2016 ZiPS Projections – New York Yankees

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 New York Yankees. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Cincinnati / Kansas City / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / Texas / Toronto.

Batters
However one would characterize the precise opposite of a stars-and-scrub approach to roster construction, this is what the Yankees appear to have employed in collecting their present group of talent. Eight of the club’s nine likely starters are projected to record a WAR figure somewhere between 1.5 and 3.1, from Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira on the low end (largely due to a less-than-full complement of plate appearances) to Brian McCann on the high. Wildly average, is perhaps the best description.

It will be interesting to see how Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, et al. address what does appear to be the team’s one positional weakness — namely, right field. Dan Szymborski’s computer is pessimistic about the 39-year-old Carlos Beltran, projecting him not only for a roughly league-average batting line but also negative defensive-runs mark. That said, the club does have some internal options immediately available: the recently acquired Aaron Hicks and also Rob Refsnyder (who has considerable experience in right field) also receive forecasts in the league-average range.

Pitchers
After early concerns regarding his velocity, right-hander Masahiro Tanaka proceeded to record the top WAR figure among Yankees starters (as calculated by runs allowed) this past year — and actually produced a higher average fastball velocity than in his debut 2014 season. He’s forecast to replicate the former of those achievements in 2016. Expected to nearly approximate Tanaka’s value (in nearly the same quantity of innings) is young right-hander Luis Severino.

With regard to the bullpen, one finds considerable strength at its back end in Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, the former of whom is projected to record a full win more than the latter, but also in 30 more innings. The pair are forecast to record nearly four wins together. By way of comparison, consider that, among the eight clubs examined so far in this series, the best other bullpen figure has belonged to Pittsburgh — at about four wins total.

Bench/Prospects
In addition to those eight starters whose projections sit within the average range, the club also features five other players who profile similarly. Beyond the aforementioned Hicks and Refsnyder, one also finds Gregory Bird (518 PA, 2.0 zWAR), Aaron Judge (540 PA, 1.5 zWAR), and Gary Sanchez (446 PA, 1.9 zWAR) listed among those who are regarded as capable major leaguers. That’s on the offensive side, at least. The club’s pitching depths appears to considerably more shallow.

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

Yankees 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
Brian McCann L 32 C 479 55 105 15 1 21 79 0 0
Chase Headley B 32 3B 581 68 130 26 1 16 65 4 3
Didi Gregorius L 26 SS 560 58 130 22 5 10 52 4 2
Starlin Castro R 26 2B 639 64 165 28 3 15 75 8 5
Jacoby Ellsbury L 32 CF 538 66 132 21 4 9 46 26 6
Brett Gardner L 32 LF 547 74 123 24 6 12 54 17 5
Gregory Bird L 23 1B 518 69 116 28 1 26 79 1 1
Gary Sanchez R 23 C 446 56 99 20 0 20 67 4 2
Rob Refsnyder R 25 2B 539 61 120 26 3 13 56 10 4
Aaron Hicks B 26 CF 498 60 105 19 5 13 51 11 4
Mark Teixeira B 36 1B 350 41 72 14 0 18 64 1 0
Aaron Judge R 24 RF 540 69 111 23 2 30 82 5 2
Alex Rodriguez R 40 DH 481 60 98 17 1 23 74 4 1
Ben Gamel L 24 CF 564 60 127 26 7 10 59 10 4
Austin Romine R 27 C 302 32 68 15 0 8 33 1 0
Stephen Drew L 33 2B 395 37 77 17 3 12 44 1 1
Tony Renda R 25 2B 560 59 129 27 2 4 42 17 5
Dustin Ackley L 28 LF 448 57 103 21 3 13 54 5 3
Gregorio Petit R 31 SS 378 39 84 17 1 6 35 1 2
Pete Kozma R 28 SS 317 35 61 12 1 4 22 5 3
Eric Jagielo L 24 3B 308 37 62 13 1 13 41 0 0
Slade Heathcott L 25 CF 278 27 60 10 3 5 29 6 4
Miguel Andujar R 21 3B 541 60 119 23 3 17 66 7 1
Garrett Jones L 35 RF 322 35 71 15 2 14 42 1 0
Carlos Beltran B 39 RF 450 47 103 25 1 15 56 1 0
Kyle Higashioka R 26 C 188 18 40 9 1 5 22 0 0
Mason Williams L 24 CF 438 43 92 18 3 4 33 12 7
Rico Noel R 27 CF 347 37 66 8 2 0 19 30 10
Tyler Wade L 21 SS 569 52 115 18 5 6 41 19 15
Taylor Dugas L 26 LF 366 35 74 12 1 1 21 6 4
Dante Bichette Jr. R 23 1B 501 47 104 21 2 9 49 0 2

