2021 ZiPS Projections: Minnesota Twins

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for nine years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Minnesota Twins.

Batters

I’m surprised that the Twins haven’t come to an agreement with Nelson Cruz, who seems almost immune to the ravages of time. The Twinkies dropped from second in the AL in runs scored to 10th, but that’s not Cruz’s fault: He hit .303/.397/.595 as the DH despite turning 40 in July. Is there a better fit for him than the Twin Cities? He’s well-liked in town(s), and this is arguably the franchise that needs his services most. That confluence of events tends to result in mutually beneficial contracts.

Without Cruz, Minnesota projects as a slight underdog to the White Sox, based on current rosters. Bringing him back and letting Alex Kirilloff get the bulk of playing time in left flips that standing to slight favorites. With few players signed, there are a lot of directions to go, but 40-year-olds don’t typically command enough resources that adding Cruz would preclude other moves. There is downside — Steamer and ZiPS massively disagree on his 2021 dropoff — but if he were a guarantee, he ought to get a one-year-deal at $25 million.

One places ZiPS and Steamer do not disagree on is Luis Arraez. After a slow start in 2020 — he didn’t get an extra-base hit until his 12th game — he started hitting at a torrid pace, slashing .410/.429/.541 over the rest of the season. Alas, that stint was shorter than the Twins would have preferred, as an ankle injury and a knee injury cost him a few weeks. ZiPS projected Arraez to lead the majors in batting average coming into 2020; that holds for 2021, too.

Any time Byron Buxton has a hot streak, ZiPS gets as excited as a dog when it sees you getting a jacket out of the hall closet. Six years after his debut, he still hasn’t had the season where every star-component came together (including health). This time around, we got defense (+3 by UZR, +11 by DRS) and power (13 homers in 135 plate appearances thanks to an average exit velocity just behind Cruz). Unfortunately, we also got was a big step backwards in plate discipline: Buxton is going full-on Bald Bull in aggressiveness, with his out-of-zone swing rate jumping by nearly 50% over what he’s ever done before. And that was without a similar improvement of swinging at good pitches. The health wasn’t quite there, either, as Buxton missed a third of the season due to a shoulder injury and a concussion.

Overall, this team’s lineup looks solid with a Cruz return, though more likely to be fourth-to-eighth in runs scored than revisiting 2019’s homer-fest. Without Cruz, they’re missing that last big bat, making the non-tendering of Eddie Rosario looks a bajillion times worse.

Pitchers

I love me some Brusdar Graterol, but the Twins sneaking into the Mookie Betts trade in order to upgrade from an exciting young reliever to a dependable No. 2 starter worked out brilliantly for them. Kenta Maeda was a legitimate ace last year, running with that role while José Berríos was having a very ordinary season. In the end, that trade was just enough to squeeze the Twins to a divisional title over the Indians and White Sox. Maeda is also signed for another four seasons on a team-friendly deal, so the trade still works for the Twins even if Graterol becomes Mariano Rivera.

After Maeda, the rotation looks underwhelming but thankfully short of disaster-movie territory. Jake Odorizzi struggled to match his 2019 (and is a free agent), and Randy Dobnak’s upside is one in which he throws a lot of innings adequately. Michael Pineda was effective after returning from his suspension, but apart from his unpaid vacation, he has a troubling injury history. Some depth is needed here, and it would be nice to see the Twins go the ambitious route, given how valuable each extra win is for them. For example: If the Cubs are desperate to trade Yu Darvish, Minnesota should be happy to pay him. Cleveland looks to be entering a down period, and the White Sox don’t appear to be going after Trevor Bauer or George Springer, so why not go all-in? A team that never seems to win a playoff game ought to see the benefit of winning the division and skipping the Wild Card Game.

The bullpen looks a lot like the rotation: average with depth needed. The Twins were sixth in baseball in bullpen ERA in 2020, but Trevor May, Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard, and Matt Wisler, all free agents, combined for 84 innings of a 3.11 ERA. With only three teams left to go, ZiPS currently ranks Minnesota’s relief corps as 16th in baseball. It also projects Taylor Rogers as a huge breakout candidate, but the Twins need another big arm for those high-leverage innings, and preferably two.

