2017 ZiPS Projections – Kansas City Royals

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 Kansas City Royals. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Boston / Chicago NL / Cleveland / Detroit / Houston / Los Angeles AL / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Toronto / Washington.

Batters
As noted over the last month in these pages both by Jeff Sullivan and then Craig Edwards, the Kansas City Royals currently employ a number of players who are likely to become free agents after the 2017 season. What the ZiPS projections featured here do is reinforce the relative importance of those pending free agents to Kansas City’s likelihood of winning games. Because, consider: of the nine field players forecast to record a 1.0 WAR or better in 2017, five of them — Lorenzo Cain (503 PA, 3.1 zWAR), Jarrod Dyson (303, 1.9), Alcides Escobar (652, 1.3), Eric Hosmer (648, 1.3), and Mike Moustakas (381, 1.6) — aren’t signed by the club past next year. Over half the team’s core, in other words, is likely to depart.

That adds some urgency to the 2017 campaign. Unfortunately, Dan Szymborski’s computer doesn’t offer much grounds for optimism. Besides Cain, only Alex Gordon (529, 2.1) and Salvador Perez (561, 3.3) are projected to break the two-win threshold among the team’s position players. The prospective starters at second base and designated hitter, meanwhile — Raul Mondesi (410, -0.3) and Jorge Soler (346, 0.2), respectively — mostly profile as replacement-level types.

Pitchers
Is the pitching side of things any better? Sort of, yes. But also: sort of, no. Left-hander Danny Duffy (167.2 IP, 3.6 zWAR) receives the top projection among all members of the staff. Like Cain and Dyson and everyone, though, he’s due to become a free agent after the season, so his utility is short-lived. Starters Yordano Ventura (172.2, 2.6) and Ian Kennedy (146.2, 1.9) profile as solidly average, however — and both are signed through at least 2019. Left-hander Matt Strahm (110.1, 1.2) also offers some promise. After working as a starter almost exclusively in the minors between 2015 and -16, he pitched only in relief following his promotion to the majors last year.

As for the bullpen, it appears to lack the signature quality that defined Kansas City’s World Series clubs. Both Wade Davis and Greg Holland have departed, rendering Kelvin Herrera (70.0 IP, 65 ERA-, 1.3 zWAR) the likely closer. All evidence suggests he’s qualified to excel in high-leverage innings; he lacks a supporting cast, is the problem. Joakim Soria (63.1, 0.4), who receives the second-best projection among relievers, is forecast to prevent only 10% more runs than an average pitcher.

Bench/Prospects
Two of the club’s players expected to produce a win or better — Cheslor Cuthbert (574 PA, 1.4 zWAR) and Whit Merrifield (580, 1.3) — are omitted from the depth-chart image below but figure to receive playing time in 2017. The latter has a case to start at second ahead of Mondesi. Among rookie eligibiles, catcher Cam Gallagher (364, 0.9) earns the top WAR projection.

While he experienced some difficulties over his first three innings in the majors last season, right-hander Alec Mills (105.1 IP, 1.2 zWAR) recorded pretty excellent indicators in Double- and Triple-A last year. His ZiPS projection suggests that he’s more or less interchangeable with Strahm and Jason Vargas (64.0, 0.8). He represents the best of the club’s rookie-eligible pitchers — strictly for the 2017 season, that is.