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Brian McCann 479 8.4% 17.1% .187 .255 .245 .317 .432 .322
Chase Headley 581 9.1% 22.7% .147 .306 .251 .329 .398 .321
Didi Gregorius 560 6.6% 16.3% .122 .293 .257 .317 .379 .304
Starlin Castro 639 4.4% 16.9% .131 .311 .274 .310 .405 .311
Jacoby Ellsbury 538 6.9% 15.4% .114 .305 .269 .324 .383 .321
Brett Gardner 547 9.1% 21.0% .149 .311 .256 .330 .405 .326
Gregory Bird 518 9.1% 25.3% .234 .291 .252 .324 .486 .347
Gary Sanchez 446 6.3% 24.7% .194 .277 .240 .291 .434 .315
Rob Refsnyder 539 8.2% 19.5% .147 .290 .248 .318 .395 .318
Aaron Hicks 498 9.8% 23.5% .153 .291 .238 .313 .391 .313
Mark Teixeira 350 11.4% 20.6% .226 .250 .238 .331 .464 .339
Aaron Judge 540 7.8% 35.0% .238 .292 .226 .287 .464 .324
Alex Rodriguez 481 11.6% 24.7% .212 .270 .237 .331 .449 .336
Ben Gamel 564 6.4% 23.2% .134 .305 .243 .292 .377 .295
Austin Romine 302 5.0% 20.2% .138 .279 .241 .282 .379 .286
Stephen Drew 395 9.1% 21.8% .167 .252 .218 .290 .385 .292
Tony Renda 560 6.8% 12.3% .084 .283 .252 .308 .336 .295
Dustin Ackley 448 7.4% 17.4% .162 .282 .253 .310 .415 .316
Gregorio Petit 378 4.2% 19.3% .104 .281 .237 .272 .341 .267
Pete Kozma 317 7.6% 19.9% .091 .258 .213 .277 .304 .258
Eric Jagielo 308 6.8% 34.1% .194 .301 .222 .289 .416 .304
Slade Heathcott 278 5.4% 30.2% .119 .320 .231 .274 .350 .282
Miguel Andujar 541 4.4% 23.8% .156 .276 .232 .268 .388 .287
Garrett Jones 322 7.1% 23.9% .206 .275 .240 .295 .446 .317
Carlos Beltran 450 7.8% 17.6% .177 .276 .252 .311 .429 .318
Kyle Higashioka 188 4.8% 23.9% .146 .271 .225 .261 .371 .274
Mason Williams 438 6.6% 17.1% .090 .273 .230 .283 .320 .273
Rico Noel 347 7.8% 29.1% .039 .316 .214 .287 .253 .271
Tyler Wade 569 6.2% 25.7% .088 .291 .219 .271 .307 .272
Taylor Dugas 366 9.0% 16.7% .053 .282 .232 .318 .285 .279
Dante Bichette Jr. 501 5.8% 25.0% .112 .284 .223 .271 .335 .268

