2019 ZiPS Projections – Oakland Athletics

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 Oakland Athletics.

Batters

From the projections, one can see why the A’s let Jed Lowrie go so easily, despite his legitimate star-level performance in 2017 and ’18. Five Oakland infielders — the starters plus Franklin Barreto — project to be league-average or better. Now, none of them project to reach the level of Lowrie’s 4.9 WAR in 2018, but then again, neither does Lowrie, and mid-30s middle infielders tend to have pretty steep aging curves. And really, if anyone thought Lowrie was going to perform at an All-Star level again in 2019, he likely would have done better than two years and $20 million. Jurickson Profar projects to be a worthy replacement for Lowrie, and his return from literally years of injury and then underperformance is one of my favorite stories in baseball.

Except for catcher and the four-headed chimera in left field — at least, as our depth charts have it figured so far — the A’s project to be average or better, and sometimes significantly so, at every position. Perhaps ZiPS is trying to do penance for missing on the A’s by something like 20 wins in 2018.

Don’t get too excited about the Matt Olson comp; this version is from when Ortiz was still in the “Wait, is that the same guy as David Arias?” portion of his career, before he became Big Papi.

Pitchers

Ok, the highs are not very high. That’s due in large part to the fact that ZiPS is projecting fairly low innings totals for Oakland’s pitchers across the board. The system is aware of the injuries to Sean Manaea and Andrew Triggs in very general terms, so these aren’t theoretical “healthy” projections. As such, Manaea’s projection isn’t unexpected, but Triggs’s was a legitimate surprise to me. But again, I’m going to de-wind your sails a little bit by noting that ZiPS sees the Triggs injury as a generic “shoulder” ailment because I don’t have the data on thoracic outlet syndrome recoveries that I do with those from Tommy John. Regardless, this is an injury that you really don’t want.

The rotation’s highs may not be very high, but ZiPS sees the group as incredibly deep. 18 pitchers project to be worth at least one WAR if playing in the majors, and though a few of them are relievers (Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, and Joakim Soria) and Brett Anderson is a free agent, that’s still a lot of options.

Bench and Prospects

I hope that someday I can love somebody or something the way ZiPS loves Jesus Luzardo. No, the computer isn’t projecting him to actually have Steve Carlton’s career, but who wouldn’t take that as a top comp? ZiPS already sees Luzardo as the team’s best starting pitcher, a pretty shocking projection for a guy who started the season in A-ball and whose parent club isn’t, say, the Baltimore Orioles.

It also interests me that ZiPS pegs Sean Murphy as the team’s best catching option. I’m definitely interested to see where he falls on the McDongenhagen prospect list; he ranked sixth last year, but after a .285/.361/.489 year and a finish at Triple-A, I would imagine he’s moved up. Conversely, Oakland cooled on Dustin Fowler and now largely sees him as a fourth outfielder. Overall, ZiPS sees a lot more of interest in the minor league pitchers than the hitters.