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

royals-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
Salvador Perez R 27 C 561 55 138 27 2 20 68 0 0
Lorenzo Cain R 31 CF 503 62 131 25 3 9 57 19 5
Alex Gordon L 33 LF 529 60 112 21 2 16 49 7 2
Jarrod Dyson L 32 CF 303 37 71 10 6 1 24 29 6
Mike Moustakas L 28 3B 381 37 88 19 1 13 39 1 1
Cheslor Cuthbert R 24 3B 574 58 141 29 2 14 58 4 2
Alcides Escobar R 30 SS 652 65 161 26 6 6 54 18 4
Whit Merrifield R 28 2B 580 63 139 32 4 6 48 18 6
Eric Hosmer L 27 1B 648 79 163 31 2 19 91 6 3
Cam Gallagher R 24 C 364 33 74 15 1 5 31 1 1
Billy Burns B 27 CF 498 58 120 18 7 2 30 27 6
Christian Colon R 28 2B 353 34 84 14 0 4 28 7 3
Paulo Orlando R 31 RF 461 46 117 20 4 5 39 13 4
Jorge Soler R 25 LF 346 42 74 17 1 12 43 2 1
Corey Toups R 24 2B 473 49 97 24 3 7 40 14 3
Clint Barmes R 38 SS 140 14 30 9 0 1 11 0 0
Steve Tolleson R 33 2B 137 15 29 5 1 1 10 3 1
Mauricio Ramos R 25 3B 493 44 112 23 1 8 45 2 2
Irving Falu B 34 SS 410 39 97 14 3 4 34 8 7
Drew Butera R 33 C 138 13 28 6 1 2 11 0 0
Hunter Dozier R 25 3B 525 55 107 29 0 13 51 5 2
Zane Evans R 25 C 323 28 68 14 1 7 29 1 1
Angel Franco B 27 2B 307 27 68 12 2 2 22 2 3
Raul Mondesi Jr. B 21 2B 410 41 80 11 5 11 43 24 4
Ramon Torres B 24 2B 529 48 123 19 3 4 37 16 10
Travis Snider L 29 LF 318 30 67 14 2 6 29 1 1
Jorge Bonifacio R 24 RF 562 56 115 22 4 13 54 4 2
Ryan O’Hearn L 23 1B 558 58 117 24 1 22 62 4 4
Garin Cecchini L 26 1B 486 46 105 21 3 6 40 9 3
Terrance Gore R 26 CF 321 30 58 4 1 0 13 35 5
Samir Duenez L 21 1B 544 55 131 24 3 11 56 16 5
Parker Morin L 25 C 254 20 48 9 2 2 18 1 1
Bubba Starling R 24 CF 467 41 82 20 2 9 38 8 2
Brooks Conrad B 37 2B 279 27 49 12 1 4 26 2 0

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Salvador Perez 561 3.6% 17.5% .171 .283 .259 .292 .430 .305
Lorenzo Cain 503 6.0% 18.9% .125 .335 .282 .330 .407 .327
Alex Gordon 529 10.2% 23.8% .158 .297 .242 .333 .400 .319
Jarrod Dyson 303 6.9% 15.2% .092 .311 .262 .321 .354 .315
Mike Moustakas 381 6.8% 14.4% .174 .267 .254 .313 .428 .318
Cheslor Cuthbert 574 6.4% 17.9% .141 .304 .265 .312 .406 .312
Alcides Escobar 652 3.5% 12.9% .092 .296 .264 .294 .356 .285
Whit Merrifield 580 5.0% 18.1% .107 .307 .257 .297 .364 .295
Eric Hosmer 648 8.0% 18.2% .156 .315 .277 .335 .433 .330
Cam Gallagher 364 6.9% 15.4% .096 .252 .223 .279 .319 .264
Billy Burns 498 5.2% 15.1% .082 .306 .261 .308 .343 .298
Christian Colon 353 6.2% 12.7% .081 .291 .260 .312 .341 .293
Paulo Orlando 461 3.3% 20.0% .099 .328 .269 .299 .368 .295
Jorge Soler 346 9.5% 28.9% .179 .312 .241 .315 .420 .316
Corey Toups 473 7.2% 26.6% .120 .303 .227 .291 .347 .287
Clint Barmes 140 3.6% 22.1% .093 .296 .233 .275 .326 .255
Steve Tolleson 137 8.8% 22.6% .082 .311 .240 .311 .322 .286
Mauricio Ramos 493 2.8% 21.5% .105 .292 .240 .272 .345 .270
Irving Falu 410 5.1% 10.7% .084 .278 .256 .293 .340 .281
Drew Butera 138 6.5% 23.9% .112 .286 .224 .279 .336 .266
Hunter Dozier 525 7.0% 29.0% .140 .293 .222 .278 .362 .281
Zane Evans 323 3.4% 27.9% .120 .286 .221 .251 .341 .257
Angel Franco 307 4.9% 15.3% .078 .281 .240 .280 .318 .260
Raul Mondesi Jr. 410 4.4% 31.7% .142 .289 .212 .248 .354 .266
Ramon Torres 529 4.2% 15.7% .075 .291 .248 .281 .323 .274
Travis Snider 318 9.4% 22.6% .127 .295 .236 .312 .363 .294
Jorge Bonifacio 562 6.4% 27.9% .134 .292 .223 .279 .357 .279
Ryan O’Hearn 558 7.0% 33.0% .179 .305 .228 .283 .407 .297
Garin Cecchini 486 6.8% 21.6% .101 .294 .236 .293 .337 .281
Terrance Gore 321 5.9% 26.2% .021 .287 .203 .265 .224 .246
Samir Duenez 544 4.6% 17.1% .123 .293 .256 .292 .379 .297
Parker Morin 254 5.1% 28.3% .081 .280 .203 .246 .284 .234
Bubba Starling 467 4.9% 36.4% .117 .282 .189 .236 .306 .240
Brooks Conrad 279 6.1% 30.1% .102 .266 .191 .254 .293 .243

