2019 ZiPS Projections – Chicago Cubs

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 Chicago Cubs.

Batters

The outfield remains the primary weakness of the team, at least in ZiPS’ digital eyes. Consisting of Kyle Schwarber (.233/.343/.472, 1.6 WAR projection), a center field combo of Albert Almora Jr. (.271/.308/.383, 1.0 WAR) and Ian Happ (.236/.335/.435, 1.4 WAR), Jason Heyward (.260/.331/.389, 1.9 WAR), and the occasional appearances by Ben Zobrist (.261/.335/.386), the group is serviceable, but unimpressive. The spares (generally Happ and Zobrist) are at least adequate, and the outfield isn’t at the Darren Aronofsky-esque levels of bleakness as in San Francisco, which is something.

If only an outfielder was available in the free agent market, one who could bring a significant boost to a contending team!

The recent comments from team executives about the club being out of money should be of significant concern for Cubs fans. While it likely isn’t literally true, “can’t” spend money and “won’t” spend money tend to have about the same result on the roster. The Cubs can win the division without spending more, but they can’t put any prognosticating daylight between themselves and the Cardinals or Brewers without doing so.

The infield, naturally, is a strength, with three players at any given time among the top five at their positions (Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez, obviously). Baez’s positional flexibility is a significant plus for the team, particularly with Addison Russell missing the first month of the season due to violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. While signing Manny Machado and ridding themselves of Russell entirely would have perhaps been the least awkward resolution of the team’s infield situation, it wouldn’t have happened without the team finding some that money they’re out of to spend and certainly won’t happen now that Machado is a Padre. David Bote’s .238/.306/.401 line is very close to his 2018 numbers, and you can’t ask for much more from a fifth infielder.

Pitchers

There’s good news here! The team won 95 games in 2018 — from the way the team was covered, you’d think they went 70-92 — but little of that could be credited to the starting pitching. This was especially true in the first half, when the team went 55-38 and the rotation combined for a mere 2.9 WAR, 27th in baseball and behind every team that was in contention at that point (the Braves were 17th and the A’s 22nd, but the latter had only recently started their crazy run).

Things went better in the second half, with the Cubs rotation combining for 6.1 WAR, ninth in baseball. A lot of this had to do with the acquisition of Cole Hamels, who put up a 2.36 ERA and 3.42 FIP for the Cubs, far better results than I expected given his struggles in Texas. It’s becoming commonplace, in light of the team’s lack of spending, to criticize picking up the Hamels option, but I think that misses the point considerably. The Cubs were on the hook for the $6 million buyout in any case, so it was really only a $14 million decision, and the team would have been hard-pressed to do much better on a one-year, $14 million contract in free agency. And really, if they won’t pursue Bryce Harper now, would a one-year, $14 million contract have really changed that? And let’s not forget that the rotation’s Plan B’s drop off very quickly after Mike Montgomery.

ZiPS projects the pen to be better than most projection systems do. It’s not the most exciting group, with no Aroldis Chapman or prime Wade Davis closing out games. But Brandon Morrow’s expected to be back some time in May and Xavier Cedeno is one of the offseason’s sneakier pickups — he’s a pitcher with a 3.45 FIP over the last three seasons and a 2.95 FIP in 2018, who somehow seemed to generate almost no interest after being non-tendered.

Bench and Prospects

The bench remains a team strength, with Bote, Zobrist, the center fielder who is not starting on the given night, and Victor Caratini all able to start without embarrassing anybody when needed, which is more than you can say about most teams’ benches. Daniel Descalso’s also around with Russell out, but it’ll be hard for the team to carry Bote and Descalso, assuming Russell’s return happens as expected.

Where the trouble starts is if something unforeseen happens, and something unforeseen usually does. Players underperform and, more seriously, players get injured, and the latter can wreak havoc on even the prettiest depth charts. I’m not quite as optimistic about the team’s spares, especially big curveballer Duncan Robinson. The team’s more interesting high-minors pitching prospects (Adbert Alzolay and Duane Underwood) still have work to do before reaching the bigs and ZiPS is decidedly not on Team Tseng.

