2013 ZiPS Projections – Oakland Athletics

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, will be released at FanGraphs this year. Below is the second set of 2013’s projections — for the AL West champion Oakland Athletics. Don’t hesitate to leave notes regarding format/presentation in the comments section, as the author frequently has no idea what he’s doing.

Batters
With his offseason acquisition of outfielder Chris Young (for Cliff Pennington and a minor leaguer), GM Billy Beane has created a good kind of the problem for the A’s: four of the team’s five best field players, per ZiPS — and four of the five team’s field players projected to record a WAR above 2.0 — are outfielders. Coco Crisp and Young both have positive career UZRs in center field; Reddick has the same in right. All three have pretty large sample sizes at their respective positions. Yoenis Cespedes has neither decent fielding numbers nor a sample that requires us to weight said numbers heavily. Still, based on the defensive reputations of all four players, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a lineup with Cespedes at DH and the other three playing the outfield.

Outside of that quadrumvirate — and newly signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima (about whom Jeff Sullivan recently made some shockingly intelligent comments) — ZiPS sees mostly pieces, but little impact.

Pitchers
Brett Anderson‘s health is important to Oakland’s success next year, likely — and the lack of it over the last two-plus seasons is what has produced here a rather conservative projection for Anderson’s 2013. After him, there’s considerable youth. Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, and Dan Straily: together, they have 88 career starts. The first three, however, all posted FIP-minuses of 100 or lower in a starting role last season.

Despite the fact that he’s pitched professionally for all of one season (after converting from first base) and now has more major-league innings (47.1) than minor-league ones (26.0), it might not be entirely ridiculous to suggest that left-hander Sean Doolittle is the best relief pitcher on the A’s right now. He posted a 73 xFIP- and 1.6 WAR in 2012, while posting similar strikeout/walk differentials against lefties and righties. ZiPS projects Doolittle to post both the team’s highest strikeout rate and lowest FIP.

Bench/Prospects
Acquired from Boston in the Andrew Bailey trade, Miles Head is a player about whose offensive potential Marc Hulet had some positive things to say this past April — and for whose defensive potential Hulet reserved less glowing remarks. The A’s moved him back to third base this season after he’d played mostly first in the Boston system. ZiPS is optimistic about him — although, after splitting his 2012 season between High- and Double-A, Head is likely to spend most of 2013 in the minors.

