2017 ZiPS Projections – Arizona Diamondbacks

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

Other Projections: Chicago NL / San Diego / Toronto / Washington.

Batters
Not unlike a glass that’s simultaneously half full and half empty, the Diamondbacks — on the position-player side of things, at least — serve as an effective litmus test for optimism. There are real strengths in the projected starting lineup — strengths like Paul Goldschmidt (630 PA, 4.8 zWAR), Jake Lamb (517, 2.4), and A.J. Pollock (445, 3.5). There are also real weaknesses, too, in the form of Brandon Drury (581, 0.0), Yasmany Tomas (524, 0.5), and whoever’s tasked with playing catcher.

The optimist regards this as a club that can be easily upgraded: because the flaws are so obvious, they can be dramatically improved with only a modest investment of resources. The pessimist, on the other hand, is uncomfortable with relying so heavily on the ability of just a few players. If one of them were to get injured (as Pollock did in 2016), the club would suffer unduly (as the D-backs did in 2016).

Pitchers
Much of Arizona’s starting rotation underperformed expectations in one form or another last year. Zack Greinke (172.1 IP, 3.6 zWAR) failed to meet his previously established levels. Robbie Ray (176.1, 3.4) produced considerably better fielding-independent numbers than actual run-prevention ones. And Shelby Miller (167.1, 2.3) fell into a thousand pieces. Dan Szymborski’s computer calls for positive regression in each case. In fact, every starter in the D-backs’ rotation is projected to produce more wins in 2017 than 2016.

In the bullpen, Arizona features a number of competent pieces but no obvious relief ace. Left-hander Andrew Chafin (65.0 IP, 82 ERA-) and right-hander Silvino Bracho (64.0 IP, 87 ERA-) actually receive the top per-inning projections from ZiPS, although neither is likely to record the highest-leverage appearances for the club — at least not to begin the season.

Bench/Prospects
Arizona features a robust collection of serviceable middle-infield talent. Nick Ahmed (424 PA, 1.3 zWAR) earned a number of starts at shortstop last year, and there’s a case to be made that recently acquired Ketel Marte (561, 1.9) deserves a number of them this coming year, at second if not short. Dawel Lugo (543, 0.9) and Ildemaro Vargas (520, 0.9), meanwhile, both profile as competent bench players already.

Among pitching prospects, the club features a promising one in left-hander Anthony Banda (141.2 IP, 1.5 zWAR). Ranked first among D-backs prospects already by Eric Longenhagen this offseason, Banda’s projection suggests he could also provide some reasonably useful innings as a major leaguer starting immediately.

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

dbacks-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
Paul Goldschmidt R 29 1B 630 89 151 32 2 27 94 20 5
A.J. Pollock R 29 CF 445 63 117 25 5 12 43 19 4
Jake Lamb L 26 3B 517 61 113 25 6 19 66 4 1
Ketel Marte B 23 SS 561 68 149 30 5 4 48 18 7
David Peralta L 29 RF 413 47 107 21 8 12 51 5 2
Welington Castillo R 30 C 421 38 97 20 0 15 58 1 0
Chris Owings R 25 SS 523 57 129 27 8 7 50 18 3
Nick Ahmed R 27 SS 424 41 93 16 3 7 33 8 4
Ildemaro Vargas B 25 SS 520 51 125 22 3 6 42 9 3
Dawel Lugo R 22 3B 543 56 136 22 5 13 55 3 4
Kris Negron R 31 SS 379 36 78 15 3 7 33 12 3
Oscar Hernandez R 23 C 234 25 52 12 0 8 26 3 0
Phil Gosselin R 28 2B 327 37 83 17 2 5 25 4 1
Travis Denker R 31 3B 320 36 68 13 1 12 39 3 1
Chris Herrmann L 29 C 250 27 53 12 3 5 28 3 1
Todd Glaesmann R 26 CF 382 41 86 21 3 13 46 4 2
Domingo Leyba B 21 SS 589 56 135 26 4 9 52 8 5
Yasmany Tomas R 26 RF 524 60 134 26 2 23 70 3 3
Carlos Rivero R 29 3B 454 43 103 20 1 12 47 2 1
Jeremy Hazelbaker L 29 LF 360 42 78 13 5 11 41 12 4
Jamie Westbrook R 22 2B 536 53 130 25 3 10 48 10 5
Jack Reinheimer R 24 SS 572 54 126 24 5 4 43 17 8
Kelly Dugan L 26 LF 345 39 76 16 1 9 38 1 1
Dan Rohlfing R 28 C 213 20 41 11 0 4 19 0 0
Socrates Brito L 24 RF 521 54 123 19 8 11 52 14 6
Ronnie Freeman R 26 C 269 24 57 12 0 3 20 0 0
Mark Thomas R 29 C 165 13 26 8 1 4 16 1 1
Jeff Mathis R 34 C 152 12 28 5 1 3 17 0 0
Mike Freeman L 29 2B 484 47 108 19 4 4 36 9 2
Brandon Drury R 24 LF 581 61 142 33 1 13 60 2 3
Ed Lucas R 35 3B 365 34 79 14 2 4 26 1 1
Kyle Jensen R 29 1B 524 62 112 26 2 23 75 1 1
Rickie Weeks Jr. R 34 LF 197 23 40 9 1 6 24 3 1
Zach Borenstein L 26 LF 429 46 92 19 4 13 49 7 3
Peter O’Brien R 26 LF 496 61 104 23 4 28 79 1 1
Kevin Cron R 24 1B 492 54 104 22 1 21 65 1 1
Victor Reyes B 22 RF 520 47 124 14 7 5 43 13 7
Henry Castillo B 22 2B 484 44 106 26 2 8 45 5 9
Rudy Flores L 26 1B 484 47 95 19 1 16 52 1 2

