2014 ZiPS Projections – Milwaukee Brewers

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 Milwaukee Brewers. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

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

Batters
The computer math which informs these ZiPS projections doesn’t know that Ryan Braun was charged, during the 2011-12 offseason, of using PEDs; that he successfully appealed what would have been a 50-game suspension; that he was then named in documents belonging to Biogenesis of America; that he (i.e. still Braun) attributed the appearance of his name in those documents to how his legal counsel had retained Anthony Bosch, the clinic’s operator, as a consultant; or that he then agreed to serve a 65-game suspension last season. The figures here are based on the combination of variables Szymborski generally uses to produce projections: past performance, aging, etc. They reveal no insight beyond that.

What the ZiPS projections below do reveal, however, is how, very quickly and sadly, Rickie Weeks appears to have become a mediocre player, already. In just 2011, Weeks produced a three-win season; the year before that, nearly a six-win one. Now he’s in very real danger of losing his job entirely to Scooter Gennett — a modestly skilled player, Gennett, but without the impressive physical tools that defined Weeks at his best.

Pitchers
Generally speaking, an average starting pitcher — either that or a top-10 reliever, one or the other — produces about a 2.0 WAR in a full season’s worth of work. That precisely zero Brewer pitchers crossed the two-win threshold in 2013, then, must surely be regarded as somewhat distressing — and an integral part of that team’s difficulties. That three pitchers (Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, and Marco Estrada) are projected to cross the two-win mark in 2014, however, suggests that this a club likely bound for some positive regression.

Of some interest is how manager Ron Roenicke might fill the fifth-spot in the Milwaukee rotation. Reports suggests that right-hander Tyler Thornburg will be given the first opportunity to solidify it. The numbers, meanwhile, suggest that offseason acquisition Will Smith is probably the superior option.

Bench/Prospects
The hitting and pitching prospects most ready to play in the majors leagues, according to ZiPS, are corner-infielder Nick Delmonico and right-hander Jimmy Nelson, respectively. The former was acquired from Baltimore last year in a midseason trade for Francisco Rodriguez. Both scouting reports and also his fielding projection here suggest that third base might not be his defensive home forever-ever. Nelson, meanwhile, sat at about 93 mph with his fastball in his lone major-league start last season, in September.

