2016 ZiPS Projections – Oakland Athletics

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 Oakland Athletics. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago AL / Chicago NL / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Detroit / Houston / Kansas City / Los Angeles NL / Minnesota / New York AL / New York NL / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / St. Louis / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Texas / Toronto / Washington.

Batters
There’s always the sense, given the organization’s record of innovation and willingness to reconstruct its roster, that the A’s are likely to succeed then most when mediocrity appears to be the only possible outcome. If that sense is correct, then Oakland is likely to succeed very hard in 2016 — because the club, as presently constructed, is not well-acquitted by the projections.

Consider the following table, a version of which appears in the glossary entry for WAR and which provides a rough characterization for various WAR ranges:

WAR Figures in Context
Category WAR
Scrub 0-1
Role Player 1-2
Solid Starter 2-3
Good Player 3-4
All-Star 4-5
Superstar 5-6
MVP 6+

By this rough taxonomy, Oakland currently employs only two batters classified as “solid starters” (Josh Reddick, Marcus Semien) and a third (Billy Burns) who profiles as precisely average. That triumvirate represents the exact sort of cost-controlled core a team like Oakland requires to win. Unfortunately, they’re surrounded not by stars, but role players.

It’s difficult, while examining the modest projections here, not also to consider for a moment the distinctly less modest one produced by ZiPS for Josh Donaldson. Last year’s American League MVP is expected to record more than six wins in 2016, at the cost of about $11.5 million. One needn’t be employed — or even have any training — as a rocket scientist to recognize what a benefit Donaldson would be to this club.

Pitchers
Fortunately for Oakland, the rotation offers a brighter spot in the form of right-hander Sonny Gray. In nearly 430 innings over the last two seasons, Gray has recorded a 6.9 WAR as calculated with FIP and an even better 10.0 WAR as calculated with runs allowed. Dan Szymborski’s computer appears to regard the latter methodology as more representative of Gray’s true talent: the 4.9 zWAR for which the 26-year-old is forecast represents basically just the average of his past two years.

After Gray, the returns are less impressive, as no other starter is projected to reach even the two-win threshold. Unsurprisingly, Szymborski’s model isn’t overwhelmed by Rich Hill‘s four-start renaissance with Boston last year, although that’s also a product of playing time: the left-hander does profile as roughly average (84.0 IP, 0.8 zWAR) if prorated out to 200 innings.

Bench/Prospects
Oakland has some high-end talent in its system, but it’s mostly low-ceiling high-minors guys like 26-year-old Jake Smolinski (406 PA, 1.0 zWAR) and 25-year-old Joey Wendle (505 PA, 0.9 zWAR) who appear ready to help the team in the near future. Success at Double-A might lead to a late-season promotion of third baseman Matt Chapman (328 PA, 0.9 zWAR). Among pitchers, former Cape League standout and Royals draftee Sean Manaea (113.1 IP, 1.1 zWAR) actually receives one of the top projections on the club. He was acquired at last year’s deadline in exchange for Ben Zobrist.

