Archive for 2013 ZiPS Projections

Now Available: Full 2013 ZiPS Projections Spreadsheet

Note: if Google spreadsheet below isn’t working, click here for one the author has uploaded himself after having modified only slightly from Szymborski’s original.

With the release last Thursday of the ZiPS projections for the Cleveland Indians, now all 30 major-league teams have been caressed tenderly by proprietor Dan Szymborski’s math computer.

While we wait — as if sitting atop some combination of pins and needles — for ZiPS to be added to the projection leaderboard area here at the site, Szymborski has released a spreadsheet including all the ZiPS projections for 2013.

Click this hyperlinked text to visit the full spreadsheet for the 2013 ZiPS projections.

In the meantime, some observations:

• Highest Projected WAR (Field Players): Mike Trout, 8.0

• Most Defensive Runs Saved: Craig Gentry, +15

• Highest Projected WAR (Pitchers): Justin Verlander, 6.4

• Lowest ERA: Craig Kimbrel, 1.57

• Yankees Prospect Corban Joseph: 579 PA, .242/.313/.389, 87 OPS+, 1.0 WAR


2013 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Cleveland Indians. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Braves / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Red Sox / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
If you’re like the author, you’re hirsute in a way that make pets and small children demonstrably uncomfortable. You’re also a bit surprised by the competence of the Indians offense entering 2013. No Cleveland field player posted better than a 3.4 WAR in 2012; in fact, there are three players here — Carlos Santana (4.4), Michael Bourn (4.0), and Asdrubal Cabrera (3.7) — projected to surpass last year’s team-high mark. Six other players are forecast to post something between a 2.0 and 3.0 WAR.

A thing to note: both Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs are projected as center fielders, where each spent the majority of 2012 defensively. Moving to the corners won’t affect their individual WAR projections, likely, but does mean that what they lose in runs to positional adjustment, they’re likely to regain in terms of runs saved afield. If we say that Brantley and Stubbs are roughly average center fielders, then it’s also fair to say they’re likely to save something like +10 runs defensively in either left or right field.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Atlanta Braves. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Red Sox / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
Basically every starter for Atlanta — plus the Francisco/Johnson platoon at third — appears likely to produce something between two and four wins above replacement. For obvious reasons, that’s more of a good thing than a bad one — on account of, I mean, more wins is better than fewer wins. If there is a downside to having such a balanced roster, it’s that upgrading at midseason is more challenging. Last season, for example, the Chicago White Sox had the blackest of possible holes at third base. Therefore, their late-June acquisition of Kevin Youkilis represented a considerable improvement over the status quo. As of now, the possibility that the Braves will have such a glaring weakness is on the low-ish end of things.

Posing some difficulty to those who would prefer to draw strong conclusions about Atlanta based on these projections is what one might call, were he/she in the mood, the Brian McCann Shoulder Situation. The very good Braves catcher had surgery on his right shoulder in October — of which procedure Dan Szymborski’s math computer is entirely unaware. Reports suggest that McCann should be ready by mid-April, but even that timetable is liable to futz around with McCann’s “real” projection for 2013.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Boston Red Sox

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Boston Red Sox. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
It’s important, of course, to acknowledge always that front offices — especially the sort which have a reputation for embracing all manner of analysis — that they might possess certain information to which we, baseball’s laypeople, are not privy. To whatever degree that might be the case, however, it’s difficult to imagine what information precisely the Red Sox might have with regard to Jonny Gomes, whom the club signed to a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason and intends, it seems, to deploy as their starting left fielder. While the bar is rather low for Gomes to earn his money, Dan Szymborski’s math computer suggests that Gomes’ odds of producing like an average major-leaguer aren’t excellent.

I asked Szymborski about the Gomes projection — and, in particular, to what degree it might account for platoon splits (Gomes having a reputation for possessing a large-ish one). To which question Szymborski replied: “ZiPS only knows past usage.” To that point, we ought to consider this when considering Gomes’s rather successful 2012 season: about 59% of Gomes’s plate appearances in 2012 were against left-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, only one-third of his plate appearances between 2009 and -11 were against lefties.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Baltimore Orioles

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Baltimore Orioles. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
Readers with an interest in arbitrary-ish end points will be keen on learning that, among major-league catchers over the last two seasons, Matt Wieters is fourth overall by WAR with a mark of 9.1. Other readers — even those who are entirely wary of arbitrary end points — will recognize that Wieters is projected by ZiPS to produce in 2013 roughly what he averaged between 2011 and -12. In either case, he’s probably one of the five-best catchers in the major leagues.