Batters – Standard
Player B Age PO PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Luis Arraez L 24 2B 609 552 78 173 32 2 5 45 52 46 5 3
Josh Donaldson R 35 3B 458 381 59 93 18 0 22 61 70 107 2 1
Nelson Cruz R 40 DH 474 416 65 115 18 0 32 86 48 122 0 0
Max Kepler L 28 RF 570 499 82 124 30 2 27 75 62 102 5 3
Byron Buxton R 27 CF 397 370 57 95 20 3 21 61 20 106 15 3
Jorge Polanco B 27 SS 635 577 79 161 32 5 17 72 46 102 9 5
Miguel Sanó R 28 1B 491 430 78 100 21 2 34 84 55 189 0 0
Eddie Rosario L 29 LF 591 553 83 153 29 2 28 97 32 89 7 3
Willians Astudillo R 29 C 329 310 43 89 17 1 12 44 8 14 2 3
Alex Kirilloff L 23 RF 537 502 60 144 27 3 18 58 28 102 7 6
Ben Rortvedt L 23 C 401 362 41 80 18 2 10 37 32 94 0 0
Mitch Garver R 30 C 364 322 50 75 15 1 17 53 37 108 0 0
Ryan Jeffers R 24 C 361 330 37 79 12 0 12 36 25 92 0 0
Jake Cave L 28 CF 471 430 63 110 22 5 17 61 30 145 3 3
Tomás Telis B 30 C 376 352 40 98 17 2 5 36 18 41 1 1
Marwin Gonzalez B 32 RF 488 438 51 112 22 1 15 62 39 97 2 1
Nick Gordon L 25 SS 540 503 57 127 28 5 7 48 29 124 16 5
Alex Avila L 34 C 236 193 21 38 7 0 7 22 40 87 0 0
Jose Miranda R 23 3B 558 525 57 128 28 2 14 60 21 75 0 1
Brent Rooker R 26 LF 416 374 53 87 19 1 19 58 32 137 2 1
Peter Mooney L 30 2B 370 331 37 75 17 3 4 28 33 63 3 2
Drew Maggi R 32 3B 428 378 45 85 16 2 6 30 36 102 8 5
Gilberto Celestino R 22 CF 563 523 54 123 25 2 12 49 34 117 16 10
LaMonte Wade Jr. L 27 RF 430 370 47 87 16 2 7 29 50 78 6 3
Ehire Adrianza B 31 SS 291 259 36 63 15 2 4 23 24 58 3 2
Jimmy Kerrigan R 27 CF 423 395 41 87 15 1 13 41 16 137 8 6
Jack Reinheimer R 28 SS 432 390 45 89 15 2 5 31 34 96 12 5
Tzu-Wei Lin L 27 SS 322 294 30 65 12 2 4 22 22 84 4 3
Ramon Flores L 29 LF 278 243 30 60 9 2 4 23 30 51 4 2
Travis Blankenhorn L 24 2B 480 449 48 103 22 3 14 49 22 130 8 2
Trevor Larnach L 24 RF 531 484 56 120 27 2 13 53 40 143 3 1
Royce Lewis R 22 SS 607 564 61 129 27 4 13 53 34 147 20 13
Rob Refsnyder R 30 RF 302 272 31 63 14 1 5 24 23 80 1 1
Juan Graterol R 32 C 261 246 22 59 9 0 1 19 9 26 0 1
Cody Asche L 31 3B 346 308 36 65 13 2 8 36 33 104 3 2
Levi Michael R 30 2B 439 396 44 89 16 3 7 36 25 115 7 3
Lane Adams R 31 LF 330 299 34 57 13 2 9 33 26 127 12 4
Kody Eaves L 27 2B 447 409 44 83 18 3 11 45 32 150 4 2
Gabriel Maciel B 22 CF 436 399 43 94 12 3 4 27 29 85 14 11
Anderson Feliz B 29 3B 398 367 38 78 18 2 6 34 28 123 8 4
Michael Davis L 25 SS 287 266 24 42 9 1 7 23 19 138 3 1
Andrew Bechtold R 25 3B 458 411 41 77 16 1 5 29 43 160 4 2
Aaron Whitefield R 24 CF 389 360 31 65 13 1 4 23 20 140 20 9
Caleb Hamilton R 26 C 385 348 36 65 16 1 7 33 33 119 4 4