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Brian McCann 479 4.9 107 0 3.1 Matt Nokes
Chase Headley 581 4.7 102 2 2.7 Pinky Higgins
Didi Gregorius 560 4.4 93 2 2.4 Ernest Riles
Starlin Castro 639 4.6 98 1 2.2 Jose Lopez
Jacoby Ellsbury 538 4.9 97 1 2.2 Bake McBride
Brett Gardner 547 5.0 104 4 2.0 Delino DeShields
Gregory Bird 518 5.7 122 0 2.0 Roberto Petagine
Gary Sanchez 446 4.5 99 -5 1.9 Todd Zeile
Rob Refsnyder 539 4.6 98 -1 1.9 Glenn Hubbard
Aaron Hicks 498 4.4 95 1 1.8 Brady Anderson
Mark Teixeira 350 5.5 119 3 1.5 Cliff Johnson
Aaron Judge 540 4.7 105 0 1.5 Jesse Barfield
Alex Rodriguez 481 5.3 115 0 1.5 Dwight Evans
Ben Gamel 564 4.0 85 -2 0.9 Terrence Long
Austin Romine 302 3.9 83 -2 0.8 Willie Morales
Stephen Drew 395 3.8 87 0 0.8 Dick McAuliffe
Tony Renda 560 3.9 80 -2 0.8 Mark DeRosa
Dustin Ackley 448 4.6 100 -2 0.7 Troy O’Leary
Gregorio Petit 378 3.2 70 3 0.5 Kevin Baez
Pete Kozma 317 2.9 62 5 0.4 Leo Durocher
Eric Jagielo 308 4.2 94 -5 0.4 Mark Reynolds
Slade Heathcott 278 3.3 73 3 0.4 Jonathan Jay
Miguel Andujar 541 3.8 80 -4 0.4 Ivanon Coffie
Garrett Jones 322 4.7 103 -4 0.3 Chris Richard
Carlos Beltran 450 4.9 104 -7 0.3 Chris Chambliss
Kyle Higashioka 188 3.4 74 -1 0.3 Carlos Corporan
Mason Williams 438 3.1 68 3 0.1 David Murphy
Rico Noel 347 2.8 53 3 -0.2 Scott Loucks
Tyler Wade 569 2.7 61 2 -0.2 Esteban Beltre
Taylor Dugas 366 3.1 71 1 -0.5 Jeff Baldwin
Dante Bichette Jr. 501 3.1 68 2 -1.3 Brock Peterson

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Masahiro Tanaka R 27 25 25 157.7 147 30 22 146 72 67
Luis Severino R 22 30 30 154.0 147 51 18 141 70 65
Dellin Betances R 28 71 0 85.0 130 33 7 55 21 20
Michael Pineda R 27 21 21 121.3 109 19 14 122 56 52
Nathan Eovaldi R 26 25 25 146.3 127 44 15 152 74 69
Andrew Miller L 31 56 0 52.0 85 17 5 34 14 13
Ivan Nova R 29 19 18 109.3 83 35 13 114 58 54
Nick Goody R 24 52 0 67.7 79 27 8 59 31 29
Esmil Rogers R 30 37 14 114.0 88 39 14 121 64 60
Chasen Shreve L 25 62 0 66.0 74 26 9 60 31 29
Jacob Lindgren L 23 29 0 38.3 49 19 5 32 17 16
CC Sabathia L 35 21 21 124.7 104 37 20 136 74 69
Chris Capuano L 37 26 12 75.0 64 27 10 80 44 41
James Pazos L 25 43 0 53.3 53 23 6 50 27 25
Diego Moreno R 28 32 2 54.0 43 19 6 55 29 27
Caleb Cotham R 28 44 0 52.3 52 16 8 52 27 25
Nick Rumbelow R 24 52 0 65.7 69 21 10 63 34 32
Jose De Paula L 28 12 10 50.0 29 18 7 57 31 29
Sergio Santos R 32 30 0 27.7 31 13 4 26 15 14
Chris Martin R 30 42 0 51.3 44 17 6 53 27 25
Wilking Rodriguez R 26 14 0 15.7 15 6 2 15 9 8
Johnny Barbato R 23 37 0 52.7 51 22 8 53 29 27
Jaron Long R 24 28 22 143.3 92 31 23 166 90 84
Branden Pinder R 27 43 0 54.3 49 20 9 55 31 29
Luis Cessa R 24 23 23 126.3 89 38 20 145 81 76
Andrew Bailey R 32 29 0 29.0 32 12 7 30 19 18
Miguel Sulbaran L 22 19 18 88.0 54 38 13 101 59 55
Bryan Mitchell R 25 29 20 108.3 83 58 15 118 71 66
Brady Lail R 22 27 26 132.0 80 44 21 154 87 81
Eric Wooten L 26 20 12 87.3 56 30 16 103 61 57
Kyle Davies R 32 21 20 110.3 67 33 20 130 76 71
Kyle Haynes R 25 36 10 87.0 62 50 12 96 59 55
Rookie Davis R 23 25 24 120.0 90 42 22 138 82 77
Vicente Campos R 23 20 17 68.0 44 19 16 86 51 48
Matt Tracy L 27 25 15 92.7 58 45 15 107 66 62
Caleb Smith L 24 25 25 112.7 82 62 21 127 82 77