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

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
Yoenis Cespedes R 27 CF 625 90 155 25 4 23 84 13 5
Chris Young R 29 CF 525 59 103 26 1 16 51 16 6
Coco Crisp B 33 CF 462 63 109 21 6 8 42 32 5
Hiroyuki Nakajima R 30 SS 626 78 156 25 3 8 81 13 8
Josh Reddick L 26 RF 614 72 136 29 5 22 63 7 4
Josh Donaldson R 27 3B 535 63 114 26 1 15 66 7 3
Stephen Drew L 30 SS 451 53 96 19 5 8 43 4 3
Miles Head R 22 3B 602 61 138 28 4 15 58 3 2
Brandon Moss L 29 LF 532 65 113 26 1 21 70 5 4
Derek Norris R 24 C 470 52 79 18 1 12 48 8 3
Chris Carter R 26 1B 568 73 115 26 1 25 73 4 2
Andy Parrino B 27 SS 462 51 88 20 3 6 39 5 2
Daric Barton L 27 1B 496 57 95 22 2 7 43 5 2
Seth Smith L 30 LF 445 53 95 21 3 13 47 4 2
Scott Sizemore R 28 2B 453 54 93 20 2 9 43 6 3
Eric Sogard L 27 2B 464 58 105 17 3 6 38 10 5
Collin Cowgill R 27 CF 514 51 111 21 3 7 48 16 5
Jemile Weeks B 26 2B 544 61 120 21 8 3 35 17 7
Brandon Inge R 36 3B 428 38 83 16 2 11 48 1 2
George Kottaras L 30 C 222 20 42 9 1 6 24 0 1
Adam Rosales R 30 SS 352 39 75 15 2 7 37 3 2
Scott Moore L 29 3B 437 47 91 20 1 11 49 2 2
Shane Peterson L 25 LF 484 51 96 18 3 7 42 9 3
Jermaine Mitchell L 28 CF 543 60 105 17 7 6 37 14 10
Michael Taylor R 27 RF 538 63 112 23 2 10 56 12 4
Michael Choice R 23 CF 511 50 104 19 2 12 48 5 4
Luke Montz R 29 1B 397 40 72 15 0 14 47 2 2
Steve Parker L 25 3B 525 51 106 21 3 7 49 3 2
Jason Jaramillo B 30 C 287 23 55 12 0 2 24 1 1
Wes Timmons R 34 2B 325 36 70 13 0 3 26 7 3
Josh Horton L 27 2B 445 43 89 17 3 4 44 3 2
Grant Green R 25 LF 634 67 147 28 3 9 56 8 7
Matt Rizzotti L 27 1B 481 41 101 23 1 9 44 2 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Yoenis Cespedes 625 7.8% 16.6% .179 .299 .273 .338 .452 .343
Chris Young 525 11.6% 23.4% .167 .271 .225 .319 .392 .314
Coco Crisp 462 8.2% 12.3% .137 .285 .263 .322 .400 .320
Hiroyuki Nakajima 626 5.6% 14.9% .095 .306 .271 .316 .366 .298
Josh Reddick 614 7.7% 21.2% .187 .275 .243 .300 .430 .311
Josh Donaldson 535 7.3% 22.1% .149 .277 .234 .295 .383 .297
Stephen Drew 451 9.8% 20.2% .132 .288 .238 .313 .370 .298
Miles Head 602 6.0% 27.1% .145 .322 .247 .299 .392 .301
Brandon Moss 532 8.3% 25.8% .190 .284 .236 .305 .426 .314
Derek Norris 470 13.0% 30.0% .140 .267 .198 .307 .338 .290
Chris Carter 568 10.7% 29.2% .208 .288 .231 .317 .439 .327
Andy Parrino 462 9.7% 27.5% .108 .297 .217 .302 .325 .273
Daric Barton 496 14.7% 17.9% .114 .276 .231 .351 .345 .312
Seth Smith 445 10.1% 21.1% .169 .284 .242 .324 .411 .314
Scott Sizemore 453 9.3% 25.8% .128 .305 .233 .313 .361 .296
Eric Sogard 464 8.2% 12.5% .098 .277 .250 .314 .348 .292
Collin Cowgill 514 7.4% 20.6% .103 .291 .238 .299 .341 .284
Jemile Weeks 544 8.1% 15.3% .095 .290 .247 .314 .342 .290
Brandon Inge 428 8.2% 27.1% .138 .276 .216 .286 .354 .279
George Kottaras 222 13.5% 22.5% .153 .267 .221 .326 .374 .306
Adam Rosales 352 6.8% 21.3% .125 .280 .234 .288 .359 .280
Scott Moore 437 8.0% 22.0% .141 .280 .235 .306 .376 .295
Shane Peterson 484 9.9% 25.6% .105 .299 .225 .311 .330 .286
Jermaine Mitchell 543 9.0% 27.3% .101 .296 .216 .291 .317 .268
Michael Taylor 538 9.5% 22.9% .118 .291 .233 .310 .351 .294
Michael Choice 511 7.0% 28.0% .127 .293 .223 .286 .350 .277
Luke Montz 397 9.6% 27.5% .161 .249 .204 .285 .365 .281
Steve Parker 525 7.8% 25.0% .101 .291 .224 .289 .325 .270
Jason Jaramillo 287 7.0% 20.9% .069 .262 .210 .272 .279 .246
Wes Timmons 325 8.6% 8.3% .077 .261 .246 .326 .323 .292
Josh Horton 445 7.0% 23.4% .085 .280 .218 .274 .303 .256
Grant Green 634 4.6% 21.1% .103 .303 .247 .285 .350 .275
Matt Rizzotti 481 8.7% 28.3% .120 .315 .232 .301 .352 .284

