2015 ZiPS Projections – Chicago White Sox

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 Chicago White Sox. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Colorado / Los Angeles AL / Miami / Milwaukee / Oakland / Tampa Bay.

Batters
On the strength of his five wins, Jose Abreu was worth approximately $30 million in 2014. Should he regress a little but still manage the 3.5 WAR projected here by ZiPS, Abreu will have produced approximately $50 million in value over the first two years of the six-year, $68 million contract he signed in October of last year. Even if he ultimately opts in to arbitration (which he’s permitted to do — and almost certainly will do, at this rate — under the terms of his contract), the probability remains that Abreu will have provided an excellent return on investment.

Elsewhere around the field, it’s more difficult to find such optimism. As noted by Jeff Sullivan on Monday, the White Sox’ rate above average only at first base and DH according to the Steamer projections. Indeed, ZiPS paints a similar portrait — with the exception of center field Adam Eaton, perhaps, for whose 2015 season it’s decidedly more encouraging.

Pitchers
With the recent addition of Jeff Samardzija to the Sox’ rotation, the club now features three starters forecast to produce something in the vicinity of 12 wins collectively — which is to say, slightly better than the average total WAR figures produced by whole starting rotations in 2014. After that triumvirate, however, there’s a significant dearth of useful options, it appears.

The top-five relievers for the White Sox are projected to produce a 2.0 WAR as a group according to ZiPS. In a very related development, free-agent signings Zach Duke and David Robertson are projected to produce about 1.5 WAR together. Featuring below-average velocity for a reliever but also a split-finger pitch he threw over 50% of the time in 2014, Zach Putnam would appear to be the most qualified candidate for a seventh-inning role in front of Duke and Robertson.

Bench/Prospects
Ignoring for a moment the effect it might have both on his development and also his free-agent timetable, it seems as though installing Carlos Rodon into the rotation at the beginning of the season might allow the club to win an extra game or two by the end of the year. He’s the only White Sox starter (besides the top three mentioned above) projected to record better than replacement-level value. With regard to field players, ZiPS continues to see enough in the minor-league resume of outfielder Jordan Danks to project him as a useful bench player.

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

White Sox 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
Jose Abreu R 28 1B 582 83 149 28 1 33 88 3 4
Adam Eaton L 26 CF 653 83 158 28 7 5 50 26 12
Alexei Ramirez R 33 SS 641 71 163 32 2 10 62 19 6
Melky Cabrera B 30 LF 598 81 163 29 4 14 67 9 4
Adam LaRoche L 35 1B 494 61 102 17 1 25 74 2 0
Tyler Flowers R 29 C 338 35 71 13 1 13 36 1 1
Jordan Danks L 28 CF 466 53 96 15 1 14 45 9 3
Kevan Smith R 27 C 459 48 97 20 1 11 47 1 2
Conor Gillaspie L 27 3B 522 57 124 23 4 12 57 1 3
Carlos Sanchez B 23 2B 582 57 135 20 4 6 44 15 6
Tyler Saladino R 25 SS 456 49 93 15 3 9 41 14 5
Dayan Viciedo R 26 RF 570 66 134 24 3 22 71 0 1
Trayce Thompson R 24 CF 594 68 109 24 4 20 63 15 5
Matt Davidson R 24 3B 576 62 111 21 1 20 61 1 1
Leury Garcia B 24 3B 320 31 70 9 3 3 19 21 5
Avisail Garcia R 24 RF 433 50 109 13 4 13 55 9 5
Rob Brantly L 25 C 433 38 95 18 1 5 37 0 1
Micah Johnson L 24 2B 544 58 126 16 6 8 44 31 18
Rangel Ravelo R 23 1B 525 60 121 27 2 11 54 8 5
Jeff Keppinger R 35 3B 269 27 69 9 1 4 25 0 0
Andy Wilkins L 26 1B 562 68 126 27 1 24 75 2 2
Adrian Nieto B 25 C 285 28 54 11 0 6 23 2 2
Michael Taylor R 29 RF 522 56 106 23 1 12 50 7 2
Christian Marrero L 28 1B 337 36 64 14 2 9 33 5 2
Juan Diaz L 26 SS 520 51 111 21 1 9 47 4 2
Tony Campana L 29 CF 436 47 93 9 4 1 22 27 9
Tim Anderson R 22 SS 491 53 108 16 4 9 40 13 9
Dan Black B 27 1B 494 55 103 20 1 14 53 4 2
J.B. Shuck L 28 LF 512 58 118 17 4 4 41 9 5
Brennan Boesch L 30 RF 389 44 88 17 3 14 46 6 2
Matt Tuiasosopo R 29 LF 416 45 76 12 0 10 41 2 1
Courtney Hawkins R 21 LF 495 55 83 16 2 22 62 8 4
Jared Mitchell L 26 LF 484 52 77 11 3 15 43 12 7
Paul Konerko R 39 1B 318 25 68 11 0 7 34 0 0

