2014 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves

After having typically appeared in the entirely venerable pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections were released at FanGraphs last year. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Atlanta Braves. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Boston / Cleveland / Philadelphia / St. Louis.

Batters
Of some interest this offseason will be how various projection systems attend to the quite possibly anomalous Chris Johnson. With nearly 2,000 major-league plate appearances now recorded, Atlanta’s third baseman has a career BABIP of .361 — i.e. about the highest figure one will find from any batter with a sample of that magnitude. ZiPS projects Johnson to record a .338 BABIP in 2014; Oliver and Steamer, .345 and .342, respectively.

Johnson will rely on his batted-ball profile to remain even an average player in 2014, however, it appears. ZiPS projects him to post something between one and two wins — a roughly equivalent total to fellow infielder Dan Uggla, whose 2013 campaign was much less successful. Both players are projected to post nearly league-average offensive lines. Rather, it’s their defensive shortcomings for which they suffer most significantly.

Pitchers
In Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, and Julio Teheran, Atlanta has three pitchers projected to add about 11 wins above replacement in 2014 and yet likely only to make about $10 million (assuming the former two pitchers receive roughly their projected arbitration salaries according to Matt Swartz’s model). Paying about $1 million per win is what is commonly referred to as “the best possible strategy” by general managers, one assumes.

After that triumvirate, there’s less clarity. Brandon Beachy has been an above-average pitcher in the majors on a per-inning basis. Of some trouble for him has been recording a lot of those (i.e. innings) in a single season. Alex Wood, whose mechanics are effing deligtful, has been little else but excellent in his short professional career.

Alex Wood (to Troy Tulowitzki):

Wood Tulo CH SS K

Bench/Prospects
Should Dan Uggla’s difficulties continue into 2014, there are signs that Tommy La Stella would make for an entirely adequate replacement at second base. He and catcher Christian Bethancourt are, according to ZiPS, the two field players most prepared to contribute at the major-league level. Among pitchers, ready help is more sparse, although right-handed starters Aaron Northcraft and J.R. Graham might able to provide something better than replacement-level innings if summoned from the minors.

Depth Chart
Below is a rough depth chart for the present incarnation of the Atlantans, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player. For caveats regarding WAR values see disclaimer at bottom of post. Click to embiggen image.

Atlanta Depth

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site and author’s own haphazard reasoning.

Batters, Counting Stats

Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Andrelton Simmons R 24 SS 601 66 147 27 6 11 56 10 8
Jason Heyward L 24 RF 538 74 122 25 3 20 57 10 6
Freddie Freeman L 24 1B 655 88 164 31 2 25 102 2 1
Justin Upton R 26 LF 655 94 147 28 3 24 74 15 6
Evan Gattis R 27 C 405 44 94 22 2 19 61 1 2
B.J. Upton R 29 CF 551 62 113 26 3 19 57 23 7
Christian Bethancourt R 22 C 390 39 96 19 1 10 40 11 8
Tommy La Stella L 25 2B 378 42 93 20 4 6 42 6 2
Dan Uggla R 34 2B 560 69 105 18 2 23 69 2 2
Chris Johnson R 29 3B 556 52 143 29 3 14 77 3 0
Tyler Pastornicky R 24 2B 446 49 108 18 3 5 35 10 5
Gerald Laird R 34 C 158 14 35 8 1 2 14 1 1
Todd Cunningham B 25 CF 502 55 113 15 6 3 35 15 6
Elmer Reyes R 23 SS 485 44 109 23 4 5 43 5 3
Elliot Johnson B 30 2B 299 32 64 10 4 4 27 16 5
Alden Carrithers L 29 3B 350 35 78 13 1 1 23 10 4
Tyler Greene R 30 2B 383 43 80 16 3 8 33 13 3
Ramiro Pena B 28 3B 241 24 53 9 2 3 20 2 2
Blake DeWitt L 28 3B 158 14 34 7 2 2 8 1 0
Paul Janish R 31 3B 296 28 59 13 1 2 20 1 1
Christian Marrero L 27 1B 471 46 93 21 4 9 44 6 3
Jordan Schafer L 27 CF 381 43 73 13 3 4 26 24 8
Stefan Gartrell R 30 RF 441 46 91 18 0 14 47 4 1
Ernesto Mejia R 28 1B 561 56 117 30 1 21 69 6 2
Joey Terdoslavich B 25 RF 493 51 113 28 3 13 55 3 3
Reed Johnson R 37 RF 183 17 40 8 2 2 14 1 1
Jose Constanza L 30 LF 456 47 110 7 5 1 28 18 10
Edward Salcedo R 22 3B 540 53 116 24 3 13 53 17 14
Phil Gosselin R 25 2B 516 47 111 19 4 4 42 7 2
Steven Lerud L 29 C 213 18 36 7 0 2 15 0 1
William Beckwith L 23 1B 342 35 68 15 0 11 36 9 7
Greg Golson R 28 RF 409 39 85 15 5 6 31 15 4
Jose Martinez R 25 RF 512 47 120 20 2 6 38 5 5

