2013 ZiPS Projections – Seattle Mariners

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 Seattle Mariners. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

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

Batters
One, choosing to wax optimistic with regard to the projections below, would note that five of the top six players by projected WAR on the Mariners are either 25 years old or younger. Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino, Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, and (less immediately) Brad Miller: not only might they form a young, cost-controlled nucleus around which the front office can build, but their youth suggests that improvement is not only possible, but likely.

Another, choosing to be less optimistic — perhaps because he knows that, as a resident of Seattle, summer proper is still ca. six months away and that the city will remain ensconced in a 45-degree rain cloud until then — perhaps that other one would emphasize the lack of impact talent among the club’s field players and how recent acquisitions (like Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales, and Michael Morse) address the team’s needs, but by too little.

Pitchers
If there’s a legitimately optimistic, and also equally legitimate pessimistic, perspective one might assume with regard to the club’s batting corps, that’s less the case with the starting rotation, about which one might say “Felix Hernandez and… pray for rain… for four days.” Neither Hisashi Iwakuma nor Erasmo Ramirez are projected to be disasters, but they also don’t appear to be what one might call “anchors of the rotation.”

The bullpen — in ZiPS’ estimation, at least — is constructed similarly to the rotation, with one decidedly competent piece (in this case, Tom Wilhelmsen) followed by a number of mediocre ones. True, that assessment might be unfair to left-hander Charlie Furbush, whose projection is also somewhat promising — but that information interferes with the author’s narrative and is being ignored for that purpose.

Bench/Prospects
More than most teams we’ve considered so far, it seems, the bulk of the Seattle Mariners’ talent is at the minor-league level. Neither Zunino nor Miller nor Nick Franklin is likely to begin the season on the major-league roster. Likewise for the pitching triumvirate of Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. But at least some portion of those six pieces will be of some help to the team in the near future. What the ZiPS projections also remind us is how Carlos Triunfel enters just his age-23 season.