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

Oakland 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
Marcus Semien R 25 SS 618 73 136 27 6 15 60 12 4
Josh Reddick L 29 RF 516 61 120 23 4 17 67 8 2
Billy Burns B 26 CF 599 68 145 19 7 3 41 35 7
Stephen Vogt L 31 C 446 46 102 18 3 13 53 1 1
Josh Phegley R 28 C 377 43 82 21 2 9 49 1 1
Danny Valencia R 31 3B 384 44 94 22 2 12 53 2 2
Jed Lowrie B 32 2B 423 47 94 23 1 9 44 1 0
Jake Smolinski R 27 LF 406 48 88 20 2 11 45 4 2
Joey Wendle L 26 2B 505 52 112 26 4 9 50 6 2
Billy Butler R 30 DH 604 59 143 28 1 14 72 0 0
Coco Crisp B 36 LF 346 43 76 14 2 7 31 11 2
Matt Chapman R 23 3B 328 35 66 15 2 8 31 3 1
Josh Rodriguez R 31 3B 484 52 98 19 2 10 46 6 3
Yonder Alonso L 29 1B 406 45 98 19 1 6 42 4 3
Jason Pridie L 32 CF 470 48 102 17 4 12 46 12 3
Ryan Roberts R 35 3B 383 38 85 19 1 8 38 2 4
Sam Fuld L 34 CF 283 30 55 11 3 3 23 10 3
Brent Morel R 29 3B 443 44 95 23 2 8 46 7 3
Eric Sogard L 30 2B 370 38 83 13 2 2 32 7 3
Renato Nunez R 22 3B 503 53 111 21 1 15 52 1 0
Mark Canha R 27 1B 506 61 113 24 2 13 62 5 2
Franklin Barreto R 20 SS 402 42 92 18 2 8 40 12 5
Andrew Lambo L 27 RF 236 28 50 11 1 9 16 2 1
Carson Blair R 26 C 305 29 50 11 2 8 27 1 0
Ike Davis L 29 1B 372 36 72 19 0 10 40 1 1
Matt Olson L 22 1B 607 66 108 28 0 17 58 3 1
Tyler Ladendorf R 28 SS 251 23 48 9 2 3 19 1 1
Chad Pinder R 24 SS 435 41 92 19 2 9 39 5 5
Cody Ross R 35 RF 195 17 42 8 0 4 60 1 1
Matt McBride R 31 1B 321 32 75 18 1 8 31 2 1
Danny Oh L 26 LF 290 25 60 12 2 1 18 5 3
Bryan Anderson L 29 C 304 28 57 13 1 5 26 1 0
Bruce Maxwell L 25 C 398 33 80 15 0 3 28 0 1
Rangel Ravelo R 24 1B 399 41 88 20 2 6 39 4 3
Matt Carson R 34 RF 305 31 61 11 1 5 27 6 2
Jaycob Brugman L 24 LF 468 41 93 18 5 6 40 6 5
Matt Angle L 30 LF 294 26 54 8 2 2 18 8 2
Alex Glenn L 25 LF 444 42 88 17 4 8 41 8 3
Max Muncy L 25 1B 473 48 91 21 2 8 41 2 2
Kent Matthes R 29 RF 346 30 68 20 2 7 34 6 1
Ryon Healy R 24 3B 508 47 116 21 1 9 45 0 1
Anthony Aliotti L 28 1B 474 42 91 19 0 6 36 1 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Marcus Semien 618 8.6% 21.5% .150 .294 .244 .312 .394 .314
Josh Reddick 516 8.5% 15.5% .176 .276 .257 .320 .433 .329
Billy Burns 599 6.5% 16.0% .077 .316 .265 .320 .342 .306
Stephen Vogt 446 8.5% 17.3% .157 .282 .254 .317 .411 .313
Josh Phegley 377 4.5% 18.0% .149 .264 .234 .277 .383 .287
Danny Valencia 384 5.7% 20.3% .173 .303 .263 .305 .436 .320
Jed Lowrie 423 8.5% 14.7% .137 .272 .247 .315 .384 .301
Jake Smolinski 406 8.1% 19.7% .157 .279 .242 .313 .399 .315
Joey Wendle 505 4.0% 21.2% .129 .285 .237 .274 .366 .280
Billy Butler 604 8.6% 16.2% .133 .297 .264 .331 .397 .313
Coco Crisp 346 9.8% 13.3% .126 .267 .247 .319 .373 .311
Matt Chapman 328 6.4% 25.3% .143 .274 .219 .277 .362 .283
Josh Rodriguez 484 7.9% 25.2% .121 .284 .223 .288 .344 .282
Yonder Alonso 406 8.6% 12.1% .107 .293 .268 .333 .375 .310
Jason Pridie 470 6.4% 23.0% .141 .284 .235 .286 .376 .293
Ryan Roberts 383 7.0% 17.5% .128 .276 .242 .296 .370 .294
Sam Fuld 283 9.2% 16.3% .103 .255 .218 .293 .321 .280
Brent Morel 443 5.6% 23.9% .124 .290 .231 .278 .355 .281
Eric Sogard 370 6.5% 11.9% .068 .276 .246 .298 .314 .275
Renato Nunez 503 4.4% 22.5% .144 .277 .235 .276 .379 .284
Mark Canha 506 7.5% 22.7% .148 .302 .248 .315 .396 .314
Franklin Barreto 402 4.0% 22.9% .122 .300 .245 .282 .367 .293
Andrew Lambo 236 6.8% 27.1% .186 .285 .231 .289 .417 .305
Carson Blair 305 9.5% 39.3% .143 .288 .184 .266 .327 .264
Ike Davis 372 12.1% 21.2% .151 .261 .222 .315 .373 .303
Matt Olson 607 11.7% 29.5% .150 .272 .205 .303 .355 .291
Tyler Ladendorf 251 6.8% 22.3% .096 .263 .211 .272 .307 .259
Chad Pinder 435 3.7% 27.1% .123 .292 .225 .263 .348 .272
Cody Ross 195 7.2% 19.5% .112 .275 .236 .292 .348 .285
Matt McBride 321 4.4% 14.6% .146 .269 .249 .287 .395 .298
Danny Oh 290 6.6% 20.7% .071 .286 .226 .284 .297 .264
Bryan Anderson 304 6.9% 28.0% .108 .274 .205 .264 .313 .256
Bruce Maxwell 398 6.8% 21.4% .065 .274 .218 .272 .283 .248
Rangel Ravelo 399 7.0% 19.5% .116 .291 .243 .302 .359 .293
Matt Carson 305 5.6% 27.5% .100 .292 .219 .274 .319 .266
Jaycob Brugman 468 6.6% 25.4% .106 .281 .215 .269 .321 .268
Matt Angle 294 7.5% 26.9% .068 .281 .205 .271 .273 .252
Alex Glenn 444 5.2% 27.5% .118 .279 .212 .259 .330 .263
Max Muncy 473 9.7% 24.5% .116 .276 .217 .294 .333 .280
Kent Matthes 346 4.6% 27.5% .139 .272 .209 .252 .348 .264
Ryon Healy 508 3.3% 18.9% .103 .279 .239 .264 .342 .264
Anthony Aliotti 474 8.2% 31.2% .086 .307 .213 .280 .299 .257