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Salvador Perez 561 4.6 95 5 3.3 Benito Santiago
Lorenzo Cain 503 5.3 101 9 3.1 Jerry Mumphrey
Alex Gordon 529 4.8 100 8 2.1 Dwayne Murphy
Jarrod Dyson 303 4.9 86 9 1.9 Dave Roberts
Mike Moustakas 381 4.8 101 1 1.6 Steve Buechele
Cheslor Cuthbert 574 4.7 95 -5 1.4 Scott Cooper
Alcides Escobar 652 4.0 78 0 1.3 Jack Wilson
Whit Merrifield 580 4.1 80 4 1.3 Josh Barfield
Eric Hosmer 648 5.4 109 -2 1.3 Carlos May
Cam Gallagher 364 3.1 64 5 0.9 Brian Moon
Billy Burns 498 4.2 79 0 0.9 Mike Spidale
Christian Colon 353 3.9 80 3 0.9 Kary Bridges
Paulo Orlando 461 4.2 82 7 0.8 Rufino Linares
Jorge Soler 346 4.7 97 -4 0.2 Joe Vitiello
Corey Toups 473 3.7 75 -3 0.2 Jed Hansen
Clint Barmes 140 3.2 64 1 0.1 Rene Gonzales
Steve Tolleson 137 3.7 75 -1 0.1 Dave Matranga
Mauricio Ramos 493 3.3 68 2 0.0 Christopher Johnson
Irving Falu 410 3.4 73 -4 0.0 Jose Vizcaino
Drew Butera 138 3.3 68 -2 0.0 Chad Moeller
Hunter Dozier 525 3.5 74 -4 -0.1 Other Eric Chavez
Zane Evans 323 2.9 61 -2 -0.1 Johnny Cuevas
Angel Franco 307 3.0 64 2 -0.1 Josh Petersen
Raul Mondesi Jr. 410 3.5 63 -2 -0.3 Ramon Caraballo
Ramon Torres 529 3.2 66 1 -0.3 Jackie Gutierrez
Travis Snider 318 4.0 85 -4 -0.3 Ray Giannelli
Jorge Bonifacio 562 3.5 73 1 -0.6 Jeremy Dodson
Ryan O’Hearn 558 3.9 87 -2 -0.6 Brett Harper
Garin Cecchini 486 3.6 73 4 -0.6 Scott Bikowski
Terrance Gore 321 2.9 36 -2 -0.9 Elinton Jasco
Samir Duenez 544 4.1 83 -5 -0.9 Dallas Williams
Parker Morin 254 2.3 45 -6 -1.0 Tony Garcia
Bubba Starling 467 2.5 47 3 -1.0 Christian Rojas
Brooks Conrad 279 2.6 50 -5 -1.2 Jim Morrison

