2015 ZiPS Projections – Minnesota Twins

After having typically appeared in the very hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have been released at FanGraphs the past couple years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Minnesota Twins. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Chicago AL / Colorado / Detroit / Houston / Los Angeles AL / Los Angeles NL / Miami / Milwaukee / New York NL / Oakland / San Diego / San Francisco / St. Louis / Tampa Bay / Washington.

Batters
It isn’t sound practice merely to find the sum of all the WAR projections in the depth-chart image below, add those to the 48 or so wins which constitute a replacement-level team, and then regard the result as the club’s ZiPS win projection. That said, examining the forecasts for those players expected to begin the season on Minnesota’s opening-day roster, it’s difficult to conclude that this club is destined to win much more than 70 games.

Moderately heartbreaking is Joe Mauer‘s very regular two-win projection. If it seems low, that’s not necessarily a novel sentiment. Multiple readers suggested last year, when ZiPS produced a 2.8 WAR figure for Mauer, that they’d take the over. It would have been a losing bet, that: even with a .342 BABIP, he recorded only a 106 wRC+. In the context of the first-base positional adjustment, that’s too little offense.

Pitchers
The star of the current iteration of the Twins, it would appear, is Phil Hughes, who receives the best projection on the club by nearly two wins. Hughes improved upon his previous career-best walk rate by roughly two-thirds last year, while also producing the best strikeout rate of his career as a starter. ZiPS’ computer math declares that he’ll retain almost all those gains.

Of some concern — in the context of the 2015 season, at least — is nearly every other pitcher employed by the club. Besides Hughes and reliever Glen Perkins, no other pitcher is projected to post either an ERA or FIP better than league average. Ervin Santana, for example, is forecast to produce a single win. That would not represent a strong return on Minnesota’s four-year, $54 million investment in him.

Bench/Prospects
The bad news for this next year’s Twins club, but good news for future editions of the team is that two of the most encouraging projections here belong to players unlikely to begin the season on the 25-man roster. Outfielder Byron Buxton (382 PA, 2.0 WAR) and right-hander Alex Meyer (112.2 IP, 1.0 WAR) would both represent improvements over the major-league starters at their respective position. The prospect of the Twins starting their arbitration clocks, however — especially in light of injuries with which both have had to contend — is an unlikely one.

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

Twins 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
Brian Dozier R 28 2B 639 86 137 30 3 17 67 16 7
Trevor Plouffe R 29 3B 552 63 127 30 2 17 71 2 2
Josmil Pinto R 26 C 495 57 109 23 1 14 53 0 1
Byron Buxton R 21 CF 382 48 87 10 5 9 38 22 12
Joe Mauer L 32 1B 555 65 138 29 2 7 61 3 2
Danny Santana B 24 CF 589 71 150 27 7 6 49 21 8
Eduardo Escobar B 26 SS 443 49 106 24 3 6 37 4 3
Kurt Suzuki R 31 C 442 36 104 24 0 5 50 1 1
Miguel Sano R 22 3B 413 52 81 17 3 20 57 6 4
Jorge Polanco B 21 SS 596 63 135 24 5 8 58 9 9
Oswaldo Arcia L 24 RF 532 61 122 25 4 21 72 3 3
Stuart Turner R 23 C 304 32 61 11 1 6 28 4 1
Shane Robinson R 30 CF 259 28 56 9 1 3 21 4 2
Torii Hunter R 39 RF 566 64 148 32 3 14 70 3 3
Chris Parmelee L 27 1B 491 50 109 22 1 14 54 1 2
Jose Martinez R 29 3B 487 49 111 18 1 7 46 2 2
Aaron Hicks B 25 CF 500 57 96 19 4 8 44 12 7
Doug Bernier R 35 SS 367 34 74 14 2 2 27 3 3
Eduardo Nunez R 28 SS 318 35 75 12 3 5 29 15 4
Heiker Meneses R 23 SS 446 42 97 13 3 3 32 12 9
Eddie Rosario L 23 CF 473 50 107 22 3 9 47 8 8
Jordan Schafer L 28 CF 322 36 62 10 2 3 22 27 7
Max Kepler L 22 CF 407 42 87 17 3 8 42 4 2
James Beresford L 26 2B 512 48 116 17 2 1 34 6 4
Jason Bartlett R 35 SS 225 25 43 9 1 1 16 5 2
Argenis Diaz R 28 SS 440 38 93 18 1 1 29 5 4
Kennys Vargas B 24 1B 521 57 114 22 1 17 65 0 1
Brandon Waring R 29 3B 443 42 71 19 0 14 43 1 0
Adam Walker R 23 RF 568 65 118 19 2 22 72 7 4
Corey Wimberly B 31 CF 256 22 55 9 2 0 16 9 4
Brock Peterson R 31 1B 497 52 103 21 1 15 51 1 0
Jason Kubel L 33 LF 303 27 60 11 1 8 36 1 1
Brad Nelson L 32 1B 409 39 82 15 0 10 39 1 1
Eric Farris R 29 CF 525 46 119 18 2 4 35 17 7
Chris Rahl R 31 LF 384 35 85 15 2 6 35 11 6
Travis Harrison R 22 LF 554 58 111 25 0 7 47 4 6
Chris Herrmann L 27 RF 433 45 86 17 2 6 37 3 2
Tony Thomas R 28 2B 440 39 80 19 3 8 36 11 2
Danny Ortiz L 25 LF 509 49 112 24 3 10 50 3 4
Wilkin Ramirez R 29 RF 353 32 76 16 2 6 30 6 3