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Paul Goldschmidt 630 15.7% 21.6% .224 .341 .290 .403 .514 .384
A.J. Pollock 445 7.4% 14.6% .175 .316 .288 .342 .463 .356
Jake Lamb 517 9.9% 27.7% .205 .312 .246 .323 .451 .330
Ketel Marte 561 5.7% 13.5% .101 .327 .288 .327 .389 .318
David Peralta 413 7.5% 19.9% .195 .335 .286 .344 .481 .352
Welington Castillo 421 6.9% 24.5% .170 .307 .255 .314 .425 .315
Chris Owings 523 4.6% 20.8% .131 .324 .263 .301 .394 .302
Nick Ahmed 424 5.7% 17.5% .111 .276 .238 .286 .349 .279
Ildemaro Vargas 520 5.0% 10.0% .096 .279 .260 .299 .356 .285
Dawel Lugo 543 2.8% 17.3% .136 .294 .261 .284 .397 .295
Kris Negron 379 4.7% 26.1% .122 .292 .225 .275 .347 .277
Oscar Hernandez 234 6.0% 22.6% .166 .284 .241 .293 .407 .303
Phil Gosselin 327 4.9% 18.0% .118 .322 .273 .312 .391 .305
Travis Denker 320 8.4% 22.8% .178 .273 .237 .306 .415 .312
Chris Herrmann 250 7.6% 25.2% .146 .300 .235 .297 .381 .294
Todd Glaesmann 382 3.7% 27.7% .182 .298 .238 .270 .420 .295
Domingo Leyba 589 5.1% 19.4% .111 .292 .246 .285 .357 .282
Yasmany Tomas 524 4.8% 23.1% .200 .314 .270 .307 .470 .332
Carlos Rivero 454 4.6% 23.1% .136 .290 .241 .278 .377 .282
Jeremy Hazelbaker 360 7.2% 29.4% .172 .319 .240 .299 .412 .311
Jamie Westbrook 536 3.9% 15.7% .121 .290 .258 .293 .379 .298
Jack Reinheimer 572 6.1% 20.5% .087 .298 .239 .290 .326 .282
Kelly Dugan 345 6.1% 28.1% .144 .321 .244 .307 .388 .305
Dan Rohlfing 213 6.1% 30.5% .119 .291 .211 .265 .330 .255
Socrates Brito 521 3.5% 22.6% .136 .300 .246 .273 .382 .289
Ronnie Freeman 269 5.2% 22.7% .084 .287 .229 .272 .313 .254
Mark Thomas 165 6.1% 39.4% .147 .265 .173 .232 .320 .242
Jeff Mathis 152 5.9% 30.9% .116 .278 .201 .253 .317 .242
Mike Freeman 484 6.8% 19.6% .087 .299 .243 .297 .330 .279
Brandon Drury 581 5.5% 18.9% .137 .306 .262 .306 .399 .307
Ed Lucas 365 6.0% 24.1% .089 .302 .233 .283 .322 .268
Kyle Jensen 524 6.1% 32.3% .206 .303 .232 .286 .438 .309
Rickie Weeks Jr. 197 9.1% 26.9% .167 .293 .230 .315 .397 .316
Zach Borenstein 429 6.5% 30.3% .167 .309 .233 .284 .400 .297
Peter O’Brien 496 4.6% 36.3% .247 .291 .223 .264 .470 .308
Kevin Cron 492 4.5% 30.5% .188 .282 .226 .266 .414 .288
Victor Reyes 520 4.2% 18.1% .087 .302 .253 .285 .340 .279
Henry Castillo 484 4.1% 27.1% .118 .303 .230 .263 .348 .272
Rudy Flores 484 4.8% 40.7% .153 .328 .211 .257 .364 .268

