2014 ZiPS Projections – Los Angeles Angels

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 Los Angeles Angels. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

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

Batters
The reader likely already knows, but the author will state for the benefit of anyone who might not, that it is generally the case with these projections that they’re more conservative than one’s own intuition might otherwise suggest. Not infrequently, partisan commenters will respond to these posts with regard to this or that player, saying “I’ll take the over on that projection.” Perhaps, in some cases, that’s a fair statement to make: the relative success of the FAN projections also hosted at this site suggests that the crowd might have some insight into these matters. Still, Szymborski’s forecasts are derived empirically — and, to that end, can’t be merely ignored.

It’s in light of that belabored caveat that the reader is thus invited to lose all of his shits so far as Mike Trout‘s ZiPS projection is concerned. Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Justin Verlander: none of them come within three wins of Trout, so far as ZiPS is concerned. He’s a superhero, basically, were it possible for superheroes to hail from New Jersey.

Pitchers
As has been the case in other editions of these ZiPS posts, the starting pitchers included on the depth-chart graphic below are not listed in order of probable rotation slot. Rather what the author has done is to arrange the five pitchers most likely to make the opening-day rotation in order of projected WAR, according to ZiPS.

What one finds is that the Angels probably have the right set of five starters, so far as their organization is concerned. What one also finds, however, is that it isn’t an ideal collection of starters, probably. Right-hander Garrett Richards remains a bit of a mystery. Despite excellent armspeed, he doesn’t induce very many whiffs. Nor is ZiPS particularly optimistic, it seems, about his chances of producing a league-average FIP or ERA.

Bench/Prospects
While not a prospect proper, right fielder Kole Calhoun is a young player who enters the season with fewer than 250 career plate appearances and yet a decidedly encouraging projection — one basically on par with left fielder Josh Hamilton‘s, for example, at considerably fewer dollars per win. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly — even to Eric Stamets himself — shortstop Eric Stamets is projected to approach major-league average (or its equivalent in the minors), despite having recorded zero plate appearances above High-A. Much of that is due to his defensive projection, which benefits from +7 defensive runs beyond the already lofty positional adjustment for shortstops.

