It wouldn’t be accurate to say that Chavez Young came out of nowhere to become one of the hottest prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. But he is following an atypical path. The 21-year-old outfielder grew up in the Bahamas before moving stateside as a teen, and going on to be selected in the 39th round of the 2016 draft out of Faith Baptist Christian Academy, in Ludowici, Georgia.
Since that time he’s become a shooting star. Playing for the Lansing Lugnuts in the Low-A Midwest League this past season, Young stroked 50 extra-base hits, stole 44 bases, and slashed a rock-solid .285/.363/.445.
How did a player with his kind of talent last until the 1,182nd pick of the draft?
“I wasn’t a person to go to All-American Games, Perfect Game, or showcases like that,” Young told me late in the 2018 season. “Growing up, we didn’t have money enough for me to get that kind of exposure. It was just, ‘If a scout sees me, a scout sees me.’ The Blue Jays scout, Mike Tidick came from something like three hours away. He heard about me (in 2014) and decided to see where I was at.”
Tidick received the tip from Gene Reynolds, who now runs Georgia Premier Academy but at the time was coaching Young at Faith Baptist Christian School in Brandon, Florida.
“Gene knew I was with the Blue Jays,” explained Tidick, who resides in Statesboro, Georgia. “He said, ‘Hey, why don’t you take a ride down here and I’ll work these guys out for you.’ I did, and was like, ‘Whoa, OK.’ This kid was running around with his hair on fire. He had tools. He was playing center field. He was a switch-hitter who could run. There was a lot to like. I followed him all that spring.”
Other teams weren’t onto the young Bahamian until much later. It wasn’t until he moved to Georgia for his senior year — he was in Florida for two years — that his name was garnering any appreciable attention. Young eventually ended up talking to “10 or 12 different scouts,” with most of those conversations coming closer to the draft.
It’s still somewhat of a mystery how he ended up lasting until the 39th round. Young had college plans, but it’s not as though he had Kyler Murray-type leverage. Regardless of where he went, inking him to a contract wasn’t going to break anyone’s bank.
“We didn’t know what to expect with him — the draft is hard to predict — but I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d have been gone by the fifth round,” Tidick told me. “He’s a good story so far, and I have no doubt that he’s going to continue to keep doing what he’s doing. His makeup and work ethic are off the charts, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder because of when he got drafted. He wants to prove something.”
The chip on the youngster’s shoulder may be sturdy, but it isn’t engrained with anger. Having spent his formative years in a country where track and field is king — Young excelled in both the 400 and the 800 meters — and baseball almost an afterthought, he’s mostly just happy to be getting an opportunity.
“I picture it as, ‘It was a blessing to be drafted,’” said Young, who according to Tidick was planning to attend Polk State College if he didn’t sign professionally. “A lot of kids in the world want to play professional baseball. I got picked up by the Blue Jays. I’m grateful to be able to play the game I love, and want to make my family proud.”
Will Benson hasn’t lacked for opportunities. Athletically gifted, he grew up in Atlanta excelling on both the hardwood and the diamond. Academically, he would have matriculated from the prestigious Westminster School to Duke University had he not signed with the Cleveland Indians after being taken 14th overall in the 2016 draft.
He recognizes that many others — particularly young African-Americans — don’t have the same opportunities he’s had. That’s particularly true when it comes to his chosen sport.
“A lot of guys I knew growing up were good at baseball, but they didn’t stick with baseball,” Benson told me last summer. “They chose football instead. Going back and talking to them, one thing they’ve told me about not continuing to play baseball is that they couldn’t afford to pay for it. It costs $300 for a bat. It costs thousands of dollars to go to tournaments. There are lessons — batting lessons, pitching lessons — and people don’t have the funds to pay for all of that. Baseball is an expensive sport. It’s a sport that a lot of people in the African-American community look at like, ‘OK, I can go out and play football and all my equipment is paid for. I can get a full scholarship. Basketball is kind of the same thing. All you really need is sneakers and a basketball. It would be great to get the best athletes out there on a baseball field, but for a lot of families the economics make that almost impossible.”
