2014 ZiPS Projections – Seattle Mariners

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 Seattle Mariners. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Cleveland / Los Angeles NL / Miami / Minnesota / New York AL / Philadelphia / San Diego / St. Louis.

Batters
ZiPS projects Robinson Cano, Brad Miller, and Kyle Seager to produce the most wins among all of Seattle’s field players this next season. The latter two differ from the first insofar as they’ll make entire truck loads less of American currency in 2014. The triumvirate all share a common trait, however, insofar as none of the three ever appeared on a Baseball America top-100 prospect list — a statement intended not as a comment on the great work done by BA, but merely on the unique paths shared by each.

By all appearances, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison will actually share left-field and DH duties in 2014, an arrangement which the author hasn’t depicted on the very attractive depth-chart graphic below not because he was unaware of it (i.e. the arrangement), but because it would have been tedious and largely unnecessary extra work.

Pitchers
If one takes for granted that the Mariners’ timetable for contention has been altered dramatically by the recent signing of Robinson Cano, then one will also recognize that Seattle ought probably to address its starting rotation before the beginning of the 2014 season. This isn’t to say that James Paxton and Taijuan Walker are without promise; indeed, signs point to both of them developing into effective pitchers. What their respective records to date suggest, however, is that that they’re unlikely to prevent runs at the same rate as an average major-leaguer starter — i.e. the sort of starter the should probably occupy the third, fourth, and maybe even fifth rotation slots of a contending club.

This next paragraph is a very short one in which the Mariners bullpen is invoked, because such a thing seems integral to this kind of post.

Bench/Prospects
The field player projected by ZiPS to post the fourth-highest WAR total is actually entirely absent from the club’s depth chart, currently. That player is Nick Franklin, and the position to which he’s probably best suited (second base) is now occupied — and will be occupied for roughly the next decade — by Robinson Cano. A brief inspection of MLB Trade Rumors reveals that there’s a strong trade market for Franklin.

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

Mariners 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
Robinson Cano L 31 2B 670 82 171 37 2 22 85 6 2
Kyle Seager L 26 3B 678 84 161 34 2 18 73 11 5
Brad Miller L 24 SS 671 89 159 25 6 14 66 13 7
Nick Franklin B 23 SS 593 70 131 27 4 15 62 11 2
Mike Zunino R 23 C 491 66 103 19 1 14 51 2 1
Dustin Ackley L 26 CF 648 84 146 27 4 10 53 8 3
Michael Saunders L 27 LF 502 69 101 22 3 14 51 14 4
Ty Kelly B 25 3B 607 62 135 21 2 4 42 5 5
Jesus Montero R 24 C 433 40 97 17 2 12 46 0 1
Kendrys Morales B 31 DH 492 54 119 22 0 17 61 0 1
Justin Smoak B 27 1B 540 58 112 21 0 20 58 0 0
John Hicks R 24 C 382 42 85 15 1 5 36 10 6
Manny Pina R 27 C 285 25 56 12 0 4 20 0 0
Abraham Almonte B 25 CF 506 62 108 19 4 8 38 18 6
Carlos Triunfel R 24 SS 564 58 128 26 2 6 43 5 4
Corey Hart R 32 RF 501 62 112 22 2 18 52 5 2
Nate Tenbrink L 27 3B 395 47 76 13 3 9 35 9 4
Franklin Gutierrez R 31 CF 365 39 77 18 1 8 35 8 3
Logan Morrison L 26 1B 455 49 95 19 3 13 51 1 1
Ji-Man Choi L 23 1B 455 55 97 21 3 11 46 1 3
Julio Morban L 22 CF 406 46 91 16 3 8 39 5 2
Henry Blanco R 42 C 110 10 20 5 0 2 12 0 0
Jason Bay R 35 LF 297 34 56 8 1 9 26 5 1
Humberto Quintero R 34 C 221 17 45 9 0 3 19 0 0
Jesus Sucre R 26 C 264 24 60 8 0 1 19 1 1
Stefen Romero R 25 LF 514 58 118 22 2 12 58 8 6
Brandon Bantz R 27 C 221 20 40 7 1 2 15 1 2
Leon Landry L 24 CF 537 54 116 20 6 5 41 19 10
Xavier Avery L 24 LF 576 55 116 20 3 5 31 24 9
Jabari Blash R 24 LF 502 56 100 15 2 12 42 11 8
Cole Gillespie R 30 LF 444 45 86 15 3 7 37 8 3
Willie Bloomquist R 36 2B 257 28 62 9 2 1 17 6 6
Ramon Morla R 24 3B 502 52 100 18 3 9 46 10 6
Rich Poythress R 26 1B 483 51 103 21 1 10 50 2 1
Jason Jaramillo B 31 C 269 22 50 11 0 1 20 1 1
Carlos Peguero L 27 RF 482 56 96 18 2 16 55 7 5
Endy Chavez L 36 RF 269 24 63 9 1 2 16 4 3
Leury Bonilla R 29 3B 296 29 59 6 1 2 20 4 6
James Jones L 25 RF 492 55 99 16 5 5 38 17 9