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Marcus Semien 618 4.5 96 -4 2.4 Jay Bell
Josh Reddick 516 5.1 108 6 2.4 Trot Nixon
Billy Burns 599 4.4 86 2 2.0 Milt Cuyler
Stephen Vogt 446 4.7 102 -6 1.9 Johnny Roseboro
Josh Phegley 377 3.7 82 2 1.5 Chris Widger
Danny Valencia 384 4.8 104 -3 1.3 Sean Berry
Jed Lowrie 423 4.4 95 -2 1.1 Jim Lefebvre
Jake Smolinski 406 4.5 98 2 1.0 Phil Lombardi
Joey Wendle 505 3.6 77 4 0.9 Ivanon Coffie
Billy Butler 604 4.8 103 0 0.9 Brook Jacoby
Coco Crisp 346 4.5 93 2 0.9 Gary Matthews Jr.
Matt Chapman 328 3.5 77 4 0.9 George Arias
Josh Rodriguez 484 3.4 76 3 0.8 Shanie Dugas
Yonder Alonso 406 4.6 98 4 0.7 Bruce Bochte
Jason Pridie 470 3.9 83 -3 0.6 Damon Buford
Ryan Roberts 383 3.7 85 0 0.6 Tim Wallach
Sam Fuld 283 3.4 72 3 0.5 Eddie Milner
Brent Morel 443 3.5 76 1 0.5 Adam Pavkovich
Eric Sogard 370 3.4 72 2 0.3 Casey Candaele
Renato Nunez 503 3.7 81 -4 0.3 Casey Webster
Mark Canha 506 4.5 98 -2 0.3 Adam Piatt
Franklin Barreto 402 3.8 80 -6 0.2 Edwin Encarnacion
Andrew Lambo 236 4.2 95 -3 0.1 Brent Cookson
Carson Blair 305 2.9 65 -4 0.0 Steve Lomasney
Ike Davis 372 4.1 92 -1 0.0 Mark Johnson
Matt Olson 607 3.7 84 2 -0.1 Dernell Stenson
Tyler Ladendorf 251 2.8 62 -2 -0.2 Keith Johns
Chad Pinder 435 3.1 69 -4 -0.2 Craig Paquette
Cody Ross 195 3.5 79 -1 -0.2 Dusty Wathan
Matt McBride 321 4.1 89 -2 -0.3 Dan Rohrmeier
Danny Oh 290 2.9 63 4 -0.3 Cliff Gonzalez
Bryan Anderson 304 2.8 61 -6 -0.4 Tom Nieto
Bruce Maxwell 398 2.6 56 -4 -0.4 Lance Jennings
Rangel Ravelo 399 3.8 84 -1 -0.4 Chris Nowak
Matt Carson 305 3.1 66 0 -0.6 Dann Howitt
Jaycob Brugman 468 2.9 65 5 -0.7 B.J. Barns
Matt Angle 294 2.7 53 2 -0.7 Mike Murphy
Alex Glenn 444 3.0 64 3 -0.8 Victor Mendez
Max Muncy 473 3.3 75 1 -0.8 Kevin Burford
Kent Matthes 346 3.1 66 -1 -0.8 Mike Beams
Ryon Healy 508 3.2 68 -7 -1.0 Christopher Johnson
Anthony Aliotti 474 2.8 63 1 -1.5 Tate Seefried