Benson went from playing on almost-exclusively-African-American teams from ages 7-12 to an Atlanta public schools system “where baseball isn’t really heavy.” He had the wherewithal to get into “the high-level travel circuit at East Cobb, but you don’t really see too many black guys there.”
The same is true for professional baseball, most notably MLB. On opening day last year, African-American players made up just 8.4% of big-league rosters. In the early 1980s, that number was a little over 18%. The downturn obviously isn’t good for the game. As the 20-year-old Indians prospect put it, “People want to see the best out there, and the more people we can get into baseball, the better it’s going to be.”
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Joy In Tigertown, by Mickey Lolich (with Tom Gage), contains an interesting what-could-have-been-trade story. According to the former pitcher, his longtime team was intent on trading Jim Bunning following the 1963 season. They ultimately did, and it turned out to be a disastrous deal. Detroit swapped Bunning to the Phillies in exchange for Don Demeter and Jack Hamilton.
That less-then-dynamic duo wasn’t who the Tigers were originally targeting. Per Lolich, the Detroit front office was looking to acquire Felipe Alou from the Giants, only to have San Francisco trade him to the Milwaukee Braves instead. A few days later, Bunning went to Philadelphia for what turned out to be pennies on the dollar. Alou went on to have several stellar seasons with the Braves.
Which beings us to Felipe Alou’s autobiography, which he co-wrote with Peter Kerasotis. Chapter One of Alou: My Baseball Journey begins with the sentence: “My last name is not Alou.”
The native of Santo Domingo explained that when he began his professional career in 1956, “the Latin tradition of placing the mother’s maiden name after the family name wasn’t well known.” As a result, he received a uniform with ‘F. Alou’ on the back. The son of Jose Rojas didn’t yet know enough English to explain the error.
Ozzie Virgil became the first Dominican-born player to reach the big leagues when he debuted with the New York Giants in September 1956. Alou debuted with Giants — newly relocated to San Francisco — in June 1958.
Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, Hiroshi Gondo, and Haruo Wakimura have been elected to the Japanese Hall of Fame. Tatsunami played 22 seasons as an infielder with the Chunichi Dragons. Gondo played just five seasons — he was a 30-game winner in two of them — also with Chunichi. He later managed the Yokohama BayStars. Wakimura is a former chairman of the Japan High School Baseball Federation.
Craig Breslow has been hired by the Chicago Cubs as their new Director of Strategic Initiatives for Baseball Operations. The 38-year-old veteran of 12 MLB seasons will reportedly, “help to evaluate and implement data-based processes… (and) support the organization’s pitching infrastructure.”
The Tampa Bay Rays announced several promotions within their baseball operations department on Friday. Notable among them were Cole Figueroa to Assistant Director, Hitting Development, and Jeremy Sowers to Coordinator, Major League Operations. On the coaching front, Brady North will join the staff of the club’s Gulf Coast League affiliate. The 27-year-old Cumberland University graduate had been the director of hitting and mental performance at Top Level Athletes, in Orlando.
Jason Bourgeois is joining the coaching ranks. An outfielder for six teams from 2008-20015, the 37-year-old Bourgeois will be on the coaching staff of the Dodgers’ Midwest League affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons.
Wayne Randazzo, who had been serving as a pregame and postgame host, will join Howie Rose in the New York Mets radio booth this coming season. Randazzo replaces Josh Lewin, who will now be a part of the San Diego Padres broadcast team.
Anders Jorstad been hired by the Lynchburg Hillcats as a Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant. A 2018 graduate of Hofstra University, Jorstad will join Max Gun, a 2015 graduate of Michigan State University, in the radio booth. The Hillcats are the High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
Eli Grba died earlier this week at age 84. The former big-leaguer had an unremarkable career on the mound — 28 wins over parts of five seasons — but he does hold a unique set of distinctions. In December 1960, Grba became the first player ever chosen in an expansion draft. By dint of that occurrence, he also became the first player in Los Angeles Angels franchise history. A third first followed, four months later. In April 1960, the then-26-year-old right-hander starter and won the first game in Angels history.