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Robinson Cano 670 8.2% 14.0% .178 .303 .284 .349 .462 .342
Kyle Seager 678 8.1% 17.7% .150 .299 .264 .328 .414 .326
Brad Miller 671 7.9% 19.1% .129 .308 .262 .320 .391 .313
Nick Franklin 593 9.4% 21.9% .152 .301 .248 .321 .400 .318
Mike Zunino 491 7.3% 25.3% .143 .288 .233 .299 .376 .297
Dustin Ackley 648 9.7% 17.7% .112 .299 .253 .327 .365 .306
Michael Saunders 502 10.2% 26.7% .158 .291 .228 .308 .386 .306
Ty Kelly 607 10.0% 18.3% .069 .308 .252 .329 .321 .293
Jesus Montero 433 6.7% 22.2% .143 .289 .244 .296 .387 .295
Kendrys Morales 492 6.9% 19.7% .162 .300 .263 .319 .425 .321
Justin Smoak 540 11.1% 23.0% .170 .275 .235 .322 .405 .321
John Hicks 382 3.7% 21.7% .088 .290 .235 .268 .323 .261
Manny Pina 285 6.7% 18.6% .093 .257 .218 .280 .311 .264
Abraham Almonte 506 7.9% 23.1% .111 .298 .235 .297 .346 .287
Carlos Triunfel 564 3.2% 19.9% .091 .295 .242 .280 .333 .270
Corey Hart 501 7.0% 24.6% .175 .297 .246 .307 .421 .315
Nate Tenbrink 395 8.6% 31.9% .131 .306 .217 .293 .348 .284
Franklin Gutierrez 365 5.2% 24.4% .130 .282 .227 .270 .357 .274
Logan Morrison 455 10.8% 19.6% .160 .273 .238 .325 .398 .315
Ji-Man Choi 455 8.4% 20.0% .148 .281 .239 .315 .387 .308
Julio Morban 406 4.9% 33.3% .121 .346 .238 .279 .359 .282
Henry Blanco 110 8.2% 26.4% .111 .265 .202 .275 .313 .264
Jason Bay 297 10.4% 25.9% .143 .266 .215 .301 .358 .294
Humberto Quintero 221 3.2% 24.4% .087 .276 .216 .251 .303 .241
Jesus Sucre 264 3.8% 13.6% .044 .276 .240 .271 .284 .246
Stefen Romero 514 4.3% 20.6% .128 .288 .245 .284 .373 .287
Brandon Bantz 221 5.4% 28.5% .075 .279 .200 .255 .275 .232
Leon Landry 537 3.9% 18.6% .093 .277 .231 .264 .324 .255
Xavier Avery 576 7.6% 28.6% .080 .318 .224 .289 .304 .267
Jabari Blash 502 8.8% 37.1% .122 .346 .222 .299 .344 .286
Cole Gillespie 444 9.2% 24.3% .106 .277 .217 .293 .323 .277
Willie Bloomquist 257 4.7% 14.4% .067 .299 .257 .297 .324 .269
Ramon Morla 502 4.0% 34.5% .107 .306 .211 .245 .318 .247
Rich Poythress 483 7.9% 20.5% .120 .279 .235 .298 .355 .290
Jason Jaramillo 269 6.7% 23.8% .056 .266 .202 .260 .258 .234
Carlos Peguero 482 6.2% 38.2% .158 .324 .216 .272 .374 .281
Endy Chavez 269 3.3% 11.9% .067 .275 .248 .272 .315 .252
Leury Bonilla 296 5.1% 27.0% .051 .297 .216 .259 .267 .228
James Jones 492 6.7% 29.5% .090 .308 .218 .273 .308 .259

