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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

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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.

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Other 2013 Projections: Giants.