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Sonny Gray R 26 32 32 211.0 179 65 17 184 80 75
Chris Bassitt R 27 24 20 124.3 96 45 10 121 58 54
Jesse Hahn R 26 22 20 105.7 73 37 9 104 51 48
Sean Manaea L 24 24 23 113.3 102 46 13 108 57 53
Kendall Graveman R 25 27 25 141.3 88 43 15 149 73 68
Henderson Alvarez R 26 17 17 100.3 55 23 9 108 49 46
Liam Hendriks R 27 57 0 65.7 67 12 5 58 22 21
Rich Hill L 36 16 16 84.0 81 44 9 77 43 40
Felix Doubront L 28 25 20 117.7 93 47 13 119 62 58
Sean Doolittle L 29 46 0 44.7 53 9 5 37 16 15
Jarrod Parker R 27 15 15 93.0 62 32 12 95 50 47
Chris Smith R 35 18 15 86.3 71 31 12 86 46 43
Dillon Overton L 24 22 21 88.7 61 24 12 94 48 45
Ryan Madson R 35 32 0 29.7 29 9 3 27 12 11
Ryan Dull R 26 52 0 65.7 62 20 8 61 30 28
Fernando Rodriguez R 32 49 0 54.0 54 23 6 48 25 23
Sean Nolin L 26 21 19 88.0 64 36 12 92 50 47
Marc Rzepczynski L 30 70 0 47.0 43 19 4 45 21 20
Aaron Brooks R 26 28 25 149.0 95 32 21 171 87 81
Bobby Wahl R 24 26 0 35.0 32 15 4 33 17 16
John Axford R 33 60 0 54.7 58 30 6 50 27 25
Aaron Kurcz R 25 42 0 55.0 56 32 6 50 28 26
R.J. Alvarez R 25 50 0 54.7 57 28 6 50 28 26
Eric Surkamp L 28 32 14 100.3 76 32 15 106 58 54
Raul Alcantara R 23 17 17 61.0 26 19 8 70 37 35
Angel Castro R 33 32 10 80.7 49 30 11 88 47 44
Patrick Schuster L 25 57 0 48.0 36 24 5 48 26 24
Ryan Brasier R 28 30 0 37.3 26 15 4 39 20 19
Taylor Thompson R 29 31 0 43.0 33 21 5 44 24 22
Daniel Coulombe L 26 54 0 61.7 57 39 6 58 33 31
Kevin Whelan R 32 25 0 27.0 27 18 5 27 18 17
J.B. Wendelken R 23 53 0 67.0 58 20 10 69 37 35
Eduard Santos R 26 43 0 56.3 55 32 8 54 32 30
Barry Zito L 38 19 16 93.3 52 48 14 103 62 58
Zach Neal R 27 26 25 150.3 77 37 27 176 98 92
Nate Long R 30 27 18 114.3 75 54 21 127 78 73

