2016 ZiPS Projections – Texas Rangers

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 Texas Rangers. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Atlanta / Cincinnati / Kansas City / Philadelphia / Pittsburgh / Toronto.

Batters
The Texas Rangers outperformed their Base Runs record by seven wins this past season, resembling on the peripheral level more a league-average club than a division-winning one. That’s not to discredit their accomplishment, at all. It does, however, begin to explain how a team that won 88 games and returns literally all its positional starters — how such a team could look so ordinary by way of computer algorithms.

It certainly isn’t an advantage for Texas that they have a considerable portion of their payroll allocated to four merely decent players. Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder, and Josh Hamilton are expected to earn roughly $88 million collectively this year and yet to produce fewer than six wins as a group. That’s approximately $15 million per win — or nearly double the current estimated win valuation of the market.*

None of this, of course, is to impugn Adrian Beltre, who famously once played both Daedalus and Icarus in a community theater production of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

*Note: I’ve neglected to mention here that a portion of Fielder’s and nearly all of Hamilton’s contracts are being subsidized by other clubs. Naturally, that changes the dollars-per-win calculus. What it doesn’t change is the projections themselves.

Pitchers
When the Rangers acquired Cole Hamels at the trade deadline this past year, the prevailing wisdom was that they’d done it with a view towards pairing him with a healthy Yu Darvish for 2016. They were seven games behind Houston at that point with a talented Angels club also in the way. Texas proceeded to win 38 of their last 60 games, though, accidentally winning the division and allowing Hamels to record actual meaningful innings in October.

Unsurprisingly, Darvish and Hamels receive the top-two forecasts among the club’s pitchers entering 2016. Which, a note on Darvish and his forecast. Here’s what ZiPS knows: that he recorded zero starts in 2015. Here’s what it doesn’t know: how come exactly. That said, the math looks right: Darvish is projected for 132 innings, roughly what one might expect from a starter who’s expected to miss a month or more to begin the season.

Bench/Prospects
It probably isn’t a popular position in Texas, or any of the other 49 states, to argue that Hanser Alberto is as good at baseball as Prince Fielder — nor would the 27 wRC+ produced by Alberto during his 100-plate-appearance debut do much to alter one’s opinion on that front. However! Alberto also recorded a league-average line in Triple-A last year as a 22-year-old shortstop. He makes contact, he defends, he’s young… and he’s projected to record the same WAR figure as Fielder in 2016 in 100 fewer plate appearances.

Besides Alberto, some of the club’s more celebrated prospects are also well-acquitted: Lewis Brinson, Joey Gallo, and Nomar Mazara — each of them 22 or younger — all receive a projection of at least one win. Among pitchers, the returns are less encouraging: right-hander Luke Jackson’s forecast both (a) calls for a nearly replacement-level performance and (b) represents the strongest projection among the Rangers’ rookie-eligible pitchers.

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

Rangers 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
Adrian Beltre R 37 3B 547 66 144 27 3 16 70 1 0
Rougned Odor L 22 2B 607 71 151 26 10 20 78 9 9
Shin-Soo Choo L 33 RF 574 73 128 24 2 15 53 8 5
Elvis Andrus R 27 SS 672 73 161 30 3 5 57 27 10
Prince Fielder L 32 DH 603 60 143 26 0 18 74 1 0
Hanser Alberto R 23 SS 494 50 125 21 4 6 43 9 7
Mike Napoli R 34 1B 439 43 86 16 1 18 50 2 2
Robinson Chirinos R 32 C 313 33 64 13 1 9 32 0 0
Lewis Brinson R 22 CF 458 47 98 19 3 12 43 12 10
Joey Gallo L 22 3B 529 64 98 18 2 27 69 6 1
Nomar Mazara L 21 RF 573 59 136 23 3 19 57 2 1
Mitch Moreland L 30 1B 412 41 97 20 1 16 62 1 0
Josh Hamilton L 35 LF 374 43 88 17 1 14 49 2 1
Drew Stubbs R 31 CF 397 45 76 13 2 10 30 16 3
Delino DeShields R 23 CF 532 74 114 21 6 5 42 31 10
Chris Gimenez R 33 C 343 35 70 13 1 6 28 2 1
Will Venable L 33 CF 421 52 95 15 4 10 43 15 4
Adam Rosales R 33 2B 262 27 56 11 1 6 20 4 3
Jurickson Profar B 23 2B 320 33 68 15 3 6 29 8 4
Patrick Kivlehan R 26 3B 526 60 118 21 2 14 61 9 3
Carlos Corporan B 32 C 182 17 36 6 0 5 21 0 0
Bobby Wilson R 33 C 229 19 45 7 0 2 20 0 1
Beamer Weems R 28 SS 272 26 55 12 1 4 25 0 1
Ryan Cordell R 24 CF 452 45 94 13 3 9 38 14 5
Ryan Strausborger R 28 RF 442 43 94 17 3 7 35 20 4
Ed Lucas R 34 3B 401 39 88 12 1 5 28 2 2
Antoan Richardson B 32 CF 249 26 48 6 3 1 15 14 2
Ryan Rua R 26 LF 423 44 88 17 1 13 41 4 2
Garrett Weber R 27 2B 435 43 98 17 2 7 40 2 2
Evan Van Hoosier R 22 2B 421 41 92 16 4 4 32 8 3
Alex Burg R 28 C 367 37 69 13 1 8 32 1 1
Drew Robinson L 24 2B 504 50 88 19 4 13 47 8 5
Guilder Rodriguez B 32 3B 282 24 59 5 0 0 13 7 5
Ronald Guzman L 21 1B 560 48 115 22 2 8 49 5 1