And the spare hitters are even less exciting. Former Met and minor league free agent signing Phillip Evans occupies far higher a spot in the rankings than the team should be comfortable with. In terms of minor-league outfielders, only Mark Zagunis (.238/.351/.378, 0.6 WAR) and ex-Twin Johnny Field (.239/.283/.407, 0.1 WAR) even get above-replacement projections. That two-time former Cubs Chris Coghlan — who is turning 34, was a non-factor in 2018 as an Iowa Cub with shoulder problems, and is not even signed by the team — looks so relatively useful is troubling.

One pedantic note for 2019: for the WAR graphic, I’m using FanGraphs’ Depth Charts playing time, not the playing time ZiPS spits out, so there will be occasional differences in WAR totals.

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site.

Batters – Counting Stats
Player B Age PO G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Kris Bryant R 27 3B 142 562 92 152 33 4 28 83 71 150 6 5
Anthony Rizzo L 29 1B 148 545 81 151 33 3 26 102 76 87 9 5
Javier Baez R 26 SS 156 541 81 149 29 5 30 94 29 154 17 6
Willson Contreras R 27 C 134 463 56 118 26 3 14 64 51 117 5 3
Addison Russell R 25 SS 136 450 58 108 25 2 11 56 42 119 4 1
Jason Heyward L 29 RF 130 457 63 119 23 3 10 57 46 69 6 2
Kyle Schwarber L 26 LF 128 417 70 97 15 2 27 69 68 150 3 2
David Bote R 26 3B 126 429 54 102 22 3 14 56 37 122 5 4
Ian Happ B 24 CF 142 441 66 104 21 2 21 61 65 178 9 5
Ben Zobrist B 38 2B 119 399 52 104 20 3 8 45 45 58 2 3
Albert Almora R 25 CF 149 447 57 121 25 2 7 47 24 81 3 3
Zack Short R 24 SS 121 444 58 90 22 3 12 47 68 148 9 6
Victor Caratini B 25 C 112 358 44 92 21 2 8 43 33 84 0 0
Phillip Evans R 26 3B 110 375 43 93 18 2 9 43 27 80 3 3
Mark Zagunis R 26 RF 110 378 55 90 19 2 10 42 60 112 7 3
Daniel Descalso L 32 2B 130 318 44 71 14 3 10 47 51 95 1 1
Cristhian Adames B 27 2B 128 419 47 103 17 4 7 44 32 76 5 4
Chris Coghlan L 34 LF 78 231 29 52 13 2 5 24 27 53 3 1
Johnny Field R 27 LF 110 393 48 94 26 2 12 48 20 106 8 3
Jhonny Pereda R 23 C 118 430 46 99 12 2 6 36 41 86 3 3
P.J. Higgins R 26 C 108 390 41 87 17 1 4 30 40 85 3 1
Ian Rice R 25 C 95 306 41 64 13 0 10 34 46 109 1 1
Trent Giambrone R 25 2B 118 425 51 94 17 1 13 43 36 115 16 7
Ryan Court R 31 SS 110 380 42 81 16 2 8 36 40 146 4 3
Francisco Arcia L 29 C 79 258 27 60 9 1 6 30 13 58 3 1
Taylor Davis R 29 C 106 355 39 87 20 1 5 35 30 56 0 2
Wynton Bernard R 28 CF 101 317 33 75 13 3 4 27 18 70 21 5
Zach Borenstein L 28 LF 127 431 59 94 22 3 17 64 50 175 4 2
Evan Marzilli L 28 CF 97 322 36 63 11 4 4 24 40 114 8 5
Jacob Hannemann L 28 CF 108 385 41 83 18 3 7 34 25 109 18 5
Chesny Young R 26 2B 111 410 44 104 16 2 1 27 31 78 7 5
Stephen Bruno R 28 2B 91 263 28 62 11 1 5 24 13 55 5 3
Charcer Burks R 24 LF 123 453 55 95 19 3 8 37 54 153 12 9
Efren Navarro L 33 1B 109 384 43 90 15 1 6 34 36 91 0 2
Bijan Rademacher L 28 RF 109 333 37 80 15 1 5 31 33 76 2 2
Jim Adduci L 34 1B 103 382 43 90 19 3 8 47 23 109 8 2
Trey Martin R 26 CF 105 354 33 67 12 2 4 26 26 142 11 5

 