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Paul Goldschmidt 630 8.1 143 4 4.8 Jeff Bagwell
A.J. Pollock 445 6.3 113 6 3.5 Sam West
Jake Lamb 517 5.3 104 -1 2.4 Jack Howell
Ketel Marte 561 4.9 91 -3 1.9 Frankie Gustine
David Peralta 413 6.3 118 -1 1.9 John Rodriguez
Welington Castillo 421 4.9 95 -5 1.8 Ronny Paulino
Chris Owings 523 4.6 84 -4 1.3 Ron Gardenhire
Nick Ahmed 424 3.5 69 8 1.3 Joey Aragon
Ildemaro Vargas 520 3.9 74 0 0.9 Gary DiSarcina
Dawel Lugo 543 4.0 79 2 0.9 Fred Manrique
Kris Negron 379 3.5 65 4 0.8 Kelly Dransfeldt
Oscar Hernandez 234 4.4 85 -3 0.7 Jake Fox
Phil Gosselin 327 4.6 87 -2 0.6 Omar Infante
Travis Denker 320 4.5 90 -3 0.6 Reed Secrist
Chris Herrmann 250 4.0 80 -3 0.6 Dwight Lowry
Todd Glaesmann 382 4.0 81 -1 0.5 Pat Rooney
Domingo Leyba 589 3.6 70 -1 0.5 Gregorio Petit
Yasmany Tomas 524 5.3 104 -10 0.5 Jose Guillen
Carlos Rivero 454 3.7 73 2 0.5 Eric Hardgrave
Jeremy Hazelbaker 360 4.5 88 1 0.5 Andy Tomberlin
Jamie Westbrook 536 4.1 78 -3 0.5 Steven Singleton
Jack Reinheimer 572 3.4 65 0 0.4 Eric Martins
Kelly Dugan 345 4.2 84 0 0.2 Joe Borchard
Dan Rohlfing 213 3.0 58 1 0.2 Steve Swisher
Socrates Brito 521 3.8 73 7 0.1 Fredrick Tiburcio
Ronnie Freeman 269 3.0 56 1 0.1 Matt Morgan
Mark Thomas 165 2.4 46 3 0.1 Gary Hymel
Jeff Mathis 152 2.7 51 2 0.1 Frank Charles
Mike Freeman 484 3.6 68 -1 0.0 Chico Ruiz
Brandon Drury 581 4.4 87 -4 0.0 Jose Guillen
Ed Lucas 365 3.2 61 2 -0.1 Jeff Branson
Kyle Jensen 524 4.4 90 -3 -0.2 Bubba Smith
Rickie Weeks Jr. 197 4.4 89 -5 -0.2 Reed Secrist
Zach Borenstein 429 4.0 80 -2 -0.3 Chris Lubanski
Peter O’Brien 496 4.3 91 -8 -0.3 Chris Hatcher
Kevin Cron 492 3.8 78 2 -0.5 Bubba Smith
Victor Reyes 520 3.5 66 4 -0.6 Terry Crowley
Henry Castillo 484 2.9 62 -4 -1.1 Ricky Bell
Rudy Flores 484 3.1 64 -3 -1.9 Ian Gac

