2016 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians

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 Cleveland Indians. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Baltimore / Boston / Chicago NL / Cincinnati / Kansas City / New York AL / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / Seattle / Texas / Toronto.

Batters
One challenge to understanding how ZiPS’ position-player forecasts reveal Cleveland’s actual strength as a club — one challenge to understanding that hinges upon the health of Michael Brantley. The left fielder underwent surgery on his right shoulder following the season. The original prognosis called for Brantley to return in mid-April. More recent reports, however, suggest that the 28-year-old might not be ready until June. ZiPS has no knowledge of Brantley’s injury either way, projecting the him to record more than three wins over the the course of a full season. He might be capable only of producing half that total.

Very probably because his club reached the postseason — and because he recorded a number of home runs in support of that particular cause — Houston shortstop Carlos Correa won the American League’s rookie of the year award in 2015. By WAR, it wasn’t particularly close. Which is to say: by WAR, Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor (and not Correa) was pretty clearly the AL’s top rookie. ZiPS is less optimistic about Lindor’s 2016 campaign, calling for regression in the 22-year-old’s plate-discipline and batted-ball numbers. Still, the computer expects Lindor to lead Cleveland’s field players in wins.

Pitchers
Two years ago, voters gave Corey Kluber the Cy Young award despite the fact that his numbers, in some cases, were less impressive than Felix Hernandez‘s. To some degree, that was an acnkowledgment of the benefits one receives from pitching in Safeco Park. To another degree, it was an acknowledgment of the disadvantages one faces while pitching in front of Cleveland’s defense. Whether the result of poor fielding or some other variable, a number of Cleveland’s top pitchers receive more promising FIP projections than ERA ones. For example, consider: Carlos Carrasco and Kluber himself are forecast to record a combined 70 FIP- but only 79 ERA-.

Nor are the club’s relievers immune from this influence, either. Right-hander Cody Allen is projected to post an ERA- mark that’s eight points higher than his FIP- one — this despite how, owing to a number of factors, relievers commonly outperform their fielding-independent numbers. By either measure, the Cleveland bullpen was among the league’s top-third in 2015. Given the forecasts here — in the context of the others that have been released — it would appear to profile more average-ish for 2016.

Bench/Prospects
Despite recording a .232 BABIP last season, infielder Jose Ramirez still managed to produce wins at a nearly average rate — this, on the strength of his contact and defensive abilities. He receives a basically league-average projection (568 PA, 1.9 zWAR) for 2016, as well. Just beneath Ramirez on the projection tables below is the club’s 2014 first-round selection and — according to ZiPS, at least — potentially most qualified center fielder. Bradley Zimmer, taken just a year and a half ago out of the University of San Francisco, profiles as nearly average (519 PA, 1.6 zWAR), compensating for his lack of contact by means of decent power and outfield defense. Among pitchers, there’s less immediately available assistance, although right-hander Shawn Armstrong (54.0 IP, 0.4 zWAR), who’s recorded 8.0 total major-league innings, seems prepared to log meaningful appearances.