Batters – Rate Stats
Player PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Kris Bryant 655 .270 .365 .493 123 .222 .323 6.6 2 4.5 Ryan Zimmerman
Anthony Rizzo 648 .277 .383 .492 129 .215 .289 7.0 5 4.0 Kent Hrbek
Javier Baez 581 .275 .318 .514 114 .238 .333 6.2 1 3.8 Dave Concepcion
Willson Contreras 526 .255 .339 .415 98 .160 .313 5.1 -1 2.3 Jim Sundberg
Addison Russell 501 .240 .310 .378 80 .138 .303 4.2 9 1.9 Jed Lowrie
Jason Heyward 510 .260 .331 .389 89 .129 .288 4.8 12 1.9 Terrence Long
Kyle Schwarber 491 .233 .343 .472 112 .240 .292 5.7 -2 1.6 Dan Pasqua
David Bote 474 .238 .306 .401 85 .163 .300 4.3 6 1.4 Brandon Inge
Ian Happ 514 .236 .335 .435 101 .200 .343 5.1 -6 1.4 Chili Davis
Ben Zobrist 452 .261 .335 .386 90 .125 .288 4.6 -2 1.0 Wade Boggs
Albert Almora 481 .271 .308 .383 81 .112 .318 4.3 4 1.0 Rowland Office
Zack Short 520 .203 .314 .347 74 .144 .275 3.6 0 0.8 Tony Schrager
Victor Caratini 401 .257 .325 .394 89 .137 .316 4.7 -6 0.8 James Durrman
Phillip Evans 405 .248 .301 .379 78 .131 .294 4.0 3 0.7 Brian Buscher
Mark Zagunis 448 .238 .351 .378 93 .140 .313 4.7 -3 0.6 Domingo Michel
Daniel Descalso 375 .223 .331 .381 87 .157 .286 4.3 -5 0.4 Shanie Dugas
Cristhian Adames 460 .246 .300 .356 72 .110 .286 3.7 1 0.2 Chris Lombardozzi
Chris Coghlan 263 .225 .313 .364 78 .139 .272 4.0 1 0.1 Larry Sutton
Johnny Field 422 .239 .283 .407 79 .168 .298 4.1 2 0.1 Kenny Jackson
Jhonny Pereda 475 .230 .300 .309 61 .079 .275 3.2 1 0.1 Brian Moon
P.J. Higgins 442 .223 .300 .303 60 .079 .276 3.2 0 0.0 Matt Treanor
Ian Rice 359 .209 .320 .350 77 .141 .289 3.8 -8 0.0 Adam Melhuse
Trent Giambrone 469 .221 .285 .358 68 .136 .273 3.6 -1 0.0 Andy Fox
Ryan Court 427 .213 .293 .329 64 .116 .323 3.3 -1 -0.1 Cody Ransom
Francisco Arcia 282 .233 .287 .345 66 .112 .278 3.5 -3 -0.1 Doug Newstrom
Taylor Davis 394 .245 .303 .349 72 .104 .279 3.7 -6 -0.2 Dave Van Gorder
Wynton Bernard 341 .237 .281 .334 62 .098 .292 3.7 -2 -0.3 Jolbert Cabrera
Zach Borenstein 486 .218 .300 .401 83 .183 .322 4.2 -5 -0.3 Chris Wakeland
Evan Marzilli 368 .196 .289 .292 54 .096 .289 2.8 3 -0.3 Jeff Duncan
Jacob Hannemann 421 .216 .271 .332 58 .117 .283 3.3 1 -0.3 Victor Mendez
Chesny Young 448 .254 .307 .310 64 .056 .311 3.4 -1 -0.4 Liu Rodriguez
Stephen Bruno 290 .236 .292 .342 67 .106 .281 3.5 -3 -0.4 Carlo Colombino
Charcer Burks 518 .210 .300 .318 64 .108 .298 3.1 6 -0.4 Eric Varoz
Efren Navarro 424 .234 .300 .326 65 .091 .293 3.3 5 -0.5 Chris Pritchett
Bijan Rademacher 372 .240 .311 .336 71 .096 .298 3.7 -3 -0.7 Ray Harvey
Jim Adduci 410 .236 .279 .364 68 .128 .309 3.7 -3 -1.1 Jalal Leach
Trey Martin 389 .189 .247 .268 36 .079 .303 2.2 5 -1.2 Ramon Bautista

 