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Danny Duffy L 28 29 29 167.7 155 48 20 158 70 65
Yordano Ventura R 26 30 29 172.7 153 66 19 170 81 76
Ian Kennedy R 32 26 26 146.7 140 44 24 146 73 68
Kelvin Herrera R 27 71 0 70.0 78 19 7 60 24 22
Matt Strahm L 25 36 17 110.3 106 33 17 112 55 51
Alec Mills R 25 23 21 105.3 79 28 13 112 54 50
Dillon Gee R 31 27 19 130.7 86 36 18 143 70 65
Nick Tepesch R 28 21 20 111.7 59 32 14 124 61 57
Jason Vargas L 34 13 13 64.0 49 15 9 69 32 30
Eric Skoglund L 24 22 22 118.3 78 33 18 132 66 62
Jonathan Dziedzic L 26 25 24 123.7 80 49 16 137 71 66
Andy Ferguson R 28 18 16 83.3 63 26 13 90 46 43
Luke Hochevar R 33 41 0 41.3 41 13 5 38 17 16
Kyle Zimmer R 25 7 7 35.3 32 14 4 35 18 17
Joakim Soria R 33 65 0 63.3 64 24 8 61 29 27
Jake Junis R 24 27 27 142.3 100 36 24 161 85 79
Onelki Garcia L 27 19 2 33.7 34 14 4 32 16 15
Pedro Fernandez R 23 19 15 79.7 57 32 10 87 46 43
Peter Moylan R 38 49 0 42.3 33 13 5 42 19 18
Chris R. Young R 38 27 10 74.3 79 33 14 75 42 39
Brian Flynn L 27 43 0 48.3 43 20 5 46 22 21
Miguel Almonte R 24 33 16 87.0 72 46 12 91 50 47
Clayton Mortensen R 32 25 9 75.3 58 36 10 79 43 40
Kris Medlen R 31 17 14 70.7 49 25 11 79 42 39
Luke Farrell R 26 23 17 102.3 75 46 16 112 61 57
Christian Binford R 24 23 23 127.3 72 43 18 148 77 72
Mike Minor L 29 40 0 41.0 36 17 5 40 20 19
Drew Butera R 33 2 0 1.3 1 0 0 1 1 1
Travis Snider L 29 2 0 3.3 3 1 0 3 2 2
Scott Alexander L 27 45 0 61.3 45 22 7 65 32 30
Joe Beimel L 40 25 0 24.7 13 10 3 28 14 13
Eric Stout L 24 35 0 58.0 41 22 7 62 31 29
John Lannan L 32 22 17 111.7 48 35 15 135 70 65
Chien-Ming Wang R 37 45 0 57.7 30 19 7 65 31 29
Benino Pruneda R 28 34 1 49.3 47 29 6 48 28 26
Andrew Edwards R 25 39 0 54.7 48 28 7 55 30 28
Malcom Culver R 27 45 0 65.0 49 29 7 69 35 33
Kevin McCarthy R 25 39 0 54.3 37 20 7 59 31 29
Josh Staumont R 23 28 25 115.0 118 103 14 111 74 69
Kyle Bartsch L 26 38 1 56.7 36 23 8 64 33 31
Bobby Parnell R 32 42 0 39.0 25 22 5 43 25 23
Jonathan Sanchez L 32 10 9 41.7 32 28 7 44 30 28
Mark Peterson R 26 43 0 61.0 40 26 9 68 36 34
Evan Beal R 23 38 0 66.0 44 31 10 74 41 38

