2013 ZiPS Projections – Washington Nationals

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 NL East champion Washington Nationals. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski

Other 2013 Projections: Athletics / Giants..

Batters
The most interesting projection for the Nationals is probably Bryce Harper‘s because one of the most interesting projections in all baseball is probably Bryce Harper’s. ZiPS forecasts Harper to approximate his Rookie of the Year campaign, when he posted a 4.9 WAR. Certain readers might consider said forecast pessimistic, given that Harper will be a year more experienced and a year closer to his peak in 2013. Still, he (i.e. Harper) is projected to be the best field player on a strong team as a 20-year-old.

As Szymborski noted via Twitter, one of Harper’s first three comparables* is Barry Bonds — which, that’s a thing. Of greater interest to the author, however, is Harper’s first overall comp, Kal Daniels — less because of what it signifies for Harper, probably, and more because it allows us to remember how excellent Daniels was.

Drafted by the Reds in 1982, Daniels made his major-league debut as a 22-year-old in 1986 and proceeded to slash .300/.402/.514 and post a 16.9 WAR over his first six seasons and 1,970 plate appearances — i.e. over five wins for every 600 plate appearances. However, injuries shortened his career considerably, and he retired after his age-28 season. The author had forgotten all of that, is mostly the point here.

*A very brief primer on comparables, courtesy Szymborski: “Comps are based on neutralized statistics over previous four years, both for distribution and quality, position, handedness, some indices like a modified speed score. I use some cluster analysis to get comp scores.”

Pitchers
ZiPS doesn’t know that Stephen Strasburg was handled cautiously by the Nats in 2012 and the innings projection for the right-hander is duly conservative in that regard. Even so, his per-inning figures (69 ERA-, 58 FIP-) are the best of the pitchers to have been projected so far, with the exception of Sergio Romo. Another thing ZiPS doesn’t know is that Dan Haren‘s own team refused to extend to him a $13.3 million qualifying offer. If ZiPS, and not the Angels, are accurate in this regard, Washington will have a bit of a bargain in Haren.

The bullpen is composed almost exclusively of returnees from the 2012 squad, including Christian Garcia and his emasculating curveball.

To wit:

Bench/Prospects
Our Marc Hulet and also Baseball America have recently ranked third-base prospect Anthony Rendon as the second– and first-best prospect in the Washington system, respectively. ZiPS suggests that he’s also the most major-league ready, projecting him for a 1.9 WAR in just 358 plate appearances. The presence of Ryan Zimmerman raises the question of where his future home might be, however. Catcher Sandy Leon has a great defensive reputation and would, it seems, provide production on something like par with either Kurt Suzuki or Wilson Ramos, should either or both be unable to play. Third-base prospect Carlos Rivero, who turns 25 in May, has been all over the Venezuelan Winter League leaderboards this offseason.

