FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Is part of the list missing? Only 19 pitchers. Where are the shoddy AA and AAA guys?

    Comment by Bryan — February 13, 2013 @ 8:06 am

  2. Chipper Jones projections?

    Comment by jim08 — February 13, 2013 @ 8:06 am

  3. hey Carson,

    Just wondering if we will be getting a roster refresh for the depth charts after all 30 teams are published?

    For example, a lot of trades and free agent signings have been made since the 1st team debuted?

    Also, 2 fast questions:

    I notice there are new projections listed on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

    How come you always skip Tuesdays?

    Also, what does TBF stand for in the pitchers’ charts?

    Comment by champion88 — February 13, 2013 @ 8:24 am

  4. I think TBF stand for Total Batters Faced.

    Comment by pg — February 13, 2013 @ 8:32 am

  5. Total batters faced

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 8:32 am

  6. Love it. Also love the bullpen, wow.

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 8:33 am

  7. TBF = Total Batters Faced

    Comment by Cody — February 13, 2013 @ 8:35 am

  8. Tuesday Been Forgotten

    Comment by tylersnotes — February 13, 2013 @ 8:45 am

  9. If Simmons hangs on with a >.700 OPS like he’s projected, he’ll almost certainly be a 4+ WAR guy this year. I’d also expect some more ZiPS WAR from Beachy and Teheran, but this is looking good for the Braves.

    Comment by RMD — February 13, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  10. This team looks even better than I thought they would be. Should be a great race against WAS in the NL East.

    Comment by LuckyStrikes — February 13, 2013 @ 9:06 am

  11. Well, about what you would expect. The Braves have a very good, balanced team. Seems like their 94 wins from last year should be the mean projection for this team.

    Comment by Mike — February 13, 2013 @ 9:16 am

  12. Will a spreadsheet with all players be available for download like last year?

    Comment by Nate — February 13, 2013 @ 9:17 am

  13. Freeman’s number one comp is Kent Hrbek. I find that hilarious given the relationship between Hrbek and Braves fans.

    Comment by subtle — February 13, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  14. Ron Gant was totally falling off the bag on his own.

    Comment by Matt — February 13, 2013 @ 9:52 am

  15. I really think all these projection systems are fascinating, and low on Jason Heyward. His elite plate discipline and patience will return, and probably this year. When it does, watch out. All of his numbers will follow in increase.

    Comment by shanemgardner — February 13, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  16. Yes, 4 WAR seems like the absolute minimum for Heyward, and that assumes no offensive improvement (an odd assumption for a 23 year old), and regression to league average defense. There is actually a fair bit of upside in these projections, which is amazing considering they give the Braves almost 50 WAR (removing Chipper’s 2.1).

    Comment by Mike — February 13, 2013 @ 9:56 am

  17. Hrbek is the obvious most awesome comp, and a Kirk Reuter is always relevant, but other than that this a pretty mediocre set of comps. Poor pack of excellent names.

    Comment by Jaack — February 13, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  18. I added up the guys likely to make the Braves 25-man roster and got 45.0. That doesn’t include Beachy, but it does include McCann. I also took Pastornicky over Janish, but that is a difference of .2 so that is a rounding error. I also didn’t take a last bullpen arm but whoever that is would likely be a rounding error, too.

    Comment by TKDC — February 13, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  19. If you project Beachy to 170 innings, he looks pretty solid in the WAR department.

    Comment by Izzy Hechkoff — February 13, 2013 @ 10:21 am

  20. It projects Heyward as +11, not league average defense.

    Comment by Izzy Hechkoff — February 13, 2013 @ 10:23 am

  21. I guess I’m not sure what “DEF” corresponds to in these projections; is it same as “FLD” in the player dashboard? If so, and if Simmons hits that PA target, he should easily triple that DEF projection. Maybe quadruple.

    The power projections all look reasonable, but I would not be surprised to see two of Heyward, Freeman, and Justin Upton (all pre-prime, remember) break out to 30+ home runs. Conversely, I would not be surprised to see Chipper Jones hit as few as zero home runs in a major league game this year. I know he’s an all-time great, but players reach a certain point in their career and their production tends to just fall off a cliff…

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  22. I don’t know…Pinky Higgins seems like a great baseball name (and played in the 1930s). Some brutal fielding numbers at 3B (how accurate can they be?) dragged his WAR down to 36.5.

    Plus, a gratuitous Chili Davis reference can’t be a bad thing.

    Comment by DL80 — February 13, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  23. Yeah, the +11 seems fine (although, as below, I don’t know what stat it corresponds to). He could easily blow past it, but that’s a pretty aggressive defensive projection either way.

