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2014 ZiPS Projections – Texas Rangers

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 Texas Rangers. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

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

Batters
Adjudged purely by likely wins gained relative to actual dollars spent, the Rangers’ trade of Ian Kinsler to Detroit for Prince Fielder doesn’t probably qualify as an excellent move. Team context can’t be ignored, however, as the ZiPS projection for infielder Jurickson Profar illustrates. Profar is likely to approximate Ian Kinsler’s production in 2014, is what Dan Szymborski’s computer math suggests. Fielder, moreover, represents an upgrade over whomever would have played first base or DH’ed instead of him. Ergo, the Rangers are improved overall.

Indeed, even with the acquisition of Fielder, Texas remains a club that could benefit from offensive help. Mitch Moreland‘s bat profiles as just a league-average one — which, unless complemented by quite a bit in the way of run-saving defensively, conspires to make him something less than average overall. Combining him with a right-handed bat in a platoon would help that. With whom?, is the question. Michael Choice is one possibility, but he would appear to have something to offer in terms of defense.

Pitchers
According to ZiPS, the injured and talented Derek Holland is neither much better nor much worse than the injured and talented Matt Harvey. Three-to-four wins, is the hypothetical true talent for both, currently. What’s probably true, however, is that those three or four wins are more important to a Rangers club that’s likely to contend for the playoffs and less important to a Mets club that’s unlikely to contend. Given Holland’s recovery timetable (a midseason return is expected) and his likely replacement (Nick Tepesch, it seems), the Holland injury would appear to be costing the Rangers about one Platonic Win.

A haphazard inspection of all the 20-plus clubs to have been considered thus far reveals that Yu Darvish has probably the third-best projection among starting pitchers, after Clayton Kershaw (6.6 zWAR) and Justin Verlander (6.1 zWAR). That statement might also be inaccurate, however, owing to haphazard the inspection was.

Bench/Prospects
Despite having resolved their Middle Infield Problem this offseason with the trade of Kinsler, it’s possible that Texas could face a similar one at some point over the next two or three years. Among the field-playing prospects to receive the most encouraging projections here are second baseman Rougned Odor and shortstop Luis Sardinas — about to enter just their age-20 and -21 seasons, respectively. Luke Jackson, meanwhile, is the closest thing to major-league-ready among Rangers’ starting-pitching prospects, it would appear. The very thorough Nathaniel Stoltz addressed Jackson’s future last July.

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

Rangers 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
Adrian Beltre R 35 3B 598 73 164 29 1 27 87 1 0
Elvis Andrus R 25 SS 699 84 169 24 6 4 62 35 9
Shin-Soo Choo L 31 RF 601 81 132 27 2 17 62 18 9
Jurickson Profar B 21 SS 557 60 129 24 3 14 57 11 5
Prince Fielder L 30 1B 669 76 157 30 0 30 101 1 1
Leonys Martin L 26 CF 451 55 107 21 5 9 48 25 10
Nelson Cruz R 33 RF 585 63 138 29 1 27 89 8 3
J.P. Arencibia R 28 C 467 50 99 20 1 22 70 1 1
Geovany Soto R 31 C 316 36 64 15 0 12 40 1 1
Robinson Chirinos R 30 C 367 40 80 15 1 8 37 1 2
Alex Rios R 33 RF 615 77 158 31 4 15 74 25 7
Luis Sardinas B 21 SS 550 55 137 18 2 3 36 26 11
Rougned Odor L 20 2B 563 60 137 29 3 11 57 21 11
Mitch Moreland L 28 1B 504 56 116 26 1 20 63 1 1
Michael Choice R 24 LF 631 73 146 28 0 16 70 3 3
Brent Lillibridge R 30 SS 308 39 65 10 1 10 33 14 5
Engel Beltre L 24 CF 563 57 131 20 5 7 41 20 11
Che-Hsuan Lin R 25 CF 502 54 102 14 2 3 35 16 6
Kevin Kouzmanoff R 32 3B 380 38 88 21 1 8 48 2 1
Hanser Alberto R 21 SS 532 48 125 13 3 6 43 16 7
Jake Smolinski R 25 LF 488 51 101 21 2 8 43 7 3
Lance Berkman B 38 DH 227 23 48 8 1 6 29 0 0
Adam Rosales R 31 SS 289 32 62 12 1 7 32 2 1
Jeff Baker R 33 1B 196 20 44 9 1 6 24 1 0
Alex Castellanos R 27 RF 497 61 102 20 5 15 57 13 5
Kensuke Tanaka L 33 2B 426 50 99 11 2 1 33 16 8
Bryan Petersen L 28 RF 547 60 116 23 3 7 45 10 6
Brad Snyder L 32 CF 452 49 94 20 2 13 53 7 6
Josh Wilson R 33 2B 314 30 63 13 1 4 25 3 2
Jim Adduci L 29 RF 485 51 109 17 2 8 40 19 7

