2016 ZiPS Projections – Seattle Mariners

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 Seattle Mariners. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Baltimore / Cincinnati / Kansas City / New York AL / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / Texas / Toronto.

Batters
The arrival of Jerry Dipoto in Seattle has been accompanied by considerable turnover within the club’s roster — some of which is represented in the major-league depth chart. Nori Aoki, Chris Iannetta, and Adam Lind all receive projections in the one-win range. Not unexpected, that, but also not a source of great inspiration to the people of Seattle. Then there’s the case of Leonys Martin. Rendered more or less redundant in Texas, the center fielder is projected to produce 2.5 wins in roughly two-thirds playing time, one of the best marks among the club’s position players.

Elsewhere, the strengths of the club remain the same. Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager are all forecast to record three or more wins. This is particularly encouraging for Cano. After posting a 2.1 WAR in nearly 700 plate appearances this past season, Cano is expected to approach the four-win threshold in 2016.

Pitchers
If one is inclined to put stock in ZiPS, one is inclined also to believe that the version of reality in which Hisashi Iwakuma signs officially with the Dodgers is an unfortunate reality for the Mariners. After Felix Hernandez, the recipient (predictably) of a strong projection, the next best non-Iwakuma mark belongs to left-hander Wade Miley, who barely passes the one-win threshold. The numbers after that aren’t particularly encouraging, either.

With regard to the bullpen, one finds that it features almost an entirely different cast than that which ended the 2015 season. No coincidence, that, in light of how the club’s relief corps finished 26th in the majors by WAR. The prognosis for the 2016 version of the bullpen isn’t wildly encouraging, but suggests an improvement over its predecessor.

Bench/Prospects
While Dan Szymborski’s computer algorithms might seem pessimistic with regard to some of the Mariners’ newest acquisitions, one player for whom that’s not the case is outfielder Boog Powell. The author of precisely zero major-league plate appearances, Powell is forecast by ZiPS to produce 1.5 wins in roughly 500 plate appearances on the strength of reasonable plate-discipline numbers and slightly above-average center-field defense. Among pitchers, the returns aren’t quite so promising. New acquisition Tony Zych is projected for roughly half a win.

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

Mariners 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
Kyle Seager L 28 3B 660 82 156 32 2 24 83 8 5
Robinson Cano L 33 2B 641 77 170 33 1 17 79 5 4
Nelson Cruz R 35 RF 595 72 143 23 1 33 84 4 3
Leonys Martin L 28 CF 446 48 101 17 4 8 37 23 8
Ketel Marte B 22 SS 585 64 144 26 5 6 47 24 8
Chris Taylor R 25 SS 514 60 116 21 4 4 37 16 6
Boog Powell L 23 CF 496 51 111 13 5 4 33 12 12
Seth Smith L 33 LF 426 51 91 24 3 11 41 0 0
Chris Iannetta R 33 C 322 31 58 12 0 9 34 1 1
Nori Aoki L 34 LF 487 54 118 16 3 5 32 14 7
Adam Lind L 32 1B 467 51 108 22 1 12 57 0 0
Franklin Gutierrez R 33 CF 304 36 67 16 0 12 39 2 1
Mike Zunino R 25 C 452 50 85 17 1 16 48 0 2
Stefen Romero R 27 RF 486 61 114 24 3 14 58 5 4
Steve Clevenger L 30 C 332 31 77 13 1 4 27 0 1
Tyler Marlette R 23 C 380 39 83 16 2 6 36 4 2
Shawn O’Malley B 28 2B 412 45 87 11 4 4 31 15 4
Jesus Montero R 26 1B 467 54 114 18 2 15 61 1 1
Jesus Sucre R 28 C 202 17 42 7 0 1 14 0 1
Carlos Quentin R 33 LF 150 19 30 8 0 6 19 0 0
Steven Baron R 25 C 312 27 60 12 1 3 23 4 1
Tyler Smith R 24 SS 478 46 97 17 2 4 32 7 5
Ed Lucas R 34 3B 401 37 85 11 1 4 25 2 2
Benji Gonzalez B 26 SS 374 38 77 13 2 2 25 8 7
Rickie Weeks R 33 LF 253 25 47 10 1 6 24 3 2
Luis Sardinas B 23 SS 538 48 120 18 4 1 34 13 4
John Baker L 35 C 137 8 23 3 0 0 8 0 0
Leury Bonilla R 31 3B 312 28 63 8 1 2 20 3 5
Tyler O’Neill R 21 RF 414 47 75 13 1 18 50 10 4
D.J. Peterson R 24 1B 433 46 88 17 1 12 45 3 1
Ian Miller L 24 CF 398 36 84 10 3 0 23 22 10
Willie Bloomquist R 38 SS 88 7 19 3 0 0 8 1 1
Mike Baxter L 31 1B 355 35 69 12 3 3 22 6 4
Austin Wilson R 24 RF 377 38 68 12 1 7 31 4 5

