Altuve 672 5.1 101 -5 2.5 Steve Sax
Matt Dominguez 596 4.1 85 5 1.9 Brent Butler
Jed Lowrie 332 5.2 108 -2 1.8 Jim Lefebvre
Carlos Pena 525 5.0 111 -1 1.6 Jeromy Burnitz
Jonathan Singleton 574 5.0 106 -2 1.5 Cal Pickering
Brandon Laird 613 3.8 80 2 1.4 David Winfree
Justin Maxwell 358 4.2 91 2 1.3 Brad Komminsk
Jason Castro 384 3.8 82 0 1.2 Bob Henley
Tyler Greene 427 4.2 85 -2 1.2 Nick Green
Jake Elmore 555 3.7 78 -3 1.1 Peter Peltz
Delino Deshields Jr. 647 3.6 69 -2 0.9 Sibby Sisti
George Springer 594 3.7 76 0 0.9 Cameron Maybin
Che-Hsuan Lin 552 3.6 72 3 0.9 Joe Trippy
Fernando Martinez 439 4.2 92 3 0.8 Pedro Munoz
Chris Snyder 245 3.8 84 -1 0.8 Kelly Stinnett
Robbie Grossman 628 3.9 86 -6 0.7 Rich Becker
Jonathan Villar 512 3.4 67 -4 0.6 Buddy Biancalana
Marwin Gonzalez 418 3.4 72 -2 0.5 Jorge Velandia
Landon Powell 222 3.2 68 0 0.4 Chad Moeller
Brett Wallace 604 4.3 91 -2 0.4 Lyle Overbay
J.D. Martinez 578 4.2 88 -3 0.3 Brian Stavisky
Carlos Corporan 204 3.3 72 -2 0.2 Mike DiFelice
Domingo Santana 556 3.7 77 0 0.1 Wil Culmer
Brandon Barnes 575 3.1 66 -1 -0.1 Robert Jones
Trevor Crowe 357 3.6 74 -5 -0.1 Tony Diggs
J.B. Shuck 520 3.4 73 3 -0.1 Steve Stanley
Drew Locke 418 3.6 77 -2 -0.2 Tom Nevers
Jimmy Paredes 422 3.2 65 -3 -0.2 Bob Meacham
Nate Freiman 604 3.9 83 -4 -0.3 Leo Daigle
Marc Krauss 533 3.5 78 -4 -0.4 Orsino Hill

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Bud Norris R 28 29 29 168.3 167 69 23 164 91 85
Lucas Harrell R 28 29 27 153.3 101 67 14 166 87 81
Jordan Lyles R 22 31 28 165.3 116 46 21 185 97 91
Wesley Wright L 28 71 0 58.7 57 23 6 55 28 26
Jose Veras R 32 68 0 64.0 68 35 7 59 32 30
Alex White R 24 28 26 129.3 89 59 17 141 78 73
Edgar Gonzalez R 30 22 18 95.3 61 28 11 112 57 53
John Ely R 27 28 26 148.0 108 51 20 166 90 84
Fernando Rodriguez R 29 66 0 70.7 78 35 9 67 37 35
Chia-Jen Lo R 27 12 2 16.7 15 8 2 17 10 9
Xavier Cedeno L 26 68 0 59.3 55 26 6 61 32 30
Philip Humber R 30 27 20 123.0 88 38 20 139 77 72
Jose Cisnero R 24 27 27 120.3 102 60 19 135 76 71
Sergio Escalona L 28 47 0 38.3 31 18 5 41 22 21
Josh Fields R 27 37 0 47.7 46 30 6 47 28 26
Francisco Cordero R 38 48 0 44.3 32 17 6 50 27 25
Jose Valdez R 30 43 0 43.7 40 18 6 47 27 25
Dallas Keuchel L 25 29 29 157.0 80 53 19 191 103 96
Sam Demel R 27 55 0 56.3 47 25 9 62 36 34
Rhiner Cruz R 26 52 0 61.7 51 40 9 66 42 39
Hector Ambriz R 29 49 0 63.3 49 35 8 73 43 40
Enerio Del Rosario R 27 58 0 62.0 31 30 8 77 44 41
Brett Oberholtzer L 23 27 27 145.7 94 56 22 177 102 95
Adalberto Flores R 26 47 1 69.7 47 38 10 82 49 46
Asher Wojciechowski R 24 25 24 117.7 67 50 18 149 85 79
Jarred Cosart R 23 23 22 113.3 71 74 15 133 83 78
Paul Clemens R 25 28 21 119.3 77 57 19 147 88 82
Rudy Owens L 25 24 24 125.7 74 43 25 158 93 87
Ross Seaton R 23 27 27 144.3 76 54 24 184 108 101

