FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Dan, thanks for the projections, I always enjoy these during January. I have two questions. When evaluating McCutchen’s 375 BABIP does ZiPS take into account the adjustments he made to his swing to better barrel up the ball last year or does it just assume it was pure luck? I think its somewhere in between and feel like 5.3 is more like a floor for him.

    Also, does it have any way of knowing that Pre-2011 Charlie Morton and 2011-Present Charlie are completely different players given the 3/4 arm slot? 0.1 over 110.3 IP seems really low. It sounds like his rehab is going very well, which obviously is something ZiPS would not factor in.

    Comment by bucn22 — January 14, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  2. Haha… Jeff Blauser is the comp for Pedro Alvarez. Not a great fit there! Isn’t Charlie Morton likely to be in the starting rotation?

    Comment by Jim Lahey — January 14, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  3. Carson/Dan, is there a projection for Liriano out yet? Clearly not a lock that he ends up in Pittsburgh at this point, but I’m curious as to where he would slot in.

    Comment by Andrew — January 14, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  4. I really can’t see why anyone would complain about those pitcher projections. A bunch of mediocre pitchers will pitch like mediocre pitchers.

    Comment by Ender — January 14, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  5. Dammit! I was going to post a joke about Charlie Morton’s latest tweak, but was beaten to the punch by the first two posters.

    Seriously, there is no room for complaint here with Marte drawing 2.7 WAR, not a huge number but certainly optimistic for a rookie with that patience/contact profile, even if a lot of it is tied up in the defense.

    Comment by Paul — January 14, 2013 @ 9:32 am

  6. It looks like the comps uploaded for the Pirates are actually the Brewers’ comps.

    Comment by swieker — January 14, 2013 @ 9:33 am

  7. Dan referenced it on his Twitter account a while back. I don’t remember where he put the actual projection, but it ended up being a 99 ERA+.

    Comment by jda — January 14, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  8. My fault. Wrong comps were published. It’s Mike Pagliarulo now, which makes more sense.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — January 14, 2013 @ 9:55 am

  9. Indeed! Fixed! Thanks!

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — January 14, 2013 @ 9:56 am

  10. Sign me up for Chase d’Arnaud as Tim Raines 2.0 at shortstop.

    Sincerely, every pirates fan ever.

    Comment by Los — January 14, 2013 @ 10:02 am

  11. Damn, fixed and now he is only Chris Basak 2.0

    How quickly the tide turns on the Pirates. This is worse than the second half collapse.

    Comment by Los — January 14, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  12. I didn’t include Liriano since the deal hit a snag, but I did paste the basic line of Liriano’s projection here.

    Comment by Dan Szymborski — January 14, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  13. That’s quite a bullpen you’ve got there. We wouldn’t want anything to… happen… to it.

    Comment by Luigi Vercotti — January 14, 2013 @ 10:12 am

  14. That’s a shame, I was looking forward to d’Arnaud becoming the next Tim Raines!

    Comment by Andrew — January 14, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  15. If you follow me on Twitter, McCutchen was the motivation for my little spiel on young stars and regression.

    Essentially, looking at all players under 27 with two consecutive 5-WAR seasons, despite being stars on the happy side of the aging curve, 60% failed to match their 2-year average in the 3rd year and for the older players in that group, the ones nearest 27, it hits 70%.

    Even very smart people tend to overrate the future performance of young stars. As I noted to Carson, the risk is skewed to one side for an excellent player.

    Comment by Dan Szymborski — January 14, 2013 @ 10:17 am

  16. Are we sure that it is over-rating of young stars, or extreme variability of the fielding component? As one example, Weiters had a 5 WAR season in 2011 based in very large part on an off the charts 17 DRS. Who would expect a guy to repeat each year what that metric says is an historically great fielding season.

    I’d be willing to bet a dollar that using a hitting metric only would reveal significantly more stability.

    Comment by Paul — January 14, 2013 @ 10:37 am

  17. Also, is not a 70% rate of repeating a 5 WAR season a much more confident estimate than with any other group, excepting probably replacement level players?

    Comment by Paul — January 14, 2013 @ 10:48 am

  18. For the DMB guys, will McCutchen get a corner rating and Marte get a CF rating?

    I enjoy having a L-C-R of Tabata-Marte-McCutchen when I play as the Pirates.

    Comment by gore51 — January 14, 2013 @ 10:52 am

  19. I think the issue regarding the 70% rate is that there is no real balance to the upside, aka the “skewed risk” Dan is mentioning. A 2-win player might become a 1-win player but also might become a 3-win player, whereas it’s hard to project too much improvement for a 5-win player.