 

Batters – Advanced
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Luis Arraez .313 .371 .406 111 .092 .335 5.9 0 3.2 Cecil Travis
Josh Donaldson .244 .367 .465 123 .220 .282 6.1 2 3.1 Pinky Higgins
Nelson Cruz .276 .361 .550 141 .274 .317 7.4 0 3.1 Manny Ramirez
Max Kepler .248 .337 .479 117 .230 .262 5.8 7 3.1 Don Hurst
Byron Buxton .257 .299 .497 110 .241 .305 5.7 9 2.9 Gerald Williams
Jorge Polanco .279 .333 .440 107 .161 .314 5.5 -3 2.8 Buddy Bell
Miguel Sanó .233 .324 .528 125 .295 .319 6.0 1 2.4 Nick Esasky
Eddie Rosario .277 .314 .488 112 .212 .287 5.7 0 2.0 Mel Hall
Willians Astudillo .287 .314 .465 107 .177 .271 5.4 2 1.8 Sandy Alomar Sr.
Alex Kirilloff .287 .330 .460 111 .173 .330 5.6 -2 1.5 Jim Spencer
Ben Rortvedt .221 .292 .365 76 .144 .271 3.7 8 1.3 Henry Blanco
Mitch Garver .233 .316 .444 102 .211 .294 4.9 -4 1.3 Chad Moeller
Ryan Jeffers .239 .305 .385 85 .145 .296 4.2 2 1.2 Kyle Phillips
Jake Cave .256 .314 .449 103 .193 .347 5.0 -6 1.2 Cesar Geronimo
Tomás Telis .278 .317 .381 88 .102 .304 4.5 1 1.1 Scott Bradley
Marwin Gonzalez .256 .323 .413 97 .158 .298 4.8 2 1.1 Keith Moreland
Nick Gordon .252 .296 .370 79 .117 .323 4.1 2 1.1 Rafael Ramirez
Alex Avila .197 .339 .342 86 .145 .313 3.9 4 1.1 Jamie Quirk
Jose Miranda .244 .281 .385 78 .141 .261 3.8 5 0.8 Brent Butler
Brent Rooker .233 .305 .441 98 .209 .312 4.7 -4 0.5 Richard Johnson
Peter Mooney .227 .300 .332 71 .106 .269 3.4 4 0.4 Steve Lombardozzi
Drew Maggi .225 .308 .325 72 .101 .293 3.4 2 0.3 Charlie Neal
Gilberto Celestino .235 .286 .359 73 .124 .282 3.5 2 0.2 Magglio Ordonez
LaMonte Wade Jr. .235 .333 .346 85 .111 .281 4.1 -1 0.2 J.T. Bruett
Ehire Adrianza .243 .311 .363 82 .120 .299 4.0 -3 0.2 Derrel Thomas
Jimmy Kerrigan .220 .263 .362 67 .142 .302 3.2 6 0.2 Greg Porter
Jack Reinheimer .228 .290 .315 64 .087 .291 3.3 0 -0.1 Jason Bowers
Tzu-Wei Lin .221 .274 .316 59 .095 .296 2.9 3 -0.1 Mendy Lopez 로페즈
Ramon Flores .247 .330 .350 85 .103 .298 4.1 -2 -0.1 Terry Bogener
Travis Blankenhorn .229 .273 .385 75 .156 .292 3.8 -4 -0.2 Oscar Salazar
Trevor Larnach .248 .307 .393 88 .145 .326 4.3 -5 -0.2 Andre Ethier
Royce Lewis .229 .273 .360 70 .131 .287 3.3 -1 -0.2 Luis Rivera
Rob Refsnyder .232 .298 .346 74 .114 .310 3.6 1 -0.2 Derek Nicholson
Juan Graterol .240 .273 .289 53 .049 .265 2.7 2 -0.3 Chris Ashby
Cody Asche .211 .292 .344 72 .133 .291 3.4 -3 -0.3 Trace Coquillette
Levi Michael .225 .290 .333 68 .109 .299 3.4 -2 -0.4 Joe DeMaestri
Lane Adams .191 .261 .338 60 .147 .294 3.1 3 -0.5 Bo Porter
Kody Eaves .203 .262 .342 62 .139 .290 3.0 -1 -0.6 Jake Wald
Gabriel Maciel .236 .293 .311 64 .075 .290 3.0 -1 -0.7 Renard Brown
Anderson Feliz .213 .270 .322 59 .109 .303 3.0 -4 -1.0 Frank Kremblas
Michael Davis .158 .216 .278 32 .120 .289 2.0 1 -1.2 Yuri Sanchez
Andrew Bechtold .187 .264 .268 45 .080 .293 2.3 2 -1.3 Derek Mitchell
Aaron Whitefield .181 .227 .256 31 .075 .282 2.0 7 -1.3 Stewart Smothers
Caleb Hamilton .187 .260 .299 51 .112 .261 2.5 -9 -1.6 Brian Moon