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Robinson Cano 670 6.1 131 4 5.5 Charlie Gehringer
Kyle Seager 678 5.0 111 -2 3.7 Edwin Encarnacion
Brad Miller 671 4.6 103 -2 3.4 Dick McAuliffe
Nick Franklin 593 4.8 106 -4 3.2 Jay Bell
Mike Zunino 491 4.0 92 -1 2.3 Todd Zeile
Dustin Ackley 648 4.4 99 -5 2.2 Jacob Cruz
Michael Saunders 502 4.3 98 5 1.7 Derek Lee
Ty Kelly 607 3.7 88 -2 1.5 Ernest Riles
Jesus Montero 433 4.0 94 -7 1.3 Javier Cardona
Kendrys Morales 492 4.9 111 0 1.3 David Segui
Justin Smoak 540 4.6 107 -2 1.2 Kila Ka’aihue
John Hicks 382 3.0 69 4 1.1 John Duncan
Manny Pina 285 3.0 70 3 1.0 Mike Ryan
Abraham Almonte 506 3.8 84 -3 1.0 Everett Graham
Carlos Triunfel 564 3.3 75 -1 0.9 Aurelio Rodriguez
Corey Hart 501 4.6 106 -7 0.9 Rick Reichardt
Nate Tenbrink 395 3.5 83 0 0.8 Rodney Choy Foo
Franklin Gutierrez 365 3.4 78 2 0.7 Les Norman
Logan Morrison 455 4.6 106 -3 0.7 Benny Distefano
Ji-Man Choi 455 4.2 100 0 0.7 Chris Richard
Julio Morban 406 3.6 82 -5 0.2 Gary Thomasson
Henry Blanco 110 2.9 69 -1 0.2 Raul Chavez
Jason Bay 297 3.8 88 -2 0.2 Bob Brenly
Humberto Quintero 221 2.6 58 1 0.2 Joe Oliver
Jesus Sucre 264 2.7 60 -1 0.1 Brian Bock
Stefen Romero 514 3.7 87 -1 0.1 Wes Chamberlain
Brandon Bantz 221 2.2 52 2 0.1 Dave Ullery
Leon Landry 537 3.0 68 0 0.0 Joe Mathis
Xavier Avery 576 3.2 71 4 -0.1 Troy O’Leary
Jabari Blash 502 3.5 84 -3 -0.1 Rod Allen
Cole Gillespie 444 3.3 77 0 -0.1 Adam Shabala
Willie Bloomquist 257 3.2 78 -5 -0.3 Jamey Carroll
Ramon Morla 502 2.6 60 2 -0.4 Ray Thoma
Rich Poythress 483 3.7 87 -3 -0.4 Adan Millan
Jason Jaramillo 269 2.2 50 -3 -0.4 Chad Moeller
Carlos Peguero 482 3.4 83 -4 -0.4 Ralph Bryant
Endy Chavez 269 3.0 68 -1 -0.6 Joe Orsulak
Leury Bonilla 296 2.1 52 0 -0.7 Luke Sable
James Jones 492 2.9 67 -2 -1.1 Herm Winningham

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Felix Hernandez R 28 31 31 211.3 220 50 16 188 77 72
Hisashi Iwakuma R 33 30 30 195.0 174 40 23 172 75 70
Taijuan Walker R 21 23 23 137.0 122 58 14 129 66 62
Danny Farquhar R 27 55 0 70.7 83 26 5 59 27 25
Charlie Furbush L 28 65 0 60.3 76 25 6 47 22 21
Danny Hultzen L 24 16 16 70.3 66 39 6 65 34 32
James Paxton L 25 25 24 120.0 102 57 14 116 63 59
Erasmo Ramirez R 24 26 22 127.0 96 43 16 130 67 63
Carson Smith R 24 49 0 55.7 56 24 4 49 24 22
Tom Wilhelmsen R 30 66 0 69.7 68 33 7 61 32 30
Oliver Perez L 32 55 0 53.0 62 27 6 46 25 23
Nick Hill L 29 44 0 48.3 52 25 4 43 22 21
Stephen Pryor R 24 30 0 30.0 31 17 3 27 15 14
Joe Saunders L 33 27 27 160.3 99 51 21 178 91 85
Yoervis Medina R 25 60 0 70.7 72 44 8 62 35 33
Lucas Luetge L 27 57 0 60.0 54 30 6 58 31 29
Kyle Hunter L 25 37 2 66.0 43 23 8 71 36 34
Bobby LaFromboise L 28 51 0 63.7 48 28 6 66 34 32
Brandon Maurer R 23 28 23 130.0 96 59 15 141 77 72
Logan Bawcom R 25 53 0 60.7 52 38 7 60 35 33
Brian Sweeney R 40 25 8 69.7 38 25 11 81 47 44
Hector Noesi R 27 31 16 114.0 75 44 19 130 75 70
Blake Beavan R 25 28 24 152.3 74 36 25 181 98 92
Chance Ruffin R 25 47 8 88.7 62 43 16 100 61 57
Anthony Fernandez L 24 23 23 119.7 68 53 20 140 83 78
James Gillheeney L 26 25 25 123.7 78 65 25 146 95 89