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Brian Dozier 639 9.4% 18.9% .155 .279 .244 .321 .399 .319
Trevor Plouffe 552 8.0% 19.6% .171 .292 .255 .319 .426 .327
Josmil Pinto 495 9.1% 22.0% .151 .293 .245 .317 .396 .317
Byron Buxton 382 7.9% 28.5% .135 .339 .251 .315 .386 .312
Joe Mauer 555 12.1% 16.9% .111 .339 .285 .371 .396 .332
Danny Santana 589 4.1% 21.7% .106 .341 .271 .305 .377 .302
Eduardo Escobar 443 5.4% 20.1% .117 .315 .259 .301 .376 .296
Kurt Suzuki 442 6.1% 12.2% .098 .284 .259 .311 .357 .294
Miguel Sano 413 8.0% 34.6% .223 .288 .218 .288 .441 .318
Jorge Polanco 596 6.5% 19.5% .106 .296 .246 .295 .352 .283
Oswaldo Arcia 532 7.3% 28.6% .198 .323 .252 .316 .450 .334
Stuart Turner 304 5.6% 20.7% .111 .258 .218 .271 .329 .270
Shane Robinson 259 7.7% 14.7% .085 .270 .238 .301 .323 .280
Torii Hunter 566 3.5% 16.6% .150 .311 .279 .308 .429 .321
Chris Parmelee 491 8.6% 22.2% .150 .295 .247 .316 .397 .313
Jose Martinez 487 5.1% 10.7% .092 .264 .248 .292 .340 .278
Aaron Hicks 500 10.8% 25.8% .117 .289 .219 .304 .336 .286
Doug Bernier 367 6.5% 22.3% .073 .291 .225 .284 .298 .257
Eduardo Nunez 318 4.4% 15.1% .111 .283 .253 .286 .364 .287
Heiker Meneses 446 4.3% 20.9% .068 .295 .235 .277 .303 .256
Eddie Rosario 473 4.4% 22.6% .123 .293 .239 .273 .362 .277
Jordan Schafer 322 9.3% 25.2% .081 .295 .219 .295 .300 .271
Max Kepler 407 5.7% 20.9% .124 .275 .230 .278 .354 .281
James Beresford 512 5.3% 15.6% .051 .291 .245 .287 .296 .259
Jason Bartlett 225 8.9% 20.0% .070 .271 .216 .288 .286 .260
Argenis Diaz 440 5.0% 21.8% .056 .293 .227 .267 .283 .244
Kennys Vargas 521 7.1% 26.1% .158 .297 .240 .298 .398 .305
Brandon Waring 443 7.0% 41.5% .152 .278 .177 .249 .329 .261
Adam Walker 568 4.9% 32.4% .167 .289 .221 .261 .388 .285
Corey Wimberly 256 3.9% 15.6% .055 .278 .233 .274 .288 .251
Brock Peterson 497 6.2% 28.8% .148 .291 .225 .282 .373 .291
Jason Kubel 303 10.2% 30.4% .138 .304 .223 .304 .361 .289
Brad Nelson 409 8.1% 24.0% .121 .270 .221 .284 .342 .277
Eric Farris 525 3.8% 12.8% .069 .270 .242 .273 .311 .260
Chris Rahl 384 2.3% 29.9% .101 .315 .230 .251 .331 .256
Travis Harrison 554 7.9% 25.6% .092 .294 .223 .292 .315 .273
Chris Herrmann 433 7.9% 23.6% .099 .279 .219 .283 .318 .267
Tony Thomas 440 5.0% 34.3% .119 .281 .194 .239 .313 .249
Danny Ortiz 509 3.3% 22.6% .124 .281 .231 .258 .355 .268
Wilkin Ramirez 353 3.7% 27.5% .113 .299 .228 .261 .341 .267