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Sonny Gray 211.0 882 20.3% 7.4% .271 3.20 3.44 82 87
Chris Bassitt 124.3 539 17.8% 8.4% .294 3.91 3.91 100 99
Jesse Hahn 105.7 458 15.9% 8.1% .286 4.09 4.05 105 103
Sean Manaea 113.3 494 20.7% 9.3% .290 4.21 4.15 108 105
Kendall Graveman 141.3 616 14.3% 7.0% .289 4.33 4.30 111 109
Henderson Alvarez 100.3 432 12.7% 5.3% .291 4.13 3.95 106 101
Liam Hendriks 65.7 267 25.1% 4.5% .294 2.88 2.69 74 69
Rich Hill 84.0 373 21.7% 11.8% .291 4.29 4.25 110 108
Felix Doubront 117.7 519 17.9% 9.1% .292 4.44 4.24 114 108
Sean Doolittle 44.7 180 29.4% 5.0% .283 3.02 2.73 78 69
Jarrod Parker 93.0 406 15.3% 7.9% .280 4.55 4.58 117 116
Chris Smith 86.3 376 18.9% 8.2% .287 4.48 4.45 115 113
Dillon Overton 88.7 384 15.9% 6.2% .291 4.57 4.47 117 114
Ryan Madson 29.7 125 23.2% 7.2% .289 3.34 3.38 86 86
Ryan Dull 65.7 278 22.3% 7.2% .286 3.84 3.71 99 94
Fernando Rodriguez 54.0 233 23.2% 9.9% .284 3.83 3.88 98 99
Sean Nolin 88.0 392 16.3% 9.2% .289 4.81 4.75 124 121
Marc Rzepczynski 47.0 205 21.0% 9.3% .304 3.83 3.60 98 91
Aaron Brooks 149.0 650 14.6% 4.9% .304 4.89 4.45 126 113
Bobby Wahl 35.0 153 20.9% 9.8% .290 4.11 4.13 106 105
John Axford 54.7 244 23.8% 12.3% .295 4.12 3.95 106 100
Aaron Kurcz 55.0 247 22.7% 13.0% .293 4.25 4.34 109 110
R.J. Alvarez 54.7 242 23.5% 11.6% .297 4.28 4.04 110 103
Eric Surkamp 100.3 439 17.3% 7.3% .294 4.84 4.64 124 118
Raul Alcantara 61.0 272 9.6% 7.0% .288 5.16 5.09 133 129
Angel Castro 80.7 360 13.6% 8.3% .289 4.91 4.89 126 124
Patrick Schuster 48.0 216 16.7% 11.1% .291 4.50 4.58 116 117
Ryan Brasier 37.3 166 15.7% 9.0% .294 4.58 4.47 118 114
Taylor Thompson 43.0 194 17.0% 10.8% .295 4.60 4.76 118 121
Daniel Coulombe 61.7 282 20.2% 13.8% .294 4.52 4.47 116 114
Kevin Whelan 27.0 126 21.4% 14.3% .297 5.67 5.62 146 143
J.B. Wendelken 67.0 290 20.0% 6.9% .298 4.70 4.39 121 112
Eduard Santos 56.3 255 21.6% 12.6% .293 4.79 4.81 123 122
Barry Zito 93.3 431 12.1% 11.1% .284 5.59 5.58 144 142
Zach Neal 150.3 664 11.6% 5.6% .290 5.51 5.31 142 135
Nate Long 114.3 524 14.3% 10.3% .289 5.75 5.73 148 146