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Zack Greinke R 33 28 28 172.3 153 40 22 163 74 69
Robbie Ray L 25 32 32 176.3 215 68 21 165 78 73
Shelby Miller R 26 29 29 167.3 134 58 20 170 83 78
Taijuan Walker R 24 28 28 155.3 138 42 24 151 79 74
Archie Bradley R 24 26 26 141.3 144 61 17 137 71 66
Anthony Banda L 23 26 26 141.7 118 51 18 147 75 70
Braden Shipley R 25 27 26 151.0 105 47 21 166 82 77
Rubby de la Rosa R 28 23 22 115.3 100 42 18 119 63 59
Andrew Chafin L 27 63 0 65.0 58 26 6 60 28 26
Silvino Bracho R 24 63 0 64.0 69 17 9 60 29 27
Randall Delgado R 27 72 0 73.7 71 33 9 71 34 32
Terry Doyle R 31 19 12 82.7 52 22 12 93 47 44
Jared Miller L 23 47 0 59.3 68 26 8 53 27 25
Taylor Clarke R 24 27 27 139.7 98 37 26 158 85 79
Brad Keller R 21 25 24 127.3 80 37 19 147 77 72
Matt Koch R 26 28 18 114.3 65 28 17 132 68 64
Jake Barrett R 25 64 0 60.0 56 26 7 58 29 27
Kaleb Fleck R 28 41 0 47.7 55 23 6 44 22 21
Zack Godley R 27 66 0 74.7 70 30 10 74 37 35
Evan Marshall R 27 54 0 56.3 46 22 7 60 29 27
Erik Davis R 30 38 0 46.0 46 23 6 45 24 22
Enrique Burgos R 26 62 0 61.7 72 34 8 56 32 30
Matt Buschmann R 33 24 22 127.3 91 47 23 142 80 75
Cole Johnson R 28 28 4 57.3 46 18 9 62 33 31
Steve Hathaway L 26 48 0 44.3 40 20 6 45 24 22
Matt Capps R 33 20 0 26.0 23 10 4 27 14 13
Jimmie Sherfy R 25 51 0 52.0 60 26 8 48 28 26
Daniel Hudson R 30 53 0 51.0 50 18 6 50 28 26
Billy Buckner R 33 19 15 84.7 61 37 14 94 55 51
Daniel Gibson L 25 53 0 49.7 42 25 7 52 28 26
Josh Taylor L 24 24 23 122.3 94 49 21 138 79 74
Adam Loewen L 33 49 0 56.7 61 37 7 52 32 30
Matt Stites R 27 51 0 49.7 40 23 6 51 29 27
Edgar Garcia R 29 24 16 104.7 72 44 19 119 70 65

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Zack Greinke 172.3 720 21.3% 5.6% .280 3.60 3.77 82 89
Robbie Ray 176.3 762 28.2% 8.9% .319 3.73 3.50 85 83
Shelby Miller 167.3 730 18.4% 7.9% .292 4.20 4.18 96 99
Taijuan Walker 155.3 659 20.9% 6.4% .285 4.29 4.37 98 104
Archie Bradley 141.3 622 23.2% 9.8% .304 4.20 4.01 96 95
Anthony Banda 141.7 623 18.9% 8.2% .301 4.45 4.40 102 104
Braden Shipley 151.0 666 15.8% 7.1% .298 4.59 4.66 105 111
Rubby de la Rosa 115.3 507 19.7% 8.3% .295 4.60 4.65 105 110
Andrew Chafin 65.0 281 20.6% 9.3% .284 3.60 3.62 82 86
Silvino Bracho 64.0 269 25.7% 6.3% .300 3.80 3.80 87 90
Randall Delgado 73.7 325 21.8% 10.2% .294 3.91 4.15 89 98
Terry Doyle 82.7 363 14.3% 6.1% .297 4.79 4.76 109 113
Jared Miller 59.3 257 26.5% 10.1% .296 3.79 4.11 87 98
Taylor Clarke 139.7 614 16.0% 6.0% .297 5.09 5.17 116 123
Brad Keller 127.3 566 14.1% 6.5% .303 5.09 4.91 116 116
Matt Koch 114.3 503 12.9% 5.6% .298 5.04 4.88 115 116
Jake Barrett 60.0 264 21.2% 9.8% .297 4.05 4.14 92 98
Kaleb Fleck 47.7 210 26.2% 10.9% .309 3.97 3.90 91 93
Zack Godley 74.7 328 21.3% 9.1% .299 4.22 4.34 96 103
Evan Marshall 56.3 251 18.3% 8.8% .307 4.31 4.29 98 102
Erik Davis 46.0 206 22.3% 11.2% .305 4.30 4.51 98 107
Enrique Burgos 61.7 275 26.2% 12.4% .302 4.38 4.14 100 98
Matt Buschmann 127.3 571 15.9% 8.2% .295 5.30 5.33 121 127
Cole Johnson 57.3 252 18.3% 7.1% .301 4.87 4.67 111 111
Steve Hathaway 44.3 198 20.2% 10.1% .300 4.47 4.50 102 107
Matt Capps 26.0 115 20.0% 8.7% .299 4.50 4.57 103 108
Jimmie Sherfy 52.0 230 26.1% 11.3% .301 4.50 4.49 103 107
Daniel Hudson 51.0 221 22.6% 8.1% .303 4.59 3.81 105 91
Billy Buckner 84.7 385 15.8% 9.6% .298 5.42 5.38 124 128
Daniel Gibson 49.7 226 18.6% 11.1% .302 4.71 4.84 108 115
Josh Taylor 122.3 554 17.0% 8.8% .306 5.44 5.28 124 125
Adam Loewen 56.7 259 23.5% 14.3% .300 4.76 4.70 109 112
Matt Stites 49.7 223 17.9% 10.3% .298 4.89 4.66 112 110
Edgar Garcia 104.7 477 15.1% 9.2% .298 5.59 5.60 128 133

