2015 ZiPS Projections – Colorado Rockies

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 Colorado Rockies. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

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

Batters
For those who haven’t dedicated much time of late to the study of the Colorado Rockies, finding that ZiPS projects outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for fewer than two wins in 2015 might be a surprise. It’s less surprising, of course, in light of Gonzalez’s 2014 season, during which he recorded a -0.3 WAR in 281 plate appearances. The cause of that uncharacteristically poor performance was largely a BABIP about 60 points lower than his career average. The cause of his limited playing time was some combination of a damaged patella tendon, a finger tumor, a calf contusion, and a sprained ankle. It’s reasonable to assume that there was some interaction between the injuries and the deflated offensive numbers.

With regard to how Colorado might best deploy their other three outfielders, ZiPS’ computer math would appear to advise a platoon of Charlie Blackmon and Drew Stubbs, with Corey Dickerson occupying left field by himself. Blessed with less athleticism than Gonzalez, Dickerson nevertheless features a similar offensive approach, dependent upon power on contact, but with something less than ideal plate discipline.

Pitchers
Clubs received an average of about 11-12 wins from their starting pitchers in 2014, while Rockies starters combined for just a collective 8.6 WAR. The 2015 rotation appears likely to skew more towards that latter figure than the former. Among that group only Tyler Matzek is expected to produce a park-adjusted ERA better than league average (and then only slightly).

With regard to ties in sports, Navy football coach Eddie Erdelatz is known for having suggested that they’re like “kissing your sister.” Being asked to meditate on the Rockies bullpen isn’t an altogether different experience than that. Although it’s probably more like attempting to discuss the Rockies bullpen with your sister, and then your sister is like, “Why are doing this? Do you hate your own sister?”

Bench/Prospects
Were one interested in departing from this post with some manner of optimism, one could do so by drawing his or her attention to the projections for outfielder David Dahl and right-hander Jon Gray. The latter’s encouraging forecast isn’t entirely a surprise. A third-overall pick from the 2013 draft, Gray has had almost uniform success in affiliated baseball. Dahl, however — enters just his age-21 season and has never played above High-A — receives a projection of almost two wins. Largely on the basis, that, of an above-average defensive profile in center field.

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

Rockies Depth 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
Troy Tulowitzki R 30 SS 457 66 125 23 2 23 70 3 2
Nolan Arenado R 24 3B 568 59 152 38 3 16 67 2 2
Carlos Gonzalez L 29 LF 423 58 107 22 4 20 66 13 3
David Dahl L 21 CF 467 46 119 26 6 12 48 15 5
Corey Dickerson L 26 LF 542 68 144 31 9 22 76 9 8
Drew Stubbs R 30 CF 489 69 117 21 3 14 51 22 5
Michael McKenry R 30 C 248 26 61 13 0 10 35 1 2
Josh Rutledge R 26 SS 526 62 133 27 6 11 54 11 4
DJ LeMahieu R 26 2B 573 55 151 23 6 5 48 14 9
Wilin Rosario R 26 C 457 53 117 23 1 19 67 3 2
Justin Morneau L 34 1B 521 56 138 28 2 16 81 0 1
Cristhian Adames B 23 SS 545 50 137 22 5 3 43 13 10
Rosell Herrera B 22 SS 459 48 121 18 1 9 44 14 12
Dustin Garneau R 27 C 351 32 75 17 2 8 35 3 4
Charlie Blackmon L 28 RF 567 64 145 28 4 14 61 19 6
Jason Pridie L 31 CF 409 42 98 15 4 10 43 12 3
Audry Perez R 26 C 309 28 79 14 0 6 33 0 1
Trevor Story R 22 SS 519 50 103 24 5 12 51 17 4
Brandon Barnes R 29 RF 428 49 104 24 3 9 46 10 7
Angelys Nina R 26 2B 476 45 122 19 4 7 46 11 9
Charlie Culberson R 26 3B 438 47 105 21 4 10 59 9 5
Taylor Featherston R 25 2B 516 51 120 26 5 10 53 11 5
Tom Murphy R 24 C 244 26 51 11 1 9 30 2 2
Rafael Ynoa B 27 3B 543 55 134 27 4 4 49 10 8
Ben Paulsen L 27 1B 535 55 124 27 5 17 65 2 4
Jayson Langfels R 26 3B 385 35 76 11 2 6 32 9 6
Matt McBride R 30 RF 331 36 85 20 2 10 44 0 1
Ryan Casteel R 24 1B 454 46 107 22 2 12 48 3 2
David Kandilas R 24 RF 401 38 88 16 4 5 34 14 6
Kyle Parker R 25 RF 548 56 133 23 3 15 62 3 3
Chris O’Dowd B 24 C 330 28 73 13 2 3 27 14 6
Drew Garcia B 29 SS 382 31 78 18 2 4 33 4 3
Tim Smalling R 27 LF 311 28 67 16 2 3 25 4 5