 

Pitchers – Standard
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO FIP
José Berríos R 27 13 10 3.89 31 31 180.3 167 78 24 56 187 3.95
Kenta Maeda R 33 10 8 4.12 32 24 135.3 120 62 20 45 154 3.91
Randy Dobnak R 26 10 10 4.53 30 25 137.0 153 69 17 37 91 4.47
Jake Odorizzi R 31 8 8 4.44 24 24 119.7 114 59 20 43 122 4.47
Taylor Rogers L 30 5 3 3.03 61 0 62.3 54 21 6 17 71 3.16
Michael Pineda R 32 5 5 4.58 17 17 92.3 98 47 16 20 84 4.36
Rich Hill L 41 5 5 4.61 18 17 84.0 77 43 15 32 84 4.82
Lewis Thorpe L 25 6 6 4.84 28 18 106.0 113 57 20 34 105 4.73
Jhoan Duran R 23 8 9 4.96 24 23 107.0 108 59 16 51 101 4.83
Bailey Ober R 25 3 3 4.77 15 14 71.7 76 38 14 17 61 4.90
Devin Smeltzer L 25 5 6 5.00 30 19 117.0 128 65 21 32 95 4.84
Tyler Duffey R 30 4 3 4.01 57 0 67.3 62 30 10 19 74 3.89
Blaine Hardy L 34 3 3 4.27 37 5 59.0 60 28 8 17 46 4.30
Griffin Jax R 26 5 5 5.23 21 21 108.3 129 63 18 28 65 5.08
Bryan Sammons L 26 7 8 5.28 24 23 104.0 110 61 16 55 88 5.28
Luke Farrell R 30 3 4 4.88 23 11 66.3 62 36 11 34 72 4.84
Fernando Romero R 26 3 3 4.35 58 0 72.3 71 35 8 34 67 4.38
Tyler Clippard R 36 3 3 4.36 56 1 53.7 48 26 10 18 59 4.58
Cody Stashak R 27 4 4 4.83 39 5 69.0 71 37 13 21 68 4.70
Derek Law R 30 3 3 4.36 61 0 66.0 64 32 8 32 67 4.32
Andro Cutura R 27 3 4 5.29 16 12 64.7 75 38 10 25 39 5.33
Zack Littell R 25 3 2 4.37 57 0 68.0 67 33 9 28 63 4.42
Sergio Romo R 38 3 3 4.34 54 0 47.7 46 23 8 16 50 4.40
Jorge Alcala R 25 5 6 5.20 34 12 91.7 97 53 15 45 82 5.12
Glenn Sparkman R 29 4 5 5.36 22 16 97.3 113 58 16 28 65 4.97
Homer Bailey R 35 6 8 5.45 20 20 99.0 111 60 19 35 83 5.18
Casey Lawrence R 33 4 5 5.25 24 10 82.3 98 48 14 23 58 4.97
Charlie Barnes L 25 6 8 5.51 24 23 116.0 131 71 17 61 80 5.46
Cole Sands R 23 3 4 5.45 13 13 66.0 73 40 13 26 55 5.39
Caleb Thielbar L 34 3 3 4.50 42 0 56.0 55 28 9 19 55 4.43
Cory Gearrin R 35 2 2 4.46 46 0 40.3 39 20 5 20 35 4.84
Ian Gibaut R 27 3 3 4.50 41 0 44.0 40 22 6 24 48 4.61
Juan Minaya R 30 3 3 4.62 52 0 60.3 58 31 9 30 62 4.75
Danny Coulombe L 31 2 2 4.71 36 0 36.3 35 19 6 16 36 4.83
Melvi Acosta R 26 4 6 5.45 25 8 71.0 82 43 10 33 45 5.35
Edwar Colina R 24 3 4 5.71 16 11 69.3 74 44 13 36 62 5.52
Brandon Waddell L 27 4 6 5.67 25 14 81.0 86 51 14 46 67 5.66
Ryan Garton R 31 3 3 4.99 42 1 57.7 55 32 8 33 58 4.79
Ryan Mason R 26 3 4 4.91 31 0 51.3 56 28 8 20 38 5.07
Alex Phillips R 26 3 3 5.27 29 1 41.0 43 24 8 17 38 5.33
Dakota Chalmers R 24 1 2 6.56 8 7 23.3 24 17 4 19 19 6.48
Alec Asher R 29 3 5 5.84 21 12 77.0 91 50 15 29 46 5.84
Parker Bridwell R 29 5 8 5.87 23 15 96.7 111 63 20 38 68 5.77
Austin Adams R 34 2 3 5.62 38 2 49.7 52 31 8 29 43 5.41
Mitch Horacek L 29 3 3 5.40 44 0 50.0 49 30 8 33 52 5.34
Jonathan Cheshire R 26 3 3 5.53 28 0 42.3 48 26 8 17 32 5.47
Chris Rowley R 30 5 8 5.94 24 16 100.0 116 66 19 45 66 5.83
Tom Hackimer R 27 3 4 5.47 35 0 51.0 52 31 9 29 48 5.47
Joey Krehbiel R 28 2 3 5.61 51 0 61.0 61 38 11 41 62 5.66

