2014 ZiPS Projections – Washington Nationals

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 Washington Nationals. 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 / Texas / Toronto.

Batters
Despite recording about -5 runs on just errors alone, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman managed to produce three wins in 2013, a figure which ZiPS expects him to approximate in 2014. Here’s what ZiPS likely knows about Zimmerman: that his defensive figures have been decidedly less impressive in recent years than previously. Here’s what it can’t know: that one reason for Zimmerman’s decline is a combination of shoulder weakness and perhaps even some manner of anxiety which have conspired to affect his throwing accuracy.

Reports this offseason suggest that Zimmerman will receive a modest number of starts at first base, in place of Adam LaRoche. This idea has merit to it. Not only might it allow Zimmerman to avoid having to contend daily with the throwing obligations of third base, but one also notes that Zimmerman is expected to outhit LaRoche by ca. 30 points of wOBA.

Pitchers
The starting pitchers in the depth-chart graphic below are arranged not in order of expected rotation slot, but rather by projected WAR according to ZiPS. In whatever order they’re arranged, however, one point becomes clear: with the addition of Doug Fister, the Nationals rotation now contains probably four All Star-type pitchers. Also, another point is clear, too: the Nationals probably have the best fourth-starter in the majors, regardless of who it is, specifically.

The question of the fifth spot in that same rotation has no precise answer, at the moment. Ross Detwiler, Taylor Jordan, Nate Karns, and Tanner Roark: all four of them are projected by ZiPS to produce something between 1.0 and 1.5 WAR.

Bench/Prospects
After a 2012 season that saw both Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth forced to play center field, the Nationals now have a surfeit of prospects who are all likely to play that position admirably. Brian Goodwin, Eury Perez, and Michael Taylor all offer above-average defensive reputations. They’re also all projected to produce something better than a single win at the major-league level (or the equivalent of that in the minors). Among pitchers, right-hander A.J. Cole isn’t far behind the quadrumvirate of potential fifth-starters mentioned above.

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

Nationals 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
Bryce Harper L 21 LF 599 95 145 29 7 28 77 15 6
Ian Desmond R 28 SS 638 75 158 32 4 20 78 23 7
Ryan Zimmerman R 29 3B 597 79 147 28 2 23 82 5 1
Denard Span L 30 CF 590 70 148 27 9 4 44 16 5
Anthony Rendon R 24 2B 493 56 113 27 4 11 55 2 1
Wilson Ramos R 26 C 326 35 80 13 0 13 49 0 1
Jayson Werth R 35 RF 493 65 115 22 1 18 61 10 2
Zach Walters B 24 SS 538 62 126 28 6 20 69 4 3
Eury Perez R 24 CF 539 58 141 17 5 4 45 36 13
Brian Goodwin L 23 CF 522 60 112 20 8 10 49 14 9
Danny Espinosa B 27 2B 586 64 117 26 3 15 56 12 4
Nate McLouth L 32 LF 482 56 107 22 3 10 35 17 4
Michael A. Taylor R 23 CF 534 54 111 28 4 7 52 26 9
Sandy Leon B 25 C 368 32 73 15 2 4 30 1 1
Adam LaRoche L 34 1B 468 53 99 18 2 18 65 2 1
Tyler Moore R 27 LF 440 46 96 23 2 17 64 2 0
Billy Burns B 24 LF 484 57 112 9 6 1 37 36 6
Chris Snyder R 33 C 261 25 52 9 0 8 33 0 1
Jhonatan Solano R 28 C 231 19 52 11 1 3 21 1 1
Josh Johnson B 28 SS 381 42 78 15 2 6 32 9 5
Will Rhymes L 31 2B 498 50 115 14 5 3 35 7 5
Scott Hairston R 34 RF 236 30 54 12 1 11 37 3 1
Mike Fontenot L 34 2B 323 31 75 15 1 3 24 3 1
Brock Peterson R 30 1B 399 41 87 18 1 15 45 1 1
Matt Skole L 24 1B 336 35 67 16 1 8 59 3 1
Jamey Carroll R 40 3B 331 38 73 12 1 0 21 4 2
Carlos Maldonado R 35 C 121 9 20 4 0 2 10 0 0
Emmanuel Burriss B 29 SS 362 35 81 8 1 1 20 17 6
Steven Souza R 25 RF 417 46 82 17 3 12 49 15 8
Chad Tracy L 34 3B 139 9 32 6 0 3 15 0 1
Brian Jeroloman L 29 C 244 20 43 7 1 1 14 1 2
Jeff Kobernus R 26 LF 468 51 112 16 2 3 36 34 10
Mitch Canham L 29 C 251 23 50 11 2 1 17 4 3
Destin Hood R 24 RF 486 43 100 20 4 6 46 7 6