Pitchers – Counting Stats
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO
Jose Quintana L 30 14 8 3.67 30 30 174.0 162 71 19 56 163
Kyle Hendricks R 29 13 8 3.72 30 30 176.7 169 73 22 43 148
Cole Hamels L 35 11 7 3.71 28 28 167.3 148 69 20 58 150
Jon Lester L 35 12 9 3.97 29 29 165.3 161 73 22 53 142
Yu Darvish R 32 9 6 3.76 22 22 124.3 108 52 17 45 144
Mike Montgomery L 29 6 5 4.05 35 16 111.0 108 50 11 42 82
Alec Mills R 27 8 7 4.63 27 23 122.3 128 63 17 43 99
Kendall Graveman R 28 6 6 4.68 19 19 105.7 113 55 15 33 69
Duncan Robinson R 25 7 7 4.73 26 25 131.3 148 69 20 34 88
Brad Brach R 33 5 3 3.41 63 0 63.3 54 24 5 27 64
Steve Cishek R 33 4 2 3.39 68 0 58.3 48 22 6 25 63
Jaime Garcia L 32 6 6 4.67 27 19 106.0 104 55 15 47 89
Xavier Cedeno L 32 2 1 3.33 62 0 46.0 41 17 3 19 44
Pedro Strop R 34 4 3 3.48 58 0 51.7 42 20 5 21 55
Michael Rucker R 25 7 7 4.92 25 23 115.3 126 63 19 41 89
Carl Edwards Jr. R 27 4 3 3.67 62 0 56.3 39 23 5 38 78
Tony Barnette R 35 2 1 3.35 38 0 43.0 39 16 3 14 42
Justin Steele L 23 4 4 4.72 16 16 66.7 70 35 9 32 52
Brandon Morrow R 34 2 1 3.37 40 0 37.3 34 14 4 12 37
Christian Bergman R 31 8 8 5.11 26 22 125.0 141 71 20 35 77
Brandon Kintzler R 34 3 2 3.90 60 0 55.3 57 24 5 16 37
Kyle Ryan L 27 2 2 4.50 37 5 58.0 57 29 7 28 48
Tyler Chatwood R 29 7 7 5.10 26 22 114.7 109 65 13 81 91
Mike Zagurski L 36 2 1 3.89 40 0 37.0 31 16 5 18 49
Zach Hedges R 26 7 7 5.07 30 15 110.0 129 62 15 34 57
Adbert Alzolay R 24 4 5 5.09 15 15 70.7 78 40 11 29 51
Rob Zastryzny L 27 4 4 4.87 34 8 77.7 81 42 11 38 64
Dakota Mekkes R 24 3 3 4.37 44 0 55.7 47 27 6 41 66
Jen-Ho Tseng R 24 8 9 5.35 26 26 136.3 155 81 25 48 100
Duane Underwood R 24 7 9 5.31 27 22 118.7 131 70 21 49 87
Casey Coleman R 31 3 3 5.11 18 6 49.3 52 28 7 26 38
Dillon Maples R 27 4 3 4.28 56 0 54.7 39 26 4 54 85
Matt Swarmer R 25 7 9 5.34 24 21 111.3 124 66 24 31 92
Jorge de la Rosa L 38 1 1 4.27 52 0 46.3 45 22 5 22 39
Trevor Clifton R 24 6 8 5.35 25 23 111.0 121 66 16 60 80
Wyatt Short L 24 5 4 4.37 45 0 59.7 60 29 6 28 49
Colin Rea R 28 4 5 5.36 18 16 80.7 86 48 14 39 62
Rob Scahill R 32 3 3 4.42 48 0 55.0 55 27 6 25 45
George Kontos R 34 4 4 4.44 51 0 48.7 50 24 8 12 35
Danny Hultzen L 29 1 1 5.30 8 5 18.7 18 11 3 12 17
James Norwood R 25 3 3 4.50 50 0 58.0 55 29 6 34 55
Jerry Vasto L 27 3 3 4.50 46 0 48.0 45 24 6 26 51
Rowan Wick R 26 4 4 4.58 56 0 55.0 51 28 6 38 55
Brian Duensing L 36 2 1 4.74 50 0 43.7 45 23 5 21 31
Justin Hancock R 28 3 3 4.60 38 0 43.0 41 22 5 25 39
Randy Rosario L 25 2 2 4.61 57 0 66.3 71 34 6 31 43
Oscar De La Cruz R 24 5 7 5.55 16 16 71.3 80 44 13 34 53
Cory Mazzoni R 29 3 3 4.70 35 0 44.0 46 23 7 15 39
Craig Brooks R 26 3 3 4.70 43 0 51.7 46 27 5 44 56
Allen Webster R 29 3 4 5.58 17 11 61.3 68 38 12 30 50
Carlos Ramirez R 28 2 2 5.11 38 1 49.3 47 28 6 35 46
Conor Lillis-White L 26 3 3 4.92 43 0 64.0 59 35 10 40 71
Shae Simmons R 28 1 2 5.40 24 0 21.7 20 13 2 21 19
Junichi Tazawa R 33 3 3 5.21 48 0 46.7 50 27 9 20 41
Corey Black R 27 4 5 5.73 33 10 70.7 70 45 12 57 74
Thomas Hatch R 24 6 8 5.78 26 26 123.0 138 79 21 72 91
Keegan Thompson R 24 6 9 5.81 25 25 114.7 132 74 25 43 85
Alberto Baldonado L 26 3 4 5.43 42 1 56.3 55 34 9 40 57
Ian Clarkin L 24 4 5 6.16 24 13 76.0 90 52 12 49 38

