2019 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for more than half a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Atlanta Braves.

Batters
Sure, you can buy an All-Star, but making one of your own is so much more satisfying. After years of rebuilding, in which Freddie Freeman stood mostly alone in the offense, the Braves added Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña, both legitimate stars who will be with the Braves well into the 2020s. Josh Donaldson was just about the perfect addition to the team — after all, you can pay almost anything for a one-year contract without singeing your fingers too badly. Sure, there’s risk with the former AL MVP given his age and recent injury history, but he won’t block Austin Riley and the Braves have the perfect Plan B in Johan Camargo, who may very well be a super-sub type for the team in 2019. Absent Atlanta giving a whole lot of money to Bryce Harper to possibly become the NL favorite, I’d personally prefer they just plunk Camargo out in left and not worry about Adam Duvall, whose limited window as a legitimate starter has likely closed. No doubt some will bemoan the loss of Nick Markakis, but the team was right to ride his first half heroics and move on after his .701 OPS second-half.

Pitchers
Let’s get the very minor bad news out of the way: ZiPS doesn’t see any of the Braves’ starting pitchers as likely to match up against a deGrom or a Kershaw or a Scherzer, not even Foltynewicz. But that’s very minor bad news, because even if no individual pitcher has better than a coin flip’s chance of being a star in 2019, the Braves’ enviable young depth can help them compensate for their lack of a true staff ace. The Braves are playing Plinko on The Price is Right, only Drew Carey gave them a hundred of those little disks. ZiPS actually projects the 11th-to-15th best starting pitchers in the organization (Max Fried, Joey Wentz, Wes Parsons, Ian Anderson, and Kyle Muller) to not be that far from league average, which is a filthy, disgusting horde of pitching to have if the projections prove true. In fact, The Braves may find themselves in the odd position of having too much pitching to sort through in Triple-A. A few will end up in the bullpen, of course, but Atlanta can go into the next few trade deadlines and offseasons with enough interesting pieces to make a competitive offer for any player another team is willing to trade.

Bench and Prospects
The offensive prospects aren’t quite as strong, but Riley looks like he’ll be a legit major leaguer in the not-too-distant future and Christian Pache has tremendous upside; the Braves would surely be happy if he matched the on-field contributions of his number one comp. The only real concern I have here is with the dearth of the kind of position player reinforcements that most teams try to stock at Triple-A, but there’s still plenty of time for Atlanta to get those minor-league signings in. Veterans like Lane Adams, Preston Tucker, or Xavier Avery, while unlikely to move the needle too far, are still handy to have around in a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency” situation. I’d also like to see another arm or two in the bullpen; players like Sam Freeman are hardly bad pitchers, but the Braves are a legitimate contender, and I think they’re only a couple of lucky breaks with the pitching staff away from being in the conversation for the best team in the National League.

One pedantic note for 2019: for the WAR graphic, I’m using FanGraphs’ depth chart playing time, not the playing time ZiPS spits out, so there will be occasional differences in WAR totals.

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site.