    I’m not sure I see the high walk rate coming back, and I disagree that 4.0 WAR is his floor. Even if he plays out a full season, he’s shown before that he can be too stubborn to sit out with an injury. Having said that, I’m devoutly hoping for an MVP-level (7 WAR+) campaign, and I think he’s got a better chance at that than most guys in the league.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  24. I love Heyward, but a .351 wOBA is not his minimum. That is what he did last year. Sure, he is much more likely to improve rather than not, but not everyone does. Just look at top prospect B.J. Upton who put up a .386 at age 22 and never approached that number again (yet).

    Comment by TKDC — February 13, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  25. Well, in his two full seasons at ages 20 and 22, he put together 5 and 6.6 WAR seasons. Barring an injury or some freakish explosion in league-wide offense, I struggle to see how he ends up at 4 WAR. Wouldn’t you agree that 6 is more likely than 4?

    Comment by Mike — February 13, 2013 @ 10:51 am

  26. Arizona.

    Comment by Dan Ugglas Forearm — February 13, 2013 @ 10:52 am

  27. Just wait for Freeman to pull off a Twins player next time they play

    Comment by JimmyD — February 13, 2013 @ 10:56 am

  28. May 20-22 series in Atlanta!

    Comment by JimmyD — February 13, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  29. Wow. Pretty bearish on Justin Upton.

    Comment by Andrew — February 13, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  30. Heyward has consistently shown more patience in his career than BJ Upton, minors and majors. His walk rate dropped last year as he was very aggressive at the plate and on the bases. He played like he had something to prove. He also had to realize that his late-season struggles are directly related to his low walk rate. I think his patience returns, his FB% continues to rise and his contact% rises too. Defensively, he’ll blow past 11 because he is an elite defender. 6 is more likely than 4, but he surely has the potential to hit 7+ WAR.

    Comment by shanemgardner — February 13, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  31. Sort of overlooked that at first, but the wOBA projection is 20 points lower than his career average – seems really bearish for a 25 year old, even one moving from a hitters park to a neutral park.

    Comment by Mike — February 13, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  32. Beachy had TJS last year. I’d be shocked if he actually put up these numbers.

    Comment by TKDC — February 13, 2013 @ 11:30 am

  33. Barring injury I think 6 is a bit more likely than 4. All I said was .351 was not his floor for offense. Of course, the term “floor” is pretty silly when you think about it. His “floor” is tearing his ACL and missing the whole season.

    Comment by TKDC — February 13, 2013 @ 11:34 am

  34. Very bearish. And obviously Simmons isn’t being projected at leadoff like he’s going to be. He’ll get more than that war total in defense alone.

    Comment by Josh — February 13, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  35. Only Herby can make it look incidental – it’s an art that Friedman couldn’t possibly have learned yet.

    Comment by Matt — February 13, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  36. Definitely seems high on McCann, but that should level out, and then some, with the low projection for Simmons. Simmons produced 2.2 WAR in 49 games last season. Much of it had to do with a surprising performance at the plate over a small sample, but even regressed, 2 WAR seems extremely low. If Brendan Ryan is worth 2 WAR, Simmons is surely much above that.
    The rotation seems almost impossible to project, but if Beachy can come back and be that productive, I would be thrilled. Not sure Hanson would outperform Teheran as the #5, as ZiPS shows for Hanson in LA, but with a bullpen like Atlanta’s, he can go out knowing he only needs 5 good innings.
    A 46 FIP- for Kimbrel? I wish I could say that is stupid and optimistic, but holy cow, he’s good.
    Reed Johnson should be much better than -0.3 WAR, as he should only be used in favorable situations, but that doesn’t really matter too much. ZiPS seems a little low on Avilan as well after a good 2012.
    The best thing with these projections, is that I don’t see anyone performing below the projection, except maybe BJ Upton and Freeman, who may be just below 4 and 3, respectively. Everyone else should be above their projection, if not right at it. 3 and 4 is very conservative for J-Up and Heyward. 2 for Uggla may even be the floor if he keeps walking like he did in 2012. I’m glad to see even a regressed Medlen still looks like the real deal, and I can’t wait to watch this NL East race.

    Comment by Spencer — February 13, 2013 @ 11:48 am

  37. Exactly how I feel. I think McCann will underperform but Simmons, Justin Upton, and Heyward should over perform. This should be an exciting NL East race, although I dont see how the Braves pass the Nats

    Comment by Tim — February 13, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

  38. That elite walk rate Heyward had in his first year is not coming back unless he develops even more power. He can be pitched to and Jason had to start hacking a little more to generate regular contact last year.