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Yoenis Cespedes 625 5.7 117 -6 3.2 Vernon Wells
Chris Young 525 4.4 96 5 2.3 David Cook
Coco Crisp 462 5.3 99 0 2.2 Stan Javier
Hiroyuki Nakajima 626 4.2 89 1 2.2 Julio Franco
Josh Reddick 614 4.6 99 7 2.1 Ryan Church
Josh Donaldson 535 4.0 86 3 1.7 Gary Gaetti
Stephen Drew 451 4.1 89 -1 1.4 Lou Collier
Miles Head 602 4.2 90 -3 1.4 Brook Jacoby
Brandon Moss 532 4.5 100 1 1.3 Luke Scott
Derek Norris 470 3.5 79 -3 1.2 Luke Montz
Chris Carter 568 4.9 107 -4 1.2 Mark Strucher
Andy Parrino 462 3.4 74 0 1.0 Nick Green
Daric Barton 496 4.3 94 2 0.9 Mike Twardoski
Seth Smith 445 4.7 102 -3 0.8 Ben Broussard
Scott Sizemore 453 4.0 86 -3 0.8 Mike Blowers
Eric Sogard 464 3.9 83 -2 0.8 Ed Giovanola
Collin Cowgill 514 3.8 77 0 0.8 Lou Collier
Jemile Weeks 544 3.9 82 -4 0.7 Nelson Liriano
Brandon Inge 428 3.4 76 2 0.7 Jason Wood
George Kottaras 222 4.1 94 -3 0.7 Mike Fitzgerald
Adam Rosales 352 3.6 78 -2 0.6 Nick Green
Scott Moore 437 4.0 88 -6 0.5 Matt Craig
Shane Peterson 484 3.7 78 3 0.4 Andy Tomberlin
Jermaine Mitchell 543 3.1 69 2 0.2 Herm Winningham
Michael Taylor 538 3.9 83 -2 0.2 Jordan Czarniecki
Michael Choice 511 3.4 75 -3 0.1 Lance Hallberg
Luke Montz 397 3.5 79 2 0.0 Ryan Jones
Steve Parker 525 3.2 70 -4 0.0 Chris Saunders
Jason Jaramillo 287 2.6 53 -2 -0.1 Chris Tremie
Wes Timmons 325 3.8 81 -7 -0.1 Ted Sizemore
Josh Horton 445 2.8 60 -1 -0.2 Jim Mason
Grant Green 634 3.5 75 2 -0.3 Rod Allen
Matt Rizzotti 481 3.7 81 -3 -0.4 Lyle Overbay

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Jarrod Parker R 24 33 33 195.7 153 69 14 190 88 82
Tommy Milone L 26 29 29 173.3 130 31 17 185 81 76
Dan Straily R 24 31 31 170.0 153 79 21 161 85 79
A.J. Griffin R 25 31 31 171.3 121 47 22 170 86 80
Bartolo Colon R 40 20 20 127.0 75 23 15 136 62 58
Sean Doolittle L 26 61 0 71.3 83 27 6 57 27 25
Brett Anderson L 25 15 15 83.3 57 20 8 86 40 37
Grant Balfour R 35 61 0 57.3 57 21 5 47 21 20
Ryan Cook R 26 67 0 68.3 66 31 5 58 28 26
Pat Neshek R 32 57 0 56.7 48 17 4 56 24 22
Travis Blackley L 30 26 13 88.0 61 34 9 88 46 43
Jerry Blevins L 29 59 0 57.0 51 22 6 52 26 24
Jordan Norberto L 26 48 0 55.3 53 30 5 49 26 24
Evan Scribner R 27 52 0 59.0 50 22 7 58 30 28
Chris Resop R 30 55 0 58.7 49 24 6 59 30 28
Mike Ekstrom R 29 52 1 66.7 45 28 6 71 36 34
Jeremy Accardo R 31 48 0 58.0 35 28 5 62 33 31
Pedro Figueroa L 27 52 0 61.7 40 40 6 63 35 33
Jesse Chavez R 29 41 9 88.0 62 31 13 98 55 51
Brad Peacock R 25 27 24 128.3 101 71 17 142 83 78
Justin Thomas L 29 51 0 62.3 41 28 8 69 39 36
Garrett Olson L 29 33 15 89.7 58 56 11 106 64 60
Arnold Leon R 24 45 0 63.0 45 32 10 74 43 40
Andrew Werner L 26 26 26 132.3 79 49 23 170 98 92
Fabio Castro L 28 26 17 90.7 54 65 16 120 79 74