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Jose Abreu 582 9.6% 18.6% .252 .310 .292 .371 .544 .389
Adam Eaton 653 8.9% 17.0% .099 .331 .274 .354 .373 .327
Alexei Ramirez 641 3.9% 11.2% .109 .291 .270 .303 .379 .302
Melky Cabrera 598 6.7% 12.0% .144 .318 .296 .342 .440 .342
Adam LaRoche 494 12.8% 23.9% .221 .268 .241 .336 .462 .342
Tyler Flowers 338 6.5% 33.4% .175 .317 .231 .294 .406 .310
Jordan Danks 466 9.7% 30.7% .143 .314 .232 .308 .375 .303
Kevan Smith 459 6.1% 21.8% .131 .277 .232 .290 .363 .289
Conor Gillaspie 522 7.7% 16.7% .141 .295 .261 .319 .402 .313
Carlos Sanchez 582 5.3% 17.9% .087 .301 .253 .297 .340 .281
Tyler Saladino 456 7.9% 23.0% .118 .281 .227 .294 .345 .287
Dayan Viciedo 570 5.8% 20.9% .182 .286 .254 .302 .436 .321
Trayce Thompson 594 7.9% 35.0% .172 .285 .204 .272 .376 .289
Matt Davidson 576 8.0% 33.2% .161 .293 .214 .286 .375 .293
Leury Garcia 320 4.7% 27.5% .080 .322 .235 .273 .315 .264
Avisail Garcia 433 4.6% 24.0% .148 .330 .269 .309 .417 .319
Rob Brantly 433 5.1% 18.9% .086 .280 .235 .275 .321 .264
Micah Johnson 544 5.9% 18.9% .104 .302 .253 .299 .357 .287
Rangel Ravelo 525 7.8% 17.9% .136 .296 .256 .319 .392 .313
Jeff Keppinger 269 4.8% 7.8% .092 .284 .275 .310 .367 .297
Andy Wilkins 562 6.6% 24.2% .195 .281 .242 .294 .437 .318
Adrian Nieto 285 8.4% 32.6% .113 .304 .212 .283 .325 .272
Michael Taylor 522 9.4% 23.6% .132 .282 .228 .307 .360 .300
Christian Marrero 337 11.0% 23.4% .153 .263 .218 .304 .371 .298
Juan Diaz 520 4.8% 29.4% .103 .310 .227 .266 .330 .264
Tony Campana 436 5.7% 22.5% .050 .304 .232 .280 .282 .255
Tim Anderson 491 3.7% 25.5% .111 .302 .235 .276 .346 .275
Dan Black 494 8.9% 25.5% .144 .290 .233 .302 .377 .302
J.B. Shuck 512 7.2% 9.2% .079 .272 .254 .307 .333 .284
Brennan Boesch 389 5.7% 22.6% .180 .281 .243 .288 .423 .311
Matt Tuiasosopo 416 10.8% 30.0% .115 .286 .209 .301 .324 .286
Courtney Hawkins 495 7.3% 42.4% .191 .276 .185 .251 .376 .277
Jared Mitchell 484 9.9% 43.0% .147 .304 .182 .272 .329 .269
Paul Konerko 318 6.3% 17.6% .110 .264 .234 .289 .344 .282