    I do think he could steal 30 bases if he sets his mind to it. He’s got such a long body that stealing bases is easier for him than his raw speed would indicate.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — February 13, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

  39. Evan Gattis looks like an interesting deep league sleeper. Or prob just “watch list”. An emergency C/LF/1B/DH who hits really well but is too old to be a prospect (because he gave up baseball for a few years). Some AL team can use him for a playoff run in Aug/Sep.

    Comment by jfree — February 13, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  40. If I were the Braves, I would not be in any hurry to extend McCann. It looks like the years of catching have caught up with him and the Braves don’t have the luxury of a DH spot for his bat. I would be planning for the next catcher in Atlanta if I were the GM.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — February 13, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  41. Kimbrel projected to be worth 2.5 wins over the course of 7.7 games’ worth of innings.

    Comment by rusty — February 13, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

  42. Gio gets suspended, Harper misses some time with an injury… it’s not at all hard to imagine how it could happen, but it does require a lot of things to break the Braves’ way.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  43. …after being lifted up by Hrbek.

    Comment by scott — February 13, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  44. He may, but he also may detract from his WAR total with his hitting (or lack thereof).

    Comment by Jason B — February 13, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  45. If you got Kimbrel’s performance with nothing but replacement level players along with him packed into 8 games, I think the median outcome would be 5 wins, which is about 2.5 above replacement.

    Comment by TKDC — February 13, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

  46. They’ve put talks aside until after the season. It really can’t end well for Atlanta. Either McCann bounces back and prices himself out of the Braves’ range, or he continues to struggle and doesn’t get an adequate offer from ATL and walks.
    The one way it could favor the Braves, is if he has a fringe year, but the trainers are medically encouraged by his progress, and he maintains a low price tag, while the Braves are the only ones aware of his improved medical condition.

    Comment by Spencer — February 13, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

  47. It’s not a given that his hitting will harm his overall value; is a .298 wOBA even below league average for a full-time shortstop?

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  48. Unless gravity is different in Minnesota, I don’t see how. You can’t fall up.

    Comment by harpago17 — February 13, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

  49. I’ll take the Braves over the Nationals. Nationals may have better starting pitching but the Braves have the better position players and bullpen. The Braves rotation will be much better if Beachy comes back strong in the second half and the bottom of the rotation should be good enough to keep them in games especially with that bullpen.

    Comment by CFG250 — February 13, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  50. the best

    Comment by jim — February 13, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

  51. Much as I love McCann, I’d have to say that not signing him probably ends well for him. Signing him until he’s 34-35 probably ends badly no matter what they pay all things considered.

    Comment by deadpool — February 13, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

  52. This is all wrong. Heyward will better than this. Upton will be better than this. Simmons will be better than this. Then the Braves will trade Jair Jurrjens for Adam Jones, and he’ll play at least average D at 3B. I mean, 3B is easier than CF.

    Comment by Common Braves Commenter — February 13, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

  53. Andrelton Simmons 14 sb to 10 cs?

    Comment by HMH — February 13, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

  54. He’s not good at stealing bases, but tries. Fast != good at base stealing. One of the many reasons the idea that putting speed at the top of the lineup is a fallacy.

    Comment by deadpool — February 13, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

  55. A succinct summary of the entire comments section of this article.

    Comment by BookWorm — February 13, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

  56. Is that 2 WAR for Simmon’s defense?

    Also, would it be safe to assume that the Braves have the biggest shot at outperforming this give the ridiculous amount of guys who are under 27starting everyday? Freeman, Heyward, Simmons, and JUpton could all see huge gains and it wouldn’t be surprising. Pitching is the same way with medlen, beachy, Teheran, and especially beachy.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — February 13, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  57. Actually. With the constant interleague, beast is more valuable than he wasayearago because there are more DH games.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — February 13, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  58. I mean, yeah, it’s much easier to knock over strawmen than to engage with the actual comments that appear inches above yours. Doesn’t necessarily make you more convincing, though.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

  59. The Nats are the most overrated team in baseball this year. The Braves will take the NL East.

    Comment by JT — February 13, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  60. 1st comment,
    simmons will be roy, if applicable, his defense and play is significantly above war.

    Uggla has to MAKE BETTER CONTACT this yr.