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Jarrod Parker 195.7 833 18.4% 8.3% .290 3.77 3.53 94 88
Tommy Milone 173.3 725 17.9% 4.3% .301 3.95 3.49 98 87
Dan Straily 170.0 740 20.7% 10.7% .283 4.18 4.47 104 111
A.J. Griffin 171.3 721 16.8% 6.5% .271 4.20 4.28 104 106
Bartolo Colon 127.0 531 14.1% 4.3% .280 4.11 3.95 102 98
Sean Doolittle 71.3 293 28.3% 9.2% .281 3.15 3.04 78 75
Brett Anderson 83.3 351 16.3% 5.7% .290 4.00 3.84 99 95
Grant Balfour 57.3 235 24.3% 8.9% .267 3.14 3.23 78 80
Ryan Cook 68.3 287 23.0% 10.8% .284 3.42 3.52 85 87
Pat Neshek 56.7 238 20.1% 7.1% .307 3.49 3.32 87 83
Travis Blackley 88.0 382 16.0% 8.9% .279 4.40 4.30 109 107
Jerry Blevins 57.0 239 21.3% 9.2% .282 3.79 3.83 94 95
Jordan Norberto 55.3 240 22.1% 12.5% .284 3.90 3.98 97 99
Evan Scribner 59.0 254 19.7% 8.7% .283 4.27 4.16 106 103
Chris Resop 58.7 251 19.5% 9.6% .301 4.30 3.83 107 95
Mike Ekstrom 66.7 295 15.3% 9.5% .298 4.59 4.31 114 107
Jeremy Accardo 58.0 259 13.5% 10.8% .294 4.81 4.46 119 111
Pedro Figueroa 61.7 284 14.1% 14.1% .284 4.82 5.10 120 127
Jesse Chavez 88.0 387 16.0% 8.0% .296 5.22 4.80 130 119
Brad Peacock 128.3 590 17.1% 12.0% .305 5.47 5.07 136 126
Justin Thomas 62.3 280 14.7% 10.0% .295 5.20 4.94 129 123
Garrett Olson 89.7 425 13.7% 13.2% .312 6.02 5.40 149 134
Arnold Leon 63.0 292 15.4% 11.0% .304 5.71 5.44 142 135
Andrew Werner 132.3 607 13.0% 8.1% .312 6.26 5.41 155 134
Fabio Castro 90.7 452 12.0% 14.4% .319 7.35 6.55 182 163

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Jarrod Parker 195.7 7.04 3.17 0.64 103 3.0 Greg Maddux
Tommy Milone 173.3 6.75 1.61 0.88 99 2.3 Glendon Rusch
Dan Straily 170.0 8.10 4.18 1.11 93 1.8 Jeff Juden
A.J. Griffin 171.3 6.36 2.47 1.16 93 1.7 Mike Boddicker
Bartolo Colon 127.0 5.31 1.63 1.06 95 1.4 Mike Morgan
Sean Doolittle 71.3 10.48 3.41 0.76 124 1.3 Al Hrabosky
Brett Anderson 83.3 6.16 2.16 0.86 98 1.1 Justin Atchley
Grant Balfour 57.3 8.95 3.30 0.79 124 1.0 Eric Plunk
Ryan Cook 68.3 8.70 4.08 0.66 114 0.9 Bryce Florie
Pat Neshek 56.7 7.62 2.70 0.63 112 0.7 John Habyan
Travis Blackley 88.0 6.24 3.48 0.92 89 0.6 Scott Schoeneweis
Jerry Blevins 57.0 8.05 3.47 0.95 103 0.5 John Grabow
Jordan Norberto 55.3 8.63 4.88 0.81 100 0.4 Darren Oliver
Evan Scribner 59.0 7.63 3.36 1.07 91 0.1 Jerrod Riggan
Chris Resop 58.7 7.51 3.68 0.92 91 0.1 Roberto Giron
Mike Ekstrom 66.7 6.07 3.78 0.81 85 -0.1 Mike Bumstead
Jeremy Accardo 58.0 5.43 4.34 0.78 81 -0.4 Jake Robbins
Pedro Figueroa 61.7 5.83 5.83 0.88 81 -0.4 Dean Brueggemann
Jesse Chavez 88.0 6.34 3.17 1.33 75 -0.4 Brian Sweeney
Brad Peacock 128.3 7.08 4.98 1.19 71 -0.6 Doug Robertson
Justin Thomas 62.3 5.92 4.04 1.16 75 -0.8 Joe Beimel
Garrett Olson 89.7 5.82 5.62 1.10 65 -1.1 Kevin Rawitzer
Arnold Leon 63.0 6.43 4.57 1.43 68 -1.2 Jim Dorsey
Andrew Werner 132.3 5.37 3.33 1.56 62 -1.8 Nate Teut
Fabio Castro 90.7 5.36 6.45 1.59 53 -2.5 Corey Lee