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA
Andrelton Simmons 601 5.8% 9.8% .131 .280 .267 .313 .397 .305
Jason Heyward 538 10.2% 21.7% .192 .300 .257 .340 .448 .344
Freddie Freeman 655 10.4% 20.9% .192 .333 .286 .365 .477 .361
Justin Upton 655 11.1% 23.8% .187 .313 .259 .349 .445 .344
Evan Gattis 405 5.4% 20.5% .221 .273 .251 .301 .472 .329
B.J. Upton 551 9.3% 28.3% .182 .294 .231 .304 .413 .315
Christian Bethancourt 390 2.8% 18.7% .138 .297 .260 .282 .398 .291
Tommy La Stella 378 7.7% 12.2% .136 .301 .275 .340 .411 .331
Dan Uggla 560 12.1% 28.4% .189 .271 .218 .321 .407 .320
Chris Johnson 556 5.2% 23.0% .148 .338 .275 .315 .423 .319
Tyler Pastornicky 446 5.6% 14.8% .095 .302 .264 .308 .359 .290
Gerald Laird 158 7.6% 16.5% .113 .289 .248 .314 .362 .292
Todd Cunningham 502 5.8% 15.5% .079 .292 .248 .304 .327 .281
Elmer Reyes 485 2.9% 20.8% .101 .295 .239 .269 .339 .265
Elliot Johnson 299 6.4% 24.1% .110 .303 .234 .286 .344 .277
Alden Carrithers 350 8.6% 12.6% .058 .286 .249 .318 .307 .282
Tyler Greene 383 6.3% 28.7% .131 .308 .228 .286 .359 .285
Ramiro Pena 241 6.2% 19.1% .099 .287 .239 .289 .338 .275
Blake DeWitt 158 7.0% 17.1% .118 .276 .236 .293 .354 .282
Paul Janish 296 6.8% 17.9% .078 .265 .220 .282 .299 .260
Christian Marrero 471 10.0% 21.0% .135 .270 .224 .305 .358 .294
Jordan Schafer 381 8.9% 25.7% .091 .290 .215 .288 .307 .266
Stefan Gartrell 441 6.6% 32.0% .148 .306 .224 .282 .372 .289
Ernesto Mejia 561 6.1% 33.9% .184 .310 .226 .280 .410 .300
Joey Terdoslavich 493 6.1% 24.7% .160 .307 .248 .294 .409 .304
Reed Johnson 183 4.4% 23.0% .107 .306 .238 .297 .345 .285
Jose Constanza 456 5.7% 14.7% .047 .306 .260 .304 .307 .268
Edward Salcedo 540 5.6% 28.1% .137 .301 .230 .275 .366 .278
Phil Gosselin 516 5.0% 20.2% .082 .289 .234 .279 .316 .262
Steven Lerud 213 8.0% 33.3% .068 .288 .189 .265 .258 .234
William Beckwith 342 7.0% 31.0% .155 .292 .220 .287 .375 .289
Greg Golson 409 4.4% 28.4% .113 .304 .223 .267 .336 .268
Jose Martinez 512 4.9% 18.9% .088 .301 .250 .289 .338 .275