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

Angels 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
Mike Trout R 22 CF 714 119 179 35 9 29 95 43 7
Albert Pujols R 34 1B 538 68 133 28 0 24 81 5 1
Howie Kendrick R 30 2B 579 65 150 27 4 13 65 11 5
Erick Aybar B 30 SS 607 74 155 32 6 8 55 19 6
Josh Hamilton L 33 RF 591 70 138 27 4 22 79 5 1
Kole Calhoun L 26 CF 542 64 124 23 5 15 66 10 4
Chris Iannetta R 31 C 352 34 64 12 0 10 36 2 2
David Freese R 31 3B 484 46 107 20 1 11 55 2 2
Hank Conger B 26 C 329 31 73 15 1 8 32 0 1
Jett Bandy R 24 C 400 37 83 22 1 6 37 1 1
Eric Stamets R 22 SS 498 49 112 19 1 3 35 10 4
Raul Ibanez L 42 DH 424 47 94 18 2 20 59 1 0
Tommy Field R 27 SS 498 48 97 19 3 9 41 6 2
Taylor Lindsey L 22 2B 598 62 138 23 4 12 52 4 5
Shawn O’Malley B 26 SS 383 41 78 9 4 2 23 15 5
Grant Green R 26 2B 631 67 148 30 3 11 61 6 5
Luis Jimenez R 26 3B 496 53 116 26 2 9 53 11 5
Collin Cowgill R 28 LF 448 47 96 18 3 8 42 11 3
Alex Yarbrough B 22 2B 523 51 126 21 4 6 47 9 3
Andrew Romine B 28 SS 501 49 105 13 3 3 35 14 6
Luis Rodriguez B 34 2B 386 38 84 17 1 6 40 2 4
Luis Martinez R 29 C 282 23 59 13 1 1 21 1 1
Jimmy Swift R 26 SS 434 36 89 17 2 5 33 5 3
Chris Nelson R 28 3B 448 41 99 18 4 9 49 4 2
J.B. Shuck L 27 LF 497 57 117 17 4 1 36 10 6
Zach Borenstein L 23 LF 441 49 97 18 2 14 50 6 6
Cyle Hankerd R 29 LF 210 23 43 8 1 6 23 1 1
Kaleb Cowart B 22 3B 600 55 122 23 3 9 50 11 6
Luke Carlin B 33 C 267 26 49 7 0 3 20 2 1
John Hester R 30 C 296 30 56 10 1 6 23 1 2
Matt Long L 27 RF 572 64 118 23 6 9 53 17 6
Scott Cousins L 29 CF 262 27 51 7 2 4 21 6 2
Brad Hawpe L 35 RF 187 17 34 6 0 4 16 1 1
Lou Montanez R 32 LF 246 22 53 9 1 3 22 2 3
C.J. Cron R 24 1B 536 52 121 26 1 13 63 4 4
Efren Navarro L 28 1B 592 59 132 28 2 6 53 5 3
Trent Oeltjen L 31 RF 403 41 75 18 3 8 37 12 6
Bill Hall R 34 2B 242 23 42 8 0 7 22 2 1
Rusty Ryal R 31 1B 336 28 65 11 1 3 23 1 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Mike Trout 714 14.1% 18.6% .235 .339 .300 .403 .535 .406
Albert Pujols 538 8.9% 11.9% .208 .274 .277 .344 .485 .344
Howie Kendrick 579 4.5% 18.0% .137 .322 .278 .317 .415 .316
Erick Aybar 607 4.3% 10.7% .121 .298 .275 .311 .396 .307
Josh Hamilton 591 7.8% 23.4% .189 .304 .259 .318 .448 .325
Kole Calhoun 542 8.1% 19.9% .158 .293 .253 .315 .411 .319
Chris Iannetta 352 15.1% 25.3% .144 .274 .218 .341 .362 .314
David Freese 484 8.7% 23.6% .127 .310 .247 .322 .374 .309
Hank Conger 329 7.0% 20.4% .137 .288 .244 .303 .381 .296
Jett Bandy 400 3.5% 17.3% .115 .262 .227 .283 .342 .278
Eric Stamets 498 3.8% 14.9% .065 .282 .242 .279 .307 .258
Raul Ibanez 424 7.5% 22.4% .210 .268 .241 .300 .451 .325
Tommy Field 498 7.2% 25.3% .116 .278 .217 .283 .333 .275
Taylor Lindsey 598 5.2% 17.2% .120 .283 .247 .290 .367 .288
Shawn O’Malley 383 6.3% 22.2% .067 .291 .225 .282 .292 .257
Grant Green 631 4.6% 22.0% .117 .308 .250 .289 .367 .286
Luis Jimenez 496 3.0% 17.5% .122 .283 .248 .275 .370 .281
Collin Cowgill 448 6.5% 22.1% .117 .289 .234 .288 .351 .284
Alex Yarbrough 523 2.9% 18.7% .093 .298 .250 .272 .343 .271
Andrew Romine 501 6.2% 19.8% .061 .287 .231 .285 .292 .257
Luis Rodriguez 386 6.5% 11.9% .105 .257 .239 .292 .344 .278
Luis Martinez 282 6.4% 23.0% .069 .296 .227 .280 .296 .256
Jimmy Swift 434 3.9% 27.0% .089 .295 .220 .257 .309 .248
Chris Nelson 448 5.1% 23.7% .127 .293 .237 .277 .364 .280
J.B. Shuck 497 7.4% 11.3% .063 .291 .259 .314 .322 .281
Zach Borenstein 441 6.1% 24.0% .159 .288 .240 .293 .399 .299
Cyle Hankerd 210 4.3% 23.8% .147 .272 .225 .290 .372 .291
Kaleb Cowart 600 6.2% 25.3% .101 .284 .219 .269 .320 .262
Luke Carlin 267 9.7% 20.6% .068 .257 .209 .288 .277 .254
John Hester 296 6.8% 29.7% .110 .278 .206 .261 .316 .255
Matt Long 572 6.8% 22.6% .120 .282 .227 .282 .347 .277
Scott Cousins 262 5.7% 26.7% .095 .280 .212 .265 .307 .254
Brad Hawpe 187 10.2% 32.6% .108 .294 .205 .289 .313 .269
Lou Montanez 246 6.5% 16.3% .088 .270 .235 .289 .323 .271
C.J. Cron 536 2.8% 19.6% .132 .275 .239 .272 .371 .280
Efren Navarro 592 6.1% 18.1% .091 .286 .241 .288 .332 .274
Trent Oeltjen 403 6.7% 33.0% .132 .298 .207 .271 .339 .266
Bill Hall 242 6.2% 40.9% .129 .292 .187 .240 .316 .245
Rusty Ryal 336 3.3% 29.2% .069 .286 .206 .245 .275 .232

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Mike Trout 714 8.9 164 2 9.5 Mickey Mantle
Albert Pujols 538 6.3 133 3 3.0 Albert Belle
Howie Kendrick 579 4.9 106 2 2.9 Michael Young
Erick Aybar 607 4.7 100 -4 2.6 Tony Fernandez
Josh Hamilton 591 5.3 115 1 2.3 Donn Clendenon
Kole Calhoun 542 4.7 105 -4 2.1 John Bowker
Chris Iannetta 352 4.2 101 -1 2.0 Tom Wilson
David Freese 484 4.3 98 -5 1.3 Pinky Higgins
Hank Conger 329 4.1 93 -2 1.3 Keith Osik
Jett Bandy 400 3.4 77 0 1.3 Jeff Winchester
Eric Stamets 498 3.1 67 7 1.2 Geoff Blum
Raul Ibanez 424 4.8 110 0 1.1 Fred Lynn
Tommy Field 498 3.3 75 0 1.0 Leo Durocher
Taylor Lindsey 598 3.7 86 -2 1.0 Martin Prado
Shawn O’Malley 383 3.0 64 5 0.8 Domingo Cedeno
Grant Green 631 3.8 85 -6 0.7 Mark Lewis
Luis Jimenez 496 3.7 82 -1 0.7 Angel Chavez
Collin Cowgill 448 3.7 81 4 0.6 Scott Lusader
Alex Yarbrough 523 3.4 74 1 0.5 Andre Wood
Andrew Romine 501 3.0 65 0 0.4 Frank Mattox
Luis Rodriguez 386 3.4 80 -1 0.3 Geoff Blum
Luis Martinez 282 2.9 65 -1 0.3 Mike DiFelice
Jimmy Swift 434 2.7 60 2 0.1 Rayner Bautista
Chris Nelson 448 3.6 81 -5 0.1 Brandon Inge
J.B. Shuck 497 3.6 82 1 0.1 Ken Ramos
Zach Borenstein 441 4.0 95 -5 0.0 Roosevelt Brown
Cyle Hankerd 210 3.7 87 -2 0.0 Ryan Jones
Kaleb Cowart 600 3.0 67 -1 -0.1 Matt Tuiasosopo
Luke Carlin 267 2.7 62 -5 -0.1 Chad Moeller
John Hester 296 2.7 63 -5 -0.2 Danny Ardoin
Matt Long 572 3.5 78 -2 -0.4 Benjamin Copeland
Scott Cousins 262 2.9 63 -3 -0.4 Jay Sitzman
Brad Hawpe 187 3.0 72 -3 -0.5 Dann Howitt
Lou Montanez 246 3.1 74 -2 -0.5 Chris Pritchett
C.J. Cron 536 3.5 81 1 -0.6 Butch Garcia
Efren Navarro 592 3.4 76 3 -0.6 Rich Aldrete
Trent Oeltjen 403 3.1 72 -2 -0.7 Rob Lukachyk
Bill Hall 242 2.5 56 -4 -0.8 Steve Scarsone
Rusty Ryal 336 2.3 48 -2 -2.0 Frank Charles