 

Pitchers – Advanced
Player K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BB% K% BABIP ERA+ ERA- WAR No. 1 Comp
José Berríos 9.3 2.8 1.2 7.3% 24.5% .295 114 88 3.4 Chien-Ming Wang
Kenta Maeda 10.2 3.0 1.3 8.0% 27.2% .292 107 93 2.2 John Montefusco
Randy Dobnak 6.0 2.4 1.1 6.2% 15.2% .306 98 102 1.6 Dick Drago
Jake Odorizzi 9.2 3.2 1.5 8.4% 23.9% .291 100 100 1.5 Armando Reynoso
Taylor Rogers 10.3 2.5 0.9 6.6% 27.5% .300 146 68 1.4 Steve Hamilton
Michael Pineda 8.2 1.9 1.6 5.1% 21.5% .306 97 103 1.1 Dave Eiland
Rich Hill 9.0 3.4 1.6 8.9% 23.3% .277 96 104 0.9 Tom Glavine
Lewis Thorpe 8.9 2.9 1.7 7.4% 22.7% .311 92 109 0.8 Derek Lilliquist
Jhoan Duran 8.5 4.3 1.3 10.6% 21.1% .302 89 112 0.8 Dave Morehead
Bailey Ober 7.7 2.1 1.8 5.5% 19.9% .294 93 108 0.7 Nelson Briles
Devin Smeltzer 7.3 2.5 1.6 6.3% 18.7% .302 89 113 0.7 Chuck Stobbs
Tyler Duffey 9.9 2.5 1.3 6.7% 26.2% .295 110 91 0.6 Brian Meadows
Blaine Hardy 7.0 2.6 1.2 6.8% 18.3% .291 104 96 0.6 Steve Mingori
Griffin Jax 5.4 2.3 1.5 5.8% 13.6% .307 85 118 0.5 Dave Geeve
Bryan Sammons 7.6 4.8 1.4 11.6% 18.5% .303 84 119 0.4 Lee Guetterman
Luke Farrell 9.8 4.6 1.5 11.6% 24.5% .293 91 110 0.4 Lou Kretlow
Fernando Romero 8.3 4.2 1.0 10.6% 20.8% .303 102 98 0.3 Robert Tenenini
Tyler Clippard 9.9 3.0 1.7 7.9% 26.0% .277 102 98 0.3 Mike Timlin
Cody Stashak 8.9 2.7 1.7 7.1% 22.9% .302 92 109 0.2 Tim McNab
Derek Law 9.1 4.4 1.1 10.9% 22.9% .306 101 99 0.2 Bob Chakales
Andro Cutura 5.4 3.5 1.4 8.5% 13.3% .302 84 119 0.2 Melqui Torres 토레스
Zack Littell 8.3 3.7 1.2 9.4% 21.2% .299 101 99 0.2 Steve Gomez
Sergio Romo 9.4 3.0 1.5 7.8% 24.5% .297 102 98 0.2 Art Fowler
Jorge Alcala 8.1 4.4 1.5 10.9% 19.8% .306 85 117 0.2 Stan Kyles
Glenn Sparkman 6.0 2.6 1.5 6.5% 15.2% .307 83 121 0.2 Joe Mays
Homer Bailey 7.5 3.2 1.7 8.0% 18.9% .308 81 123 0.2 Charles Nagy
Casey Lawrence 6.3 2.5 1.5 6.3% 15.8% .315 84 118 0.2 Don Wengert
Charlie Barnes 6.2 4.7 1.3 11.3% 14.9% .306 80 124 0.2 Jeff Kaiser
Cole Sands 7.5 3.5 1.8 8.8% 18.6% .303 81 123 0.1 Daniel Haigwood
Caleb Thielbar 8.8 3.1 1.4 7.9% 22.9% .297 98 102 0.1 Joe Grzenda
Cory Gearrin 7.8 4.5 1.1 11.0% 19.3% .291 99 101 0.1 Al Worthington