Batters – Counting Stats
Player B Age PO G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Freddie Freeman L 29 1B 149 552 89 164 39 3 26 90 78 127 8 3
Ozzie Albies B 22 2B 156 634 101 172 36 7 22 78 41 118 17 3
Ronald Acuña R 21 LF 140 550 88 152 29 5 30 81 54 165 25 11
Josh Donaldson R 33 3B 107 397 69 106 22 2 23 68 65 100 4 1
Ender Inciarte L 28 CF 153 609 87 173 28 6 9 54 45 86 23 12
Johan Camargo R 25 3B 143 491 62 128 30 3 16 68 42 117 1 1
Dansby Swanson R 25 SS 140 508 61 123 27 5 12 62 52 130 9 3
Austin Riley R 22 3B 123 472 61 116 23 3 19 64 36 155 1 1
Nick Markakis L 35 RF 144 553 64 153 33 1 9 72 60 85 1 1
Tyler Flowers R 33 C 87 273 28 64 12 0 8 35 28 84 0 0
Lucas Duda L 33 1B 103 339 39 77 18 0 18 56 38 112 1 0
Brian McCann L 35 C 89 298 37 69 9 1 11 45 32 63 0 1
Adam Duvall R 30 LF 139 473 60 110 27 2 20 82 34 134 4 3
Rio Ruiz L 25 3B 146 513 61 121 26 3 12 59 47 132 2 2
Cristian Pache R 20 CF 128 505 45 125 17 6 9 38 24 140 9 10
Charlie Culberson R 30 LF 111 330 38 79 16 2 8 36 19 84 4 3
Danny Santana B 28 CF 103 325 41 77 18 4 9 38 14 89 12 6
Rene Rivera R 35 C 61 173 14 38 7 0 6 24 10 58 0 0
Lane Adams R 29 CF 110 314 37 66 13 2 8 33 26 117 18 4
Ryan Flaherty L 32 3B 75 179 20 38 7 1 3 16 19 50 3 1
Pedro Florimon B 32 SS 100 267 30 55 11 3 5 25 22 100 5 3
Jonathan Morales R 24 C 93 321 30 70 13 1 3 26 16 60 1 3
Ryan LaMarre R 30 CF 89 266 26 60 12 1 4 23 17 88 6 3
Raffy Lopez L 31 C 83 265 30 57 11 1 8 35 24 93 1 0
Alex Jackson R 23 C 101 361 41 73 19 2 12 42 27 136 0 0
Tyler Marlette R 26 C 111 406 45 88 19 2 11 44 31 122 3 2
Preston Tucker L 28 LF 121 364 44 85 19 2 13 48 30 89 1 1
Phil Gosselin R 30 2B 112 303 34 70 15 2 4 26 22 71 1 2
Sean Kazmar R 34 SS 93 333 31 79 15 2 4 28 11 46 2 2
Travis Demeritte R 24 LF 125 451 55 90 20 5 16 51 47 183 5 4
Xavier Avery L 29 RF 95 309 37 64 13 2 8 29 36 135 10 5
Luis Marte R 25 SS 114 425 37 97 16 2 6 33 8 92 9 4
Carlos Franco R 27 1B 122 439 49 91 18 1 15 53 42 176 1 2
Ray-Patrick Didder R 24 SS 125 432 47 82 11 6 5 32 37 161 19 9

Batters – Rate Stats
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Freddie Freeman .297 .389 .520 142 .223 .346 7.8 4 4.9 Will Clark