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Troy Tulowitzki 457 10.7% 14.9% .240 .326 .313 .389 .553 .402
Nolan Arenado 568 5.1% 12.9% .175 .306 .288 .327 .463 .341
Carlos Gonzalez 423 9.0% 22.9% .236 .327 .281 .348 .517 .372
David Dahl 467 4.1% 20.6% .167 .318 .268 .299 .435 .323
Corey Dickerson 542 6.8% 20.7% .231 .331 .289 .338 .520 .366
Drew Stubbs 489 7.8% 28.0% .155 .349 .264 .323 .419 .331
Michael McKenry 248 8.9% 21.4% .193 .319 .275 .344 .468 .352
Josh Rutledge 526 5.3% 20.7% .149 .334 .276 .324 .425 .328
DJ LeMahieu 573 5.2% 15.7% .095 .332 .284 .323 .379 .302
Wilin Rosario 457 4.6% 21.4% .191 .308 .271 .304 .462 .330
Justin Morneau 521 6.9% 13.2% .170 .310 .292 .345 .462 .348
Cristhian Adames 545 5.5% 17.8% .083 .338 .278 .321 .361 .292
Rosell Herrera 459 6.3% 19.8% .111 .344 .285 .331 .396 .318
Dustin Garneau 351 6.8% 17.4% .143 .268 .237 .301 .380 .299
Charlie Blackmon 567 5.1% 16.4% .149 .313 .278 .325 .427 .330
Jason Pridie 409 5.9% 20.5% .139 .306 .257 .302 .396 .309
Audry Perez 309 1.6% 16.2% .107 .298 .264 .277 .371 .282
Trevor Story 519 6.9% 34.1% .147 .317 .216 .279 .363 .288
Brandon Barnes 428 5.1% 25.2% .144 .338 .262 .305 .406 .309
Angelys Nina 476 4.4% 16.2% .107 .315 .273 .309 .380 .301
Charlie Culberson 438 3.9% 22.1% .144 .309 .255 .290 .399 .299
Taylor Featherston 516 5.0% 24.0% .137 .316 .251 .296 .388 .301
Tom Murphy 244 6.6% 28.3% .180 .290 .230 .292 .410 .309
Rafael Ynoa 543 6.3% 16.6% .094 .318 .267 .314 .361 .297
Ben Paulsen 535 6.7% 28.0% .178 .325 .251 .305 .429 .317
Jayson Langfels 385 7.3% 34.0% .095 .330 .219 .289 .314 .273
Matt McBride 331 3.9% 13.3% .174 .286 .273 .302 .447 .325
Ryan Casteel 454 5.9% 24.7% .147 .316 .253 .300 .400 .308
David Kandilas 401 6.5% 21.9% .107 .302 .240 .298 .347 .288
Kyle Parker 548 6.2% 23.5% .146 .322 .262 .312 .408 .317
Chris O’Dowd 330 5.2% 24.5% .085 .313 .239 .281 .324 .270
Drew Garcia 382 4.7% 28.0% .096 .302 .220 .263 .316 .253
Tim Smalling 311 6.1% 22.2% .102 .296 .235 .287 .337 .275