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Kyle Seager 660 8.2% 16.8% .181 .284 .262 .327 .443 .336
Robinson Cano 641 7.6% 13.6% .147 .317 .292 .349 .439 .336
Nelson Cruz 595 7.9% 24.4% .229 .301 .265 .328 .494 .350
Leonys Martin 446 5.8% 22.2% .120 .306 .247 .295 .367 .301
Ketel Marte 585 6.0% 15.7% .100 .308 .267 .308 .367 .306
Chris Taylor 514 8.0% 22.8% .089 .323 .249 .313 .338 .299
Boog Powell 496 8.9% 18.3% .079 .307 .251 .323 .330 .305
Seth Smith 426 10.8% 21.4% .169 .292 .244 .331 .413 .319
Chris Iannetta 322 14.0% 25.8% .144 .269 .214 .329 .358 .306
Nori Aoki 487 7.0% 7.8% .084 .285 .269 .332 .353 .313
Adam Lind 467 10.1% 19.5% .144 .304 .259 .334 .403 .315
Franklin Gutierrez 304 5.9% 27.3% .186 .294 .239 .290 .425 .309
Mike Zunino 452 5.3% 31.6% .163 .270 .206 .265 .369 .276
Stefen Romero 486 3.9% 21.2% .158 .291 .250 .285 .408 .303
Steve Clevenger 332 6.9% 15.7% .089 .290 .252 .304 .341 .282
Tyler Marlette 380 4.7% 24.2% .105 .293 .230 .268 .335 .269
Shawn O’Malley 412 6.3% 19.9% .084 .290 .236 .293 .320 .278
Jesus Montero 467 5.1% 21.4% .154 .304 .261 .300 .415 .307
Jesus Sucre 202 3.5% 17.3% .053 .266 .222 .249 .275 .228
Carlos Quentin 150 9.3% 18.0% .201 .245 .233 .327 .434 .332
Steven Baron 312 4.5% 27.9% .078 .277 .204 .241 .282 .232
Tyler Smith 478 6.9% 22.8% .076 .288 .224 .283 .300 .265
Ed Lucas 401 6.0% 24.7% .068 .300 .228 .278 .296 .258
Benji Gonzalez 374 6.1% 19.8% .067 .280 .225 .274 .292 .260
Rickie Weeks 253 9.1% 27.7% .134 .277 .210 .300 .344 .294
Luis Sardinas 538 3.9% 17.3% .057 .285 .235 .266 .292 .251
John Baker 137 7.3% 27.7% .025 .264 .185 .250 .210 .206
Leury Bonilla 312 4.8% 22.8% .055 .282 .218 .261 .273 .243
Tyler O’Neill 414 5.6% 40.3% .180 .284 .196 .249 .376 .277
D.J. Peterson 433 5.1% 30.3% .134 .286 .216 .259 .350 .269
Ian Miller 398 4.8% 21.6% .043 .291 .225 .265 .268 .256
Willie Bloomquist 88 2.3% 21.6% .035 .288 .224 .250 .259 .234
Mike Baxter 355 8.7% 22.8% .086 .282 .218 .297 .304 .272
Austin Wilson 377 5.6% 32.1% .103 .285 .199 .273 .302 .265