While Grba is otherwise a footnote, two other players the Angels acquired in the 1960 expansion draft went on to have standout careers.
Jim Fregosi, who was just 18 years old when he was selected from the Red Sox organization, went on to play 18 big-league seasons and made six All-Star teams as a shortstop. Dean Chance, selected from the Orioles organization as a 19-year-old, went on to pitch 11 seasons, make two All-Star teams, and win a Cy Young award.
Steve Pearce wasn’t a free agent for long this offseason. Only weeks removed from being named World Series MVP, the 35-year-old journeyman re-upped with the Red Sox on November 16. Others haven’t been so fortunate. For the second winter in a row, the free agency process has moved along like molasses. Pearce is sympathetic to what many members of his baseball brethren are going through.
“It’s not fun when the market moves this slow,” said Pearce, who has signed multiple free agent contracts over the years. “I know that a lot of players are frustrated right now. I’m glad I had the opportunity to sign fast so I don’t have to go through what they’re going through. You get to this point and think that it’s going to be an easy process, but it’s not.”
LINKS YOU’LL LIKE
Former Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster — and all-around good guy — Steve Hyder is in serious need of a life-saving kidney transplant. Kevin McNamara has the story at The Providence Journal.
Matt Shephard used to call games in his backyard; now he’s the TV voice of the Tigers. Anthony Fenech gave us the particulars at The Detroit Free Press.
Over at ESPN Seattle, Shannon Drayer wrote about how additions to the minor league staff continues the Mariners’ technology focus.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
Jackie Robinson had 1,518 hits, a 132 adjusted OPS, and was worth 57.2 WAR. He was an All-Star six times. Larry Doby had 1,515 hits, a 136 adjusted OPS, and was worth 51.1 WAR. He was an All-Star seven times.
Josh Gibson, who some feel is the greatest catcher in baseball history, died on this date in 1947. The Negro League legend was just 35 years old. Fifty years later, on January 20, 1997, Curt Flood died at age 59. Every free agent who signs a contract owes a debt of gratitude to the seven-time Gold Glove outfielder.
Tony Lazzeri had 7,315 plate appearances and 1,840 hits. Dick Allen had 7,315 plate appearances and 1,848 hits. Lazzeri had 178 home runs and a 121 adjusted OPS. Allen had 351 home runs and a 156 adjusted OPS. Lazzeri is in the Hall of Fame. Allen isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
Andruw Jones had 3,690 total bases, a 111 adjusted OPS, 10 Gold Gloves, and was worth 66.9 WAR. He received 7.3% support in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Dwight Evans had 4,230 total bases, a 127 adjusted OPS, eight Gold Gloves, and was worth 65.1 WAR. He topped out at 10.4% before falling off the ballot after his third year.
Scott Rolen had 2,077 hits, 316 home runs, seven All-Star berths, and was worth 69.9 WAR. Graig Nettles had 2,225 hits, 390 home runs, six All-Star berths, and was worth 65.7 WAR. Nettles topped out at 8.3% in his four years on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Reggie Jackson had 563 home runs and a 139 adjusted OPS. David Ortiz had 541 home runs and a 141 adjusted OPS. Jackson had 18 home runs and an .885 OPS in the postseason. Ortiz had 17 home runs and a .947 OPS in the postseason.
Kirby Puckett played 1,783 games and had a 124 adjusted OPS. Bill Madlock played 1,806 games and had a 123 adjusted OPS. Puckett played 24 post-season games and batted .309 with an .897 OPS. Madlock played 17 post-season games and batted .308 with an .898 OPS.
A total of 247 players made their big-league debuts in 2018. Per our friends at B-Ref, there have now been 19,420 players in MLB history.