***

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.

Dan Szymborski can be found on Twitter @DSzymborski.

***

Other 2013 Projections: Giants.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


39 Responses to “2013 ZiPS Projections – Oakland Athletics”

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  1. pg says:

    If a replacement level team has 43 wins and the projection above totals 33 war, does that mean the the projection for the team is 76 wins?

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    • Ender says:

      I thought replacement was like 52 wins. 43 sounds very low.

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      • Darren says:

        I think it’s about 47-48 which works out to be around 1000 WAR for the league. That makes them about an 80-81 win team, which seems a bit low. However, if you sprinkle in a few wins from their bench outside of the guys listed, they are likely more of a 83 win team – which seems right.

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    • Dan Szymborski says:

      I use 45 wins (well, between 45 and 46, closer to 45). I don’t do win projections by adding up mean totals, I use a Monte Carlo simulation (with a covariance matrix for playing time) using the distribution of player outcomes. This is so that I can introduce some of the selection bias that exists – players that exceed their mean expectation are more likely to receive additional playing time at the expense of players that fall short. So you really can’t just add mean WARs when dealing with projections like looking at past ones.

      ZiPS *is* a little grumpy here, putting the A’s a couple of games below .500, a few games below where I’d put them. They really do have a lot of guys with short resumes.

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      • Baltar says:

        Thank you so much for that clarification. I shared pg’s reaction, and I had a similar reaction to the Giants ZiPS.
        Still, as you say, that leaves the A’s (and Giants) pretty low. Since I root for the Bay Area teams only after the Rays, I hope you’re too conservative for these teams.

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  2. Dan says:

    I suspect that Greg Maddux comp will have a long memory.

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    • Dan Szymborski says:

      I was surprised to see that as well.

      Obviously, ZiPS isn’t predicting his mean expectation to be Greg Maddux going forward, without looking, I’m pretty sure that all of the hundreds of others guys looked at by ZiPS are worse than Maddux (after all, I don’t remember seeing Clemens or Grove or Walter Johnson in there).

      One thing to remember is that comps are comps for how the player has played over the last several years, not how their career totals overall compare or who their projected career totals compare to.

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      • Antonio bananas says:

        I don’t really understand it at all at any point. 3.0 WAR, something Maddux stopped to just 3 times in his career, none in the 90s. In fact he wasn’t below 5 in the 90s. Where the hell does that come from? Did it mean Mike Maddux?

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  3. jda says:

    I have two sort-of technical questions that I posted on the Giants thread this morning, but I figure I’ll shamelessly repost here since I doubt anyone’s looking at the Giants’ ZiPS comments at this point.

    1. Dan, do you use event-specific park factors for ZiPS, or only when you input data into Diamond Mind’s event tables?

    2. Let’s oversimplify and assume average error rates for all defenders. Let’s also assume that the difference between each fielding grade (PR –> FR –> AV –> VG –> EX) is about 9 defensive runs saved over the course of a season. Dan, you’ve acknowledged this in the Giants ZiPS comments and said you’ll have to be even more conservative about awarding EX (and presumably PR) grades, but the way things are now it seems like you’ll have to be more conservative with all grades, including FR and VG. And even then you’ll essentially be penalizing players who are “pretty good” defenders but not close enough to +9 runs saved to warrant the grade bump (or penalty). Anyway, I guess the question is – have you figured out yet how you’re going to handle all of this? Talk with Imagine Sports about algorithm-tweaking? Be more conservative but just with EX grades? Be more conservative with all non-AV grades?