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Kyle Seager 660 5.3 118 1 4.2 Aubrey Huff
Robinson Cano 641 5.8 124 -3 3.9 Charlie Gehringer
Nelson Cruz 595 5.9 131 -5 2.9 Sammy Sosa
Leonys Martin 446 4.1 88 11 2.5 Chris Duffy
Ketel Marte 585 4.3 92 -1 2.3 Edgar Renteria
Chris Taylor 514 3.9 86 3 2.1 Antonio Perez
Boog Powell 496 3.6 88 3 1.5 Darren Lewis
Seth Smith 426 4.9 111 0 1.5 Gene Woodling
Chris Iannetta 322 4.0 97 -4 1.4 Andy Seminick
Nori Aoki 487 4.3 97 2 1.2 Dave Martinez
Adam Lind 467 4.9 110 0 1.1 Harold Baines
Franklin Gutierrez 304 4.4 101 -2 1.0 Joe Rudi
Mike Zunino 452 3.2 79 -3 1.0 Giuseppe Chiaramonte
Stefen Romero 486 4.1 95 3 1.0 Glenn Wilson
Steve Clevenger 332 3.7 85 -6 0.6 Johnny Oates
Tyler Marlette 380 3.2 72 -2 0.6 Robert Machado
Shawn O’Malley 412 3.5 76 -2 0.3 Zach Sorensen
Jesus Montero 467 4.5 102 -3 0.2 Wil Cordero
Jesus Sucre 202 2.3 50 4 0.2 Moses Zucchero
Carlos Quentin 150 5.0 115 -5 0.1 Eddie Williams
Steven Baron 312 2.4 49 3 0.1 Jose Lobaton
Tyler Smith 478 2.9 67 -3 0.1 Justin Sellers
Ed Lucas 401 2.8 65 0 -0.2 Jorge Velandia
Benji Gonzalez 374 2.6 63 -2 -0.3 Steve Sisco
Rickie Weeks 253 3.5 84 -4 -0.3 Reed Secrist
Luis Sardinas 538 2.9 60 -3 -0.4 Eddie Zosky
John Baker 137 1.7 34 -1 -0.5 Frank Charles
Leury Bonilla 312 2.2 54 1 -0.6 Carlo Colombino
Tyler O’Neill 414 3.2 76 -3 -0.7 Wladimir Balentien
D.J. Peterson 433 3.2 72 2 -0.7 Tommy Davis
Ian Miller 398 2.5 53 -2 -1.0 Trench Davis
Willie Bloomquist 88 2.1 46 -7 -1.0 Pete Suder
Mike Baxter 355 3.1 73 -2 -1.0 Stubby Clapp
Austin Wilson 377 2.6 65 -3 -1.2 Michael Wagner

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Felix Hernandez R 30 30 30 200.3 203 49 18 173 75 70
Hisashi Iwakuma R 35 24 24 147.7 126 24 19 140 65 61
Wade Miley L 29 30 30 179.3 146 62 19 182 91 85
James Paxton L 27 20 20 102.0 85 38 9 97 49 46
Taijuan Walker R 23 26 25 145.3 135 41 20 141 75 70
Nate Karns R 28 26 25 139.3 136 54 20 133 73 68
Tony Zych R 25 53 0 66.7 65 15 6 63 28 26
Joaquin Benoit R 38 54 0 49.3 49 17 6 40 19 18
Steve Cishek R 30 64 0 61.7 63 23 5 57 26 24
Charlie Furbush L 30 51 0 36.7 41 11 4 31 14 13
Evan Scribner R 30 52 0 60.0 64 10 9 56 27 25
Mike Montgomery L 26 24 24 129.0 91 50 14 134 72 67
Vidal Nuno L 28 31 18 118.3 97 30 19 121 64 60
Blake Parker R 31 32 0 31.7 35 12 4 29 14 13
Rob Rasmussen L 27 51 0 56.3 54 26 5 53 27 25
Edwin Diaz R 22 26 26 124.7 104 50 16 128 71 66
Jonathan Aro R 25 33 1 77.0 67 26 8 76 37 35
Justin De Fratus R 28 71 0 66.7 53 28 5 66 32 30
David Rollins L 26 28 9 70.0 55 25 9 74 40 37
Joe Beimel L 39 48 0 41.3 25 14 5 43 21 20
Mayckol Guaipe R 25 51 0 66.0 53 17 8 69 34 32
Kevin Gregg R 38 16 0 16.3 14 7 3 17 11 10
Logan Kensing R 33 41 0 53.7 41 23 6 54 29 27
Cody Martin R 26 34 21 127.7 114 57 20 132 76 71
Brad Mills L 31 22 20 111.3 79 43 16 120 67 63
Adrian Sampson R 24 27 27 155.3 106 38 25 174 93 87
Casey Coleman R 28 37 4 77.7 50 37 8 84 45 42
A.J. Schugel R 27 23 21 115.3 74 41 16 132 72 67
Anthony Bass R 28 36 4 74.0 49 23 10 82 44 41
Donn Roach R 26 28 21 124.0 53 41 13 148 77 72
Joe Saunders L 35 17 11 66.7 40 24 11 80 45 42
Chien-Ming Wang R 36 20 19 116.3 45 36 13 141 75 70
Isaac Sanchez R 23 44 0 63.7 42 29 9 70 40 37
Justin Germano R 33 25 21 134.0 73 28 23 159 87 81
Kyle Schepel R 25 35 5 62.0 48 42 10 67 45 42
Tyler Pike L 22 27 27 112.3 88 68 22 125 85 79