    Comment by braves5795 — February 13, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

  61. Simmons had 18 sb to 4 cs at Danville but was inefficient on the base paths the next year at Lynchburg swiping 26 bags but getting caught 18 times. Last year, his age 22 season, he stole 10 bases in double a while getting caught twice and after his promotion to the majors he managed to steal one base without getting caught. I think the jury is still out on the type of base stealer he is but mainly I don’t believe Fredi would let Andrelton steal that much if he was that awful.

    Comment by HMH — February 13, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

  62. From Baseball Prospectus Official Pecota Projections for 2013:

    Team W L
    Washington 88 74
    Atlanta Braves 82 80
    New York Mets 80 82
    Philadelphia 80 82
    Miami Marlins 66 96

    Comment by Pecota — February 13, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  63. Honestly, those projections don’t pass the test of common sense. The Nationals are better than that, the Braves are much better than that, and the Mets are much worse than that.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

  64. Then take it up with Baseball Prospectus.

    Personally, I don’t see how Upton/Upton/Johnson can adequately replace Jones/Prado/Bourn. I also question the Braves’ rotation.

    At any rates, that’s what Pecota gives.

    Comment by Pecota — February 13, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

  65. Yeah the idea that there is a bigger gap between the Nats and the Braves than there is between the Braves and the Mets is silly.

    Comment by Derek — February 13, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

  66. Are you a Braves fan? Maybe you are over-estimating the ability of Upton/Upton/Johnson to replace Jones/Prado/Bourn, as well as their rotation?

    Who are the Braves starting 5 this year?

    Comment by Pecota — February 13, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  67. You are underestimating the air inside Fredi’s head.

    Comment by Spencer — February 13, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  68. Medlen, Hudson, Minor, Maholm, and Teheran. Was that supposed to be a difficult question to answer, or…?

    As to whether Upton, Upton, and Johnson can replace the production of Prado, Bourn, and (part-time) Chipper: maybe not, although it’s pretty close. But they also get a full season of Medlen starting, a full season of Simmons starting, and will likely see performance improvements from one or more of Heyward, Freeman, and J. Upton. And even if you think after all that that they aren’t quite as good a team as last-year, projecting a 12-game collapse in the standings is just stupid. It could happen with multiple long-term injuries, but I doubt that’s why pecota is saying what it’s saying; I think it’s just kind of a crappy projection system, something which has been observed at the player level for going on 6 years now.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  69. Medlen, Hudson, Minor, Maholm, Teheran. It’s true that the positional player swap is a push for 2013, but the improvement is within the rotation. Just because the rotation is the weakest part of the team, that’s saying more for the other units than taking away from the rotation. Think about it this way. A full season of Maholm to replace Tommy Hanson – big improvement. A full season of Teheran/Beachy/veteran FA to replace Jurrjens/Sheets/Delgado – improvement (it couldn’t get worse than Jurrjens). Look at Mike Minor’s numbers from late May-September. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball once his HR/FB numbers came back down to Earth. Adding Walden should be a big improvement over Chad Durbin. Also, Freeman, Justin Upton, Heyward, and Simmons are young and improving, not declining. ANY kind of bounce back from McCann or Uggla will help.
    This is a team that won 94 games last year, and through progression alone should be a 95+ win team. Pecota projected 85 wins for ATL last year, and they won 94. I’m not worried at all about what Pecota says.

    Comment by Spencer — February 13, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  70. None of those 5 pitched close to 200 innings last season. How many of them can be expected to reach that goal this season? Maybe only Hudson, Minor and Maholm? It’s unlikely Medlen and Teheran can do it, as their 2012 innings totals were so low, so who is going to pitch those extra innings this year?

    Maybe that uncertainty, combined with Hudson’s age, has Pecota concerned.

    Even if Pecota is conservative with win totals, if you were to bump everyone up in the division by a few wins, the Braves still don’t come out that much better relatively speaking. Personally, I think the Nationals will win the division handily, and that there will be a close race for the 2 extra WC spots among teams from all 3 divisions.

    Comment by Pecota — February 13, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  71. My schedule’s been a little weird last couple of weeks, but while I have columns on other days, I almost *always* have an article on ESPN on Tuesdays at least.

    Comment by Dan Szymborski — February 13, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

  72. ZiPS knows Fredi’s tendency to hit and run with guys in the worst situations for success.

    Comment by TKDC — February 13, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

  73. Teheran will probably not reach 200 innings this year.

    Medlen could reach 200 IP easily, unless he gets injured; the reason he threw so few last season is because he was used as a reliever until the end of July, partly because he was coming off Tommy John surgery in 2010. Three years removed from the surgery, I think the Braves will absolutely let him throw as many innings as they can.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  74. Simmons isn’t a rookie, so winning ROY could be pretty difficult for him.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — February 13, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  75. Upton/Upton/Johnson doesn’t have to.