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

Mariners 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 Ackley L 25 2B 690 97 152 27 6 13 56 11 3
Mike Zunino R 22 C 598 86 135 22 0 16 66 3 2
Kyle Seager L 25 3B 663 80 160 34 2 14 75 12 7
Jesus Montero R 23 C 597 60 145 23 1 18 70 0 1
Brendan Ryan R 31 SS 473 52 95 18 3 3 34 11 4
Brad Miller L 23 SS 666 87 146 27 4 9 54 16 7
Franklin Gutierrez R 30 CF 409 48 91 17 2 8 38 11 2
Michael Saunders L 26 CF 517 71 107 22 3 14 50 15 4
Kendrys Morales B 30 DH 411 48 100 18 1 16 52 1 2
Nick Franklin B 22 SS 540 63 114 21 5 8 39 11 4
Carlos Triunfel R 23 SS 626 66 142 29 2 7 50 5 4
Casper Wells R 28 RF 405 51 79 17 3 13 38 5 4
Leon Landry L 23 CF 571 62 131 24 10 6 47 20 12
Justin Smoak B 26 1B 552 57 112 20 0 18 58 1 0
Michael Morse R 31 1B 481 53 112 19 1 17 57 1 1
Stefen Romero R 24 2B 560 64 129 23 3 14 61 9 8
Eric Farris R 27 2B 534 45 120 17 2 5 29 24 8
Miguel Olivo R 34 C 387 42 81 14 1 14 41 5 5
Vinnie Catricala R 24 3B 607 65 131 29 2 11 59 8 3
Alex Liddi R 24 3B 581 73 118 25 3 15 62 7 5
Robert Andino R 29 2B 480 51 100 17 1 6 31 9 4
Ronny Paulino R 32 C 273 21 62 12 1 2 19 0 0
Munenori Kawasaki L 32 SS 444 52 102 11 3 1 33 14 8
Jesus Sucre R 25 C 367 34 82 13 0 3 25 1 2
Jason Bay R 34 LF 372 40 70 10 1 10 35 8 1
Mike Carp L 27 1B 506 58 109 21 1 16 60 3 3
Raul Ibanez L 41 LF 435 45 95 19 2 14 50 2 0
Eric Thames L 26 LF 564 59 119 23 5 13 50 4 3
Julio Morban L 21 CF 429 49 88 14 3 9 36 6 4
Francisco Martinez R 22 3B 519 56 108 16 3 4 35 17 9
Chone Figgins B 35 LF 367 38 74 11 2 2 20 15 7
Carlos Peguero L 26 RF 484 59 92 15 3 16 52 4 4
Mike Jacobs L 32 1B 464 39 85 15 1 12 43 1 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Dustin Ackley 690 9.9% 17.5% .126 .287 .247 .322 .373 .305
Mike Zunino 598 7.7% 22.2% .131 .302 .251 .318 .382 .301
Kyle Seager 663 6.9% 17.0% .132 .302 .264 .319 .396 .311
Jesus Montero 597 6.2% 19.1% .144 .299 .263 .310 .407 .305
Brendan Ryan 473 7.4% 18.6% .078 .276 .227 .292 .305 .264
Brad Miller 666 7.8% 21.2% .103 .298 .241 .300 .344 .284
Franklin Gutierrez 409 6.4% 19.8% .121 .287 .243 .293 .364 .286
Michael Saunders 517 9.1% 26.3% .150 .294 .231 .302 .381 .300
Kendrys Morales 411 6.6% 20.7% .181 .301 .265 .319 .446 .325
Nick Franklin 540 6.7% 24.6% .112 .301 .232 .286 .344 .274
Carlos Triunfel 626 3.5% 17.9% .093 .289 .243 .284 .336 .270
Casper Wells 405 8.6% 29.1% .172 .286 .219 .300 .391 .300
Leon Landry 571 3.9% 16.5% .116 .285 .245 .280 .361 .274
Justin Smoak 552 10.9% 22.6% .153 .271 .230 .315 .383 .305
Michael Morse 481 5.8% 25.2% .162 .308 .253 .306 .415 .311
Stefen Romero 560 3.8% 18.4% .135 .278 .245 .282 .380 .283
Eric Farris 534 3.9% 13.7% .073 .273 .242 .278 .315 .261
Miguel Olivo 387 3.6% 30.2% .158 .279 .220 .249 .378 .265
Vinnie Catricala 607 6.3% 21.4% .119 .287 .236 .294 .355 .286
Alex Liddi 581 7.1% 31.0% .143 .303 .223 .281 .366 .281
Robert Andino 480 7.3% 21.3% .085 .286 .230 .289 .315 .267
Ronny Paulino 273 5.5% 17.2% .078 .287 .242 .282 .320 .261
Munenori Kawasaki 444 4.3% 14.9% .048 .292 .248 .285 .296 .252
Jesus Sucre 367 3.0% 15.3% .063 .271 .234 .261 .297 .241
Jason Bay 372 11.0% 26.9% .130 .274 .215 .304 .345 .289
Mike Carp 506 7.7% 23.7% .155 .286 .239 .304 .394 .304
Raul Ibanez 435 6.7% 18.2% .162 .261 .238 .292 .400 .296
Eric Thames 564 6.9% 26.6% .141 .300 .233 .295 .374 .290
Julio Morban 429 4.7% 30.5% .118 .300 .220 .259 .338 .256
Francisco Martinez 519 5.4% 25.6% .070 .299 .224 .268 .294 .247
Chone Figgins 367 9.5% 18.0% .065 .281 .231 .306 .296 .268
Carlos Peguero 484 6.4% 40.5% .156 .325 .207 .269 .363 .273
Mike Jacobs 464 8.4% 30.0% .126 .266 .202 .267 .328 .259

