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2014 ZiPS Projections – Colorado Rockies

After having typically appeared in the entirely venerable pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections were released at FanGraphs last year. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Colorado Rockies. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Detroit / Los Angeles NL / Miami / Minnesota / New York AL / New York NL / Philadelphia / San Diego / Seattle / St. Louis / Tampa Bay.

Batters
Crafting a definitive depth chart for the current edition of the Rockies presents some difficulties. DJ LeMahieu might be the club’s starting second baseman, but also so might Josh Rutledge. Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs will probably split starts in left field, but Charlie Blackmon has a chance of making the opening-day roster, as well. Were manager Walt Weiss to rely on ZiPS exclusively, he’d probably choose just Stubbs in the former situation and Rutledge in the latter. The odds of him doing that are low and lowest, however.

Of note regarding Jordan Pacheco: as the attentive reader will note, Pacheco is projected on the tables below as a first baseman (in which capacity he recorded the majority of his starts in 2013) but as a catcher on the depth chart (in which capacity he’s likely to record the majority of his starts in 2014). As a first baseman, his projection is pretty miserable (-1.2 zWAR in 483 PAs), very probably owing to the large negative runs adjustment for that position. Which is to say, projected as a catcher (for which position he’d receive a large positive adjustment, provided his defense there isn’t atrocious), his forecasted value is likely quite a bit higher. Positive, even, maybe.

Pitchers
Some citizens of the internet suggested, in response to a tweet containing the depth-chart image below, that the projections for both Brett Anderson and Jorge de la Rosa were quite low. Indeed, this is true. Why they’re low, however, has less to do with the respective performances of those two left-handed pitchers on a per-inning basis, and more to do with the overall innings projections administered by ZiPS’ computer math. Anderson has averaged just 54 innings per season over the last three years; de la Rosa, 79 innings per season over that same interval. It is, of course, possible that both pitchers are entirely healthy. All ZiPS knows, though, is how pitchers with similar track records have performed at similar ages.

Also with regard to the rotation, the author should note that he’s published the pitchers on the depth chart below not in the order in which they’re likely to appear over the first five games of the season, but in order of projected WAR. Were that same depth chart to include pitchers expected not to make the opening-day roster, however, right-hander Eddie Butler‘s name would appear there, too. His projected ZiPS WAR of 1.3 is fourth-highest among starters on the club.

Bench/Prospects
While it’s true that Josh Rutledge has a better projected WAR, per ZiPS, than DJ LeMahieu, it’s also the case that so does infielder Rosell Herrera. That’s likely neither here nor there for the 2014 edition of the Rockies, seeing as Herrera hasn’t recorded a plate appearances at a level higher than the Class-A Sally League, but it’s still good for the Rockies. Among field players more likely to make a contribution at the major-league level is Matt McBride (388 PA, 0.8 zWAR). Despite missing a bunch of the 2013 season to injury, McBride has shown some offensive acumen in the past and is a possible alternative to Jordan Pacheco as Wilin Rosario‘s backup.

Depth Chart
Below is a rough depth chart for the present incarnation of the Rockies, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player. For caveats regarding WAR values see disclaimer at bottom of post. Click to embiggen image.

Rockies Depth

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site and author’s own haphazard reasoning.

Batters, Counting Stats

Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Troy Tulowitzki R 29 SS 529 69 139 27 2 25 84 5 2
Carlos Gonzalez L 28 LF 553 80 142 27 5 28 88 22 5
Nolan Arenado R 23 3B 619 60 164 40 4 14 68 2 2
Wilin Rosario R 25 C 474 55 120 20 2 21 68 3 2
Josh Rutledge R 25 2B 587 68 147 30 5 13 57 15 3
Rosell Herrera B 21 SS 552 59 142 22 2 12 56 17 9
Drew Stubbs R 29 CF 546 76 124 22 3 14 57 26 5
Charlie Culberson R 25 SS 578 67 146 30 5 14 70 14 7
DJ LeMahieu R 25 2B 609 55 163 27 6 4 52 17 9
Justin Morneau L 33 1B 484 55 122 27 1 16 76 0 0
Matt McBride R 29 C 388 42 98 24 3 13 52 1 1
Michael Cuddyer R 35 RF 503 63 133 28 3 19 75 8 3
Yorvit Torrealba R 35 C 253 19 61 12 0 4 24 1 1
Cristhian Adames B 22 SS 504 45 118 22 4 3 40 10 6
Corey Dickerson L 25 LF 556 62 137 31 10 18 66 8 8
Ryan Wheeler L 25 3B 575 58 145 29 3 13 76 3 2
Angelys Nina R 25 2B 517 47 131 21 4 7 49 14 9
Trevor Story R 21 SS 567 55 111 27 4 13 54 15 2
Brandon Barnes R 28 CF 516 59 117 27 3 11 61 11 8
Charlie Blackmon L 27 RF 497 54 122 27 5 10 51 13 4
Tom Murphy R 23 C 368 40 78 19 2 13 48 3 5
Todd Helton L 40 1B 345 30 76 18 1 11 49 0 0
Tyler Colvin L 28 CF 409 47 89 17 7 15 54 5 2
Kent Matthes R 27 RF 408 40 91 23 3 15 55 8 3
Kyle Parker R 24 LF 538 54 126 20 3 16 62 3 4
Hernan Iribarren L 30 2B 386 35 89 14 2 3 33 10 3
Will Swanner R 22 C 412 41 85 19 1 12 42 5 5
Rafael Ynoa B 26 2B 553 58 131 24 3 5 50 15 11
Xavier Nady R 35 1B 351 37 82 16 0 8 42 2 0
Jordan Pacheco R 28 1B 483 41 120 25 2 5 50 4 2
Tim Wheeler L 26 RF 510 50 113 20 4 9 45 11 7
Ben Paulsen L 26 1B 538 50 121 25 6 14 61 2 3