Ozzie Albies .271 .319 .454 104 .183 .304 5.6 9 4.3 Zoilo Versalles
Ronald Acuña .276 .344 .511 126 .235 .344 6.6 5 4.0 Frank Robinson
Josh Donaldson .267 .373 .506 133 .239 .303 7.0 2 3.9 Chipper Jones
Ender Inciarte .284 .335 .394 95 .110 .319 5.0 9 3.0 Del Unser
Johan Camargo .261 .322 .432 100 .171 .313 5.1 2 2.2 Kevin Kouzmanoff
Dansby Swanson .242 .313 .386 87 .144 .303 4.4 5 1.8 Glenn Hubbard
Austin Riley .246 .304 .428 94 .182 .326 4.6 2 1.7 Brook Jacoby
Nick Markakis .277 .348 .389 98 .112 .314 5.0 -2 1.0 Keith Hernandez
Tyler Flowers .234 .328 .366 87 .132 .309 4.2 -1 1.0 Tom Wilson
Lucas Duda .227 .315 .440 100 .212 .282 4.9 0 0.8 Graham Koonce
Brian McCann .232 .318 .379 86 .148 .259 4.2 -3 0.7 Dave Valle
Adam Duvall .233 .289 .425 88 .192 .282 4.3 3 0.7 Peter Camelo
Rio Ruiz .236 .300 .368 78 .133 .295 3.9 0 0.5 Casey Webster
Cristian Pache .248 .281 .358 70 .111 .326 3.4 6 0.3 Milton Bradley
Charlie Culberson .239 .284 .373 75 .133 .298 3.7 7 0.3 Marlin McPhail
Danny Santana .237 .270 .400 77 .163 .300 3.8 0 0.2 Randy Kutcher
Rene Rivera .220 .273 .364 69 .145 .294 3.4 0 0.2 Shawn Wooten
Lane Adams .210 .275 .341 64 .131 .307 3.5 1 0.1 Mark Doran
Ryan Flaherty .212 .294 .313 63 .101 .278 3.2 2 0.0 Rabbit Warstler
Pedro Florimon .206 .270 .326 59 .120 .309 2.9 2 -0.1 Kevin Stocker
Jonathan Morales .218 .262 .293 49 .075 .260 2.5 6 -0.1 Rogelio Arias
Ryan LaMarre .226 .279 .323 62 .098 .322 3.1 2 -0.1 Charles Thomas
Raffy Lopez .215 .280 .355 69 .140 .299 3.5 -3 -0.2 Chad Moeller
Alex Jackson .202 .271 .366 69 .163 .286 3.4 -5 -0.3 Todd Pratt
Tyler Marlette .217 .275 .355 68 .138 .282 3.3 -6 -0.3 Blake Barthol
Preston Tucker .234 .295 .404 85 .170 .275 4.2 -6 -0.4 Brad Bierley
Phil Gosselin .231 .284 .333 65 .102 .289 3.2 -2 -0.4 Rodney Nye
Sean Kazmar .237 .268 .330 60 .093 .265 3.1 -2 -0.5 Neifi Perez
Travis Demeritte .200 .276 .373 72 .173 .294 3.4 0 -0.6 James Sherrill
Xavier Avery .207 .290 .340 69 .133 .337 3.4 -1 -0.6 Damon Mashore
Luis Marte .228 .245 .318 50 .089 .278 2.7 2 -0.8 Tony Rodriguez
Carlos Franco .207 .277 .355 68 .148 .306 3.3 1 -0.9 Matt Padgett
Ray-Patrick Didder .190 .277 .278 50 .088 .289 2.6 -7 -1.4 Jose Castro