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Brian Dozier 639 4.6 100 -1 2.4 Kelly Heath
Trevor Plouffe 552 4.9 106 -3 2.1 Steve Buechele
Josmil Pinto 495 4.5 98 -5 2.1 Jeremy Brown
Byron Buxton 382 4.3 95 7 2.0 Carlos Gomez
Joe Mauer 555 5.5 115 4 2.0 Joe Cunningham
Danny Santana 589 4.4 90 -2 1.2 Willie McGee
Eduardo Escobar 443 4.1 88 -1 1.1 Omar Quintanilla
Kurt Suzuki 442 4.0 86 -4 1.1 Scott Servais
Miguel Sano 413 4.3 100 -4 1.1 Jose Oliva
Jorge Polanco 596 3.6 80 1 1.1 Donnie Murphy
Oswaldo Arcia 532 5.1 111 -6 1.0 Jesse Barfield
Stuart Turner 304 3.1 67 2 0.6 Walt McKeel
Shane Robinson 259 3.5 75 3 0.5 Charles Thomas
Torii Hunter 566 4.9 104 -7 0.4 Steve Garvey
Chris Parmelee 491 4.4 98 0 0.3 Larry Broadway
Jose Martinez 487 3.5 76 1 0.3 Pete Rose Jr.
Aaron Hicks 500 3.5 79 -2 0.3 Aaron Guiel
Doug Bernier 367 2.9 63 2 0.1 Jeff Branson
Eduardo Nunez 318 4.0 80 -6 0.1 Cristian Guzman
Heiker Meneses 446 2.8 62 3 0.1 Danny Richar
Eddie Rosario 473 3.3 76 -1 -0.1 Marvell Wynne
Jordan Schafer 322 3.5 67 -2 -0.1 Jeff Duncan
Max Kepler 407 3.5 75 -3 -0.1 Mark Kramer
James Beresford 512 3.0 64 4 -0.1 Bien Figueroa
Jason Bartlett 225 2.9 62 -2 -0.2 Mark Belanger
Argenis Diaz 440 2.6 54 2 -0.4 Gary Green
Kennys Vargas 521 4.2 92 -4 -0.5 Mark Higgins
Brandon Waring 443 2.7 60 0 -0.5 Jared Sandberg
Adam Walker 568 3.5 78 0 -0.5 Derrick Gibson
Corey Wimberly 256 2.8 58 -2 -0.7 Doug Dascenzo
Brock Peterson 497 3.7 81 -1 -0.7 Tom Nevers
Jason Kubel 303 3.8 85 -6 -0.7 Mike Hegan
Brad Nelson 409 3.3 74 0 -0.9 Jody Davis
Eric Farris 525 3.1 63 -6 -1.2 Josh Tyler
Chris Rahl 384 2.9 61 1 -1.2 Tom Romano
Travis Harrison 554 3.0 70 -2 -1.3 Jake Blalock
Chris Herrmann 433 3.1 68 -4 -1.4 Matt Scanlon
Tony Thomas 440 2.7 53 -6 -1.5 Kody Kirkland
Danny Ortiz 509 3.1 69 -3 -1.6 Jason Friedman
Wilkin Ramirez 353 3.1 67 -8 -1.8 Travis Wilson