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Adrian Beltre 547 7.3% 11.7% .163 .302 .289 .342 .452 .335
Rougned Odor 607 5.1% 15.8% .192 .296 .273 .324 .465 .343
Shin-Soo Choo 574 12.4% 22.3% .151 .328 .264 .372 .415 .352
Elvis Andrus 672 7.0% 13.2% .084 .302 .267 .319 .351 .304
Prince Fielder 603 10.1% 15.4% .151 .297 .271 .355 .422 .327
Hanser Alberto 494 2.2% 11.3% .101 .291 .267 .287 .368 .286
Mike Napoli 439 13.4% 28.2% .192 .291 .229 .339 .421 .333
Robinson Chirinos 313 7.7% 22.4% .151 .274 .230 .301 .381 .296
Lewis Brinson 458 6.8% 27.7% .145 .304 .234 .291 .379 .306
Joey Gallo 529 10.4% 41.4% .219 .313 .209 .291 .428 .308
Nomar Mazara 573 7.0% 25.8% .164 .324 .261 .316 .425 .322
Mitch Moreland 412 6.8% 21.6% .188 .296 .259 .314 .447 .324
Josh Hamilton 374 7.2% 25.4% .179 .314 .259 .313 .438 .319
Drew Stubbs 397 8.8% 34.0% .133 .310 .213 .286 .346 .288
Delino DeShields 532 9.4% 22.0% .104 .317 .247 .326 .351 .313
Chris Gimenez 343 8.2% 21.9% .107 .279 .227 .294 .334 .277
Will Venable 421 7.6% 22.1% .138 .302 .248 .310 .386 .310
Adam Rosales 262 6.9% 21.8% .131 .282 .235 .295 .366 .297
Jurickson Profar 320 7.8% 18.1% .136 .274 .236 .302 .372 .302
Patrick Kivlehan 526 5.3% 25.7% .137 .302 .241 .287 .378 .295
Carlos Corporan 182 5.5% 26.4% .127 .272 .218 .276 .345 .269
Bobby Wilson 229 7.4% 19.2% .063 .265 .217 .279 .280 .248
Beamer Weems 272 6.3% 24.3% .104 .280 .219 .273 .323 .264
Ryan Cordell 452 5.5% 27.4% .110 .295 .225 .273 .335 .277
Ryan Strausborger 442 5.0% 21.7% .108 .282 .230 .273 .338 .277
Ed Lucas 401 6.2% 22.9% .078 .302 .237 .288 .315 .270
Antoan Richardson 249 8.8% 22.1% .070 .294 .223 .311 .293 .285
Ryan Rua 423 6.6% 26.7% .149 .284 .226 .286 .375 .294
Garrett Weber 435 5.3% 23.0% .104 .304 .243 .290 .347 .283
Evan Van Hoosier 421 5.5% 23.0% .092 .299 .235 .279 .327 .272
Alex Burg 367 8.2% 31.3% .118 .292 .210 .281 .328 .272
Drew Robinson 504 9.1% 34.9% .146 .285 .195 .275 .341 .277
Guilder Rodriguez 282 7.1% 16.3% .019 .278 .230 .284 .249 .249
Ronald Guzman 560 5.0% 27.3% .095 .290 .219 .259 .314 .255

