2014 ZiPS Projections – New York Yankees

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 New York Yankees. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Cleveland / Minnesota / Philadelphia / San Diego / St. Louis.

Batters
It’s the ambition of the author, in the composition of these ZiPS posts, first to do no harm. For that reason, I’ll abstain from a prolonged discussion of Alex Rodriguez and/or The Alex Rodriguez Saga. The present state of affairs — at least with regard to how it affects the New York Yankees — appears to be thus:

1. Alex Rodriguez is appealing a very long suspension currently; and

2. The Yankees have signed Kelly Johnson; and

3. The Yankees, more recently, have signed Brian Roberts.

That’s three infielders, two of them injury-prone, for two positions. Johnson and Rodriguez are about equally valuable on a rate basis according to ZiPS, it looks like, while Roberts is closer to replacement level. That is all we will speak of that, for the moment.

Elsewhere, one finds both that (a) the WAR totals for the Yankees field players are sometimes low-ish and that (b) those same WAR totals are frequently low-ish (when they’re low-ish) because the playing-time projections are also low-ish. Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira: none of them are projected to reach even 500 plate appearances, for example. Also for example, each of them is considered the starter at his respective position.

Pitchers
One presumes that, given their aggressiveness thus far in the free-agent market, that the Yankees have ambitions of qualifying for the postseason in 2014. One also presumes, given the projections published here, that the Yankees might require the assistance of one or two more starting pitchers to realize those ambitions. A recent report from the Associated Press suggests that Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is eyeing major-league baseball. The Yankees are eyeing him back, likely. Otherwise, who’s available? Matt Garza, it appears. Ubaldo Jimenez. Ervin Santana. Or someone via trade, of course.

Bench/Prospects
Years from now, the 2013-14 offseason won’t be remembered as the one in which Robinson Cano signed a giant contract with the Seattle Mariners or in which Masahiro Tanaka either did or didn’t notably arrive stateside. Rather, it will be remembered for how the Yankees acquired, via trade, superstar Dean Anna for almost nothing — or, if not superstar Dean Anna, then at least generally competent Dean Anna. A member of the Padres organization for the duration of his professional career, Anna is projected to record a WAR at least four times higher than either of the players currently expected to start at shortstop or second base for the Yankees. “A revelation,” is how he’ll be described in newspaper articles and private diaries at some point in the not-distant future.

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

Yankees Depth Chart

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
Jacoby Ellsbury L 30 CF 546 73 143 26 4 14 52 32 6
Brian McCann L 30 C 474 50 108 15 0 22 71 2 1
Brett Gardner L 30 CF 463 64 105 20 7 6 36 23 7
Alfonso Soriano R 38 LF 569 75 130 27 1 32 103 12 6
Mark Teixeira B 34 1B 356 45 76 15 0 17 70 1 1
Carlos Beltran B 37 RF 548 67 132 23 2 26 80 5 3
Dean Anna L 27 2B 513 68 108 22 3 8 49 3 3
J.R. Murphy R 23 C 500 57 110 25 1 14 50 2 2
Gary Sanchez R 21 C 513 56 110 23 1 19 63 6 3
Kelly Johnson L 32 2B 503 56 103 17 3 18 56 10 4
Kevin Youkilis R 35 3B 319 41 66 14 1 12 36 1 0
Yamaico Navarro R 26 SS 429 47 93 17 2 8 42 8 4
Brendan Ryan R 32 SS 425 47 86 18 2 4 35 8 3
Alex Rodriguez R 38 3B 317 38 66 10 0 11 33 6 2
Zelous Wheeler R 27 3B 469 47 103 19 1 10 44 4 1
Luis Cruz R 30 3B 395 39 93 19 1 7 48 2 2
Vernon Wells R 35 LF 419 50 98 17 1 16 55 5 3
Corban Joseph L 25 2B 438 50 93 21 3 10 42 2 2
Slade Heathcott L 23 CF 418 45 89 18 4 9 39 13 7
Austin Romine R 25 C 283 31 63 12 0 5 27 1 0
Francisco Cervelli R 28 C 212 22 43 7 1 3 20 2 0
Travis Hafner L 37 DH 262 28 52 7 2 11 38 1 0
Melky Mesa R 27 CF 454 51 92 18 3 17 51 13 6
Mark Reynolds R 30 1B 532 68 102 19 0 27 81 3 3
Eduardo Nunez R 27 SS 385 43 92 16 3 5 33 19 5
Fernando Martinez L 25 RF 363 40 79 16 1 13 42 1 1
David Adams R 27 3B 357 35 78 17 1 6 34 2 2
Derek Jeter R 40 SS 325 39 76 12 1 5 25 7 3
Ichiro Suzuki L 40 RF 546 64 141 20 4 8 43 20 5
Brian Roberts B 36 2B 215 21 48 9 1 4 25 3 1
Antoan Richardson B 30 CF 447 53 84 10 3 1 23 19 5
Josh Bell B 27 3B 394 43 78 14 1 12 43 2 2
Brennan Boesch L 29 RF 340 38 78 16 2 10 39 4 2
Tyler Austin R 22 RF 446 49 96 21 3 11 47 9 3
Mason Williams L 22 CF 516 52 112 21 3 9 40 14 13
Jayson Nix R 31 SS 313 31 61 12 1 6 28 8 2
Randy Ruiz R 36 1B 258 30 56 9 0 11 27 1 1
Russ Canzler R 28 1B 562 60 119 24 2 16 60 3 2
Lyle Overbay L 37 1B 330 30 71 17 1 8 36 1 0
Zoilo Almonte B 25 LF 485 48 106 19 2 14 55 9 4
Corey Patterson L 34 CF 338 33 69 13 1 7 28 10 4
Ramon Flores L 22 LF 631 65 137 25 4 9 50 10 7