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Phil Hughes R 29 31 31 201.3 177 17 16 209 85 79
Kyle Gibson R 27 30 30 167.7 106 54 13 173 87 81
Alex Meyer R 25 24 24 112.7 108 55 12 111 59 55
Ervin Santana R 32 28 28 170.7 136 56 23 180 94 88
Ricky Nolasco R 32 27 27 157.3 122 37 20 176 88 82
Glen Perkins L 32 60 0 58.7 66 14 6 52 24 22
Anthony Swarzak R 29 48 2 87.0 58 26 7 92 43 40
Taylor Rogers L 24 24 24 132.3 78 45 13 151 77 72
Jose Berrios R 21 23 23 117.7 90 47 14 128 68 64
Tim Stauffer R 33 36 7 74.7 61 27 7 80 40 37
J.R. Graham R 25 25 20 86.0 52 31 8 98 49 46
Tommy Milone L 28 27 26 149.3 108 40 23 172 88 82
Jared Burton R 34 63 0 57.7 48 20 6 56 28 26
Michael Tonkin R 25 61 0 68.3 60 23 6 69 33 31
Caleb Thielbar L 28 59 0 55.3 45 20 5 55 27 25
Casey Fien R 31 69 0 61.7 57 15 8 61 30 28
Lester Oliveros R 27 38 0 46.0 46 21 5 43 22 21
Ryan Pressly R 26 55 0 82.3 60 28 7 84 41 38
Blaine Boyer R 33 45 0 51.0 40 13 6 53 26 24
Trevor May R 25 27 26 137.0 121 64 18 144 82 77
Brian Duensing L 32 64 0 54.3 43 19 5 57 28 26
A.J. Achter R 26 48 0 80.0 67 28 9 81 41 38
Matt Guerrier R 36 32 0 30.3 20 12 3 33 17 16
Brayan Villarreal R 28 33 0 34.0 37 27 3 31 19 18
Mike Pelfrey R 31 13 13 65.3 39 25 8 77 42 39
Adrian Salcedo R 24 38 4 66.7 52 26 9 73 40 37
Kris Johnson L 30 27 20 113.3 73 58 14 127 72 67
Mark Hamburger R 28 29 6 70.3 45 34 9 80 45 42
Aaron Thompson L 28 42 3 63.0 41 25 8 72 40 37
Stephen Pryor R 25 39 0 42.3 37 28 6 44 28 26
Mason Melotakis L 24 33 8 77.7 52 41 10 88 51 48
Ryan O’Rourke L 27 44 0 48.3 39 22 8 54 32 30
Tyler Duffey R 24 25 22 128.3 78 35 23 154 88 82
Logan Darnell L 26 27 24 131.7 85 52 23 157 93 87
Virgil Vasquez R 33 24 20 115.7 65 36 22 142 83 78
Jason Wheeler L 24 25 25 132.0 74 57 26 164 101 94

