2021 ZiPS Projections: San Diego Padres

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 San Diego Padres.

Batters

Not that there was any real chance that his 2019 debut was a fluke, but Fernando Tatis Jr. kept it going in 2020, proving very deserving of his place in the NL MVP voting. Tatis is probably the most likely of the game’s young starts to pull a Mike Trout and make the Padres’ 90-win challenge simply one of building a .500 team around him. And so far, they’ve more than done that! Tatis finally got his middle infield partner, which rather than being Luis Urías, came in the form of Jake Cronenworth, seemingly the umpteenth high minors second baseman with power developed by the Rays in the last decade. Cronenworth’s 2019 minor league breakout looked quite real once he reached the bigs.

Eric Hosmer’s projection is hardly exciting — he’s likely the worst player in the lineup unless the NL retains the DH in 2021 — but his increased loft and resulting success over the short season was enough to bump up his win projection by more than a win since last winter. It still remains to be seen if the increased loft will continues — he’s had spikes before and his groundball percentage steadily increased over the course of 2020 — but there’s certainly more reason for optimism than before that his deal will avoid landing on a list of baseball’s most notorious signings and instead be merely a run-of-the-mill bad idea.

Manny Machado’s season was encouraging, with his .950 OPS the best mark of his career. This is a particularly good sign after a relatively weak first year in San Diego. His .256/.334/.462 2019 line could hardly be described as a debacle, but it wasn’t the kind of performance the Padres had in mind when they gave him the richest contract in team history. If you’re disappointed that his top comp is “only” Sal Bando, I’d recommend you go do some Sal Bando research! Don’t worry, I’ll wait. That’s kind of how text works.

Pitchers

The Padres have a few really fun top comps that I rarely get in ZiPS. Tatis received Alex Rodriguez and MacKenzie Gore got the ultra-rare Steve Carlton comp (it was number two for him last year). My favorite, however, is the comp for Dinelson Lamet, one of my breakout candidates in 2020 who worked out (let’s not talk about Adrian Houser). There’s an annual ZiPS tradition of some middling veteran reliever getting a Bob Gibson comp, forcing me to remind people that there’s another Bob Gibson. It has happened enough that I’ve even changed his name in my database to Not That Bob Gibson, the companion to Other Frank Thomas and I Don’t Know Which Jeff Robinson This Is. Lamet, one of the other hand, got the Bob Gibson, which I do not believe has happened before. Now, it’s Bob Gibson before he had his huge breakout, but I’ll still take it!

Losing Mike Clevinger for the 2021 season is a huge blow, as he was projected as the best starter in the rotation, but it’s not a crippling one. There are still plenty of options, with upside in Gore and Lamet as well as Chris Paddack and Luis Patiño, plus a couple of returning innings-eaters in Zach Davies and Joey Lucchesi to limit the risk. I still think the Padres should add another starter for depth, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Similarly, moving on from Kirby Yates isn’t ideal, but Austin Adams has long been a favorite of ZiPS and was a sneaky good pickup in the Austin Nola trade while recovering from ACL surgery. He’ll likely be on the team long after Nola and Dan Altavilla have moved on. Adams’ bread-and-butter isn’t a splitter like Yates throws but a nasty slider he learned to throw reliably in 2019. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as the closer eventually and go down as yet another in the Nationals puzzling list of relievers they gave up on for nothing.

One pedantic note for 2021: 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.

