2014 ZiPS Projections – St. Louis Cardinals

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 St. Louis Cardinals. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Boston / Philadelphia.

Batters
There are obvious caveats one should append to the sentence which follows, and yet it’s also true. The St. Louis Cardinals, who’ve just been to the World Series, are likely to enter the 2014 season with a better complement of position players than with which they entered 2013.

Part of that, of course, is having a shortstop at all. Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma, combined, were never an ideal substitute for Rafael Furcal. That next year’s shortstop is Jhonny Peralta — about whom ZiPS is fairly optimistic — represents a decided advantage. That Matt Carpenter emerged as very possibly an above-average major leaguer has also benefited the club.

In terms of who precisely will play where precisely in 2014, there are some uncertainties regarding that. For the purposes of the depth chart below, I’ve put Allen Craig in right field and Matt Adams at first base. In reality, Jon Jay and (possibly) Oscar Taveras will also play roles with the club, however.

Pitchers
Adam Wainwright was as good in 2013, and perhaps better, as/than he’d ever been prior to the season he missed from Tommy John surgery, almost halving his career walk rate (down to 3.7%) while striking out batters at a pace similar to past seasons. Behind him in the rotation will almost certainly be, in whichever order, young right-handers Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha. The former’s conspicuous absence during the playoffs remains something of a mystery, but ZiPS remains optimistic enough about Miller based on the entirety of his resume.

After that triumvirate, St. Louis features a second threesome, any of whom could positively contribute to the rotation: Jaime Garcia, Joe Kelly, and Lance Lynn. The latter two have pitched out of the bullpen before, and could once again join a relief corps whose fastballs — much like late-90s hip hop group The Hot Boy$ — are on fire. Because they’re thrown with “heat,” is what the author means to say.

Bench/Prospects
Because he’s both (a) good and also (b) likely to receive quite a lot in the way of playing time, it’s probably fair to regard second baseman Kolten Wong as a preseason contender for the NL Rookie of the Year award. ZiPS and Steamer, both, regard him as an average major-leaguer already. Beyond Wong is, of course, highly praised outfield prospect Oscar Taveras, who lost much of his 2013 to injury. Taveras and Jon Jay are both candidates to record a non-negligible amount of plate appearances despite their absence from the depth chart below. Less celebrated prospects Jermaine Curtis, Greg Garcia, and Randal Grichuk (acquired along with Peter Bourjos from the Angels) — along with on-base-magician and Fringe Five regular Mike O’Neill — are all potential contributors.

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

Cardinals 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
Yadier Molina R 31 C 546 54 147 31 0 13 73 6 3
Matt Carpenter L 28 3B 615 79 146 36 5 10 69 4 3
Matt Holliday R 34 LF 577 79 140 30 2 21 85 5 2
Jhonny Peralta R 32 SS 520 49 127 29 2 12 64 2 2
Peter Bourjos R 27 CF 385 54 90 14 8 9 41 12 3
Kolten Wong L 23 2B 555 60 136 22 6 8 49 19 5
Jon Jay L 29 CF 570 64 137 25 3 7 54 12 6
Oscar Taveras L 22 CF 388 45 103 23 4 9 50 7 1
Allen Craig R 29 1B 503 61 130 26 2 16 84 3 0
Carlos Beltran B 37 RF 548 64 133 24 3 23 82 5 3
Randal Grichuk R 22 RF 585 69 139 28 8 17 68 9 6
Scott Moore L 30 3B 474 50 103 25 1 12 56 1 2
Rafael Furcal B 36 SS 328 40 77 13 2 5 30 8 3
Greg Garcia L 24 SS 482 51 99 22 4 3 35 10 4
Matt Adams L 25 1B 382 45 95 20 0 17 56 1 1
Jermaine Curtis R 26 3B 440 42 98 16 2 3 34 5 1
Stephen Piscotty R 23 RF 508 52 125 25 2 10 44 10 5
Mike O’Neill L 26 LF 476 52 114 16 2 1 31 11 4
Audry Perez R 25 C 339 26 79 15 0 4 35 0 1
Thomas Pham R 26 CF 237 24 49 9 4 4 21 4 3
Pete Kozma R 26 SS 522 50 104 21 2 5 52 5 2
Tony Cruz R 27 C 193 18 43 10 1 2 22 0 1
Daniel Descalso L 27 SS 418 47 92 21 3 5 41 6 3
Starlin Rodriguez R 24 2B 471 44 103 19 4 6 40 10 7
Ruben Gotay B 31 3B 490 48 101 17 1 7 43 8 4
Shane Robinson R 29 RF 230 27 52 8 2 3 23 5 1
Chad Huffman R 29 LF 387 39 80 19 1 8 40 2 0
Rob Johnson R 31 C 252 22 51 10 2 4 23 1 2
Brock Peterson R 30 1B 399 40 85 18 1 14 46 1 1
James Ramsey L 24 CF 503 51 92 14 4 8 38 9 4
Luis Mateo R 24 SS 405 41 87 13 1 5 34 12 7
Joey Butler R 28 RF 557 55 121 24 2 10 48 4 3
Justin Christian R 34 LF 444 52 99 18 3 4 35 18 4
Ty Wigginton R 36 1B 264 26 53 10 0 6 29 2 1
Anthony Garcia R 22 LF 443 42 86 19 2 13 47 5 5
Xavier Scruggs R 26 1B 532 47 92 18 1 16 53 6 4