    Simmons will play all season, which should cover most of Chipper’s 3 WAR (mostly on defense, in Simmons’s case) as well as his own. Francisco/Johnson will cover the rest and then some. Will also easily cover the contributions of Pastornicky/Janish’s time.

    Justin can cover or exceed Prado, if he returns to form. Less on defense, more on offense (balances the Simmons part of the equation).

    B.J. can’t cover Bourn, in all likelihood, but he doesn’t have to. You can expect improvements from at least Heyward and Freeman. McCann 2013 should be better than the 2012 version, to cover more of Bourn’s spot. Uggla will very likely cover his own down performance, unless he’s truly done, but that’s more of a toss-up.

    So, when you look at it, it’s possible without even stretching the realm of possibility. You just have to look at the whole picture, rather than fixating on the external losses and gains. There’s plenty of gains without looking outside of the returning players.

    -C

    Comment by cthabeerman — February 13, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

  76. Now hold on I’m a nats fan here, but there is no way the braves only win 82 games. Please tell me where there lineup from last season to this season loses 12 GAMES. You could make an argument for a couple assuming a bunch of players under perform, but even then if they produce close to their career averages they will be a 90 win team. The PECOTA projections are flat out wrong, i wouldn’t be surprised to see the braves win 100+ games, same with the nats but the mets 2 games away from the braves come on man.

    Comment by Teddy — February 13, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  77. I know, I didn’t say it was a given. Just said that it might. I think that’s the great unknown on Simmons; if his hitting progresses he could be legitimately good (or above average), if not he could become another league average-ish,”good glove, no hit” SS. Which obviously still has some value.

    Comment by Jason B — February 13, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

  78. Argued with Dave about it in the chat, but: I think even if his bat regresses quite a bit (keeping in mind that his 102+ wRC of last year is very good for a shortstop), he will be an above league-average player because he’ll be the best defender in baseball by a country mile.

    We shall see! I’m excited to watch him develop.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 13, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

  79. Getting thrown out a bunch in his first full professional season doesn’t exactly prove that he’s bad at stealing bases. Teams kind of encourage guys to push the envelope early on stealing bases so they can get a feel for how good they are at and when they should or shouldn’t steal bases. Simmons looked just fine in AA, stealing 10 in 12 attempts, and he made it on his 1 attempt in the majors.

    Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that the minors are about developing skills to get ready for the majors, not putting up the prettiest numbers for people that love stats.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 13, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  80. I’m not sure how Harper gets projected to 6 war but Heyward gets projected to 4 war… Also, zips needs to add injuries to its analysis. Upton’s projection was hurt by the thumb injury and McCann/Laird should be rated lower with consideration of the shoulder injury. Also, I’m not sure how Simmons gets a 2 war projection.

    Comment by Troutman — February 13, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  81. An honest to goodness Rod Allen comp?

    That’s Country Strong!

    Comment by Tim — February 14, 2013 @ 12:10 am

  82. In contrast to fans of other teams who never think zips sells their team short. Right?

    Comment by TKDC — February 14, 2013 @ 12:57 am

  83. Gravity affects Hrbek more than most.

    Oh wait, he was the lifter in this case… carry on.

    Comment by zipperz — February 14, 2013 @ 2:38 am

  84. Good Lord, Kimbrel is projected to K 119 in 69 IP with a 40 FIP-

    I think this guy can pitch a little. I remember the young K-Rod being fairly dominant, but I think Kimbrel broke the comp system.

    Comment by zipperz — February 14, 2013 @ 2:52 am

  85. So, what you’re saying is that in the rosiest scenario that lost production would be covered, right? Well what if the production from the others is the same or less than last year? You can’t always count for the rosiest outcomes.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 4:58 am

  86. Medlen has never thrown more than 140 innings at any level in baseball. It might be a stretch to expect him to throw close to 200 innings this year. So the Braves may have to find alternatives.

    Will the Braves have some real good starting candidates at AAA or AA this year?