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Adrian Beltre 598 5.9% 11.9% .202 .298 .297 .341 .499 .356
Elvis Andrus 699 8.0% 13.6% .078 .315 .273 .337 .351 .307
Shin-Soo Choo 601 13.8% 21.0% .164 .321 .265 .385 .429 .359
Jurickson Profar 557 8.6% 18.5% .145 .301 .261 .330 .406 .321
Prince Fielder 669 12.6% 16.3% .212 .293 .276 .378 .488 .364
Leonys Martin 451 6.2% 19.1% .142 .312 .264 .318 .406 .314
Nelson Cruz 585 7.4% 22.1% .210 .291 .259 .316 .469 .340
J.P. Arencibia 467 5.1% 27.8% .201 .267 .227 .270 .428 .302
Geovany Soto 316 9.8% 26.9% .181 .281 .228 .308 .409 .314
Robinson Chirinos 367 7.9% 19.1% .125 .283 .242 .311 .367 .299
Alex Rios 615 4.7% 14.0% .145 .297 .272 .309 .417 .318
Luis Sardinas 550 4.5% 16.7% .060 .318 .267 .306 .327 .283
Rougned Odor 563 4.1% 19.2% .129 .308 .261 .304 .390 .306
Mitch Moreland 504 7.9% 20.6% .193 .286 .256 .316 .449 .327
Michael Choice 631 8.1% 23.1% .135 .318 .259 .326 .394 .318
Brent Lillibridge 308 5.2% 29.2% .148 .296 .229 .278 .377 .290
Engel Beltre 563 4.1% 22.4% .098 .316 .251 .289 .349 .276
Che-Hsuan Lin 502 9.0% 15.5% .061 .271 .230 .309 .291 .275
Kevin Kouzmanoff 380 3.7% 17.1% .132 .279 .247 .282 .379 .287
Hanser Alberto 532 3.4% 12.0% .074 .272 .249 .279 .323 .267
Jake Smolinski 488 9.4% 18.9% .113 .277 .233 .312 .346 .295
Lance Berkman 227 12.3% 18.9% .141 .280 .241 .335 .382 .313
Adam Rosales 289 5.9% 21.5% .133 .278 .236 .286 .369 .284
Jeff Baker 196 6.6% 24.5% .160 .297 .243 .296 .403 .305
Alex Castellanos 497 6.8% 30.4% .166 .304 .227 .294 .393 .303
Kensuke Tanaka 426 8.0% 10.6% .047 .288 .261 .320 .308 .281
Bryan Petersen 547 8.8% 22.7% .102 .302 .237 .310 .339 .288
Brad Snyder 452 6.0% 33.4% .150 .313 .224 .271 .374 .279
Josh Wilson 314 4.8% 25.5% .092 .280 .214 .259 .306 .251
Jim Adduci 485 7.2% 22.1% .102 .307 .247 .304 .349 .290