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Jacoby Ellsbury 546 7.1% 13.9% .152 .313 .286 .341 .438 .347
Brian McCann 474 10.3% 18.1% .193 .275 .258 .340 .451 .338
Brett Gardner 463 9.5% 18.6% .128 .314 .259 .339 .388 .322
Alfonso Soriano 569 6.0% 27.6% .237 .287 .247 .297 .484 .335
Mark Teixeira 356 11.2% 18.5% .216 .259 .248 .340 .464 .347
Carlos Beltran 548 8.4% 19.2% .212 .287 .267 .327 .479 .342
Dean Anna 513 9.4% 17.3% .116 .279 .240 .321 .356 .300
J.R. Murphy 500 7.2% 18.6% .151 .272 .241 .299 .393 .303
Gary Sanchez 513 5.7% 25.7% .173 .278 .232 .283 .404 .301
Kelly Johnson 503 10.1% 26.6% .173 .289 .232 .315 .405 .316
Kevin Youkilis 319 10.7% 21.3% .190 .277 .242 .345 .432 .341
Yamaico Navarro 429 8.6% 19.8% .117 .287 .242 .308 .358 .297
Brendan Ryan 425 7.3% 19.1% .089 .275 .226 .289 .316 .267
Alex Rodriguez 317 9.8% 24.9% .154 .288 .237 .322 .391 .315
Zelous Wheeler 469 7.2% 19.8% .120 .288 .243 .310 .363 .300
Luis Cruz 395 3.0% 14.9% .112 .276 .247 .275 .359 .275
Vernon Wells 419 5.7% 15.5% .171 .262 .251 .294 .422 .311
Corban Joseph 438 8.7% 21.0% .145 .282 .236 .305 .381 .300
Slade Heathcott 418 6.2% 28.5% .138 .310 .232 .286 .370 .288
Austin Romine 283 6.4% 21.6% .103 .294 .241 .291 .345 .282
Francisco Cervelli 212 8.5% 21.2% .097 .288 .232 .314 .330 .291
Travis Hafner 262 10.7% 24.0% .194 .266 .229 .328 .423 .329
Melky Mesa 454 4.8% 34.6% .177 .298 .217 .264 .394 .289
Mark Reynolds 532 12.4% 31.8% .219 .284 .223 .327 .442 .336
Eduardo Nunez 385 5.7% 14.0% .105 .291 .260 .304 .364 .296
Fernando Martinez 363 5.5% 27.0% .172 .295 .238 .293 .410 .305
David Adams 357 7.0% 21.0% .115 .295 .241 .306 .356 .294
Derek Jeter 325 7.7% 14.5% .099 .292 .259 .322 .357 .301
Ichiro Suzuki 546 3.7% 10.3% .101 .292 .273 .299 .373 .292
Brian Roberts 215 7.9% 16.3% .118 .278 .246 .304 .364 .296
Antoan Richardson 447 10.3% 23.0% .050 .296 .220 .315 .270 .271
Josh Bell 394 7.6% 30.2% .145 .284 .217 .277 .362 .280
Brennan Boesch 340 6.8% 20.9% .160 .292 .250 .306 .410 .313
Tyler Austin 446 7.6% 25.8% .147 .300 .236 .298 .383 .301
Mason Williams 516 5.0% 17.8% .113 .272 .235 .276 .348 .267
Jayson Nix 313 7.0% 27.2% .114 .288 .218 .285 .332 .274
Randy Ruiz 258 4.7% 31.0% .173 .294 .230 .271 .403 .295
Russ Canzler 562 8.2% 26.3% .149 .295 .234 .299 .383 .300
Lyle Overbay 330 7.6% 23.9% .142 .289 .235 .291 .377 .293
Zoilo Almonte 485 6.2% 25.4% .144 .291 .236 .285 .380 .292
Corey Patterson 338 3.6% 23.4% .113 .266 .217 .249 .330 .251
Ramon Flores 631 7.4% 19.0% .104 .284 .238 .297 .343 .284