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Dustin Ackley 690 4.4 98 6 3.4 Dick McAuliffe
Mike Zunino 598 4.4 99 2 3.3 Todd Zeile
Kyle Seager 663 4.6 103 -1 2.7 Buddy Bell
Jesus Montero 597 4.6 103 -8 2.5 Joe Torre
Brendan Ryan 473 3.2 71 11 2.0 Brian Harris
Brad Miller 666 3.7 84 -4 1.7 Ron Wotus
Franklin Gutierrez 409 4.0 86 6 1.7 Darnell McDonald
Michael Saunders 517 4.2 94 -4 1.4 Scott Lydy
Kendrys Morales 411 5.1 115 0 1.3 Xavier Nady
Nick Franklin 540 3.5 79 -3 1.2 Alex Gonzalez
Carlos Triunfel 626 3.3 76 -2 1.2 Aurelio Rodriguez
Casper Wells 405 4.0 95 5 1.1 Jason Cooper
Leon Landry 571 3.5 81 3 1.1 Tyler Colvin
Justin Smoak 552 4.3 98 0 1.0 Jim Bonnici
Michael Morse 481 4.6 103 -2 0.9 Xavier Nady
Stefen Romero 560 3.7 87 -4 0.9 German Duran
Eric Farris 534 3.3 69 1 0.8 Mark Sheehy
Miguel Olivo 387 3.1 76 -1 0.7 Jim Hegan
Vinnie Catricala 607 3.7 84 -8 0.7 Mark Lewis
Alex Liddi 581 3.5 83 -5 0.7 Delwyn Young
Robert Andino 480 3.2 73 -1 0.5 Edwin Maysonet
Ronny Paulino 273 3.2 72 -2 0.5 Chris Heintz
Munenori Kawasaki 444 3.0 67 -1 0.4 Rey Sanchez
Jesus Sucre 367 2.6 59 0 0.3 Moses Zucker
Jason Bay 372 3.8 85 -2 0.3 Jon Nunnally
Mike Carp 506 4.2 98 -5 0.3 Danny Lewis
Raul Ibanez 435 4.2 95 -8 0.1 Jim Bottomley
Eric Thames 564 3.8 89 -6 0.0 LaVel Freeman
Julio Morban 429 3.0 69 -2 -0.1 Kevin Wiggins
Francisco Martinez 519 2.7 61 -1 -0.2 Danny Ainge
Chone Figgins 367 3.2 73 0 -0.2 Mark McLemore
Carlos Peguero 484 3.2 78 -2 -0.3 Ralph Bryant
Mike Jacobs 464 2.9 69 -2 -0.8 Jody Davis

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Felix Hernandez R 27 32 32 228.3 216 58 16 201 82 77
Hisashi Iwakuma R 32 24 18 128.3 101 33 16 127 59 55
Erasmo Ramirez R 23 29 24 144.3 92 38 15 148 72 67
Tom Wilhelmsen R 29 71 0 75.0 83 29 6 60 27 25
Charlie Furbush L 27 56 0 55.0 61 21 5 43 20 19
Danny Hultzen L 23 26 26 116.0 110 83 9 105 61 57
Kevin Millwood R 38 22 22 125.7 80 44 15 133 68 64
James Paxton L 24 22 22 101.7 102 65 11 98 56 52
Shawn Kelley R 29 42 0 44.3 43 17 5 40 19 18
Blake Beavan R 24 31 31 184.3 83 37 24 206 103 96
Josh Kinney R 34 56 0 61.3 50 25 5 57 28 26
Jeremy Bonderman R 30 27 26 159.0 110 58 21 161 89 83
Brandon Maurer R 22 22 21 106.0 68 53 8 108 60 56
George Sherrill L 36 28 0 19.0 19 8 2 18 10 9
Danny Farquhar R 26 52 0 67.7 54 34 6 63 33 31
Lucas Luetge L 26 54 0 58.3 46 27 5 58 30 28
Taijuan Walker R 20 20 20 116.0 91 63 13 119 67 63
Bobby LaFromboise L 27 48 0 60.0 42 29 5 59 31 29
David Pauley R 30 45 3 71.3 40 27 8 78 40 37
Stephen Pryor R 23 51 0 54.7 56 39 7 47 30 28
Carter Capps R 22 58 0 74.7 78 29 11 72 40 37
Anthony Fernandez L 23 26 26 145.7 85 57 19 158 87 81
Oliver Perez L 31 53 0 55.7 48 35 6 53 31 29
Brian Moran L 24 48 0 63.3 53 26 9 63 35 33
Hector Noesi R 26 31 21 133.3 89 51 19 142 80 75
Logan Bawcom R 24 53 0 59.0 54 43 7 56 34 32
Brian Sweeney R 39 23 7 66.3 35 25 11 75 44 41
Andrew Carraway R 26 26 24 131.3 68 43 19 151 83 78
Chance Ruffin R 24 54 0 68.0 50 42 8 69 42 39
D.J. Mitchell R 26 26 22 131.0 72 73 16 145 85 79
Yoervis Medina R 24 37 10 87.0 55 53 14 97 61 57