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

Cleveland Depth Finished

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
Francisco Lindor B 22 SS 679 72 168 28 7 15 68 20 10
Michael Brantley L 29 LF 614 73 166 38 2 14 84 17 3
Jason Kipnis L 29 2B 622 78 151 34 5 11 61 20 7
Yan Gomes R 28 C 430 49 102 23 2 14 53 1 0
Carlos Santana B 30 1B 601 66 122 28 1 21 81 6 2
Jose Ramirez B 23 2B 568 70 134 27 5 8 49 22 9
Bradley Zimmer L 23 CF 519 61 110 22 4 13 57 23 8
Rajai Davis R 35 CF 389 52 93 19 6 7 32 25 8
Mike Napoli R 34 1B 439 43 86 18 1 18 49 2 2
Roberto Perez R 27 C 280 31 48 12 1 6 24 0 1
Lonnie Chisenhall L 27 3B 496 54 119 28 1 12 59 4 1
Abraham Almonte B 27 CF 533 62 119 24 6 10 51 15 5
Collin Cowgill R 30 LF 241 29 52 9 1 5 18 4 1
Yandy Diaz R 24 3B 504 51 114 12 3 7 41 5 5
Zach Walters B 26 LF 454 48 99 23 4 18 57 2 2
Giovanny Urshela R 24 3B 472 49 110 22 3 9 47 1 2
Bobby Bradley L 20 1B 453 56 94 17 2 24 67 4 0
Tyler Naquin L 25 CF 402 41 84 17 3 7 34 8 4
Joey Butler R 30 LF 384 43 88 18 1 10 39 2 1
Clint Frazier R 21 CF 577 65 117 24 3 19 60 10 8
Tony Wolters L 24 C 330 28 61 10 1 2 20 2 3
Erik Gonzalez R 24 SS 553 53 122 22 6 8 52 12 6
Shane Robinson R 31 LF 219 25 48 8 2 1 18 4 1
Adam Moore R 32 C 297 28 61 13 0 6 27 1 0
Audy Ciriaco R 29 3B 331 32 70 14 2 8 34 4 2
Chris Johnson R 31 3B 443 36 112 22 1 8 45 3 1
Anthony Recker R 32 C 194 21 34 7 1 7 24 1 1
Jesus Aguilar R 26 1B 560 61 124 25 1 18 69 0 0
Luigi Rodriguez L 23 RF 427 46 93 16 4 12 42 14 10
Ryan Raburn R 35 LF 216 23 47 12 0 7 29 0 0
Robbie Grossman B 26 LF 529 57 104 21 2 7 43 12 9
Ryan Rohlinger R 32 2B 338 32 69 12 0 4 23 1 2
James Ramsey L 26 LF 466 45 89 16 2 11 38 5 3
Michael Martinez B 33 2B 367 35 80 13 4 3 29 5 4
Michael Choice R 26 LF 527 54 108 23 1 14 56 2 1
Nellie Rodriguez R 22 1B 566 61 112 27 1 21 69 1 0
Ronny Rodriguez R 24 1B 410 41 88 18 3 10 39 5 5
Mike Papi L 23 LF 511 48 92 23 1 7 40 4 5

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Francisco Lindor 679 6.6% 18.1% .142 .317 .275 .321 .417 .325
Michael Brantley 614 8.6% 9.0% .153 .312 .301 .364 .454 .355
Jason Kipnis 622 9.3% 17.8% .140 .323 .275 .346 .415 .337
Yan Gomes 430 4.7% 24.7% .174 .310 .256 .298 .430 .312
Carlos Santana 601 15.8% 18.5% .187 .272 .244 .366 .431 .347
Jose Ramirez 568 7.2% 10.4% .120 .281 .262 .316 .382 .312
Bradley Zimmer 519 6.9% 28.7% .147 .315 .235 .306 .382 .317
Rajai Davis 389 5.1% 19.0% .144 .304 .258 .302 .402 .325
Mike Napoli 439 13.2% 29.4% .197 .296 .229 .337 .426 .333
Roberto Perez 280 11.4% 29.6% .134 .278 .202 .299 .336 .278
Lonnie Chisenhall 496 6.0% 20.2% .145 .308 .261 .310 .406 .308
Abraham Almonte 533 7.9% 22.5% .137 .308 .247 .307 .384 .307
Collin Cowgill 241 6.6% 22.4% .119 .292 .236 .297 .355 .291
Yandy Diaz 504 9.7% 17.1% .087 .299 .254 .329 .341 .304
Zach Walters 454 4.8% 29.1% .200 .291 .233 .274 .433 .303
Giovanny Urshela 472 4.4% 16.9% .124 .283 .247 .285 .371 .286
Bobby Bradley 453 7.5% 38.9% .226 .326 .228 .291 .454 .318
Tyler Naquin 402 6.5% 28.9% .120 .312 .229 .285 .349 .284
Joey Butler 384 8.3% 27.6% .145 .338 .254 .326 .399 .321
Clint Frazier 577 7.8% 34.0% .168 .318 .225 .293 .393 .306
Tony Wolters 330 6.7% 29.1% .060 .289 .204 .265 .264 .243
Erik Gonzalez 553 3.6% 24.8% .110 .298 .232 .262 .342 .270
Shane Robinson 219 7.8% 15.1% .076 .283 .242 .303 .318 .281
Adam Moore 297 5.7% 32.7% .112 .313 .219 .264 .331 .261
Audy Ciriaco 331 4.8% 23.0% .137 .272 .227 .264 .364 .275
Chris Johnson 443 4.1% 24.8% .114 .342 .267 .299 .381 .295
Anthony Recker 194 8.2% 34.0% .173 .265 .195 .269 .368 .278
Jesus Aguilar 560 7.1% 25.9% .159 .301 .243 .302 .402 .303
Luigi Rodriguez 427 5.9% 27.6% .150 .300 .233 .278 .383 .300
Ryan Raburn 216 8.8% 23.6% .171 .294 .244 .319 .415 .318
Robbie Grossman 529 11.0% 26.5% .100 .306 .225 .314 .325 .296
Ryan Rohlinger 338 7.4% 17.8% .080 .272 .229 .297 .309 .272
James Ramsey 466 8.6% 33.3% .127 .308 .214 .287 .341 .280
Michael Martinez 367 5.4% 18.3% .088 .283 .236 .278 .324 .267
Michael Choice 527 7.2% 27.7% .141 .293 .227 .292 .368 .292
Nellie Rodriguez 566 7.6% 36.7% .180 .314 .218 .280 .398 .294
Ronny Rodriguez 410 3.2% 27.1% .139 .288 .226 .253 .365 .270
Mike Papi 511 10.6% 28.8% .101 .283 .204 .289 .305 .273

