2018 ZiPS Projections – Houston Astros

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for half a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Houston Astros. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Batters
Houston Astros position players recorded the majors’ top adjusted batting line by a considerable margin in 2017 and the largest collective WAR figure, as well. One, employing logic, would anticipate that the return of the entire starting lineup from last year’s team would render the offense a strength for the 2018 edition of the club. The numbers from Dan Szymborski’s computer support that hypothesis.

Jose Altuve (688 PA, 5.7 zWAR) and Carlos Correa (590, 5.7) belong to that class of American League player who would appear on a preseason shortlist for MVP if Mike Trout didn’t already represent the entirety of the preseason shortlist for MVP. Alex Bregman (612, 3.8) and George Springer (616, 4.4), meanwhile, are probably All-Stars. That foursome composes the core of the offense.

As for a weakness among the starting nine, that’s a relative term in the context of this club. Evan Gattis (448, 1.8 zWAR) has the trademark power of a designated hitter but not the trademark other attributes. His projected 108 wRC+ isn’t ideal at DH. But that forecast is also based on his offensive output from years in which he’s made a number of defensive appearances behind the plate. His production figures to improve if he’s not exposed to the slings and arrows of catching.

Pitchers
Unlike the offense, the Astros’ rotation won’t return entirely intact in 2018. It will return better. Justin Verlander (181.0 IP, 3.7 zWAR) made only five regular-season starts last year after joining the club at the end of August. Right-hander Gerrit Cole (190.0, 2.9), meanwhile, has arrived this offseason from Pittsburgh. They receive the best and third-best forecasts from ZiPS. Holdovers Dallas Keuchel (158.3, 3.2), Lance McCullers (128.7, 2.5), and Charlie Morton (133.0, 2.0) appear most likely to fill the remaining three starting slots.

Whatever flaws the bullpen might have exhibited in the postseason, it also represents a strength on paper. Ken Giles (65.0 IP, 69 ERA-, 1.4 zWAR) is projected for the lowest park-adjusted ERA on the club. Chris Devenski (76.1, 75, 1.6), Will Harris (52.1, 77, 0.9), and Hector Rondon (56.1, 79, 0.8) are all forecast to pitch basically like closers.

Bench/Prospects
Despite having been invoked in multiple trade rumors, Derek Fisher (560 PA, 1.9 zWAR) remains a member of the Astros organization. He also receives the top projection among both (a) those players excluded from the depth-chart image below and (b) rookie-eligible field players. Prospect Kyle Tucker (533, 1.7), whose name has also been discussed in deals, places second by both of those measures.

The depth chart below actually also excludes the pitcher who posted the highest WAR figure on the club in 2017 — namely, Brad Peacock (127.0, 95 ERA-, 1.5 zWAR). Indeed, the rotation features no room either for him or Collin McHugh (135.0, 88, 2.3), although both profile as entirely capable starters. There also appears to be no space for James Hoyt (61.2, 72, 1.0). Hoyt receives the second-best ERA projection on the entire club.