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Adrian Beltre 598 6.6 121 5 4.5 Brooks Robinson
Elvis Andrus 699 4.7 85 6 3.3 Steve Sax
Shin-Soo Choo 601 6.1 118 1 3.1 Keith Hernandez
Jurickson Profar 557 4.9 96 2 2.7 Edgardo Alfonzo
Prince Fielder 669 6.9 130 -7 2.6 Alvin Davis
Leonys Martin 451 4.9 92 7 2.2 Terrence Long
Nelson Cruz 585 5.5 107 -2 1.6 Jermaine Dye
J.P. Arencibia 467 4.0 83 -2 1.4 Dave Duncan
Geovany Soto 316 4.4 90 -1 1.3 Kelly Stinnett
Robinson Chirinos 367 4.0 81 0 1.2 Chad Moeller
Alex Rios 615 5.0 92 2 1.1 Gee Walker
Luis Sardinas 550 3.8 70 4 1.0 Julio Franco
Rougned Odor 563 4.3 84 -3 0.9 Robinson Cano
Mitch Moreland 504 5.1 102 1 0.8 Nate Gold
Michael Choice 631 4.6 92 -2 0.6 Dale Holman
Brent Lillibridge 308 3.8 73 -2 0.3 Dave Matranga
Engel Beltre 563 3.6 70 3 0.3 Chris Duffy
Che-Hsuan Lin 502 3.3 62 4 0.3 Charles Gipson
Kevin Kouzmanoff 380 3.8 75 -1 0.2 Aurelio Rodriguez
Hanser Alberto 532 3.3 61 3 0.2 Victor Rodriguez
Jake Smolinski 488 3.8 76 4 0.1 Adam Leggett
Lance Berkman 227 4.6 91 0 0.1 Todd Zeile
Adam Rosales 289 3.7 74 -3 0.0 Jorge Velandia
Jeff Baker 196 4.3 85 0 -0.1 Walt Dropo
Alex Castellanos 497 4.1 82 -3 -0.3 Andy Tomberlin
Kensuke Tanaka 426 3.6 69 -5 -0.4 Jack Perconte
Bryan Petersen 547 3.7 74 1 -0.5 Mike Neill
Brad Snyder 452 3.4 70 -8 -0.9 John Shelby
Josh Wilson 314 2.7 51 -1 -0.9 Chris Petersen
Jim Adduci 485 3.9 74 -6 -1.0 Kevin Koslofski

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Yu Darvish R 27 31 31 201.7 263 79 22 152 73 68
Derek Holland L 27 31 30 193.3 176 59 25 187 91 85
Matt Harrison L 28 19 19 111.3 78 37 12 114 55 51
Martin Perez L 23 30 27 157.0 106 56 20 169 85 79
Alexi Ogando R 30 36 17 108.3 85 35 15 104 54 50
Nick Tepesch R 25 25 23 125.0 86 35 17 137 71 66
Luke Jackson R 22 26 25 120.7 107 74 14 121 68 64
Neal Cotts L 34 50 0 53.0 61 21 5 44 20 19
Robbie Ross L 25 64 0 65.0 58 21 6 62 28 26
Tanner Scheppers R 27 73 0 72.0 59 21 8 70 32 30
Neftali Feliz R 26 27 4 37.0 35 18 4 32 16 15
Colby Lewis R 34 14 14 78.0 65 22 14 80 45 42
Cory Burns R 26 59 0 62.3 53 26 5 61 29 27
Travis Blackley L 31 39 9 75.0 56 27 11 76 42 39
Jason Frasor R 36 53 0 44.7 47 19 5 40 20 19
Joakim Soria R 30 43 0 40.7 44 14 5 36 18 17
Chaz Roe R 27 48 0 47.3 42 19 5 44 22 21
Ross Wolf R 31 41 4 69.7 40 26 8 77 40 37
Ben Rowen R 25 46 0 57.3 36 19 6 61 30 28
Wilmer Font R 24 56 0 49.3 53 31 6 44 26 24
Shawn Tolleson R 26 36 0 36.7 39 16 5 34 19 18
Lisalverto Bonilla R 24 42 0 62.0 64 32 8 58 33 31
Rafael Perez L 32 33 0 31.0 21 10 4 33 17 16
Derek Lowe R 41 15 6 48.7 21 17 5 57 31 29
Randy Henry R 24 39 0 49.7 29 18 6 54 28 26
Joe Ortiz L 23 53 0 66.7 45 18 10 72 37 35
Jose Contreras R 42 25 0 24.7 22 12 4 25 15 14
Michael Kirkman L 27 37 6 71.3 63 46 10 73 45 42
Miles Mikolas R 25 59 0 64.7 41 24 9 70 37 35
Kyle McClellan R 30 30 4 57.0 34 21 10 62 36 34
Nathan Adcock R 26 26 15 102.0 52 48 15 116 68 64
Nate Robertson L 36 29 4 48.0 25 24 7 56 32 30
Roman Mendez R 23 21 6 47.7 33 24 8 53 33 31
Daniel McCutchen R 31 39 3 62.0 40 25 10 69 40 37
Johan Yan R 25 47 0 58.3 37 29 8 64 36 34
Evan Meek R 31 36 7 67.7 42 39 10 76 46 43
Justin Germano R 31 25 19 119.0 61 31 21 147 82 77
Randy Wells R 31 14 12 63.0 35 31 13 74 47 44
Doug Mathis R 31 20 18 91.0 48 53 16 108 67 63
Armando Rodriguez R 26 38 5 66.7 54 35 16 74 49 46
Ryan Feierabend L 28 21 16 97.3 51 37 21 120 75 70
Scott Richmond R 34 22 19 101.0 52 47 25 128 86 80