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Sonny Gray 211.0 7.64 2.77 0.73 121 4.9 Ramon Martinez
Chris Bassitt 124.3 6.95 3.26 0.72 99 1.7 Chris Hook
Jesse Hahn 105.7 6.22 3.15 0.77 94 1.2 Ed Wojna
Sean Manaea 113.3 8.10 3.65 1.03 92 1.1 Jorge de la Rosa
Kendall Graveman 141.3 5.61 2.74 0.96 89 1.1 Don Welchel
Henderson Alvarez 100.3 4.94 2.06 0.81 94 1.0 Ron Reed
Liam Hendriks 65.7 9.18 1.64 0.68 134 1.0 Chad Bradford
Rich Hill 84.0 8.68 4.71 0.96 90 0.8 Doug Davis
Felix Doubront 117.7 7.11 3.59 0.99 87 0.7 Anthony Moreno
Sean Doolittle 44.7 10.67 1.81 1.01 128 0.7 George Sherrill
Jarrod Parker 93.0 6.00 3.10 1.16 85 0.5 Travis Smith
Chris Smith 86.3 7.40 3.23 1.25 86 0.4 Richie Lewis
Dillon Overton 88.7 6.19 2.44 1.22 85 0.4 Travis Baptist
Ryan Madson 29.7 8.79 2.73 0.91 116 0.3 Donn Pall
Ryan Dull 65.7 8.49 2.74 1.10 101 0.3 Mike Adams
Fernando Rodriguez 54.0 9.00 3.83 1.00 101 0.2 Reggie Harris
Sean Nolin 88.0 6.55 3.68 1.23 80 0.1 Sherman Corbett
Marc Rzepczynski 47.0 8.23 3.64 0.77 101 0.1 Mike Kinnunen
Aaron Brooks 149.0 5.74 1.93 1.27 79 0.1 Andrew Baldwin
Bobby Wahl 35.0 8.23 3.86 1.03 94 0.0 Jermaine Van Buren
John Axford 54.7 9.54 4.94 0.99 94 0.0 Tim Stoddard
Aaron Kurcz 55.0 9.16 5.24 0.98 91 -0.1 Not That Bob Gibson
R.J. Alvarez 54.7 9.38 4.61 0.99 90 -0.1 Rickey Keeton
Eric Surkamp 100.3 6.82 2.87 1.35 80 -0.1 Huck Flener
Raul Alcantara 61.0 3.84 2.80 1.18 75 -0.2 Daniel Haigwood
Angel Castro 80.7 5.46 3.35 1.23 79 -0.2 Joe Haynes
Patrick Schuster 48.0 6.75 4.50 0.94 86 -0.2 Mike Venafro
Ryan Brasier 37.3 6.27 3.62 0.97 84 -0.3 Tom Dukes
Taylor Thompson 43.0 6.91 4.40 1.05 84 -0.3 Keith Shepherd
Daniel Coulombe 61.7 8.31 5.69 0.88 85 -0.4 Jimmy Williams
Kevin Whelan 27.0 9.00 6.00 1.67 68 -0.5 Pete Walker
J.B. Wendelken 67.0 7.79 2.69 1.34 82 -0.5 Julio Mateo
Eduard Santos 56.3 8.79 5.12 1.28 81 -0.6 Brian Mallette
Barry Zito 93.3 5.02 4.63 1.35 69 -0.8 Mike Flanagan
Zach Neal 150.3 4.61 2.22 1.62 70 -1.2 Ryan Cox
Nate Long 114.3 5.91 4.25 1.65 67 -1.3 Giovanni Carrara

***

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 2016. 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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Malcolm-Jamal Hegyes
Member
Malcolm-Jamal Hegyes
3 months 23 days ago

What would Ron Washington say about the next Edwin Encarnacion being the A’s shortstop of the future?

Zach Walters Appreciation Guild
Member
Zach Walters Appreciation Guild
3 months 23 days ago

“That is a very strange Franklin Barreto comp,” he might say. “I can’t say I understand it, at first glance, at least” he might continue.

Sleepy
Member
Sleepy
3 months 22 days ago

What would Wash say? Most likely something about yayo…

Philip Christy
Member
Philip Christy
3 months 22 days ago

It’s incredibly hard.

dl80
Member
dl80
3 months 23 days ago

Are we all so sure that Sonny Gray’s method of low BABIP/extremely low HR/average BB/average K rates are a sustainable way to achieve above average value?

If his BABIP or HR rate regresses at all, he’s a slightly above average pitcher; if both regress in any given year, he’s barely usable.

Not my kind of pitcher.