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Troy Tulowitzki 529 9.8% 14.7% .226 .308 .296 .369 .522 .379
Carlos Gonzalez 553 9.0% 23.0% .244 .330 .286 .353 .530 .377
Nolan Arenado 619 4.8% 12.9% .156 .306 .284 .319 .440 .326
Wilin Rosario 474 4.0% 24.5% .193 .312 .265 .295 .458 .325
Josh Rutledge 587 4.9% 19.4% .145 .321 .271 .317 .416 .322
Rosell Herrera 552 6.7% 21.2% .122 .341 .280 .330 .402 .321
Drew Stubbs 546 8.6% 26.0% .143 .327 .253 .321 .396 .320
Charlie Culberson 578 3.3% 20.8% .150 .315 .265 .293 .415 .307
DJ LeMahieu 609 4.6% 13.8% .090 .327 .286 .320 .376 .302
Justin Morneau 484 8.1% 15.1% .177 .302 .280 .343 .457 .344
Matt McBride 388 3.9% 13.9% .188 .280 .268 .296 .456 .324
Michael Cuddyer 503 8.0% 17.3% .199 .321 .290 .348 .489 .359
Yorvit Torrealba 253 6.3% 15.0% .103 .297 .262 .311 .365 .294
Cristhian Adames 504 6.3% 19.6% .086 .324 .260 .311 .346 .285
Corey Dickerson 556 6.3% 20.5% .205 .308 .267 .315 .472 .336
Ryan Wheeler 575 5.4% 21.4% .138 .326 .271 .311 .409 .313
Angelys Nina 517 4.3% 15.9% .103 .309 .269 .303 .372 .294
Trevor Story 567 6.3% 33.3% .141 .305 .213 .271 .354 .280
Brandon Barnes 516 5.4% 25.0% .138 .314 .246 .295 .384 .296
Charlie Blackmon 497 5.8% 16.9% .147 .306 .266 .316 .413 .319
Tom Murphy 368 6.0% 26.9% .185 .289 .233 .292 .418 .306
Todd Helton 345 9.9% 19.7% .172 .280 .248 .319 .420 .322
Tyler Colvin 409 6.1% 27.4% .200 .291 .235 .284 .435 .311
Kent Matthes 408 4.4% 27.2% .193 .295 .238 .278 .431 .308
Kyle Parker 538 7.2% 25.5% .151 .324 .257 .318 .408 .319
Hernan Iribarren 386 6.0% 16.6% .077 .297 .252 .298 .329 .277
Will Swanner 412 7.0% 33.3% .152 .316 .225 .284 .377 .290
Rafael Ynoa 553 6.3% 15.4% .088 .300 .258 .306 .346 .285
Xavier Nady 351 5.1% 19.9% .122 .295 .252 .296 .374 .295
Jordan Pacheco 483 5.0% 12.0% .099 .296 .268 .312 .367 .298
Tim Wheeler 510 6.1% 23.5% .117 .305 .241 .297 .358 .288
Ben Paulsen 538 5.4% 28.6% .157 .316 .240 .283 .397 .293

