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 Los Angeles Dodgers. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Other Projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago NL / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Houston / Kansas City / Minnesota / New York AL / New York NL / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / San Diego / Seattle / Texas / Toronto.
It’s not particularly common for one of the strongest teams in the majors to acquire a new best position player. Theoretically, such a club already features an assortment of talented players; otherwise, it wouldn’t have been one of the strongest teams in the majors. And yet, this is effectively what the Dodgers — who recorded the third-best Base Runs record in the league last year — it’s effectively what they’ll have done by deploying Corey Seager (643 PA, 3.9 zWAR) as their opening-day shortstop this spring. A projection represents an attempt to estimate a player’s true-talent level. Seager’s true talent appears to be more talented than everyone else’s.
There’s some uncertainty at the moment regarding new manager Dave Roberts‘ plans for the outfield. According to Dan Szymborski’s computer, allowing Joc Pederson (571 PA, 3.1 zWAR) to retain his starting center-field role would be part of the club’s optimal arrangement. As for second base, there doesn’t appear to be an optimal arrangement yet: both Enrique Hernandez (437 PA, 1.3 zWAR) and Chase Utley (464 PA, 1.1 zWAR) receive rather modest forecasts.