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Troy Tulowitzki 457 8.4 141 6 5.2 Cal Ripken
Nolan Arenado 568 5.7 102 11 3.2 Tracy Woodson
Carlos Gonzalez 423 7.0 120 -2 1.8 Glenallen Hill
David Dahl 467 4.9 87 7 1.7 Tyler Colvin
Corey Dickerson 542 6.5 118 -4 1.7 Al Martin
Drew Stubbs 489 5.3 91 -1 1.3 Bo Porter
Michael McKenry 248 5.9 108 -3 1.3 Steve Holm
Josh Rutledge 526 5.2 92 -6 1.2 Shawon Dunston
DJ LeMahieu 573 4.5 81 8 1.2 Herman Iribarren
Wilin Rosario 457 5.2 95 -8 1.1 Randy Knorr
Justin Morneau 521 6.0 107 3 1.1 Casey Smith
Cristhian Adames 545 4.2 77 3 0.8 Curtis Wilkerson
Rosell Herrera 459 4.7 88 -3 0.8 Ronny Cedeno
Dustin Garneau 351 3.9 75 1 0.7 Mike Ryan
Charlie Blackmon 567 5.3 93 -1 0.5 D.T. Cromer
Jason Pridie 409 4.5 79 0 0.5 Marc Sagmoen
Audry Perez 309 3.7 66 3 0.5 Hector Kuilan
Trevor Story 519 3.7 65 3 0.4 Jose Hernandez
Brandon Barnes 428 4.4 82 6 0.3 Shawn Garrett
Angelys Nina 476 4.2 77 2 0.3 Luis Maza
Charlie Culberson 438 4.2 76 1 0.2 Keith Johnson
Taylor Featherston 516 4.2 76 0 0.2 Edwin Diaz
Tom Murphy 244 4.1 80 -5 0.1 Steve Lomasney
Rafael Ynoa 543 4.1 75 1 0.1 Greg Fulton
Ben Paulsen 535 4.6 88 2 -0.4 Jose Barrios
Jayson Langfels 385 3.1 56 4 -0.4 Bryan Bass
Matt McBride 331 5.0 91 -5 -0.4 Guillermo Garcia
Ryan Casteel 454 4.3 79 0 -0.9 Lance Belen
David Kandilas 401 3.7 67 1 -0.9 Scott Jaster
Kyle Parker 548 4.6 85 -7 -0.9 Wil Culmer
Chris O’Dowd 330 3.3 56 -9 -1.1 Jose Lobaton
Drew Garcia 382 2.8 49 -2 -1.2 Matt Guiliano
Tim Smalling 311 3.2 61 -2 -1.4 Scott Rainey

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Tyler Matzek L 24 31 30 182.3 154 73 20 185 93 87
Jorge de la Rosa L 34 23 23 121.7 90 46 15 123 64 60
Jon Gray R 23 24 24 118.7 93 39 14 123 63 59
Jordan Lyles R 24 27 25 143.7 95 50 16 156 80 75
Jhoulys Chacin R 27 20 20 114.7 75 43 13 120 62 58
Tyler Chatwood R 25 19 17 94.0 65 34 9 99 48 45
Tyler Anderson L 25 20 20 100.0 67 37 11 107 55 51
Brett Anderson L 27 10 10 54.0 42 17 5 56 27 25
Adam Ottavino R 29 64 0 75.0 77 26 8 71 33 31
Danny Winkler R 25 20 20 107.7 86 40 18 114 64 60
Eddie Butler R 24 24 24 123.7 73 51 16 142 77 72
Carlos Hernandez L 28 27 18 111.0 61 35 15 132 68 64
Matt Belisle R 35 64 0 64.3 49 17 6 68 31 29
Chad Bettis R 26 36 11 87.7 69 33 11 96 51 48
LaTroy Hawkins R 42 53 0 50.0 34 11 5 53 24 22
Rex Brothers L 27 76 0 65.3 72 37 7 60 32 30
Christian Friedrich L 27 26 14 86.3 73 33 13 92 52 49
Jorge Rondon R 27 53 0 63.0 45 20 6 66 31 29
Yohan Flande L 29 30 23 128.0 74 55 17 147 81 76
Jayson Aquino L 22 18 17 99.3 58 39 13 116 63 59
Chris Rusin L 28 28 26 150.0 77 48 22 179 97 91
Wilton Lopez R 31 49 0 60.7 42 11 7 68 31 29
Chris Martin R 29 42 0 51.0 42 16 5 53 26 24
Franklin Morales L 29 34 13 93.3 71 43 14 102 58 54
Boone Logan L 30 56 0 39.0 44 16 5 36 19 18
Brooks Brown R 30 60 0 67.7 55 22 9 69 35 33
Aaron Laffey L 30 26 22 130.3 63 47 18 155 85 79
Nick Masset R 33 34 0 32.3 25 14 3 34 17 16
Tommy Kahnle R 25 48 0 61.0 58 34 7 57 33 31
Justin Miller R 28 42 0 48.3 35 19 6 52 27 25
Christian Bergman R 27 26 26 143.3 78 36 27 174 96 90
Rafael Betancourt R 40 21 0 20.0 15 8 3 21 12 11
Buddy Boshers L 27 50 4 63.7 49 38 7 67 40 37
Manny Corpas R 32 42 0 62.0 42 21 9 69 36 34
Brett Tomko R 42 15 15 69.7 36 31 11 85 49 46
Josh Roenicke R 32 44 7 76.3 40 34 11 89 50 47
Jair Jurrjens R 29 20 20 106.0 51 38 17 134 75 70
Mike McClendon R 30 31 4 66.3 35 27 10 79 45 42
Jose Ortega R 26 48 0 59.0 51 38 8 62 37 35
John Lannan L 30 20 16 88.3 40 37 14 111 65 61
Cole White R 27 43 0 44.7 32 41 6 49 33 31
Brett Marshall R 25 21 20 104.3 67 62 21 125 83 78