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Phil Hughes 201.3 830 21.3% 2.0% .314 3.53 3.12 89 79
Kyle Gibson 167.7 730 14.5% 7.4% .288 4.35 4.28 110 108
Alex Meyer 112.7 504 21.4% 10.9% .306 4.39 4.63 111 117
Ervin Santana 170.7 748 18.2% 7.5% .297 4.64 4.71 117 119
Ricky Nolasco 157.3 685 17.8% 5.4% .313 4.69 4.46 118 112
Glen Perkins 58.7 242 27.3% 5.8% .299 3.37 3.33 85 84
Anthony Swarzak 87.0 379 15.3% 6.9% .296 4.14 4.08 104 103
Taylor Rogers 132.3 593 13.2% 7.6% .307 4.90 4.84 123 122
Jose Berrios 117.7 528 17.0% 8.9% .308 4.90 4.93 123 124
Tim Stauffer 74.7 331 18.4% 8.2% .313 4.46 4.24 112 107
J.R. Graham 86.0 387 13.4% 8.0% .309 4.81 4.79 121 121
Tommy Milone 149.3 660 16.4% 6.1% .307 4.94 4.93 124 124
Jared Burton 57.7 249 19.3% 8.0% .292 4.06 4.31 102 109
Michael Tonkin 68.3 297 20.2% 7.7% .309 4.08 4.02 103 101
Caleb Thielbar 55.3 241 18.7% 8.3% .294 4.07 4.11 103 104
Casey Fien 61.7 261 21.8% 5.7% .294 4.09 4.05 103 102
Lester Oliveros 46.0 202 22.8% 10.4% .299 4.11 4.38 104 110
Ryan Pressly 82.3 359 16.7% 7.8% .294 4.15 4.20 105 106
Blaine Boyer 51.0 219 18.3% 5.9% .296 4.24 4.32 107 109
Trevor May 137.0 619 19.5% 10.3% .307 5.06 5.01 127 126
Brian Duensing 54.3 239 18.0% 8.0% .304 4.31 4.09 109 103
A.J. Achter 80.0 349 19.2% 8.0% .298 4.27 4.49 108 113
Matt Guerrier 30.3 136 14.7% 8.8% .300 4.75 4.59 120 116
Brayan Villarreal 34.0 160 23.1% 16.9% .308 4.76 4.98 120 125
Mike Pelfrey 65.3 298 13.1% 8.4% .310 5.37 5.22 135 131
Adrian Salcedo 66.7 299 17.4% 8.7% .308 4.99 5.08 126 128
Kris Johnson 113.3 525 13.9% 11.0% .303 5.32 5.55 134 140
Mark Hamburger 70.3 325 13.9% 10.5% .305 5.37 5.50 135 139
Aaron Thompson 63.0 286 14.3% 8.7% .308 5.29 5.22 133 131
Stephen Pryor 42.3 199 18.6% 14.1% .302 5.53 5.76 139 145
Mason Melotakis 77.7 362 14.4% 11.3% .307 5.56 5.65 140 142
Ryan O’Rourke 48.3 221 17.7% 10.0% .309 5.59 5.50 141 139
Tyler Duffey 128.3 574 13.6% 6.1% .305 5.75 5.66 145 142
Logan Darnell 131.7 604 14.1% 8.6% .307 5.95 5.84 150 147
Virgil Vasquez 115.7 525 12.4% 6.9% .304 6.07 6.00 153 151
Jason Wheeler 132.0 617 12.0% 9.2% .305 6.41 6.45 161 163