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Francisco Lindor 679 5.0 103 7 3.8 Julio Franco
Michael Brantley 614 6.6 125 -1 3.1 Rusty Greer
Jason Kipnis 622 5.5 110 -2 2.8 Red Rolfe
Yan Gomes 430 4.7 98 1 2.2 Don Slaught
Carlos Santana 601 5.7 120 -2 1.9 Nick Swisher
Jose Ramirez 568 4.5 92 4 1.9 Luis Alicea
Bradley Zimmer 519 4.3 90 2 1.6 Michael Saunders
Rajai Davis 389 4.7 93 3 1.5 Mookie Wilson
Mike Napoli 439 5.0 110 4 1.4 Pat Burrell
Roberto Perez 280 3.3 76 5 1.1 Chad Kreuter
Lonnie Chisenhall 496 4.7 97 -4 1.1 Christian Colonel
Abraham Almonte 533 4.3 90 -5 0.8 Benny Agbayani
Collin Cowgill 241 3.8 80 8 0.8 Damon Buford
Yandy Diaz 504 3.9 86 -2 0.7 Scott Campbell
Zach Walters 454 4.1 92 4 0.7 Chris Hatcher
Giovanny Urshela 472 3.7 80 2 0.6 Ryan Lehr
Bobby Bradley 453 4.7 102 0 0.5 Sam Horn
Tyler Naquin 402 3.5 75 4 0.5 Gene Gentile
Joey Butler 384 4.7 100 -4 0.3 Chris Shelton
Clint Frazier 577 3.9 88 -7 0.3 Ben Johnson
Tony Wolters 330 2.2 48 7 0.3 Jose Molina
Erik Gonzalez 553 3.2 66 3 0.3 Robert Andino
Shane Robinson 219 3.5 73 4 0.1 Ryan Fleming
Adam Moore 297 3.1 64 -2 0.0 George Mitterwald
Audy Ciriaco 331 3.4 72 1 0.0 Tom Nevers
Chris Johnson 443 4.2 87 -7 0.0 Bill Stein
Anthony Recker 194 3.3 74 -4 0.0 Steve Yeager
Jesus Aguilar 560 4.3 93 0 -0.1 Tommy Everidge
Luigi Rodriguez 427 3.6 81 3 -0.1 Todd Hollandsworth
Ryan Raburn 216 4.7 102 -5 -0.2 Tom Wilson
Robbie Grossman 529 3.4 78 3 -0.2 Todd Self
Ryan Rohlinger 338 3.1 69 -1 -0.2 Kevin Baez
James Ramsey 466 3.3 74 3 -0.3 Daryl Clark
Michael Martinez 367 3.1 67 -2 -0.6 Edgar Caceres
Michael Choice 527 3.8 82 -4 -0.7 Matt Whitney
Nellie Rodriguez 566 3.9 85 -2 -0.8 Rob Nelson
Ronny Rodriguez 410 3.1 69 0 -1.5 Tyler Houston
Mike Papi 511 2.9 65 -2 -1.5 Joe Hamilton