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Bryce Harper 599 11.2% 19.9% .244 .310 .279 .363 .523 .378
Ian Desmond 638 5.8% 21.6% .170 .318 .269 .315 .439 .328
Ryan Zimmerman 597 9.0% 18.8% .188 .305 .273 .340 .461 .347
Denard Span 590 6.4% 10.7% .104 .301 .272 .320 .376 .307
Anthony Rendon 493 9.9% 19.3% .157 .308 .262 .341 .419 .332
Wilson Ramos 326 6.7% 16.0% .173 .284 .267 .320 .440 .325
Jayson Werth 493 11.0% 21.1% .182 .311 .267 .353 .449 .351
Zach Walters 538 3.5% 26.0% .196 .299 .247 .276 .443 .308
Eury Perez 539 2.6% 16.5% .076 .329 .278 .305 .354 .292
Brian Goodwin 522 8.6% 24.3% .141 .305 .238 .311 .379 .305
Danny Espinosa 586 6.1% 29.9% .145 .297 .220 .284 .365 .285
Nate McLouth 482 8.3% 14.9% .135 .277 .249 .319 .384 .310
Michael A. Taylor 534 6.4% 28.3% .116 .310 .227 .281 .343 .280
Sandy Leon 368 7.6% 20.4% .092 .268 .219 .281 .311 .265
Adam LaRoche 468 10.7% 23.5% .184 .280 .240 .321 .424 .319
Tyler Moore 440 5.9% 28.2% .193 .294 .236 .285 .429 .309
Billy Burns 484 8.1% 16.3% .056 .318 .262 .338 .318 .306
Chris Snyder 261 9.2% 24.5% .142 .270 .223 .296 .365 .287
Jhonatan Solano 231 3.9% 14.3% .100 .266 .239 .270 .339 .263
Josh Johnson 381 8.9% 18.1% .110 .274 .231 .305 .341 .285
Will Rhymes 498 7.2% 8.4% .073 .274 .256 .311 .329 .282
Scott Hairston 236 5.1% 21.2% .214 .267 .247 .288 .461 .321
Mike Fontenot 323 5.6% 17.6% .087 .301 .253 .302 .340 .283
Brock Peterson 399 6.3% 25.6% .177 .285 .236 .291 .413 .308
Matt Skole 336 10.1% 28.3% .141 .298 .225 .304 .366 .297
Jamey Carroll 331 7.3% 12.4% .047 .281 .245 .303 .292 .266
Carlos Maldonado 121 9.1% 31.4% .093 .265 .185 .261 .278 .242
Emmanuel Burriss 362 4.7% 11.6% .039 .274 .243 .287 .282 .254
Steven Souza 417 8.4% 30.0% .159 .293 .220 .295 .379 .297
Chad Tracy 139 5.8% 18.0% .116 .284 .248 .295 .364 .284
Brian Jeroloman 244 8.6% 28.3% .056 .286 .199 .275 .255 .238
Jeff Kobernus 468 4.3% 18.6% .067 .313 .257 .293 .324 .277
Mitch Canham 251 7.6% 19.9% .079 .274 .218 .280 .297 .258
Destin Hood 486 5.6% 27.6% .102 .299 .222 .272 .324 .263