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Phil Hughes 201.3 7.91 0.76 0.72 112 4.0 John Burkett
Kyle Gibson 167.7 5.69 2.90 0.70 91 1.5 Steve Fireovid
Alex Meyer 112.7 8.62 4.39 0.96 90 1.0 Dustin Nippert
Ervin Santana 170.7 7.17 2.95 1.21 85 0.9 Ron Darling
Ricky Nolasco 157.3 6.98 2.12 1.14 84 0.7 Jeff Weaver
Glen Perkins 58.7 10.12 2.15 0.92 117 0.6 Bob Patterson
Anthony Swarzak 87.0 6.00 2.69 0.72 95 0.3 Jose Santiago
Taylor Rogers 132.3 5.31 3.06 0.88 81 0.3 Jake Chapman
Jose Berrios 117.7 6.88 3.59 1.07 81 0.2 J.D. Durbin
Tim Stauffer 74.7 7.35 3.25 0.84 89 0.2 Britt Reames
J.R. Graham 86.0 5.44 3.24 0.84 82 0.2 Joe Coleman
Tommy Milone 149.3 6.51 2.41 1.39 80 0.2 Rick Honeycutt
Jared Burton 57.7 7.49 3.12 0.94 97 0.1 Bryan Corey
Michael Tonkin 68.3 7.91 3.03 0.79 97 0.1 Juan Padilla
Caleb Thielbar 55.3 7.32 3.25 0.81 97 0.1 Javier Lopez
Casey Fien 61.7 8.31 2.19 1.17 97 0.1 Dan Giese
Lester Oliveros 46.0 9.00 4.11 0.98 96 0.1 Brian Bruney
Ryan Pressly 82.3 6.56 3.06 0.77 95 0.0 Robert Tenenini
Blaine Boyer 51.0 7.06 2.29 1.06 93 0.0 Kirk Bullinger
Trevor May 137.0 7.95 4.20 1.18 78 0.0 Greg Keagle
Brian Duensing 54.3 7.13 3.15 0.83 92 -0.1 Will Brunson
A.J. Achter 80.0 7.54 3.15 1.01 92 -0.1 Matt Stevens
Matt Guerrier 30.3 5.94 3.56 0.89 83 -0.2 Ernie Johnson
Brayan Villarreal 34.0 9.79 7.15 0.79 83 -0.3 Eric Cammack
Mike Pelfrey 65.3 5.38 3.45 1.10 74 -0.3 Evan Thomas
Adrian Salcedo 66.7 7.02 3.51 1.21 79 -0.4 Brad Moore
Kris Johnson 113.3 5.80 4.61 1.11 74 -0.5 Steve Davis
Mark Hamburger 70.3 5.76 4.35 1.15 74 -0.6 Marty McLeary
Aaron Thompson 63.0 5.86 3.57 1.14 75 -0.7 Chris Cumberland
Stephen Pryor 42.3 7.87 5.96 1.28 71 -0.7 Agustin Montero
Mason Melotakis 77.7 6.02 4.75 1.16 71 -0.8 Brian Holliday
Ryan O’Rourke 48.3 7.27 4.10 1.49 71 -0.9 John Hrusovsky
Tyler Duffey 128.3 5.47 2.46 1.61 69 -1.2 Dane Johnson
Logan Darnell 131.7 5.81 3.55 1.57 66 -1.6 Mike Prochaska
Virgil Vasquez 115.7 5.06 2.80 1.71 65 -1.6 R.A. Dickey
Jason Wheeler 132.0 5.05 3.89 1.77 62 -2.3 Buddy Groom

***

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 3.93 ERA and the NL having a 3.75 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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mike wants wins
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mike wants wins
1 year 4 months ago

Meyer is 25, the Twins worrying about his clock is stupid for a SP with arm issues. Do the projections take into account the terrible defense at all? I know pitcher stats are supposed to reduce the emphasis on this, for them, but for the team? I don’t know if I missed something in the article on this or not.

I’d guess around 74 or so wins….and Terry Ryan continuing to tell us to be patient, trust us, help is coming (some year).

Andrew
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Andrew
1 year 4 months ago

My personal thoughts, I don’t think the Twins are worried about Meyer’s clock. They have control of him until when? Age 31 or so? He may not be in major league baseball anymore by that time (you never know).

They are worried about his shoulder and the fact that he had huge control problems last year. Trevor May was called up over Meyer for a reason. He was the better pitcher at the time. Also, maybe the Twins are worried about the fact that many scouts say he’ll be a “reliever at best.” Nothing more. I want Meyer up with the Twins too, but maybe they don’t want to “Aaron Hicks” him. Twins fans are still hoping he’s an ace or a #2. I still really hope he’s a starter, but the face that the word reliever is still being heavily thrown around is greatly disappointing.

Personally, I’d bring him up this year no matter what. If he doesn’t get the #5 spot in the rotation then I’d put him in the BP. I wouldn’t give Pelfrey another chance at the #5 spot at all, though they are. It should be Milone, May and Meyer. Right now, for me personally, May is in the lead for that spot. May isn’t perfect by any means, but I did feel he showed signs of improvement the further he went along.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
1 year 4 months ago

Meant to say “but the fact that” for the last sentence in the 2nd paragraph.

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

‘Meyer is 25, the Twins worrying about his clock is stupid for a SP with arm issues.’

It may be stupid, doesn’t mean it’s not true, mike.

And yes, the defense is taken into account for the position players themselves, but not for pitchers because Fangraphs’ WAR is FIP based not ERA based.

Dave
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Dave
1 year 4 months ago

What causes Ervin Santana to get such an awful projection? K rate last year – very good. HR Rate – average or better, Walk rate – average or better. He’s had one bad year out of the last five where he couldn’t control his HR’s but other than that, looks like a reliable 3rd starter. Surprised to he him get a barely above replacement level projection.