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Jered Weaver R 31 27 27 172.3 142 42 18 152 66 62
C.J. Wilson L 33 31 31 197.3 180 77 16 180 82 77
Tyler Skaggs L 22 28 27 158.3 140 63 14 148 72 67
Hector Santiago L 26 34 18 122.7 113 53 13 112 56 52
Ernesto Frieri R 28 66 0 68.3 96 30 8 50 25 23
Joe Smith R 30 70 0 63.3 54 23 5 56 25 23
Jerome Williams R 32 30 19 139.3 94 40 19 147 75 70
Garrett Richards R 26 40 19 139.0 95 54 14 145 74 69
Dane de la Rosa R 31 70 0 69.7 65 29 6 62 30 28
Fernando Salas R 29 59 0 58.7 55 18 6 53 26 24
Tommy Hanson R 27 23 22 125.7 113 47 20 129 71 66
R.J. Alvarez R 23 34 0 42.3 47 23 4 36 19 18
Wade LeBlanc L 29 34 20 130.0 88 41 18 141 73 68
Sean Burnett L 31 42 0 34.0 29 11 4 33 16 15
Michael Kohn R 28 65 0 58.7 61 26 8 52 28 26
Michael Morin R 23 46 0 54.3 42 15 6 55 27 25
Kevin Jepsen R 29 54 0 49.0 43 19 6 49 25 23
Matt Shoemaker R 27 27 27 165.7 100 38 24 192 96 90
Mark Mulder R 36 9 0 10.7 7 4 1 11 6 6
Clay Rapada L 33 50 0 33.0 26 15 3 32 17 16
Brian Moran L 25 48 0 63.7 56 20 8 64 32 30
Nick Maronde L 24 45 7 71.3 57 33 9 72 40 37
Rob Delaney R 29 35 0 47.3 27 17 4 50 25 23
Joe Blanton R 33 23 18 118.0 95 25 20 133 70 65
Ryan Brasier R 26 51 0 62.0 46 27 7 63 33 31
Michael Roth L 24 24 13 64.7 50 32 9 70 41 38
Jeremy Berg R 27 52 0 73.3 51 25 9 77 40 37
Chad Cordero R 32 55 0 54.0 32 15 7 60 31 29
Josh Wall R 27 56 0 60.7 45 26 7 63 34 32
Billy Buckner R 30 23 21 109.3 65 47 16 120 70 65
Robert Carson L 25 59 0 66.0 43 27 9 69 39 36
Kip Wells R 37 9 8 39.7 17 25 6 47 30 28
Cory Rasmus R 26 62 0 61.0 54 41 8 60 36 34
Mark Sappington R 23 26 26 134.3 96 79 17 139 85 79
Buddy Boshers L 26 57 1 64.0 51 40 8 65 40 37
Chris Volstad R 27 29 26 149.3 78 51 21 175 94 88
Fernando Cabrera R 32 52 1 62.0 46 31 10 66 40 37
Ryan Chaffee R 26 53 0 56.3 51 43 7 55 36 34
Brandon Hynick R 29 23 20 112.0 57 37 21 131 77 72
Barry Enright R 28 27 25 131.7 75 53 27 158 96 90