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Tyler Matzek 182.3 805 19.1% 9.1% .299 4.29 4.41 98 101
Jorge de la Rosa 121.7 534 16.9% 8.6% .286 4.44 4.72 101 108
Jon Gray 118.7 518 18.0% 7.5% .299 4.47 4.52 102 103
Jordan Lyles 143.7 637 14.9% 7.8% .300 4.70 4.73 107 108
Jhoulys Chacin 114.7 507 14.8% 8.5% .287 4.55 4.73 104 108
Tyler Chatwood 94.0 415 15.7% 8.2% .297 4.31 4.40 98 100
Tyler Anderson 100.0 444 15.1% 8.3% .297 4.59 4.77 105 109
Brett Anderson 54.0 235 17.9% 7.2% .300 4.17 3.93 95 90
Adam Ottavino 75.0 322 23.9% 8.1% .303 3.72 3.76 85 86
Danny Winkler 107.7 477 18.0% 8.4% .294 5.02 5.27 114 120
Eddie Butler 123.7 564 12.9% 9.0% .302 5.24 5.27 119 120
Carlos Hernandez 111.0 500 12.2% 7.0% .306 5.19 5.16 118 118
Matt Belisle 64.3 278 17.6% 6.1% .303 4.06 3.78 93 86
Chad Bettis 87.7 392 17.6% 8.4% .310 4.93 4.68 112 107
LaTroy Hawkins 50.0 214 15.9% 5.1% .293 3.96 3.87 90 88
Rex Brothers 65.3 293 24.6% 12.6% .301 4.13 4.23 94 96
Christian Friedrich 86.3 384 19.0% 8.6% .303 5.11 4.91 116 112
Jorge Rondon 63.0 275 16.4% 7.3% .299 4.14 4.25 94 97
Yohan Flande 128.0 586 12.6% 9.4% .301 5.34 5.39 122 123
Jayson Aquino 99.3 453 12.8% 8.6% .306 5.35 5.25 122 120
Chris Rusin 150.0 677 11.4% 7.1% .301 5.46 5.31 124 121
Wilton Lopez 60.7 261 16.1% 4.2% .306 4.30 4.05 98 92
Chris Martin 51.0 222 18.9% 7.2% .308 4.24 4.08 97 93
Franklin Morales 93.3 425 16.7% 10.1% .301 5.21 5.27 119 120
Boone Logan 39.0 169 26.0% 9.5% .301 4.15 3.88 95 88
Brooks Brown 67.7 294 18.7% 7.5% .294 4.39 4.60 100 105
Aaron Laffey 130.3 593 10.6% 7.9% .300 5.46 5.46 124 124
Nick Masset 32.3 145 17.3% 9.7% .310 4.45 4.63 101 105
Tommy Kahnle 61.0 274 21.2% 12.4% .289 4.57 4.65 104 106
Justin Miller 48.3 216 16.2% 8.8% .301 4.66 4.92 106 112
Christian Bergman 143.3 640 12.2% 5.6% .299 5.65 5.63 129 128
Rafael Betancourt 20.0 89 16.9% 9.0% .290 4.95 5.04 113 115
Buddy Boshers 63.7 296 16.5% 12.8% .303 5.23 5.21 119 119
Manny Corpas 62.0 276 15.2% 7.6% .300 4.94 4.99 113 114
Brett Tomko 69.7 325 11.1% 9.5% .304 5.94 5.92 135 135
Josh Roenicke 76.3 352 11.4% 9.7% .296 5.54 5.59 126 127
Jair Jurrjens 106.0 490 10.4% 7.8% .310 5.94 5.70 135 130
Mike McClendon 66.3 305 11.5% 8.9% .301 5.70 5.65 130 129