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

Last year was his best FIP since 2008, and better than hsi career FIP by almost a full run, so expect regression and he gets farther and farther from his prime. Even with his best FIP ever, he was still at 2.8 WAR. I’d be shocked if he was over 2.00 as well.

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

I’d be shocked if he was over 2.0 (not 2.00) as well.:-)

Alex
Guest
Alex
1 year 4 months ago

2 pitchers with an ERA under 4 and one of them is the closer. Ooof.. And Josmil Pinto is the 3rd best hitter on the team.. ooof…

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

until they address their horrific team defense (catcher, outfield especially) their pitchers ERAs will be significantly and artificially higher than it should be.

Alex
Guest
Alex
1 year 4 months ago

Still only 2 pitchers with a FIP under 4. OOOF.

JustinCB
Guest
JustinCB
1 year 4 months ago

They were 5th in the league in runs scored this season, and 7th overall. The projections for the offense were horrific last year as well.

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

Even before seeing this and/or Steamer’s projections it was clear that 2015 is going to be another rough year for this team, regardless of how some ever optimistic fans try to wiggle things around to say otherwise.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 4 months ago

Another year of a high draft pick?

Jim Price
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Jim Price
1 year 4 months ago

I suspect somehow they will beat 70 wins, with the same group of hitters they were actually a decent offense last year (7th in MLB in runs scored). Of course that pitching with no help from catcher framing is the problem, but if they can get off the bottom in pitching (can’t get much worse than last few years?), then I see them at 75 wins and moving in the right direction. Got to get some pitching help though.

mike wants wins
Guest
mike wants wins
1 year 4 months ago

I get WAR does that with defense….for some reason I have this need to double count it :)

as Seth points out, is JD Durbin really the top comp for Berrios?

Josh
Guest
Josh
1 year 4 months ago

wow, projecting Hughes for a 2% BB% and 10:1 K:BB. Halladay-esque. I wonder if that’s a first for ZiPS.

Beaucoup Bucks
Guest
Beaucoup Bucks
1 year 4 months ago

That’s a (very small) regression from last year, apparently ZiPS is a believer in his approach.

Jimmer
Guest
Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

Steamer is a little less optimistic. ZIPs, last year, was overall the best, and seems it usually is. I imagine we’re looking at more of a 3-4 WAR guy than a 6+ WAR guy he was last year.

On top of that, Fangraphs has adjusted it’s WAR computations for pitchers to include pop-ups, so that should be interesting.

Detroit Michael
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Detroit Michael
1 year 4 months ago

I was going to comment on the same thing.

There ought to be more regression built into that projection. An average projection for Phil Hughes’ 2015 season should not have a K/BB ratio of over 10. Last season, it was over 11 but (1) Hughes’ career K/BB ratio is between 3 and 4 and (2) since World War II, Hughes’ 2014 season was only the third by a pitcher with enough IP to qualify for the ERA title with a K/BB ratio greater than 10.

Dan Gladden's Mullet
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Dan Gladden's Mullet
1 year 4 months ago

The projections are ugly, but nothing a little dazzle and a little whiskey can’t fix. Plus Mauer’s defensive projection clearly doesn’t account for the Hrbie leg lock at first creating some outs. That’s how you win rings and make babies. I would know.

Jimmer
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Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

ZIPs forget to account for Hunter’s leadership and overall clubhouse presence. Worth $10M AND 5-10 additional wins :-)

Dan Gladden's Mullet
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Dan Gladden's Mullet
1 year 4 months ago

Also, I see they have IP for innings pitched, but nothing for IE or innings eaten? This can be an offensive or pitching category. Hrbie and the Dazzleman used to throw back some dogs during most innings. Vargas should be an elite IE guy.

Jimmer
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Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

I believe Bartolo Colon will have an Innings Eaten column :-)

Joshua_C
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Joshua_C
1 year 4 months ago

Is there any way we can access historical projections? It would be extremely interesting to compare historical projections (especially in an exportable format) with actual performance more than just for the last year.