One pedantic note for 2019: for the WAR graphic, I’m using FanGraphs’ depth chart 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
Matt Chapman R 26 3B 140 526 83 126 31 4 28 76 56 170 3 3
Matt Olson L 25 1B 150 535 81 126 30 1 31 87 70 170 2 1
Khris Davis R 31 DH 145 531 82 131 24 1 39 108 57 174 1 1
Stephen Piscotty R 28 RF 146 526 72 135 35 2 21 80 51 125 4 3
Ramon Laureano R 24 CF 120 449 62 108 23 4 15 53 43 143 18 5
Marcus Semien R 28 SS 152 580 78 145 30 3 18 67 54 132 13 4
Franklin Barreto R 23 2B 124 449 63 107 20 3 24 65 32 157 8 4
Jurickson Profar B 26 SS 137 485 68 119 28 4 13 56 49 88 8 1
Sean Murphy R 24 C 84 314 36 69 18 1 8 33 22 74 2 0
Nick Martini L 29 LF 124 426 55 104 19 3 6 42 53 103 5 2
Dustin Fowler L 24 CF 126 474 53 125 25 6 14 62 19 105 16 7
Chad Pinder R 27 LF 116 387 50 93 19 2 16 47 26 120 2 2
Mark Canha R 30 LF 119 385 55 91 24 1 16 55 32 99 3 2
Chris Herrmann L 31 C 82 210 28 42 8 2 5 25 29 67 2 0
Corban Joseph L 30 2B 122 440 47 109 20 1 9 45 30 57 4 4
Eric Campbell R 32 2B 102 325 45 77 15 2 5 39 45 71 5 4
Bruce Maxwell L 28 C 82 271 26 59 15 0 5 28 25 79 0 0
Beau Taylor L 29 C 88 305 32 63 14 1 4 26 35 95 1 1
Josh Phegley R 31 C 68 200 22 43 13 1 5 23 15 52 0 0
Luis Barrera L 23 CF 128 472 49 110 20 7 4 38 27 105 16 7
Matthew Joyce L 34 LF 109 287 41 62 15 0 11 33 44 76 1 2
Mark Payton L 27 LF 91 320 37 70 12 4 7 31 32 87 4 5
Slade Heathcott L 28 1B 80 281 31 59 12 2 6 28 23 102 6 3
Jonah Heim B 24 C 114 428 40 88 18 1 6 36 27 104 2 1
Skye Bolt B 25 CF 118 444 48 89 21 3 11 44 39 157 10 5
B.J. Boyd L 25 LF 120 469 46 111 17 3 4 38 25 93 7 4
Brett Vertigan L 28 LF 101 378 37 77 16 2 1 22 35 108 9 4
Sheldon Neuse R 24 3B 128 481 45 105 22 3 7 41 28 168 5 3
Nate Mondou L 24 2B 129 503 52 113 21 3 3 38 36 109 8 7
Tyler Ramirez L 24 LF 129 494 53 103 23 3 9 45 46 185 4 3
Melvin Mercedes B 27 2B 85 282 29 58 8 2 1 17 31 69 5 5
Jorge Mateo R 24 SS 127 500 48 103 20 11 7 45 26 163 22 11
Kevin Merrell L 23 SS 77 326 30 73 9 2 1 19 15 83 7 7
Steve Lombardozzi Jr. B 30 1B 107 388 40 89 15 2 1 25 32 64 5 5
J.P. Sportman R 27 2B 117 472 46 100 20 3 10 46 21 135 12 7
Seth Brown L 26 1B 128 497 52 101 22 3 11 51 38 182 5 2

 

Batters – Rate Stats
Player PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Matt Chapman 591 .240 .318 .473 115 .234 .299 5.3 14 4.3 Eric Hinske
Matt Olson 614 .236 .329 .469 117 .234 .284 5.5 7 2.9 David Ortiz