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Adrian Beltre 547 5.9 115 6 3.6 Mike Lowell
Rougned Odor 607 5.4 113 -4 2.5 Robinson Cano
Shin-Soo Choo 574 5.6 116 -5 1.9 Wally Moon
Elvis Andrus 672 4.3 84 -1 1.8 Mike Lansing
Prince Fielder 603 5.6 112 0 1.4 Alvin Davis
Hanser Alberto 494 3.8 78 7 1.4 Hal Lanier
Mike Napoli 439 5.0 107 4 1.3 Pat Burrell
Robinson Chirinos 313 4.0 86 0 1.2 Jody Davis
Lewis Brinson 458 3.7 82 5 1.1 Jon Nunnally
Joey Gallo 529 4.3 94 -4 1.1 Willie Greene
Nomar Mazara 573 4.9 101 -1 1.0 Nick Markakis
Mitch Moreland 412 5.1 105 2 0.9 Daryle Ward
Josh Hamilton 374 5.0 103 -2 0.5 Lee Stevens
Drew Stubbs 397 3.7 72 2 0.5 Bo Porter
Delino DeShields 532 4.4 86 -8 0.5 Stan Javier
Chris Gimenez 343 3.4 72 -2 0.5 Robby Hammock
Will Venable 421 4.5 90 -6 0.5 Pat Sheridan
Adam Rosales 262 3.7 80 1 0.4 Webster Garrison
Jurickson Profar 320 4.0 83 -2 0.3 Scott Sizemore
Patrick Kivlehan 526 3.9 81 -5 0.2 Sean Berry
Carlos Corporan 182 3.3 69 -1 0.1 George Mitterwald
Bobby Wilson 229 2.6 54 2 0.1 Chad Moeller
Beamer Weems 272 3.0 63 1 0.0 Pedro Lopez
Ryan Cordell 452 3.3 66 1 -0.1 Shaun Cumberland
Ryan Strausborger 442 3.6 66 6 -0.2 Ramon Moreta
Ed Lucas 401 3.2 66 0 -0.3 Jorge Velandia
Antoan Richardson 249 3.7 67 -4 -0.3 Tom Goodwin
Ryan Rua 423 3.8 79 -1 -0.3 Andy Bevins
Garrett Weber 435 3.5 74 -5 -0.4 Juan Melo
Evan Van Hoosier 421 3.3 65 -2 -0.5 Juan Delgado
Alex Burg 367 3.1 67 -10 -0.6 Ray Stephens
Drew Robinson 504 3.1 68 -4 -0.6 Brandon Cromer
Guilder Rodriguez 282 2.4 48 0 -0.9 Shane Turner
Ronald Guzman 560 2.9 56 -3 -2.8 Rich Lane

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Cole Hamels L 32 30 30 197.3 168 53 22 189 87 81
Yu Darvish R 29 20 20 132.0 156 51 15 112 54 50
Yovani Gallardo R 30 30 30 166.0 108 61 17 176 83 78
Derek Holland L 29 18 18 100.7 85 30 14 102 51 48
Martin Perez L 25 19 19 108.3 71 32 11 116 57 53
Chi Chi Gonzalez R 24 29 25 140.3 81 56 14 147 76 71
Keone Kela R 23 72 0 63.0 71 19 6 54 24 22
Shawn Tolleson R 28 71 0 71.3 76 17 9 64 28 26
Sam Dyson R 28 75 0 74.0 67 19 7 71 30 28
Nick Martinez R 25 28 25 140.3 85 54 18 153 80 75
Phil Klein R 27 40 6 71.3 68 34 7 65 34 32
Alex Claudio L 24 46 4 73.3 57 17 8 75 34 32
Luke Jackson R 24 38 12 89.7 84 44 11 87 48 45
Colby Lewis R 36 22 22 128.7 89 34 18 142 75 70
Ross Ohlendorf R 33 44 0 54.0 54 19 6 51 25 23
Yohander Mendez L 21 18 9 55.7 47 17 8 57 30 28
Tom Wilhelmsen R 32 53 0 64.0 58 30 6 58 30 28
Andrew Faulkner L 23 37 18 109.7 91 51 16 113 64 60
Jake Diekman L 29 71 0 65.3 68 33 6 60 32 30
Sam Freeman L 29 61 0 57.0 51 30 5 54 28 26
Anthony Ranaudo R 26 25 24 134.0 91 55 21 143 82 77
Ross Wolf R 33 23 11 83.7 36 26 9 98 50 47
Jared Burton R 35 40 0 37.0 32 14 5 36 19 18
Robert Coello R 31 28 7 64.0 50 33 9 67 39 36
Tanner Scheppers R 29 53 0 49.7 41 23 6 49 27 25
John Fasola R 24 35 0 43.7 39 15 7 44 24 22
Jimmy Reyes L 27 42 3 60.7 37 22 7 67 34 32
Kyuji Fujikawa R 35 16 0 14.7 13 6 2 15 9 8
Chad Smith R 26 34 0 48.0 34 17 6 52 28 26
Edwar Cabrera L 28 28 15 100.0 65 34 16 112 63 59
Adam Parks R 23 31 0 55.0 49 20 8 56 31 29
David Martinez R 28 37 9 84.7 49 32 11 95 52 49
Francisco Mendoza R 28 43 1 58.0 44 33 7 59 34 32
Connor Sadzeck R 24 21 19 83.3 49 59 9 91 56 52
Frank Lopez L 22 21 20 95.7 67 40 17 108 64 60
Mike Kickham L 27 21 15 84.7 59 49 12 95 58 54
Jose Leclerc R 22 32 14 80.0 68 61 14 85 59 55