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Yadier Molina 546 6.4% 10.1% .140 .307 .293 .342 .433 .334
Matt Carpenter 615 10.1% 16.4% .142 .314 .272 .351 .413 .334
Matt Holliday 577 10.4% 17.3% .192 .307 .277 .360 .468 .359
Jhonny Peralta 520 7.3% 18.1% .145 .307 .267 .320 .412 .317
Peter Bourjos 385 5.5% 21.8% .164 .315 .259 .314 .424 .321
Kolten Wong 555 6.3% 14.1% .114 .299 .266 .316 .380 .309
Jon Jay 570 7.2% 15.3% .103 .314 .272 .339 .375 .309
Oscar Taveras 388 5.7% 12.4% .162 .308 .287 .331 .448 .334
Allen Craig 503 7.0% 17.5% .170 .318 .284 .338 .454 .346
Carlos Beltran 548 7.8% 17.7% .199 .287 .267 .324 .466 .335
Randal Grichuk 585 3.6% 18.1% .172 .282 .252 .286 .424 .306
Scott Moore 474 7.2% 21.9% .148 .288 .241 .304 .389 .303
Rafael Furcal 328 7.3% 11.9% .107 .281 .258 .316 .366 .301
Greg Garcia 482 9.1% 19.5% .093 .295 .235 .320 .328 .289
Matt Adams 382 6.0% 26.2% .198 .322 .265 .309 .464 .336
Jermaine Curtis 440 8.9% 13.9% .075 .293 .255 .336 .330 .301
Stephen Piscotty 508 5.7% 12.2% .126 .288 .266 .318 .391 .312
Mike O’Neill 476 11.6% 9.0% .056 .304 .275 .360 .331 .312
Audry Perez 339 1.5% 18.6% .082 .285 .240 .257 .322 .254
Thomas Pham 237 8.0% 29.1% .136 .317 .229 .297 .364 .291
Pete Kozma 522 7.5% 21.3% .084 .273 .219 .277 .304 .254
Tony Cruz 193 4.7% 20.2% .099 .291 .238 .276 .337 .264
Daniel Descalso 418 7.4% 17.0% .112 .289 .246 .308 .358 .284
Starlin Rodriguez 471 4.9% 24.8% .104 .311 .238 .289 .343 .277
Ruben Gotay 490 9.2% 22.0% .091 .287 .230 .301 .320 .279
Shane Robinson 230 8.3% 12.2% .102 .277 .254 .319 .356 .299
Chad Huffman 387 8.3% 22.7% .130 .283 .231 .301 .360 .295
Rob Johnson 252 6.3% 19.8% .112 .260 .219 .270 .330 .262
Brock Peterson 399 6.5% 26.6% .169 .285 .232 .288 .401 .303
James Ramsey 503 10.1% 31.2% .105 .302 .209 .297 .314 .274
Luis Mateo 405 3.7% 21.5% .079 .282 .228 .264 .306 .252
Joey Butler 557 8.4% 28.5% .116 .330 .241 .311 .357 .297
Justin Christian 444 5.2% 13.5% .087 .271 .240 .286 .328 .276
Ty Wigginton 264 7.6% 22.0% .118 .266 .223 .288 .340 .276
Anthony Garcia 443 5.2% 31.2% .152 .281 .210 .265 .362 .274
Xavier Scruggs 532 9.4% 38.9% .145 .305 .196 .284 .341 .281