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Corey Kluber R 30 30 30 202.0 217 43 18 178 77 72
Carlos Carrasco R 29 27 27 172.3 193 39 15 147 63 59
Danny Salazar R 26 30 30 178.0 195 50 21 154 74 69
Cody Allen R 27 74 0 70.7 95 25 6 55 24 22
Trevor Bauer R 25 29 28 164.3 163 74 20 152 85 79
Zach McAllister R 28 43 14 108.7 98 34 11 109 52 49
Cody Anderson R 25 27 27 141.7 89 40 17 146 74 69
Josh Tomlin R 31 19 16 85.0 71 14 14 87 45 42
Shawn Armstrong R 25 50 0 54.0 69 25 6 45 22 21
Kyle Crockett L 24 53 0 50.7 49 13 5 48 21 20
Bryan Shaw R 28 75 0 68.7 62 21 7 63 30 28
Jeff Manship R 31 50 0 56.3 51 20 6 51 25 23
Joe Thatcher L 34 53 0 30.3 29 10 3 30 14 13
C.C. Lee R 29 51 0 53.0 53 18 5 51 25 23
Dylan Baker R 24 12 12 60.0 41 35 5 61 34 32
Dan Otero R 31 58 0 70.3 42 12 7 77 34 32
Anthony Swarzak R 30 41 9 95.3 64 29 10 103 51 48
Joba Chamberlain R 30 54 0 49.0 46 18 6 48 25 23
Ryan Webb R 30 54 0 61.0 42 17 6 63 30 28
Shaun Marcum R 34 15 11 69.0 52 20 10 75 41 38
Giovanni Soto L 25 48 0 53.0 47 23 5 52 27 25
Kirby Yates R 29 50 0 54.0 58 23 8 52 28 26
Brian Moran L 27 36 0 45.0 37 18 6 46 25 23
Austin Adams R 29 44 0 51.0 46 21 6 51 27 25
Gavin Floyd R 33 10 7 40.0 30 13 8 45 27 25
Carlos Marmol R 33 30 0 30.7 38 23 5 27 18 17
Tom Gorzelanny L 33 44 3 50.0 48 22 7 51 29 27
Trey Haley R 26 37 0 43.7 40 29 5 43 26 24
Joe Colon R 26 28 12 81.7 57 35 10 88 49 46
Adam Plutko R 24 27 27 142.3 109 37 23 161 86 80
T.J. House L 26 17 16 85.0 58 36 11 96 54 50
Ross Detwiler L 30 36 6 65.7 43 26 8 77 41 38
Bruce Chen L 39 9 7 38.3 29 9 8 48 28 26
Mike Clevinger R 25 21 20 99.7 82 42 17 108 63 59
Felipe Paulino R 32 13 13 61.3 44 30 11 71 43 40
Nick Maronde L 26 39 7 70.0 65 37 14 77 49 46
Ryan Merritt L 24 25 25 150.0 89 29 26 179 98 92
Jarrett Grube R 34 20 19 99.3 73 35 21 114 71 66
Shawn Morimando L 23 27 27 134.3 97 70 23 152 95 89
Toru Murata R 31 25 23 131.3 76 39 30 161 101 94
Michael Roth L 26 29 18 112.3 66 49 24 139 90 84
Will Roberts R 25 26 25 141.0 78 33 31 175 107 100