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Cole Hamels 197.3 834 20.1% 6.4% .286 3.69 3.72 87 90
Yu Darvish 132.0 559 27.9% 9.1% .291 3.41 3.45 80 83
Yovani Gallardo 166.0 735 14.7% 8.3% .290 4.23 4.26 99 103
Derek Holland 100.7 434 19.6% 6.9% .291 4.29 4.18 101 101
Martin Perez 108.3 473 15.0% 6.8% .295 4.40 4.03 103 97
Chi Chi Gonzalez 140.3 624 13.0% 9.0% .285 4.55 4.57 107 111
Keone Kela 63.0 262 27.1% 7.3% .289 3.14 2.99 74 72
Shawn Tolleson 71.3 295 25.8% 5.8% .288 3.28 3.20 77 77
Sam Dyson 74.0 312 21.5% 6.1% .298 3.41 3.38 80 82
Nick Martinez 140.3 628 13.5% 8.6% .292 4.81 4.89 113 118
Phil Klein 71.3 313 21.7% 10.9% .290 4.04 3.95 95 95
Alex Claudio 73.3 312 18.3% 5.5% .297 3.93 3.79 92 92
Luke Jackson 89.7 400 21.0% 11.0% .296 4.52 4.43 106 107
Colby Lewis 128.7 562 15.8% 6.0% .299 4.90 4.45 115 108
Ross Ohlendorf 54.0 232 23.3% 8.2% .300 3.83 3.61 90 87
Yohander Mendez 55.7 241 19.5% 7.1% .297 4.53 4.42 106 107
Tom Wilhelmsen 64.0 280 20.7% 10.7% .283 3.94 3.82 93 93
Andrew Faulkner 109.7 493 18.5% 10.3% .295 4.92 4.87 116 118
Jake Diekman 65.3 289 23.5% 11.4% .302 4.13 3.78 97 91
Sam Freeman 57.0 255 20.0% 11.8% .297 4.11 4.25 97 103
Anthony Ranaudo 134.0 600 15.2% 9.2% .286 5.17 5.15 122 125
Ross Wolf 83.7 375 9.6% 6.9% .297 5.06 4.68 119 113
Jared Burton 37.0 161 19.9% 8.7% .287 4.38 4.27 103 103
Robert Coello 64.0 292 17.1% 11.3% .294 5.06 5.06 119 122
Tanner Scheppers 49.7 221 18.5% 10.4% .292 4.53 4.47 106 108
John Fasola 43.7 190 20.5% 7.9% .291 4.53 4.50 106 109
Jimmy Reyes 60.7 271 13.6% 8.1% .298 4.75 4.62 112 112
Kyuji Fujikawa 14.7 65 20.0% 9.2% .302 4.91 4.33 115 105
Chad Smith 48.0 213 16.0% 8.0% .301 4.87 4.56 114 110
Edwar Cabrera 100.0 446 14.6% 7.6% .295 5.31 5.09 125 123
Adam Parks 55.0 241 20.3% 8.3% .300 4.75 4.52 112 109
David Martinez 84.7 381 12.9% 8.4% .296 5.21 4.84 122 117
Francisco Mendoza 58.0 266 16.5% 12.4% .292 4.97 5.02 117 121
Connor Sadzeck 83.3 400 12.3% 14.8% .295 5.62 5.64 132 136
Frank Lopez 95.7 435 15.4% 9.2% .297 5.64 5.43 133 131
Mike Kickham 84.7 398 14.8% 12.3% .303 5.74 5.43 135 131
Jose Leclerc 80.0 386 17.6% 15.8% .298 6.19 6.16 145 149