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

Brewers 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
Ryan Braun R 30 LF 664 99 178 36 4 33 116 22 7
Carlos Gomez R 28 CF 491 69 116 21 6 19 58 32 6
Jonathan Lucroy R 28 C 506 53 127 21 4 15 75 7 1
Jean Segura R 24 SS 580 70 154 21 9 12 59 35 10
Aramis Ramirez R 36 3B 459 57 114 26 1 18 74 2 1
Mark Reynolds R 30 1B 532 71 107 21 1 29 90 3 2
Scooter Gennett L 24 2B 626 67 162 25 5 10 52 10 7
Rickie Weeks R 31 2B 522 64 108 23 2 17 46 10 3
Khris Davis R 26 LF 457 57 100 22 1 19 65 7 5
Martin Maldonado R 27 C 328 28 66 12 1 8 42 1 1
Caleb Gindl L 25 CF 547 58 126 26 5 14 60 4 3
Nick Delmonico L 21 3B 411 46 86 18 2 13 47 7 2
Elian Herrera B 29 2B 491 57 107 15 5 4 42 16 6
Juan Francisco L 27 1B 380 40 87 19 2 18 60 1 1
Logan Schafer L 27 LF 404 41 89 17 5 5 40 10 4
Kevin Mattison L 28 CF 496 57 91 17 6 8 40 21 10
Sean Halton R 27 RF 508 49 112 27 2 13 64 4 2
Eugenio Velez B 32 LF 421 45 97 18 4 7 43 18 7
Jeff Bianchi R 27 3B 417 39 93 16 2 4 41 9 5
Greg Golson R 28 RF 408 41 88 15 5 7 34 15 4
Vinnie Catricala R 25 3B 544 58 123 26 2 11 59 6 3
Matt Pagnozzi R 31 C 306 26 59 10 1 4 26 0 0
Josh Prince R 26 CF 490 56 98 18 2 8 39 23 10
Steve Parker L 26 3B 505 51 102 20 2 9 51 3 1
Jason Rogers R 26 1B 513 56 114 23 2 13 58 6 2
Kentrail Davis L 26 RF 563 60 119 23 6 7 48 18 8
Sea Bass Gonzalez R 37 1B 100 12 21 4 0 2 12 0 0
Hunter Morris L 25 1B 564 63 128 29 4 21 74 3 2
Micah Owings R 31 LF 129 13 24 5 1 4 17 1 0
Yuniesky Betancourt R 32 1B 416 40 98 20 2 13 59 1 1
Hainley Statia B 28 2B 343 32 73 11 1 2 27 4 3
Rene Tosoni L 27 CF 440 43 90 17 2 9 42 3 4
Brock Kjeldgaard R 28 LF 483 45 83 13 2 18 55 3 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Ryan Braun 664 8.9% 17.6% .240 .324 .300 .367 .540 .386
Carlos Gomez 491 5.7% 24.4% .202 .312 .260 .313 .462 .340
Jonathan Lucroy 506 7.1% 14.4% .161 .297 .276 .331 .437 .336
Jean Segura 580 4.7% 14.1% .138 .315 .284 .322 .422 .326
Aramis Ramirez 459 7.2% 14.4% .198 .287 .275 .338 .473 .351
Mark Reynolds 532 12.2% 30.1% .240 .287 .234 .335 .474 .351
Scooter Gennett 626 4.2% 16.3% .111 .318 .276 .309 .387 .301
Rickie Weeks 522 10.0% 25.3% .170 .294 .236 .328 .406 .327
Khris Davis 457 9.2% 26.0% .201 .302 .249 .330 .450 .340
Martin Maldonado 328 6.1% 26.2% .129 .286 .224 .285 .353 .277
Caleb Gindl 547 8.0% 21.6% .157 .306 .255 .316 .412 .317
Nick Delmonico 411 8.5% 27.3% .164 .296 .231 .304 .395 .312
Elian Herrera 491 7.7% 22.6% .084 .314 .243 .307 .327 .282
Juan Francisco 380 6.1% 31.8% .219 .319 .246 .295 .465 .325
Logan Schafer 404 6.2% 17.1% .115 .287 .243 .300 .358 .289
Kevin Mattison 496 6.9% 34.3% .118 .303 .203 .266 .321 .260
Sean Halton 508 6.3% 25.4% .151 .303 .241 .296 .392 .301
Eugenio Velez 421 7.1% 19.2% .122 .302 .253 .309 .375 .301
Jeff Bianchi 417 5.0% 21.1% .083 .299 .240 .279 .323 .262
Greg Golson 408 4.4% 27.9% .121 .312 .232 .275 .353 .278
Vinnie Catricala 544 5.5% 22.6% .126 .301 .245 .295 .371 .292
Matt Pagnozzi 306 5.9% 25.8% .086 .279 .211 .268 .297 .252
Josh Prince 490 8.2% 23.7% .105 .283 .223 .291 .328 .277
Steve Parker 505 8.3% 26.1% .112 .294 .225 .294 .337 .281
Jason Rogers 513 8.0% 22.4% .141 .295 .245 .306 .386 .306
Kentrail Davis 563 7.3% 26.8% .109 .316 .233 .299 .342 .286
Sea Bass Gonzalez 100 4.0% 21.0% .107 .264 .223 .260 .330 .261
Hunter Morris 564 5.1% 24.1% .190 .286 .242 .285 .432 .311
Micah Owings 129 3.9% 43.4% .155 .317 .195 .233 .350 .257
Yuniesky Betancourt 416 3.4% 14.2% .160 .259 .247 .272 .407 .290
Hainley Statia 343 8.7% 16.6% .062 .282 .235 .302 .297 .270
Rene Tosoni 440 6.1% 24.1% .118 .277 .222 .276 .340 .271
Brock Kjeldgaard 483 7.9% 42.2% .163 .301 .191 .265 .354 .276