Jimmer
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Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

Can google it by typing something like this’2012 zips projections’ and then just keep changing the year. Not sure how long he’s been doing them.

travolta19
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travolta19
1 year 4 months ago

BaseballThinkFactory

Underwood4000
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Underwood4000
1 year 4 months ago

Eduardo Nunez stars as Cristian Guzman in Born To Twin: A Musical Tribute to the 2015 Minnesota Twins.

Underwood4000
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Underwood4000
1 year 4 months ago

I guess it’d actually be Too Many At Bats: A Musical Tribute To the Medicore 2000 Twins Middle Infielders

Jay
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Jay
1 year 4 months ago

I think zips was a little harsh on tommy Milone just because of a few bad starts in Min after the trade.

ThePuck
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ThePuck
1 year 4 months ago

Milone’s dropoff after leaving Oakland’s spacious park (especially the huge amount of foul territory) coupled with going from having a very good defensive team to a lousy defensive team, was predictable. I have zero problem with that projection.

Compton
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Compton
1 year 4 months ago

I deduce that Josmil Pinto wears a large pair of underwear.

Jimmer
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Jimmer
1 year 4 months ago

For me, the weird part of these projections is how the Suzuki/Pinto combo can be projected to 3 WAR while Plouffe, Dozier and Mauer are projected to 2 WAR.

meat coat
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meat coat
1 year 4 months ago

It’s the positional adjustment, which is often absurd. Catchers and middle infielders are granted bonuses, while cornermen suffer for some perceived deficiency. An altogether obvious weak point in WAR’s current conception.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
1 year 4 months ago

Ok. Positional adjustments are completely necessary to account for the relative scarcity of players capable of playing each position, and the corresponding difficulty of finding offense at those positions. Do you think a catcher with a 120 wRC+ is equally valuable to a 1B with a 120? If not, you agree with the need for positional adjustments.

meat coat
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meat coat
1 year 4 months ago

I see the need. My concern is with the application. Isn’t the player’s ability to field a certain position already accounted for in defensive metrics, which are factored into WAR?
Are we not then double-penalizing a corner guy because of a mere perception: that he should innately hit better than a shortstop because he can’t field as well?

EndlessBacklash
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EndlessBacklash
1 year 4 months ago

This team continues to have a glut of 1B/DH/corner-OF (and pray they hit it right at them) types that don’t contribute offensively enough to offset their defensive liabilities and lack of any semblance of versatility. Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel and Chris Colabello are all gone, but they still have Kennys Vargas (see below), Oswaldo Arcia (ditto), Josmil Pinto (C/DH, catching has “improved”, but is still rough), Chris Parmelee (bench-player/AAAA-type), and Chris Hermann (emergency catcher/DH). With the addition of old Torii Hunter, you project awful defense and more players then you have spaces for them to play.

I know they are both still fairly young (going into their age-24 seasons) and hit for some pop, but Vargas (27% K-rate last year) and Arcia (31% K-rate last year) have their very notable contact red-flags. There are many causes for concern and it’s possible that neither player will amount to more than being a 1-2 WAR player at best.

As far as the offense goes, there are lot of things that point to them regressing. Danny Santana BABIP’ed over .400 last year. Kurt Suzuki played well and was a great pickup for them last year, but played his most number of games since 2011, so there are injury concerns heading into his age-31 season. Joe Mauer will provide value when he’s right, but injury concerns and lack of power limit him at first base. Aaron Hicks is at a crossroads with the organization with many feeling that he was rushed too soon and is just flat-out overmatched on a day-to-day basis. So. . . Dozier, Plouffe, and *shrugs* I don’t know?

It’s a tough call to tell who is going to do well, who is going to break out, and who might regress when it seems like the stink of mediocrity just hangs over everything as a whole heading into 2015. It sure seems like it is going to be another year of hoping that Sano and Buxton make their way up to the Twin Cities to brighten some spirits.

dino saines
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1 year 4 months ago

as conservative as they are they gave dozier pretty good stats.

Devin
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Devin
1 year 2 months ago

Having some trouble, Ervin Santana in Minnie has a 85+ ERA but in Atlanta he has a 98+ ERA. How do I figure out what he is in Petco or on the padres for example.

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