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

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
Carlos Correa R 23 SS 590 88 154 31 2 27 111 7 2
Jose Altuve R 28 2B 688 99 198 37 4 22 84 34 8
George Springer R 28 CF 616 98 142 26 2 30 85 8 7
Alex Bregman R 24 3B 612 85 149 34 5 20 79 15 5
Brian McCann L 34 C 421 49 92 13 1 18 69 1 0
Josh Reddick L 31 RF 517 66 131 25 4 15 70 7 3
Marwin Gonzalez B 29 LF 494 57 119 26 1 17 66 8 4
Derek Fisher L 24 CF 560 72 121 23 4 22 75 17 9
Evan Gattis R 31 C 448 51 105 20 3 22 76 0 1
Yulieski Gurriel R 34 1B 530 68 134 38 1 19 74 3 1
Kyle Tucker L 21 CF 533 64 123 27 4 21 76 18 11
J.D. Davis R 25 3B 534 61 115 25 1 22 70 5 3
Tony Kemp L 26 2B 576 68 141 20 5 7 49 20 8
Tyler White R 27 3B 529 64 115 23 1 18 72 3 3
A.J. Reed L 25 1B 551 73 113 21 2 24 82 0 0
Cameron Maybin R 31 CF 472 61 105 20 3 9 48 25 7
Garrett Stubbs L 25 C 373 39 76 16 0 4 29 9 1
Max Stassi R 27 C 328 39 64 12 1 12 40 1 1
Jake Marisnick R 27 CF 358 50 75 15 1 13 41 15 6
Myles Straw R 23 CF 558 59 124 15 5 1 32 23 10
Tim Federowicz R 30 C 312 33 68 14 0 9 38 2 0
Jamie Ritchie R 25 C 375 39 73 12 1 4 26 4 2
Jon Kemmer L 27 LF 400 50 84 18 2 16 54 5 4
Jack Mayfield R 27 2B 452 49 100 20 2 14 52 6 3
Reid Brignac B 32 SS 413 41 78 16 2 9 39 3 2
Ryne Birk L 23 2B 486 54 113 18 3 14 55 5 6
Jon Singleton L 26 1B 495 61 81 18 0 20 63 2 1
Drew Ferguson R 25 CF 453 50 95 20 1 8 40 14 7
Eduardo de Oleo R 25 C 163 16 31 6 1 6 20 0 0
Yordan Alvarez L 21 LF 437 48 99 15 3 15 52 6 1
Trent Woodward B 26 3B 211 20 38 7 1 4 17 1 1
Rico Noel R 29 CF 181 16 33 5 1 2 13 12 5
Nick Tanielu R 25 2B 503 48 113 21 2 8 51 3 4
Randy Cesar R 23 3B 466 44 101 15 1 8 40 3 1
Alejandro Garcia R 27 LF 362 32 84 16 2 3 29 7 7
Dexture McCall R 24 1B 391 39 76 12 2 10 39 1 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Carlos Correa 590 11.2% 18.8% .224 .332 .298 .378 .522 .379 142
Jose Altuve 688 7.4% 10.8% .178 .331 .318 .375 .497 .368 134
George Springer 616 11.2% 22.7% .225 .306 .266 .360 .492 .362 130
Alex Bregman 612 8.5% 15.8% .189 .296 .271 .339 .461 .340 115
Brian McCann 421 9.0% 17.6% .185 .261 .247 .325 .433 .324 104
Josh Reddick 517 7.9% 14.1% .166 .300 .279 .333 .445 .331 109
Marwin Gonzalez 494 6.9% 20.0% .176 .305 .265 .323 .441 .326 106
Derek Fisher 560 9.6% 29.5% .195 .316 .243 .322 .438 .324 104
Evan Gattis 448 6.3% 20.1% .224 .274 .255 .308 .479 .330 108
Yulieski Gurriel 530 6.2% 14.5% .200 .294 .277 .331 .477 .341 116
Kyle Tucker 533 6.9% 25.5% .202 .305 .253 .310 .455 .322 103
J.D. Davis 534 6.9% 32.2% .191 .312 .236 .294 .426 .306 92
Tony Kemp 576 6.8% 12.2% .098 .300 .271 .326 .369 .304 90
Tyler White 529 8.5% 23.3% .167 .288 .243 .314 .410 .311 95
A.J. Reed 551 10.5% 30.7% .200 .300 .233 .316 .433 .319 101
Cameron Maybin 472 9.5% 20.6% .126 .302 .249 .323 .374 .304 91
Garrett Stubbs 373 8.6% 18.5% .084 .275 .228 .304 .312 .276 71
Max Stassi 328 8.5% 30.2% .171 .284 .218 .297 .389 .298 86
Jake Marisnick 358 5.6% 30.4% .172 .301 .230 .285 .402 .293 83
Myles Straw 558 9.9% 19.0% .057 .315 .251 .325 .307 .284 77
Tim Federowicz 312 6.7% 24.7% .142 .289 .236 .288 .378 .287 79
Jamie Ritchie 375 11.5% 23.5% .080 .294 .224 .321 .304 .284 77
Jon Kemmer 400 8.0% 32.8% .194 .316 .233 .305 .428 .314 97
Jack Mayfield 452 5.1% 24.3% .156 .286 .237 .279 .393 .287 79
Reid Brignac 413 8.5% 29.8% .126 .285 .210 .280 .336 .269 67
Ryne Birk 486 5.6% 19.5% .147 .289 .252 .300 .400 .299 87
Jon Singleton 495 15.4% 34.5% .189 .270 .196 .321 .385 .307 93
Drew Ferguson 453 8.4% 27.4% .113 .314 .233 .305 .346 .286 78
Eduardo de Oleo 163 4.3% 33.1% .169 .263 .201 .239 .370 .259 60
Yordan Alvarez 437 7.3% 27.2% .167 .312 .251 .304 .418 .305 91
Trent Woodward 211 9.0% 32.2% .112 .291 .202 .281 .314 .262 62
Rico Noel 181 6.1% 29.8% .079 .282 .200 .257 .279 .236 44
Nick Tanielu 503 4.6% 20.7% .104 .289 .240 .279 .344 .270 67
Randy Cesar 466 4.7% 30.5% .093 .318 .230 .267 .323 .257 58
Alejandro Garcia 362 2.2% 17.1% .084 .289 .243 .273 .328 .261 61
Dexture McCall 391 7.4% 33.2% .128 .300 .212 .274 .340 .268 66