 

Pitchers – Counting Stats
Player TBF K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA+ ERA- FIP WAR No. 1 Comp
Jose Quintana 733 8.43 2.90 0.98 .292 120 83 3.75 3.6 Jerry Koosman
Kyle Hendricks 736 7.54 2.19 1.12 .285 115 87 3.94 3.3 Dean Chance
Cole Hamels 707 8.07 3.12 1.08 .274 115 87 4.15 3.1 Tom Glavine
Jon Lester 703 7.73 2.89 1.20 .289 108 93 4.21 2.6 Kenny Rogers
Yu Darvish 523 10.42 3.26 1.23 .292 118 85 3.82 2.5 Matt Clement
Mike Montgomery 482 6.65 3.41 0.89 .286 109 92 4.31 1.6 Bobby Burke
Alec Mills 535 7.28 3.16 1.25 .300 95 105 4.54 1.3 Mike LaCoss
Kendall Graveman 459 5.88 2.81 1.28 .290 94 106 4.74 1.1 Steve Finch
Duncan Robinson 573 6.03 2.33 1.37 .302 91 110 4.73 1.1 Rick Wise
Brad Brach 267 9.09 3.84 0.71 .287 130 77 3.43 1.0 Jim Hughes
Steve Cishek 249 9.72 3.86 0.93 .280 126 79 3.87 0.8 Turk Wendell
Jaime Garcia 464 7.56 3.99 1.27 .287 92 109 4.73 0.8 Joe Gibbon
Xavier Cedeno 196 8.61 3.72 0.59 .295 133 75 3.39 0.7 Hank Aguirre
Pedro Strop 219 9.58 3.66 0.87 .276 123 81 3.73 0.7 Jim Corsi
Michael Rucker 511 6.95 3.20 1.48 .301 87 115 5.00 0.7 Joe Housey
Carl Edwards Jr. 245 12.46 6.07 0.80 .279 117 86 3.66 0.6 Armando Benitez
Tony Barnette 181 8.79 2.93 0.63 .300 132 76 3.22 0.6 Barney Schultz
Justin Steele 301 7.02 4.32 1.22 .299 91 110 4.97 0.5 Nate Robertson
Brandon Morrow 156 8.92 2.89 0.96 .294 127 79 3.61 0.5 Julian Tavarez
Christian Bergman 546 5.54 2.52 1.44 .296 84 119 4.96 0.5 Pat Ahearne
Brandon Kintzler 238 6.02 2.60 0.81 .294 110 91 4.02 0.4 Bob Locker
Kyle Ryan 258 7.45 4.34 1.09 .291 98 102 4.67 0.4 Jim Roland
Tyler Chatwood 530 7.14 6.36 1.02 .282 84 119 5.29 0.4 Don Larsen
Mike Zagurski 160 11.92 4.38 1.22 .302 114 88 3.88 0.3 Norm Charlton
Zach Hedges 490 4.66 2.78 1.23 .302 84 118 4.98 0.3 Dick Bosman
Adbert Alzolay 318 6.50 3.69 1.40 .300 84 119 5.13 0.3 Kirk McDonald
Rob Zastryzny 351 7.42 4.40 1.27 .300 88 114 5.00 0.2 Dan McGinn
Dakota Mekkes 255 10.67 6.63 0.97 .295 101 99 4.55 0.2 Mark Littell
Jen-Ho Tseng 608 6.60 3.17 1.65 .304 80 125 5.28 0.2 Nate Cornejo
Duane Underwood 533 6.60 3.72 1.59 .297 81 124 5.37 0.2 Jake Joseph
Casey Coleman 225 6.93 4.74 1.28 .298 87 115 5.22 0.2 Blue Moon Odom
Dillon Maples 258 13.99 8.89 0.66 .315 100 100 4.17 0.2 Duane Ward