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo’s final winter league stats, the retirement of Ricky Romero, the upside of a slow market, and the anticlimax of a big free-agent signing, then (11:25) bring on Baseball Prospectus director of editorial content Patrick Dubuque to talk about why we know how much players make, how knowing players’ financial information but not owners’ affects the way we talk about baseball, whether opportunity cost still matters, whether casual fans will ever sympathize with players over owners, how to analyze transactions without fixating on salary, talking about money vs. talking about games, finishing Baseball Prospectus 2019, how the Annual has evolved over time, why we still want the paperbound Annual in the digital age, and more.
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the Yankees signing Adam Ottavino and the Angels signing Cody Allen, super-pens vs. improvised pens, and Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Trout, then (15:19) bring on Baseball Prospectus writer Sung Min Kim to talk about how the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has increased its popularity among young people and women, why its in-game experience is so scintillating, how it differs in style and quality from MLB, following two brands of baseball in dramatically different time zones, Korean nicknames for MLB players, players who might make the leap from KBO to MLB, and more.
FanGraphs writer Craig Edwards joins the program to discuss this offseason’s chilly free agent market, what Yasmani Grandal’s deal may signal about the state of labor going forward, the decoupling of winning and profit in baseball, and what (apart from a strike) we might write about in the event of a labor stoppage.
Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @megrowler on Twitter.
Audio after the jump. (Approximate 47 min play time.)
In the last installment of this series, we explored the issues posed by the form the arbitration system takes, as well as the constraints a requirement to make an either/or decision when assessing player and team salary figures puts on arbitrators. Today we’ll take a look at the arbitrators themselves, and how they go about their work. To begin, we know that salary arbitrators are typically labor lawyers.
Salary arbitration cases are presented before a panel of three arbitrators, all of whom are among the top labor arbitrators in the country. Why labor? Because the relationship between the Players Association and the Clubs is grounded in labor law and governed by a collective bargaining agreement. When not hearing salary arbitration cases over the first three weeks of February, the panel arbitrators are presiding over arbitrations in the service industry, the building trades and in various other private and public unionized sectors.
Against that backdrop, it makes some sense that the information that helps determine the outcome of an arbitration hearing is typically more in line with “baseball card” statistics than advanced metrics. Lawyers aren’t supposed to be baseball experts, right?
Hitters are typically evaluated using batting average, home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases and plate appearances. There are some positional adjustments, but typically the added defensive value of a shortstop relative to a first baseman is not as important in arbitration hearings as it is on the free agent market. Hitters also can receive larger arbitration awards if they have unique accomplishments, such as winning an MVP award. Pitchers typically are evaluated using innings pitched and earned run average. Starting pitchers are rewarded for wins, and relievers are rewarded for saves and holds. Unique accomplishments, such as Cy Young Awards, matter for pitchers as well.
At the same time, however, it’s unfair – and inaccurate – to say that home runs and runs batted in are all that’s presented in an arbitration. As Jeff Passan relates:
The arguments throughout a case run the gamut. Arbitrators have long rewarded home runs and saves, so they are featured prominently among the players with them, like Oakland’s Khris Davis, who could seek a raise from $10.5 million into the $18 million range. At the same time, the arbitration system is not the antediluvian, abacus-using Luddite-fest it has been portrayed as. The wins above replacement metric is used extensively. So are fielding independent pitching for starters and leverage index for relievers. Statcast data is not allowed in cases, mainly because the league has a far greater plethora of it than the union; and in 2016, when the CBA was signed, the accuracy of spin-rate and launch-angle metrics so vital to modern baseball was not tested out over a large enough sample to warrant their inclusion.
So advanced metrics are making their way into hearing rooms, but are they swaying case outcomes? It doesn’t seem so. MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration model, which is based on those “baseball card” numbers, remains remarkably accurate – suggesting that advanced metrics, to the extent they’re used, aren’t yet carrying as much weight as they perhaps should. Read the rest of this entry »
After he signed with the Yankees, Adam Ottavino became the ninth reliever on our Top 50 Free Agent list to get a contract for next season. The Yankees taking Ottavino off the board meant there were just two relievers to go. One is Craig Kimbrel, who has been one of the better relievers in baseball over the last half-dozen seasons. The other is Cody Allen, who was one of the better relievers in baseball in 2015, solid in 2016 and 2017, and not very good last year. His poor 2018 season showing plunged him down our rankings and left him as one of the less desirable proven-reliever types available this offseason. His track record did mean something, though, and per Ken Rosenthal, he’s landed a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Angels that has the chance of being worth $11 million based on games finished.