Batters – Standard
Player B Age PO PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Fernando Tatis Jr. R 22 SS 524 461 89 131 22 6 28 94 52 136 24 8
Manny Machado R 28 3B 650 582 84 158 29 2 33 116 60 110 11 5
Trent Grisham L 24 RF 598 508 82 122 21 7 21 73 79 142 16 4
Jake Cronenworth L 27 SS 500 449 61 118 24 5 8 48 43 87 11 4
Tommy Pham R 33 LF 531 461 71 119 21 2 16 60 63 115 22 5
Jurickson Profar B 28 2B 518 460 68 117 24 2 16 67 45 77 10 1
Wil Myers R 30 LF 511 458 65 114 25 3 25 84 48 149 12 4
Austin Nola R 31 C 430 378 49 93 19 2 10 54 41 86 2 1
Luis Campusano R 22 C 455 410 54 101 22 2 10 62 36 75 0 0
Eric Hosmer L 31 1B 581 533 67 139 24 1 20 98 43 127 6 2
Nick Tanielu R 28 3B 498 463 55 115 27 2 13 60 28 89 3 3
Mitch Moreland L 35 1B 377 335 48 77 16 1 17 61 37 89 0 0
Francisco Mejía B 25 C 398 366 43 84 18 2 11 43 20 85 1 1
Greg Garcia L 31 2B 293 248 30 57 10 2 3 28 35 65 2 1
Ivan Castillo B 26 2B 466 437 44 109 21 5 5 41 18 76 9 6
Jason Castro L 34 C 287 252 29 48 14 0 8 29 32 102 0 0
Yonder Alonso L 34 1B 411 363 45 83 15 0 15 57 44 94 1 1
Yohel Pozo R 24 C 415 394 37 89 19 1 7 38 14 55 2 1
Greg Allen B 28 RF 415 369 47 82 16 3 6 38 25 98 20 5
Jorge Mateo R 26 SS 477 448 49 96 20 9 10 51 22 154 19 8
Robbie Podorsky R 26 LF 213 193 19 46 5 2 1 14 12 28 11 4
Mat Batten R 26 2B 386 347 39 77 12 3 4 31 32 101 8 5
Eguy Rosario R 21 3B 552 512 54 113 23 5 11 60 32 145 15 12
Gosuke Katoh L 26 2B 457 404 46 81 16 2 9 37 48 145 10 6
Taylor Kohlwey L 26 LF 361 318 35 65 11 3 5 30 32 108 6 4
Tyler Benson L 25 LF 153 136 13 25 5 1 1 9 15 51 7 1
Sean Guilbe R 21 3B 252 231 28 40 10 2 8 29 17 104 5 1
Jorge Oña R 24 LF 356 320 38 65 13 1 9 38 28 124 1 3
Esteury Ruiz R 22 2B 420 387 38 78 16 3 7 37 22 130 29 14
José Azocar R 25 RF 509 487 43 106 14 4 6 43 13 158 8 4

Batters – Advanced
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Fernando Tatis Jr. .284 .365 .540 142 .256 .347 7.6 -2 5.1 Alex Rodriguez