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Troy Tulowitzki 529 7.4 126 8 5.2 Cal Ripken
Carlos Gonzalez 553 7.4 124 1 3.1 Ryan Klesko
Nolan Arenado 619 5.3 93 11 2.7 Joe Crede
Wilin Rosario 474 5.0 90 -5 1.5 Pat Borders
Josh Rutledge 587 5.1 87 -1 1.3 Josh Barfield
Rosell Herrera 552 5.0 88 -4 1.3 Glenn Hoffman
Drew Stubbs 546 5.0 84 -1 1.2 Bo Porter
Charlie Culberson 578 4.5 80 -1 0.9 Kurt Abbott
DJ LeMahieu 609 4.5 79 4 0.8 Todd Haney
Justin Morneau 484 5.9 104 1 0.8 Aubrey Huff
Matt McBride 388 5.0 90 -7 0.8 John Bateman
Michael Cuddyer 503 6.5 113 -10 0.8 Al Smith
Yorvit Torrealba 253 4.1 73 1 0.6 Rick Cerone
Cristhian Adames 504 3.9 69 3 0.6 Vance Law
Corey Dickerson 556 5.3 99 -3 0.5 Mike Patterson
Ryan Wheeler 575 4.7 84 -4 0.4 Jeff Moronko
Angelys Nina 517 4.1 73 4 0.3 Juan Melo
Trevor Story 567 3.5 60 4 0.3 Jason Dellaero
Brandon Barnes 516 4.0 73 0 0.1 Robert Jones
Charlie Blackmon 497 4.9 86 -1 0.0 D.T. Cromer
Tom Murphy 368 4.1 80 -9 0.0 Yohanny Valera
Todd Helton 345 4.8 88 1 0.0 Carl Yastrzemski
Tyler Colvin 409 4.4 82 -6 -0.2 Brad Snyder
Kent Matthes 408 4.3 79 0 -0.3 Pat Rooney
Kyle Parker 538 4.6 85 -3 -0.3 Dale Holman
Hernan Iribarren 386 3.7 62 0 -0.5 Doug Baker
Will Swanner 412 3.6 68 -9 -0.5 Tim Glass
Rafael Ynoa 553 3.7 68 -3 -0.8 Steve Sisco
Xavier Nady 351 4.1 71 0 -0.9 Jason Wood
Jordan Pacheco 483 4.2 74 -1 -1.2 Toby Rumfield
Tim Wheeler 510 3.7 68 -2 -1.4 Shaun Cumberland
Ben Paulsen 538 3.9 73 2 -1.4 Archi Cianfrocco

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Jhoulys Chacin R 26 27 27 163.3 113 58 15 166 78 73
Tyler Chatwood R 24 29 27 142.0 91 55 11 153 73 68
Juan Nicasio R 27 24 24 125.0 99 42 14 133 66 62
Jorge de la Rosa L 33 18 18 93.0 64 34 10 100 50 47
Eddie Butler R 23 24 24 113.3 76 47 12 123 64 60
Rex Brothers L 26 75 0 70.7 88 35 6 59 28 26
Jordan Lyles R 23 31 30 165.0 103 50 20 193 102 95
Brett Anderson L 26 15 10 64.3 52 18 6 69 33 31
Adam Ottavino R 28 56 0 84.3 82 34 8 81 40 37
Chad Bettis R 25 27 22 121.3 90 43 18 137 75 70
Jeff Francis L 33 29 23 129.0 84 34 18 153 80 75
Matt Belisle R 34 68 0 68.3 56 15 6 72 32 30
Wilton Lopez R 30 70 0 69.3 48 15 7 76 34 32
Boone Logan L 29 67 0 44.0 51 16 5 40 20 19
Rafael Betancourt R 39 37 0 33.7 31 10 3 33 15 14
Collin McHugh R 27 27 24 131.0 85 47 17 155 85 79
Roy Oswalt R 36 17 14 77.7 54 22 10 95 49 46
LaTroy Hawkins R 41 56 0 52.7 35 11 6 59 27 25
Christian Friedrich L 26 15 15 74.7 52 28 11 86 48 45
Franklin Morales L 28 38 5 54.0 48 25 8 55 31 29
Jon Garland R 34 10 10 55.7 28 20 8 67 36 34
Josh Roenicke R 31 59 0 67.7 47 34 8 72 39 36
Mike McClendon R 29 44 0 65.0 38 32 5 73 37 35
Aaron Cook R 35 14 14 74.0 28 25 10 95 51 48
Rob Scahill R 27 59 0 80.0 60 33 11 87 47 44
Justin Berg R 30 15 2 27.3 12 15 4 34 19 18
Greg Burke R 31 56 0 63.7 45 27 7 72 39 36
Tyler Matzek L 23 26 26 123.7 87 85 16 141 87 81
Hisanori Takahashi L 39 39 0 44.0 36 19 7 49 28 26
Mitchell Boggs R 30 62 2 70.0 44 32 9 79 44 41
Roman Colon R 34 22 0 34.3 19 15 4 40 22 21
Tommy Kahnle R 24 42 0 54.7 53 40 7 54 34 32
Logan Kensing R 31 34 0 34.7 25 20 5 39 24 22
Bobby Cassevah R 28 32 0 37.0 19 19 5 43 26 24
Kraig Sitton L 25 50 0 61.0 35 25 8 72 40 37
Joe Gardner R 26 47 0 60.3 39 29 8 68 40 37
Manny Corpas R 31 55 0 75.3 47 29 12 86 48 45
Pedro Hernandez L 25 24 20 106.3 55 35 20 138 80 75
Armando Galarraga R 32 17 17 80.3 42 44 17 101 65 61
Brooks Brown R 29 29 13 86.0 44 46 17 110 70 65
Sean Gallagher R 28 22 21 105.7 57 72 21 133 90 84