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Jered Weaver 172.3 711 20.0% 5.9% .266 3.24 3.73 84 96
C.J. Wilson 197.3 849 21.2% 9.1% .288 3.51 3.68 91 95
Tyler Skaggs 158.3 686 20.4% 9.2% .291 3.81 3.93 98 101
Hector Santiago 122.7 533 21.2% 9.9% .289 3.82 4.25 98 110
Ernesto Frieri 68.3 285 33.7% 10.5% .290 3.03 3.40 78 88
Joe Smith 63.3 269 20.1% 8.6% .276 3.27 3.61 84 93
Jerome Williams 139.3 605 15.5% 6.6% .286 4.52 4.57 117 118
Garrett Richards 139.0 616 15.4% 8.8% .292 4.47 4.35 115 112
Dane de la Rosa 69.7 300 21.7% 9.7% .283 3.62 3.75 93 97
Fernando Salas 58.7 247 22.3% 7.3% .283 3.68 3.52 95 91
Tommy Hanson 125.7 553 20.4% 8.5% .295 4.73 4.62 122 119
R.J. Alvarez 42.3 186 25.3% 12.4% .294 3.83 4.05 99 104
Wade LeBlanc 130.0 572 15.4% 7.2% .294 4.71 4.68 121 121
Sean Burnett 34.0 146 19.9% 7.5% .290 3.97 3.99 102 103
Michael Kohn 58.7 254 24.0% 10.2% .282 3.99 4.27 103 110
Michael Morin 54.3 233 18.0% 6.4% .294 4.14 3.97 107 102
Kevin Jepsen 49.0 215 20.0% 8.8% .297 4.22 4.14 109 107
Matt Shoemaker 165.7 727 13.8% 5.2% .303 4.89 4.74 126 122
Mark Mulder 10.7 47 14.9% 8.5% .285 5.06 4.23 130 109
Clay Rapada 33.0 146 17.8% 10.3% .290 4.36 4.35 112 112
Brian Moran 63.7 275 20.4% 7.3% .299 4.24 4.06 109 105
Nick Maronde 71.3 319 17.9% 10.3% .292 4.67 4.71 120 122
Rob Delaney 47.3 209 12.9% 8.1% .289 4.37 4.24 113 109
Joe Blanton 118.0 512 18.6% 4.9% .306 4.96 4.45 128 115
Ryan Brasier 62.0 276 16.7% 9.8% .292 4.50 4.68 116 121
Michael Roth 64.7 296 16.9% 10.8% .305 5.29 5.13 136 132
Jeremy Berg 73.3 322 15.8% 7.8% .292 4.54 4.55 117 117
Chad Cordero 54.0 237 13.5% 6.3% .294 4.83 4.64 125 120
Josh Wall 60.7 271 16.6% 9.6% .296 4.75 4.60 122 119
Billy Buckner 109.3 495 13.1% 9.5% .289 5.35 5.40 138 139
Robert Carson 66.0 294 14.6% 9.2% .284 4.91 4.99 127 129
Kip Wells 39.7 191 8.9% 13.1% .291 6.35 6.27 164 162
Cory Rasmus 61.0 284 19.0% 14.4% .294 5.02 5.25 129 135
Mark Sappington 134.3 621 15.5% 12.7% .291 5.29 5.38 136 139
Buddy Boshers 64.0 297 17.2% 13.5% .294 5.20 5.20 134 134
Chris Volstad 149.3 674 11.6% 7.6% .298 5.30 5.09 137 131
Fernando Cabrera 62.0 283 16.3% 11.0% .292 5.37 5.41 138 139
Ryan Chaffee 56.3 267 19.1% 16.1% .296 5.43 5.35 140 138
Brandon Hynick 112.0 504 11.3% 7.3% .289 5.79 5.83 149 150
Barry Enright 131.7 606 12.4% 8.7% .296 6.15 6.09 159 157

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Jered Weaver 172.3 7.42 2.19 0.94 117 3.3 Chris Bosio
C.J. Wilson 197.3 8.21 3.51 0.73 108 3.1 Doug Davis
Tyler Skaggs 158.3 7.96 3.58 0.80 99 1.9 Paul Maholm
Hector Santiago 122.7 8.29 3.89 0.95 99 1.3 Bobby Jones
Ernesto Frieri 68.3 12.65 3.95 1.05 125 0.8 Bryan Harvey
Joe Smith 63.3 7.68 3.27 0.71 116 0.6 Cory Bailey
Jerome Williams 139.3 6.07 2.58 1.23 84 0.4 Ramon Ortiz
Garrett Richards 139.0 6.15 3.50 0.91 85 0.4 Chris Hook
Dane de la Rosa 69.7 8.39 3.74 0.77 104 0.3 Marc Wilkins
Fernando Salas 58.7 8.43 2.76 0.92 103 0.2 Scott Bankhead
Tommy Hanson 125.7 8.09 3.37 1.43 80 0.1 Dave Mlicki
R.J. Alvarez 42.3 10.00 4.89 0.85 99 0.1 Eric Cammack
Wade LeBlanc 130.0 6.09 2.84 1.25 80 0.1 Brian Abraham
Sean Burnett 34.0 7.68 2.91 1.06 95 0.0 Brian Shouse
Michael Kohn 58.7 9.35 3.99 1.23 95 0.0 Bo Donaldson
Michael Morin 54.3 6.96 2.49 0.99 91 -0.1 John Doherty
Kevin Jepsen 49.0 7.90 3.49 1.10 89 -0.1 Jesus Colome
Matt Shoemaker 165.7 5.43 2.06 1.30 77 -0.1 Brian Meadows
Mark Mulder 10.7 5.89 3.36 0.84 75 -0.1 Ben Weber
Clay Rapada 33.0 7.09 4.09 0.82 87 -0.1 Pedro Borbon
Brian Moran 63.7 7.91 2.83 1.13 89 -0.2 Ron Flores
Nick Maronde 71.3 7.19 4.17 1.14 81 -0.2 Keith Helton
Rob Delaney 47.3 5.14 3.23 0.76 86 -0.2 Gary Wagner
Joe Blanton 118.0 7.25 1.91 1.53 76 -0.2 Brian Tollberg
Ryan Brasier 62.0 6.68 3.92 1.02 84 -0.4 William Vaughan
Michael Roth 64.7 6.96 4.45 1.25 71 -0.4 Luis Ramirez
Jeremy Berg 73.3 6.26 3.07 1.11 83 -0.5 Richie Barker
Chad Cordero 54.0 5.33 2.50 1.17 78 -0.5 Chuck Crim
Josh Wall 60.7 6.67 3.86 1.04 80 -0.5 Rick Greene
Billy Buckner 109.3 5.35 3.87 1.32 71 -0.7 Ryan Jensen
Robert Carson 66.0 5.86 3.68 1.23 77 -0.7 Kevin Ohme
Kip Wells 39.7 3.85 5.67 1.36 59 -0.7 Ed Riley
Cory Rasmus 61.0 7.97 6.05 1.18 75 -0.7 Terry Bross
Mark Sappington 134.3 6.43 5.29 1.14 71 -0.8 Ken Pumphrey
Buddy Boshers 64.0 7.17 5.63 1.13 73 -0.9 Justin Lamber
Chris Volstad 149.3 4.70 3.07 1.27 71 -0.9 Kyle Middleton
Fernando Cabrera 62.0 6.68 4.50 1.45 70 -1.0 Mike Sullivan
Ryan Chaffee 56.3 8.15 6.87 1.12 70 -1.0 Bill Bene
Brandon Hynick 112.0 4.58 2.97 1.69 65 -1.3 Jared Gothreaux
Barry Enright 131.7 5.13 3.62 1.85 61 -2.1 Giovanni Carrara