For as much as it will cost the team — i.e. something like $2.5 million total — experimenting with a platoon of Wilson Betemit and Danny Valencia (or the recently acquired Russ Canzler, as the case may be) at DH isn’t the worst possible idea. Isolating platoon skill requires a considerable number of plate appearances; however, the switch-hitting Betemit has been better against righties (117 wRC+, .350 BABIP, 1752 PA) and Valencia has been better against left-handers (127 wRC+, .343 BABIP, 326 PA).

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Minnesota Twins

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Minnesota Twins. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
The Twins probably don’t have the least impressive set of offensive projections among the now-26 teams considered so far, but they probably do have the least impressive set of offensive projections for a club that also includes a player as good as Joe Mauer. Ben Revere and Denard Span, now both a part of the NL East, combined for seven-plus wins in 2012, and are projected for ca. five wins this season. Their replacements for the moment, Darin Mastroianni and Chris Parmelee — in center and right field, respectively — are projected to be worth only a fifth of that.

The reader will note that Ron Gardenhire‘s actual deployment of Ryan Doumit, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau will likely be more nuanced than it’s represented in the depth-chart graphic below. The triumvirate made 48, 42, and 34 starts, respectively, at DH in 2012. Plus, Mauer made 30 starts at first base. Plus, Doumit made 56 at catcher. It’s not unreasonable to assume that they’ll be used similarly in 2013.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – San Diego Padres

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the San Diego Padres. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
With regard to the projections below, an entirely reasonable person might ask: “To what extent does ZiPS account for catcher Yasmani Grandal‘s 50-game suspension that he was given for a performance-enhancing substance in November — in light, particularly, of how Grandal is given the second-highest WAR projection among all Padres batters?” To which question the author is compelled to answer: “Not at all, unfortunately.” In point of fact, Grandal’s suspension likely calls for his WAR projection to be approximately two-thirded — which the author promises is a verb you can use in business memos or term papers or whatever.

Of note is the very elegant right-field platoon that persists in San Diego. A ninth-round pick out of Princeton and 19th-round pick out of something called Wheaton College, Will Venable and Chris Denorfia, respectively, continue to produce at something demonstrably better than replacement-level.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – New York Yankees

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the New York Yankees. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
It’s probably not entirely correct to say that Robinson Cano is twice as good as any of his field-playing teammates. What does appear to be the case, however, is that — owing to a combination of offensive production, positional adjustment, and durability — Robinson Cano is likely to be twice as valuable in 2013 as any of those same teammates.

Elsewhere, there are a lot of rather low plate-appearance projections among the Yankees batting corps. Brett Gardner, Travis Hafner, Alex Rodriguez, and Kevin Youkilis: none is forecast to make even as many as 500 plate appearances. Of course, A-Rod’s mean projection by that account is already appearing to be rather an optimistic one: according to general manager Brian Cashman, the nominal starting third baseman is expected back from hip surgery in July, but could potentially miss the entire season.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Miami Marlins

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Miami Marlins. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
It will come as no surprise to the reader to learn that the 2013 Marlins are likely to be a poor team. That’s not to suggest, of course, that the Miami players themselves will be anything less than committed to flawless victory, but rather that the front office — by way of their deadline and offseason trades — have conspired to make the chances of said flawless victory much less likely.

In the interest of brevity — and because the author is running out of port as he writes this — let’s summarize the projections for Miami’s field players via bullet-point technology:

Regard:
Giancarlo Stanton‘s forecast — which is on par with Ryan Braun‘s (link) and Buster Posey‘s (other link) — suggests that, if healthy, he could contend for MVP candidacy in the National League.
• ZiPS concurs with Justin Ruggiano‘s pronouncement via Twitter from November — regarding the Marlins center-field spot — that Ruggiano’s “got this.” His two-win projection is the second-highest among Miami field players.
• Here’s the departed Jose Reyes‘s WAR projection relative to his replacement Adeiny Hechavarria‘s: 4.3 vs. 1.3.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Los Angeles Dodgers

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mariners / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
The Dodgers begin 2013 with slightly more than double the payroll of their 2012 opening-day roster. That fact established, it will not surprise the reader to learn that the Dodgers have spent some of that additional money on position players. The club’s highest-paid field player at the start of 2012 was outfielder Andre Ethier, at $10.95 million. As of today, the Dodgers have five batters earning more than that: Adrian Gonzalez ($21.9 million), Carl Crawford ($20.9 million), Matt Kemp ($20.3 million), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million), and Ethier himself ($13.5 million).*

One would hope — for the sake of order in the universe, if nothing else — that the Dodgers’ financial outlay would correlate to success. In fact, it appears as though it will. The Dodgers produced 20.3 WAR via batting and fielding last season; the squad presented here is probably closer to 25 WAR. To the front office’s credit, there are some values here, as well: Luis Cruz, A.J. Ellis, and Tim Federowicz — all expected to produce like average major leaguers — will combine to make just $3 million in 2013.