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Masahiro Tanaka 157.7 649 22.6% 4.6% .278 3.82 3.70 94 90
Luis Severino 154.0 654 22.5% 7.8% .285 3.80 3.85 94 93
Dellin Betances 85.0 343 37.9% 9.6% .284 2.12 2.39 52 58
Michael Pineda 121.3 505 21.6% 3.8% .299 3.86 3.33 95 81
Nathan Eovaldi 146.3 635 20.0% 6.9% .307 4.24 3.63 105 88
Andrew Miller 52.0 207 41.1% 8.2% .302 2.25 2.24 56 54
Ivan Nova 109.3 477 17.4% 7.3% .300 4.45 4.31 110 104
Nick Goody 67.7 289 27.3% 9.3% .298 3.86 3.68 95 89
Esmil Rogers 114.0 502 17.5% 7.8% .301 4.74 4.34 117 105
Chasen Shreve 66.0 284 26.1% 9.2% .295 3.95 3.82 97 92
Jacob Lindgren 38.3 166 29.5% 11.5% .294 3.76 3.73 93 90
CC Sabathia 124.7 547 19.0% 6.8% .304 4.98 4.46 123 108
Chris Capuano 75.0 332 19.3% 8.1% .307 4.92 4.25 121 103
James Pazos 53.3 233 22.8% 9.9% .296 4.22 3.99 104 96
Diego Moreno 54.0 236 18.2% 8.1% .297 4.50 4.18 111 101
Caleb Cotham 52.3 225 23.1% 7.1% .300 4.30 4.14 106 100
Nick Rumbelow 65.7 281 24.5% 7.5% .296 4.39 3.99 108 96
Jose De Paula 50.0 225 12.9% 8.0% .298 5.22 4.97 129 120
Sergio Santos 27.7 122 25.4% 10.6% .297 4.55 4.04 112 98
Chris Martin 51.3 224 19.7% 7.6% .303 4.38 3.96 108 96
Wilking Rodriguez 15.7 68 22.0% 8.8% .295 4.60 4.00 113 97
Johnny Barbato 52.7 233 21.9% 9.4% .302 4.61 4.51 114 109
Jaron Long 143.3 627 14.7% 4.9% .302 5.27 4.70 130 114
Branden Pinder 54.3 238 20.6% 8.4% .291 4.80 4.62 118 112
Luis Cessa 126.3 562 15.8% 6.8% .306 5.41 4.80 133 116
Andrew Bailey 29.0 129 24.8% 9.3% .299 5.59 5.38 138 130
Miguel Sulbaran 88.0 403 13.4% 9.4% .300 5.62 5.26 139 127
Bryan Mitchell 108.3 501 16.6% 11.6% .305 5.48 5.15 135 124
Brady Lail 132.0 594 13.5% 7.4% .301 5.52 5.12 136 124
Eric Wooten 87.3 395 14.2% 7.6% .302 5.87 5.41 145 131
Kyle Davies 110.3 494 13.6% 6.7% .299 5.79 5.31 143 128
Kyle Haynes 87.0 407 15.2% 12.3% .302 5.69 5.37 140 130
Rookie Davis 120.0 540 16.7% 7.8% .306 5.77 5.19 142 126
Vicente Campos 68.0 309 14.2% 6.1% .310 6.35 5.89 157 142
Matt Tracy 92.7 430 13.5% 10.5% .300 6.02 5.54 149 134
Caleb Smith 112.7 527 15.6% 11.8% .298 6.15 5.88 152 142