Matt Swarmer 488 7.44 2.51 1.94 .299 80 125 5.32 0.1 Josh Towers
Jorge de la Rosa 205 7.58 4.27 0.97 .292 100 100 4.42 0.1 Ted Abernathy
Trevor Clifton 511 6.49 4.86 1.30 .301 80 125 5.37 0.1 Jeff Fulchino
Wyatt Short 267 7.39 4.22 0.91 .300 98 102 4.42 0.1 Mike Murphy
Colin Rea 366 6.92 4.35 1.56 .293 80 125 5.51 0.1 Landon Jacobsen
Rob Scahill 245 7.36 4.09 0.98 .297 97 103 4.51 0.1 Tom Timmermann
George Kontos 205 6.47 2.22 1.48 .282 97 104 4.65 0.1 Dick Hall
Danny Hultzen 86 8.20 5.79 1.45 .283 83 120 5.51 0.1 Brian O’Connor
James Norwood 263 8.53 5.28 0.93 .299 95 105 4.56 0.0 Julio DePaula
Jerry Vasto 215 9.56 4.88 1.13 .302 95 105 4.46 0.0 Dan Ricabal
Rowan Wick 253 9.00 6.22 0.98 .298 94 107 4.80 0.0 Marc Pisciotta
Brian Duensing 196 6.39 4.33 1.03 .292 93 107 4.80 0.0 Dave Giusti
Justin Hancock 194 8.16 5.23 1.05 .293 93 107 4.73 0.0 Bill Kelso
Randy Rosario 298 5.83 4.21 0.81 .301 93 108 4.52 0.0 Mike Cosgrove
Oscar De La Cruz 327 6.69 4.29 1.64 .300 77 130 5.63 -0.1 Ken Ray
Cory Mazzoni 192 7.98 3.07 1.43 .302 91 110 4.60 -0.1 Kirk Bullinger
Craig Brooks 245 9.75 7.66 0.87 .299 91 110 4.97 -0.1 Clay Bryant
Allen Webster 281 7.34 4.40 1.76 .303 77 130 5.73 -0.1 Kerry Taylor
Carlos Ramirez 230 8.39 6.39 1.09 .293 87 115 5.18 -0.1 Hal Reniff
Conor Lillis-White 291 9.98 5.63 1.41 .295 90 111 5.03 -0.2 Scott Wiggins
Shae Simmons 105 7.89 8.72 0.83 .290 79 126 5.64 -0.2 Newt Kimball
Junichi Tazawa 208 7.91 3.86 1.74 .299 85 118 5.25 -0.2 Jason Childers
Corey Black 338 9.42 7.26 1.53 .304 75 134 5.85 -0.4 Steve Curry
Thomas Hatch 577 6.66 5.27 1.54 .303 74 135 5.82 -0.4 Carlos Paredes
Keegan Thompson 517 6.67 3.38 1.96 .300 74 136 5.81 -0.4 Matt Childers
Alberto Baldonado 263 9.11 6.39 1.44 .299 79 127 5.49 -0.5 Tom Doyle
Ian Clarkin 366 4.50 5.80 1.42 .298 70 144 6.33 -0.7 Ben Fritz

 

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 Triple-A or .300 in Double-A, 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 the 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.

We hoped you liked reading 2019 ZiPS Projections – Chicago Cubs by Dan Szymborski!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

newest oldest most voted
Dave Stewart
Member

Its not David Discalso, it’s Denny Discalso.