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Yu Darvish 201.7 836 31.5% 9.4% .281 3.03 3.28 71 77
Derek Holland 193.3 826 21.3% 7.1% .288 3.96 4.01 92 94
Matt Harrison 111.3 485 16.1% 7.6% .286 4.12 4.17 96 97
Martin Perez 157.0 696 15.2% 8.0% .294 4.53 4.67 106 109
Alexi Ogando 108.3 464 18.3% 7.5% .275 4.15 4.49 97 105
Nick Tepesch 125.0 547 15.7% 6.4% .299 4.75 4.55 111 106
Luke Jackson 120.7 557 19.2% 13.3% .302 4.77 4.95 111 116
Neal Cotts 53.0 224 27.2% 9.4% .287 3.23 3.29 75 77
Robbie Ross 65.0 278 20.9% 7.6% .296 3.60 3.65 84 85
Tanner Scheppers 72.0 307 19.2% 6.8% .291 3.75 3.94 88 92
Neftali Feliz 37.0 161 21.7% 11.2% .272 3.65 4.15 85 97
Colby Lewis 78.0 336 19.3% 6.5% .284 4.85 4.80 113 112
Cory Burns 62.3 274 19.4% 9.5% .301 3.90 3.82 91 89
Travis Blackley 75.0 328 17.1% 8.2% .280 4.68 4.67 109 109
Jason Frasor 44.7 193 24.3% 9.8% .289 3.83 3.73 89 87
Joakim Soria 40.7 172 25.6% 8.1% .287 3.76 3.64 88 85
Chaz Roe 47.3 205 20.5% 9.3% .283 3.99 3.85 93 90
Ross Wolf 69.7 312 12.8% 8.3% .293 4.78 4.72 112 110
Ben Rowen 57.3 252 14.3% 7.5% .294 4.40 4.43 103 103
Wilmer Font 49.3 223 23.8% 13.9% .295 4.38 4.74 102 111
Shawn Tolleson 36.7 160 24.4% 10.0% .296 4.42 4.29 103 100
Lisalverto Bonilla 62.0 276 23.2% 11.6% .298 4.50 4.43 105 104
Rafael Perez 31.0 136 15.4% 7.4% .290 4.65 4.56 109 107
Derek Lowe 48.7 220 9.5% 7.7% .297 5.36 4.76 125 111
Randy Henry 49.7 221 13.1% 8.1% .293 4.71 4.91 110 115
Joe Ortiz 66.7 290 15.5% 6.2% .290 4.72 4.63 110 108
Jose Contreras 24.7 111 19.8% 10.8% .291 5.11 5.08 119 119
Michael Kirkman 71.3 333 18.9% 13.8% .300 5.30 5.21 124 122
Miles Mikolas 64.7 288 14.2% 8.3% .292 4.87 5.01 114 117
Kyle McClellan 57.0 254 13.4% 8.3% .280 5.37 5.47 125 128
Nathan Adcock 102.0 470 11.1% 10.2% .289 5.65 5.63 132 131
Nate Robertson 48.0 224 11.2% 10.7% .297 5.62 5.65 131 132
Roman Mendez 47.7 220 15.0% 10.9% .298 5.85 5.67 137 132
Daniel McCutchen 62.0 280 14.3% 8.9% .294 5.37 5.29 125 123
Johan Yan 58.3 268 13.8% 10.8% .295 5.25 5.28 123 123
Evan Meek 67.7 318 13.2% 12.3% .296 5.72 5.72 134 133
Justin Germano 119.0 535 11.4% 5.8% .305 5.82 5.43 136 127
Randy Wells 63.0 294 11.9% 10.5% .288 6.29 6.32 147 148
Doug Mathis 91.0 434 11.1% 12.2% .296 6.23 6.28 145 147
Armando Rodriguez 66.7 309 17.5% 11.3% .290 6.21 6.38 145 149
Ryan Feierabend 97.3 449 11.4% 8.2% .297 6.47 6.26 151 146
Scott Richmond 101.0 478 10.9% 9.8% .297 7.13 6.97 166 163