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Jhoulys Chacin 163.3 714 15.8% 8.1% .288 4.02 4.43 92 101
Tyler Chatwood 142.0 634 14.4% 8.7% .301 4.31 4.43 98 101
Juan Nicasio 125.0 550 18.0% 7.6% .304 4.46 4.40 102 100
Jorge de la Rosa 93.0 413 15.5% 8.2% .298 4.55 4.64 104 106
Eddie Butler 113.3 510 14.9% 9.2% .303 4.76 5.01 109 114
Rex Brothers 70.7 306 28.7% 11.4% .301 3.31 3.49 76 80
Jordan Lyles 165.0 738 14.0% 6.8% .312 5.18 4.90 118 112
Brett Anderson 64.3 280 18.6% 6.4% .314 4.34 4.05 99 92
Adam Ottavino 84.3 368 22.3% 9.2% .302 3.95 3.88 90 88
Chad Bettis 121.3 544 16.5% 7.9% .308 5.19 5.18 118 118
Jeff Francis 129.0 574 14.6% 5.9% .313 5.23 4.89 119 112
Matt Belisle 68.3 292 19.2% 5.1% .310 3.95 3.64 90 83
Wilton Lopez 69.3 299 16.1% 5.0% .304 4.15 4.05 95 93
Boone Logan 44.0 188 27.1% 8.5% .307 3.89 3.63 89 83
Rafael Betancourt 33.7 144 21.5% 6.9% .300 3.74 3.55 85 81
Collin McHugh 131.0 595 14.3% 7.9% .315 5.43 5.15 124 117
Roy Oswalt 77.7 350 15.4% 6.3% .326 5.33 4.77 122 109
LaTroy Hawkins 52.7 228 15.3% 4.8% .303 4.27 4.30 97 98
Christian Friedrich 74.7 338 15.4% 8.3% .309 5.42 5.33 124 122
Franklin Morales 54.0 242 19.8% 10.3% .299 4.83 5.17 110 118
Jon Garland 55.7 254 11.0% 7.9% .301 5.50 5.46 126 125
Josh Roenicke 67.7 309 15.2% 11.0% .293 4.79 5.13 109 117
Mike McClendon 65.0 300 12.7% 10.7% .309 4.85 4.97 111 113
Aaron Cook 74.0 342 8.2% 7.3% .308 5.84 5.57 133 127
Rob Scahill 80.0 360 16.7% 9.2% .304 4.95 5.23 113 119
Justin Berg 27.3 131 9.2% 11.5% .306 5.93 6.41 135 146
Greg Burke 63.7 290 15.5% 9.3% .312 5.09 4.90 116 112
Tyler Matzek 123.7 597 14.6% 14.2% .312 5.89 6.07 134 139
Hisanori Takahashi 44.0 200 18.0% 9.5% .309 5.32 5.32 121 121
Mitchell Boggs 70.0 321 13.7% 10.0% .303 5.27 5.39 120 123
Roman Colon 34.3 158 12.0% 9.5% .305 5.50 5.33 126 122
Tommy Kahnle 54.7 258 20.5% 15.5% .303 5.27 5.49 120 125
Logan Kensing 34.7 163 15.3% 12.3% .306 5.71 5.77 130 132
Bobby Cassevah 37.0 173 11.0% 11.0% .297 5.84 5.87 133 134
Kraig Sitton 61.0 280 12.5% 8.9% .308 5.46 5.50 125 126
Joe Gardner 60.3 278 14.0% 10.4% .305 5.52 5.54 126 127
Manny Corpas 75.3 341 13.8% 8.5% .299 5.38 5.58 123 127
Pedro Hernandez 106.3 492 11.2% 7.1% .313 6.35 6.06 145 138
Armando Galarraga 80.3 386 10.9% 11.4% .302 6.83 7.02 156 160
Brooks Brown 86.0 414 10.6% 11.1% .309 6.80 6.88 155 157
Sean Gallagher 105.7 522 10.9% 13.8% .308 7.15 7.27 163 166