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Felix Hernandez 228.3 944 22.9% 6.1% .287 3.04 2.99 79 78
Hisashi Iwakuma 128.3 545 18.5% 6.1% .285 3.86 4.03 100 105
Erasmo Ramirez 144.3 619 14.9% 6.1% .285 4.18 4.11 109 107
Tom Wilhelmsen 75.0 314 26.4% 9.2% .278 3.00 3.04 78 79
Charlie Furbush 55.0 229 26.6% 9.2% .273 3.11 3.15 81 82
Danny Hultzen 116.0 536 20.5% 15.5% .294 4.42 4.56 115 119
Kevin Millwood 125.7 554 14.4% 7.9% .286 4.58 4.45 119 116
James Paxton 101.7 468 21.8% 13.9% .307 4.60 4.62 120 120
Shawn Kelley 44.3 190 22.6% 9.0% .282 3.65 3.57 95 93
Blake Beavan 184.3 796 10.4% 4.6% .284 4.69 4.65 122 121
Josh Kinney 61.3 266 18.8% 9.4% .286 3.82 3.85 99 100
Jeremy Bonderman 159.0 696 15.8% 8.3% .281 4.70 4.67 122 122
Brandon Maurer 106.0 479 14.2% 11.1% .292 4.75 4.52 124 118
George Sherrill 19.0 83 22.9% 9.6% .296 4.26 3.57 111 93
Danny Farquhar 67.7 300 18.0% 11.3% .282 4.12 4.29 107 112
Lucas Luetge 58.3 260 17.7% 10.4% .296 4.32 3.97 112 103
Taijuan Walker 116.0 530 17.2% 11.9% .299 4.89 4.85 127 126
Bobby LaFromboise 60.0 268 15.7% 10.8% .287 4.35 4.33 113 113
David Pauley 71.3 319 12.5% 8.5% .294 4.67 4.74 121 123
Stephen Pryor 54.7 250 22.4% 15.6% .274 4.61 4.90 120 128
Carter Capps 74.7 325 24.0% 8.9% .299 4.46 4.21 116 109
Anthony Fernandez 145.7 652 13.0% 8.7% .289 5.00 5.00 130 130
Oliver Perez 55.7 255 18.8% 13.7% .286 4.69 4.66 122 121
Brian Moran 63.3 279 19.0% 9.3% .289 4.69 4.60 122 120
Hector Noesi 133.3 593 15.0% 8.6% .287 5.06 4.85 132 126
Logan Bawcom 59.0 276 19.6% 15.6% .292 4.88 5.20 127 135
Brian Sweeney 66.3 299 11.7% 8.4% .286 5.56 5.51 145 143
Andrew Carraway 131.3 588 11.6% 7.3% .294 5.35 5.11 139 133
Chance Ruffin 68.0 315 15.9% 13.3% .289 5.16 5.18 134 135
D.J. Mitchell 131.0 611 11.8% 11.9% .292 5.43 5.42 141 141
Yoervis Medina 87.0 411 13.4% 12.9% .293 5.90 5.89 153 153