Allen, picked in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft, moved quickly through the Cleveland system as a reliever, reaching Double-A a year after he was drafted and hitting the majors one year later. He was a good reliever in 2013 and 2014, with sub-3.00 FIPs and ERAs better than that. He took over the closer role in 2014 and had his best season the following year, striking out 35% of batters, walking 9% and giving up just two home runs all season, to go along with a 15% infield fly rate. When Cleveland acquired Andrew Miller in 2015, the club could afford to put the lefty in high leverage situations in the middle of games without worrying about the ninth because Allen was closing. He didn’t give up a run during their playoff run to the World Series and struck out 24 of the 55 batters he faced.
Allen had another solid season in 2017, though not as good as his 2015 peak due to a slight decline in strikeouts and an increase in homers. In 2018, Allen started off the first two months of the season pitching much like he had his prior two years. His strikeout rate had dipped to 25%, but his walk rate was good and he only gave up two homers on his way to a 3.54 FIP and 3.00 ERA. He wasn’t great, but he was getting the job done. From June to the end of the season, his strikeout rate was up at 29%, but his walk rate went up to 13% and his home run rate more than doubled. He had a 5.14 FIP and 5.65 ERA the last four months of the season, leading to an overall replacement-level campaign. In the playoffs, he faced nine batters and retired just three of them. Read the rest of this entry »
: Hello friends
: Welcome to Friday baseball chat
: Why are the Yankees trying to win so much? It feels like a personal attack.
: It should feel like a personal attack
: Do you remember what happened in 2018
: I don’t think the Yankees liked that very much
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 St. Louis Cardinals.
Yeah, there’s a Paul Goldschmidt on the roster now, but the thing that jumps out at me the most is just how deep the Cardinals’ bench is. You essentially have a spare league-averageish right fielder (ZiPS sees Dexter Fowler bouncing back to a degree) and an above-average spare infielder in Jedd Gyorko, so long as you don’t get the idea that he should be playing shortstop. ZiPS gives 10 two-WAR projections to St. Louis. Quite obviously, the Cardinals won’t actually have that many two-win players, simply because there aren’t enough at-bats for all of them to hit that threshold. Even among the fringe minor leaguers — like Rangel Ravelo, who ZiPS never really cared much for with the A’s or White Sox — there are a lot of players who, while not actually projected to be viable starters, wouldn’t be disastrous fill-in candidates.
As a thought exercise, imagine that St. Louis’s starting lineup comes down with some violent illness that involves projectile vomit (gross) and 180 days of bed rest. Such maladies would leave St. Louis with a lineup looking like this:
Even in this absolutely absurd scenario — with this many players injured so severely, and the Cards content to stand pat, and not make any moves to compensate — the lineup still projects to be worth 14 WAR given assumed full-season playing time. That’s more or less what Kansas City’s projected starters are pegged for if everyone’s healthy (I’m picking on the Royals simply because I just wrote them up and had them handy; I could have chosen other dreadful teams as well). Using the WAR Add ’em Up technique that you should never, ever use, the outbreak lineup would still leave the Cardinals with an 80-win team.
Here you can see the consequences of the Paul Goldschmidt trade in terms of the team’s pitching depth. Luke Weaver wasn’t a star, but he was also an extra arm at the back-end of the rotation, one that will be needed because Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright have all missed significant time recently due to injury (and with Waino, there’s a quality concern). That isn’t to say the Cardinals shouldn’t have made the Goldschmidt trade – he’s a giant short-term addition to the offense and the domino effect gives the team additional depth. It simply means that St. Louis ought to address their pitching issue over the rest of the offseason. Now, they don’t need to convince the Mets to trade them Jacob deGrom; a move of that magnitude isn’t necessary, though it would certainly be nice. But a No. 3 or 4 starter who can eat some innings would be good. J.A. Happ or a returning Lance Lynn would have been ideal for this, but Gio Gonzalez remains available. It’s weird to think about, but Mike Leake actually would be quite useful right now.
With the team apparently not spending money on Manny Machado or Bryce Harper (though I guess that still isn’t certain), they ought to be going after Dallas Keuchel. Yes, there’s a risk of over-engineering your rotation and ending up with too many starting pitchers, but has that ever truly been a problem for any team in baseball history? The Astros figured out what to do with their extra starters just last year. Serious, contending teams ought to be more open to depth of this kind and avoid getting too hung up on efficiency.
Bench and Prospects
Dagnabit, I already talked about the bench quite a bit up top, so I kind of broke the rules that I’m in no way obligated to follow, so nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, Carson!
The top of the minors has a lot of players who look like they will be useful role players, but outside of possibly Alex Reyes, who would fall out of the prospect list with just an additional out, the system’s largely missing that zing, zazz, zork, kapowza, the mazuma in the bank. Kiley and Eric only give eight players in the farm system a future value above 40 and ZiPS doesn’t offer a ton of disagreement. ZiPS does like Elehuris Montero’s power potential (so does McDongenhagen), but his defense is a worry, and based on what rudimentary minor league data is available, ZiPS is a bit concerned as well. If he is a -6 right now, it may be enough to require a move off of third by the time he’s 25, meaning he’ll need another bump in his offense to avoid becoming a tweener.
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.
|Player||BA||OBP||SLG||OPS+||ISO||BABIP||RC/27||Def||WAR||No. 1 Comp|
|Paul Goldschmidt||.270||.379||.479||130||.209||.334||6.8||4||4.4||Kevin Youkilis|
|Matt Carpenter||.252||.371||.484||129||.232||.301||6.5||-3||4.2||Eddie Mathews|
|Marcell Ozuna||.278||.330||.457||110||.178||.319||5.6||4||3.0||Rick Reichardt|
|Paul DeJong||.247||.306||.437||98||.191||.309||4.8||0||2.5||Brook Jacoby|
|Yadier Molina||.265||.310||.399||90||.134||.288||4.5||5||2.3||Paul Lo Duca|
|Harrison Bader||.242||.307||.399||89||.157||.326||4.4||8||2.2||Mark Whiten|
|Jedd Gyorko||.254||.324||.425||100||.171||.293||5.0||4||2.2||Tim Naehring|
|Tyler O’Neill||.252||.315||.498||115||.246||.320||5.8||-3||2.1||Jesse Barfield|
|Kolten Wong||.256||.336||.396||97||.140||.292||4.8||4||2.1||Rob Wilfong|
|Jose Martinez||.285||.345||.438||110||.152||.328||5.7||-2||2.0||Ollie Brown|
|Andrew Knizner||.259||.312||.362||81||.103||.297||4.0||2||1.3||Joe Azcue|
|Rangel Ravelo||.268||.334||.422||103||.154||.302||5.2||1||1.2||Mike Brown|
|Ramon Urias||.257||.327||.415||99||.158||.306||4.8||-4||1.2||Brendan Harris|
|Dexter Fowler||.238||.337||.395||97||.157||.296||4.8||-1||1.1||Michael Tucker|
|Tommy Edman||.245||.298||.337||71||.091||.296||3.7||2||1.0||Kurt Stillwell|
|Lane Thomas||.235||.293||.384||81||.149||.307||3.8||2||1.0||Xavier Paul|
|John Nogowski||.268||.334||.351||86||.083||.292||4.3||6||0.9||Mike Eylward|
|Wilfredo Tovar||.249||.292||.332||68||.083||.283||3.5||4||0.8||Alex Prieto|