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Jhoulys Chacin 163.3 6.23 3.20 0.83 111 3.3 Kevin Brown
Tyler Chatwood 142.0 5.77 3.49 0.70 104 2.4 Al Nipper
Juan Nicasio 125.0 7.13 3.02 1.01 100 1.9 Bob Walk
Jorge de la Rosa 93.0 6.19 3.29 0.97 98 1.3 Brian Bohanon
Eddie Butler 113.3 6.04 3.73 0.95 94 1.3 Ed Wojna
Rex Brothers 70.7 11.20 4.46 0.76 135 1.2 Mitch Williams
Jordan Lyles 165.0 5.62 2.73 1.09 86 1.0 Brent Gaff
Brett Anderson 64.3 7.28 2.52 0.84 103 1.0 Odalis Perez
Adam Ottavino 84.3 8.75 3.63 0.85 113 0.8 Hector Carrasco
Chad Bettis 121.3 6.68 3.19 1.34 86 0.7 Matt Crouch
Jeff Francis 129.0 5.86 2.37 1.26 85 0.7 Terry Mulholland
Matt Belisle 68.3 7.38 1.98 0.79 113 0.7 Mike Maddux
Wilton Lopez 69.3 6.23 1.95 0.91 107 0.5 Jeff Tam
Boone Logan 44.0 10.43 3.27 1.02 115 0.5 Will Ohman
Rafael Betancourt 33.7 8.28 2.67 0.80 119 0.4 Lee Smith
Collin McHugh 131.0 5.84 3.23 1.17 82 0.4 John Snyder
Roy Oswalt 77.7 6.25 2.55 1.16 84 0.3 Charles Nagy
LaTroy Hawkins 52.7 5.98 1.88 1.02 105 0.3 Dick Hall
Christian Friedrich 74.7 6.27 3.37 1.33 82 0.3 Lee Upshaw
Franklin Morales 54.0 8.00 4.17 1.33 92 0.2 Billy Brewer
Jon Garland 55.7 4.52 3.23 1.29 81 0.1 Scott Erickson
Josh Roenicke 67.7 6.25 4.52 1.06 93 0.0 Miguel Saladin
Mike McClendon 65.0 5.26 4.43 0.69 92 -0.1 Horacio Pina
Aaron Cook 74.0 3.41 3.04 1.22 76 -0.1 Scott Erickson
Rob Scahill 80.0 6.75 3.71 1.24 90 -0.2 Carlos Valdez
Justin Berg 27.3 3.96 4.95 1.32 75 -0.2 Mike Barlow
Greg Burke 63.7 6.36 3.81 0.99 88 -0.3 Marc Wilkins
Tyler Matzek 123.7 6.33 6.18 1.16 76 -0.3 Jesus Martinez
Hisanori Takahashi 44.0 7.36 3.89 1.43 84 -0.3 Mike Stanton
Mitchell Boggs 70.0 5.66 4.11 1.16 85 -0.3 Jake Robbins
Roman Colon 34.3 4.99 3.94 1.05 81 -0.3 Jim Coates
Tommy Kahnle 54.7 8.72 6.58 1.15 85 -0.3 Chris Schroder
Logan Kensing 34.7 6.48 5.19 1.30 78 -0.4 Dick Selma
Bobby Cassevah 37.0 4.62 4.62 1.22 76 -0.5 Ed Sprague
Kraig Sitton 61.0 5.16 3.69 1.18 82 -0.5 Danny Zell
Joe Gardner 60.3 5.82 4.33 1.19 81 -0.6 Mike Zimmerman
Manny Corpas 75.3 5.62 3.47 1.43 83 -0.6 Scott Brow
Pedro Hernandez 106.3 4.66 2.96 1.69 70 -0.9 Bill Dodd
Armando Galarraga 80.3 4.71 4.93 1.91 65 -1.1 Charlie Robertson
Brooks Brown 86.0 4.60 4.81 1.78 66 -1.3 John Kelly
Sean Gallagher 105.7 4.85 6.13 1.79 62 -1.9 Mike Heathcott

***

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 2014. 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 4.04 ERA and the NL having a 3.81 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 zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.