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Felix Hernandez 228.3 8.52 2.29 0.63 121 4.8 Greg Maddux
Hisashi Iwakuma 128.3 7.08 2.31 1.12 95 1.3 Doyle Alexander
Erasmo Ramirez 144.3 5.74 2.37 0.94 88 1.0 Tim Dillard
Tom Wilhelmsen 75.0 9.96 3.48 0.72 122 0.9 Joaquin Benoit
Charlie Furbush 55.0 9.98 3.44 0.82 118 0.6 Mike Gonzalez
Danny Hultzen 116.0 8.53 6.44 0.70 83 0.5 Neal Cotts
Kevin Millwood 125.7 5.73 3.15 1.07 80 0.3 Rick Sutcliffe
James Paxton 101.7 9.03 5.75 0.97 80 0.2 Randy Johnson
Shawn Kelley 44.3 8.74 3.45 1.02 100 0.2 Steve Andrade
Blake Beavan 184.3 4.05 1.81 1.17 78 0.2 Josh Towers
Josh Kinney 61.3 7.34 3.67 0.73 96 0.1 Heathcliff Slocumb
Jeremy Bonderman 159.0 6.23 3.28 1.19 78 0.1 Al Nipper
Brandon Maurer 106.0 5.77 4.50 0.68 77 0.0 Rick Berg
George Sherrill 19.0 9.00 3.79 0.95 86 -0.1 Paul Gibson
Danny Farquhar 67.7 7.18 4.52 0.80 89 -0.1 Beiker Graterol
Lucas Luetge 58.3 7.10 4.17 0.77 85 -0.2 Jake Benz
Taijuan Walker 116.0 7.06 4.89 1.01 75 -0.2 Andy Ashby
Bobby LaFromboise 60.0 6.30 4.35 0.75 84 -0.3 Pete Cappadona
David Pauley 71.3 5.05 3.41 1.01 78 -0.4 Bryan Corey
Stephen Pryor 54.7 9.21 6.42 1.15 79 -0.4 Lariel Gonzalez
Carter Capps 74.7 9.40 3.49 1.33 82 -0.4 Tom Waddell
Anthony Fernandez 145.7 5.25 3.52 1.17 73 -0.4 Larry Casian
Oliver Perez 55.7 7.76 5.66 0.97 78 -0.5 Kevin Tolar
Brian Moran 63.3 7.54 3.70 1.28 78 -0.5 Randy Harvey
Hector Noesi 133.3 6.01 3.44 1.28 72 -0.6 Rick Heiserman
Logan Bawcom 59.0 8.24 6.56 1.07 75 -0.6 Joe Valentine
Brian Sweeney 66.3 4.75 3.39 1.49 66 -0.8 Michael Riley
Andrew Carraway 131.3 4.66 2.95 1.30 68 -1.0 Andy Ghelfi
Chance Ruffin 68.0 6.62 5.56 1.06 71 -1.0 Mark Wooden
D.J. Mitchell 131.0 4.95 5.02 1.10 67 -1.1 Carlos Paredes
Yoervis Medina 87.0 5.69 5.48 1.45 62 -1.5 Andy Cavazos

***

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.

81 Responses to “2013 ZiPS Projections – Seattle Mariners”

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  1. Spit Ball says:

    Well….At least they gotta buch of games versus the Astros this year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Dandy Salderson says:

    Ackley>Strasburg

    -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. maqman says:

    Got to say I’m not very impressed by these forecasts or your comment regarding the M’s bullpen. They don’t seem to reflect reality in my opinion, by a bunch.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • philosofool says:

      Yeah, bullpen arms with little MLB experience have to be difficult to project. ZiPS doesn’t know that Pryor throws 98-100, and I think it would rethink things if it did.

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      • Dan Szymborski says:

        ZiPS thinks Pryor throws 96.

        Problem is, ZiPS also knows that Pryor has a terrible walk rate in his limited time at the top of the minors (AAA) and in the majors. Essentially, his translated + MLB walk rate was 6.3 BB/9 last year. It’s not like he was amazing overall in the majors (5.27 FIP), either. A projection has to reflect the sizable risk of a pitcher with part of a season at high levels and control issues.