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Bryce Harper 599 7.2 140 5 4.9 Kal Daniels
Ian Desmond 638 5.3 105 -1 3.5 Gene Alley
Ryan Zimmerman 597 5.9 118 -3 3.4 Pinky Higgins
Denard Span 590 4.6 91 8 2.7 Endy Chavez
Anthony Rendon 493 5.2 108 -1 2.4 Jeff Blauser
Wilson Ramos 326 5.1 106 3 2.4 Dave Valle
Jayson Werth 493 6.0 119 -2 2.2 Tim Salmon
Zach Walters 538 4.4 94 -5 1.5 Andujar Cedeno
Eury Perez 539 4.3 81 4 1.5 Willy Taveras
Brian Goodwin 522 4.1 88 0 1.3 Larry Whisenton
Danny Espinosa 586 3.7 77 5 1.2 Jim Chamblee
Nate McLouth 482 4.6 92 3 1.1 Trenidad Hubbard
Michael A. Taylor 534 3.5 71 8 1.1 Franklin Gutierrez
Sandy Leon 368 3.0 63 6 1.0 Brian Moon
Adam LaRoche 468 4.8 102 3 1.0 Kevin Barker
Tyler Moore 440 4.4 93 0 0.6 Marlo Thomas
Billy Burns 484 4.6 82 -1 0.6 Milt Cuyler
Chris Snyder 261 3.7 81 -4 0.4 Steve Yeager
Jhonatan Solano 231 3.2 66 1 0.3 Pedro Grifol
Josh Johnson 381 3.6 77 -5 0.3 Mike Hickey
Will Rhymes 498 3.6 76 -2 0.2 Alex Cora
Scott Hairston 236 4.8 102 -4 0.1 Jerry Martin
Mike Fontenot 323 3.8 76 -2 0.1 Dave Berg
Brock Peterson 399 4.2 91 0 0.1 Chris Widger
Matt Skole 336 3.9 83 1 -0.1 Matthew Rizzotti
Jamey Carroll 331 3.2 65 0 -0.1 Ossie Bluege
Carlos Maldonado 121 2.4 48 -1 -0.1 Frank Charles
Emmanuel Burriss 362 3.1 57 -1 -0.2 Jackie Gutierrez
Steven Souza 417 3.8 84 -3 -0.2 Randall Miller
Chad Tracy 139 3.7 80 -4 -0.3 Jason Wood
Brian Jeroloman 244 2.2 47 -1 -0.4 Tom Nieto
Jeff Kobernus 468 3.8 70 0 -0.4 Jim Wohlford
Mitch Canham 251 2.8 59 -8 -0.7 Tony DeFrancesco
Destin Hood 486 2.9 63 -2 -1.5 Michael Wagner

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Gio Gonzalez L 28 30 30 188.3 183 69 15 160 71 66
Doug Fister R 30 30 29 192.0 144 36 13 184 73 68
Stephen Strasburg R 25 26 26 149.7 164 41 13 120 50 47
Jordan Zimmermann R 28 30 30 189.0 141 36 17 179 74 69
Nate Karns R 26 25 23 126.7 115 52 15 118 60 56
Ross Detwiler L 28 23 20 116.0 70 33 10 120 55 51
Taylor Jordan R 25 22 21 115.7 64 30 10 122 56 52
Tyler Clippard R 29 70 0 70.7 81 24 8 52 24 22
Tanner Roark R 27 34 19 133.0 83 43 14 137 66 62
A.J. Cole R 22 26 26 135.0 106 34 20 138 71 66
Blake Treinen R 26 24 16 99.7 61 24 11 105 49 46
Craig Stammen R 30 54 0 79.7 75 28 6 71 31 29
Danny Rosenbaum L 26 26 25 144.7 77 63 14 156 79 74
Jerry Blevins L 30 61 0 58.3 52 18 6 51 24 22
Drew Storen R 26 66 0 62.0 58 17 7 56 26 24
Rafael Soriano R 34 59 0 56.7 48 17 6 52 24 22
Sammy Solis L 25 17 16 77.3 49 28 9 82 42 39
Caleb Clay R 26 29 13 101.7 60 28 13 109 55 51
Christian Garcia R 28 48 0 52.0 45 21 4 47 22 21
Aaron Barrett R 26 43 0 45.3 45 17 4 40 19 18
Taylor Hill R 25 27 25 145.7 65 32 19 165 82 77
Xavier Cedeno L 27 61 0 52.3 46 23 5 49 25 23
Matt Grace L 25 52 0 71.0 41 23 6 73 34 32
Erik Davis R 27 53 0 66.3 53 23 7 65 32 30
Ross Ohlendorf R 31 24 18 106.7 68 41 15 115 62 58
Bill Bray L 31 28 0 19.3 16 10 2 18 10 9
Ryan Mattheus R 30 55 0 54.7 33 19 5 57 28 26
Cole Kimball R 28 20 0 22.0 16 11 3 23 13 12
Mike Crotta R 29 44 0 46.0 27 20 4 48 25 23
Chris Young R 35 11 11 55.7 30 20 10 62 35 33
Clay Hensley R 34 34 2 40.3 29 19 5 41 24 22
Tyler Robertson L 26 59 0 59.3 43 29 6 60 32 30
Jeremy Accardo R 32 34 0 42.3 26 21 5 44 25 23
Daniel Stange R 28 48 0 57.7 43 27 7 59 33 31
Ryan Perry R 27 37 8 70.3 43 33 10 76 44 41
Matt Torra R 30 16 15 86.7 34 22 16 104 58 54
Manny Delcarmen R 32 39 0 46.0 29 30 6 49 30 28
Zach Jackson L 31 29 12 90.3 35 40 12 105 59 55