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Andrelton Simmons 601 4.5 93 16 3.8 Zoilo Versalles
Jason Heyward 538 5.5 113 11 3.4 Sid Bream
Freddie Freeman 655 6.6 128 1 3.2 Kent Hrbek
Justin Upton 655 5.7 115 -1 2.7 Derrek Lee
Evan Gattis 405 5.0 107 -6 1.9 Dave Valle
B.J. Upton 551 4.6 94 0 1.9 Ruben Rivera
Christian Bethancourt 390 4.0 84 5 1.7 Humberto Cota
Tommy La Stella 378 5.3 104 -2 1.6 Ken Boswell
Dan Uggla 560 4.5 98 -8 1.2 Morgan Ensberg
Chris Johnson 556 5.0 100 -9 1.2 Jim Davenport
Tyler Pastornicky 446 4.1 82 -1 0.6 Martin Prado
Gerald Laird 158 4.0 84 0 0.6 Rick Cerone
Todd Cunningham 502 3.6 73 1 0.5 Jesus Tavarez
Elmer Reyes 485 3.2 65 3 0.4 Greg Porter
Elliot Johnson 299 3.7 71 1 0.3 Kevin Davis
Alden Carrithers 350 3.6 72 -3 0.3 Joe Espada
Tyler Greene 383 3.8 75 -2 0.2 Nick Green
Ramiro Pena 241 3.4 71 1 0.1 Brian Hitchcox
Blake DeWitt 158 3.7 76 -1 0.1 Alan Lewis
Paul Janish 296 2.9 59 3 0.0 Chris Petersen
Christian Marrero 471 3.8 81 4 -0.1 D.J. Boston
Jordan Schafer 381 3.3 63 -1 -0.2 Jeff Duncan
Stefan Gartrell 441 3.7 77 -1 -0.3 John Nelson
Ernesto Mejia 561 4.0 86 -5 -0.3 Chris Cron
Joey Terdoslavich 493 4.2 90 -6 -0.3 Felix Jose
Reed Johnson 183 3.6 75 -2 -0.4 Willie McGee
Jose Constanza 456 3.4 68 5 -0.4 Jason Tyner
Edward Salcedo 540 3.3 73 -5 -0.4 Bobby Smith
Phil Gosselin 516 3.2 63 -1 -0.5 Frank Martinez
Steven Lerud 213 2.2 44 -2 -0.5 Tom Nieto
William Beckwith 342 3.6 79 -2 -0.8 Danny Lewis
Greg Golson 409 3.3 64 6 -0.9 Manny Jose
Jose Martinez 512 3.4 71 0 -0.9 Simon Rosario

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER
Kris Medlen R 28 30 30 190.3 150 43 17 182 75 70
Mike Minor L 26 31 31 190.3 167 48 21 173 77 72
Julio Teheran R 23 31 30 180.7 155 48 17 170 73 68
Craig Kimbrel R 26 70 0 69.0 111 21 4 41 12 11
Alex Wood L 23 34 19 112.0 98 38 7 103 44 41
Paul Maholm L 32 24 24 147.3 101 42 15 148 68 64
Brandon Beachy R 27 18 18 95.7 91 36 12 85 43 40
Aaron Northcraft R 24 25 25 130.7 93 64 12 133 68 64
J.R. Graham R 24 17 17 85.0 50 29 7 88 42 39
Cody Martin R 24 26 21 116.7 95 61 13 114 61 57
Jordan Walden R 26 56 0 52.3 62 19 4 42 18 17
Freddy Garcia R 37 24 19 117.7 80 37 17 121 63 59
Jonny Venters L 29 57 0 55.7 58 26 4 47 21 20
David Carpenter R 28 61 0 70.0 69 24 7 62 29 27
Eric O’Flaherty L 29 46 41.3 35 13 3 37 15 14
Cristhian Martinez R 32 29 1 46.3 37 12 4 44 19 18
Shae Simmons R 23 39 0 43.3 47 24 3 35 17 16
Luis Avilan L 24 76 0 64.7 47 26 6 59 28 26
Cory Gearrin R 28 49 0 53.7 50 25 3 48 22 21
Anthony Varvaro R 29 54 0 68.0 55 34 5 62 30 28
Luis Ayala R 36 51 0 52.7 38 17 4 52 22 21
Scott Downs L 38 55 0 39.0 32 16 3 36 16 15
Yohan Flande L 28 29 20 126.7 73 58 13 137 72 67
Kameron Loe R 32 55 5 78.7 48 23 9 83 41 38
Pat Egan R 29 45 0 64.7 37 23 5 68 32 30
Sean Gilmartin L 24 22 22 114.3 66 45 16 127 68 64
Ryne Harper R 25 38 0 54.3 46 22 7 54 28 26
Juan Jaime R 26 40 0 45.7 51 36 5 38 24 22
Carlos Perez L 22 28 0 47.0 43 29 5 44 25 23
David Hale R 26 25 20 113.3 70 55 15 123 68 64
Omar Poveda R 26 25 24 137.7 87 70 18 147 83 78
Joe Bisenius R 31 16 14 77.3 50 46 10 82 48 45
Dusty Hughes L 32 33 0 39.3 30 26 4 39 22 21
Wirfin Obispo R 29 54 0 55.3 47 39 5 52 31 29
Mark Lamm R 26 45 0 55.3 39 33 5 56 31 29
Joe Beimel L 37 31 0 29.3 20 14 4 31 18 17
Juan Cedeno L 30 48 0 55.7 32 34 5 58 32 30
Ryan Buchter L 27 50 0 54.3 60 54 6 47 32 30
Luis Vasquez R 28 28 0 35.7 27 35 3 35 24 22
Andrew Russell R 30 49 0 59.3 36 39 6 62 36 34