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Jacoby Ellsbury 546 6.1 110 7 4.1 Sam West
Brian McCann 474 5.6 113 -2 3.2 Ed Bailey
Brett Gardner 463 5.0 97 3 2.3 Ed Stroud
Alfonso Soriano 569 5.2 107 2 2.0 Phil Hiatt
Mark Teixeira 356 5.6 116 5 1.7 Roy Smalley
Carlos Beltran 548 5.7 115 -5 1.7 Bobby Bonilla
Dean Anna 513 4.0 84 5 1.6 Ed Giovanola
J.R. Murphy 500 4.1 86 -4 1.6 Henry Blanco
Gary Sanchez 513 4.0 84 -4 1.6 Tim Laker
Kelly Johnson 503 4.5 94 -3 1.5 Jed Hansen
Kevin Youkilis 319 5.3 110 -3 1.4 Jay Bell
Yamaico Navarro 429 3.9 81 1 1.2 Ronnie Merrill
Brendan Ryan 425 3.2 65 8 1.1 Rabbit Warstler
Alex Rodriguez 317 4.5 93 -1 1.0 Dick Bartell
Zelous Wheeler 469 4.1 82 -2 0.8 Gary Scott
Luis Cruz 395 3.5 71 7 0.7 Kevin Baez
Vernon Wells 419 4.4 91 2 0.7 Chad Mottola
Corban Joseph 438 4.1 85 -2 0.7 Boi Rodriguez
Slade Heathcott 418 3.7 77 2 0.6 Lloyd Moseby
Austin Romine 283 3.6 72 -1 0.6 Jason Hill
Francisco Cervelli 212 3.8 76 -1 0.5 Dennis Anderson
Travis Hafner 262 4.9 102 0 0.5 Harmon Killebrew
Melky Mesa 454 3.6 76 1 0.5 Pat Keedy
Mark Reynolds 532 5.0 106 -7 0.5 Chris Cron
Eduardo Nunez 385 4.3 81 -6 0.5 Eddy Garabito
Fernando Martinez 363 4.2 88 2 0.5 Justin Huber
David Adams 357 3.8 79 -1 0.5 Ryan Hankins
Derek Jeter 325 4.2 85 -5 0.4 Tony Graffanino
Ichiro Suzuki 546 4.4 82 3 0.3 Tony Womack
Brian Roberts 215 4.0 81 -2 0.2 Rene Gonzales
Antoan Richardson 447 3.2 61 -1 0.1 Jeff Duncan
Josh Bell 394 3.4 72 -1 0.0 Mike Groppuso
Brennan Boesch 340 4.5 92 -5 0.0 Roy Johnson
Tyler Austin 446 4.1 84 -2 0.0 Pat Tabler
Mason Williams 516 3.1 68 2 -0.1 Torii Hunter
Jayson Nix 313 3.4 67 -4 -0.1 Dave Matranga
Randy Ruiz 258 3.8 80 -1 -0.3 Willie Horton
Russ Canzler 562 4.0 84 -1 -0.3 Thomas Hubbard
Lyle Overbay 330 3.9 80 0 -0.4 Willie Horton
Zoilo Almonte 485 3.8 79 -2 -0.4 Mike Diaz
Corey Patterson 338 2.9 56 0 -0.6 Thomas Johnson
Ramon Flores 631 3.5 73 -3 -1.0 Rafael DeLima