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Masahiro Tanaka 157.7 8.39 1.71 1.26 103 2.8 Oil Can Boyd
Luis Severino 154.0 8.59 2.98 1.05 104 2.7 Kris Benson
Dellin Betances 85.0 13.76 3.49 0.74 187 2.4 Rich Gossage
Michael Pineda 121.3 8.09 1.41 1.04 102 2.0 Charles Nagy
Nathan Eovaldi 146.3 7.81 2.71 0.92 93 1.6 Scott Erickson
Andrew Miller 52.0 14.71 2.94 0.87 176 1.3 Billy Wagner
Ivan Nova 109.3 6.83 2.88 1.07 89 0.9 Runelvys Hernandez
Nick Goody 67.7 10.50 3.59 1.06 102 0.4 P.J. Bevis
Esmil Rogers 114.0 6.95 3.08 1.11 83 0.3 Mike Heathcott
Chasen Shreve 66.0 10.09 3.55 1.23 100 0.3 Buzz Oliver
Jacob Lindgren 38.3 11.51 4.46 1.17 105 0.3 Buzz Oliver
CC Sabathia 124.7 7.51 2.67 1.44 79 0.2 Jim Deshaies
Chris Capuano 75.0 7.68 3.24 1.20 80 0.0 Bob Veale
James Pazos 53.3 8.95 3.88 1.01 94 0.0 Rob Murphy
Diego Moreno 54.0 7.17 3.17 1.00 88 0.0 Greg Bauer
Caleb Cotham 52.3 8.95 2.75 1.38 92 -0.1 Joel Peralta
Nick Rumbelow 65.7 9.45 2.88 1.37 90 -0.1 Mark Worrell
Jose De Paula 50.0 5.22 3.24 1.26 76 -0.1 Lance Davis
Sergio Santos 27.7 10.07 4.22 1.30 87 -0.1 Archie Corbin
Chris Martin 51.3 7.72 2.98 1.05 90 -0.1 Bo McLaughlin
Wilking Rodriguez 15.7 8.60 3.44 1.15 86 -0.1 David Lee
Johnny Barbato 52.7 8.71 3.76 1.37 86 -0.2 Chris Hernandez
Jaron Long 143.3 5.78 1.95 1.44 75 -0.3 Heath Totten
Branden Pinder 54.3 8.12 3.31 1.49 82 -0.4 Dan Kite
Luis Cessa 126.3 6.34 2.71 1.43 73 -0.4 Chris Mears
Andrew Bailey 29.0 9.93 3.72 2.17 71 -0.5 Bob Long
Miguel Sulbaran 88.0 5.52 3.89 1.33 70 -0.6 Kason Gabbard
Bryan Mitchell 108.3 6.90 4.82 1.25 72 -0.6 Charlie Zink
Brady Lail 132.0 5.45 3.00 1.43 72 -0.7 Chris Mears
Eric Wooten 87.3 5.77 3.09 1.65 67 -0.9 Tommy Phelps
Kyle Davies 110.3 5.47 2.69 1.63 68 -1.0 R.A. Dickey
Kyle Haynes 87.0 6.41 5.17 1.24 69 -1.0 Jake Robbins
Rookie Davis 120.0 6.75 3.15 1.65 68 -1.1 Derek Hankins
Vicente Campos 68.0 5.82 2.51 2.12 62 -1.1 Mitch Atkins
Matt Tracy 92.7 5.63 4.37 1.46 66 -1.2 Mike Matthews
Caleb Smith 112.7 6.55 4.95 1.68 64 -1.5 Jason Saenz

***

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.

We hoped you liked reading 2016 ZiPS Projections – New York Yankees 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
CoolWinnebago
Guest
CoolWinnebago

Oil Can, what a comp.

RichW
Guest
RichW

Gotta lubricate that elbow

free-range turducken
Guest
free-range turducken

I can only imagine the Can hitting on Kris Benson’s wife with Jim Deshaies giving the play-by-play.

Best of all, they can all go home by the sixth inning with Gossage and Wagner in the pen.