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Danny Duffy 167.7 709 21.9% 6.8% .288 3.49 3.79 81 91
Yordano Ventura 172.7 754 20.3% 8.8% .297 3.96 4.02 91 96
Ian Kennedy 146.7 630 22.2% 7.0% .293 4.17 4.29 96 103
Kelvin Herrera 70.0 289 27.0% 6.6% .291 2.83 3.12 65 75
Matt Strahm 110.3 476 22.3% 6.9% .303 4.16 4.22 96 101
Alec Mills 105.3 456 17.3% 6.1% .300 4.27 4.18 99 100
Dillon Gee 130.7 571 15.1% 6.3% .294 4.48 4.50 103 108
Nick Tepesch 111.7 491 12.0% 6.5% .289 4.59 4.67 106 112
Jason Vargas 64.0 276 17.8% 5.4% .299 4.22 4.15 97 100
Eric Skoglund 118.3 520 15.0% 6.3% .297 4.72 4.75 109 114
Jonathan Dziedzic 123.7 557 14.4% 8.8% .299 4.80 4.85 111 116
Andy Ferguson 83.3 366 17.2% 7.1% .297 4.64 4.70 107 113
Luke Hochevar 41.3 175 23.4% 7.4% .290 3.48 3.78 80 91
Kyle Zimmer 35.3 155 20.7% 9.0% .301 4.33 4.13 100 99
Joakim Soria 63.3 275 23.3% 8.7% .300 3.84 3.96 89 95
Jake Junis 142.3 624 16.0% 5.8% .300 5.00 4.80 115 115
Onelki Garcia 33.7 147 23.1% 9.5% .301 4.01 4.06 93 97
Pedro Fernandez 79.7 358 15.9% 8.9% .303 4.86 4.66 112 112
Peter Moylan 42.3 182 18.1% 7.1% .287 3.83 4.08 88 98
Chris R. Young 74.3 331 23.9% 10.0% .299 4.72 4.76 109 114
Brian Flynn 48.3 211 20.4% 9.5% .291 3.91 4.04 90 97
Miguel Almonte 87.0 398 18.1% 11.6% .300 4.86 4.97 112 119
Clayton Mortensen 75.3 341 17.0% 10.6% .296 4.78 4.81 110 115
Kris Medlen 70.7 316 15.5% 7.9% .297 4.97 4.89 115 117
Luke Farrell 102.3 465 16.1% 9.9% .298 5.01 5.20 116 125
Christian Binford 127.3 573 12.6% 7.5% .300 5.09 4.97 117 119
Mike Minor 41.0 180 20.0% 9.4% .289 4.17 4.11 96 99
Drew Butera 1.3 5 20.4% 0.0% .256 6.75 1.57 156 38
Travis Snider 3.3 14 21.6% 7.2% .303 5.40 2.20 125 53
Scott Alexander 61.3 271 16.6% 8.1% .299 4.40 4.30 102 103
Joe Beimel 24.7 112 11.6% 8.9% .294 4.74 4.85 109 116
Eric Stout 58.0 258 15.9% 8.5% .297 4.50 4.50 104 108
John Lannan 111.7 505 9.5% 6.9% .299 5.24 5.09 121 122
Chien-Ming Wang 57.7 257 11.7% 7.4% .291 4.53 4.74 105 114
Benino Pruneda 49.3 225 20.9% 12.9% .300 4.74 4.61 109 111
Andrew Edwards 54.7 247 19.4% 11.3% .298 4.61 4.66 106 112
Malcom Culver 65.0 293 16.7% 9.9% .302 4.57 4.34 105 104
Kevin McCarthy 54.3 242 15.3% 8.3% .297 4.80 4.58 111 110
Josh Staumont 115.0 559 21.1% 18.4% .307 5.40 5.51 125 132
Kyle Bartsch 56.7 257 14.0% 8.9% .299 4.92 4.99 114 120
Bobby Parnell 39.0 182 13.7% 12.1% .297 5.31 5.26 123 126
Jonathan Sanchez 41.7 197 16.2% 14.2% .291 6.05 5.98 140 144
Mark Peterson 61.0 277 14.4% 9.4% .296 5.02 4.99 116 120
Evan Beal 66.0 303 14.5% 10.2% .299 5.18 5.20 120 125