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Gio Gonzalez 188.3 794 23.1% 8.7% .277 3.15 3.27 83 86
Doug Fister 192.0 796 18.1% 4.5% .289 3.19 3.15 84 83
Stephen Strasburg 149.7 610 26.9% 6.7% .278 2.83 2.93 74 77
Jordan Zimmermann 189.0 782 18.0% 4.6% .279 3.29 3.39 86 89
Nate Karns 126.7 550 20.9% 9.5% .285 3.98 4.15 104 109
Ross Detwiler 116.0 501 14.0% 6.6% .287 3.96 3.92 104 103
Taylor Jordan 115.7 499 12.8% 6.0% .289 4.05 4.03 106 106
Tyler Clippard 70.7 288 28.1% 8.3% .254 2.80 3.29 73 86
Tanner Roark 133.0 579 14.3% 7.4% .285 4.20 4.30 110 113
A.J. Cole 135.0 577 18.4% 5.9% .289 4.40 4.32 115 113
Blake Treinen 99.7 428 14.2% 5.6% .287 4.15 4.10 109 108
Craig Stammen 79.7 338 22.2% 8.3% .286 3.28 3.16 86 83
Danny Rosenbaum 144.7 653 11.8% 9.6% .290 4.60 4.74 121 124
Jerry Blevins 58.3 244 21.3% 7.4% .275 3.39 3.58 89 94
Drew Storen 62.0 259 22.4% 6.6% .278 3.48 3.42 91 90
Rafael Soriano 56.7 239 20.1% 7.1% .274 3.49 3.53 92 93
Sammy Solis 77.3 342 14.3% 8.2% .291 4.54 4.58 119 120
Caleb Clay 101.7 442 13.6% 6.3% .286 4.51 4.48 118 117
Christian Garcia 52.0 224 20.1% 9.4% .287 3.63 3.76 95 99
Aaron Barrett 45.3 193 23.3% 8.8% .288 3.57 3.47 94 91
Taylor Hill 145.7 634 10.3% 5.0% .287 4.76 4.70 125 123
Xavier Cedeno 52.3 229 20.1% 10.0% .292 3.96 3.91 104 103
Matt Grace 71.0 309 13.3% 7.4% .285 4.06 4.09 107 107
Erik Davis 66.3 287 18.5% 8.0% .290 4.07 3.91 107 103
Ross Ohlendorf 106.7 476 14.3% 8.6% .289 4.89 4.87 128 128
Bill Bray 19.3 86 18.6% 11.6% .281 4.19 4.29 110 113
Ryan Mattheus 54.7 240 13.7% 7.9% .287 4.28 4.07 112 107
Cole Kimball 22.0 100 16.0% 11.0% .290 4.91 4.87 129 128
Mike Crotta 46.0 206 13.1% 9.7% .289 4.50 4.12 118 108
Chris Young 55.7 249 12.0% 8.0% .278 5.34 5.44 140 143
Clay Hensley 40.3 181 16.0% 10.5% .286 4.91 4.71 129 124
Tyler Robertson 59.3 267 16.1% 10.9% .292 4.55 4.43 119 116
Jeremy Accardo 42.3 192 13.5% 10.9% .283 4.89 4.85 128 127
Daniel Stange 57.7 259 16.6% 10.4% .292 4.84 4.70 127 123
Ryan Perry 70.3 320 13.4% 10.3% .287 5.25 5.21 138 137
Matt Torra 86.7 386 8.8% 5.7% .286 5.61 5.63 147 148
Manny Delcarmen 46.0 217 13.4% 13.8% .289 5.48 5.57 144 146
Zach Jackson 90.3 416 8.4% 9.6% .288 5.48 5.53 144 145