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    • Dan Szymborski says:

      I generally give have AV as roughly an 8-run band, so FR and VG probably are OK. Just need fewer of the extremes, until such time that DMB either reduces the extremes or adds more granularity to defensive ratings. I’d love if they went PO/FR/BA (Below Average)/AV/AA (Above Average)/VG/EX, though to be honest, I have zero belief that that kind of major change is going to be implemented at this stage in the program’s existence.

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      • jda says:

        That actually isn’t so bad. If AV is from -4 to 4, and FR is from -5 to -13, and VG from 5 to 13, and EX anything over 13 and PO anything under -13, you’ve at least mostly accounted for the results from that study of defense in DMB and are keeping the extremes rare. Maybe the only EX-rated players under that system are guys like Simmons (SS), Gardner (LF), Gentry (CF), Ryan (SS), Trout (CF), maybe Lawrie (3B) and Bourjos (CF) – something like that, anyway.

        I’m rambling. Thank you for the reply!

        (I’m still curious about event-specific park factors!)

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  4. Jon D says:

    These are coming every Wed and Fri for a while, right? Is there a schedule of when we’ll see each team or will you keep us in suspense?

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  5. Ben says:

    Is that Depth Chart conspicuously missing Jemile Weeks?

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  6. Nelson Santovenia says:

    Oy Vey! No regular with a OBP higher than .338. They need to rehire fat Jonah Hill to right the ship

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    • Baltar says:

      Sigh. Each player is given a projection that you may think of as an average or median. Some players will substantially exceed or fall short of their projections. This will result in players with wOBA over .338.
      I get tired of making this kind of obvious comment, so I think I’ll take a hiatus from doing so.

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      • brendan says:

        I think nelson was just pointing out that the A’s don’t project to have any super-OBP guys, not insisting that no player will exceed .338

        nelson: I think last season’s team was showing more power, less OBP than what you’d think of as A’s-style; so this is not surprising really.

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  7. David Wiers says:

    I have nothing to say, other than I get a huge smile on my face every time I see or hear the words “AL West champion Oakland Athletics.”

    +22 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • PL says:

      It sounds so good. So happy for them to be back where they belong: as perpetual contenders. Hope they shore up that bullpen (Soriano too much to ask?) and maybe grab a guy like Capuano and then they will be really loaded.

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  8. Troy says:

    A 4 ERA and 1 WAR from Anderson seems highly pessimistic.

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    • PL says:

      That Cespedes line I can’t take seriously either.

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    • jda says:

      …in 83 innings. If you think he’ll pitch twice that, he’s worth 2+ WAR, which is a league-average major league starting pitcher, which is exactly what the 98 ERA+ projects.

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      • Troy says:

        Yes, I know how it’s calculated. I’m mainly talking about the high ERA. His xFIP has been consistent his entire career, there’s no reason to expect a 4 ERA. He put up 1 WAR in 35 or so innings in 2012.

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  9. Ivan Grushenko says:

    I really love ZiPS and the Oakland Athletics, but not in that order. Whatever happens in 2013, we’ll always have 2012.

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  10. PL says:

    This is unbelievably conservative with Cespedes.

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    • jda says:

      Really? Keep in mind the dampened offensive environment, not to mention the player’s home stadium. He looks like a 4 WAR player to me with that batting line.

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      • PL says:

        I think its perfectly reasonable to say Cedpedes with 625 PA will be a 5+ WAR player next season, as the most impressive part of his game were the adjustments he made at the plate.

        Funnily enough the lack of adjustments he made switching from CF to LF were why his UZR was ugly. Don’t forget, he hadn’t played a day in LF when he had signed as a CF and was asked to learn the position on the fly. A full offseason under his belt and the sky really is the limit with him. No way does he go for 23 HR in 625 PA, I’d put him down for 35, his swing is so powerful and he’s the guy Konerko and most coaches said they would go watch in BP for a reason. He’s the real deal, and zips is saying he’s just going to be okay. Health-permitting, we will see these projections look foolish in 9 months or so.