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Jose Abreu 582 7.6 147 -4 3.5 Willie Horton
Adam Eaton 653 5.0 100 1 2.8 Kenny Lofton
Alexei Ramirez 641 4.4 85 1 2.0 Bill Russell
Melky Cabrera 598 5.8 113 -4 1.7 Shannon Stewart
Adam LaRoche 494 5.6 116 1 1.5 Robin Ventura
Tyler Flowers 338 4.2 89 -1 1.3 Tim Glass
Jordan Danks 466 4.1 86 3 1.3 Kurt Airoso
Kevan Smith 459 3.6 78 1 1.3 Blake Barthol
Conor Gillaspie 522 4.6 96 -4 1.1 Scott Cooper
Carlos Sanchez 582 3.7 74 6 0.9 Martin Prado
Tyler Saladino 456 3.6 74 1 0.8 Raul Rodarte
Dayan Viciedo 570 4.7 99 -5 0.4 Scott Thorman
Trayce Thompson 594 3.6 75 0 0.4 Chad Hermansen
Matt Davidson 576 3.7 79 -2 0.4 Jared Sandberg
Leury Garcia 320 3.4 61 6 0.4 Mike Jirschele
Avisail Garcia 433 4.7 97 -3 0.3 David Green
Rob Brantly 433 3.1 63 1 0.2 Jorge Fabregas
Micah Johnson 544 3.8 79 -3 0.2 Herman Iribarren
Rangel Ravelo 525 4.5 94 0 0.1 Juan Tejeda
Jeff Keppinger 269 4.2 85 -3 0.1 Jim Davenport
Andy Wilkins 562 4.5 97 -2 0.0 Andy Marte
Adrian Nieto 285 3.1 66 -3 0.0 David Ross
Michael Taylor 522 3.9 82 0 0.0 Derrick White
Christian Marrero 337 3.9 84 2 0.0 Michael Tullier
Juan Diaz 520 3.1 62 0 -0.2 Greg Porter
Tony Campana 436 3.0 55 5 -0.2 David Hulse
Tim Anderson 491 3.3 69 -5 -0.4 Chris Moritz
Dan Black 494 4.0 85 0 -0.4 Paul Torres
J.B. Shuck 512 3.7 76 1 -0.5 Ken Ramos
Brennan Boesch 389 4.4 92 -9 -0.7 Mark Saccomanno
Matt Tuiasosopo 416 3.3 72 -1 -0.7 Kurt Airoso
Courtney Hawkins 495 3.1 69 3 -0.7 Keith Kimsey
Jared Mitchell 484 2.9 64 3 -0.9 Tony Beal
Paul Konerko 318 3.5 73 -3 -1.1 Todd Zeile