Khris Davis 602 .247 .326 .516 127 .269 .289 6.0 0 2.9 Jay Buhner
Stephen Piscotty 590 .257 .331 .451 113 .194 .300 5.4 5 2.6 Jermaine Dye
Ramon Laureano 503 .241 .314 .410 98 .169 .320 4.8 7 2.4 Rob Ducey
Marcus Semien 641 .250 .313 .405 97 .155 .295 4.7 -1 2.3 Travis Fryman
Franklin Barreto 493 .238 .299 .457 105 .218 .310 4.8 3 2.2 Tony Batista
Jurickson Profar 548 .245 .326 .400 100 .155 .276 4.8 -2 2.2 Keith Lockhart
Sean Murphy 343 .220 .278 .360 75 .140 .263 3.5 5 0.9 Walt McKeel
Nick Martini 488 .244 .332 .345 88 .101 .309 4.1 5 0.9 Steve Braun
Dustin Fowler 498 .264 .293 .430 97 .167 .313 4.7 -5 0.9 Rick Manning
Chad Pinder 424 .240 .299 .424 97 .183 .307 4.4 2 0.8 Ruben Mateo
Mark Canha 430 .236 .309 .429 101 .192 .278 4.7 -4 0.5 John Valle
Chris Herrmann 242 .200 .299 .329 74 .129 .268 3.4 0 0.4 Erik Pappas
Corban Joseph 477 .248 .297 .359 80 .111 .267 3.7 0 0.3 Kevin Howard
Eric Campbell 381 .237 .336 .342 89 .105 .289 4.0 -7 0.2 Bobby Scales
Bruce Maxwell 298 .218 .282 .328 68 .111 .289 3.2 0 0.1 Dave Parrish
Beau Taylor 344 .207 .291 .298 64 .092 .286 2.9 1 0.1 Jack Fimple
Josh Phegley 220 .215 .277 .365 76 .150 .266 3.5 -2 0.1 Yorvit Torrealba
Luis Barrera 507 .233 .277 .331 67 .097 .292 3.3 3 0.0 Leo Garcia
Matthew Joyce 337 .216 .321 .383 94 .167 .255 4.1 -5 -0.1 Stu Pederson
Mark Payton 359 .219 .291 .347 76 .128 .279 3.3 2 -0.4 Nathan Panther
Slade Heathcott 311 .210 .275 .331 67 .121 .306 3.1 3 -0.5 Paul Hertzler
Jonah Heim 461 .206 .254 .294 51 .089 .258 2.5 3 -0.5 Damon Berryhill
Skye Bolt 492 .200 .267 .336 65 .135 .283 3.0 0 -0.5 Steve Moss
B.J. Boyd 503 .237 .280 .311 64 .075 .288 3.1 7 -0.6 Corey Coles
Brett Vertigan 420 .204 .272 .265 50 .061 .283 2.5 11 -0.6 Jay Sitzman
Sheldon Neuse 514 .218 .261 .320 60 .102 .320 2.9 3 -0.7 Jeff Moronko
Nate Mondou 554 .225 .283 .296 61 .072 .281 2.8 1 -0.7 Frank Martinez
Tyler Ramirez 551 .209 .282 .322 67 .113 .313 3.1 4 -0.8 Troy O’Leary
Melvin Mercedes 319 .206 .288 .259 54 .053 .269 2.4 -1 -0.8 Luis Lorenzana
Jorge Mateo 535 .206 .250 .332 59 .126 .291 2.8 -1 -0.9 Mike Benjamin
Kevin Merrell 346 .224 .259 .273 48 .049 .298 2.2 -3 -1.3 Mike Huyler
Steve Lombardozzi Jr. 429 .229 .289 .286 61 .057 .272 2.8 -1 -1.5 Keith Smith
J.P. Sportman 498 .212 .249 .331 58 .119 .275 2.8 -5 -1.5 Tom Nevers
Seth Brown 540 .203 .261 .326 61 .123 .296 2.9 -3 -2.1 Craig Cooper