Depth Chart
Here’s a rough depth chart for the Nationals, 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
Bryce Harper L 20 LF 641 89 156 29 7 26 70 21 8
Ryan Zimmerman R 28 3B 607 83 152 31 2 23 87 4 1
Ian Desmond R 27 SS 611 71 152 30 4 18 70 22 7
Danny Espinosa B 26 2B 653 79 137 30 4 20 66 17 7
Denard Span L 29 CF 568 68 141 27 8 4 42 17 5
Kurt Suzuki R 29 C 509 54 123 26 1 12 62 3 1
Anthony Rendon R 23 3B 358 44 77 17 5 9 46 1 1
Adam LaRoche L 33 1B 478 53 106 24 1 19 72 1 1
Jayson Werth R 34 RF 501 61 110 24 2 15 53 11 2
Steve Lombardozzi B 24 2B 584 66 143 25 8 5 42 14 7
Wilson Ramos R 25 C 311 32 74 14 1 9 34 0 1
Michael Morse R 31 1B 481 58 121 22 1 21 73 1 2
Corey Brown L 27 CF 534 62 111 19 8 17 58 10 5
Sandy Leon B 24 C 374 34 81 17 2 4 34 2 3
Eury Perez R 23 CF 589 59 156 16 4 0 44 45 17
Roger Bernadina L 29 LF 369 39 82 14 2 9 31 18 4
Jhonatan Solano R 27 C 264 24 61 13 0 5 28 1 1
Carlos Rivero R 25 3B 567 54 134 27 2 9 56 4 4
Jarrett Hoffpauir R 30 2B 424 41 97 20 3 6 39 3 1
Tyler Moore R 26 1B 479 47 103 25 2 20 71 2 0
Cesar Izturis B 33 SS 242 19 56 8 2 1 16 4 2
Jesus Flores R 28 C 261 23 56 13 1 6 28 0 1
Rick Ankiel L 33 CF 296 32 61 15 1 8 27 4 2
Will Rhymes L 30 2B 482 52 114 15 5 4 32 9 7
Erik Komatsu L 25 LF 400 41 91 16 2 4 30 11 7
Chad Tracy L 33 1B 168 13 39 8 0 3 20 0 0
Carlos Maldonado R 34 C 176 14 31 7 0 3 17 0 0
Jeff Kobernus R 25 2B 424 42 99 13 2 3 33 29 10
Brian Bocock R 28 2B 418 37 81 15 2 3 30 9 5
Destin Hood R 23 RF 513 46 111 23 5 7 55 10 4
Manny Mayorson R 30 3B 318 29 76 12 1 1 25 8 3
Chris Marrero R 24 1B 476 45 110 23 1 9 50 1 2
Brett Carroll R 30 RF 428 45 87 20 2 9 41 6 3
Mark DeRosa R 38 3B 120 14 24 4 0 0 9 1 0
Seth Bynum R 32 SS 408 36 76 16 2 9 40 6 2
Jason Michaels R 37 LF 133 13 28 6 0 2 11 0 0

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Bryce Harper 641 9.8% 21.2% .212 .316 .274 .346 .486 .357
Ryan Zimmerman 607 9.4% 17.6% .191 .309 .280 .348 .471 .347
Ian Desmond 611 5.4% 20.6% .163 .316 .269 .312 .432 .320
Danny Espinosa 653 7.7% 27.7% .168 .304 .235 .308 .403 .307
Denard Span 568 7.6% 10.4% .107 .301 .273 .330 .380 .313
Kurt Suzuki 509 5.1% 11.8% .137 .277 .263 .308 .400 .305
Anthony Rendon 358 10.3% 22.1% .170 .296 .242 .327 .412 .324
Adam LaRoche 478 9.8% 23.4% .196 .291 .249 .322 .445 .325
Jayson Werth 501 11.6% 22.8% .169 .307 .253 .345 .422 .334
Steve Lombardozzi 584 5.5% 13.2% .105 .303 .267 .316 .372 .298
Wilson Ramos 311 6.8% 17.4% .151 .291 .260 .314 .411 .305
Michael Morse 481 5.4% 22.5% .195 .313 .272 .320 .467 .336
Corey Brown 534 7.9% 31.1% .179 .312 .230 .296 .409 .302
Sandy Leon 374 7.8% 20.9% .098 .298 .240 .300 .338 .276
Eury Perez 589 2.9% 16.1% .043 .337 .281 .307 .324 .279
Roger Bernadina 369 8.1% 20.9% .137 .297 .248 .317 .385 .309
Jhonatan Solano 264 4.2% 14.8% .113 .272 .247 .281 .360 .276
Carlos Rivero 567 5.1% 20.6% .110 .306 .254 .292 .364 .283
Jarrett Hoffpauir 424 6.6% 11.1% .114 .269 .251 .303 .365 .291
Tyler Moore 479 5.8% 29.4% .200 .289 .233 .280 .433 .306
Cesar Izturis 242 3.3% 9.9% .066 .271 .247 .277 .313 .256
Jesus Flores 261 4.6% 24.1% .134 .281 .229 .265 .363 .266
Rick Ankiel 296 7.4% 28.0% .152 .294 .226 .288 .378 .287
Will Rhymes 482 6.6% 10.4% .085 .285 .261 .314 .346 .286
Erik Komatsu 400 8.3% 14.3% .090 .290 .254 .322 .344 .292
Chad Tracy 168 7.1% 16.1% .111 .288 .255 .310 .366 .285
Carlos Maldonado 176 9.7% 27.3% .103 .267 .200 .282 .303 .261
Jeff Kobernus 424 3.3% 20.3% .065 .307 .248 .275 .313 .260
Brian Bocock 418 6.5% 22.2% .073 .268 .211 .263 .284 .241
Destin Hood 513 6.4% 24.0% .115 .303 .237 .294 .352 .285
Manny Mayorson 318 3.8% 7.5% .057 .271 .252 .283 .309 .261
Chris Marrero 476 7.1% 21.6% .119 .310 .253 .311 .372 .299
Brett Carroll 428 6.3% 24.1% .131 .279 .224 .284 .355 .279
Mark DeRosa 120 10.0% 19.2% .038 .289 .229 .311 .267 .266
Seth Bynum 408 5.6% 33.3% .124 .285 .201 .251 .325 .252
Jason Michaels 133 5.3% 19.5% .095 .265 .222 .263 .317 .257