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Felix Hernandez 200.3 823 24.7% 6.0% .283 3.14 3.06 81 78
Hisashi Iwakuma 147.7 607 20.8% 4.0% .277 3.72 3.54 97 91
Wade Miley 179.3 782 18.7% 7.9% .296 4.27 3.93 111 101
James Paxton 102.0 441 19.3% 8.6% .289 4.06 3.76 105 97
Taijuan Walker 145.3 618 21.8% 6.6% .292 4.33 4.03 112 103
Nate Karns 139.3 605 22.5% 8.9% .291 4.39 4.29 114 110
Tony Zych 66.7 278 23.4% 5.4% .305 3.51 3.23 91 83
Joaquin Benoit 49.3 205 23.9% 8.3% .258 3.28 3.73 85 96
Steve Cishek 61.7 265 23.8% 8.7% .300 3.50 3.14 91 81
Charlie Furbush 36.7 152 27.0% 7.2% .287 3.19 3.27 83 84
Evan Scribner 60.0 246 26.0% 4.1% .292 3.75 3.52 97 90
Mike Montgomery 129.0 571 15.9% 8.8% .293 4.67 4.43 121 114
Vidal Nuno 118.3 506 19.2% 5.9% .287 4.56 4.42 118 113
Blake Parker 31.7 136 25.7% 8.8% .297 3.69 3.67 96 94
Rob Rasmussen 56.3 248 21.8% 10.5% .300 3.99 3.89 104 100
Edwin Diaz 124.7 552 18.8% 9.1% .299 4.76 4.48 124 115
Jonathan Aro 77.0 333 20.1% 7.8% .298 4.09 3.88 106 100
Justin De Fratus 66.7 294 18.0% 9.5% .300 4.05 3.84 105 99
David Rollins 70.0 309 17.8% 8.1% .301 4.76 4.41 124 113
Joe Beimel 41.3 181 13.8% 7.7% .280 4.35 4.34 113 111
Mayckol Guaipe 66.0 284 18.7% 6.0% .302 4.36 4.03 113 104
Kevin Gregg 16.3 73 19.2% 9.6% .286 5.51 5.07 143 130
Logan Kensing 53.7 238 17.2% 9.7% .291 4.53 4.48 118 115
Cody Martin 127.7 572 19.9% 10.0% .299 5.01 4.84 130 124
Brad Mills 111.3 497 15.9% 8.7% .295 5.09 4.88 132 125
Adrian Sampson 155.3 678 15.6% 5.6% .297 5.04 4.68 131 120
Casey Coleman 77.7 354 14.1% 10.4% .298 4.87 4.70 126 121
A.J. Schugel 115.3 519 14.3% 7.9% .304 5.23 4.82 136 124
Anthony Bass 74.0 327 15.0% 7.0% .298 4.99 4.51 130 116
Donn Roach 124.0 561 9.4% 7.3% .303 5.23 4.78 136 123
Joe Saunders 66.7 304 13.2% 7.9% .305 5.67 5.17 147 133
Chien-Ming Wang 116.3 526 8.6% 6.8% .301 5.42 4.84 141 124
Isaac Sanchez 63.7 290 14.5% 10.0% .296 5.23 5.18 136 133
Justin Germano 134.0 589 12.4% 4.8% .298 5.44 5.05 141 130
Kyle Schepel 62.0 295 16.3% 14.2% .298 6.10 5.88 158 151
Tyler Pike 112.3 530 16.6% 12.8% .299 6.33 6.09 164 156