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Yadier Molina 546 5.7 114 9 5.0 Thurman Munson
Matt Carpenter 615 5.3 112 0 3.4 Lou Whitaker
Matt Holliday 577 6.3 128 -3 3.0 Bob Elliott
Jhonny Peralta 520 4.8 102 2 2.8 Travis Fryman
Peter Bourjos 385 5.0 103 5 2.3 Deion Sanders
Kolten Wong 555 4.6 93 3 2.3 Dalton Jones
Jon Jay 570 4.7 98 -3 1.8 Del Unser
Oscar Taveras 388 5.8 114 -4 1.8 Shawn Green
Allen Craig 503 5.9 118 -1 1.8 Lamar Johnson
Carlos Beltran 548 5.5 116 -5 1.7 Bobby Bonilla
Randal Grichuk 585 4.3 94 6 1.4 Chris James
Scott Moore 474 4.1 91 -5 1.3 Mike Pagliarulo
Rafael Furcal 328 4.3 89 -4 1.2 Jose Vizcaino
Greg Garcia 482 3.8 81 -4 1.0 Sam Khalifa
Matt Adams 382 5.2 111 -1 1.0 Reggie Jefferson
Jermaine Curtis 440 4.1 87 -3 1.0 Scott Campbell
Stephen Piscotty 508 4.6 96 0 0.9 Ron MacDonald
Mike O’Neill 476 4.5 94 -1 0.9 Greg Gross
Audry Perez 339 2.9 60 5 0.7 Hector Kuilan
Thomas Pham 237 3.7 83 1 0.5 Damon Mashore
Pete Kozma 522 2.9 62 5 0.5 Marc Mirizzi
Tony Cruz 193 3.2 70 2 0.5 Carlos Corporan
Daniel Descalso 418 4.0 85 -6 0.5 Vance Law
Starlin Rodriguez 471 3.4 75 1 0.5 Vance Law
Ruben Gotay 490 3.4 73 -4 0.4 Dave Rohde
Shane Robinson 230 4.3 88 1 0.4 Bubba Carpenter
Chad Huffman 387 3.9 83 -1 0.1 Mike Colangelo
Rob Johnson 252 2.9 66 -2 0.1 Henry Blanco
Brock Peterson 399 4.0 89 0 0.0 Chris Widger
James Ramsey 503 3.2 70 -3 0.0 Mike Neill
Luis Mateo 405 2.8 58 1 -0.1 Diory Hernandez
Joey Butler 557 3.9 85 -5 -0.2 Jeremy Slayden
Justin Christian 444 3.6 70 1 -0.4 Thomas Johnson
Ty Wigginton 264 3.4 74 -4 -1.0 Todd Zeile
Anthony Garcia 443 3.1 72 -4 -1.1 Brandon Sing
Xavier Scruggs 532 3.2 73 -3 -1.3 Benji Simonton