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Zack Greinke 172.3 7.99 2.09 1.15 116 3.6 Dennis Martinez
Robbie Ray 176.3 10.98 3.47 1.07 112 3.4 Cliff Lee
Shelby Miller 167.3 7.21 3.12 1.08 99 2.3 Mike Dunne
Taijuan Walker 155.3 8.00 2.43 1.39 97 1.9 Sidney Ponson
Archie Bradley 141.3 9.17 3.89 1.08 99 1.9 Matt Clement
Anthony Banda 141.7 7.49 3.24 1.14 94 1.5 Randy Flores
Braden Shipley 151.0 6.26 2.80 1.25 91 1.3 Bronson Arroyo
Rubby de la Rosa 115.3 7.81 3.28 1.41 91 1.0 Eric Junge
Andrew Chafin 65.0 8.03 3.60 0.83 116 0.6 Bob MacDonald
Silvino Bracho 64.0 9.70 2.39 1.27 110 0.5 Santos Hernandez
Randall Delgado 73.7 8.67 4.03 1.10 107 0.5 Ruddy Lugo
Terry Doyle 82.7 5.66 2.39 1.31 87 0.5 Joe Mays
Jared Miller 59.3 10.32 3.95 1.21 110 0.5 Buzz Oliver
Taylor Clarke 139.7 6.31 2.38 1.68 82 0.4 Charlie Scott
Brad Keller 127.3 5.66 2.62 1.34 82 0.4 Royal Clayton
Matt Koch 114.3 5.12 2.20 1.34 83 0.3 Eddie Bonine
Jake Barrett 60.0 8.40 3.90 1.05 103 0.3 John Stuper
Kaleb Fleck 47.7 10.38 4.34 1.13 105 0.3 Scott Fredrickson
Zack Godley 74.7 8.43 3.61 1.20 99 0.2 Jason Gilfillan
Evan Marshall 56.3 7.35 3.52 1.12 97 0.1 Mike Gardner
Erik Davis 46.0 9.00 4.50 1.17 97 0.1 Mike Cook
Enrique Burgos 61.7 10.50 4.96 1.17 95 0.0 Billy Sadler
Matt Buschmann 127.3 6.43 3.32 1.63 79 0.0 R.A. Dickey
Cole Johnson 57.3 7.23 2.83 1.41 86 0.0 Steve Gajkowski
Steve Hathaway 44.3 8.13 4.06 1.22 93 0.0 Sean Fesh
Matt Capps 26.0 7.96 3.46 1.38 93 0.0 Jason Childers
Jimmie Sherfy 52.0 10.38 4.50 1.38 93 0.0 Marcus Moore
Daniel Hudson 51.0 8.82 3.18 1.06 91 -0.1 Mark Small
Billy Buckner 84.7 6.48 3.93 1.49 77 -0.1 Alan Benes
Daniel Gibson 49.7 7.61 4.53 1.27 89 -0.2 Jake Benz
Josh Taylor 122.3 6.92 3.61 1.55 77 -0.2 Joe Beimel
Adam Loewen 56.7 9.68 5.87 1.11 88 -0.2 Greg Cadaret
Matt Stites 49.7 7.24 4.16 1.09 85 -0.3 Mike Zimmerman
Edgar Garcia 104.7 6.19 3.78 1.63 75 -0.4 Mike Heathcott

***

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 2017. 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 4.05 ERA and the NL having a 3.97 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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