 

Pitchers – Counting Stats
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO
Blake Treinen R 31 6 3 2.66 65 0 71.0 57 21 4 24 77
Jesus Luzardo L 21 9 6 3.59 23 23 102.7 99 41 10 31 94
Sean Manaea L 27 8 7 4.15 22 21 121.3 123 56 15 32 87
Daniel Mengden R 26 9 8 4.37 28 24 138.0 144 67 18 40 96
Chris Bassitt R 30 7 6 4.12 25 18 107.0 108 49 11 42 84
Mike Fiers R 34 9 8 4.29 27 26 142.7 145 68 23 41 118
Lou Trivino R 27 7 4 3.36 66 1 72.3 63 27 5 30 70
Frankie Montas R 26 8 8 4.41 31 22 118.3 127 58 14 45 90
Jharel Cotton R 27 7 6 4.26 20 19 112.0 111 53 15 41 97
Andrew Triggs R 30 5 4 3.82 13 13 70.7 68 30 7 21 62
Joakim Soria R 35 4 2 3.11 60 0 55.0 48 19 4 17 60
Brett Anderson L 31 6 6 4.22 22 21 102.3 116 48 11 26 64
Liam Hendriks R 30 4 2 3.27 56 5 55.0 47 20 5 18 63
Brian Howard R 24 8 9 4.46 23 22 123.0 134 61 17 38 91
Jake Buchanan R 29 8 8 4.68 25 22 130.7 154 68 12 45 68
Parker Dunshee R 24 6 7 4.64 25 21 120.3 128 62 20 38 96
Marco Estrada R 35 9 9 4.75 26 26 142.0 140 75 22 50 105
Ben Bracewell R 28 7 7 4.68 25 21 119.3 132 62 16 38 75
A.J. Puk L 24 6 5 4.26 18 16 82.3 78 39 8 41 80
Paul Blackburn R 25 6 6 4.47 20 20 104.7 115 52 12 29 59
Tanner Anderson R 26 5 5 4.12 40 6 89.7 97 41 8 29 54
J.B. Wendelken R 26 3 2 3.78 58 1 69.0 67 29 7 25 67
Matt Milburn R 25 7 8 4.87 25 23 138.7 163 75 21 26 76
Aaron Brooks R 29 7 7 4.70 27 19 111.0 128 58 17 30 79
Daniel Gossett R 26 7 8 4.83 22 22 113.7 122 61 16 44 84
Eric Jokisch L 29 7 7 4.72 24 20 124.0 141 65 16 43 77
Fernando Rodney R 42 4 3 3.86 57 0 53.7 48 23 5 26 54
Yusmeiro Petit R 34 4 3 3.94 59 0 75.3 74 33 11 16 64
Xavier Altamirano R 24 8 9 4.95 26 23 127.3 148 70 18 42 72
Edwin Jackson R 35 6 7 4.75 26 22 119.3 125 63 18 51 85
James Naile R 26 7 9 4.98 24 23 128.3 151 71 18 41 64
Kyle Lobstein L 29 6 7 4.87 24 19 101.7 107 55 13 44 72
Ryan Buchter L 32 3 2 3.61 59 0 47.3 40 19 5 20 47
Kyle Crockett L 27 2 2 3.88 51 0 48.7 49 21 6 13 42
Ryan Dull R 29 3 3 4.00 54 0 54.0 49 24 8 16 54
Grant Holmes R 23 9 11 4.92 26 21 124.3 127 68 18 61 105
Jerry Blevins L 35 3 2 3.96 61 0 38.7 36 17 4 19 39
Brian Schlitter R 33 4 3 4.15 50 0 52.0 54 24 2 26 30
Dean Kiekhefer L 30 4 4 4.25 48 1 55.0 61 26 6 13 34
Wei-Chung Wang L 27 6 8 4.97 31 19 114.0 127 63 18 43 78
Raul Alcantara R 26 5 7 5.10 30 14 90.0 105 51 16 21 48
Carlos Ramirez R 28 2 2 4.86 38 1 50.0 48 27 6 33 44
Jarret Martin L 29 2 2 4.66 41 0 46.3 41 24 3 41 45
Kyle Finnegan R 27 2 3 4.93 40 1 49.3 50 27 7 27 41
Sam Bragg R 26 4 5 5.14 38 4 70.0 79 40 10 28 43
Miguel Romero R 25 2 3 4.86 41 1 53.7 57 29 8 21 43
John Gorman R 27 3 3 4.83 39 0 54.0 60 29 8 19 35
Norge Ruiz R 25 6 9 5.31 23 22 118.7 144 70 19 42 60
Parker Bridwell R 27 4 6 5.52 22 16 93.0 105 57 19 33 61