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Adam Wainwright R 32 31 31 208.3 183 39 15 197 79 74
Shelby Miller R 23 31 31 174.7 171 55 18 154 68 64
Lance Lynn R 27 33 27 173.7 166 62 13 160 73 68
Michael Wacha R 22 28 24 155.3 135 45 15 142 65 61
Trevor Rosenthal R 24 75 0 79.7 103 24 5 60 22 21
Joe Kelly R 26 33 22 146.7 97 51 12 150 67 63
Jaime Garcia L 27 19 19 116.3 93 29 10 119 52 49
Carlos Martinez R 22 32 18 108.3 84 39 8 106 48 45
Tyler Lyons L 26 28 21 127.0 88 41 14 132 66 62
Jason Motte R 32 52 0 49.7 50 14 5 42 18 17
Kevin Siegrist L 24 58 0 55.3 58 26 4 45 21 20
John Axford R 31 71 0 66.0 72 26 6 59 28 26
Edward Mujica R 30 64 0 63.0 47 10 7 61 27 25
Boone Whiting R 24 22 21 102.7 72 39 12 107 56 52
Randy Choate L 38 63 0 31.0 26 11 2 28 13 12
Lee Stoppelman L 24 44 0 51.0 48 24 4 46 22 21
Seth Maness R 25 76 0 78.3 45 14 8 83 36 34
John Gast L 25 19 19 100.7 62 41 10 108 57 53
Chris Carpenter R 39 2 2 9.3 6 4 1 10 5 5
Victor Marte R 33 51 0 54.0 40 26 5 55 28 26
Keith Butler R 25 52 0 56.0 48 29 6 53 29 27
Sam Freeman L 27 63 0 70.7 50 35 6 71 36 34
Barret Browning L 29 35 0 40.7 27 19 4 42 22 21
Kevin Thomas R 27 49 0 63.7 49 30 8 65 35 33
Eric Fornataro R 26 51 0 63.3 36 29 6 68 35 33
Scott McGregor R 27 21 20 107.7 56 42 15 123 67 63
Jorge Rondon R 26 52 0 60.3 36 41 6 65 39 36

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Adam Wainwright 208.3 861 21.2% 4.5% .294 3.20 2.93 87 79
Shelby Miller 174.7 733 23.3% 7.5% .281 3.30 3.57 89 97
Lance Lynn 173.7 743 22.4% 8.4% .297 3.52 3.41 95 92
Michael Wacha 155.3 654 20.7% 7.0% .280 3.53 3.65 96 99
Trevor Rosenthal 79.7 322 31.9% 7.4% .293 2.37 2.51 64 68
Joe Kelly 146.7 640 15.2% 7.9% .290 3.87 3.93 105 106
Jaime Garcia 116.3 497 18.6% 5.8% .299 3.79 3.42 103 93
Carlos Martinez 108.3 470 17.9% 8.3% .297 3.74 3.79 101 102
Tyler Lyons 127.0 554 15.9% 7.5% .293 4.39 4.33 119 117
Jason Motte 49.7 205 24.5% 6.8% .279 3.08 3.27 83 89
Kevin Siegrist 55.3 237 24.6% 10.9% .280 3.25 3.50 88 95
John Axford 66.0 283 25.5% 9.2% .296 3.55 3.32 96 90
Edward Mujica 63.0 260 18.0% 3.9% .276 3.57 3.54 97 96
Boone Whiting 102.7 455 15.8% 8.6% .295 4.56 4.54 123 123
Randy Choate 31.0 132 19.4% 8.5% .287 3.48 3.65 94 99
Lee Stoppelman 51.0 224 21.2% 10.9% .292 3.71 3.79 100 103
Seth Maness 78.3 332 13.5% 4.2% .290 3.91 3.77 106 102
John Gast 100.7 451 13.7% 9.0% .295 4.74 4.59 128 124
Chris Carpenter 9.3 41 13.9% 8.4% .293 4.82 4.93 130 133
Victor Marte 54.0 243 16.4% 10.7% .299 4.33 4.20 117 114
Keith Butler 56.0 251 19.3% 11.6% .292 4.34 4.42 117 120
Sam Freeman 70.7 317 15.7% 10.9% .289 4.33 4.44 117 120
Barret Browning 40.7 183 14.9% 10.6% .290 4.65 4.54 126 123
Kevin Thomas 63.7 286 17.1% 10.5% .295 4.66 4.74 126 128
Eric Fornataro 63.3 288 12.4% 10.2% .294 4.69 4.67 127 126
Scott McGregor 107.7 488 11.4% 8.5% .294 5.27 5.19 142 140
Jorge Rondon 60.3 287 12.7% 14.3% .294 5.37 5.40 145 146