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 5:03 am

  87. Then you’re looking at a 94 win team.

    Comment by Spencer — February 14, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  88. There were only 31 pitchers in ALL OF BASEBALL that threw 200 innings last season. And you think the Braves should be responsible for 3 of them? Hudson missed all of April, but is consistently around or above the 200 inning limit. Also, why would you wear down your starters with a bullpen that can take over in the 6th inning? This year’s bullpen adds Walden, and uses Avilan/Gearrin for L/R matchups and replaces the 90+ innings that Durbin and Livan ‘contributed’ in 2012. The Atlanta bullpen is projected to be worth 7 WAR. So I don’t know what it is with you and the Braves but you are just set on avoiding what is actually there. The Braves have pitching depth in the minors in Gilmartin, Graham, and Northcraft, although you’d like for the last two guys to wait until 2014 to make their appearance. Wren also signed a pitcher out of the Mexican League that has led the league in K’s for two years in a row. He isn’t impact, but he’s emergency depth.

    Comment by Spencer — February 14, 2013 @ 9:21 am

  89. Huh? I said “close to 200″ innings. Even 180 IPs would be good, and there were 62 starters who logged at least 180 innings in the majors last season. And the point isn’t that the Braves should have three starters who logged close to that, but starters like Teheran and Medlen have never come even remotely close. So the Braves will likely have to bridge the gap. So, will they have good starting candidates at AAA and AA who can fill in?

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 9:41 am

  90. And yes, I know the Braves bullpen is good and can absorb some innings, but they can only do so much. And Hudson is really getting up there in age, so there’s no telling how that might impact his ability to pitch a full season. I really think the Braves rotation is highly questionable this year and not geared to go the distance. They may do well for the first half, but in the second half, watch out! Of course, Wren can always make a mid-season trade, if necessary.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 9:50 am

  91. I don’t know what you’re talking about but ZiPS projects 4.6 WAR for Harper.

    Comment by TKDC — February 14, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  92. That doesn’t equate. If you get less production from Upton/Upton/Johnson, plus the same or less production from everyone else, that’s fewer wins than last year.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  93. Beachy is supposed to be back at midseason. He probably won’t immediately start pitching at a high level or anything, but I don’t think expecting league average or better performance is that crazy.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  94. You seem to be ignoring the fact that the Braves will have a full season of Simmons instead of having a sub-replacement level Tyler Pastornicky and replacement level Paul Janish starting for 2/3 of the season.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  95. No. Not ignoring that. Simmons is projected for just a 2.3 WAR. And he may suffer a sophomore slump.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

  96. Ugh! These projections look depressingly good for the Braves. I can’t stand watching their games because of the War Chant and Tomahawk Chop, but if they make the playoffs, I have to.
    These ratings put them in Giants/Dodgers territory behind only the Nationals. My last, best hope is that they won’t really get 7 WAR out of the bullpen, because that is too much duplication of talent to be used.

    Comment by Baltar — February 14, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

  97. This is a free country. That’s generally good, but the downside is that everyone is free to express opinions like this one.

    Comment by Baltar — February 14, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  98. And some of us remember scouting reports that have consistently agreed that Simmons was likely to be a below average base stealer, which lines up pretty well with that one season.

    The minors may be a place to learn, but it’s also important to remember that the level of competition in the minors is significantly less. Especially in areas like steals, where catchers aren’t usually done developing defensively.

    Comment by deadpool — February 14, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  99. 2.3 WAR is an astounding 4.4 WAR more than the Braves received from the combined efforts of Pastornicky, Wilson, and Janish last season. So… might want to rethink that “just,” if you want to make an accurate comparison between last year’s squad and this one.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 14, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

  100. Not sure what scouting reports you were reading. The ones I did said he was raw on the bases, probably due to the fact that he’s the rare international player that didn’t sign before he was 18 and ended up at an American JuCo. In no way did they indicate that he shouldn’t get better with experience and reps. Not surprisingly he did, as seen by the large improvement in SB % last year.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

  101. Yes, and that projection is clearly undervaluing Simmons because it doesn’t it is regressing his defense way too far towards league average. If you think Simmons is only a +6 defender at SS, you clearly haven’t watched him play. Sadly the projection systems don’t get to consider the scouting reports that backup Simmons elite defensive value continuing going forward.

    And as someone else mentioned, the 3 guys he’s replacing (I forgot about Jack Wilson) managed to be worth -2.1 WAR last year. Just by getting those guys out of the lineup, the Braves should improve significantly.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

  102. ignore “it doesn’t” in the first paragraph. Changed the wording around and forgot to delete it.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

  103. Except you shouldn’t be comparing a year of Simmons to Janish/Wilson/Pasternicky in 2012. It should be a comparison of a year of Simmons to a year of Simmons/Janish/Wilson/Pasternicky.

    Braves shortstops in 2012 had a net 0.1 WAR in 633 PA. That included Simmons, Janish, Wilson and Pasternicky.