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Chris Sale L 26 28 28 189.7 209 44 18 161 65 61
Jeff Samardzija R 30 30 30 194.0 197 52 24 187 90 84
Jose Quintana L 26 32 32 190.0 151 54 17 193 88 82
Carlos Rodon L 22 21 21 110.7 125 69 15 98 58 54
David Robertson R 30 64 0 61.0 83 21 6 48 21 20
Zach Putnam R 27 55 0 61.0 54 26 5 56 27 25
Zach Duke L 32 61 0 53.3 59 18 6 49 24 22
Dan Jennings L 28 59 0 58.0 56 23 6 57 27 25
Nate Jones R 29 37 0 40.3 43 16 4 37 18 17
Jake Petricka R 27 68 0 72.3 54 34 6 72 35 33
Matt Lindstrom R 35 48 0 45.0 32 16 4 49 24 22
Eric Surkamp L 27 38 13 92.0 74 33 15 100 56 52
Ronald Belisario R 32 66 0 64.7 50 25 6 67 34 32
Matt Zaleski R 33 13 8 48.3 33 18 7 56 32 30
Javy Guerra R 29 49 0 56.7 44 26 6 59 32 30
Daniel Webb R 25 52 0 64.3 54 41 6 63 36 34
Michael Ynoa R 23 28 8 56.0 47 33 8 59 36 34
John Danks L 30 23 23 133.7 84 51 23 151 87 81
Joe Savery L 29 43 0 44.7 36 21 6 47 27 25
Onelki Garcia L 25 21 5 32.0 28 27 4 33 22 21
Scott Carroll R 30 24 15 94.0 50 39 13 110 62 58
Felipe Paulino R 31 8 8 37.0 31 21 8 42 28 26
Chris Beck R 24 26 26 139.3 70 49 21 167 92 86
Erik Johnson R 25 24 24 120.3 82 60 17 135 80 75
Henry Rodriguez R 28 31 0 31.3 37 39 4 27 22 21
Raul Fernandez R 25 40 0 41.3 33 27 7 45 29 27
Frankie Montas R 22 19 19 84.3 65 48 15 95 61 57
Maikel Cleto R 26 47 3 70.3 71 54 12 71 49 46
Hector Noesi R 28 30 22 138.7 94 52 27 160 96 90
Tommy Hanson R 28 18 17 89.0 71 43 19 104 66 62
Charlie Leesman L 28 21 18 86.3 66 55 16 101 66 62
Daniel McCutchen R 32 25 8 66.3 46 25 19 84 56 52

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Chris Sale 189.7 774 27.0% 5.7% .291 2.89 3.20 71 78
Jeff Samardzija 194.0 821 24.0% 6.3% .302 3.90 3.80 95 93
Jose Quintana 190.0 817 18.5% 6.6% .298 3.88 3.79 95 93
Carlos Rodon 110.7 499 25.0% 13.8% .294 4.39 4.93 107 121
David Robertson 61.0 252 32.9% 8.3% .298 2.95 2.94 72 72
Zach Putnam 61.0 265 20.4% 9.8% .287 3.69 3.92 90 96
Zach Duke 53.3 227 26.0% 7.9% .301 3.71 3.55 91 87
Dan Jennings 58.0 254 22.0% 9.1% .304 3.88 3.95 95 97
Nate Jones 40.3 174 24.7% 9.2% .300 3.79 3.69 93 90
Jake Petricka 72.3 323 16.7% 10.5% .291 4.11 4.26 101 104
Matt Lindstrom 45.0 200 16.0% 8.0% .308 4.40 4.21 108 103
Eric Surkamp 92.0 409 18.1% 8.1% .302 5.09 5.06 125 124
Ronald Belisario 64.7 286 17.5% 8.7% .303 4.45 4.03 109 98
Matt Zaleski 48.3 219 15.1% 8.2% .312 5.59 5.23 137 128
Javy Guerra 56.7 255 17.2% 10.2% .303 4.76 4.60 116 112
Daniel Webb 64.3 297 18.2% 13.8% .295 4.76 4.84 116 118
Michael Ynoa 56.0 260 18.1% 12.7% .302 5.46 5.40 134 132
John Danks 133.7 603 13.9% 8.5% .291 5.45 5.58 133 137
Joe Savery 44.7 202 17.8% 10.4% .299 5.04 4.96 123 121
Onelki Garcia 32.0 156 17.9% 17.3% .309 5.91 6.03 145 148
Scott Carroll 94.0 431 11.6% 9.0% .302 5.55 5.55 136 136
Felipe Paulino 37.0 174 17.8% 12.1% .304 6.32 6.35 155 155
Chris Beck 139.3 634 11.0% 7.7% .300 5.56 5.51 136 135
Erik Johnson 120.3 556 14.8% 10.8% .303 5.61 5.51 137 135
Henry Rodriguez 31.3 160 23.1% 24.4% .292 6.03 6.48 148 158
Raul Fernandez 41.3 196 16.8% 13.8% .302 5.88 6.13 144 150
Frankie Montas 84.3 396 16.4% 12.1% .305 6.08 6.04 149 148
Maikel Cleto 70.3 336 21.1% 16.1% .306 5.89 6.06 144 148
Hector Noesi 138.7 628 15.0% 8.3% .295 5.84 5.69 143 139
Tommy Hanson 89.0 414 17.1% 10.4% .307 6.27 6.04 153 148
Charlie Leesman 86.3 415 15.9% 13.3% .311 6.46 6.31 158 154
Daniel McCutchen 66.3 308 14.9% 8.1% .304 7.06 6.95 173 170