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Adam Wainwright 208.3 7.88 1.67 0.66 117 4.0 Mike Mussina
Shelby Miller 174.7 8.80 2.83 0.95 114 3.2 Jack McDowell
Lance Lynn 173.7 8.60 3.21 0.68 106 2.6 Darryl Kile
Michael Wacha 155.3 7.83 2.64 0.89 106 2.3 Jose Guzman
Trevor Rosenthal 79.7 11.63 2.68 0.61 158 1.6 Antonio Osuna
Joe Kelly 146.7 5.95 3.12 0.71 97 1.5 Aaron Cook
Jaime Garcia 116.3 7.16 2.25 0.79 99 1.4 John Halama
Carlos Martinez 108.3 7.00 3.25 0.65 100 1.3 Jose Capellan
Tyler Lyons 127.0 6.23 2.93 0.98 85 0.5 Jeff Urban
Jason Motte 49.7 9.09 2.51 0.84 122 0.5 Jerry Spradlin
Kevin Siegrist 55.3 9.50 4.23 0.71 115 0.5 Darren Oliver
John Axford 66.0 9.84 3.53 0.87 106 0.4 Frank LaCorte
Edward Mujica 63.0 6.69 1.45 1.02 105 0.3 Joseph Haines
Boone Whiting 102.7 6.31 3.44 1.02 82 0.3 Nick DeBarr
Randy Choate 31.0 7.44 3.24 0.56 108 0.2 Brian Shouse
Lee Stoppelman 51.0 8.38 4.31 0.68 101 0.2 Darren Oliver
Seth Maness 78.3 5.16 1.59 0.88 96 0.1 Randy Graham
John Gast 100.7 5.52 3.64 0.92 79 0.1 John Courtright
Chris Carpenter 9.3 5.57 3.38 1.11 78 0.0 Steve Ontiveros
Victor Marte 54.0 6.65 4.35 0.77 87 -0.2 David Lee
Keith Butler 56.0 7.78 4.68 0.94 86 -0.2 Pete Sikaras
Sam Freeman 70.7 6.33 4.42 0.78 87 -0.3 Philip Barzilla
Barret Browning 40.7 6.04 4.28 0.87 81 -0.3 Ken Vining
Kevin Thomas 63.7 6.92 4.24 1.07 80 -0.5 Paul Wilmet
Eric Fornataro 63.3 5.07 4.19 0.78 80 -0.5 Scott Munter
Scott McGregor 107.7 4.65 3.48 1.23 71 -0.6 Kirk McDonald
Jorge Rondon 60.3 5.41 6.11 0.93 70 -1.0 Darin Moore

***

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.



Print This Post



Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
semperty
Member
semperty
2 years 7 months ago

Understandably there are health concerns surrounding Bourjos and Garcia – so no issue there – but I feel as though Lynn’s projections (from ZiPS, Marcel, and Steamer) all seem pretty low and I’m not sure why most of them assume he’ll get worse in his run production. Not complaining, or feel the systems are “against” him, I just don’t quite understand it.

rusty
Guest
rusty
2 years 7 months ago

Lynn’s projection looks very similar his 2012 (176 IP, 99 ERA-, 92 FIP-), which produced 2.7 WAR, so the projected 2.6 seems pretty much in-line.

SocraticGadfly
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

I’d give Adams 1 more WAR, and if we say Craig/(others) in RF, give that position 1 more WAR. I’m pretty much OK with the other guesstimates.

Adams has said he’s lost weight, and he intends to work on lefty slider-throwers in extra-preseason work, hence my thoughts there.

Since Craig will still get some spotting at 1B, and Tavares or whomever will play RF, that’s the extra 1 WAR out there.

I’m OK with Carpenter at 3, though a 4 wouldn’t surprise me.

Otherwise, estimates are generally OK.

the hottest stove
Guest
the hottest stove
2 years 7 months ago

Is anyone aware of which projection systems are using xBABIPS or batted ball breakdowns in the calculations? These projections are helpful, but seem less accurate because they seem to be using highly generalized babips rather than what a plater is likely to have. This is espcecially true for players that have sustained high or low babips their entire career…

Dan Szymborski
Guest
Dan Szymborski
2 years 7 months ago

ZiPS does have an xBABIP-like inclusion. But the *components* of xBABIP are subject to regression as well.

IZZY2112
Member
IZZY2112
2 years 7 months ago

So, Yadier Molina takes over the WAR lead among projected players. Also, don’t sign Carlos Beltran.