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Yu Darvish 201.7 11.74 3.53 0.98 142 6.0 Kerry Wood
Derek Holland 193.3 8.19 2.75 1.16 109 3.6 Bruce Hurst
Matt Harrison 111.3 6.31 2.99 0.97 104 1.9 Chris Hammond
Martin Perez 157.0 6.08 3.21 1.15 95 1.8 Dave Fleming
Alexi Ogando 108.3 7.06 2.91 1.25 104 1.6 Dustin Hermanson
Nick Tepesch 125.0 6.19 2.52 1.22 91 1.1 Ramiro Mendoza
Luke Jackson 120.7 7.98 5.52 1.04 90 1.0 Bill Mooneyham
Neal Cotts 53.0 10.36 3.57 0.85 133 0.9 Damaso Marte
Robbie Ross 65.0 8.03 2.91 0.83 120 0.8 Steve Howe
Tanner Scheppers 72.0 7.38 2.63 1.00 115 0.7 Jay Tessmer
Neftali Feliz 37.0 8.51 4.38 0.97 118 0.6 Troy Percival
Colby Lewis 78.0 7.50 2.54 1.62 89 0.6 Nerio Rodriguez
Cory Burns 62.3 7.66 3.76 0.72 110 0.5 Blaine Neal
Travis Blackley 75.0 6.72 3.24 1.32 92 0.4 Bryan Clark
Jason Frasor 44.7 9.46 3.83 1.01 112 0.4 Mike Fetters
Joakim Soria 40.7 9.73 3.10 1.11 114 0.4 Marvin Freeman
Chaz Roe 47.3 7.99 3.62 0.95 108 0.3 Scott Gentile
Ross Wolf 69.7 5.16 3.36 1.03 90 0.1 Jim Todd
Ben Rowen 57.3 5.65 2.98 0.94 98 0.1 Rocky Childress
Wilmer Font 49.3 9.68 5.66 1.10 98 0.1 Ryan Bukvich
Shawn Tolleson 36.7 9.56 3.92 1.23 97 0.1 Steve Andrade
Lisalverto Bonilla 62.0 9.29 4.65 1.16 96 0.1 P.J. Bevis
Rafael Perez 31.0 6.10 2.90 1.16 93 0.0 Brian Shouse
Derek Lowe 48.7 3.88 3.14 0.92 80 0.0 Steve Sparks
Randy Henry 49.7 5.25 3.26 1.09 91 -0.1 Bob Miller
Joe Ortiz 66.7 6.07 2.43 1.35 91 -0.1 Mark Peterson
Jose Contreras 24.7 8.02 4.37 1.46 84 -0.2 Roberto Hernandez
Michael Kirkman 71.3 7.95 5.81 1.26 81 -0.2 Matt Whisenant
Miles Mikolas 64.7 5.70 3.34 1.25 88 -0.2 Robert Paulk
Kyle McClellan 57.0 5.37 3.32 1.58 80 -0.2 Billy Loes
Nathan Adcock 102.0 4.59 4.24 1.32 76 -0.3 Bob Link
Nate Robertson 48.0 4.69 4.50 1.31 77 -0.3 Dave Righetti
Roman Mendez 47.7 6.23 4.53 1.51 74 -0.4 Mark Hampton
Daniel McCutchen 62.0 5.81 3.63 1.45 80 -0.4 Mike Sullivan
Johan Yan 58.3 5.71 4.48 1.23 82 -0.5 Joe Davenport
Evan Meek 67.7 5.58 5.18 1.33 75 -0.5 Marty McLeary
Justin Germano 119.0 4.61 2.34 1.59 74 -0.5 Tim McClaskey
Randy Wells 63.0 5.00 4.43 1.86 69 -0.6 Chris Rojas
Doug Mathis 91.0 4.75 5.24 1.58 69 -0.8 Ryan Jensen
Armando Rodriguez 66.7 7.29 4.72 2.16 69 -1.0 Bo Hall
Ryan Feierabend 97.3 4.72 3.42 1.94 67 -1.2 Benj Sampson
Scott Richmond 101.0 4.63 4.19 2.23 60 -2.0 R.A. Dickey

***

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.