|Evan Mendoza||.245||.290||.343||70||.099||.305||3.5||6||0.7||Aurelio Rodriguez|
|Yairo Munoz||.253||.304||.386||85||.133||.305||4.2||-5||0.7||Jose Castro|
|Max Schrock||.252||.301||.342||73||.089||.279||3.7||1||0.6||Jack Brohamer|
|Jose Godoy||.228||.296||.308||64||.080||.275||3.2||3||0.5||Tom Wieghaus|
|Elehuris Montero||.240||.294||.396||84||.156||.297||4.1||-6||0.5||Jeff Hamilton|
|Justin Williams||.256||.302||.389||85||.132||.304||4.2||1||0.4||Andre Ethier|
|Drew Robinson||.203||.286||.379||78||.176||.297||3.6||-1||0.4||Jon VanEvery|
|Jeremy Martinez||.218||.286||.284||55||.066||.253||2.9||4||0.4||Mike Nickeas|
|Edmundo Sosa||.235||.274||.346||66||.110||.286||3.3||2||0.3||Dean DeCillis|
|Chase Pinder||.214||.305||.300||64||.086||.284||2.9||4||0.3||David Howell|
|Joe Hudson||.195||.267||.307||55||.112||.257||2.7||4||0.3||Tom Nieto|
|Adolis Garcia||.237||.277||.404||81||.166||.288||3.9||2||0.2||Ken Ford|
|Dylan Carlson||.217||.302||.355||77||.138||.279||3.6||2||0.2||Kurt Bierek|
|Francisco Pena||.232||.268||.338||62||.106||.286||3.2||0||0.0||Mike DiFelice|
|Alex Mejia||.245||.287||.321||64||.076||.291||3.3||-2||-0.1||Ray Olmedo|
|Randy Arozarena||.231||.304||.361||79||.129||.292||3.9||-3||-0.1||Jordan Parraz|
|Stefan Trosclair||.210||.281||.340||67||.130||.291||3.2||6||-0.3||Rich Murray|
|Johan Mieses||.196||.250||.351||60||.155||.255||3.0||6||-0.6||John Lindsey|
|Conner Capel||.223||.284||.346||69||.123||.280||3.1||-5||-0.7||Karl Herren|
|Victor Roache||.174||.241||.305||46||.130||.281||2.4||4||-1.3||Nick Wilfong|
|Player||TBF||K/9||BB/9||HR/9||BABIP||ERA+||ERA-||FIP||WAR||No. 1 Comp|
|Carlos Martinez||724||8.71||3.64||0.80||.295||113||88||3.76||3.2||Bob Gibson|
|Miles Mikolas||737||6.92||1.95||0.92||.296||112||90||3.73||3.0||Frank Sullivan|
|Jack Flaherty||711||10.22||3.14||1.17||.290||111||90||3.79||2.9||Aaron Sele|
|Daniel Poncedeleon||529||8.22||4.60||0.91||.293||96||104||4.31||1.3||Kirby Higbe|
|Dakota Hudson||662||5.94||3.84||0.78||.292||93||108||4.38||1.3||George Culver|
|Andrew Miller||201||12.02||3.14||0.74||.297||149||67||2.84||1.3||Randy Myers|
|Michael Wacha||520||7.78||3.37||1.12||.299||94||107||4.21||1.2||Ed Wojna|
|Giovanny Gallegos||245||11.01||2.56||0.91||.301||137||73||3.02||1.1||Rollie Fingers|
|Mike Hauschild||497||6.97||4.05||1.05||.299||91||110||4.66||0.9||Don Schwall|
|Williams Perez||451||6.27||2.96||0.96||.299||92||109||4.30||0.9||Jim Bagby|
|Austin Gomber||583||8.23||3.74||1.22||.301||89||112||4.50||0.9||Terry Mulholland|
|Adam Wainwright||419||7.38||2.99||1.03||.310||93||107||4.08||0.9||Mel Harder|
|Alex Reyes||287||9.28||5.34||0.84||.299||98||102||4.23||0.8||Tim Birtsas|
|Jordan Hicks||345||7.93||5.68||0.36||.291||106||95||4.07||0.8||Turk Farrell|
|John Brebbia||269||10.38||2.49||1.25||.293||116||86||3.61||0.8||Rod Beck|
|Harold Arauz||557||6.89||3.13||1.35||.300||87||115||4.78||0.7||Michael Macdonald|
|John Gant||609||7.58||3.99||1.24||.295||86||116||4.72||0.7||Mike Dunne|
|Luke Gregerson||168||9.74||2.66||1.11||.292||117||86||3.54||0.5||Joe Borowski|