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Felix Hernandez 211.3 872 25.2% 5.7% .297 3.07 2.94 76 73
Hisashi Iwakuma 195.0 797 21.8% 5.0% .267 3.23 3.57 80 88
Taijuan Walker 137.0 598 20.4% 9.7% .291 4.07 4.23 101 105
Danny Farquhar 70.7 297 27.9% 8.8% .298 3.18 2.91 79 72
Charlie Furbush 60.3 253 30.1% 9.9% .287 3.13 3.26 77 81
Danny Hultzen 70.3 315 21.0% 12.4% .297 4.09 4.35 101 108
James Paxton 120.0 533 19.1% 10.7% .290 4.42 4.66 109 115
Erasmo Ramirez 127.0 554 17.3% 7.8% .291 4.46 4.55 110 113
Carson Smith 55.7 240 23.3% 10.0% .296 3.56 3.51 88 87
Tom Wilhelmsen 69.7 303 22.4% 10.9% .280 3.88 3.93 96 97
Oliver Perez 53.0 232 26.7% 11.6% .294 3.91 3.84 97 95
Nick Hill 48.3 213 24.4% 11.7% .305 3.91 3.78 97 94
Stephen Pryor 30.0 134 23.1% 12.7% .293 4.20 4.17 104 103
Joe Saunders 160.3 710 13.9% 7.2% .293 4.77 4.66 118 115
Yoervis Medina 70.7 318 22.6% 13.8% .284 4.20 4.50 104 111
Lucas Luetge 60.0 268 20.1% 11.2% .297 4.35 4.24 108 105
Kyle Hunter 66.0 292 14.7% 7.9% .296 4.64 4.79 115 118
Bobby LaFromboise 63.7 285 16.8% 9.8% .301 4.52 4.32 112 107
Brandon Maurer 130.0 590 16.3% 10.0% .307 4.98 4.83 123 120
Logan Bawcom 60.7 280 18.6% 13.6% .296 4.90 5.10 121 126
Brian Sweeney 69.7 315 12.1% 7.9% .296 5.68 5.49 141 136
Hector Noesi 114.0 516 14.5% 8.5% .298 5.53 5.30 137 131
Blake Beavan 152.3 674 11.0% 5.3% .294 5.44 5.27 135 130
Chance Ruffin 88.7 409 15.2% 10.5% .299 5.79 5.84 143 145
Anthony Fernandez 119.7 552 12.3% 9.6% .298 5.87 5.80 145 144
James Gillheeney 123.7 582 13.4% 11.2% .298 6.48 6.38 160 158

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Felix Hernandez 211.3 9.37 2.13 0.68 120 4.2 Roy Oswalt
Hisashi Iwakuma 195.0 8.03 1.85 1.06 114 3.5 Bartolo Colon
Taijuan Walker 137.0 8.01 3.81 0.92 90 1.0 Jason Schmidt
Danny Farquhar 70.7 10.57 3.31 0.64 116 0.6 Felix Rodriguez
Charlie Furbush 60.3 11.34 3.73 0.90 118 0.6 Will Ohman
Danny Hultzen 70.3 8.45 4.99 0.77 90 0.5 Al Leiter
James Paxton 120.0 7.65 4.28 1.05 83 0.4 Brandon Claussen
Erasmo Ramirez 127.0 6.80 3.05 1.13 83 0.3 Travis Thompson
Carson Smith 55.7 9.05 3.88 0.65 104 0.2 Saul Rivera
Tom Wilhelmsen 69.7 8.78 4.26 0.90 95 0.0 Marc Wilkins
Oliver Perez 53.0 10.53 4.58 1.02 94 0.0 Tim Fortugno
Nick Hill 48.3 9.69 4.66 0.75 94 0.0 Armando Almanza
Stephen Pryor 30.0 9.30 5.10 0.90 88 -0.1 Santiago Casilla
Joe Saunders 160.3 5.56 2.86 1.18 77 -0.1 Mark Hendrickson
Yoervis Medina 70.7 9.17 5.60 1.02 88 -0.2 Billy Sadler
Lucas Luetge 60.0 8.10 4.50 0.90 85 -0.3 Kevin Tolar
Kyle Hunter 66.0 5.86 3.14 1.09 79 -0.4 Kevin Ool
Bobby LaFromboise 63.7 6.78 3.96 0.85 81 -0.5 Carmen Cali
Brandon Maurer 130.0 6.65 4.08 1.04 74 -0.5 Rich Loiselle
Logan Bawcom 60.7 7.71 5.63 1.04 75 -0.7 Jason Gilfillan
Brian Sweeney 69.7 4.91 3.23 1.42 65 -1.0 Steve Sparks
Hector Noesi 114.0 5.92 3.47 1.50 67 -1.3 Mark Nussbeck
Blake Beavan 152.3 4.37 2.13 1.48 68 -1.4 Daniel Griffin
Chance Ruffin 88.7 6.29 4.36 1.62 64 -1.5 Brian Woods
Anthony Fernandez 119.7 5.11 3.98 1.50 63 -1.7 Joe Beimel
James Gillheeney 123.7 5.68 4.73 1.82 57 -2.6 Jeff Hundley

***

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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