 

Pitchers – Rate Stats
Player TBF K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA+ ERA- FIP WAR No. 1 Comp
Blake Treinen 291 9.76 3.04 0.51 .288 154 65 2.81 2.0 Jason Isringhausen
Jesus Luzardo 437 8.24 2.72 0.88 .301 114 88 3.67 1.9 Steve Carlton
Sean Manaea 516 6.45 2.37 1.11 .287 102 98 4.26 1.6 Kirk Rueter
Daniel Mengden 593 6.26 2.61 1.17 .291 97 103 4.45 1.6 Charlie Corbell
Chris Bassitt 470 7.07 3.53 0.93 .298 103 97 4.29 1.5 Jim Bagby
Mike Fiers 610 7.44 2.59 1.45 .290 96 105 4.60 1.5 Bob Walk
Lou Trivino 308 8.71 3.73 0.62 .290 126 79 3.48 1.4 Hector Carrasco
Frankie Montas 524 6.85 3.42 1.06 .306 96 104 4.46 1.2 Bill Swift
Jharel Cotton 485 7.79 3.29 1.21 .294 96 104 4.39 1.2 Zach Day
Andrew Triggs 300 7.90 2.67 0.89 .296 111 90 3.74 1.2 Scott Erickson
Joakim Soria 228 9.82 2.78 0.65 .303 136 73 2.95 1.2 Rich Gossage
Brett Anderson 443 5.63 2.29 0.97 .309 97 103 4.12 1.1 Jerry Reuss
Liam Hendriks 228 10.31 2.95 0.82 .298 129 77 3.08 1.1 Bert Roberge
Brian Howard 540 6.66 2.78 1.24 .303 92 109 4.59 1.1 Sergio Mitre
Jake Buchanan 588 4.68 3.10 0.83 .312 90 111 4.52 1.0 Joe Genewich
Parker Dunshee 526 7.18 2.84 1.50 .297 91 110 4.86 1.0 Kelly Downs
Marco Estrada 607 6.65 3.17 1.39 .276 89 112 4.78 1.0 Mike Moore
Ben Bracewell 525 5.66 2.87 1.21 .298 90 111 4.77 1.0 Pat Ahearne
A.J. Puk 364 8.74 4.48 0.87 .303 96 104 4.11 0.9 Derek Thompson
Paul Blackburn 454 5.07 2.49 1.03 .295 92 109 4.49 0.9 Ron Reed
Tanner Anderson 393 5.42 2.91 0.80 .300 100 100 4.24 0.9 Chad Kimsey
J.B. Wendelken 298 8.74 3.26 0.91 .308 112 89 3.79 0.8 Blaine Neal
Matt Milburn 601 4.93 1.69 1.36 .302 87 115 4.76 0.8 Heath Totten
Aaron Brooks 488 6.41 2.43 1.38 .312 90 111 4.69 0.8 Lary Sorensen
Daniel Gossett 504 6.65 3.48 1.27 .299 88 114 4.82 0.7 Jake Joseph
Eric Jokisch 552 5.59 3.12 1.16 .305 87 115 4.77 0.7 Jimmy Anderson
Fernando Rodney 235 9.06 4.36 0.84 .295 110 91 4.03 0.7 Roberto Hernandez
Yusmeiro Petit 310 7.65 1.91 1.31 .288 104 96 3.99 0.7 Dick Hall
Xavier Altamirano 569 5.09 2.97 1.27 .303 86 117 5.03 0.6 Nate Cornejo
Edwin Jackson 528 6.41 3.85 1.36 .288 86 116 5.04 0.6 Jim Hearn
James Naile 573 4.49 2.88 1.26 .300 85 118 5.10 0.6 Michael Macdonald
Kyle Lobstein 453 6.37 3.90 1.15 .295 87 115 4.84 0.6 Jimmy Anderson
Ryan Buchter 201 8.94 3.80 0.95 .276 113 88 3.93 0.6 J.C. Romero
Kyle Crockett 206 7.77 2.40 1.11 .301 109 92 3.95 0.5 Mike Jeffcoat
Ryan Dull 225 9.00 2.67 1.33 .283 106 95 4.08 0.5 Todd Burns
Grant Holmes 559 7.60 4.42 1.30 .296 83 120 4.98 0.4 Ken Pumphrey
Jerry Blevins 171 9.08 4.42 0.93 .302 104 97 4.18 0.3 Marshall Bridges
Brian Schlitter 234 5.19 4.50 0.35 .299 99 101 4.11 0.3 Don McMahon
Dean Kiekhefer 238 5.56 2.13 0.98 .302 96 104 4.20 0.3 John Boozer
Wei-Chung Wang 507 6.16 3.39 1.42 .299 82 121 5.07 0.3 Greg Kubes
Raul Alcantara 394 4.80 2.10 1.60 .294 83 121 5.29 0.2 Tim Kester
Carlos Ramirez 230 7.92 5.94 1.08 .292 87 115 5.11 0.0 Hal Reniff
Jarret Martin 221 8.74 7.96 0.58 .295 88 114 4.90 0.0 Arnold Earley
Kyle Finnegan 223 7.48 4.93 1.28 .295 86 116 5.10 0.0 Mike Zimmerman
Sam Bragg 315 5.53 3.60 1.29 .300 82 122 5.15 -0.1 Chuck Crumpton
Miguel Romero 238 7.21 3.52 1.34 .301 84 119 4.83 -0.1 Andy Nezelek
John Gorman 240 5.83 3.17 1.33 .297 85 118 5.00 -0.1 Reid Santos
Norge Ruiz 538 4.55 3.19 1.44 .304 77 130 5.43 -0.1 Melqui Torres
Parker Bridwell 414 5.90 3.19 1.84 .290 77 130 5.69 -0.2 Dana Kiecker

 

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 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 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 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 – Oakland Athletics 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.

32
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
newest oldest most voted
eds
Member
Member
eds

Don’t lie. You manually adjusted Khris Davis’ hit and at bat total.

HappyFunBall
Member
HappyFunBall

I don’t care how you weigh each of the past three years, it still averages to 0.247. Dude will hit .247 (with declining power) until he’s in his mid 40s.

LightenUpFG
Member

Brace yourself if he ends up hitting .246 at 45, everyone. Even Julio Franco experienced a dip.

bjoak
Member
bjoak

I certainly hope ZiPS is more advanced than weighting batting averages to project a batting average. There’s a lot goes into that number.