    Simmons is projected to have a 2.3 WAR in 526 PA in 2013. Let’s say you prorate his projected 2013 WAR to 633 PA, then you have a WAR of roughly 2.8. So that would be a net difference of 2.7 WAR between 2012 and 2013. Not a big difference.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

  104. 2.7 wins is a pretty sizeable difference. It puts the Braves closer to the Nats than the Mets, which has been the primary complaint here.

    Besides, does anyone even take Pecota seriously anymore? I stopped paying attention to it after Matt Weiters broke it before the 2009 season.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  105. How much closer the Braves would move to the Nats would depend on how much Upton/Upton/Johnson can make up for Jones/Prado/Bourn. (And also how well the rotation does in relation to last year.) My premise was that those 3 would underperform as a group in relation to the players they are replacing.

    I take PECOTA as seriously as any other projection system. Haven’t all projection systems been “broken” by one player or another? I was under the impression that PECOTA was as reliable as ZIPS or anything else.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

  106. Here’s part of my point: Chipper/Prado/Bourn gave the Braves 15.3 fWAR in 2012. According to ZIPS, Upton/Upton/Johnson are good for 7 fWAR in 2013. That’s a difference of 8.3 WAR just in those 3 players! If Simmons gives the Braves 2.7 extra WAR, then the Braves still have to make up 5.6 WAR someplace else just to replicate last year — and that’s assuming no downgrade in production from any other place on the team (which I find hard to fathom given their questionable rotation).

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

  107. PECOTA projected a .311/.395/.544 line for Weiters as a rookie. I’m not sure any other projection system has ever been so obviously wrong on any single player. Everyone knew beforehand that it was completely ridiculous and it pointed to a problem under the hood for PECOTA.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

  108. Okay, but if the Braves lose 5-6 wins over last season, that would put them at 88-89 wins, not the 82 that Pecota projected. This is leaving aside obvious flaws inherent to the system that likely undersell how good the Braves are to begin with (can’t consider Upton’s struggles were clearly caused by injury or how good the scouting reports on Simmons defense are).

    Why don’t we just stop discussing Pecota all together? I don’t think most people have taken it seriously since the Weiters debacle and the projected records above for the Braves and Nats clearly don’t pass the smell test. You can think the Braves will regress from last season while still believing a projected record of 82-80 is completely wrong. Those opinions aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  109. I would be shocked if ZIPS — or any other projection system — didn’t have their own comparable “Wieters” projection flop. I would look for one, but I don’t have access to a historical ZIPS database or the db for any other projection system.

    I don’t think you need to take PECOTA literally either. Just use it as an indicator/warning sign of a team’s weaknesses and strength relative to other teams in the division.

    If you have the 2012 Braves team playing the 2013 Nats, the results may be different because I think the Nats have improved the most within the division. The Phillies may also be a little stronger if they don’t have the number of injuries they had last year. Therefore, it would be a mistake to assume 94 wins as a starting point for the 2013 Braves. Or to use 2012 wins as a starting point for ANY team, be it the Braves or Orioles or Giants.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

  110. Also, from what I understand, PECOTA is continually tweaked from year to year. I’m sure they’ve adjusted whatever formula that went into producing the Weiters projection flop.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

  111. ZIPS doesn’t project those sort of lines for anyone, let alone a rookie that hasn’t played above AA at the most physically and mentally demanding position in the game. It was mocked from the outset. Everyone knew it was ridiculous. This isn’t looking back in hindsight and laughing at a bad prediction. Everyone at the time knew it was dumb.

    Do you really think an 88 win prediction for the Nats passes the smell test? Because I think that one is every bit as bad, if not worse, than the Braves projection.

    Comment by Nitram Odarp — February 14, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

  112. As I said, the PECOTA formula is tweaked almost every year. I’m sure they’ve adjusted whatever formula spit out the over-optimistic Weiters projection. Even PECOTA would likely not replicate such a projection today.

    And yes, I think the Nats projection does pass the smell test if you take the projected standings more as an indication of relative strength and weaknesses rather than literally.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

  113. Well, you have to take them literally, because they distribute total wins across the league. So if the Nats are going to win 88 games, that means some other team(s) is much stronger than everyone else thinks.

    I would seriously recommend that you stop defending Pecota on this. The projected standings have no value if you reimagine them as metaphorical relative strength comparisons; if that’s what the system was trying to get at, they would just put out playoff odds in percentage form. That they chose to do this in the form of standings means we get to judge them as standings. And the verdict is: those projected standings are completely ridiculous, and they will be off by tons of wins at the end of the year.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 14, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

  114. I say not to take them literally because of the unknowns like injuries and how players age. Also just one team much stronger or weaker than predicted could have repercussions not only on teams within its division, but also throughout the entire league, not to mention in interleague play. So that’s why I think one should look at this as just a barometer of relative strength, on paper, pre-season.