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Gio Gonzalez 188.3 8.75 3.30 0.72 122 4.0 Wilson Alvarez
Doug Fister 192.0 6.75 1.69 0.61 121 4.0 John Burkett
Stephen Strasburg 149.7 9.86 2.46 0.78 136 3.8 Mark Prior
Jordan Zimmermann 189.0 6.71 1.71 0.81 117 3.8 Carl Pavano
Nate Karns 126.7 8.17 3.69 1.07 97 1.4 Octavio Dotel
Ross Detwiler 116.0 5.43 2.56 0.78 97 1.3 Wade Blasingame
Taylor Jordan 115.7 4.98 2.33 0.78 95 1.2 Early Wynn
Tyler Clippard 70.7 10.31 3.06 1.02 138 1.1 Armando Benitez
Tanner Roark 133.0 5.62 2.91 0.95 92 1.0 Clay Christiansen
A.J. Cole 135.0 7.07 2.27 1.33 88 0.9 Zack Greinke
Blake Treinen 99.7 5.51 2.17 0.99 93 0.9 Jeff Taylor
Craig Stammen 79.7 8.47 3.16 0.68 118 0.8 Ryan Dempster
Danny Rosenbaum 144.7 4.79 3.92 0.87 84 0.6 Greg Kubes
Jerry Blevins 58.3 8.03 2.78 0.93 114 0.5 Alan Embree
Drew Storen 62.0 8.42 2.47 1.02 111 0.5 Wes Pierorazio
Rafael Soriano 56.7 7.62 2.70 0.95 110 0.4 Kerry Ligtenberg
Sammy Solis 77.3 5.71 3.26 1.05 85 0.4 Lee Upshaw
Caleb Clay 101.7 5.31 2.48 1.15 85 0.3 Jack Hardy
Christian Garcia 52.0 7.79 3.63 0.69 106 0.3 Jay Powell
Aaron Barrett 45.3 8.94 3.38 0.79 108 0.3 Troy Percival
Taylor Hill 145.7 4.02 1.98 1.17 81 0.3 Dave Eiland
Xavier Cedeno 52.3 7.92 3.96 0.86 98 0.1 Ricardo Jordan
Matt Grace 71.0 5.20 2.92 0.76 95 0.0 Tanyon Sturtze
Erik Davis 66.3 7.19 3.12 0.95 95 0.0 Rich Monteleone
Ross Ohlendorf 106.7 5.74 3.46 1.27 79 0.0 Ryan Jensen
Bill Bray 19.3 7.46 4.66 0.93 92 0.0 Arnold Earley
Ryan Mattheus 54.7 5.43 3.13 0.82 90 -0.1 Weston Weber
Cole Kimball 22.0 6.55 4.50 1.23 79 -0.2 Brad Tweedlie
Mike Crotta 46.0 5.28 3.91 0.78 86 -0.2 Gary Wagner
Chris Young 55.7 4.85 3.23 1.62 72 -0.3 Nerio Rodriguez
Clay Hensley 40.3 6.48 4.24 1.12 79 -0.3 David Lee
Tyler Robertson 59.3 6.53 4.40 0.91 85 -0.3 Tom Doyle
Jeremy Accardo 42.3 5.53 4.47 1.06 79 -0.4 Jim Dedrick
Daniel Stange 57.7 6.71 4.21 1.09 80 -0.5 Mike James
Ryan Perry 70.3 5.50 4.22 1.28 74 -0.5 Mumba Rivera
Matt Torra 86.7 3.53 2.28 1.66 69 -0.7 Allen Davis
Manny Delcarmen 46.0 5.67 5.87 1.17 70 -0.8 Jim Dedrick
Zach Jackson 90.3 3.49 3.99 1.20 70 -0.8 Chris Peters

***

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 occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


57 Responses to “2014 ZiPS Projections – Washington Nationals”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Garrett says:

    Nationals fans promptly recoil in horror at the Strasburg comp.