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Hiroki Kuroda R 39 28 28 178.0 135 42 21 177 79 74
CC Sabathia L 33 29 29 196.3 180 53 23 196 94 88
Ivan Nova R 27 28 26 165.0 124 53 16 167 78 73
Andy Pettitte L 42 21 21 126.7 95 35 15 132 63 59
David Robertson R 29 67 0 63.0 85 22 6 48 20 19
David Phelps R 27 26 15 101.7 92 38 14 101 55 51
Michael Pineda R 25 16 16 81.3 75 30 12 80 45 42
Mariano Rivera R 44 36 0 35.0 31 7 4 34 15 14
Shawn Kelley R 30 50 0 48.7 57 19 6 44 22 21
Matt Thornton L 37 57 0 47.7 40 14 5 48 22 21
Preston Claiborne R 26 55 0 63.0 53 19 8 64 32 30
Vidal Nuno L 26 18 12 71.0 52 19 13 79 44 41
Adam Warren R 26 43 2 77.7 63 32 11 81 43 40
Brian Gordon R 35 46 0 54.3 38 12 7 60 30 28
Manny Banuelos L 23 7 7 28.0 24 14 5 31 19 18
Joba Chamberlain R 28 38 0 37.7 35 16 6 38 21 20
Yoshinori Tateyama R 38 39 0 56.7 45 17 9 61 33 31
Mark Montgomery R 23 35 0 46.3 50 33 7 44 28 26
Jose Campos R 21 20 15 65.7 42 22 12 78 45 42
Cesar Cabral L 25 34 0 43.3 37 26 5 45 27 25
Nik Turley L 24 25 24 119.7 98 70 20 128 81 76
Sam Demel R 28 45 0 50.7 44 29 9 53 33 31
Mike Zagurski L 31 49 0 50.3 49 33 8 52 33 31
Jim Miller R 32 49 0 62.7 58 32 12 66 41 38
Shane Greene R 25 25 25 125.7 86 66 21 146 89 83
David Huff L 29 31 21 129.0 79 46 24 152 91 85
Bryan Mitchell R 23 26 25 120.3 85 86 17 136 88 82
Dellin Betances R 26 34 16 96.7 87 84 15 102 72 67
Jose Ramirez R 24 19 17 76.0 62 47 18 87 61 57
Brett Marshall R 24 27 25 133.7 89 83 32 163 114 107

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Hiroki Kuroda 178.0 752 18.0% 5.5% .283 3.74 4.12 90 99
CC Sabathia 196.3 838 21.5% 6.3% .300 4.03 3.84 97 92
Ivan Nova 165.0 714 17.4% 7.4% .295 3.98 4.19 96 101
Andy Pettitte 126.7 548 17.4% 6.4% .294 4.19 4.19 101 101
David Robertson 63.0 259 32.9% 8.4% .293 2.71 2.76 65 66
David Phelps 101.7 445 20.8% 8.6% .296 4.51 4.56 108 110
Michael Pineda 81.3 355 21.1% 8.5% .291 4.65 4.62 112 111
Mariano Rivera 35.0 146 21.3% 4.8% .289 3.60 3.54 87 85
Shawn Kelley 48.7 208 27.2% 9.0% .297 3.88 3.72 93 89
Matt Thornton 47.7 205 19.5% 6.8% .298 3.97 3.90 95 94
Preston Claiborne 63.0 272 19.6% 7.1% .297 4.29 4.16 103 100
Vidal Nuno 71.0 311 16.7% 6.1% .295 5.20 5.24 125 126
Adam Warren 77.7 347 18.3% 9.3% .297 4.64 4.74 111 114
Brian Gordon 54.3 235 16.2% 5.1% .305 4.64 4.50 112 108
Manny Banuelos 28.0 129 18.4% 10.9% .312 5.79 5.51 139 132
Joba Chamberlain 37.7 167 21.1% 9.6% .299 4.78 4.72 115 113
Yoshinori Tateyama 56.7 247 18.3% 6.7% .300 4.92 4.66 118 112
Mark Montgomery 46.3 216 23.2% 15.3% .302 5.05 5.30 121 127
Jose Campos 65.7 297 14.1% 7.5% .304 5.76 5.68 138 137
Cesar Cabral 43.3 201 18.4% 12.9% .306 5.19 5.20 125 125
Nik Turley 119.7 557 17.5% 12.6% .298 5.72 5.83 137 140
Sam Demel 50.7 234 18.9% 12.3% .302 5.51 5.65 132 136
Mike Zagurski 50.3 235 20.9% 13.8% .304 5.54 5.61 133 135
Jim Miller 62.7 286 20.4% 11.2% .300 5.46 5.56 131 134
Shane Greene 125.7 589 14.6% 11.2% .307 5.94 5.86 143 141
David Huff 129.0 585 13.6% 7.9% .298 5.93 5.77 143 139
Bryan Mitchell 120.3 583 14.5% 14.7% .308 6.13 6.12 147 147
Dellin Betances 96.7 476 18.4% 17.6% .307 6.24 6.37 150 153
Jose Ramirez 76.0 361 17.2% 12.9% .300 6.75 6.78 162 163
Brett Marshall 133.7 647 13.7% 12.8% .301 7.20 7.15 173 172

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Hiroki Kuroda 178.0 6.84 2.11 1.08 111 3.4 Greg Maddux
CC Sabathia 196.3 8.27 2.42 1.06 103 3.1 Frank Tanana
Ivan Nova 165.0 6.77 2.86 0.87 105 2.7 Ed Wojna
Andy Pettitte 126.7 6.76 2.51 1.04 99 1.7 Kenny Rogers
David Robertson 63.0 12.17 3.11 0.79 154 1.3 Paul Shuey
David Phelps 101.7 8.18 3.40 1.24 92 0.9 Steve Farr
Michael Pineda 81.3 8.27 3.34 1.34 90 0.7 Bob Sebra
Mariano Rivera 35.0 7.96 1.78 1.01 116 0.3 Trevor Hoffman
Shawn Kelley 48.7 10.50 3.48 1.16 107 0.3 Darren Holmes
Matt Thornton 47.7 7.55 2.64 0.94 105 0.3 Buddy Groom
Preston Claiborne 63.0 7.62 2.76 1.14 97 0.1 Jose Acevedo
Vidal Nuno 71.0 6.59 2.39 1.67 80 0.1 Larry Acker
Adam Warren 77.7 7.36 3.72 1.24 90 0.0 Mike Lumley
Brian Gordon 54.3 6.30 1.99 1.16 90 -0.1 Dave Pavlas
Manny Banuelos 28.0 7.65 4.52 1.49 72 -0.2 Dave Martinez
Joba Chamberlain 37.7 8.44 3.83 1.38 87 -0.2 Derrick Turnbow
Yoshinori Tateyama 56.7 7.19 2.63 1.38 85 -0.3 Dave Pavlas
Mark Montgomery 46.3 9.73 6.40 1.29 83 -0.3 Rafael Pimentel
Jose Campos 65.7 5.73 3.06 1.64 72 -0.4 Miguel Pinango
Cesar Cabral 43.3 7.69 5.37 1.14 80 -0.4 Jeff Ridgway
Nik Turley 119.7 7.34 5.29 1.51 73 -0.6 Bob Ojeda
Sam Demel 50.7 7.88 5.12 1.55 76 -0.7 Mike James
Mike Zagurski 50.3 8.80 5.81 1.51 75 -0.7 Mark Davis
Jim Miller 62.7 8.38 4.61 1.67 76 -0.8 Bob Long
Shane Greene 125.7 6.15 4.71 1.47 70 -0.9 Chad Paronto
David Huff 129.0 5.53 3.22 1.70 70 -1.0 Huck Flener
Bryan Mitchell 120.3 6.32 6.42 1.27 68 -1.2 Brett Laxton
Dellin Betances 96.7 8.13 7.81 1.40 67 -1.2 Cal Eldred
Jose Ramirez 76.0 7.35 5.51 2.10 62 -1.3 Fernando Rijo
Brett Marshall 133.7 5.96 5.56 2.17 58 -3.1 Bill Malloy

***

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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