    Comment by Andrew — January 14, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  20. I think the issue regarding the 70% rate is that there is no real balance to the upside, aka the “skewed risk” Dan is mentioning. A 2-win player might become a 1-win player but also might become a 3-win player, whereas it’s hard to project too much improvement for a 5-win player.

    Comment by Andrew — January 14, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  21. If he still signs with the Pirates:

    This is his projection

    Comment by BobbyS — January 14, 2013 @ 11:03 am

  22. ZiPS is a formula. It doesn’t take subjective factors such as those you mentioned into account. Performance in recent years is given more weight than that in earlier years.

    Comment by Baltar — January 14, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  23. You won’t be so dismissive of ZIPS’ hatred when it becomes self aware and simultaneously attacks all major cities as a preemptive nuclear deterrent against humanity in 2012.

    Comment by Big Jgke — January 14, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  24. That rate is for “failed to match.”
    No matter how clearly something is written, someone will always take the opposite meaning.

    Comment by Baltar — January 14, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  25. Good joke was spoiled by wrong year, unless ZiPS is also going to reverse time.

    Comment by Baltar — January 14, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  26. Using the invalid formula of 45 wins for replacement value plus 30 from the depth chart yields 75 wins. If my memory hasn’t failed me too much yet, that was about the same as the Cubs, 14 ahead of the Astros and 5 behind the Giants.

    Comment by Baltar — January 14, 2013 @ 11:18 am

  27. Depending on what you consider significantly, you may be out a buck.

    Removing the defensive numbers, I get 266 players that had 5 WAR in consecutive seasons before age 27. 159 out of 266, 59.8%, fell from their 2-year average in year 3.

    When I look at the older cohort, there’s a bigger difference. 129 out of 207 fell from their 2-year average in year 3, 62.3%.

    If you look at years, the dropoffs are steeper recently and shallower as you go further back. We’re already making those sample sizes smaller and smaller, so I’m not going to draw any conclusion, but my hypothesis is that with a higher quality of league and players aging better, stardom is a little bit harder to maintain.

    Comment by Dan Szymborski — January 14, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  28. What would Shaun Marcum’s projection be as a Pirate? That rotation looks pitiful and there’s no way Huntington wants to open the year with McPherson AND Locke in the rotation, so I’d expect either Liriano or Marcum as the “number 4,” depending on FL’s health.

    I’m pleasantly surprised with the lineup projection – it’s a shame it looks like we’re projected to get such little production from 1B/RF with all the bodies we have to try out there: Jones, Sanchez, Robinson, Sands, Tabata, Presley, Snider all look underwhelming.

    Comment by Jon D — January 14, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  29. I like the Adam Jones comp for Starling Marte. Marte is most likely already a better defender and will steal more bases, while obviously Jones is the more developed hitter (who put up a 5 offensive WAR last year despite an ugly 34/126 BB/K rate).

    Comment by Dan — January 14, 2013 @ 11:49 am

  30. Dan, if it’s not too much trouble, I would greatly appreciate seeing an Ivan DeJesus projection. Thanks!

    Comment by epoc — January 14, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  31. As a Pirates fan those numbers seem pretty fair. In my own projections I’m expecting more from Alvarez and Burnett but those are the only two that really stand out to me. I mean sure there are some players who these numbers look like ceilings for (ie d’Arnaud, Presley and Martin) but overall I think they are pretty accurate.

    The only other one that gives me pause is James McDonald and well that is largely because I don’t know how in the world I would even begin to attempt to project what he might do in 2013.

    Comment by burgh_fan — January 14, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  32. Mediocre bullpen options burn, colonel…

    Comment by W.k. kortas — January 14, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

  33. I like the Andrew McCutchen-Bill Chapman comparison because both are/were interesting characters when you step outside baseball statistics. Though there are some differences. For instance, McCutchen likes entertaining fans with his instagram account and with Eddie Murphy impressions. Chapman liked entertaining fans by insulting Jews and African-Americans.

    Comment by Neal — January 14, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

  34. The Pirates would love that line, but no way do I see him putting that up.

    Comment by Pumpkin — January 15, 2013 @ 5:02 am

  35. Dan could you project catcher Ramon Cabrera? He had a projection last year. Thanks in advance.

    Comment by DoubleDave — January 15, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  36. Dan, what are your linear weights and scale for wOBA?

    Comment by Nick — January 15, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

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