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.
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.
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