Pitchers – Counting Stats
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO
Kevin Gausman R 28 11 9 3.94 30 30 173.7 171 76 22 50 153
Mike Foltynewicz R 27 12 10 3.93 30 30 167.3 153 73 21 63 172
Sean Newcomb L 26 11 9 4.28 30 29 153.7 137 73 19 73 150
Touki Toussaint R 23 10 9 4.17 30 29 153.3 142 71 15 83 156
Mike Soroka R 21 7 5 3.56 19 19 101.0 100 40 9 27 83
Bryse Wilson R 21 8 7 4.16 28 25 127.7 127 59 15 49 119
Julio Teheran R 28 9 9 4.54 30 30 164.7 152 83 27 70 143
Kyle Wright R 23 9 9 4.39 32 25 137.3 140 67 14 65 115
Luiz Gohara L 22 6 5 4.28 26 20 103.0 100 49 13 40 100
Kolby Allard L 21 7 7 4.37 25 23 125.7 135 61 14 48 96
Brad Brach R 33 4 3 3.41 63 0 63.3 54 24 5 26 65
Dan Winkler R 29 2 1 3.09 64 0 55.3 48 19 4 19 61
A.J. Minter L 25 4 2 3.30 61 0 57.3 50 21 5 22 65
Max Fried L 25 7 7 4.37 29 22 111.3 105 54 12 63 111
Joey Wentz L 21 5 4 4.19 21 21 86.0 83 40 6 48 74
Anibal Sanchez R 35 6 7 4.66 25 22 119.7 119 62 21 40 117
Wes Parsons R 26 6 6 4.47 25 18 106.7 111 53 13 42 84
Luke Jackson R 27 3 2 3.62 49 2 64.7 57 26 4 35 69
Ian Anderson R 21 5 5 4.61 21 21 105.3 105 54 14 53 96
Darren O’Day R 36 2 1 3.16 40 0 37.0 29 13 4 13 45
Corbin Clouse L 24 5 4 3.84 46 2 61.0 53 26 4 37 67
Arodys Vizcaino R 28 3 2 3.50 47 0 43.7 37 17 4 19 47
Thomas Burrows L 24 5 4 3.88 46 0 65.0 55 28 3 47 70
Brandon McCarthy R 35 4 5 4.54 16 14 75.3 84 38 12 21 56
Miguel Socolovich R 32 5 4 3.98 40 2 54.3 54 24 6 16 47
Shane Carle R 27 3 3 4.06 57 0 64.3 65 29 6 25 46
Sam Freeman L 32 4 3 4.10 59 0 52.7 46 24 4 35 56
Jesse Biddle L 27 4 3 4.19 58 0 62.3 58 29 7 31 62
Jason Hursh R 27 4 4 4.27 52 1 65.3 65 31 4 37 50
Grant Dayton L 31 2 2 3.82 34 0 35.3 31 15 5 13 41
Chad Bell L 30 4 5 4.94 32 9 82.0 88 45 12 35 69
Fernando Salas R 34 4 4 4.35 53 0 51.7 53 25 8 16 47
Chad Sobotka R 25 4 4 4.31 54 0 62.7 54 30 6 44 70
Peter Moylan R 40 1 1 4.00 47 0 36.0 34 16 3 16 31
Kyle Muller L 21 6 7 5.10 23 23 113.0 122 64 16 58 89
Chase Whitley R 30 2 2 4.71 25 3 42.0 44 22 7 13 33
Josh Ravin R 31 2 2 4.18 29 0 32.3 26 15 4 19 42
Aaron Blair R 27 7 9 5.18 25 25 125.0 129 72 18 65 104
Jonny Venters L 34 3 3 4.35 45 0 31.0 29 15 2 21 26
Jose Al. Ramirez R 29 3 3 4.72 53 0 53.3 49 28 7 32 53
David Peterson R 29 2 2 4.70 35 0 46.0 51 24 5 17 26
Michael Mader L 25 5 7 5.36 31 16 95.7 104 57 13 60 70
Jacob Webb R 25 3 4 4.97 50 0 54.3 50 30 8 36 61
Patrick Weigel R 24 2 3 5.57 13 12 51.7 57 32 9 28 38
Rex Brothers L 31 4 5 5.23 48 0 41.3 35 24 3 44 50
Huascar Ynoa R 21 8 11 5.53 23 23 99.3 103 61 13 75 89
Josh Graham R 25 5 7 5.68 46 0 58.7 60 37 9 44 54