Manny Machado .271 .338 .498 124 .227 .285 6.3 3 4.6 Sal Bando
Trent Grisham .240 .346 .433 111 .193 .293 5.5 6 3.1 Bobby Abreu
Jake Cronenworth .263 .332 .392 97 .129 .311 4.8 2 2.5 Stan Hack
Tommy Pham .258 .352 .416 109 .158 .312 5.6 1 2.5 Gary Matthews
Jurickson Profar .254 .331 .420 103 .165 .275 5.2 -2 2.3 Quilvio Veras
Wil Myers .249 .323 .480 115 .231 .313 5.7 -1 2.2 Bob Bailey
Austin Nola .246 .326 .386 93 .140 .294 4.5 -1 1.6 Bob Boone
Luis Campusano .246 .310 .383 88 .137 .280 4.3 -2 1.3 George Kottaras
Eric Hosmer .261 .317 .422 99 .161 .308 4.9 0 1.2 Mike Hargrove
Nick Tanielu .248 .294 .400 87 .151 .283 4.1 2 1.1 Paul Schaal
Mitch Moreland .230 .308 .436 99 .206 .262 4.7 2 0.9 Don Mincher
Francisco Mejía .230 .280 .380 77 .150 .270 3.7 1 0.8 Gregg Zaun
Greg Garcia .230 .332 .323 80 .093 .300 3.8 0 0.6 Chuck Hiller
Ivan Castillo .249 .284 .355 73 .105 .292 3.6 4 0.5 Bryan Little
Jason Castro .190 .286 .341 70 .151 .282 3.3 1 0.5 Duke Sims
Yonder Alonso .229 .314 .394 91 .165 .268 4.3 -1 0.3 Boog Powell
Yohel Pozo .226 .255 .332 59 .107 .247 3.0 5 0.2 Jon-Mark Sprowl
Greg Allen .222 .294 .331 70 .108 .287 3.7 4 0.1 Jason McDonald
Jorge Mateo .214 .255 .366 66 .152 .303 3.3 1 0.1 Cesar Crespo
Robbie Podorsky .238 .295 .301 63 .062 .274 3.3 1 -0.3 Jeff Bonner
Mat Batten .222 .292 .308 64 .086 .302 3.1 -1 -0.4 Stu Cole
Eguy Rosario .221 .269 .350 67 .129 .287 3.1 1 -0.4 Richard Paz
Gosuke Katoh .200 .288 .317 65 .116 .288 3.0 -2 -0.4 Rance Mulliniks
Taylor Kohlwey .204 .290 .305 63 .101 .293 2.9 2 -0.5 Josh Alley
Tyler Benson .184 .268 .257 45 .074 .286 2.6 0 -0.6 Michael Massaro
Sean Guilbe .173 .238 .338 54 .165 .269 2.8 -1 -0.6 Pat Osborn
Jorge Oña .203 .278 .334 66 .131 .299 3.0 -3 -1.1 Jeff Goodale
Esteury Ruiz .202 .252 .313 53 .111 .284 2.7 -10 -1.8 Mica Lewis
José Azocar .218 .240 .300 46 .082 .310 2.5 -2 -2.6 Luis Mercedes