***

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.



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Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
asisson10
Member
asisson10
2 years 8 months ago

Why is Pujols listed as 2 WAR on the graphic and 3 WAR in the charts?

Mike
Guest
Mike
2 years 8 months ago

Ha! Trout won’t even get 10 triples (9) or 30 HR (29) or 100 RBI (95).

And his #1 comp is NOT Willie Mays (Mickey Mantle).

Shakes his head and walks away…

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
2 years 7 months ago

How old was Mantle when he first hit 30 Home Runs?

And how many times in his whole career did Mantle have 10 triples? Trout is pretty significantly ahead of Mantle in all areas at this point in his career.

Shakes his head and laughs at you…

Clayton
Member
Clayton
2 years 8 months ago

Sees Mantle comp

*proceeds to soil himself*

Nick O
Guest
Nick O
2 years 8 months ago

Hopefully he’ll go a little easier on the bottle than The Mick.

MickeyFan
Guest
MickeyFan
2 years 7 months ago

I both like and dislike this comment

Caveman Jones
Member
Caveman Jones
2 years 8 months ago

Trout is a monster. That projection even includes a pretty conservative fielding rating. Yikes. Hard to imagine what he’d be like if he gained a bit more power or cut his K rate even more.

Also:

Ibanez wOBA = .325
Hamilton wOBA= .325

That’s fun.

hawkeyecub
Guest
hawkeyecub
2 years 8 months ago

If you are a big budget team and have a 10 win player for basically free and still can’t make the playoffs, you are pathetic.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 8 months ago

If the above projections are met, the Angels will definitely be a contender.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 years 8 months ago

In which sport? Luckily, in baseball, there is basically no way for a player to carry a team. Trout is as close as it gets, but a 75-win team is not pathetic, and Trout would basically turn a 75-win team into a 85-win team, which is still probably not good enough for the playoffs, especially in a tough division like the AL West.

Hawk eyecup
Guest
Hawk eyecup
2 years 8 months ago

A 75 win team that spends what the Angels spend is pathetic. If you have a 10 win player that has essentially no payroll impact and you can’t build a playoff team with about 150 million to use on remaining guys under team control and free agent spending, you suck. Put it another way, the Angels have basically been spotted ten wins.

Timmay
Guest
Timmay
2 years 8 months ago

Hey… have a little humility aight? We Angels fans feel bad enough, we don’t need people like you piling it on.

Freakin Reagins gutted our farm system and Arte Moreno can’t help himself when it comes to spending on shinny new toys.

I hope Moreno takes a hands off approach for a bit and gives DiPoto a chance to rebuild.

Ryan W Krol
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Pretty much every organization that has ever existed has had a player with that high of a WAR or close to that and not made the playoffs.

The Angels have had a lot of things go wrong with their starting rotation that were out of their control. In the last 4 years, they’ve had Jered Weaver, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, CJ Wilson, Ervin Santana, Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, Jason Vargas… Jeezus!!! How do you not win a championship with that list of starting pitchers over a 4 year period?

Easy. Significant injuries (Weaver in 2013, CJ, Haren in 2012); meltdowns (Kazmir); a terrible year (Santana 2012). On and on.

Those are a lot of setbacks for one team to muster in such a short period. Of course they’re gonna trade prospects to counter that. That’s why their system is depleted.

This is all just another example of the realities of baseball. This is not the NBA. It takes 25 players, and then some as the DL is used, trades are made, releases are granted, etc., etc.

champion88
Member
champion88
2 years 7 months ago

@Ryan: I totally disagree that it was just bad luck. We all knew Josh Hamilton was going downhill in 2012 and that moving him from an extreme hitter’s park to a pitcher’s park would sap away his power even more.

The Angels just signed him because they were trying to 1-up the Rangers.

With another $25 million in payroll this year, the Angels could have signed Bartolo Colon and A.J. Burnett instead of filling out their rotation with Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago.

Ryan W Krol
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Wrong sport. Shall I direct you to the NBA website?

Darren
Guest
Darren
2 years 8 months ago

I have to imagine that Mike Trout breaks Zips or any other projection model out there. You have a 21 year old with two straight 9+ WAR seasons with an age factor that would suggest a further improvement going into his 22nd year both in his rate stats and his playing time. Dan, does there come a time when you simply have to ‘cap’ his projection. Otherwise, wouldnt his 5 year projection look other worldly?

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

Why would we expect improvement in his playing time? The projected ‘714 PA’ strikes me as the one weakness in the projection. Like Zips recognizes all other players face at least some possibility of injury, but has already decided at age 22 that Trout is Cal Ripken.

KrunchyGoodness
Member
Member
2 years 8 months ago

That is the weakest point of every projection.

“Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.”

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

It’s entirely different in Trout’s case. It’s ASSUMING he will stay healthy for the entire season. I haven’t been paying that close attention to that, does it project anyone else for ‘714 PA’ or even close? I sure didn’t notice if it did.

At 714, I suspect it’s also assuming Trout will leadoff all 6 months. Which given those ’29 HR’, strikes me as another specious assumption. I also don’t think ’43 SB’ is consistent with assuming an entire season of health. Just too much chance of getting banged up when stealing that many bases.

KrunchyGoodness
Member
Member
2 years 8 months ago

@Richie

I would have to look into it too, but he had 716 PA in 157 G in 2013. I thought that I remember he batted 2nd or 3rd a good portion of the year.

714 PA is just a “staying-the-course” kind of projection to me.

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah, I think that’s basically what happened (his projection being capped). I saw the projection and thought, meh, that’s pretty conservative on both offense and defense. Although, I do think his SB/CS is probably too optimistic, as he’s already slowing down a bit.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 8 months ago

It’s called “regression to the mean,” a key concept in all social sciences.

ShishBoomBah
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

social sciences

Is that like “Derek Jeter’s defense”, “a politician’s integrity”, etc?

Laremies
Guest
Laremies
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think you understand regression to the mean.

brendan
Guest
brendan
2 years 8 months ago

funny, I am thinking the opposite. Even w/ 2 10WAR seasons in the books, I imagine it’s reasonable to expect 7-8 WAR going forward. I thought zips would regress _more_.

As for expecting trout to improve, how much better could he be? He is excellent at everything already!

champion88
Member
champion88
2 years 7 months ago

@Darren: Maybe you would do that for a pitcher if the projection puts 300 IP or something up there, but not for position players.

Xeifrank
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Simulator says best lineup for this team.

vs RHP
Trout-Calhoun-Pujols-Freese-Hamilton-Aybar-Ibanez-Kendrick-Iannetta

vs LHP
Iannetta-Trout-Freese-Pujols-Calhoun-Aybar-Hamilton-Kendrick-Ibanez

of course Scoscia will never do this. This was using Steamer projections, so I will have to run it again with these Zips but I doubt much changes.

KrunchyGoodness
Member
Member
2 years 8 months ago

What would be the difference in simulated runs scored versus Scioscia’s projected lineup?

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

Very little, but now you’re defeating the fun of it.

xeifrank
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Lineup construction is more important for NL (pitchers bat) teams than AL teams “usually” – And the level of importance changes team by team due to the makeup of the different hitters.

Just a swag here because I don’t have the numbers with me, but the most efficient lineup vs a Scoscia lineup for the Angels probably in the 1/2 win range. Most efficient vs least efficient is probably 1-1/2 wins.

In the NL you can easily see a 2.5 to 3.0 win difference between most efficient vs innefficient lineup. But it is different on a team by team basis.

The little moves like switching the #3 and #4 hitters make very slight differences. Not worth arguing over, but there is a most efficient lineup nonetheless.

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
2 years 8 months ago

Only if we hold production constant across spots which is an extremely dubious assumption.

Xeifrank
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

If you can find evidence to the contrary let me know and give me the model for it. :)

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
2 years 5 months ago

You are saying estimated production is equivalent across every spot in the batting lineup. You are the one making the statement. YOU need to provide the evidence, the burden of proof is not on me to disprove your wild conjecture.

Oyah, look up anyone who has batted in multiple spots in the order.

champion88
Member
champion88
2 years 7 months ago

@Xeifrank: What website/program did you use to run those simulations?

Looks very interesting!

Tony the Pony
Guest
Tony the Pony
2 years 8 months ago

Anyone who can get 3 WAR more than Miguel Cabrera is a Superhero. I actually dont think we can comp Trout. I was half expecting the column to read N/A.

bjsguess
Member
Member
bjsguess
2 years 8 months ago

I find it really interesting that the Fans are much more pessimistic than all of the projection systems when it comes to Mike Trout. Wonder if other players are suffering this same issue.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

typically, aren’t the fan projections over-optimistic? I think I read an article to that effect somewhere on FG, though I can’t find it now.

KrunchyGoodness
Member
Member
2 years 8 months ago

Maybe in a normal case where fans of the team are mainly the only people to project a player. Trout is not a normal case. He is touted as the best player in baseball. Other fan bases might want to knock him in their personal projection.

Dan
Guest
Dan
2 years 8 months ago

Or Trout is so far off the curve that we have very little to use to get historical comps for him that nobody is really sure how he will age.

Maybe he peaks early and over the next 3-4 years settles out as more of a 7-8 WAR player. It’s possible. He’s so far off the chart to start his career that it’s hard to project forward. Maybe he becomes a 14 or 15 WAR player, but that’s kind of hard to believe.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

good point, and possible to study–do star players get underprojected while scrubs tend to get overprojected?

KCDaveInLA
Guest
KCDaveInLA
2 years 8 months ago

This looks like me when I read that projection on my tablet:

Mike Green
Member
Mike Green
2 years 8 months ago

Cobb and DiMaggio took big steps forward at age 22. Mantle, Griffey Jr. and Mays took big steps forward at age 23. Am I missing anybody?

Trout was born on August 7, just after the July 1 dividing line. If he follows in his forbears’ footsteps, he’ll take a step forward and be a 12 win player…

Amazingly, it still seems likely that this club will not run away and hide from the rest of the division.

sneaky_flute
Guest
sneaky_flute
2 years 8 months ago

Trout started so strong out of the gate that it’s hard to imagine that he’ll get significantly better. He’s already providing elite offense, defense, and baserunning. How else can he improve?