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Chris Sale 189.7 9.92 2.09 0.85 142 5.8 Tom Glavine
Jeff Samardzija 194.0 9.14 2.41 1.11 105 3.4 Pedro Astacio
Jose Quintana 190.0 7.15 2.56 0.81 106 3.4 Mark Thurmond
Carlos Rodon 110.7 10.16 5.61 1.22 93 1.2 Billy Wagner
David Robertson 61.0 12.25 3.10 0.89 139 1.1 Darren Holmes
Zach Putnam 61.0 7.97 3.84 0.74 111 0.5 Mark Acre
Zach Duke 53.3 9.96 3.04 1.01 111 0.4 Mike Stanton
Dan Jennings 58.0 8.69 3.57 0.93 106 0.4 Juan Agosto
Nate Jones 40.3 9.60 3.57 0.89 108 0.3 Jason Bulger
Jake Petricka 72.3 6.72 4.23 0.75 100 0.2 Horacio Pina
Matt Lindstrom 45.0 6.40 3.20 0.80 93 0.0 Fred Gladding
Eric Surkamp 92.0 7.24 3.23 1.47 81 -0.1 Ryan O’Malley
Ronald Belisario 64.7 6.96 3.48 0.83 92 -0.1 Marc Wilkins
Matt Zaleski 48.3 6.15 3.35 1.30 73 -0.3 Chris Nichting
Javy Guerra 56.7 6.98 4.13 0.95 86 -0.3 Jake Robbins
Daniel Webb 64.3 7.56 5.74 0.84 86 -0.3 Heathcliff Slocumb
Michael Ynoa 56.0 7.55 5.30 1.29 75 -0.4 Glendon Rusch
John Danks 133.7 5.65 3.43 1.55 75 -0.4 Don Collins
Joe Savery 44.7 7.25 4.23 1.21 81 -0.4 Ken Vining
Onelki Garcia 32.0 7.88 7.59 1.13 70 -0.4 Bob Weiland
Scott Carroll 94.0 4.79 3.73 1.24 74 -0.5 Rick Rodriguez
Felipe Paulino 37.0 7.54 5.11 1.95 65 -0.5 Charlie Puleo
Chris Beck 139.3 4.52 3.17 1.36 74 -0.6 Luis Mendoza
Erik Johnson 120.3 6.13 4.49 1.27 73 -0.6 Brian Moehler
Henry Rodriguez 31.3 10.64 11.21 1.15 68 -0.7 Eric Cammack
Raul Fernandez 41.3 7.19 5.88 1.53 70 -0.8 Brad Tweedlie
Frankie Montas 84.3 6.94 5.12 1.60 67 -0.9 Matt Goodson
Maikel Cleto 70.3 9.09 6.91 1.54 70 -1.2 Orlando Roman
Hector Noesi 138.7 6.10 3.37 1.75 70 -1.2 Rusty Richards
Tommy Hanson 89.0 7.18 4.35 1.92 65 -1.2 Giovanni Carrara
Charlie Leesman 86.3 6.88 5.74 1.67 64 -1.4 Steve Smyth
Daniel McCutchen 66.3 6.24 3.39 2.58 58 -1.8 Jeff Harris

***

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 2014. 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 2015 ZiPS Projections – Chicago White Sox 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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Little Miggy at 0 WAR?

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Was surprised/disappointed to see that, too