Offseason Notes for Presidents Day

George Washington famously had a pocket full of horses.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Offseason Notes.

1. Projecting: ZiPS for Pittsburgh
2. Video: Gerrit Cole in the AFL
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Kansas City Television

Projecting: ZiPS for Pittsburgh
Dan Szymborski has published his (30th, I think) ZiPS projections of the offseason — this, for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Below are some of the notable ones, accompanied by very rough WAR projections (for hitters per 600 plate appearances and pitchers per 200 innings). All numbers assume major-league competition. OPS+ and ERA+ are park-adjusted.

Starling Marte, CF, 23: .279/.320/.421, 100 OPS+, 2.6 WAR600
Nate McLouth, CF, 30: .243/.340/.391, 98 OPS+, 2.6 WAR600
Alex Presley, LF, 26: .275/.324/.426, 102 OPS+, 1.7 WAR600
Garrett Jones, RF, 31: .252/.317/.432, 101 OPS+, 1.6 WAR600

Again, I think maybe the league-average wOBA I’m using (.320) is lower than the one in the ZiPS universe, so just look at the numbers relative to each other. As of now, Alex Presley is slated to begin the season as the Pirates starting center fielder, but Presley’s hold on the position is probably pretty tenuous — or, certainly more so than Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata‘s holds on their respective positions. Note that the very rough WAR projections above include only positional adjustments, but not defensive runs, which means that prospect Starling Marte (regarded as a plus defender, even in center) is likely better than Nate McLouth (-12.9 UZR/150 in 4486.0 career innings). Presley’s offensive projection is actually more optimistic than I would’ve expected.

Robbie Grossman, RF, 22: .239/.329/.348, 0.6 WAR600
Grossman was the SCOUT batting leader for this year’s edition of the Arizona Fall League, not only demonstrating the patience that led him to 100-plus walks at High-A Bradenton in 2011, but also posting above average marks in strikeout rate (0.70 standard deviations among the AFL mean) and home-run rate (0.61). He was repeating at High-A, but, as John Sickels notes, “a player jumping from the college ranks to High-A, hitting .294/.418/.451, then ripping up the Arizona Fall League would be getting an awful lot of praise, not skepticism.” Unfortunately, Grossman broke his hamate bone towards the end of the AFL season. He should be ready for the beginning of the season; it remains to be seen (obviously) to what degree his injury affects his hitting.

Gerrit Cole, RHP, 21: ???
Szymborski doesn’t generally project guys with limited pro data, so here’s first-overall pick Gerrit Cole’s OLIVER projection, instead: 108 IP, 90 K, 43 BB, 19 HR, 0.8 WAR. And also, there’s a video below.

Video: Gerrit Cole in the AFL
Here’s some footage, courtesy MLB Prospect Portal, of Gerrit Cole facing Rangers prospect Mike Olt from the most recent edition of the AFL. In terms of what Cole throws here, I’m pretty sure it’s fastball, fastball, fastball, slider.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Kansas City Television
This offseason, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs. (Click here for more on this project.) The Kansas Royals are the only team remaining, as the club fired color commentator Frank White in December. However, for the sake of being able to compare all 30 teams, we’ll rate the Ryan Lefebvre/White team here, and then look at the new broadcast team later, during the season.

Rate other teams: Arizona / Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago (AL) / Chicago (NL) / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Detroit / Miami / Houston / Los Angeles (AL) / Los Angeles (NL, Home Games) / Los Angeles (NL, Away Games) / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York (AL) / New York (NL) / Oakland / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / St. Louis / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Texas / Toronto / Washington.

Print This Post

Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
matt w
matt w

There’s a couple of items that have cut off under the ZIPS projection. I am making this straightforward comment in lieu of attempting to construct a joke about how Grossman should be read.

Also, Alex Presley is slated to begin the season as the left fielder. You had me worried for a minute. (This isn’t ZIPS’ fault, since it goes by what happened in the past, but Jones should be at first; platooned, with any luck.)

matt w
matt w

“jones should be at first” meaning not that you should describe him as a first baseman or anything, but that that’s where he’s likely to play.

matt w
matt w

Not really, no. The first-base situation is the biggest grump that Pirates fans have coming out of the offseason, now that we bolstered the rotation with A.J. Burnett. (Did you know that the Pirates traded for A.J. Burnett? Thought you might not have heard.)

I’d really want to see some kind of platoon projection, though, because Jones has seriously large splits. Seth Smithian. They’ll probably platoon him with Evans, Fox, or Hague.


it is certainly not a good 1B situation. this is what happens when derrek lee would rather retire than play for you.