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 8 months ago

I’d say that the most likely scenario is that what you see now is what you get for the next 10 years, with an increase in power and a decrease in baserunning speed and possibly defense.

It is possible, though, that he will still improve more at hitting for average and making contact. Then, he would be a mega-monster.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
2 years 8 months ago

The odds still favor regression, especially in the latter of those 10 years.

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 8 months ago

Sure, he will probably start to decline in the latter few of the 10 years, but not markedly. I was speaking in general. People thought he’d decline in year 2, but he actually improved in all hitting measures.

We’ll see. I agree that when someone is already putting up outrageous numbers, the more likely bet is decline. However, my gut says that he’ll likely improve this year and put up 10-11 WAR.

Erik
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

It’s hard to keep this level up, and he’ll eventually fall back, but here is another great comp. Ted Williams hit .406 at age 22.

I think this will end up being Trout’s best season.

Ryan W Krol
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

You probably think that because you’ve never actually seen an all-time elite player in the realm of Ty Cobb or Ted Williams in your life. So it’s hard to imagine. That goes for all of us.

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

Well, you’re missing all the forebearers that didn’t take a further big step forward.

Mike Green
Member
Mike Green
2 years 8 months ago

Which great centerfielder didn’t? Vada Pinson and Cesar Cedeno would be the closest…

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

And if you project normal improvement from Vada and Cesar, don’t they become ‘great’ rather than ‘closest’? If you relax the ‘centerfielder’ part a bit, then you also have Al Kaline. Some players do max out very young. It’s not that rare a happenstance.

Mike Green
Member
Mike Green
2 years 8 months ago

For what it’s worth, Cedeno is a good example of a player who was great at age 20-21 and regressed afterwards. Pinson isn’t; Vada actually had his best season at age 24.

Kaline is a bit different. He had a great year at age 20 with a boost from a high BABIP and then settled in after that. He actually had his best years from a rate perspective in his early 30s.

And for every Kaline who was great at age 20 and stopped, there is a Robinson and an Aaron. I ran a Play Index looking at players who had an OPS+ of 120 or more and 1000 PAs by the age of 21. I got 23 names and more than 2/3 of them improved after that including names like Foxx, Hornsby, Arky Vaughan, Williams. The only ones who did not improve were Kaline, Cedeno, Alex Rodriguez, Stuffy McInnes and Dick Hoblitzel. The last two are only really there because I set the bar low on the OPS+.

Richie
Guest
Richie
2 years 8 months ago

So there’s a 25% historical chance Trout won’t improve. And personally, whenever I see Trout he always most reminds me of Dick Hoblitzel.

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 8 months ago

In his first two years, Trout has played his best in mid-summer. In June-August 2012-2013, he has 12.3 WAR for 154 games, or 12.9/162 games. I wonder if we could get some indication of a young player’s peak year by looking at his peak months at an earlier age.

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 8 months ago

WAR/162 games by months:

April: 3.0 (only played this month in 2013)
May: 11.3
June: 12.15
July: 15.5 (18.1 in 2012, his best single month so far)
Aug: 11.3
Sept: 9.4

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 8 months ago

Actually, in both years he’s averaged about 12.5 WAR per 162 games from May-August, a stretch of a little over 100 games.Even if he’s reached his peak now, I can imagine that if he maintains that peak for a number of years, just by chance he could extend that stretch to an entire season.

sneaky_flute
Guest
sneaky_flute
2 years 8 months ago

Is a 15 WAR season for Trout possible?

hawkeyecub
Guest
hawkeyecub
2 years 8 months ago

Sure, if he hits .400 or something…

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

Very probably, no.

There’s only ever been one 15 WAR season. Ever. Babe Ruth did it in 1923, in which year his wRC+ was 231, and he got more than a win’s worth of positive defensive value (more than Trout did last year).

If Trout somehow simultaneously boosted his offensive output tremendously whilst having a historically good defensive season and also not losing any baserunning value, he probably still couldn’t get there.

But it is fun to imagine. To get to 15 WAR you basically have to hit like 2001/2 Barry Bonds and also play awesome defense.

sen fan
Guest
sen fan
2 years 8 months ago

If you use era and not fip then Walter Johnson also hit 15. Of course that is too low because it includes 3 or so earned runs in a exposition game where every player played every position and he presmably didn’t exactly play to win.

FIP doesn’t like Johnson because he was the mold for the twins: pitch to contact. In his 18 innings shutout you’d expect him to set the record for k in a game but he got single digits. The game was also jusst over 2 hours long.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

Yes. It’s only 75% more than his projection and he’s only 22. He’d just have to improve 40% and have a great year 35% more than his projection.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

For fun — assuming 2.5 WAR is average:

Trout – 7 WAA
Rest of Team – -5 WAA

Therefore this team should win 83 games.

(waits for retribution on how this is not how it works)

KrunchyGoodness
Member
Member
2 years 8 months ago

I’m pretty sure 2 WAR is average by definition. But maybe it changed.

Shauncore
Member
Shauncore
2 years 8 months ago

I think the Trout projection should force us to go back in time and make Trout a comp for Mickey Mantle rather than Mantle a comp for Trout. Then here in the present tense, Mike Trout would be his own comp.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 8 months ago
sneaky_flute
Guest
sneaky_flute
2 years 8 months ago

Is it really fair to compare Trout to players like Mantle? Mantle played in a different era against a different class of competition. So many players yielded a wrc+ of 200 or higher back then which should tell you something about the period’s baseball landscape.