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 7 months ago

Ouch, that’s a pretty terrible projection for Carpenter considering he has an 851 career OPS.

Dan Szymborski
Guest
Dan Szymborski
2 years 7 months ago

Carpenter has an .851 OPS in the majors. He does not have a career .851 OPS – he didn’t start playing high-level professional baseball at 26. Players that outperform their minor league numbers to this degree do tend to regress in the medium-term – those numbers still matter.

It’s probable in this case that ZiPS had harsher translations than Steamer or Oliver – I have Carpenter’s 2011 as 233/333/344 and 267/361/379 (he got a lot of his minor league value from walks and those players tend to have disproportionately difficult major league transitions, though not in this case so far).

travolta19
Member
travolta19
2 years 7 months ago

Yeah, I was particularly interested him since I have him in BNSL, but it’s pretty much right what I expected. I figured 110+ minimum, 115+ hopefully.

In any case, could you refresh us on how many years the ZiPS go back and what the rough weights were again?

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 7 months ago

Hmmm, OK. At some point, I do think minor league stats cease to matter, though perhaps not quite yet. Anyway, his minor league stats seem pretty good to me – 300/417/463 in AAA in 2011, and slightly better than that at lower levels in 2010. An ISO of 163 doesn’t seem particularly awful either.

I can see that his major league stats are somewhat better than expected compared to his minor league performances, but those are solidly in the rear view mirror. I didn’t think that a AAA OPS of 880 three seasons ago would drag him down that much, especially as he’s coming into his prime.

Part of it, too, is that ZIPS projections for batters are almost always a bit lower than I expect for above average players.

BobbyS
Guest
BobbyS
2 years 7 months ago

Most people expect more, but that’s not what projections systems do. People don’t like to think about regression nearly as much as the actual data does. I’d guess the odds of playing above his projection are pretty decent for a few things. Speaking of, the Oddities are one of the things i miss most about ZiPS posts.

As for 2011, as nice as those numbers look it was ‘only’ a wRC+ of 126, which wasn’t even top 35 (>200 PA) for the league.

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 7 months ago

Bobby,
I think it’s almost a lock that he’ll regress from last season, when he had an 871 OPS. But 272/351/413 would be more like a collapse. I thought surely after two MLB seasons where he easily cleared an 800 OPS (in fact a bit closer to 900 than 800 overall) and two minor league seasons before that where he was nearly at 900, he would be a lock for a projection around 800.

Maybe he had a bad year in high school 10 years ago or something…I’m not sure.

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 7 months ago

He was over .880 for two minor league seasons with a significant portion of it being in the OBP category. He’s not significantly outplaying anything he did in the minors – as a whole – in the majors. Last year (2013) was much better than I thought, but if he goes for an .828 OPS over 700 PAs, he should still be worth more than the WAR listed…

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 7 months ago

Actually, Carpenter has an 851 OPS over 1076 PA’s in MLB the last 2 years (and a cup of coffee in 2011)

Tim Cooney
Guest
Tim Cooney
2 years 7 months ago

Where’s me?

Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
Guest
Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
2 years 7 months ago

Matt Carpenter, across AA plus AAA (2010 & 2011), batted .309 (BABIP .353) with a cumulative ISO of .168.

In the majors, he’s hit .306 (BABIP .351) with an ISO of .163. Minor and major league numbers can’t get any closer than that.

Also, for his AA/AAA time, his wRC+ was a cumulative 138; at the MLB level so far, also 138. So I was wrong; they *could* get closer.

For all the world, it certainly looks like Carpenter is just doing in the majors exactly what he did in the upper minors — walk rate nuances notwithstanding. Anyway I expect Carp to be well above the 3.4 WAR that ZiPS projects, given that the guy just turned 28 last month and should be right in the thick of his prime. I’d say the Clay Davenport 5.6 WAR projection will prove much more on target.

tehzachatak
Member
tehzachatak
2 years 7 months ago

I think the point is that you don’t expect a guy’s MLB numbers to be the same as his MiLB numbers. You expect them to be lower. And Carpenter’s aren’t, which is weird. Perhaps he continues this trend- this would be awesome, because I am a Cardinals fan, but I am only cautiously optimistic here.

Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
Guest
Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
2 years 7 months ago

But for good, very good, and great hitters, their MLB *prime* seasons frequently surpass their *overall* minor league average batting line. (The examples of this are so numerous that it would take less time to list the exceptions.) And Carp is in his prime.

In short, there isn’t a chance in hell that he hits .272 any time soon.

Robby Cano, circa 2008
Guest
Robby Cano, circa 2008
2 years 7 months ago

Hello.

JeremyR
Guest
JeremyR
2 years 7 months ago

Almost all of these projection systems seem to assume a fairly average BABIP, around .300-.320, even for players who traditionally have higher ones.

JeremyR
Guest
JeremyR
2 years 7 months ago

I mean, that’s sort of the point – what would the results be in an average year.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 7 months ago

Except BABIP fails to account for hitters with consistently high line drive rates like Holliday, Craig, and Molina.

astrostl
Member
astrostl
2 years 7 months ago

I’m expecting Martinez to crack the rotation.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
2 years 7 months ago

I think you’ll probably end up disappointed.

Trevor Rosenthal
Guest
Trevor Rosenthal
2 years 7 months ago

Sure wish I was a starter.

Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
Guest
Treaty of Zoilo Versalles
2 years 7 months ago

Shoot, I meant to add, just for kicks, Matt Carpenter’s senior collegiate stats, prorated to 600 AB’s. Here:

66 doubles, 18 triples, 32 homers, 147 walks versus just 69 strikeouts, and 38-for-41 in stolen bases.

Sure, sure, it was metal bat baseball. But the point is that he was dominant in pretty much every way you could want — power, speed, patience, contact ability. All the markings for future MLB success were there. In other words, the wonder isn’t that he’s turned out so well; the wonder is that he lasted until the 13th round of the draft.

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 7 months ago

Because he doesn’t have “tools.” I’ve gotten used to players like Carpenter (who just know how to hit and how to play baseball) being underrated by the scouting community. I don’t understand, though, why a system which analyzes raw numbers still is lukewarm on him. As you said, he’s never done anything but play at a high level.

The one thing is that one would have expected him to regress somewhat as he reached higher levels, but he never did. Still, an 880 OPS in AAA three years ago doesn’t seem to account for dragging his projection down all the way to 764, from an 851 career the last two years in MLB.

Leo
Guest
Leo
2 years 7 months ago

I watched the 2011 NLDS game 5 between the Cardinals and the Nationals a little while ago, and I noticed that the commentator (Brenly maybe?) was extremely down on Carpenter when he appeared to pinch hit. He said he had a “slider speed bat” that couldn’t hit a good fastball. When he struck out he as good as said “told you so.”

Obviously this view hasn’t held up. Carpenter can hit a fastball. But I wonder if there wasn’t a real vulnerability there at some time that he has since adjusted and learned to cover.

Marp
Guest
Marp
2 years 7 months ago

Nope, just Brenly is just an idiot.

champion88
Member
champion88
2 years 7 months ago

@Leo: That would be 2012 NLDS. 2011 NLDS was against Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

Craig
Guest
Craig
2 years 7 months ago

Is it me or does anyone else almost always want the actual player and not the comp?

gnomez
Guest
gnomez
2 years 7 months ago

I’d gladly take Lou Whitaker! Also, I’m pretty sure that putting Todd Zeile on the field in 2014 would be no worse than putting Ty Wigginton on the field.

jibbers
Guest
jibbers
2 years 7 months ago

I put the WAR/PA and WAR/IP numbers in a spreadsheet and estimated playing time for each player, scaling it to the number of PAs and IPs the Cardinals had last year. I ended up with a total of 46 WAR for the 2014 Cardinals, 6 WAR higher than their total in 2013.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
2 years 7 months ago

I think this underrates a lot of their young talent, but isn’t that ZIPs biggest flaw anyway?

BobbyS
Guest
BobbyS
2 years 7 months ago

A lot of people seem to usually think ZiPS is overly kind to young players… but maybe that’s only in DMB leagues from bitter sim GMs. lol

will
Guest
will
2 years 7 months ago

So Carpenter projects to average .046 lower than last year and .036 lower than his career.