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp
Bryce Harper 641 6.4 124 8 4.6 Kal Daniels
Ryan Zimmerman 607 6.2 121 1 4.3 Ken McMullen
Ian Desmond 611 5.1 101 0 3.4 Julio Lugo
Danny Espinosa 653 4.4 93 6 2.8 Sean Rodriguez
Denard Span 568 4.8 94 7 2.7 David DeJesus
Kurt Suzuki 509 4.6 92 0 2.2 Mark Poole
Anthony Rendon 358 4.8 100 3 1.9 Mark Bellhorn
Adam LaRoche 478 5.1 107 5 1.9 Lee Stevens
Jayson Werth 501 5.4 108 -2 1.8 Tim Salmon
Steve Lombardozzi 584 4.3 87 2 1.7 Joseph Thurston
Wilson Ramos 311 4.6 96 2 1.6 Javier Cordona
Michael Morse 481 5.5 112 -2 1.5 Xavier Nady
Corey Brown 534 4.3 90 -1 1.4 Brad Snyder
Sandy Leon 374 3.5 74 7 1.4 Dave Huppert
Eury Perez 589 4.0 73 4 1.1 Willy Taveras
Roger Bernadina 369 4.7 91 1 1.0 Pat Sheridan
Jhonatan Solano 264 3.6 74 3 0.8 Gustavo Molina
Carlos Rivero 567 3.8 78 -2 0.6 Jeff Moronko
Jarrett Hoffpauir 424 4.0 82 -3 0.6 Stu Cole
Tyler Moore 479 4.3 91 -1 0.5 John Sellick
Cesar Izturis 242 3.1 61 2 0.3 Tommy Thevenow
Jesus Flores 261 3.3 70 -1 0.3 Chris Curry
Rick Ankiel 296 3.8 80 -2 0.3 Dann Howitt
Will Rhymes 482 3.8 80 -5 0.3 Luis Figueroa
Erik Komatsu 400 3.9 82 1 0.2 Jorge Cortes
Chad Tracy 168 4.1 84 -2 0.2 Glenn Adams
Carlos Maldonado 176 2.9 60 -1 0.1 George Mitterwald
Jeff Kobernus 424 3.3 61 -1 0.1 Greg Tabor
Brian Bocock 418 2.5 50 5 -0.1 Jon Schuerholz
Destin Hood 513 3.7 76 0 -0.1 Xavier Paul
Manny Mayorson 318 3.2 62 -1 -0.1 Carlo Colombino
Chris Marrero 476 4.1 86 -3 -0.1 Ron Coomer
Brett Carroll 428 3.5 73 0 -0.2 Nick Gorneault
Mark DeRosa 120 3.0 60 -2 -0.2 Rene Gonzales
Seth Bynum 408 2.8 56 -4 -0.3 Trace Coquillette
Jason Michaels 133 2.9 58 -1 -0.4 Brian Jordan

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Gio Gonzalez L 27 32 32 200.0 200 76 15 165 72 67
Stephen Strasburg R 24 24 24 137.3 164 35 11 112 44 41
Jordan Zimmermann R 27 26 26 152.7 119 33 15 147 62 58
Dan Haren R 32 30 29 186.7 151 37 23 187 87 81
Ross Detwiler L 27 27 23 130.3 84 43 12 135 63 59
Tyler Clippard R 28 74 0 79.0 95 30 8 60 28 26
Craig Stammen R 29 57 0 83.3 83 35 8 70 32 30
Drew Storen R 25 59 0 56.3 52 17 5 49 21 20
Daniel Rosenbaum L 25 26 25 142.3 81 50 13 161 79 74
Christian Garcia R 27 59 0 62.3 61 24 8 53 27 25
Ryan Perry R 26 46 6 76.3 51 29 7 78 39 36
Henry Rodriguez R 26 52 0 51.7 58 33 5 40 22 21
Mike Gonzalez L 35 43 0 36.7 38 14 4 33 16 15
Erik Davis R 26 49 0 71.3 57 22 8 75 36 34
Ryan Mattheus R 29 51 0 49.0 35 18 7 48 25 23
Brad Lidge R 36 25 0 22.3 22 12 2 20 11 10
Fernando Abad L 27 50 5 66.0 51 20 8 71 36 34
Nathan Karns R 25 20 16 82.7 80 59 14 75 50 47
Bill Bray L 30 47 0 32.0 29 18 3 30 17 16
Cole Kimball R 27 25 0 29.3 27 18 4 27 16 15
Chien-Ming Wang R 33 20 17 92.7 44 27 14 114 60 56
Jimmy Barthmaier R 29 28 2 42.3 28 22 5 47 27 25
Mike MacDougal R 36 43 0 38.7 25 23 4 45 25 23
Zach Duke L 30 28 21 130.0 62 40 18 166 87 81
Yunesky Maya R 31 18 18 99.3 42 35 17 121 68 64
Tanner Roark R 26 25 23 121.7 74 50 16 152 83 78
Mitch Atkins R 27 28 20 112.7 65 48 18 138 79 74

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Gio Gonzalez 200.0 818 24.4% 9.3% .277 3.02 3.02 77 77
Stephen Strasburg 137.3 540 30.4% 6.5% .297 2.69 2.26 69 58
Jordan Zimmermann 152.7 618 19.2% 5.3% .283 3.42 3.24 87 83
Dan Haren 186.7 764 19.8% 4.8% .285 3.91 3.50 100 89
Ross Detwiler 130.3 550 15.3% 7.8% .291 4.07 3.73 104 95
Tyler Clippard 79.0 320 29.7% 9.4% .267 2.96 3.04 76 78
Craig Stammen 83.3 344 24.1% 10.2% .275 3.24 3.38 83 86
Drew Storen 56.3 227 22.9% 7.5% .279 3.20 3.07 82 78
Daniel Rosenbaum 142.3 618 13.1% 8.1% .304 4.68 3.94 119 100
Christian Garcia 62.3 254 24.0% 9.5% .268 3.61 3.66 92 93
Ryan Perry 76.3 326 15.6% 8.9% .289 4.24 3.88 108 99
Henry Rodriguez 51.7 223 26.1% 14.8% .267 3.66 3.88 93 99
Mike Gonzalez 36.7 152 25.0% 9.2% .291 3.68 3.38 94 86
Erik Davis 71.3 300 19.0% 7.3% .304 4.29 3.62 109 92
Ryan Mattheus 49.0 204 17.2% 8.8% .273 4.22 4.23 108 108
Brad Lidge 22.3 97 22.7% 12.4% .289 4.03 3.83 103 98
Fernando Abad 66.0 282 18.1% 7.1% .300 4.64 3.87 118 99
Nathan Karns 82.7 372 21.5% 15.9% .262 5.12 5.30 131 135
Bill Bray 32.0 141 20.5% 12.7% .287 4.50 4.13 115 105
Cole Kimball 29.3 129 20.9% 13.9% .274 4.60 4.71 117 120
Chien-Ming Wang 92.7 405 10.9% 6.7% .300 5.44 4.71 139 120
Jimmy Barthmaier 42.3 190 14.8% 11.6% .302 5.31 4.63 135 118
Mike MacDougal 38.7 178 14.0% 12.9% .317 5.35 4.67 136 119
Zach Duke 130.0 577 10.8% 6.9% .312 5.61 4.58 143 117
Yunesky Maya 99.3 440 9.5% 8.0% .287 5.80 5.28 148 135
Tanner Roark 121.7 550 13.5% 9.1% .320 5.77 4.56 147 116
Mitch Atkins 112.7 510 12.7% 9.4% .302 5.91 5.09 151 130

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp
Gio Gonzalez 200.0 9.00 3.42 0.68 132 5.3 Sam McDowell
Stephen Strasburg 137.3 10.75 2.29 0.72 148 4.2 Roger Clemens
Jordan Zimmermann 152.7 7.01 1.94 0.88 116 3.3 Shane Reynolds
Dan Haren 186.7 7.28 1.78 1.11 102 2.9 Kevin Tapani
Ross Detwiler 130.3 5.80 2.97 0.83 98 1.7 Dave Otto
Tyler Clippard 79.0 10.82 3.42 0.91 134 1.5 Juan Cruz
Craig Stammen 83.3 8.97 3.78 0.86 123 1.3 Frank Williams
Drew Storen 56.3 8.31 2.72 0.80 124 0.9 Heath Haynes
Daniel Rosenbaum 142.3 5.12 3.16 0.82 85 0.9 Jeff Mutis
Christian Garcia 62.3 8.81 3.47 1.16 110 0.7 Joey McLaughlin
Ryan Perry 76.3 6.02 3.42 0.83 94 0.5 Laddie Renfroe
Henry Rodriguez 51.7 10.10 5.74 0.87 109 0.5 Steve Sharts
Mike Gonzalez 36.7 9.32 3.43 0.98 108 0.4 Trever Miller
Erik Davis 71.3 7.19 2.78 1.01 93 0.2 Randy Messenger
Ryan Mattheus 49.0 6.43 3.31 1.29 94 0.2 John Kiely
Brad Lidge 22.3 8.88 4.84 0.81 99 0.1 Rudy Seanez
Fernando Abad 66.0 6.95 2.73 1.09 86 0.1 Jesse Carlson
Nathan Karns 82.7 8.71 6.42 1.52 78 0.0 Mo Sanford
Bill Bray 32.0 8.16 5.06 0.84 88 0.0 Mike Kinnunen
Cole Kimball 29.3 8.29 5.53 1.23 86 0.0 Franklyn German
Chien-Ming Wang 92.7 4.27 2.62 1.36 73 -0.3 Brian Tollberg
Jimmy Barthmaier 42.3 5.96 4.68 1.06 75 -0.3 Paul Giel
Mike MacDougal 38.7 5.81 5.35 0.93 74 -0.4 Ben Weber
Zach Duke 130.0 4.29 2.77 1.25 71 -0.7 Scott Downs
Yunesky Maya 99.3 3.81 3.17 1.54 69 -0.7 Steve Olin
Tanner Roark 121.7 5.47 3.70 1.18 69 -0.9 Adam Russell
Mitch Atkins 112.7 5.19 3.83 1.44 67 -1.1 Lee Rodney

***

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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Teddy
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Teddy
3 years 7 months ago

The combined WAR of the nationals for 2013 on this chart is 47, what does that mean, what does signify if WAR is based on average players, then would the nationals have 47 wins more then an average team that is 81-81 which would put them at 128 wins, doesn’t really make sense to me and in relation to the giants who had a combined WAR of 43 im assuming that means the nationals are projected to have 4 more wins then the giants.

kevinthecomic
Guest
kevinthecomic
3 years 7 months ago

The R in WAR stands for replacement. Therefore, the Win Above Replacement stat tells you how many more wins you get above a replacement level player. An average player is MUCH better than a replacement player. By definition, average players make up the vast majority of major league rosters. A replacement player is one that is acquirable at little to no cost, either from the waiver wire or from triple A and, as such, is a fringe major leaguer.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 7 months ago

I believe the win-loss record of a 0 WAR team has been calculated to be somewhere around 48-114, so this represents a guesstimate of the Nationals as around a 95-win team.

Izzy Hechkoff
Guest
Izzy Hechkoff
3 years 7 months ago

You can’t just add up the WAR to get projected record.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 7 months ago

Izzy, you are absolutely correct on that, as Dan has said many times.
Dan also uses 45 as wins for an all-replacement team. Washington’s 47 yields a very rough projection of 92, which is stratospheric for a projection. Consider that the A’s and Giants came out at in the low 80’s by the same method.

JorgeFabregas
Guest
JorgeFabregas
3 years 7 months ago

WAR is not based on average major league players. Replacement level is below average. An average major league starter is worth 2.0 WAR. According to this Joe Posnanski piece (http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/37270006/), a team with 0 WAR would have a projected record of 52-110.

So if you wanted a quick and dirty way of projecting team record, you could add projected WAR to 52 and get a win total. However, you do run into the issues mentioned regarding playing time at the major league level.

Alex
Guest
Alex
3 years 7 months ago

A replacement team is usually estimated to win around 50 games, not 81.

miscellaneous
Guest
miscellaneous
3 years 7 months ago

I thought a typical.replacement team wouldlose 2/3 of their games so tat would amount to a record of : 54 – 108. So the nats would win 101 games with this prediction

kevinthecomic
Guest
kevinthecomic
3 years 7 months ago

I’m not sure if there are stats to back this claim up, but it seems pretty reasonable. Back in the day Casey Stengel said that “you lose a third of your games and you win a third of your games, it’s what you do with the other third that matters.” So, it stands to reason (assuming Stengel knew what he was talking about) that replacement level players would win a third and lose a third and then put up a goose egg on that other third.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 7 months ago

Casey Stengel said lots of crazy things, and this was one of them.
Dan estimates 45 wins for an all-replacement team, and I think Dave Cameron estimates 42.

kevinthecomic
Guest
kevinthecomic
3 years 7 months ago

1/3rd of 162 is 54 (Stengel’s number).

Baseball Reference is 52 (or 51.8 to quote Dan).

BP is closer to 50 (again, per Dan)

Recent developments (ie. the last 20 years, long after Stengel was out of the game), per Dan, are 42 – 45.

So, in his time, Stengel was close enough.

RobMer
Guest
RobMer
3 years 7 months ago

So here we all are, gathered around the Fangraphs fireplace, and a bit funny there is no clear number on how many games a replacement-level team would win. I’ve heard as low as 40 on other sites, while in this thread we’re at 41, 45, 48, 52 and 54 quoted.

Izzy Hechkoff
Guest
Izzy Hechkoff
3 years 7 months ago

You can’t just add up the WAR. There are concerns with playing time and various other things.