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Tyler Matzek 182.3 7.60 3.60 0.99 103 3.1 Paul Maholm
Jorge de la Rosa 121.7 6.66 3.40 1.11 99 1.9 Brian Bohanon
Jon Gray 118.7 7.05 2.96 1.06 98 1.8 Kevin Brown
Jordan Lyles 143.7 5.95 3.13 1.00 94 1.7 Dave Coggin
Jhoulys Chacin 114.7 5.88 3.37 1.02 97 1.6 Zach Day
Tyler Chatwood 94.0 6.22 3.26 0.86 102 1.6 Anthony Young
Tyler Anderson 100.0 6.03 3.33 0.99 96 1.3 John Daniels
Brett Anderson 54.0 7.00 2.83 0.83 106 1.0 David Williams
Adam Ottavino 75.0 9.24 3.12 0.96 118 0.9 Mike Jackson
Danny Winkler 107.7 7.19 3.34 1.50 88 0.9 John Patterson
Eddie Butler 123.7 5.31 3.71 1.16 84 0.6 Brian Moehler
Carlos Hernandez 111.0 4.95 2.84 1.22 85 0.5 Dave Otto
Matt Belisle 64.3 6.86 2.38 0.84 109 0.5 Mark Williamson
Chad Bettis 87.7 7.08 3.39 1.13 89 0.5 David Holdridge
LaTroy Hawkins 50.0 6.12 1.98 0.90 111 0.5 Jim Turner
Rex Brothers 65.3 9.92 5.10 0.96 107 0.5 Ricky Pickett
Christian Friedrich 86.3 7.61 3.44 1.36 86 0.4 Paul Darnell
Jorge Rondon 63.0 6.43 2.86 0.86 106 0.4 Daryl Irvine
Yohan Flande 128.0 5.20 3.87 1.20 82 0.4 Steve Davis
Jayson Aquino 99.3 5.26 3.53 1.18 82 0.4 Jim Crowell
Chris Rusin 150.0 4.62 2.88 1.32 81 0.3 Lance Davis
Wilton Lopez 60.7 6.23 1.63 1.04 102 0.3 Gil Heredia
Chris Martin 51.0 7.41 2.82 0.88 104 0.3 Tim Layana
Franklin Morales 93.3 6.85 4.15 1.35 85 0.3 Jesus Sanchez
Boone Logan 39.0 10.15 3.69 1.15 106 0.3 Armando Almanza
Brooks Brown 67.7 7.31 2.92 1.20 100 0.3 Joey McLaughlin
Aaron Laffey 130.3 4.35 3.25 1.24 81 0.3 Huck Flener
Nick Masset 32.3 6.97 3.90 0.84 99 0.1 Moe Burtschy
Tommy Kahnle 61.0 8.56 5.02 1.03 96 0.1 Billy Sadler
Justin Miller 48.3 6.52 3.54 1.12 95 0.0 John Koronka
Christian Bergman 143.3 4.90 2.26 1.70 78 0.0 Ryan Cox
Rafael Betancourt 20.0 6.75 3.60 1.35 89 -0.1 Jose Mesa
Buddy Boshers 63.7 6.92 5.37 0.99 84 -0.2 Carl Schutz
Manny Corpas 62.0 6.10 3.05 1.31 89 -0.2 Lee Gardner
Brett Tomko 69.7 4.65 4.00 1.42 74 -0.3 Ed Riley
Josh Roenicke 76.3 4.72 4.01 1.30 80 -0.4 Mike Sullivan
Jair Jurrjens 106.0 4.33 3.23 1.44 74 -0.4 Larry Luebbers
Mike McClendon 66.3 4.75 3.67 1.36 77 -0.5 Matt Albers
Jose Ortega 59.0 7.78 5.80 1.22 83 -0.5 Doug Thompson
John Lannan 88.3 4.08 3.77 1.43 71 -0.7 Dan Smith
Cole White 44.7 6.44 8.26 1.21 71 -0.9 Johnny Humphries
Brett Marshall 104.3 5.78 5.35 1.81 66 -1.5 Mike Romano

***

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.

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

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Matthew Tobin
Member

Ripken for Tulo and Kevin Brown for Gray are fun comps.