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Ryan Braun 664 7.8 142 0 5.0 Matt Holliday
Carlos Gomez 491 5.8 106 11 3.9 Juan Samuel
Jonathan Lucroy 506 5.5 106 0 3.3 Carlos Ruiz
Jean Segura 580 5.4 99 -1 2.9 Julio Lugo
Aramis Ramirez 459 6.0 116 -6 2.2 Mike Lowell
Mark Reynolds 532 5.6 116 -4 1.4 John Jaha
Scooter Gennett 626 4.4 87 0 1.3 Manuel Lee
Rickie Weeks 522 4.8 97 -8 1.2 Jed Hansen
Khris Davis 457 5.3 109 -3 1.2 Jason Botts
Martin Maldonado 328 3.5 71 4 1.0 Ray Stephens
Caleb Gindl 547 4.7 95 -8 1.0 Dan Peltier
Nick Delmonico 411 4.3 87 -5 0.6 Craig Kuzmic
Elian Herrera 491 3.7 72 2 0.5 Wayne Tolleson
Juan Francisco 380 4.9 101 0 0.5 Dave Hudgens
Logan Schafer 404 3.9 77 6 0.4 Mark Kramer
Kevin Mattison 496 2.9 58 9 0.3 Lorenzo Scott
Sean Halton 508 4.1 84 2 0.2 Jeremy Slayden
Eugenio Velez 421 4.3 84 -1 0.0 Cory Sullivan
Jeff Bianchi 417 3.2 62 5 0.0 Steve Sisco
Greg Golson 408 3.6 68 6 -0.1 Manny Jose
Vinnie Catricala 544 3.9 79 -7 -0.1 Travis Hanson
Matt Pagnozzi 306 2.7 53 -1 -0.2 Chad Moeller
Josh Prince 490 3.4 67 -2 -0.2 Maiko Loyola
Steve Parker 505 3.5 70 -3 -0.2 Justin Baum
Jason Rogers 513 4.3 86 -1 -0.3 Thomas Hubbard
Kentrail Davis 563 3.7 73 2 -0.3 Roger Bernadina
Sea Bass Gonzalez 100 3.0 58 1 -0.3 Brian Jordan
Hunter Morris 564 4.4 91 -5 -0.5 Kevin Reimer
Micah Owings 129 2.8 55 -1 -0.6 Rolando Roomes
Yuniesky Betancourt 416 3.9 80 0 -0.6 Willie Morales
Hainley Statia 343 3.1 63 -4 -0.7 Gavin Jackson
Rene Tosoni 440 3.1 66 -6 -0.9 Scott Seal
Brock Kjeldgaard 483 3.2 66 -1 -1.1 Greg Catalanotte

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Yovani Gallardo R 28 31 31 185.3 170 64 21 176 86 80
Kyle Lohse R 35 27 27 165.3 111 33 22 167 76 71
Marco Estrada R 30 23 23 135.3 125 35 18 126 63 59
Wily Peralta R 25 30 30 163.7 129 76 17 164 86 80
Will Smith L 24 40 18 137.7 121 45 18 136 70 65
Tom Gorzelanny L 31 38 8 80.7 77 30 11 77 40 37
Jim Henderson R 31 62 0 61.7 73 29 7 51 26 24
Mike Fiers R 29 25 17 101.0 88 36 16 102 57 53
Tyler Thornburg R 25 29 22 127.0 106 60 19 128 73 68
Brandon Kintzler R 29 53 0 57.7 43 18 5 57 26 24
Alfredo Figaro R 29 26 12 87.0 60 20 14 93 48 45
Jimmy Nelson R 25 26 25 131.7 99 80 16 135 79 74
Chris Narveson L 32 15 14 73.0 50 29 11 79 44 41
Mike Gonzalez L 36 56 0 43.0 47 18 6 41 21 20
Wei-Chung Wang L 22 13 12 47.7 33 8 9 53 29 27
Rob W00t3n R 28 60 0 70.0 49 25 8 73 37 35
Mark Rogers R 28 22 18 72.3 54 60 7 72 46 43
Donovan Hand R 28 48 4 85.0 51 28 12 93 49 46
Zach Kroenke L 30 29 18 115.3 59 51 15 131 73 68
Jose De La Torre R 28 39 0 53.3 48 36 6 51 31 29
Tim Dillard R 30 43 0 54.0 36 27 6 58 32 30
Hiram Burgos R 26 21 20 100.0 65 44 17 113 66 62
Kevin Shackelford R 25 39 0 53.3 30 19 7 60 33 31
Michael Blazek R 25 57 0 58.0 51 43 8 57 36 34
Aaron Laffey L 29 32 19 111.0 53 51 18 131 77 72
Brooks Hall R 24 23 19 89.7 49 53 15 105 66 62
Johnny Hellweg R 25 29 24 119.7 82 106 14 130 86 80
Ariel Pena R 25 26 26 123.3 99 82 23 134 89 83