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Carlos Correa 590 7.7 147 0 5.7 Lou Boudreau
Jose Altuve 688 7.7 140 -2 5.7 Billy Herman
George Springer 616 6.4 134 -1 4.4 Chili Davis
Alex Bregman 612 5.9 120 2 3.8 Adrian Beltre
Brian McCann 421 5.1 109 -2 2.3 Dave Valle
Josh Reddick 517 5.6 114 4 2.2 Dixie Walker
Marwin Gonzalez 494 5.2 110 4 2.0 Lamar Johnson
Derek Fisher 560 5.0 109 -6 1.9 Chili Davis
Evan Gattis 448 5.3 115 -10 1.8 Benito Santiago
Yulieski Gurriel 530 5.9 122 -2 1.7 Steve Garvey
Kyle Tucker 533 5.0 109 -5 1.7 Daryl Boston
J.D. Davis 534 4.4 97 -1 1.5 Floyd Rayford
Tony Kemp 576 4.5 93 -2 1.4 Jerry Remy
Tyler White 529 4.5 100 -5 1.2 Jim Leyritz
A.J. Reed 551 4.8 106 2 1.2 Calvin Pickering
Cameron Maybin 472 4.6 94 -4 1.1 Ryan Freel
Garrett Stubbs 373 3.5 73 3 1.1 Doug Newstrom
Max Stassi 328 4.0 89 -1 1.0 B.J. Waszgis
Jake Marisnick 358 4.1 89 3 1.0 Randy Kutcher
Myles Straw 558 3.7 78 4 1.0 Luis Mercedes
Tim Federowicz 312 3.9 84 0 0.9 Robert Machado
Jamie Ritchie 375 3.4 76 -2 0.7 Dave Huppert
Jon Kemmer 400 4.5 101 -1 0.6 Travis Ishikawa
Jack Mayfield 452 3.9 85 0 0.6 Clay Bellinger
Reid Brignac 413 3.2 71 3 0.5 Shanie Dugas
Ryne Birk 486 4.2 93 -5 0.5 Kevin Kouzmanoff
Jon Singleton 495 4.2 96 1 0.5 Brandon Sing
Drew Ferguson 453 3.7 81 -4 0.2 Jim Olander
Eduardo de Oleo 163 3.0 66 0 0.1 Alan Probst
Yordan Alvarez 437 4.7 99 -8 -0.1 Dale Holman
Trent Woodward 211 2.9 66 0 -0.2 Adam Morrissey
Rico Noel 181 2.5 50 3 -0.2 Glen Barker
Nick Tanielu 503 3.3 72 -2 -0.3 Tom Veryzer
Randy Cesar 466 3.0 64 1 -0.4 Danny Ainge
Alejandro Garcia 362 3.0 67 2 -0.8 Mickey Hyde
Dexture McCall 391 3.2 70 -3 -1.3 Angel Morris

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Justin Verlander R 35 28 28 181.0 196 54 21 149 74 69
Dallas Keuchel L 30 25 25 158.3 137 46 14 141 64 60
Gerrit Cole R 27 31 31 190.0 182 48 23 184 86 80
Lance McCullers R 24 24 24 128.7 144 49 11 117 52 49
Collin McHugh R 31 24 24 135.0 123 38 15 132 60 56
Charlie Morton R 34 24 24 133.0 135 48 14 121 60 56
Chris Devenski R 27 59 0 76.3 91 22 9 61 29 27
Brad Peacock R 30 32 22 127.0 140 57 16 112 61 57
Ken Giles R 27 66 0 65.0 93 23 6 50 22 21
James Hoyt R 31 55 0 61.7 82 22 6 50 22 21
Rogelio Armenteros R 24 26 22 123.0 121 52 18 121 65 61
Will Harris R 33 54 0 52.3 58 14 6 45 20 19
Framber Valdez L 24 24 17 102.7 89 56 10 100 55 51
Forrest Whitley R 20 23 18 88.3 105 44 13 79 46 43
Mike Hauschild R 28 22 19 107.7 89 46 13 109 59 55
Joe Smith R 34 64 0 59.0 52 18 5 56 25 23
Francis Martes R 22 36 15 98.3 107 60 9 88 50 47
Hector Rondon R 30 59 0 56.3 64 14 7 49 22 21
David Paulino R 24 16 13 70.0 69 23 11 69 35 33
Francisco Liriano L 34 31 21 117.7 119 61 17 110 66 62
Tyler Clippard R 33 64 0 57.3 68 26 8 47 27 25
Jandel Gustave R 25 52 0 59.7 49 31 3 57 28 26
Brady Rodgers R 27 22 18 106.3 77 23 17 119 61 57
Brendan McCurry R 26 43 0 58.3 58 18 8 56 28 26
Riley Ferrell R 24 38 0 52.3 46 17 6 51 25 23
Trent Thornton R 24 25 23 133.3 93 25 24 151 78 73
Cionel Perez L 22 21 16 87.7 60 34 12 96 51 48
Buddy Boshers L 30 56 0 50.7 47 24 5 48 26 24
Jumbo Diaz R 34 51 0 50.0 45 21 6 49 26 24
Tony Sipp L 34 50 0 41.3 43 16 7 38 21 20
Dean Deetz R 24 26 17 87.3 83 58 11 84 52 49
Joshua James R 25 23 15 90.7 69 46 12 96 55 51
Matt Ramsey R 28 47 0 46.0 47 27 5 43 25 23
Anthony Gose L 27 11 0 10.0 10 8 1 9 5 5
Sean Stutzman L 24 32 0 59.3 50 29 8 60 33 31
Reymin Guduan L 26 57 0 61.7 58 37 7 61 35 33
Akeem Bostick R 23 21 16 89.7 53 41 13 102 57 53
Ryan Thompson R 26 39 0 66.0 46 21 10 73 39 36
Yoanys Quiala R 24 23 15 100.7 61 31 18 117 64 60
Jacob Dorris R 25 42 0 65.7 66 35 11 64 40 37
Kent Emanuel L 26 23 18 106.0 65 37 20 126 72 67
Alex Winkelman L 24 27 9 73.0 58 55 10 77 50 47
David Martinez R 30 26 18 110.7 75 42 23 127 76 71
Brock Dykxhoorn R 23 24 17 97.0 65 43 19 112 68 64

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Justin Verlander 181.0 746 26.3% 7.2% .272 3.43 3.44 81 79
Dallas Keuchel 158.3 662 20.7% 6.9% .275 3.41 3.49 81 80
Gerrit Cole 190.0 802 22.7% 6.0% .298 3.79 3.67 90 84
Lance McCullers 128.7 552 26.1% 8.9% .311 3.43 3.29 81 76
Collin McHugh 135.0 575 21.4% 6.6% .298 3.73 3.74 88 86
Charlie Morton 133.0 568 23.8% 8.5% .298 3.79 3.80 90 87
Chris Devenski 76.3 312 29.2% 7.1% .278 3.18 3.25 75 75
Brad Peacock 127.0 550 25.5% 10.4% .288 4.04 4.01 95 92
Ken Giles 65.0 268 34.7% 8.6% .306 2.91 2.60 69 60
James Hoyt 61.7 257 31.9% 8.6% .306 3.06 2.93 72 67
Rogelio Armenteros 123.0 542 22.3% 9.6% .299 4.46 4.53 106 104
Will Harris 52.3 216 26.9% 6.5% .285 3.27 3.23 77 74
Framber Valdez 102.7 464 19.2% 12.1% .297 4.47 4.50 106 103
Forrest Whitley 88.3 388 27.1% 11.3% .300 4.38 4.39 104 101
Mike Hauschild 107.7 478 18.6% 9.6% .296 4.60 4.50 109 103
Joe Smith 59.0 251 20.7% 7.2% .295 3.51 3.36 83 77
Francis Martes 98.3 443 24.2% 13.5% .305 4.30 4.18 102 96
Hector Rondon 56.3 232 27.6% 6.0% .288 3.36 3.30 79 76
David Paulino 70.0 302 22.8% 7.6% .297 4.24 4.39 100 101
Francisco Liriano 117.7 524 22.7% 11.6% .288 4.74 4.64 112 107
Tyler Clippard 57.3 245 27.8% 10.6% .277 3.92 4.01 93 92
Jandel Gustave 59.7 267 18.4% 11.6% .298 3.92 3.83 93 88
Brady Rodgers 106.3 461 16.7% 5.0% .302 4.82 4.58 114 105
Brendan McCurry 58.3 249 23.3% 7.2% .296 4.01 3.98 95 91
Riley Ferrell 52.3 225 20.4% 7.6% .294 3.96 4.04 93 93
Trent Thornton 133.3 576 16.1% 4.3% .297 4.93 4.80 116 110
Cionel Perez 87.7 393 15.3% 8.7% .298 4.93 4.90 116 113
Buddy Boshers 50.7 224 21.0% 10.7% .297 4.26 4.12 101 95
Jumbo Diaz 50.0 220 20.5% 9.5% .295 4.32 4.18 102 96
Tony Sipp 41.3 178 24.2% 9.0% .279 4.35 4.44 103 102
Dean Deetz 87.3 404 20.5% 14.4% .296 5.05 5.02 119 115
Joshua James 90.7 414 16.7% 11.1% .299 5.06 5.08 120 117
Matt Ramsey 46.0 208 22.6% 13.0% .299 4.50 4.35 106 100
Anthony Gose 10.0 47 21.3% 17.0% .296 4.50 5.16 106 118
Sean Stutzman 59.3 267 18.7% 10.9% .294 4.70 4.79 111 110
Reymin Guduan 61.7 283 20.5% 13.1% .303 4.82 4.65 114 107
Akeem Bostick 89.7 412 12.9% 10.0% .297 5.32 5.40 126 124
Ryan Thompson 66.0 292 15.8% 7.2% .299 4.91 4.82 116 111
Yoanys Quiala 100.7 450 13.6% 6.9% .296 5.36 5.37 127 123
Jacob Dorris 65.7 296 22.3% 11.8% .294 5.07 5.11 120 117
Kent Emanuel 106.0 481 13.5% 7.7% .300 5.69 5.60 134 129
Alex Winkelman 73.0 351 16.5% 15.7% .299 5.79 5.69 137 131
David Martinez 110.7 501 15.0% 8.4% .293 5.77 5.75 136 132
Brock Dykxhoorn 97.0 446 14.6% 9.6% .296 5.94 5.85 140 134

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Justin Verlander 181.0 9.75 2.69 1.04 119 3.7 David Cone
Dallas Keuchel 158.3 7.79 2.61 0.80 119 3.2 Whitey Ford
Gerrit Cole 190.0 8.62 2.27 1.09 106 2.9 Kevin Brown
Lance McCullers 128.7 10.07 3.43 0.77 119 2.5 Josh Johnson
Collin McHugh 135.0 8.20 2.53 1.00 109 2.3 John Thomson
Charlie Morton 133.0 9.14 3.25 0.95 106 2.0 Ken Hill
Chris Devenski 76.3 10.73 2.59 1.06 128 1.6 T.J. Mathews
Brad Peacock 127.0 9.92 4.04 1.13 101 1.5 Victor Zambrano
Ken Giles 65.0 12.88 3.18 0.83 138 1.4 Bobby Jenks
James Hoyt 61.7 11.97 3.21 0.88 131 1.0 Paul Shuey
Rogelio Armenteros 123.0 8.85 3.80 1.32 91 1.0 Chris Hook
Will Harris 52.3 9.97 2.41 1.03 123 0.9 Keith Foulke
Framber Valdez 102.7 7.80 4.91 0.88 91 0.8 Ken Chase
Forrest Whitley 88.3 10.70 4.48 1.32 93 0.8 Paul Abbott
Mike Hauschild 107.7 7.44 3.85 1.09 89 0.8 Brett Laxton
Joe Smith 59.0 7.93 2.75 0.76 116 0.8 Roger McDowell
Francis Martes 98.3 9.79 5.49 0.82 93 0.8 Ted Langdon
Hector Rondon 56.3 10.22 2.24 1.12 120 0.8 Gene Garber
David Paulino 70.0 8.87 2.96 1.41 96 0.7 Alan Benes
Francisco Liriano 117.7 9.10 4.67 1.30 85 0.5 Bryan Clark
Tyler Clippard 57.3 10.67 4.08 1.26 102 0.5 Alan Mills
Jandel Gustave 59.7 7.39 4.68 0.45 104 0.5 Hal Reniff
Brady Rodgers 106.3 6.52 1.95 1.44 84 0.4 A.J. Sager
Brendan McCurry 58.3 8.95 2.78 1.23 102 0.4 Jose Acevedo
Riley Ferrell 52.3 7.91 2.92 1.03 103 0.4 Rocky Childress
Trent Thornton 133.3 6.28 1.69 1.62 83 0.4 Heath Totten
Cionel Perez 87.7 6.16 3.49 1.23 83 0.3 Wes Whisler
Buddy Boshers 50.7 8.35 4.26 0.89 96 0.2 Mike Kinnunen
Jumbo Diaz 50.0 8.10 3.78 1.08 93 0.2 Greg Minton
Tony Sipp 41.3 9.36 3.48 1.52 94 0.1 Pedro Borbon
Dean Deetz 87.3 8.55 5.98 1.13 81 0.1 Kevin Coffman
Joshua James 90.7 6.85 4.57 1.19 80 0.1 Tim Byron
Matt Ramsey 46.0 9.20 5.28 0.98 91 0.1 Gabriel Dehoyos
Anthony Gose 10.0 9.00 7.20 0.90 91 0.0 Bobby Sprowl
Sean Stutzman 59.3 7.58 4.40 1.21 87 0.0 Aaron Rakers
Reymin Guduan 61.7 8.46 5.40 1.02 85 -0.1 Brian Adams
Akeem Bostick 89.7 5.32 4.12 1.30 77 -0.1 Cristhian Martinez
Ryan Thompson 66.0 6.27 2.86 1.36 83 -0.2 Matt Wilhite
Yoanys Quiala 100.7 5.45 2.77 1.61 76 -0.2 Mike Thompson
Jacob Dorris 65.7 9.05 4.80 1.51 80 -0.3 Jason Gilfillan
Kent Emanuel 106.0 5.52 3.14 1.70 72 -0.6 Kurt Isenberg
Alex Winkelman 73.0 7.15 6.78 1.23 70 -0.6 Ben Fritz
David Martinez 110.7 6.10 3.42 1.87 71 -0.7 Scott Nielsen
Brock Dykxhoorn 97.0 6.03 3.99 1.76 69 -0.8 Jim Henderson

***

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 2017. 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 4.24 ERA and the NL having a 4.18 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 2018 ZiPS Projections – Houston Astros by Carson Cistulli!

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

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JJWattsArmBrace
Member
JJWattsArmBrace

Not sure I can remember a team that had 11 of 12 regulars PROJECTED to have a wRC+ above 100. And they have the 2nd best projected rotation in baseball. And 4 multi inning relievers with FIPs projected to be less than 3.25. And one of McCullers/Morton will be in the bullpen during the playoffs. And at some point they are going to call up the number 1 non-Ohtani pitching prospect in baseball according to BA, MLB.com, and ESPN, in Forrest Whitely.

baubo
Member
baubo

Projections can’t project trades, but I feel short of Tucker and Whitley dominating AAA next year, the Astros will be trading for bench bats and relievers instead of using the likes of Kemp or White. They have the incredible luxury of being able to target corner OF/1st/DH type bats since they’re set at 3rd/SS/2nd/Center. And these are cheap enough where they can get good production without spending too much.

At least on paper, the Astros have everything.

noramiles458
Member
noramiles458
Jon
Member
Jon

Agreed. But depending on your definition of “regular”, you might say that they have 9 of 9 regulars projected for a wRC+ above 100. The Yankees have 7 of 9, and that’s assuming that Andujar (wRC+ of 93) is the starting 3B and with the projection for Gregorious (97) being pretty pessimistic.

It’s not a stretch to say they could *both* have every regular over 100, which is pretty incredible.