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Felix Hernandez 200.3 9.12 2.20 0.81 116 4.8 Kevin Brown
Hisashi Iwakuma 147.7 7.68 1.46 1.16 98 2.3 Bartolo Colon
Wade Miley 179.3 7.33 3.11 0.95 86 1.3 Mike Hampton
James Paxton 102.0 7.50 3.35 0.79 90 1.0 Al Leiter
Taijuan Walker 145.3 8.36 2.54 1.24 84 0.9 Doug Drabek
Nate Karns 139.3 8.79 3.49 1.29 83 0.7 Dave Mlicki
Tony Zych 66.7 8.77 2.02 0.81 104 0.5 Manuel Corpas
Joaquin Benoit 49.3 8.95 3.10 1.10 111 0.5 Tom Henke
Steve Cishek 61.7 9.19 3.35 0.73 104 0.4 Todd Jones
Charlie Furbush 36.7 10.05 2.70 0.98 114 0.4 George Sherrill
Evan Scribner 60.0 9.60 1.50 1.35 97 0.2 Dan Giese
Mike Montgomery 129.0 6.35 3.49 0.98 78 0.2 Scott Forster
Vidal Nuno 118.3 7.38 2.28 1.45 80 0.2 Michael Bacsik
Blake Parker 31.7 9.94 3.41 1.14 99 0.1 Rich Croushore
Rob Rasmussen 56.3 8.63 4.16 0.80 91 0.0 Brian Snyder
Edwin Diaz 124.7 7.51 3.61 1.15 77 0.0 Zach Day
Jonathan Aro 77.0 7.83 3.04 0.94 89 0.0 Brian Rose
Justin De Fratus 66.7 7.15 3.78 0.67 90 -0.1 Matt Ryan
David Rollins 70.0 7.07 3.21 1.16 77 -0.2 Jeff Hundley
Joe Beimel 41.3 5.45 3.05 1.09 84 -0.2 Mike Stanton
Mayckol Guaipe 66.0 7.23 2.32 1.09 84 -0.4 Dwayne Pollok
Kevin Gregg 16.3 7.73 3.87 1.66 66 -0.4 Terry Clark
Logan Kensing 53.7 6.87 3.85 1.01 81 -0.4 Jerry Johnson
Cody Martin 127.7 8.03 4.02 1.41 73 -0.5 Russ Springer
Brad Mills 111.3 6.39 3.48 1.29 72 -0.5 Tom Drees
Adrian Sampson 155.3 6.14 2.20 1.45 72 -0.5 Ryan Franklin
Casey Coleman 77.7 5.79 4.29 0.93 75 -0.6 Mike Bumstead
A.J. Schugel 115.3 5.78 3.20 1.25 70 -0.7 Steve Stemle
Anthony Bass 74.0 5.96 2.80 1.22 73 -0.8 Juan Sandoval
Donn Roach 124.0 3.85 2.98 0.94 70 -0.8 Jake Joseph
Joe Saunders 66.7 5.40 3.24 1.48 64 -1.0 Chris Michalak
Chien-Ming Wang 116.3 3.48 2.79 1.01 67 -1.0 Aaron Sele
Isaac Sanchez 63.7 5.93 4.10 1.27 70 -1.1 Matt Smith
Justin Germano 134.0 4.90 1.88 1.54 67 -1.3 Dave Johnson
Kyle Schepel 62.0 6.97 6.10 1.45 60 -1.5 Wilson Guzman
Tyler Pike 112.3 7.05 5.45 1.76 58 -2.5 Tom Singer

***

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 2016. 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.





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

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Aaron Hartmanmember
6 years ago

“If one is inclined to put stock in ZiPS, one is inclined also to believe that the version of reality in which Hisashi Iwakuma signs officially with the Dodgers is an unfortunate reality for the Mariners.”

How long ago did you write this, Cistulli?