Pitchers – Standard
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO FIP
Mike Clevinger R 30 11 6 3.35 26 25 137.0 109 51 15 52 152 3.59
Chris Paddack R 25 12 8 3.90 30 30 157.0 143 68 25 36 166 3.98
Dinelson Lamet R 28 9 5 3.61 24 24 124.7 98 50 15 52 162 3.57
Zach Davies R 28 11 8 4.17 29 29 153.3 155 71 21 47 112 4.52
Joey Lucchesi L 28 8 6 4.11 23 23 116.0 110 53 16 40 113 4.16
MacKenzie Gore L 22 7 5 4.07 21 21 97.3 87 44 13 41 109 4.13
Matt Strahm L 29 7 5 4.01 44 10 83.0 78 37 12 24 83 4.14
Jesse Scholtens R 27 7 6 4.70 24 21 120.7 126 63 17 44 98 4.66
Adrian Morejon L 22 5 3 3.83 24 17 56.3 51 24 7 23 67 3.75
Craig Stammen R 37 6 3 3.43 57 1 63.0 59 24 6 14 57 3.37
Garrett Richards R 33 4 3 4.22 18 14 70.3 65 33 10 25 71 4.12
Pedro Avila R 24 5 5 4.52 18 15 87.7 85 44 10 47 80 4.69
Kirby Yates R 34 4 2 2.98 44 0 42.3 31 14 6 14 65 3.16
Emilio Pagán R 30 4 2 3.62 61 1 64.7 54 26 10 18 77 3.74
Caleb Boushley R 27 4 4 4.45 27 9 89.0 95 44 13 23 67 4.55
Luis Patiño R 21 7 6 4.46 26 16 84.7 78 42 10 49 87 4.57
Austin Adams R 30 4 2 3.05 37 0 41.3 27 14 4 26 66 3.28
Jose Castillo L 25 4 2 3.53 61 0 63.7 49 25 8 26 84 3.59
Drew Pomeranz L 32 4 2 3.66 65 0 59.0 47 24 7 32 80 3.74
Tim Hill L 31 3 2 3.63 61 0 57.0 52 23 5 20 53 3.72
Pierce Johnson R 30 4 3 3.70 60 0 56.0 47 23 6 23 65 3.54
Luis Perdomo R 28 3 2 4.26 51 1 69.7 67 33 9 28 60 4.47
Taylor Williams R 29 3 3 4.26 50 1 57.0 53 27 7 28 60 4.30
Michel Baez R 25 3 2 4.17 40 1 49.7 44 23 5 27 54 4.13
David Bednar R 26 4 3 4.12 47 0 59.0 51 27 7 28 68 3.99
Brady Feigl L 30 3 2 4.17 31 1 41.0 42 19 4 13 30 4.08
Emmanuel Ramirez R 26 6 7 5.22 25 18 110.3 117 64 19 51 92 5.30
Steven Wilson R 26 3 3 4.33 44 0 60.3 53 29 8 33 71 4.34
Trey Wingenter R 27 3 3 4.42 57 1 55.0 43 27 8 33 77 4.29
Parker Markel R 30 3 2 4.35 48 0 60.0 49 29 8 38 79 4.38
Trevor Rosenthal R 31 2 1 4.31 44 0 39.7 30 19 4 33 56 4.47
Daniel Camarena L 28 6 7 5.16 20 8 106.3 114 61 19 35 83 5.07
Mason Fox R 24 1 1 4.30 19 0 23.0 18 11 3 18 31 4.66
Miguel Diaz R 26 3 3 5.12 28 9 63.3 60 36 10 38 67 5.06
Dan Altavilla R 28 5 4 4.44 52 0 50.7 42 25 7 32 61 4.58
Javy Guerra R 25 2 1 4.55 62 0 61.3 60 31 8 23 51 4.39
Chase Johnson R 29 3 3 5.13 31 7 66.7 69 38 8 40 49 5.25
Reggie Lawson R 23 4 4 5.55 15 14 71.3 73 44 12 45 66 5.58
Evan Miller R 26 4 3 4.70 45 0 59.3 58 31 8 26 51 4.73
Fred Schlichtholz L 25 0 0 4.89 34 0 49.7 49 27 6 33 45 5.11
Chih-Wei Hu R 27 5 6 5.56 26 14 87.3 98 54 18 33 62 5.71
Aaron Leasher L 25 6 7 5.67 23 18 106.3 114 67 17 57 81 5.51
Cody Tyler L 26 3 3 5.00 37 0 63.0 68 35 11 23 49 5.13
Dauris Valdez R 25 2 2 5.17 48 0 55.7 51 32 8 41 61 5.23
Kyle McGrath L 28 3 4 5.88 36 4 56.7 64 37 13 20 41 5.88
Franklin van Gurp R 25 4 4 5.68 41 0 63.3 61 40 9 55 65 5.77
Lake Bachar R 26 4 7 6.23 23 18 104.0 114 72 23 64 88 6.38