    That’s one scary top four. Wow.

    +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Baltar says:

    At the risk of being smashed by Dan, I would like to point out that the very rough unofficial total WAR of 43 for the Nationals would add up to a 91 win projection.
    That is certainly among the highest in this series.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steven says:

      Behind only LAD (44) in NL and DET (44) in AL.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

      Is comparing the team projections in a strictly rank-based fashion wrong? Does that warrant a Dan-Smash?

      My feeling is no, it shouldn’t–obviously the projections are not precise enough to accurately predict win totals for an individual team, but all other things being equal, a team projected for more total WAR ought to be better than a team projected for less total WAR.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        The main problem with just adding up the above WAR is that ZiPS projects playing time based on a player’s history, not based on the team’s depth charts. For example, the Dodgers have five different outfielders projected to play basically an entire season.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. EmDash says:

    Surprisingly bullish on Zach Walters – I like it. Have to like the comp for AJ Cole, too.

    Looks like the projection has the Nationals and the Braves as pretty close, which I kind of expected.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Anon21 says:

      According to Baltar’s addition above and D’s addition in the Braves’ ZiPS thread, they’re exactly the same (give or take .3 WAR).

      My general thoughts, which are worth very little, is that ZiPS is too bearish on Braves position players, too bullish on (some) Braves pitchers, too bullish on Nationals position players, and about right on Nationals pitchers. I am expecting big things from the Braves’ young position player core, so I like them better, but I will admit it’s always the things you don’t expect (basically how well the backups fill in) that overthrow one’s expectations.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JCCfromDC says:

        I like the Braves’ young core as a baseball fan, but I’m just as confident of the Nationals young players. Harper, Rendon, and Ramos as young position players (not even counting old man Desmond at 28; heck even Ryan Zimmerman is only 29) stack up very nicely against Simmons, Freeman and Jayson Heyward as promising young players. It’s amazing that these are two of the youngest teams in baseball, and they both are such solid teams.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • RMD says:

        Hopefully we should see the slugfest race between the two teams we were supposed to get last year.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        How is predicting all of Harper, Desmond, Zimmerman, Span, Ramos and Werth to regress “bullish”?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mockcarr says:

      Agreed on Walters. The power makes him a viable depth guy for the infield if Espinosa’s still in 2013 mode. I would think his skill set could work all around the infield – if he makes any progress in his contact rate, his numbers could look like Desmond’s. I don’t know that you’d ever really trust him at SS though.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Baltic Fox Has Cold Paws says:

    These comps are great for remembering guys who were able to put together a couple of decent seasons (Kal Daniels) before fading into obscurity.

    And for learning a little about players (Pinky Higgins?!) that most of us have never heard of. Dan: Pinky Higgins thanks you and your computer from the grave.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reds Fan says:

      Take a look a the cumulative WAR by age comparison between Eric Davis & Kal Daniels. Neck & neck until age ~26/27 … for a brief time there in the mid’80′s what great potential (& actual performance) that Reds OF had.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dan Szymborski says:

      Solid player. Some unpleasant non-playing things about Higgins though: he was one of the most hostile in front offices in the 1950s/1960s at breaking the color line and then killed someone drunk driving.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Observations says:

    1) I’ll take the over on Werth. Sure he’s injury-prone, but he was on fire last year when he played.

    2) I like the Z.man and Z.mann on the depth chart!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • daveeproc says:

      Yeah, Werth has hit .300 or above each of the last two years. I’d guess his 2011 is dragging down his numbers, which is fair. Also, his age. .267 seems low, but I understand why it’s there. Most of the others seem about right to me, except for some playing time issues.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Anon21 says:

        I think you can go different ways on the playing time. E.g., there’s no reason to think Harper is especially injury-prone, so the 599 PA looks okay, except… he may just be a guy who doesn’t have enough sense of self-preservation to give up on the occasional play rather than throwing his whole body at it.

        Also, the way the Nationals handled their injuries last year, keeping some players on the field too long and bringing others back from the DL too soon, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their medical staff. That’s an extremely hard thing to measure, but it’s a genuine risk factor.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • David says:

          “except… he may just be a guy who doesn’t have enough sense of self-preservation to give up on the occasional play rather than throwing his whole body at it.”