Stuck in a Slump
Guest
Stuck in a Slump
3 years 7 months ago

Yes you can, because you’re adding up the projected starting players and bullpen, not bench and minor leaguers getting call ups. The team as projected on the black diamond is worth 47 WAR, and those are the guys that should be playing every day.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 7 months ago

Except, you know…they won’t be. Because injuries happen and whatnot.

Stuck in a Slump
Guest
Stuck in a Slump
3 years 7 months ago

Injuries can’t be projected with any reliability, playing time can however. ZIPS doesn’t do this is, which is entirely his point. To counter his point is the fact that each one of these players has been an every day player for the Nationals when healthy.

If you’re going to factor in injuries than you can’t do any projections, what if V-Mart, Fielder and Cabrera all go down at the same time when the Tigers only have a 2 game lead in the Central with two weeks to go? Obviously their chances of clinching the AL Central would be greatly reduced, but tell me how you can project that? You project WAR based on every day play, if there were rookies or guys duking it out in spring training for a starting job, then no, you couldn’t just plug in the +47 WAR, however, each of these guys is normally a starter (or you know, going to be in the BP), so without any competition, barring any serious injuries and FA signings this is the roster that the Nationals will trot out more often than not.

It’s stupid to try to predict injuries when looking at a team’s WAR projected WAR total. Would you have predicted that Kemp would have gone down last year and never get back on track? Would you have docked the Dodgers his projected WAR before the season ever began ‘just in case’? Don’t forget that often times a guy will step up when filling a hole and make up for lost WAR.

These projections are based on the concept of ‘on paper’, obviously some players will have troubles and issues, but that shouldn’t stop us from projecting the team and players before the season starts.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 7 months ago

Two examples of Burying the Lede:

1. Stephen Strasburg’s #1 comp is Roger Clemens.
2. There is a human being named Steve Sharts.

Dan Szymborski
Guest
Dan Szymborski
3 years 7 months ago

The weird thing about the Sharts comp is that it appears that ZiPS has the wrong name in the database for the pitcher. Even if Steve Sharts were a high strikeout/high walk guy, ZiPS lists that pitcher as having played in the early 2000s, when Sharts’s actual last season was 1990.

It doesn’t change the projection at all if I remove the faux-Sharts. Rodriguez’s 3 top comps change to Brad Voyles, Ryan Bukvich, and Mark Littell,

Bad Bill
Guest
Bad Bill
3 years 7 months ago

Distrust ANY projection that involves being comparable to Roger Clemens.

BobbyS
Guest
BobbyS
3 years 7 months ago

Unless you understand that comps aren’t direct comparisons or career predictions.

Bad Bill
Guest
Bad Bill
3 years 7 months ago

I understand these things, and I stand on my statement.

Dan Szymborski
Guest
Dan Szymborski
3 years 7 months ago

As noted in previous projections, I use replacement level that fits roughly between 45 and 46 wins. FanGraphs uses 43. Baseball-Reference 51.8 (.320 winning percentage). BP used to use a very low number, something like 40, but now are about 50.

Dan Szymborski
Guest
Dan Szymborski
3 years 7 months ago

I should note, in the 90s, when I looked at the issue using minor league translations, I got something in the 48-49 win range. But just as I have minor league translations getting tougher, I also have replacement level players getting worse – teams are more willing than in the past to hang onto (whether in the majors or on valuing enough to put on the 40-man roster) and give solid minor league performers chances and Japan has become a viable alternative for a lot of players.

I have the top non-40-man/non-prospect players worse than they were 15 years ago and less talent available leads a lower level of freely available player.

Daryl
Guest
Daryl
3 years 7 months ago

Was curious if we can get a projection for Waldis Joaquin?

Daryl
Guest
Daryl
3 years 7 months ago

Dan in the past you have listed the average OPS+ and ERA+ for players. Do you have that info for starters, relievers and position players yet? Thanks for all you do.

Boxkutter
Guest
Boxkutter
3 years 7 months ago

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe the average ERA+ for RPs is 108, and the average ERA+ for SPs is 96. And I think it is still 100 for OPS+.

The Goat
Member
The Goat
3 years 7 months ago

Well there would be different league average OPS+ for different positions. For example I think SS is somewhere around 90 or worse.

David
Guest
David
3 years 7 months ago

I look at Tyler Moore and Mike Morse and I wonder just how much $$$ Adam LaRoche thinks his left-handedness is really worth …

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 7 months ago

Moore projects a lot worse than I thought he would. I agree that I wouldn’t pay a lot more for LaRoche than for Morse though. There is a defensive difference but still…

Xeifrank
Guest
3 years 7 months ago

I love Zips but always find out that they make the disclaimer that it does not project playing time (which is fine), but then goes on to list all the counting stats like AB, PA, HR, RBI etc… Why not just report the counting stats on a per 600 AB basis for all players – this is easier to read and make comparisons and adjustments in our mind. Rate stats would be fine too for stuff like 2B, 3B, HR etc… and let the readers predict their own playing time which would project these out to counting stats, but I could see people complaining that that is too difficult for the average reader.

John C.
Guest
John C.
3 years 7 months ago

FWIW, the Nationals are talking about switching Garcia back to the rotation; I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him start in the Syracuse rotation as depth. The bullpen is strong regardless, with Storen, Clippard, Stammen, Mattheus and Henry Rodriguez from the right side and Zach Duke and [LOOGY to be determined] from the left side. My guess is the LOOGY will be either Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell or Bill Bray.

Projections are fun as talking points to get us through the winter, but it is hard for me to get worked up about them one way or the other. Baseball has a way of unfolding in its own unpredictable way.

John C.
Guest
John C.
3 years 7 months ago

Wow – 17 HRs for Corey Brown? I want some of whatever the ZiPS people are having!

Robert J. Baumann
Member
Member
3 years 7 months ago

When will these be posted in the Projections section of FanGraphs? And, are they available for download?

tb
Guest
tb
3 years 7 months ago

What’s Espinosa’s d rating at SS vs 2B?

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
3 years 7 months ago

I think Harper will markedly improve and Trout will not.

Alex
Guest
Alex
3 years 7 months ago

If Trout markedly improved he would probably break WAR altogether. Why don’t you try to make a bold prediction?

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 7 months ago

Harper projects worse than I thought he would. I was thinking his Top Comp should be Babe Ruth, not Kal Daniels.

Dan Szymborski
Guest
Dan Szymborski
3 years 7 months ago

Kal Daniels was pretty frigging awesome before he had to have knee surgery every other week!

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 7 months ago

Well yes, I always liked watching Kal play. I never got to see Ruth though.

philosofool
Guest
philosofool
3 years 7 months ago

I’m a Harper fan and a Trout hater (I hate the Angels, like the Nats), but what you basically just said is “Harper’s WAR will be more than half of Trout’s this year.”

jim
Guest
jim
3 years 7 months ago

you think the guy who posted a 10 win season will not markedly improve? way to go out on a limb

derrick
Guest
derrick
3 years 7 months ago

Whooaa, I knew baseball was for NERDS but seriously it is for SERIOUS NERDS.

philosofool
Guest
philosofool
3 years 7 months ago

Is it possible for ZiPS to give us a some longer comps lists this year, perhaps after all the players projections have been shown? I thought Harper’s would be Junior, and in general I love seeing comps lists.

Mike D
Guest
Mike D
3 years 7 months ago

ZiPS in the past did not project save totals. Have pitcher win totals now been dropped as well?

jim
Guest
jim
3 years 7 months ago

ERA+ never, ERA- forever!

RobMer
Guest
RobMer
3 years 7 months ago

I’m a new-age, advanced baseball statistics Luddite. Screw this new-fangled ERA- stuff!

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 7 months ago

A non-alcoholic Sam McDowell would be a great career for Gio

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