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Kris Medlen 190.3 796 18.9% 5.4% .284 3.31 3.30 88 87
Mike Minor 190.3 792 21.0% 6.1% .274 3.40 3.42 90 91
Julio Teheran 180.7 760 20.3% 6.4% .288 3.39 3.45 90 91
Craig Kimbrel 69.0 269 41.2% 7.9% .278 1.43 1.57 38 42
Alex Wood 112.0 477 20.6% 8.0% .291 3.29 3.19 87 85
Paul Maholm 147.3 632 15.9% 6.7% .285 3.91 3.94 104 104
Brandon Beachy 95.7 408 22.4% 8.8% .275 3.76 3.75 100 100
Aaron Northcraft 130.7 588 15.8% 10.8% .294 4.41 4.36 117 116
J.R. Graham 85.0 372 13.4% 7.7% .288 4.13 4.09 109 108
Cody Martin 116.7 525 18.2% 11.5% .291 4.40 4.48 117 119
Jordan Walden 52.3 218 28.5% 8.7% .287 2.92 2.63 78 70
Freddy Garcia 117.7 511 15.7% 7.2% .279 4.51 4.47 120 119
Jonny Venters 55.7 240 24.2% 10.8% .290 3.23 3.24 86 86
David Carpenter 70.0 296 23.3% 8.2% .287 3.47 3.33 92 88
Eric O’Flaherty 41.3 173 19.9% 7.4% .274 3.05 3.09 81 82
Cristhian Martinez 46.3 195 19.1% 6.1% .284 3.50 3.26 93 86
Shae Simmons 43.3 189 24.7% 12.7% .289 3.32 3.52 88 93
Luis Avilan 64.7 279 16.7% 9.4% .271 3.62 3.99 96 106
Cory Gearrin 53.7 234 21.4% 10.8% .294 3.52 3.52 93 93
Anthony Varvaro 68.0 300 18.3% 11.2% .280 3.71 3.79 98 100
Luis Ayala 52.7 226 16.7% 7.5% .288 3.59 3.57 95 95
Scott Downs 39.0 169 19.1% 9.4% .287 3.46 3.33 92 88
Yohan Flande 126.7 575 12.6% 10.1% .292 4.76 4.73 126 125
Kameron Loe 78.7 342 14.0% 6.8% .286 4.35 4.11 115 109
Pat Egan 64.7 285 12.9% 8.1% .289 4.18 4.07 111 108
Sean Gilmartin 114.3 514 12.8% 8.7% .291 5.04 5.00 134 133
Ryne Harper 54.3 239 19.1% 9.4% .292 4.31 4.35 114 115
Juan Jaime 45.7 211 24.0% 17.0% .289 4.34 4.45 115 118
Carlos Perez 47.0 213 20.2% 13.5% .291 4.40 4.63 117 123
David Hale 113.3 518 13.5% 10.7% .291 5.08 5.07 135 134
Omar Poveda 137.7 630 13.9% 11.1% .289 5.10 5.10 135 135
Joe Bisenius 77.3 360 13.9% 12.9% .289 5.24 5.27 139 140
Dusty Hughes 39.3 183 16.2% 14.3% .293 4.81 4.75 127 126
Wirfin Obispo 55.3 257 18.2% 15.2% .288 4.72 4.84 125 128
Mark Lamm 55.3 255 15.4% 13.0% .292 4.72 4.65 125 123
Joe Beimel 29.3 133 15.1% 10.4% .284 5.22 4.99 138 132
Juan Cedeno 55.7 259 12.5% 13.2% .288 4.85 4.95 129 131
Ryan Buchter 54.3 263 22.9% 20.3% .291 4.97 5.26 132 139
Luis Vasquez 35.7 177 15.1% 19.7% .290 5.55 5.48 147 145
Andrew Russell 59.3 279 12.9% 14.0% .290 5.16 5.19 137 138