Figures stolen directly from Cot’s Contracts.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Seattle Mariners

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Seattle Mariners. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
One, choosing to wax optimistic with regard to the projections below, would note that five of the top six players by projected WAR on the Mariners are either 25 years old or younger. Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino, Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, and (less immediately) Brad Miller: not only might they form a young, cost-controlled nucleus around which the front office can build, but their youth suggests that improvement is not only possible, but likely.

Another, choosing to be less optimistic — perhaps because he knows that, as a resident of Seattle, summer proper is still ca. six months away and that the city will remain ensconced in a 45-degree rain cloud until then — perhaps that other one would emphasize the lack of impact talent among the club’s field players and how recent acquisitions (like Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales, and Michael Morse) address the team’s needs, but by too little.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Tampa Bay Rays

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Tampa Bay Rays. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
In a study from February of 2012, Matt Swartz found that designated hitters, left fielders, and first basemen — in that order — were, on average, (over)paid the most dollars per win on the open market. It’s fitting, perhaps, in light of these findings, that the Tampa Bay — an organization that has distinguished itself for its efficient spending — would be weakest at these positions. The players mostly likely to fill those roles for Tampa Bay are Luke Scott, Sam Fuld, Shelley Duncan, and James Loney. Combined, they’re unlikely to make much more than $5 million this season, depending on the precise terms of Scott’s recent deal.

Regardless of the degree to which it informs our understanding of Evan Longoria‘s actual future, his top comparable, Jim Ray Hart, is of some interest — if for no other reason than the reader has likely (and the author has definitely) never heard of him. Hart, however, was among the league’s best players for a four-year stretch in the 1960s, as this totally embiggenable WAR grid reveals:

wd_all_1967_1964_25_0_1_28_2013

Lest the reader find himself concerned about Hart’s whereabouts today, rest easy: per Wikipedia, he “retired in 2006 to a life of leisure and good health.”

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2013 ZiPS Projections – St. Louis Cardinals

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the St. Louis Cardinals. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
The Cardinals have a number of hitters who’ve posted above-average offensive numbers over the last three years on the strength of high batting averages on balls in play. David Freese (.359 BABIP, 1200 PA), Jon Jay (.348, 1328), Matt Holliday (.333, 1879), and Allen Craig (.329, 857): each has posted a ball-in-play figure considerably above league average (which typically falls in the .290-.300 range).

The production of high BABIPs certainly can be a skill; however, as Dan Szymborski suggested recently with regard to Detroit’s Austin Jackson (who’s also posted high ball-play-numbers), it takes rather a large sample for that skill to reveal itself in the numbers. Accordingly, the ZiPS projections are going to appear conservative for players whose offensive value has been informed more considerably by his batted-ball profile.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Detroit Tigers

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Detroit Tigers. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Reds / Rockies / Royals / White Sox.

Batters
On the one hand, we know that the league-average BABIP generally settles within the .290-.300 range. On the other, we also know that Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson has posted a .370 BABIP over his first three seasons (ca. 2000 plate appearances). On the third hand — this being one of those rare instances in which a third hand is present — we know that true-talent BABIP tends not to exceed about .350.

How does ZiPS handle a situation like this? Szymborski addressed a question along these very same lines on Wednesday, writing: “Short version: even at 1960 PA, you expect a player’s BABIP to regress ~43% toward mean.”

Otherwise, here’s a point of interest: Andy Dirks is likely as productive a major-league corner outfielder as Torii Hunter, whom Detroit signed to a two-year, $26 million contract this offseason — and is likely a full win better than the departed Delmon Young.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Arizona Diamondbacks

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Reds / Rockies / Royals / White Sox.

Batters
For Bill James, it was basically a mantra: a club’s shortcomings are frequently attributed to that same club’s best player, despite the fact that he is, by definition, least to blame for those shortcomings. The object of constant trade rumors, outfielder Justin Upton likely remains (according to ZiPS, at least) either the first- or second-best (behind Miguel Montero) field player on the Diamondbacks. Upton enters his age-25 season having produced almost precisely 12 wins above replacement over the last three years. Indeed, since 2002, only 10 other players with significant outfield experience have recorded as many as 10 wins between the ages of 22 and 24.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Cincinnati Reds

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Cincinnati Reds. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rockies / Royals / White Sox.