Pitchers – Rate Stats
Player TBF K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA+ ERA- FIP WAR No. 1 Comp
Kevin Gausman 734 7.93 2.59 1.14 .296 109 92 3.98 2.9 Jake Westbrook
Mike Foltynewicz 715 9.25 3.39 1.13 .293 106 94 4.00 2.5 Ramon Martinez
Sean Newcomb 661 8.79 4.28 1.11 .282 101 99 4.25 2.0 Vinegar Bend Mizell
Touki Toussaint 683 9.16 4.87 0.88 .302 100 100 4.17 2.0 Dick Ruthven
Mike Soroka 427 7.40 2.41 0.80 .299 117 86 3.59 1.9 Early Wynn
Bryse Wilson 557 8.39 3.45 1.06 .305 100 100 4.13 1.6 Mike LaCoss
Julio Teheran 712 7.82 3.83 1.48 .269 92 109 4.97 1.4 Al Nipper
Kyle Wright 614 7.54 4.26 0.92 .305 95 105 4.37 1.4 Charlie Haeger
Luiz Gohara 447 8.74 3.50 1.14 .301 100 100 4.16 1.3 Tom McGraw
Kolby Allard 557 6.88 3.44 1.00 .309 95 105 4.38 1.3 Jeff Mutis
Brad Brach 266 9.24 3.69 0.71 .288 126 79 3.36 1.2 Jim Hughes
Dan Winkler 233 9.92 3.09 0.65 .303 135 74 3.13 1.1 Heathcliff Slocumb
A.J. Minter 242 10.20 3.45 0.78 .304 131 77 3.27 1.1 Shane Rawley
Max Fried 501 8.97 5.09 0.97 .302 95 105 4.44 1.1 Ken Chase
Joey Wentz 388 7.74 5.02 0.63 .302 100 100 4.18 1.1 Jerry Reuss
Anibal Sanchez 513 8.80 3.01 1.58 .295 92 108 4.55 1.0 Rick Helling
Wes Parsons 471 7.09 3.54 1.10 .301 93 107 4.51 1.0 Bill Swift
Luke Jackson 286 9.60 4.87 0.56 .305 119 84 3.63 1.0 Clay Bryant
Ian Anderson 474 8.20 4.53 1.20 .299 90 111 4.76 0.8 Matt Clement
Darren O’Day 154 10.95 3.16 0.97 .281 136 73 3.42 0.8 Curt Leskanic
Corbin Clouse 272 9.89 5.46 0.59 .304 109 92 3.77 0.7 Grant Jackson
Arodys Vizcaino 185 9.69 3.92 0.82 .289 119 84 3.56 0.7 John Riedling
Thomas Burrows 297 9.69 6.51 0.42 .301 108 93 3.95 0.6 Luke Walker
Brandon McCarthy 327 6.69 2.51 1.43 .305 92 109 4.65 0.6 Flint Rhem
Miguel Socolovich 231 7.79 2.65 0.99 .300 105 95 3.85 0.5 Bobby Tiefenauer
Shane Carle 281 6.44 3.50 0.84 .294 103 97 4.24 0.5 Stan Thomas
Sam Freeman 239 9.57 5.98 0.68 .298 105 95 4.18 0.5 Marshall Bridges
Jesse Biddle 275 8.95 4.48 1.01 .297 100 100 4.26 0.4 Marcelino Lopez
Jason Hursh 297 6.89 5.10 0.55 .302 98 102 4.30 0.4 Hal Reniff
Grant Dayton 149 10.44 3.31 1.27 .292 109 92 3.86 0.4 Jim Poole
Chad Bell 367 7.57 3.84 1.32 .308 87 115 4.80 0.3 Trever Miller
Fernando Salas 221 8.19 2.79 1.39 .302 99 101 4.33 0.3 A.J. Sager
Chad Sobotka 285 10.05 6.32 0.86 .296 97 103 4.41 0.3 Clay Bryant
Peter Moylan 157 7.75 4.00 0.75 .295 104 96 4.01 0.3 Ted Abernathy
Kyle Muller 518 7.09 4.62 1.27 .305 82 122 5.14 0.3 Mike Wodnicki
Chase Whitley 182 7.07 2.79 1.50 .291 91 110 4.82 0.2 Nate Snell
Josh Ravin 142 11.69 5.29 1.11 .293 100 100 4.11 0.2 Dwayne Henry
Aaron Blair 567 7.49 4.68 1.30 .298 80 124 5.09 0.2 Elvin Nina
Jonny Venters 142 7.55 6.10 0.58 .293 96 104 4.44 0.1 Marshall Bridges
Jose Al. Ramirez 242 8.94 5.40 1.18 .290 91 110 4.95 0.1 Jake Robbins
David Peterson 204 5.09 3.33 0.98 .299 89 113 4.67 0.0 Jim Todd
Michael Mader 450 6.59 5.64 1.22 .302 78 129 5.52 -0.1 Chris Short
Jacob Webb 249 10.10 5.96 1.33 .298 84 119 4.97 -0.1 Marc Pisciotta
Patrick Weigel 239 6.62 4.88 1.57 .298 75 134 5.74 -0.1 Jake Joseph
Rex Brothers 202 10.89 9.58 0.65 .311 80 125 5.01 -0.2 Arnold Earley
Huascar Ynoa 476 8.06 6.80 1.18 .308 75 133 5.54 -0.2 Randy Nosek
Josh Graham 280 8.28 6.75 1.38 .302 73 136 5.76 -0.6 Darin Moore

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 2019. 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 I have made a mistake. This is very possible, as a lot of minor-league signings go generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS’ projections are based on the American League having a 4.29 ERA and the National League having a 4.15 ERA.

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

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

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Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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34 Comments on "2019 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves"

newest oldest most voted
Shauncore
Member
Shauncore

Love to get excited to see what hall of famer player comp ZiPS comes up with for a young star who you expect to dominate the league for years…and then it’s Zoilo Versalles

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

Considering Dan’s favorable projection for Albies, that does seem a bit “short”.

Acuna got Frank Robinson. No pressure, kid.

BobbyJohn69
Member
Member
BobbyJohn69

Acuna as Frank Robinson.

Wow. Just, wow.