Holliday will hit .023 worse, Molina will hit .026 worse.

Craig will hit .31 points less for an average that’s .022 below his career average.

Adams will also regress .019 in average.

lol seems legit

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 7 months ago

Agreed. I know Dan tweeted something about hoping Cards’ fans would attack ZIPS like they have in the past since he’s got 8 or 9 guys hitting above an average major leaguer…however, if I had the Detroit Tigers’ starting pitching at a 105 ERA+ for Verlander, 103 ERA+ for Scherzer, 102 ERA+ for Sanchez, and 101 ERA+ for Fister – last year, since Fister is no longer there – I probably wouldn’t go on Twitter and say that I hope Tigers fans won’t be pissed because I’ve got them at 4 starters over league average.

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 7 months ago

D’oh – can’t edit.

Meant to add:

However, I do know that historically, ZIPS hates high BABIP players and the Cardinals are a high BABIP team, in general.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 7 months ago

Agreed. The Cardinals like to stock up on line-drive hitters (usually with at least some power), which BABIP completely ignores. The only traditional power hitter they have is Adams.

Bubber Jonnard IV
Guest
Bubber Jonnard IV
2 years 7 months ago

Not sure why ZiPS doesn’t work for the current StL hitters, why it over-regresses their BABIP so severely — or did so last year in any case. The 2013 results:

ZiPS projected the octet of Holliday, Freese, Jay, Craig, Beltran, Molina, Adams and Carpenter to have a fairly massive BABIP decline averaging 22 points from their 2012 BABIP performances. A great gnashing of teeth ensued among some Cardinal fans. (I’ll admit, I gnashed a bit.)

So what happened? Those 8 hitters actually saw their BABIPs rise by an average of 4 points. ZiPS underestimated the BABIP of all but David Freese (ZiPS was .003 too high), and was low on 3 of them by at least 40 points.

This year, the half dozen holdover Cardinal batters are projected to lose an average of 28 BABIP points from their 2013 performances — don’t bet on it. I would very unscientifically expect instead a modest decline averaging 5-10 points per player.

Dave
Guest
Dave
2 years 7 months ago

Wait…so ZIPS assumes that all hitters will have the same BABIP on average? Isn’t that a faulty assumption to start with? Hitters obviously have some control over their BABIP, right? Guys like Carew, Ichiro, Jeter, even Miggy are obvious examples, right?

robertobeers
Member
robertobeers
2 years 7 months ago

Bourjos/Neon Deion made me smile ear to ear.

Gregory
Guest
Gregory
2 years 7 months ago

Nobody hitting above .293 and no starting pitcher having an ERA lower than 3.20? Really? I know those stats don’t mean everything but, really? That’s crap.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 7 months ago

So Wong is projected to have a WAR over double that of Adams?! Even if they both get regular playing time the entire season and factoring in the dubiousness of defensive WAR, I’ll believe it when I see it. Remind me again which one has actually proven he can hit Major League pitching?

It’s not that I’m down on Wong. I do expect him to develop into a useful player, just not this soon. The way he absolutely sucked after his callup in August leads me to believe that it will take at least a couple of months into the 2014 season before he becomes even a decent hitter.

BVHeck
Guest
BVHeck
2 years 7 months ago

Positional adjustments be trollin’ ya.

Sammyllenas
Guest
Sammyllenas
2 years 7 months ago

I’m also not buying those projections for Carpenter. I understand that maybe a 320 BA might be pushing it for next year, but whoever thinks he will hit 270 needs to start watching games and put the computer aside for a second. Aside from the fact that he had a 27.3% line drive rate that led to 55 doubles and 7 triples, he also had a walk rate of around 10% while reducing significantly his K rate.

As many have stated, he just did in MLB what he did in the minors and his approach reminds me that of Joe Mauer. The one stat that many have not stated is he also had a 34% fly ball rate to go with the absurd line drive one, which means he rarely hits the ball on the ground and could actually have more power upside that many may think. I would say a line of 290/360/450 would be his floor for 2014.

BVHeck
Guest
BVHeck
2 years 6 months ago

Watch a game? Ew gross.

wpDiscuz