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  11. Tim A says:

    Zips hates A’s players! I mean really by the nature of players that age, some will take a step forward, and some will take a step back. I know BA is going to be a 4+ WAR pitcher if healthy, just like I know Cespedes adjusted very well last season, and is a very good bet to hit 300/360/500+. I get it though the system is all based on past results so with all the first year type guys, and BB reclamation projects it’s inherent that a system like Zips will hate on you. I think at least 2 starters will top 200IP with sub 90 ERA-, and at least 3 of the position players will top 4 WAR, with my bets on a mix of Cespedes, Young, Carter, Reddick, Donaldson, Nakajima having ok shots at it. The system doesn’t seem very good at translating minor league data, since the only ML data is from one season on the front end of the development curve, and it seems fairly pessimistic about players sustaining steps forward in production. I would posit that until a players age 25-26 seasons, there past results have less weight to calculating there future performances, with further reductions in value the further you get from the present. It isn’t like anyone is regressing Trout’s projections based on him being taken in the back of the first round instead of #1. Players develop, and the process of bringing about that development in the minors creates a great deal of noise in any projection based off those results.

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    • Baltar says:

      ZiPS takes all kinds of things, including aging curves and regression to the norm, into consideration.

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    • BookWorm says:

      “…with all first year type guys…a system like ZiPS will hate on you.” But given the absence of more data on past performance, what do you suggest a forecaster use to project their 2013 season?

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    • Kellin says:

      You realize that there were only 19 position players in the AL last year that topped 4 WAR. The A’s had 1 (Reddick) and his WAR total was heavily inflated by defense.

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      • Bab says:

        Agree that 4 WAR players don’t grow on trees. Disagree that Reddick’s WAR was “inflated” by defense. Would you say Ozzie Smith’s career WAR was “inflated” by defense? Didn’t think so.

        A few points to make:

        1. Chris Carter: don’t be surprised if he regresses severely again. His early 2012 ISO was amazing but he declined *dramatically* as the year went on, completely losing his patience at the plate and playing next to no role in the postseason. Time is running out for the guy, which is too bad since he appears to have baseball abilities.

        2. Cespedes: I think this is a good projection on the conservative side. Cespedes is good at adjusting at the plate – he finally learned how to hit curveballs roughly midway through 2012. But he was still streaky at times. He is also something of a bad ball hitter, and with more tape on him now, the better pitchers in the division will likely take advantage of that. Would be surprised if he hit above .300, but wouldn’t be surprised if he outperformed the projection here.

        3. Reddick: what apparently isn’t factored yet into zips is mentality. Lol. Reddick is a bit if a head case who regressed when carrying expectations and pitchers realized he was a good hitter. Many moments of Reddick saying “I’ve just got to let Josh be Josh.” There are times when he seems either asleep or distracted at the plate, other times he’s locked in at near-elite levels. He’s become an excellent defender with a cannon for a throwing arm, but its *so* hard to know what to expect from this guy.

        4. Colon: perhaps even stranger than having an all-rookie rotation is the A’s enthusiasm for a 40 year old barrel of pork that throws 90%+ fastballs. I don’t know what compelled Colon to use PEDs last year, whether it was an endurance, velocity or recovery issue. Maybe he just wanted big forearms. Maybe PED strength increases grip strength and puts a meaner spin and snap in those two-seamers. What I do know is that Colon was surprisingly effective last year, pounded the strike zone and actually stabilized the rotation before Parker and Milone concretely improved their performances. I wouldn’t be shocked if Colon managed a league average year. He’s actually a pretty good pitcher.

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    • brendan says:

      I think zips is justified in being skeptical. reddick, donaldson, moss, carter all way exceeded their career production last season. They’re young guys, so maybe they just got better, but zips is right to regress them heavily, I’d say.

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  12. Keith says:

    I love ZiPS-and thanks, Dan, for continuing to publish these projections for free.

    I really can’t stand this format, though. Will the ZiPS be on the projections page or player pages soon or do we have to wait until after all 30 teams are covered?

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  13. Chris D says:

    Someone’s anti-Brett Anderson.

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  14. Failedstate says:

    ZIPS has always been hard on teams with very young rosters. I don’t think anyone would ber surprised to see a collective regression from the team, but that does not mean they should be discounted. Projections can, and often times are wrong– keep your heads up A’s fans, your team wil be fine.

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  15. NickC says:

    Really? A 4.0 ERA for Brett Anderson and a 3.7 ERA for Parker? These are some terrible projections.

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