          If you’ve heard him speak at all since his collision in LA, he’s learned his lesson. He played much smarter after that. I’m not worried about it.

          When I mentioned playing time issues, I meant a guy like McLouth getting nearly 500ABs, when Harper, Span and Werth are all getting that many or more. Things like that. Or Danny Espinosa getting 600ABs and Rendon getting 500. Etc.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Anon21 says:

          Yeah, the 2B playing time projections are dodgy. Personally, I suspect that Espinosa hasn’t really resolved his injury issues and will get almost no PAs for the big-league club this year.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • champion88 says:

          @Anon: The Nationals’ medical staff is the one who shut down Strasburg in 2012 in the middle of a pennant race JUST BECAUSE Strasburg was at an arbitrary IP limit, so I wouldn’t have much confidence with them.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Josh Plotkin says:

        BABIP regression

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bad Pun Guy says:

      But was Jayson Werth that contract?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Minor edit, Dan – Billy Burns was flipped to Oakland in the Blevins deal, shouldn’t be on this list. Good stuff, as always.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Trotsky's Jewfro says:

    Very impressive talent collection. Barring a bullpen implosion, with average luck/health this has to be at *least* an 88-90 win team — especially given the overall weakness of the division.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Ruben Gotye says:

    I wasn’t a big fan of projections when they didn’t like the Nationals, but now that these projections like them a lot, I gotta say I’m on board

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Slacker George says:

    Love that ZIPS has a sense of humor: Tyler Moore’s comp is Marlo Thomas.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Dave says:

    I thought that Souza would get a better projection after destroying AA. A 953 OPS in AA converts to a 674 in MLB. I can’t make much sense of the projections sometimes. Oh well.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BobbyS says:

      Souza takes a big hit in the BABIP department… K rate up, BB rate down… I don’t know much about the hitting environment he was in last year, but I would think that factored in a bit as well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • champion88 says:

      @Dave: A .674 OPS also isn’t very good in the first place.

      An OPS of .800 is usually considered good and an OPS of .700 is considered decent.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. mevs says:

    Too conservative on Harper. He demolishes that home run total by as many as 10 if he stays healthy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • David says:

      I think asking for 38 homers from a 21 year old is a bit much. Possible, of course. Stanton hit 34 in his age 21 season, so it’s certainly possible. But I wouldn’t say that’s the most likely outcome. I see about 30, give or take a couple.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        Based on the projected ABs, Harper would have to have a higher HR/AB ratio than all but two players had last year. Suggesting that as a median projected outcome is fully Tea Party.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Since when is “he could beat that by as many as 10″ the same thing as saying “He will beat that by 10″?

          Do you not read the English goodly?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bad Puns, Worse Jokes says:

      Yeah, that Harper projection is borderline Tea Party.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. JAMill says:

    As a Mets fan who lived in DC last year I couldn’t understand why the Nationals were playing so far below their talent level.

    These projections terrify me, the cumulative WAR is among the highest in ZiPS projections.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • larry says:

      why would these projections terrify you as a Mets fan? the Nats were always going to project to be a better team than the Mets. The Mets are the 4th or 5th team in that division, especially w/o Harvey

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • cass says:

        There’s more to baseball than making the playoffs. Maybe JAMill just likes to see the Mets do well as a fan.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • JAMill says:

          Exactly, the Mets still have to play the Nationals 19 times this year.

          And this Nationals team is young and I have expectations that the Mets will compete in the coming years. It will be a lot harder w/ such a solid Nationals team in the division.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. mike says:

    I always said that Tyler Clippard reminded me of the old inning-long heart attacks I used to feel watching Armando pitch in the 90′s… sometimes I’m not full of S#*@.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Nick says:

    #signBurnett

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Mike Green says:

    It is fun to read the names of the comps, especially the lesser players like Dave Berg, Tom Nieto and Jim Wohlford. Still waiting on Doug Gwosdz- BBRef tells me that it is pronounced GOO-sh rather than GWOO-sh. Learn something new every day.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. cnote66 says:

    Sandy Leon could be the #2 C for the team? I like his upside versus the other options.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *