2018 ZiPS Projections – Pittsburgh Pirates

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 Pittsburgh Pirates. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Batters
The Pirates’ position-playing cohort recorded the fourth-worst collective WAR mark in the majors this past season. The most immediate source of their troubles was evident. In last year’s version of these same projections, Jung Ho Kang and Starling Marte were forecast for nearly six wins between them. Due to a variety of indiscretions, they were limited to just 339 plate appearances and 1.2 wins, all of them Marte’s.

While Kang remains absent from the club indefinitely, a full season of Marte (504 PA, 2.6 zWAR) ought to address some of the pains endured by the 2017 edition of the team. With the exception of third base, ZiPS calls for the Pirates to extract two or three wins from every position. That points to the possibility of an average group of hitters. It also indicates there’s little margin for error here.

In light of the that, it’s not surprising to hear — as Buster Olney reported before dawn this morning — that the club might be searching for ways to trade Andrew McCutchen (630, 3.4). Whatever the return, his departure would almost certainly render the team less competitive in 2018.

Pitchers
The pitching staff represented the club’s stronger unit in 2017. According to Dan Szymborski’s computer, however, it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion that they’ll carry that distinction into 2018. Gerrit Cole (189.1 IP, 3.4 zWAR), Ivan Nova (149.2, 2.2), and Jameson Taillon (145.2, 2.7) are all projected to surpass the two-win threshold. After that triumvirate, though, the top forecast for a probable member of the Opening Day rotation belongs to Trevor Williams (133.2, 1.0). The prognosis for Chad Kuhl (147.1, 0.8), who recorded 31 starts for the Pirates this past season, is similarly dim.

Like the rotation, the bullpen features a notable divide between its stronger and weaker members. Felipe Rivero (73.1 IP, 66 ERA-, 1.8 zWAR) emerged as one of the top relievers of 2017, one of only 12 to record two or more wins. The forecast here calls for him to nearly match that figure in 2018. After Rivero, however, there appear to be few options fit for high-leverage innings. Indeed, only George Kontos (60.2, 87, 0.7) receives an ERA projection more than 10% better than league average.

Bench/Prospects
The departure of Andrew McCutchen would almost certainly be followed closely by the promotion of Austin Meadows (401 PA, 1.8 zWAR) to the majors. Despite a lackluster performance at Triple-A Indianapolis, Meadows is still forecast to produce wins at a distinctly above-average rate. Like Meadows, Kevin Newman (525, 1.3) has yet to appear in a major-league game but also appears capable of handling some kind of major-league job. Adam Frazier (472, 1.3), meanwhile, profiles as a strong bench option.

Sources close to the author — specifically Travis Sawchik, who’s sitting across the room here at FanGraphs’ Winter Meetings headquarters — are skeptical about Tyler Glasnow’s (149.2 IP, 1.9 zWAR) immediate prospects for major-league success. Indeed, by the runs-allowed version of pitching WAR, Glasnow was worth roughly negative-two wins in 2017. ZiPS, though — presumably due to his impressive minor-league performance — calls for Glasnow to produce the fourth-highest WAR among all the club’s pitchers.

Depth Chart
Below is a rough depth chart for the present incarnation of the Pirates, 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
Andrew McCutchen R 31 CF 630 83 148 29 3 25 88 10 5
Starling Marte R 29 LF 504 65 128 23 3 11 52 28 8
Gregory Polanco L 26 RF 534 69 130 28 3 16 64 15 5
Josh Harrison R 30 2B 534 64 137 28 4 11 52 13 5
Austin Meadows L 23 CF 401 49 92 25 4 11 52 12 5
Josh Bell B 25 1B 621 76 148 27 6 20 87 3 5
Jordy Mercer R 31 SS 528 53 124 23 3 12 57 1 3
David Freese R 35 3B 459 46 99 18 0 10 50 0 1
Adam Frazier L 26 LF 472 54 118 22 5 4 45 11 7
Kevin Newman R 24 SS 525 53 125 25 4 5 44 10 3
Francisco Cervelli R 32 C 364 37 80 13 2 4 33 1 2
Jordan Luplow R 24 LF 523 62 113 25 3 13 64 5 4
Elias Diaz R 27 C 396 37 89 19 2 4 38 3 1
Jacob Stallings R 28 C 267 27 58 15 0 4 29 1 2
Ke’Bryan Hayes R 21 3B 481 47 102 15 5 4 38 17 7
Erich Weiss L 26 2B 466 48 98 20 4 6 43 7 4
Cole Tucker B 21 SS 510 51 103 18 7 7 45 29 16
Pablo Reyes R 24 2B 475 51 104 21 3 8 46 17 13
Max Moroff B 25 SS 474 54 86 17 3 8 52 8 8
Sean Rodriguez R 33 2B 244 30 48 10 1 9 27 1 1
Mitchell Tolman L 24 2B 488 52 93 18 3 6 42 9 10
Jason Rogers R 30 1B 418 47 94 17 2 12 47 2 1
Danny Ortiz L 28 CF 469 51 108 26 3 14 64 4 3
John Jaso L 34 RF 303 31 65 17 1 8 34 1 2
Kevin Kramer L 24 2B 435 44 96 19 4 4 38 8 6
Edwin Espinal R 24 1B 520 48 124 27 0 10 57 1 1
Barrett Barnes R 26 LF 350 37 68 17 2 5 32 6 3
Chris Stewart R 36 C 144 10 32 4 1 0 8 0 0
Elvis Escobar L 23 CF 469 43 104 16 6 5 38 5 8
Todd Cunningham B 29 RF 403 44 89 18 3 4 34 10 4
Jose Osuna R 25 1B 442 52 105 26 3 12 56 3 3
Joey Terdoslavich B 29 1B 426 45 93 20 1 9 44 2 2
John Bormann R 25 C 158 14 32 6 0 0 9 0 2
Justin Maffei R 26 RF 254 25 50 7 2 1 15 5 4
Eric Wood R 25 3B 464 50 92 20 4 10 51 5 3
Jordan George B 25 1B 377 40 82 20 2 5 36 3 2
Chris Bostick R 25 2B 531 54 111 22 5 9 46 14 9
Ty Moore L 24 LF 454 43 100 17 1 4 36 7 7
Wyatt Mathisen R 24 3B 435 40 90 15 3 5 33 2 2
Jackson Williams R 32 C 250 20 45 8 0 2 14 1 1
Logan Hill R 25 LF 398 43 80 15 3 11 44 5 5
Jerrick Suiter R 25 RF 454 46 96 16 2 6 40 6 3
Anderson Feliz B 26 LF 337 30 63 14 3 5 29 7 3
Will Craig R 23 1B 511 50 105 19 1 4 39 1 3

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Andrew McCutchen 630 11.7% 19.8% .202 .308 .272 .363 .474 .355 119
Starling Marte 504 5.0% 19.6% .134 .331 .278 .334 .412 .322 97
Gregory Polanco 534 8.2% 18.2% .169 .304 .268 .328 .437 .325 99
Josh Harrison 534 4.3% 15.4% .141 .313 .278 .324 .419 .319 95
Austin Meadows 401 7.2% 17.7% .181 .281 .252 .307 .433 .312 91
Josh Bell 621 10.5% 16.9% .181 .299 .271 .347 .452 .339 108
Jordy Mercer 528 8.0% 16.1% .136 .292 .260 .322 .396 .303 85
David Freese 459 9.4% 24.0% .120 .312 .246 .333 .366 .308 88
Adam Frazier 472 7.6% 13.6% .103 .317 .277 .339 .380 .314 92
Kevin Newman 525 5.0% 12.6% .099 .286 .256 .298 .355 .282 71
Francisco Cervelli 364 10.7% 20.3% .092 .318 .254 .347 .346 .310 90
Jordan Luplow 523 8.6% 22.0% .150 .292 .242 .314 .392 .304 85
Elias Diaz 396 5.1% 17.4% .094 .282 .240 .278 .334 .266 61
Jacob Stallings 267 5.6% 21.0% .110 .289 .237 .284 .347 .273 65
Ke’Bryan Hayes 481 6.4% 20.6% .085 .293 .235 .290 .320 .267 61
Erich Weiss 466 8.2% 22.5% .110 .296 .234 .302 .344 .283 71
Cole Tucker 510 8.0% 25.3% .115 .294 .223 .289 .338 .274 66
Pablo Reyes 475 7.8% 18.7% .120 .288 .244 .305 .364 .290 77
Max Moroff 474 12.4% 29.1% .116 .297 .211 .313 .327 .285 73
Sean Rodriguez 244 7.8% 32.0% .181 .298 .222 .298 .403 .300 83
Mitchell Tolman 488 9.2% 20.1% .098 .266 .218 .297 .316 .271 64
Jason Rogers 418 8.6% 19.4% .150 .286 .249 .316 .399 .309 89
Danny Ortiz 469 4.1% 21.1% .168 .281 .244 .276 .412 .288 75
John Jaso 303 11.2% 20.1% .163 .291 .246 .340 .409 .325 100
Kevin Kramer 435 6.4% 21.1% .100 .307 .244 .304 .344 .282 71
Edwin Espinal 520 4.0% 16.9% .117 .288 .254 .287 .371 .281 71
Barrett Barnes 350 7.4% 28.9% .115 .304 .219 .294 .334 .276 67
Chris Stewart 144 6.9% 15.3% .047 .296 .248 .310 .295 .268 62
Elvis Escobar 469 4.7% 20.7% .098 .291 .236 .272 .334 .261 57
Todd Cunningham 403 7.7% 15.1% .101 .291 .251 .327 .352 .299 83
Jose Osuna 442 5.0% 20.6% .165 .296 .254 .294 .419 .302 84
Joey Terdoslavich 426 9.2% 18.1% .129 .281 .243 .315 .372 .297 81
John Bormann 158 5.7% 19.0% .042 .278 .222 .276 .264 .243 45
Justin Maffei 254 8.7% 23.6% .062 .297 .222 .302 .284 .266 60
Eric Wood 464 8.0% 27.8% .139 .290 .220 .286 .359 .279 69
Jordan George 377 9.8% 18.3% .118 .296 .248 .326 .366 .303 85
Chris Bostick 531 6.0% 26.9% .121 .302 .228 .282 .349 .274 66
Ty Moore 454 5.9% 17.8% .076 .293 .243 .303 .319 .275 67
Wyatt Mathisen 435 7.6% 22.5% .091 .291 .230 .296 .321 .272 65
Jackson Williams 250 7.2% 23.6% .062 .256 .197 .261 .259 .233 39
Logan Hill 398 7.3% 30.4% .150 .300 .222 .291 .372 .287 75
Jerrick Suiter 454 8.1% 24.4% .093 .304 .234 .300 .327 .276 67
Anderson Feliz 337 7.7% 31.8% .114 .296 .205 .266 .319 .255 54
Will Craig 511 8.8% 22.3% .074 .301 .233 .317 .307 .281 70

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Andrew McCutchen 630 6.4 124 -9 3.4 Chet Lemon
Starling Marte 504 5.4 100 10 2.6 Roberto Kelly
Gregory Polanco 534 5.4 104 6 2.3 Roy Johnson
Josh Harrison 534 5.1 99 0 2.1 Aaron Boone
Austin Meadows 401 4.9 97 4 1.8 Vernon Wells
Josh Bell 621 5.7 114 -2 1.7 Scotti Madison
Jordy Mercer 528 4.5 93 -2 1.5 Jose Castro
David Freese 459 4.3 89 0 1.3 Mark DeRosa
Adam Frazier 472 4.7 94 4 1.3 Bruce Fields
Kevin Newman 525 3.9 75 4 1.3 Luis Ordaz
Francisco Cervelli 364 4.2 88 -3 1.3 Geno Petralli
Jordan Luplow 523 4.3 89 6 1.1 Chad Huffman
Elias Diaz 396 3.3 65 5 0.9 Damian Miller
Jacob Stallings 267 3.4 69 5 0.8 Bill Dobrolsky
Ke’Bryan Hayes 481 3.4 65 9 0.8 Scott Fletcher
Erich Weiss 466 3.6 74 4 0.8 Raymond Teller
Cole Tucker 510 3.3 69 3 0.6 Eric Riggs
Pablo Reyes 475 3.7 80 1 0.6 Jorge Sequea
Max Moroff 474 3.3 73 -2 0.4 Doug Baker
Sean Rodriguez 244 4.1 87 -1 0.4 Steve Scarsone
Mitchell Tolman 488 3.0 66 6 0.4 James Guerrero
Jason Rogers 418 4.5 92 0 0.4 Terry Harper
Danny Ortiz 469 4.0 82 -2 0.4 Ray Ortiz
John Jaso 303 4.9 101 -5 0.3 Lyle Overbay
Kevin Kramer 435 3.6 75 0 0.3 Vance Law
Edwin Espinal 520 3.8 76 10 0.2 Matt Merullo
Barrett Barnes 350 3.4 69 5 0.1 Jeff Goodale
Chris Stewart 144 3.3 65 -2 0.0 Joe Girardi
Elvis Escobar 469 2.9 62 6 0.0 Alexander Presley
Todd Cunningham 403 4.2 84 -4 -0.1 Jeff McKnight
Jose Osuna 442 4.4 90 -2 -0.1 Julio Vinas
Joey Terdoslavich 426 4.1 85 -1 -0.2 Andy Barkett
John Bormann 158 2.2 47 0 -0.2 David Duff
Justin Maffei 254 2.8 60 4 -0.2 Michael Garciaparra
Eric Wood 464 3.5 73 -5 -0.2 Jose Valentin
Jordan George 377 4.3 87 -4 -0.3 Mike Twardoski
Chris Bostick 531 3.4 69 -3 -0.3 Elliot Johnson
Ty Moore 454 3.3 68 4 -0.3 Kevin Coughlin
Wyatt Mathisen 435 3.3 67 -3 -0.4 Jack Hannahan
Jackson Williams 250 2.2 41 1 -0.4 Chad Moeller
Logan Hill 398 3.6 78 -6 -0.7 Tom Ealy
Jerrick Suiter 454 3.5 69 -4 -0.9 Lance Hallberg
Anderson Feliz 337 2.9 57 -1 -1.0 Jeff Doerr
Will Craig 511 3.3 70 -5 -1.3 Micah Kaaihue

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Gerrit Cole R 27 31 31 189.3 179 49 20 185 82 77
Jameson Taillon R 26 27 27 145.7 131 39 14 147 63 59
Ivan Nova R 31 25 25 149.7 110 31 19 159 72 67
Tyler Glasnow R 24 30 28 149.7 181 83 17 131 73 68
Felipe Rivero L 26 74 0 73.3 89 25 5 58 25 23
Steven Brault L 26 30 24 136.7 111 58 16 141 73 68
Trevor Williams R 26 28 23 133.7 99 44 17 144 72 67
Tanner Anderson R 25 31 16 117.0 72 36 12 129 61 57
Mitch Keller R 22 22 22 111.3 86 40 15 114 59 55
Nick Kingham R 26 21 20 111.7 77 31 14 122 60 56
Wade LeBlanc L 33 36 10 92.3 74 27 13 94 47 44
Chad Kuhl R 25 29 29 147.3 124 55 23 154 82 77
George Kontos R 33 60 0 60.7 54 18 7 57 27 25
A.J. Schugel R 29 57 0 66.3 56 25 7 66 31 29
Jack Leathersich L 27 45 0 44.3 64 33 5 34 20 19
Edgar Santana R 26 60 0 75.3 64 24 9 77 37 35
Daniel Hudson R 31 66 0 59.0 60 26 6 56 29 27
Dovydas Neverauskas R 25 63 0 71.0 59 33 6 71 35 33
Joaquin Benoit R 40 46 0 43.3 38 18 5 42 21 20
Brandon Waddell L 24 21 20 95.0 74 48 12 100 56 52
Brandon Cumpton R 29 21 10 69.7 45 32 7 77 40 37
Sean Keselica L 25 40 3 66.3 56 42 5 65 35 33
Clay Holmes R 25 25 24 107.7 80 63 12 113 64 60
Casey Sadler R 27 24 8 69.0 49 17 12 78 42 39
Tate Scioneaux R 25 44 0 75.0 57 20 12 81 42 39
Johnny Barbato R 25 49 2 64.3 61 32 10 66 37 35
Montana DuRapau R 26 43 1 51.3 50 20 10 53 30 28
Austin Coley R 25 29 23 134.0 92 35 26 155 83 78
Alex McRae R 25 26 25 136.3 72 42 20 164 86 80
Nik Turley L 28 28 15 89.0 93 48 16 89 57 53
Dan Runzler L 33 40 0 37.0 31 28 3 37 22 21
Antonio Bastardo L 32 47 0 42.3 42 25 7 41 26 24
Luis Heredia R 23 40 0 52.0 37 39 4 53 31 29
Dario Agrazal R 23 20 19 102.0 54 18 20 126 66 62
Luis Escobar R 22 24 23 110.7 105 76 17 111 72 67
Yeudy Garcia R 24 27 24 116.7 97 69 18 123 75 70
Angel L. Sanchez R 28 53 0 64.0 57 26 12 68 40 37
Josh Lindblom R 31 29 20 128.0 104 46 27 145 86 80
Taylor Hearn L 23 20 17 75.7 78 49 16 79 54 50
Tyler Eppler R 25 26 22 131.3 79 36 28 159 90 84
Brett McKinney R 27 42 1 58.0 48 30 14 67 44 41

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Gerrit Cole 189.3 802 22.3% 6.1% .302 3.66 3.51 86 82
Jameson Taillon 145.7 623 21.0% 6.3% .307 3.65 3.49 86 82
Ivan Nova 149.7 639 17.2% 4.9% .297 4.03 4.10 95 96
Tyler Glasnow 149.7 663 27.3% 12.5% .304 4.09 4.00 96 94
Felipe Rivero 73.3 303 29.4% 8.3% .296 2.82 2.80 66 66
Steven Brault 136.7 609 18.2% 9.5% .300 4.48 4.48 105 105
Trevor Williams 133.7 589 16.8% 7.5% .301 4.51 4.43 106 104
Tanner Anderson 117.0 516 14.0% 7.0% .301 4.38 4.34 103 101
Mitch Keller 111.3 488 17.6% 8.2% .290 4.45 4.60 104 108
Nick Kingham 111.7 488 15.8% 6.4% .300 4.51 4.38 106 102
Wade LeBlanc 92.3 398 18.6% 6.8% .288 4.29 4.33 101 101
Chad Kuhl 147.3 651 19.1% 8.4% .296 4.70 4.71 110 110
George Kontos 60.7 257 21.0% 7.0% .282 3.71 3.67 87 86
A.J. Schugel 66.3 290 19.3% 8.6% .297 3.93 4.02 92 94
Jack Leathersich 44.3 200 32.0% 16.5% .302 3.86 4.04 91 94
Edgar Santana 75.3 327 19.6% 7.3% .301 4.18 4.09 98 96
Daniel Hudson 59.0 259 23.2% 10.0% .305 4.12 3.82 97 89
Dovydas Neverauskas 71.0 317 18.6% 10.4% .301 4.18 4.07 98 95
Joaquin Benoit 43.3 190 20.0% 9.5% .289 4.15 4.15 97 97
Brandon Waddell 95.0 433 17.1% 11.1% .299 4.93 4.92 116 115
Brandon Cumpton 69.7 318 14.1% 10.1% .304 4.78 4.68 112 109
Sean Keselica 66.3 306 18.3% 13.7% .302 4.48 4.48 105 105
Clay Holmes 107.7 499 16.0% 12.6% .299 5.02 5.04 118 118
Casey Sadler 69.0 302 16.2% 5.6% .299 5.09 4.82 119 113
Tate Scioneaux 75.0 326 17.5% 6.1% .296 4.68 4.68 110 109
Johnny Barbato 64.3 291 21.0% 11.0% .305 4.90 4.92 115 115
Montana DuRapau 51.3 227 22.0% 8.8% .299 4.91 5.03 115 118
Austin Coley 134.0 592 15.5% 5.9% .299 5.24 5.27 123 123
Alex McRae 136.3 615 11.7% 6.8% .305 5.28 5.11 124 120
Nik Turley 89.0 404 23.0% 11.9% .302 5.36 5.16 126 121
Dan Runzler 37.0 176 17.6% 15.9% .304 5.11 4.73 120 111
Antonio Bastardo 42.3 193 21.8% 13.0% .291 5.10 5.10 120 119
Luis Heredia 52.0 248 14.9% 15.7% .297 5.02 5.10 118 119
Dario Agrazal 102.0 450 12.0% 4.0% .301 5.47 5.35 128 125
Luis Escobar 110.7 519 20.2% 14.6% .299 5.45 5.51 128 129
Yeudy Garcia 116.7 542 17.9% 12.7% .300 5.40 5.48 127 128
Angel L. Sanchez 64.0 286 19.9% 9.1% .299 5.20 5.17 122 121
Josh Lindblom 128.0 575 18.1% 8.0% .302 5.62 5.52 132 129
Taylor Hearn 75.7 355 22.0% 13.8% .303 5.95 5.94 140 139
Tyler Eppler 131.3 589 13.4% 6.1% .299 5.76 5.71 135 134
Brett McKinney 58.0 271 17.7% 11.1% .301 6.36 6.30 149 147

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Gerrit Cole 189.3 8.51 2.33 0.95 110 3.4 Kevin Brown
Jameson Taillon 145.7 8.09 2.41 0.86 110 2.7 Charles Nagy
Ivan Nova 149.7 6.61 1.86 1.14 101 2.2 Ron Reed
Tyler Glasnow 149.7 10.88 4.99 1.02 98 1.9 Daniel Cabrera
Felipe Rivero 73.3 10.93 3.07 0.61 143 1.8 Al Hrabosky
Steven Brault 136.7 7.31 3.82 1.05 91 1.2 Terry Mulholland
Trevor Williams 133.7 6.66 2.96 1.14 89 1.0 Cha-Seung Baek
Tanner Anderson 117.0 5.54 2.77 0.92 92 1.0 Benny Frey
Mitch Keller 111.3 6.95 3.23 1.21 91 1.0 Steve Falteisek
Nick Kingham 111.7 6.20 2.50 1.13 89 0.9 Ron Reed
Wade LeBlanc 92.3 7.22 2.63 1.27 95 0.9 John Halama
Chad Kuhl 147.3 7.58 3.36 1.41 86 0.8 Doug Jones
George Kontos 60.7 8.01 2.67 1.04 109 0.7 Doug Corbett
A.J. Schugel 66.3 7.60 3.39 0.95 102 0.5 Eddie Watt
Jack Leathersich 44.3 13.00 6.70 1.02 104 0.4 Rod Scurry
Edgar Santana 75.3 7.65 2.87 1.08 96 0.4 Franquelis Osoria
Daniel Hudson 59.0 9.15 3.97 0.92 98 0.4 Jim Dougherty
Dovydas Neverauskas 71.0 7.48 4.18 0.76 96 0.4 Joe Hudson
Joaquin Benoit 43.3 7.90 3.74 1.04 97 0.3 Don McMahon
Brandon Waddell 95.0 7.01 4.55 1.14 82 0.3 Derek Thompson
Brandon Cumpton 69.7 5.81 4.13 0.90 84 0.3 Claude Willoughby
Sean Keselica 66.3 7.60 5.70 0.68 90 0.3 Philip Barzilla
Clay Holmes 107.7 6.69 5.26 1.00 80 0.2 Rick Berg
Casey Sadler 69.0 6.39 2.22 1.57 79 -0.1 Jason Simontacchi
Tate Scioneaux 75.0 6.84 2.40 1.44 86 -0.1 Randy Graham
Johnny Barbato 64.3 8.54 4.48 1.40 82 -0.1 David Aardsma
Montana DuRapau 51.3 8.77 3.51 1.75 82 -0.2 Nate Field
Austin Coley 134.0 6.18 2.35 1.75 77 -0.2 Brian Meadows
Alex McRae 136.3 4.75 2.77 1.32 76 -0.2 Nate Cornejo
Nik Turley 89.0 9.40 4.85 1.62 76 -0.2 Les Walrond
Dan Runzler 37.0 7.54 6.81 0.73 79 -0.2 Marshall Bridges
Antonio Bastardo 42.3 8.94 5.32 1.49 79 -0.3 Pedro Borbon
Luis Heredia 52.0 6.40 6.75 0.69 80 -0.3 Dave Cole
Dario Agrazal 102.0 4.76 1.59 1.76 74 -0.4 John Gardner
Luis Escobar 110.7 8.54 6.18 1.38 74 -0.4 Phil Devey
Yeudy Garcia 116.7 7.48 5.32 1.39 75 -0.4 Rick Berg
Angel L. Sanchez 64.0 8.02 3.66 1.69 77 -0.5 Steve Mintz
Josh Lindblom 128.0 7.31 3.23 1.90 73 -0.7 Nerio Rodriguez
Taylor Hearn 75.7 9.27 5.83 1.90 68 -0.7 Mike Gonzalez
Tyler Eppler 131.3 5.42 2.47 1.92 70 -1.0 Ryan Cox
Brett McKinney 58.0 7.45 4.66 2.17 63 -1.2 Mumba Rivera

***

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 – Pittsburgh Pirates 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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Lorcan
Member
Member
Lorcan

Seems like a harsh wRC+ projection for Marte, following a suspension shortened down year. Is the projection system just generally more pessimistic on low BB% guys?

dl80
Member
dl80

It depends on how you view his true talent BABIP. The .380 from 2016 seems completely unsustainable. He’s projected to have a pretty similar year to 2015, where he had a more realistic .337 BABIP.

It seems like ZIPS is perhaps dinging him a bit too much on a power dropoff, perhaps because of the presumed end to PEDs usage or just because the doubles power was really sapped last year after he came back.