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Yovani Gallardo 185.3 796 21.4% 8.0% .288 3.88 3.80 101 99
Kyle Lohse 165.3 696 16.0% 4.7% .275 3.86 4.15 100 108
Marco Estrada 135.3 567 22.0% 6.2% .279 3.92 3.83 102 99
Wily Peralta 163.7 731 17.6% 10.4% .293 4.40 4.40 114 114
Will Smith 137.7 594 20.4% 7.6% .292 4.25 4.18 110 109
Tom Gorzelanny 80.7 349 22.1% 8.6% .289 4.13 4.14 107 108
Jim Henderson 61.7 265 27.5% 10.9% .287 3.50 3.69 91 96
Mike Fiers 101.0 441 20.0% 8.2% .290 4.72 4.63 123 120
Tyler Thornburg 127.0 569 18.6% 10.5% .290 4.82 4.98 125 129
Brandon Kintzler 57.7 248 17.3% 7.3% .289 3.75 3.70 97 96
Alfredo Figaro 87.0 374 16.0% 5.3% .285 4.66 4.53 121 118
Jimmy Nelson 131.7 610 16.2% 13.1% .293 5.06 5.23 131 136
Chris Narveson 73.0 327 15.3% 8.9% .289 5.05 4.99 131 130
Mike Gonzalez 43.0 188 25.0% 9.6% .302 4.19 4.01 109 104
Wei-Chung Wang 47.7 204 16.2% 3.9% .291 5.10 4.89 133 127
Rob W00t3n 70.0 308 15.9% 8.1% .293 4.50 4.33 117 112
Mark Rogers 72.3 349 15.5% 17.2% .292 5.35 5.50 139 143
Donovan Hand 85.0 376 13.6% 7.4% .290 4.87 4.89 127 127
Zach Kroenke 115.3 528 11.2% 9.7% .293 5.31 5.30 138 138
Jose De La Torre 53.3 247 19.4% 14.6% .294 4.89 4.98 127 129
Tim Dillard 54.0 247 14.6% 10.9% .297 5.00 4.85 130 126
Hiram Burgos 100.0 457 14.2% 9.6% .296 5.58 5.57 145 145
Kevin Shackelford 53.3 239 12.6% 8.0% .296 5.23 4.89 136 127
Michael Blazek 58.0 274 18.6% 15.7% .293 5.28 5.59 137 145
Aaron Laffey 111.0 515 10.3% 9.9% .294 5.84 5.85 152 152
Brooks Hall 89.7 427 11.5% 12.4% .297 6.22 6.21 162 161
Johnny Hellweg 119.7 595 13.8% 17.8% .304 6.02 6.18 156 161
Ariel Pena 123.3 586 16.9% 14.0% .298 6.06 6.18 157 161

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Yovani Gallardo 185.3 8.26 3.11 1.02 103 2.8 Bob Walk
Kyle Lohse 165.3 6.04 1.80 1.20 104 2.5 Paul Byrd
Marco Estrada 135.3 8.31 2.33 1.20 102 2.0 Hideki Irabu
Wily Peralta 163.7 7.09 4.18 0.93 91 1.4 Jim Beattie
Will Smith 137.7 7.91 2.94 1.18 95 1.2 Neal Heaton
Tom Gorzelanny 80.7 8.59 3.35 1.23 97 0.7 Ron Mahay
Jim Henderson 61.7 10.65 4.23 1.02 115 0.6 Ryne Duren
Mike Fiers 101.0 7.84 3.21 1.43 85 0.4 Tom Kramer
Tyler Thornburg 127.0 7.51 4.25 1.35 83 0.4 Tyler Walker
Brandon Kintzler 57.7 6.71 2.81 0.78 107 0.4 Mark Lee
Alfredo Figaro 87.0 6.21 2.07 1.45 86 0.3 Matt Ginter
Jimmy Nelson 131.7 6.77 5.47 1.09 79 0.1 Derrick Lewis
Chris Narveson 73.0 6.16 3.58 1.36 79 0.1 Joe Magrane
Mike Gonzalez 43.0 9.84 3.77 1.26 96 0.0 Trever Miller
Wei-Chung Wang 47.7 6.23 1.51 1.70 79 0.0 Justin Atchley
Rob W00t3n 70.0 6.30 3.21 1.03 89 -0.2 Scott Rose
Mark Rogers 72.3 6.72 7.47 0.87 75 -0.2 Nate Puryear
Donovan Hand 85.0 5.40 2.96 1.27 82 -0.3 Joe Lynch
Zach Kroenke 115.3 4.61 3.98 1.17 76 -0.4 Chris Peters
Jose De La Torre 53.3 8.11 6.08 1.01 82 -0.4 Doug Robertson
Tim Dillard 54.0 6.00 4.50 1.00 80 -0.5 Jarod Juelsgaard
Hiram Burgos 100.0 5.85 3.96 1.53 72 -0.6 John Carter
Kevin Shackelford 53.3 5.07 3.21 1.18 77 -0.6 Arty Santos
Michael Blazek 58.0 7.91 6.67 1.24 76 -0.7 Bill Bene
Aaron Laffey 111.0 4.30 4.14 1.46 69 -1.1 Kevin Rawitzer
Brooks Hall 89.7 4.92 5.32 1.51 65 -1.2 Cristobal Correa
Johnny Hellweg 119.7 6.17 7.97 1.05 67 -1.3 Billy Buckner
Ariel Pena 123.3 7.23 5.99 1.68 66 -1.4 Geoff Edsell

***

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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