Pitchers – Advanced
Player K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BB% K% BABIP ERA+ ERA- WAR No. 1 Comp
Mike Clevinger 10.0 3.4 1.0 9.2% 26.9% .273 127 79 3.2 Ken Hill
Chris Paddack 9.5 2.1 1.4 5.6% 25.6% .286 109 92 2.7 Lary Sorensen
Dinelson Lamet 11.7 3.8 1.1 9.9% 30.9% .288 118 85 2.6 Bob Gibson
Zach Davies 6.6 2.8 1.2 7.2% 17.1% .285 102 98 2.2 Bob Porterfield
Joey Lucchesi 8.8 3.1 1.2 8.1% 22.9% .293 103 97 1.8 Zane Smith
MacKenzie Gore 10.1 3.8 1.2 9.8% 26.0% .295 104 96 1.5 Steve Carlton
Matt Strahm 9.0 2.6 1.3 6.8% 23.6% .292 106 95 1.1 Al Aber
Jesse Scholtens 7.3 3.3 1.3 8.3% 18.5% .299 90 111 1.0 Michael LaCoss
Adrian Morejon 10.7 3.7 1.1 9.5% 27.7% .308 111 90 0.9 Manny Parra
Craig Stammen 8.1 2.0 0.9 5.4% 21.9% .293 124 81 0.9 Paul Quantrill
Garrett Richards 9.1 3.2 1.3 8.4% 23.9% .289 100 100 0.9 Spud Chandler
Pedro Avila 8.2 4.8 1.0 11.9% 20.2% .298 94 106 0.9 Preston Hanna
Kirby Yates 13.8 3.0 1.3 8.1% 37.6% .294 143 70 0.8 Jay Howell
Emilio Pagán 10.7 2.5 1.4 6.8% 29.2% .280 117 85 0.8 Jose Jimenez
Caleb Boushley 6.8 2.3 1.3 6.0% 17.4% .298 95 105 0.8 Bill Fischer
Luis Patiño 9.2 5.2 1.1 12.9% 22.9% .297 95 105 0.8 J.R. Richard
Austin Adams 14.4 5.7 0.9 14.7% 37.3% .291 139 72 0.8 Jim Kern
Jose Castillo 11.9 3.7 1.1 9.8% 31.6% .285 120 83 0.7 Scott Radinsky
Drew Pomeranz 12.2 4.9 1.1 12.5% 31.4% .299 116 86 0.7 Scott Sauerbeck
Tim Hill 8.4 3.2 0.8 8.2% 21.8% .292 117 86 0.6 Dave Tomlin
Pierce Johnson 10.4 3.7 1.0 9.8% 27.7% .293 115 87 0.5 Todd Williams
Luis Perdomo 7.8 3.6 1.2 9.3% 19.9% .287 100 100 0.3 Steve Swetonic
Taylor Williams 9.5 4.4 1.1 11.2% 23.9% .301 100 100 0.2 Michael Bumstead
Michel Baez 9.8 4.9 0.9 12.3% 24.5% .298 102 98 0.2 Joe Hudson
David Bednar 10.4 4.3 1.1 11.0% 26.7% .295 103 97 0.2 Jose Rodriguez
Brady Feigl 6.6 2.9 0.9 7.3% 16.9% .297 102 98 0.2 Dave Tomlin
Emmanuel Ramirez 7.5 4.2 1.5 10.3% 18.5% .298 81 123 0.2 Sean White
Steven Wilson 10.6 4.9 1.2 12.4% 26.7% .298 98 102 0.1 Mike Schultz
Trey Wingenter 12.6 5.4 1.3 13.6% 31.8% .292 96 104 0.1 Calvin Jones
Parker Markel 11.9 5.7 1.2 14.2% 29.5% .295 98 103 0.1 Colter Bean
Trevor Rosenthal 12.7 7.5 0.9 17.9% 30.4% .299 98 102 0.1 J.B. Miadich
Daniel Camarena 7.0 3.0 1.6 7.5% 17.8% .294 82 122 0.1 Lee Guetterman
Mason Fox 12.1 7.0 1.2 17.1% 29.5% .288 99 101 0.1 Clay Bryant
Miguel Diaz 9.5 5.4 1.4 13.2% 23.3% .296 83 121 0.0 Brett Merriman
Dan Altavilla 10.8 5.7 1.2 14.2% 27.1% .285 96 105 0.0 George Smith
Javy Guerra 7.5 3.4 1.2 8.7% 19.4% .289 93 107 0.0 Bob Miller
Chase Johnson 6.6 5.4 1.1 13.0% 15.9% .295 83 121 0.0 Claude Willoughby
Reggie Lawson 8.3 5.7 1.5 13.6% 19.9% .299 76 131 -0.1 Jake Joseph
Evan Miller 7.7 3.9 1.2 9.9% 19.5% .289 90 111 -0.1 Scott Munter
Fred Schlichtholz 8.2 6.0 1.1 14.3% 19.6% .301 87 115 -0.2 Philip Barzilla
Chih-Wei Hu 6.4 3.4 1.9 8.5% 15.9% .293 76 131 -0.3 Tony Peguero
Aaron Leasher 6.9 4.8 1.4 11.7% 16.6% .297 75 134 -0.4 Mike Wodnicki
Cody Tyler 7.0 3.3 1.6 8.3% 17.6% .297 85 118 -0.4 Tanyon Sturtze
Dauris Valdez 9.9 6.6 1.3 15.9% 23.6% .297 82 122 -0.4 Marc Pisciotta
Kyle McGrath 6.5 3.2 2.1 7.9% 16.3% .290 72 138 -0.7 Corey Hamman
Franklin van Gurp 9.2 7.8 1.3 18.0% 21.2% .301 75 134 -0.9 Lloyd Allen
Lake Bachar 7.6 5.5 2.0 13.1% 18.0% .296 68 147 -1.0 Mark Woodyard

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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