        +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dan Szymborski says:

        In fact, this is a familiar argument I’ve had. I had the same one with Dan Runzler partisans a couple of years ago. More of these guys turn out to be more like Ryan Bukvich than Jose Valverde.

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      • Ryan Bukvuch says:

        What’s wrong with me dan!

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      • Ryan Bukvich says:

        Other than I apparently can’t spell my own name…

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • philosofool says:

        I didn’t know that ZiPS had velocity data in it. Good to know.

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      • Phil, it was in test builds from 2010 and implemented in 2012.

        ZiPS has Pryor at 96 from the FG data and estimated that his minor league data implied a 95.5 (I’ve spent a lot of time modeling minor league estimates from PBP data and regular stats)

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    • BookWorm says:

      Maqman, you’re picking nits with two separate people: the projections are by Dan Szymborski and the “comment regarding the bullpen” that you refer to is by Carson Cistulli, who posts the ZiPS prepared by Dan and adds the introductory comments. Also, Carson even makes a joke about his own bullpen comments when he says the data presented “interferes” with his own narrative about the bullpen being mediocre.

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  4. philosofool says:

    We already knew that Felix is another Maddux, but what a surprise that Paxton is another Randy Johnson.

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  5. Mets Magic says:

    Justin Smoak? Worth 1.0 WAR?

    What am I reading, the Bill James projections?

    +18 Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Dirck says:

    Pretty discouraging to see that the Mariners’ two big offensive acquisitions this winter both have Xavier Nady as their #1 comp .

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. rustydude says:

    Highest projected wOBA for any one hitter is .325. Second highest is .305. Ouch.

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  8. Docmilo says:

    Michael Saunders hitting .231 with 22 doubles, 3 triples and 14 homers? Saunders had 31, 3, 19 last year and he’s getting better, not worse.

    Um, if you don’t know anything about a team, don’t make projections.

    -47 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DKulich44 says:

      If you don’t read the disclaimer, and understand how projections work, don’t bash the projector.

      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mike says:

      I too was surprised to see improvements among almost all of the younger players, yet Saunders has a predicted regression. A pretty significant regression too.

      They projected his Walk rate improving, but his K rate getting worse, which seems to defy traditional logic. But yeah, personally I’d be surprised if he didn’t improve upon 2012.

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      • DKulich44 says:

        I agree, I think Saunders projection is probably one that will be incorrect. However, telling Dan his projection is wrong because he doesn’t know anything about the team is just completely ignorant.

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • philosofool says:

        The traditional logic says that there is a strong positive correlation between walk rate and strike out rate. Most players will strike out more when they walk more. The reason is simple: both outcomes are require getting deep into counts.

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    • Dan Szymborski says:

      Saunders translation + MLB:

      2009 – 259/310/399
      2010 – 205/289/327
      2011 – 200/287/288
      2012 – 247/306/432

      If your projection system doesn’t give any of that 2012 back, even at age 26 (and he’s 26, not 20 or 22), you’re going to be wrong more often than not. Gigantic step forwards generally take steps back in the short-term – ZiPS wouldn’t have his projection anywhere *near* what it was if it didn’t take 2012 very, very seriously.

      (Probably nicer than the post deserves, to be honest)

      +29 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mike says:

        Ah, thanks for the explanation. I wondered if maybe the age had been a factor. But that is interesting to know that big step forwards are followed by small steps back, generally. I would’ve assumed a trend upward could be predicted until around 27, at which point players tend to plateau until 32 or so.

        2012 really does look like more of an outlier than I had thought, when set against the previous seasons like that.

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      • Mike, the general *trend* is improvement, but it tends to be improvement a combination of recent years, not just the most recent years (otherwise, you’ll end up drastically overprojecting every player that has a very large improvement).

        ZiPS actually has it’s highest probability of Saunders current level of ability as a 228/297/365 hitter, improving to 231/302/381.