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Danny Duffy 167.7 8.32 2.58 1.07 119 3.6 Cliff Lee
Yordano Ventura 172.7 7.97 3.44 0.99 105 2.6 Jim Beattie
Ian Kennedy 146.7 8.59 2.70 1.47 99 1.9 Jackson Todd
Kelvin Herrera 70.0 10.03 2.44 0.90 147 1.3 Bobby Jenks
Matt Strahm 110.3 8.65 2.69 1.39 100 1.2 Dan Serafini
Alec Mills 105.3 6.75 2.39 1.11 97 1.2 Don Schulze
Dillon Gee 130.7 5.92 2.48 1.24 93 1.1 Jonathan Figueroa
Nick Tepesch 111.7 4.75 2.58 1.13 90 0.8 Mickey Callaway
Jason Vargas 64.0 6.89 2.11 1.27 98 0.8 Rick Langford
Eric Skoglund 118.3 5.93 2.51 1.37 88 0.7 Austin Shappi
Jonathan Dziedzic 123.7 5.82 3.57 1.16 86 0.6 Jimmy Osting
Andy Ferguson 83.3 6.81 2.81 1.40 89 0.5 Clint Weibl
Luke Hochevar 41.3 8.93 2.83 1.09 119 0.4 Mark Wohlers
Kyle Zimmer 35.3 8.16 3.57 1.02 96 0.4 Dallas Braden
Joakim Soria 63.3 9.10 3.41 1.14 108 0.4 Doug Bochtler
Jake Junis 142.3 6.32 2.28 1.52 83 0.3 Charlie Scott
Onelki Garcia 33.7 9.08 3.74 1.07 103 0.3 Thomas Hart
Pedro Fernandez 79.7 6.44 3.61 1.13 85 0.3 Cristhian Martinez
Peter Moylan 42.3 7.02 2.77 1.06 108 0.3 Mike Maddux
Chris R. Young 74.3 9.57 4.00 1.70 88 0.2 Michael Riley
Brian Flynn 48.3 8.01 3.73 0.93 106 0.2 Bob McClure
Miguel Almonte 87.0 7.45 4.76 1.24 85 0.2 Jason Bergmann
Clayton Mortensen 75.3 6.93 4.30 1.20 87 0.2 Jarod Juelsgaard
Kris Medlen 70.7 6.24 3.18 1.40 83 0.2 Chris Nichting
Luke Farrell 102.3 6.60 4.05 1.41 83 0.1 Jared Fernandez
Christian Binford 127.3 5.09 3.04 1.27 81 0.1 Chris Mears
Mike Minor 41.0 7.90 3.73 1.10 99 0.1 Steve Frey
Drew Butera 1.3 6.92 0.00 0.00 61 0.0 Blas Minor
Travis Snider 3.3 8.18 2.73 0.00 77 0.0 Allen McDill
Scott Alexander 61.3 6.61 3.23 1.03 94 -0.1 Mike Bell
Joe Beimel 24.7 4.74 3.64 1.09 87 -0.1 Terry Mulholland
Eric Stout 58.0 6.36 3.41 1.09 92 -0.1 Danny Zell
John Lannan 111.7 3.87 2.82 1.21 79 -0.2 Rick Krivda
Chien-Ming Wang 57.7 4.68 2.96 1.09 92 -0.2 Bob Scanlan
Benino Pruneda 49.3 8.58 5.29 1.10 87 -0.2 Bart Evans
Andrew Edwards 54.7 7.90 4.61 1.15 90 -0.2 Scott Schanz
Malcom Culver 65.0 6.78 4.02 0.97 91 -0.2 Mike Zimmerman
Kevin McCarthy 54.3 6.13 3.31 1.16 86 -0.3 Scott Chambers
Josh Staumont 115.0 9.23 8.06 1.10 77 -0.4 Colin McLaughlin
Kyle Bartsch 56.7 5.71 3.65 1.27 84 -0.4 Randy Phillips
Bobby Parnell 39.0 5.77 5.08 1.15 78 -0.5 Jerry Johnson
Jonathan Sanchez 41.7 6.91 6.04 1.51 68 -0.5 Jim Abbott
Mark Peterson 61.0 5.90 3.84 1.33 83 -0.6 Matt Smith
Evan Beal 66.0 6.00 4.23 1.36 80 -0.7 Matt Smith

***

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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