Bread n Mustard
Member
3 months 22 days ago

Yes, we are. It has worked well for every pitcher with good command. Of course his numbers will regress at some point but he is only 26 and has shown no sign of slowing down.

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
3 months 21 days ago

I’m not convinced at all. There’s a certain type of pitcher who is able to pull it off (lots of pop ups, fly ball pitcher) and Gray doesn’t really qualify.

He is a good fielder though, which should allow him to beat his peripherals by a smidgen.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
3 months 23 days ago

Oof. When your best hitters (by projected wRC+) are most comparable to Trot Nixon, Sean Berry, and Brook Jacoby, well…that is a pretty putrid offense.

Sleepy
Member
Sleepy
3 months 22 days ago

2015 wRC+

Cubs – 96

A’s – 96

Weird.

Cory Settoon
Member
3 months 22 days ago

One of these teams gave 377 PA’s to pitchers.

These pitchers had a nifty -26 wRC+.

Sleepy
Member
Sleepy
3 months 22 days ago

…and the A’s gave 600 PAs to the rotting carcas of Billy Butler.

All I’m saying is that the A’s & Cubs had somewhat comparable offenses last season, which is borderline unbelievable.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
3 months 22 days ago

Yeah, that’s a disingenuous comparison. Without considering pitchers, Cubs were 104 wRC+, 7th in baseball. The A’s? 96, good for 19th.

Not in the lower third, which is good! But not at all on par with the Cubs.

Ivan_Grushenko
Member
Ivan_Grushenko
3 months 22 days ago

On the positive side it’s only the non-Gray part of the pitching staff that’s putrid. Thank goodness for that!

Slacker George
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Member
Slacker George
3 months 23 days ago

I guess this is what GM regression to the mean looks like.

JayDawg
Member
JayDawg
3 months 22 days ago

Love the “Not THAT Bob Gibson” comparison for Aaron Kurcz.

The Great Cust
Member
The Great Cust
3 months 22 days ago

Beane just wants to put out a team that might compete for the second wild card spot while the young talent develops. Clearly he considers the A’s competitive window as closed – and that makes sense in wake of the Astros’ hoard of elite talent. Also, the Donaldson trade gave them all long-term assets that should help the team more in the coming years.

I mean, he has certainly made mistakes but I feel the direction he is leading the team is a good one.

Ivan_Grushenko
Member
Ivan_Grushenko
3 months 22 days ago

Is this sarcasm?

Brian P. Mangan
Member
Brian P. Mangan
3 months 22 days ago

I’ll take the over on Valencia.

OrangeJoos
Member
OrangeJoos
3 months 22 days ago

If in a world where the stars aligned and time holds still and the great opening to paradise presents itself that these projections turned out 100% accurate instead of sub 50%, then you may as well give us #1 pick because those numbers are bottom 3 numbers around 50 wins at best.

Olson is elite in terms of OBP but gets a .300 number is a bit pathetic. The model seems to base on absolutely worst case projections. It seems to exclude the possibility of bounceback or the fact a player may turn out a star vis a vie donaldson a nobody minor leaguer in 2012

Dan Szymborski
Member
Dan Szymborski
3 months 22 days ago

You hit the nail on the head. ZiPS picks the worst-case scenario. It knows that low-BA AA hitters that get almost all their value from walks tend to do really well in the majors after skipping AAA the next year and it gets really bitter and mad.

Dan Szymborski
Member
Dan Szymborski
3 months 22 days ago

You didn’t even acknowledge the trickiest part, the part where ZiPS (205/303/355) coordinated with Steamer (210/303/355) to make sure Olson got the worst projection possible.

bobthewondercat
Member
3 months 21 days ago

Bleah. This team looks so bad. But not just bad, boring / directionless bad. Not elite on the farm. Stadium still has sewage leaks. Beane in a more advisory role. There’s just nothing to sink your teeth into here except Sonny and one Sonny doth not a delicious team sandwich make. Just kinda blah sad. Brewers-y. Sigh.

Radermecher
Member
Radermecher
3 months 19 days ago

Never heard of twenty or so of the players,Oakland can certainly sneak up on some teams,if these guys work out.

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