        ZiPS actually has a probability range for the recent weighted years to start with. So, while ZiPS believes he’s a 228/297/365 as of the end of the season in a predicted 2013 Safeco context, it also believes there’s a 10% chance that it’s wrong and he’s actually at least 262/333/452 hitter right now and a 10% chance that he’s actually a 207/268/339 hitter right now.

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    • Pseudoscience says:

      hey doc,

      Just a suggestion: when you see an experienced modeler project numbers so out of sync with what you think, consider asking WHY the numbers seem so low, instead of telling him he’s foolish.

      It actually only makes YOU look like the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      +17 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jim says:

      lots of trolls on FG of late

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  9. C. O'B says:

    I assume that since you didn’t mention moving the fences in at Safeco, that was not factored into your numbers?

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    • jda says:

      Yeah – same with the Padres and “old” PETCO. I think ZiPS projections are calculated using regressed park factors for what’s existed up until now (which we’re at least familiar with), as opposed to Dan arbitrarily deciding how a stadium’s new dimensions will play out.

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  10. Joshua says:

    Thanks for this Dan, it’s interesting to see. It’s also super depressing but thanks

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  11. Uncle Randy says:

    Both Lohse and Bourn make sense for this team

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  12. McExpos says:

    You have to respect these ZiPS projections, and I’m fully prepared to suffer through another mediocre season; however, I’m growing a little weary of the masochism I’m seeing from a lot of Mariners fans. There’s no award for whichever fan base said the most pithy things about their terrible team on the internet.

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    • Nate says:

      Oh? Since the M’s have come in *last place* in the AL West 7 of the past 9 years, and have done nothing this offseason to avoid that trend, what other award should I look forward to? That we project more team WAR than the Astros?

      Some of us are getting a bit frustrated at the thought of suffering through yet ANOTHER mediocre season. I’m glad you’re fully prepared though.

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      • McExpos says:

        There’s enough variance in the (upwards) regression of our younger players to think that maybe A) the front office is intentionally staking their job security to those players’ development and B) we might see improvement next year. Certainly before Spring Training begins, there’s room for a little bit of practical optimism. Losing sucks, but I’ve always felt that the success of our top prospects (Zunino et al) would determine the fate of the front office, and in that regards, I think this will be a very interesting season.

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    • supershredder says:

      You don’t hear Astros fans talking like that. Of course, we do have a seemingly competent GM (who even has a plan!).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Atari says:

        Jack Z was supposed to be the architect of the Brewers system that was producing young stars – Braun, Fielder, Hart, Weeks, Gallardo, etc. I believe in Luhnow but just wanted to make a point that although their decisions don’t work out, they are still some of the smartest baseball minds on the planet.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • D says:

        Jack Z is far from one of the smartest people in baseball…spoken as a non-Mariners fan no less.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Mike Green says:

    If the comps are in any way reflective of reality, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Dick McAuliffe, Buddy Bell, Joe Torre and Todd Zeile would be the core of a good ball club. What are the odds that Jesus Montero manages the Yankees in 2045 anyways?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Baltar says:

      Another one takes the comps too seriously. The comps compare the two players at this point in their careers; they don’t actually predict that the two will have identical careers from this point on.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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    -33 Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Dan-bob says:

    Personally, I think the M’s have the 6th best outlook of any franchise in MLB–factoring the players on the current team, the farm system, the finances, and the front office. Just one man’s opinion.

    -17 Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Jaker says:

    Hey Dan,

    Interesting for-fun experiment if you’re game. It’d be interesting to see what would happen if you took a lineup like the Nats, Braves, Tigers, Jays or any other top-projected team and gave us a side-by-side ZIPS comparison of their standard ZIPS projection vs. if the team were to play their home games in Safeco field. I’d love to see just how much ZIPS expects Safeco to repress their numbers compared to their actual home field.