|Tyler Webb||251||9.20||3.22||1.23||.296||104||97||4.10||0.5||Mike Gallo|
|Bud Norris||224||10.63||3.83||1.22||.300||104||96||4.06||0.5||Kane Davis|
|Ryan Meisinger||291||8.69||3.74||1.07||.294||100||100||4.15||0.5||Keith Shepherd|
|Tommy Layne||133||8.42||3.77||0.58||.295||119||84||3.47||0.4||Luis Arroyo|
|Anthony Shew||589||6.19||2.83||1.35||.304||83||121||4.82||0.4||Nate Cornejo|
|Genesis Cabrera||564||7.36||5.30||1.10||.303||83||121||5.05||0.4||Greg Kubes|
|Ryan Helsley||394||8.38||5.17||1.14||.296||84||119||4.83||0.4||Preston Hanna|
|Chasen Shreve||235||10.67||4.67||1.33||.291||99||101||4.32||0.3||Ron Villone|
|Connor Jones||434||5.93||4.23||0.94||.303||83||120||4.79||0.3||Derek Thompson|
|Derian Gonzalez||243||6.92||5.06||0.84||.299||88||114||4.69||0.3||Foster Edwards|
|Seth Elledge||232||9.46||4.82||0.86||.298||97||103||4.07||0.3||Anthony Chavez|
|Austin Warner||543||6.41||3.95||1.19||.299||81||123||4.94||0.3||Jeff Kaiser|
|Mike Mayers||274||8.00||3.29||1.14||.304||93||107||4.26||0.2||Ehren Wassermann|
|Dominic Leone||224||9.17||3.63||1.21||.303||92||108||4.13||0.1||Miguel Saladin|
|Evan Kruczynski||435||6.29||3.42||1.29||.303||80||125||4.95||0.1||Ryan Spille|
|Brett Cecil||196||7.51||3.86||1.02||.306||93||108||4.30||0.1||Mike Venafro|
|Andrew Morales||266||8.95||5.01||1.06||.299||91||110||4.52||0.1||Marc Pisciotta|
|Edward Mujica||200||6.08||1.33||1.52||.298||91||110||4.57||0.1||Dick Hall|
|Hunter Cervenka||167||8.76||5.59||0.97||.294||87||115||4.64||0.0||Matt Whisenant|
|Chris Beck||287||6.43||5.00||1.14||.291||83||121||5.18||-0.1||Bobby Reis|
|Roel Ramirez||272||7.35||4.20||1.35||.302||81||123||5.07||-0.2||Jason Szuminski|
|Will Latcham||226||8.27||5.69||1.10||.298||81||124||4.99||-0.2||Rick Greene|
|Landon Beck||267||7.21||4.76||1.23||.298||82||123||5.06||-0.2||Barry Hertzler|
|Junior Fernandez||256||5.40||6.58||0.84||.295||74||135||5.59||-0.2||Mike Thompson|
|Jake Woodford||618||5.12||4.51||1.14||.302||75||133||5.35||-0.3||Jake Dittler|
|Casey Meisner||521||5.88||5.00||1.45||.299||69||145||5.79||-0.9||Jason Standridge|
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.
In October, we asked you what contracts you expected Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to sign. Months later, Harper and Machado are still looking for an employer, and so on Wednesday, we asked you about the contracts again. The idea was to see whether the community has lost a little faith in the agents or the market. Do you still see the same big contracts, or do you expect smaller terms? What have you made of all the recent reports?
As you all know, you are (probably) not Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Scott Boras, or Dan Lozano. This is just a fun exercise that means literally nothing in the end. But, it might not surprise you to learn that FanGraphs readers don’t see quite the same dollars anymore. After running the project again yesterday, we’ve received thousands of entries, so everything ought to be stabilized. The results are posted in the table below.