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Cole Hamels 197.3 7.66 2.42 1.00 111 3.7 Kenny Rogers
Yu Darvish 132.0 10.64 3.48 1.02 120 2.9 Hideo Nomo
Yovani Gallardo 166.0 5.86 3.31 0.92 97 1.9 Omar Olivares
Derek Holland 100.7 7.60 2.68 1.25 96 1.1 Mark Redman
Martin Perez 108.3 5.90 2.66 0.91 93 1.1 Nate Robertson
Chi Chi Gonzalez 140.3 5.20 3.59 0.90 90 1.1 Craig McMurtry
Keone Kela 63.0 10.14 2.71 0.86 131 0.9 Antonio Osuna
Shawn Tolleson 71.3 9.59 2.15 1.14 125 0.9 Steve Reed
Sam Dyson 74.0 8.15 2.31 0.85 121 0.8 Chad Bradford
Nick Martinez 140.3 5.45 3.46 1.15 85 0.7 Steve Falteisek
Phil Klein 71.3 8.58 4.29 0.88 102 0.7 Jim Stoops
Alex Claudio 73.3 7.00 2.09 0.98 105 0.7 Ryan Meaux
Luke Jackson 89.7 8.43 4.41 1.10 91 0.5 Tom McCarthy
Colby Lewis 128.7 6.22 2.38 1.26 84 0.5 Dennis Springer
Ross Ohlendorf 54.0 9.00 3.17 1.00 107 0.3 Doug Henry
Yohander Mendez 55.7 7.59 2.75 1.29 91 0.3 Rob Tejeda
Tom Wilhelmsen 64.0 8.16 4.22 0.84 104 0.3 Alan Mills
Andrew Faulkner 109.7 7.47 4.18 1.31 83 0.2 Brian Burres
Jake Diekman 65.3 9.37 4.55 0.83 99 0.1 Greg McCarthy
Sam Freeman 57.0 8.05 4.74 0.79 100 0.1 Scott Wiegandt
Anthony Ranaudo 134.0 6.11 3.69 1.41 79 0.1 Frank Potestio
Ross Wolf 83.7 3.87 2.80 0.97 81 0.1 Bob Scanlan
Jared Burton 37.0 7.78 3.41 1.22 94 -0.1 Ricky Bottalico
Robert Coello 64.0 7.03 4.64 1.27 81 -0.1 Matt Albers
Tanner Scheppers 49.7 7.42 4.16 1.09 91 -0.1 Mike Cook
John Fasola 43.7 8.03 3.09 1.44 91 -0.1 Matt Herges
Jimmy Reyes 60.7 5.49 3.26 1.04 86 -0.1 Mike Bell
Kyuji Fujikawa 14.7 7.96 3.67 1.22 84 -0.1 Ernie Camacho
Chad Smith 48.0 6.38 3.19 1.13 84 -0.3 Thad Markray
Edwar Cabrera 100.0 5.85 3.06 1.44 77 -0.3 Tommy Phelps
Adam Parks 55.0 8.02 3.27 1.31 87 -0.3 John Daniels
David Martinez 84.7 5.21 3.40 1.17 79 -0.4 Edwin Corps
Francisco Mendoza 58.0 6.83 5.12 1.09 83 -0.4 Jake Robbins
Connor Sadzeck 83.3 5.29 6.37 0.97 73 -0.4 Jesus Silva
Frank Lopez 95.7 6.30 3.76 1.60 73 -0.6 Matt White
Mike Kickham 84.7 6.27 5.21 1.28 72 -0.6 Jeff Tabaka
Jose Leclerc 80.0 7.65 6.86 1.58 66 -1.1 Greg Ferlenda

***

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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Buck
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Buck

Texas is paying only $2M of Hamilton salary per year? So… I don’t know, just doesn’t fit with the narrative of “X payroll tied to average players”.

Buck
Guest
Buck

And Detroit is paying $6M of Fielder’s salary? I mean… come on.

” Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder, and Josh Hamilton are expected to earn roughly $88 million collectively this year and yet to produce fewer than six wins as a group. ”

Should be $55M as a group (I assume you just forgot to check Cott’s?). And hey, at market rate they’re paying for 7 wins and projected to get 6, so it’s not an atrocity!