Batters
Something of which people never tire is to learn that there is both good news and also that there’s bad news. The bad news, in the case of the Cincinnati Reds, appears to be — at least so far as Dan Szymborski’s finely calibrated ZiPS projection system is concerned — appears to be that newly acquired Shin-Soo Choo is probably a pretty bad defensive center fielder. The good news, though, is that he’s still expected to be worth about three wins in 2013 — i.e. more than he produced in either 2011 or -12.

Otherwise, of some note — beyond the simple fact that the club’s offense is generally talented — is the not particularly optimistic projection for 34-year-old Ryan Ludwick, whom the Reds signed to a two-year, $15 million contract this offseason. In the present market, that’s not a horrible deal for a starting outfielder; however, Cincinnati will be looking to compete for the NL Central title this season, and will want at least average production from the position.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – New York Mets

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the New York Mets. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rockies / Royals / White Sox.

Batters
Because the author is consumed with sloth, he will not look at the 14 clubs previously considered in this series to verify it, but will instead state the following — namely, that there is a very good chance that Lucas Duda‘s projected defensive rating (-11 runs in left field) is the worst we’ve seen so far. It is also possible, if not likely, that Dan Murphy‘s own defensive projection (-7 runs at second base) is the second worst so far by that measure.

Are there bright spots among the Mets’ starting field players? Okay. David Wright remains an All Star candidate, certainly. Ruben Tejada‘s performance as a 22-year-old last season has bred encouragement for his future, as well. Furthermore, giving at-bats to players like Andrew Brown, Collin Cowgill, and Anthony Recker — that is, young-ish sorts who’ve demonstrated promise, but have little major-league experience — could produce gains. Otherwise, though, there is little cause for optimism from this squad in its present incarnation.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Colorado Rockies

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Colorado Rockies. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Royals / White Sox.

Batters
It is not surprising to find that, among Colorado’s field players, ZiPS finds two stars: Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. The former, in particular, is fantastic on a per-game basis; however, injury trouble has created a rather conservative plate-appearances projection for Tulo. The shortstop has recently reported a return to form, but remember: ZiPS doesn’t know how or why he’s been injured, just that his playing time has been deflated in the near past.

Elsewhere, like last season, third base appears to be a cause for some concern for the Rockies in 2013. Chris Nelson (0.3 WAR in 377 PA) and Jordan Pacheco (0.2 WAR in 505 PA) started 148 games there between them in 2012. Neither appears to be a starting option on a winning team. Likely second baseman Josh Rutledge, meanwhile, must be a pleasant surprise for the club. Ranked around 10th on most prospect lists entering the 2012 season, ZiPS suggests that he’s become something not unlike a major-league regular.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Chicago White Sox

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Chicago White Sox. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Royals.

Batters
To their credit, Chicago has had some success in populating their starting lineup with cost-controlled talent. Alejandro De Aza, Gordon Beckham, Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo: all are either in their first season of arbitration or earlier, and all are likely to be worth more than their salaries in 2012. What’s less fortunate is that none of them is likely to be any better than average, if that.

Even more unfortunate is that no other field player on the team is projected to be much better than average, either. Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, and Alex Rios will make more than $40 million combined in 2013, but are forecast to produce just six wins or so — or, about $7 million a win.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Pittsburgh Pirates

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cubs / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Rangers / Royals.

Batters
Andrew McCutchen‘s projection unsurprisingly places him among the early candidates for the NL MVP award. Certain readers might note, however, that the WAR forecast here represents a decline not only from his excellent 2012 season, but also (by a slight margin) his 2011 one — despite the fact that he’s still theoretically on the upward slope of his age curve. I asked Szymborski about this, to which he responded, as follows:

Regression to mean. Great players usually have (and should have) lower projections than years in which very little went wrong — the risk is generally one-sided. And in this case, Cutch has that .375 BABIP in 2012 as well. ZiPS still gives him a 35% chance of a 140+ OPS+, 8% 160+.

Part of the difference is the defense — the projection’s the same as his 2011 fWAR minus 4 runs of defense.

While McCutchen has been Pittsburgh’s best field player in each of his first four seasons, ZiPS is optimistic that the club’s supporting cast will be more, uh… supportive than in previous seasons. Since 2009, never has McCutchen had more than three teammates with a season WAR total of 2.0 or greater. ZiPS projects four such players in 2013: Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Russell Martin, and Neil Walker.

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