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Corey Kluber 202.0 827 26.2% 5.2% .296 3.21 2.84 80 71
Carlos Carrasco 172.3 703 27.5% 5.5% .293 3.08 2.73 77 68
Danny Salazar 178.0 738 26.4% 6.8% .286 3.49 3.39 87 85
Cody Allen 70.7 292 32.5% 8.6% .297 2.80 2.50 70 62
Trevor Bauer 164.3 719 22.7% 10.3% .291 4.33 4.16 108 104
Zach McAllister 108.7 469 20.9% 7.2% .304 4.06 3.58 101 89
Cody Anderson 141.7 611 14.6% 6.5% .281 4.38 4.36 109 109
Josh Tomlin 85.0 356 19.9% 3.9% .286 4.45 4.11 111 102
Shawn Armstrong 54.0 232 29.7% 10.8% .300 3.50 3.44 87 86
Kyle Crockett 50.7 213 23.0% 6.1% .303 3.55 3.40 88 85
Bryan Shaw 68.7 290 21.4% 7.2% .283 3.67 3.54 91 88
Jeff Manship 56.3 240 21.3% 8.3% .280 3.67 3.75 91 93
Joe Thatcher 30.3 131 22.2% 7.6% .307 3.86 3.57 96 89
C.C. Lee 53.0 228 23.2% 7.9% .309 3.91 3.52 97 88
Dylan Baker 60.0 276 14.9% 12.7% .293 4.80 4.77 120 119
Dan Otero 70.3 300 14.0% 4.0% .295 4.09 3.67 102 92
Anthony Swarzak 95.3 418 15.3% 6.9% .297 4.53 4.01 113 100
Joba Chamberlain 49.0 213 21.6% 8.5% .298 4.22 3.98 105 99
Ryan Webb 61.0 263 16.0% 6.5% .291 4.13 3.79 103 95
Shaun Marcum 69.0 302 17.2% 6.6% .300 4.96 4.40 124 110
Giovanni Soto 53.0 234 20.1% 9.8% .299 4.25 3.92 106 98
Kirby Yates 54.0 237 24.5% 9.7% .303 4.33 4.27 108 106
Brian Moran 45.0 199 18.6% 9.0% .296 4.60 4.46 115 111
Austin Adams 51.0 225 20.4% 9.3% .300 4.41 4.13 110 103
Gavin Floyd 40.0 178 16.9% 7.3% .296 5.62 5.33 140 133
Carlos Marmol 30.7 142 26.7% 16.2% .297 4.99 4.99 124 124
Tom Gorzelanny 50.0 223 21.5% 9.9% .306 4.86 4.33 121 108
Trey Haley 43.7 203 19.7% 14.3% .299 4.95 4.89 123 122
Joe Colon 81.7 368 15.5% 9.5% .299 5.07 4.77 126 119
Adam Plutko 142.3 625 17.4% 5.9% .308 5.06 4.62 126 115
T.J. House 85.0 387 15.0% 9.3% .308 5.29 4.87 132 121
Ross Detwiler 65.7 300 14.3% 8.7% .316 5.21 4.70 130 117
Bruce Chen 38.3 172 16.9% 5.2% .320 6.10 5.01 152 125
Mike Clevinger 99.7 449 18.3% 9.4% .300 5.33 5.09 133 127
Felipe Paulino 61.3 285 15.4% 10.5% .305 5.87 5.62 146 140
Nick Maronde 70.0 324 20.1% 11.4% .309 5.91 5.56 147 139
Ryan Merritt 150.0 658 13.5% 4.4% .302 5.52 4.89 138 122
Jarrett Grube 99.3 447 16.3% 7.8% .298 5.98 5.62 149 140
Shawn Morimando 134.3 625 15.5% 11.2% .302 5.96 5.63 148 140
Toru Murata 131.3 594 12.8% 6.6% .296 6.44 5.95 160 148
Michael Roth 112.3 525 12.6% 9.3% .304 6.73 6.18 168 154
Will Roberts 141.0 631 12.4% 5.2% .299 6.38 5.69 159 142