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Kris Medlen 190.3 7.10 2.02 0.81 119 3.9 Donne Wall
Mike Minor 190.3 7.88 2.29 1.01 115 3.7 Eric Milton
Julio Teheran 180.7 7.70 2.41 0.87 116 3.5 Bryan Rekar
Craig Kimbrel 69.0 14.45 2.77 0.58 274 2.3 Francisco Rodriguez
Alex Wood 112.0 7.91 3.08 0.58 119 2.2 Dave LaPoint
Paul Maholm 147.3 6.15 2.59 0.94 100 2.0 Mark Hendrickson
Brandon Beachy 95.7 8.57 3.37 1.08 104 1.4 Kevin Foster
Aaron Northcraft 130.7 6.42 4.38 0.81 89 1.0 Jim Acker
J.R. Graham 85.0 5.28 3.04 0.78 95 0.9 Kirk McDonald
Cody Martin 116.7 7.36 4.67 0.98 89 0.8 Ken Hill
Jordan Walden 52.3 10.68 3.26 0.73 134 0.8 Rich Garces
Freddy Garcia 117.7 6.13 2.80 1.30 87 0.7 Frank Castillo
Jonny Venters 55.7 9.39 4.20 0.66 121 0.6 Armando Almanza
David Carpenter 70.0 8.90 3.13 0.87 113 0.6 Colter Bean
Eric O’Flaherty 41.3 7.53 2.78 0.70 129 0.6 Bobby Seay
Cristhian Martinez 46.3 7.24 2.30 0.83 112 0.5 Mike Schooler
Shae Simmons 43.3 9.72 4.99 0.58 118 0.4 Brad Voyles
Luis Avilan 64.7 6.48 3.66 0.79 108 0.4 Mike Bell
Cory Gearrin 53.7 8.39 4.25 0.57 111 0.4 Gabriel Dehoyos
Anthony Varvaro 68.0 7.25 4.44 0.69 106 0.4 Ruddy Lugo
Luis Ayala 52.7 6.45 2.90 0.70 109 0.4 Mike Maddux
Scott Downs 39.0 7.45 3.65 0.60 113 0.3 Brian Shouse
Yohan Flande 126.7 5.15 4.13 0.94 82 0.3 Brad Weis
Kameron Loe 78.7 5.48 2.65 1.02 90 0.1 Danny Graves
Pat Egan 64.7 5.09 3.19 0.74 94 0.0 Jim Todd
Sean Gilmartin 114.3 5.17 3.52 1.26 78 0.0 Chris Cumberland
Ryne Harper 54.3 7.56 3.70 1.15 91 -0.1 Dan Kite
Juan Jaime 45.7 10.01 7.07 0.89 91 -0.1 Rafael Pimentel
Carlos Perez 47.0 8.27 5.51 0.97 89 -0.1 Tim Drummond
David Hale 113.3 5.57 4.40 1.19 77 -0.1 Mark Woodyard
Omar Poveda 137.7 5.72 4.59 1.21 77 -0.2 Mark Rothey
Joe Bisenius 77.3 5.84 5.40 1.14 75 -0.2 Robert Ellis
Dusty Hughes 39.3 6.81 5.99 0.85 82 -0.3 Pedro Borbon
Wirfin Obispo 55.3 7.61 6.34 0.89 83 -0.4 Jake Robbins
Mark Lamm 55.3 6.39 5.41 0.86 83 -0.4 Mark Zamarripa
Joe Beimel 29.3 6.15 4.25 1.37 75 -0.4 Dave Righetti
Juan Cedeno 55.7 5.23 5.52 0.83 81 -0.5 Mark Watson
Ryan Buchter 54.3 9.99 8.87 1.04 79 -0.5 Ricky Pickett
Luis Vasquez 35.7 6.73 8.78 0.81 71 -0.6 Newt Kimball
Andrew Russell 59.3 5.48 5.93 0.94 76 -0.7 Marty McLeary

***

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2014. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.04 ERA and the NL having a 3.81 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

We hoped you liked reading 2014 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves by Carson Cistulli!

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

newest oldest most voted
DuPu
Member

Interesting that La Stella is projected to be more valuable than Dan Uggla while amassing 182 fewer PAs.

Luke
Guest
Luke

i feel like that may say more about La Stella than Uggla