    I also disagree about simply giving playoff odds. People are used to seeing things in terms of standings, so that gives a clearer idea than simply giving odds. They may be off by tons by the end of the season, either way for any team, but perhaps in terms of relative strength they have validity more often than not. If you don’t like the standings, that’s your choice. But I like this format for projections.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

  115. You seem to be missing the central point: the projections for all the teams together add up. So what Pecota is saying by projecting the Braves at 82-80 is that they are, relative to all the other teams in baseball, a very-slightly-better-than-average team. That’s nonsense, and you have totally failed to show why it’s not nonsense. You need to demonstrate why the most likely outcome for a team that won 94 games last year and consists of a solid majority of returning players is that it will collapse to league average.

    You’ve twisted and turned trying to artificially limit the scope of analysis, but in the end you’ve only managed to find 5-6 wins (and even those are questionable) to knock off the 2012 total. Thus, you’ve failed. Stop pretending Pecota’s ridiculous projections have anything valuable to tell us.

    Comment by Anon21 — February 14, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  116. Oh no, I completely understand that the wins and losses have to even out. What I am saying, though, is not to take the exact records so literally. For example, the overall number of wins in the NL East could be higher or lower than is shown in the PECOTA standing …maybe add 2 wins to each team (and there would of course be corresponding losses in another division) … but that the relative strengths of each team pre-season, on paper, are what’s the important thing reflected here.

    So, it’s not all too pertinent that the Braves are listed at 82-80. And while the Braves may very well be a 90 win team, I personally see a lot of potential weaknesses in their rotation, mostly having to do with durability throughout the season. I also doubt Upton/Upton/Johnson can adequately replace Jones/Prado/Bourn.

    I can’t prove that PECOTA is right, but you can’t prove it is wrong either. As I said, I think the Braves rotation PLUS the loss of Jones/Prado/Bourn will be the reasons they won’t be as strong as some think. If you are a Braves fan, sorry I offended you. It’s just my opinion. It happens to coincide with PECOTA. You are free to believe what you want. Just don’t place a bet this year for the Braves to make the WS, lol.

    Comment by Pecota — February 14, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  117. I’d be shocked with that many innings, but not the numbers. Dude’s talented.

    Comment by Undocorkscrew — February 16, 2013 @ 5:48 am

  118. Come on. You’ve certainly proven yourself to be as much of one as this CFG250 fella. There wasn’t anything too outlandish with what he/she said. Braves do have the better pen on paper, and while I disagree with the comments on offense, the Nationals don’t really hold a significant advantage on offense.

    Comment by Undocorkscrew — February 16, 2013 @ 5:58 am

  119. Ask that relentless Pecota guy….

    Comment by Undocorkscrew — February 16, 2013 @ 6:09 am

  120. I agree. Let’s remember what DRS said about Simmons’ performance last year: 19 fielding runs in 49 games. That would have broken the all-time record for fielding runs had he played 150 games.

    Two WAR? I think Simmons will have 2.5 WAR minimum BY THE BREAK, and it doesn’t matter what he hits.

    Comment by bstar — March 1, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

  121. With groundballers like Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm, the Braves need to start their best defensive infielders for whenever the groundballers are on the mound. I just did a very linear regression and groundballers like Hudson and Malom have a (85% !!!) correlation between LOB% and ERA. Simply put, they need Nick Ahmed on their 25 man roster, and Andrelton Simmons at their shortstop, to give Hudson and Maholm their best games. The Braves can’t have the Uggla, the worst defensive 2nd basemen in the league, start when his defense is truly a liability.

    Comment by Paul Holmes — March 4, 2013 @ 4:11 am

  122. I overlooked this but it appears Medlen is also a groundball pitcher. Amazing. Their K pitchers, Hanson and Minor had terrible years, whereas Hudsom, Maholm and Medlen had career years.

    Comment by Paul Holmes — March 4, 2013 @ 4:20 am

  123. All this projection talk makes me that much more anxious to see matters settled on the field. Hurry up, baseball season!

    Comment by Carry On My Heyward Son — March 15, 2013 @ 1:01 am

  124. test:

    Comment by Anon21 — February 25, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  125. second test: Witness the shame of Braves country!

    Comment by Anon21 — February 25, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

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