Ian Gibaut 9.8 4.9 1.2 12.2% 24.5% .296 98 102 0.1 Beiker Graterol
Juan Minaya 9.2 4.5 1.3 11.2% 23.0% .299 96 104 0.1 Bill Zuber
Danny Coulombe 8.9 4.0 1.5 10.0% 22.5% .290 94 106 0.0 Tom Burgmeier
Melvi Acosta 5.7 4.2 1.3 10.1% 13.8% .308 81 123 0.0 Jason Szuminski
Edwar Colina 8.0 4.7 1.7 11.4% 19.6% .302 78 129 -0.1 Cristhian Martinez
Brandon Waddell 7.4 5.1 1.6 12.3% 17.9% .298 78 128 -0.1 Ted Bowsfield
Ryan Garton 9.1 5.2 1.2 12.7% 22.4% .297 89 113 -0.1 Moe Burtschy
Ryan Mason 6.7 3.5 1.4 8.7% 16.6% .300 90 111 -0.1 Lew Burdette
Alex Phillips 8.3 3.7 1.8 9.3% 20.8% .299 84 119 -0.2 Bill McAfee
Dakota Chalmers 7.3 7.3 1.5 16.8% 16.8% .290 68 148 -0.2 Chris Zachary
Alec Asher 5.4 3.4 1.8 8.3% 13.1% .298 76 132 -0.2 Bennie Daniels
Parker Bridwell 6.3 3.5 1.9 8.7% 15.6% .298 76 132 -0.3 Elliot Brown
Austin Adams 7.8 5.3 1.4 12.7% 18.9% .301 79 127 -0.3 Pat Mahomes
Mitch Horacek 9.4 5.9 1.4 14.2% 22.4% .301 82 122 -0.4 Todd Rizzo
Jonathan Cheshire 6.8 3.6 1.7 8.9% 16.8% .303 80 125 -0.4 Bill McAfee
Chris Rowley 5.9 4.1 1.7 9.8% 14.4% .300 75 134 -0.4 Rick Rodriguez
Tom Hackimer 8.5 5.1 1.6 12.4% 20.6% .299 81 124 -0.4 Barry Hertzler
Joey Krehbiel 9.1 6.0 1.6 14.4% 21.8% .299 79 127 -0.6 Jamie Emiliano

Players are listed with their most recent teams wherever possible. This includes players who are unsigned, players who will miss 2021 due to injury, and players who were released in 2020. So yes, if you see Joe Schmoe, who quit baseball back in August to form a Finnish industrial death metal fourth-wave ska J-pop band, he’s still listed here intentionally.

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. ZiPS is assuming that the designated hitter will continue in force in 2021; if it does not, there will be widespread minor adjustments across the board come April.

ZiPS is agnostic about future playing time by design. For more information about ZiPS, please refer to this article, or get angry at Dan on Twitter or something.





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.

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Cave Dameron
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Cave Dameron

Thank you Dan, very cool!