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Bud Norris 168.3 738 22.6% 9.4% .298 4.54 4.15 112 102
Lucas Harrell 153.3 693 14.6% 9.7% .300 4.75 4.28 117 105
Jordan Lyles 165.3 727 16.0% 6.3% .305 4.95 4.25 122 104
Wesley Wright 58.7 254 22.4% 9.1% .300 3.99 3.86 98 95
Jose Veras 64.0 286 23.8% 12.2% .301 4.22 4.08 104 100
Alex White 129.3 588 15.1% 10.0% .299 5.08 4.82 125 118
Edgar Gonzalez 95.3 426 14.3% 6.6% .315 5.00 4.35 123 107
John Ely 148.0 661 16.3% 7.7% .308 5.11 4.55 126 112
Fernando Rodriguez 70.7 314 24.8% 11.1% .305 4.46 3.86 110 95
Chia-Jen Lo 16.7 75 20.0% 10.7% .305 4.86 4.47 119 110
Xavier Cedeno 59.3 265 20.8% 9.8% .314 4.55 3.87 112 95
Philip Humber 123.0 546 16.1% 7.0% .301 5.27 4.78 130 117
Jose Cisnero 120.3 556 18.3% 10.8% .318 5.31 5.17 130 127
Sergio Escalona 38.3 174 17.8% 10.4% .308 4.93 4.74 121 116
Josh Fields 47.7 220 20.9% 13.6% .303 4.91 4.81 121 118
Francisco Cordero 44.3 200 16.0% 8.5% .308 5.08 4.56 125 112
Jose Valdez 43.7 196 20.4% 9.2% .315 5.15 4.22 127 104
Dallas Keuchel 157.0 715 11.2% 7.4% .310 5.50 4.76 135 117
Sam Demel 56.3 256 18.4% 9.8% .308 5.43 4.84 133 119
Rhiner Cruz 61.7 291 17.5% 13.7% .303 5.69 5.43 140 133
Hector Ambriz 63.3 298 16.4% 11.7% .322 5.68 4.90 140 120
Enerio Del Rosario 62.0 293 10.6% 10.2% .314 5.95 5.32 146 131
Brett Oberholtzer 145.7 670 14.0% 8.4% .317 5.87 5.04 144 124
Adalberto Flores 69.7 329 14.3% 11.5% .314 5.94 5.29 146 130
Asher Wojciechowski 117.7 552 12.1% 9.1% .320 6.04 5.42 148 133
Jarred Cosart 113.3 547 13.0% 13.5% .311 6.19 5.73 152 141
Paul Clemens 119.3 562 13.7% 10.1% .319 6.18 5.46 152 134
Rudy Owens 125.7 578 12.8% 7.4% .311 6.23 5.67 153 139
Ross Seaton 144.3 671 11.3% 8.0% .316 6.30 5.45 155 134

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Bud Norris 168.3 8.93 3.69 1.23 89 1.5 Kip Wells
Lucas Harrell 153.3 5.93 3.93 0.82 85 0.9 Mike Dunne
Jordan Lyles 165.3 6.32 2.50 1.14 81 0.6 Wally Whitehurst
Wesley Wright 58.7 8.74 3.53 0.92 101 0.4 Mike Stanton
Jose Veras 64.0 9.56 4.92 0.98 95 0.3 Frank LaCorte
Alex White 129.3 6.19 4.11 1.18 79 0.3 Darin Blood
Edgar Gonzalez 95.3 5.76 2.64 1.04 80 0.3 Heath Totten
John Ely 148.0 6.57 3.10 1.22 79 0.3 Jason Davis
Fernando Rodriguez 70.7 9.93 4.46 1.15 90 0.1 Chris Schroder
Chia-Jen Lo 16.7 8.08 4.31 1.08 83 0.0 Jeff Jones
Xavier Cedeno 59.3 8.35 3.95 0.91 88 0.0 Brian Snyder
Philip Humber 123.0 6.44 2.78 1.46 76 -0.1 Shawn Boskie
Jose Cisnero 120.3 7.63 4.49 1.42 76 -0.1 Pete Fisher
Sergio Escalona 38.3 7.28 4.23 1.17 82 -0.2 Sean Fesh
Josh Fields 47.7 8.68 5.66 1.13 82 -0.2 Franklyn German
Francisco Cordero 44.3 6.50 3.45 1.22 79 -0.3 Terry Clark
Jose Valdez 43.7 8.24 3.71 1.24 78 -0.3 Doug Henry
Dallas Keuchel 157.0 4.59 3.04 1.09 73 -0.5 Jeff Mutis
Sam Demel 56.3 7.51 4.00 1.44 74 -0.6 Dan Kite
Rhiner Cruz 61.7 7.44 5.83 1.31 71 -0.8 Jason Gilfillan
Hector Ambriz 63.3 6.97 4.98 1.14 71 -0.9 Steve Green
Enerio Del Rosario 62.0 4.50 4.35 1.16 68 -1.0 Kevin Joseph
Brett Oberholtzer 145.7 5.81 3.46 1.36 69 -1.1 Andy Van Hekken
Adalberto Flores 69.7 6.07 4.91 1.29 68 -1.1 Sean Green
Asher Wojciechowski 117.7 5.12 3.82 1.38 67 -1.1 Omar Ortiz
Jarred Cosart 113.3 5.64 5.88 1.19 65 -1.3 Brett Laxton
Paul Clemens 119.3 5.81 4.30 1.43 65 -1.4 Matt Achilles
Rudy Owens 125.7 5.30 3.08 1.79 65 -1.5 Heath Phillips
Ross Seaton 144.3 4.74 3.37 1.50 64 -1.8 Matt Childers

***

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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