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Corey Kluber 202.0 9.67 1.92 0.80 117 4.3 Javier Vazquez
Carlos Carrasco 172.3 10.08 2.04 0.78 122 4.0 Curt Schilling
Danny Salazar 178.0 9.86 2.53 1.06 108 3.2 Josh Beckett
Cody Allen 70.7 12.09 3.18 0.76 134 1.2 Bryan Harvey
Trevor Bauer 164.3 8.93 4.05 1.10 87 1.0 Ubaldo Jimenez
Zach McAllister 108.7 8.11 2.82 0.91 93 0.7 LaTroy Hawkins
Cody Anderson 141.7 5.65 2.54 1.08 86 0.7 Aaron Cook
Josh Tomlin 85.0 7.52 1.48 1.48 85 0.4 Oil Can Boyd
Shawn Armstrong 54.0 11.50 4.17 1.00 107 0.4 Eric Cammack
Kyle Crockett 50.7 8.70 2.31 0.89 106 0.3 Anthony Shumaker
Bryan Shaw 68.7 8.12 2.75 0.92 103 0.2 Curt Schmidt
Jeff Manship 56.3 8.15 3.20 0.96 102 0.2 Ken Ryan
Joe Thatcher 30.3 8.61 2.97 0.89 98 0.1 Mike Magnante
C.C. Lee 53.0 9.00 3.06 0.85 96 0.1 David Holdridge
Dylan Baker 60.0 6.15 5.25 0.75 78 0.0 Tim Harrell
Dan Otero 70.3 5.38 1.54 0.90 92 -0.1 Ron Taylor
Anthony Swarzak 95.3 6.04 2.74 0.94 83 -0.1 Mike Bruhert
Joba Chamberlain 49.0 8.45 3.31 1.10 89 -0.2 Gregg Olson
Ryan Webb 61.0 6.20 2.51 0.89 91 -0.2 Joe Beggs
Shaun Marcum 69.0 6.78 2.61 1.30 76 -0.3 Nerio Rodriguez
Giovanni Soto 53.0 7.98 3.91 0.85 89 -0.3 Carlos Vasquez
Kirby Yates 54.0 9.67 3.83 1.33 87 -0.3 Marino Salas
Brian Moran 45.0 7.40 3.60 1.20 82 -0.4 Joey Long
Austin Adams 51.0 8.12 3.71 1.06 85 -0.4 Bart Evans
Gavin Floyd 40.0 6.75 2.93 1.80 67 -0.4 Chris Nichting
Carlos Marmol 30.7 11.14 6.74 1.47 75 -0.5 Archie Corbin
Tom Gorzelanny 50.0 8.64 3.96 1.26 77 -0.5 Mark Davis
Trey Haley 43.7 8.24 5.97 1.03 76 -0.6 Jeff Smith
Joe Colon 81.7 6.28 3.86 1.10 74 -0.6 Danny Kolb
Adam Plutko 142.3 6.89 2.34 1.45 74 -0.6 Ryan Franklin
T.J. House 85.0 6.14 3.81 1.16 71 -0.7 John Courtright
Ross Detwiler 65.7 5.89 3.56 1.10 72 -0.8 Joe Beimel
Bruce Chen 38.3 6.81 2.11 1.88 62 -0.8 Steve Ontiveros
Mike Clevinger 99.7 7.40 3.79 1.53 71 -0.8 Mike Windham
Felipe Paulino 61.3 6.46 4.40 1.62 64 -0.9 Evan Thomas
Nick Maronde 70.0 8.36 4.76 1.80 64 -1.4 Chad Miles
Ryan Merritt 150.0 5.34 1.74 1.56 68 -1.6 Heath Phillips
Jarrett Grube 99.3 6.62 3.17 1.90 63 -1.7 R.A. Dickey
Shawn Morimando 134.3 6.50 4.69 1.54 63 -2.3 Shawn Bryant
Toru Murata 131.3 5.21 2.67 2.06 58 -3.1 R.A. Dickey
Michael Roth 112.3 5.29 3.93 1.92 56 -3.2 Matt White
Will Roberts 141.0 4.98 2.11 1.98 59 -3.3 Dane Johnson

***

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 2016. 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 3.93 ERA and the NL having a 3.75 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.



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Ernie Camacho
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Ernie Camacho

Interesting that ZiPS sees the pitching staff under-performing its FIP, while Steamer sees the opposite. Not sure if this is because ZiPS doesn’t fully buy the improved defense that ends up on the field or if it sees terrible quality-of-contact issues for the pitchers.

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