Ryan W Krol
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

No I think it’s fair to compare Mickey Mantle to Mike Trout.

Mantles peak years were also in an offensive oriented era, and Trout is coming up in a pitcher’s era. Imagine what Trout might be doing in 1997.

Darryl
Member
2 years 8 months ago

MICKEY MANTLE!!!!

Resolution
Guest
Resolution
2 years 8 months ago

“It’s in light of that belabored caveat that the reader is thus invited to lose all of his shits”

Is it only ‘his shits’ because girls don’t read this site or because girls don’t do that? Or both?

Kram
Guest
Kram
2 years 8 months ago

“While the use, in formal English, of he, him or his as a gender-neutral pronoun has traditionally been considered grammatically correct,[13] such use can also be considered to be a violation of gender agreement, as well as being prejudicial and, sometimes, confusing or absurd.”

Hmm, its not a violation of agreement, its not confusing, and its not absurd. So, I guess it’s a little too prejudicial for you? It was, and still is, however, proper English.

Derb
Guest
Derb
2 years 8 months ago

I teach my students to use “his or her” in gender-neutral instances. Not that it matters, though.

Kram
Guest
Kram
2 years 8 months ago

It just seems to be more a matter of political correctness than proper grammar. Agree that it doesn’t matter, that’s essentially why I commented in the first place.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

Not really political correctness but rather accuracy. If I refer to a man as “her” it’s not wrong politically, it’s inaccurate.

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
2 years 8 months ago

Pedantic nit is pedantic.

How do you refer to cars/boats/animals? What about neutered/spayed animals?

sigh
Guest
sigh
2 years 8 months ago

maybe someday we can go back to a world where the usage of such pronouns doesn’t cause people to cry about discrimination.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

Plus girls are statistically much better at retaining their shits when discussing Mike Trout.

They tend to lose all their shits when Channing Tatum is involved.

dbssaber
Member
dbssaber
2 years 8 months ago

“were it possible for superheroes to hail from New Jersey”

…some of us would like a word with you

Doctor J
Guest
Doctor J
2 years 8 months ago

I composed this, on the toilet after seeing the Mickey Mantle comp.

Mike Trout; bringer of lightening and thunder, filler of thine eyes with gems caught in his web, looks at man with gentler eyes than I. Eyes filled with assurance that He is from this world, when in reality He has created this world. Whether be peasant or God, He looks into each mans eyes, with understanding, knowing what he sees will be less than what He finds. Mike Trout has gentler eyes than I.

Andre the Angels Fan
Guest
Andre the Angels Fan
2 years 8 months ago

I should stop coming here, everything I read about the Angels depresses me.

(Except for the Mike Trout / Mickey Mantle comp. There’s that at least.)

Angelsjunky
Member
Angelsjunky
2 years 8 months ago

I was half expecting:

Mike Trout comps – Jesus, Buddha, Hercules, Bruce Lee, Ka’lel, Neo

Northhampstonstead
Guest
Northhampstonstead
2 years 8 months ago

A preseason ad for MLB:

Justin Verlander throws a 100+ fastball at Trout’s head. Trout lifts one hand toward it, squints, and says, “No.” The ball slows, then stops, resting perfectly still six feet over home plate. Trout reaches out and gently grasps the ball, looks down at it thoughtfully, then drops it to the dirt.

Trout looks back up, now staring at Verlander, whose face twists in rage and a growing current of fear. Trout takes two steps and launches himself at Verlander, who reaches out to strike Trout but moves too slowly. Trout flies into Verlander’s chest and disappears leaving Verlander briefly confused and then horrified as ripples began to move through his body like hands reaching out from within.

With a final scream of abject terror, Verlander explodes and Trout is left standing on the mound. He flexes and the entire ballpark seems to bend to his will. There is a moment of total silence, and then Trout lifts his eyes to Angel Hernandez. Hernandez and the rest of the on-field crew take a brief glance at each other and then flee the field, all running in different directions.

bravesfaninia
Guest
bravesfaninia
2 years 7 months ago

It’s highly probable that someday we’ll coming up with “Chuck Norris” quips with Mike Trout’s name in them. :)

Chris
Guest
Chris
2 years 6 months ago
Brian
Guest
Brian
2 years 8 months ago

You might have Trout with too many stolen bases. Last year he wasn’t allowed to steal much. Scioscia must tell him to not go. When he was hitting in front of Pujols it got out that Pujols doesn’t want anyone trying to steal when he’s hitting. So depending on where Trout bats in the lineup he might not have a lot of stolen bases. Scioscia should be told to just let Trout steal when he thinks he can. It’s obvious something was going on. A lot of pitchers pitched around Trout last season. If they thought he was going to stealing bases they wouldn’t want to walk him.

jim
Guest
jim
2 years 8 months ago

and let’s face it, pujols needs all the help he can get at this point

Ryan W Krol
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Apparently Pujols is a bit of a diva.

champion88
Member
champion88
2 years 7 months ago

@Brian: Trout usually leads off and Pujols usually hits 3rd/4th, so he could run right away if he really wanted to.

rustydude
Member
rustydude
2 years 8 months ago

Shouldn’t this piece be entitled… Mike Trout and a Bunch of Other Guys?

I mean, considering the shine is off Pujols, Hamilton and Weaver.

champion88
Member
champion88
2 years 7 months ago

Is the Angels’ player Luis Martin or Luis Martinez?

The “ez” on Martinez is typed, but not part of the hyperlink.

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