    Thanks!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. supershredder says:

    Anyone remember the days of Griffey, A-Rod, Edgar, Boone, Buhner, Randy…? Sigh.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Lanky says:

      I don’t remember, but here’s what BaseballReference tells me:
      Five of those guys (all but Boone) were on the team from ’94 to ’97, and the Mariners record was still 303-277, which would average out to 85 wins over a full 162-game season.

      So I guess what I’m saying is, even the glory days weren’t all that glorious.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. JustinSmoakedCheese says:

    These Chone Figgins projections are out of line! I’m pissed. I bet you he swats 20 dingers this year and takes about 20 bags too. He will be the “Pike Piper” of Safeco and you will fall in love with his boyish good looks! You shall rue this day

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Bookbook says:

    So, ZIPs shares Sickels’ love for Brad Miller. That’s something.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Choo says:

    I like ZiPS’ sense of humor. The exhumed body of Heathcliff Slocumb? Hilarious!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Satanismo says:

    BB-ref says that as of the end of last season, exactly 666 men have suited up all time as a Seattle Mariner
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Craig Griffey was an Ahole says:

    Remember the days of Valle, Reynolds, Davis, Cotto, Phelps…And the 1986 team poster featuring the starting pitchers jumping around on top of the Kingdome

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. ThirteenOfTwo says:

    Why is ZiPS so down on Carter Capps? He’s never allowed home runs at anything approaching a league average rate, so why suddenly project him for way over league average? Not like his FB% is unusually high, or like he’s playing in a small park… what is there to indicate that he’ll suddenly go from +0.5 WAR in 25 IP to -0.4 in 75?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Jack Z. Beane says:

    Erasmo got better after initial draft version in ESPN. Is this an inverse effect of winter league stats ?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. NBarnes says:

    The Jaso/Morse trade makes me want to punch kittens.

    Well, not really, I really love kittens, even more than I love John Jaso. Puppies, though, I might punch a puppy over it. Or maybe scowl at one and make it think I don’t like it very much.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. ThundaPC says:

    Mariners seem like a decent bet to outperform a fair number of these projections. Particularly Hisashi Iwakuma who is apparently projected to spend half the season in the bullpen again. Since Iwakuma is able to prepare for a full season, I imagine he’s going to be closer to Hiroki Kuroda than anything. Now if only he fix that Matsuzaka-like pacing of his…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. I frequently will hide an easter egg within the player comps. I’m disappointed that nobody has yet found Carmona’s in the Rays or the player here.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. jB4s7 says:

    Anyone have insight as to why Morse is projected to hit .253? He’s a career .295 hitter with the majority of his high-AVG ABs accumulated over the past three seasons.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • David G says:

      I was also surprised by the projection for Morse.

      He has sported a solid .220 ISO over the last 3 seasons (~1300 PAs). Park effects drastic enough to drop it 60 points? I sure hope we can all have a chuckle at this in October. Please?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Moses Zucker says:

    What? Me? Easter Egg? Is that a sick joke because I’m most like Jesus Sucre?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Oscar says:

    I can’t believe nobody’s said it yet! Who’s ready?!

    Get ready!

    #6org

    eeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. DoubleDave says:

    Thank you very much for projecting Zunino.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. 11Records says:

    The projections estimate Chone Figgins closest comp at Mark McLemore!! ZiPS must be racist! Also, Chone Figgins??

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Guy Smiley says:

    It’s probably not a good sign for Francisco Martinez that his #1 comp plays a different sport.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Bookbook says:

    It strikes me as ironic that top 60 prospect Franklin doesn’t yet project to be any more valuable than washed out prospect Triunfel. Though I’d be pleasantly surprised if Triunfel earned a full WAR in the majors this year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Tim4242 says:

    I had some fun looking at this. One question – I didn’t understand why there is a seeming mismatch between ERA- and ERA+ for a couple players. For instance, Shawn Kelley has an ERA- of 95 but an ERA+ of 100?

    The Carter Capps projection is interesting. Awesome K and BB, but is killed by dingers. Not sure why that is. He only gave up 2 HR all last year in 75 IP and doesn’t look like he has a high FB%.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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