2022 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 a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Chicago Cubs.

Batters

Losing Javier Báez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant hurt the offense, but the drop-off may not be all that significant. The first two weren’t amazing offensively, simply solid. And even amid some of the surprising breakouts from their Quadruple-A players, the Cubs got little out of second base and right field; Joc Pederson may have had some 2021 heroics, but they happened in Joctober, not Jocpril or Jocly.

Nico Hoerner will hopefully suffer fewer injuries in 2022, and landing Nick Madrigal for Craig Kimbrel was a nice bit of GMcraft. Over at third, ZiPS gives Patrick Wisdom the best odds of repeating his 2021 of any member of the gang of journeyman breakouts the Cubs assembled. I’m happy for Frank Schwindel, and he totally deserved my third-place Rookie of the Year vote (one of two, with the other cast by Grant Brisbee), but he was always going to be hard-pressed to come anywhere near his 2021 again. Even this projection represents a mighty improvement from the 85 OPS+ he was projected for coming into the 2021 season. After all, the last time we saw Schwindel, he was hitting a pedestrian .271/.315/.458 combined at Double- and Triple-A in 2019.

The outfield won’t be terribly impressive, but at least Jason Heyward is unlikely to struggle anywhere near as much as he did last season. Ian Happ likely has some upside remaining; he’s no longer young, but his 2019 and ’20 performances were much more impressive.

I think the major problem with the Cubs offense isn’t that it has massive holes everywhere, but simply that the ceiling appears to be relatively low. Obviously, the Cubs aren’t going all-in on contention in 2022, even though contention is a possibility, but there just aren’t that many sources of upside here. Team Nick is the most interesting part of the lineup, but neither likely has MVP-type potential. The rest of the lineup’s mulligan stew of over-performing minor league veterans is a fun story, but few are poised to be anything more than a stopgap for a year or three. I don’t think it likely the Cubs are a bottom three offense in the National League, but it’s hard to see them getting any higher than sixth or seventh overall in a good season.

Pitchers

The rotation was a flaming dumpster full of miniature flaming dumpsters, each with a little stack of mini tires on fire inside. I discussed it when I wrote about the Marcus Stroman signing, but the 2021 rotation was basically the worst Cubs rotation of the last half-century.

The good news, of course, is that it’s relatively easy to improve from such an awful position. It’s akin to having the goal of simply being less snarky than I am; it’s barely an inconvenience. Kyle Hendricks is likely to have at least some sort of bounce-back season, even ticking up a couple of notches from his projection in my NL Central Elegy once all the final data was processed and ready to go in ZiPS. I think Stroman was one of the best values so far in our abbreviated Hot Stove League, while Wade Miley was legitimately effective with the Reds and a coup as a one-year, $10 million waiver claim. I’m certainly a lot happier with this top three than I was before last year.

Like Steamer, ZiPS is big on Caleb Kilian, seeing him as someone who is likely to be a contributor very quickly. Adbert Alzolay allowed too many homers, but ZiPS saw him as one of the game’s unluckiest pitchers in terms of round-trippers, giving up 25 versus only 18 zHR. In that department, he was behind only Andrew Heaney at +9. His walk rate has improved, something that ZiPS sees as sustainable. Kilian’s unlikely to be rushed into the team’s 2022 plans, but Alzolay gets a projection right around league-average, putting the Cubs ahead of the game for their fourth starter.

The bullpen isn’t impressive, but it’s roughly average. The Cubs are unlikely to spend all the money they’re willing to this offseason, so if they over-perform next year, I think there’s a good chance that they add some arms fairly quickly in-season rather than waiting until the end of July. The team’s not quite good enough where you want to be splashing cash on relievers, but they ought to be prepared.

It seems rather bog-standard to be down on the Cubs, but I honestly think this is a mid-to-high-70s win team as constructed. That’s a team that can be competitive in the NL Central in a good year, and I don’t think the team’s necessarily done making improvements. We’ll just have to wait a while to see!

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
Willson Contreras R 30 C 460 396 58 95 18 1 20 62 47 123 4 3
Patrick Wisdom R 30 3B 431 387 59 87 15 0 29 72 38 157 6 2
Ian Happ B 27 LF 535 461 68 110 21 2 25 72 68 161 9 3
Nick Madrigal R 25 2B 417 386 46 114 18 4 3 32 20 26 11 8
Rafael Ortega L 31 CF 464 420 55 105 20 3 14 50 41 95 12 6
Nico Hoerner R 25 2B 323 292 35 81 14 2 3 31 24 47 7 4
Michael Hermosillo R 27 CF 285 248 39 57 10 2 12 38 23 86 7 3
Frank Schwindel R 30 1B 480 449 60 120 25 1 22 72 23 82 2 1
Yan Gomes R 34 C 352 325 41 80 15 1 12 45 20 80 1 0
Abiatal Avelino R 27 SS 484 448 60 113 17 4 8 46 28 86 14 4
Miguel Amaya R 23 C 268 230 35 50 11 0 8 27 30 56 2 0
Jason Heyward L 32 RF 433 387 51 94 16 3 12 46 41 83 6 1
Matt Duffy R 31 3B 345 308 39 85 13 1 5 29 28 62 6 2
Brennen Davis R 22 CF 437 388 50 87 20 0 17 50 36 131 6 3
Sergio Alcántara B 25 SS 385 338 42 75 10 2 6 26 41 99 6 2
Chase Strumpf R 24 3B 328 288 43 58 16 0 7 30 31 92 3 0
P.J. Higgins R 29 C 355 318 36 74 12 1 6 31 29 76 3 2
Tony Wolters L 30 C 316 277 35 61 10 1 4 29 27 69 1 2
David Bote R 29 2B 359 316 40 72 13 2 11 47 34 86 2 2
Clint Frazier R 27 LF 378 333 43 77 20 1 13 41 38 108 4 2
Bryce Windham L 25 2B 211 192 29 48 8 1 2 17 17 32 2 1
Ian Miller L 30 CF 456 416 53 103 18 3 5 36 30 84 19 4
Narciso Crook R 26 RF 360 325 41 72 15 3 11 42 27 108 7 3
Andrew Romine B 36 SS 312 291 35 71 8 2 3 21 17 65 5 4
Robinson Chirinos R 38 C 227 196 23 41 9 1 7 26 22 72 0 0
Alfonso Rivas L 25 1B 415 369 51 90 16 1 6 34 39 103 1 2
Nick Martini L 32 RF 350 306 45 76 10 2 7 34 36 77 1 1
Greg Deichmann L 27 RF 388 347 45 73 14 2 8 33 38 116 8 3
Harold Ramirez R 27 LF 475 447 51 122 26 2 11 55 19 85 4 2
Trayce Thompson R 31 CF 381 343 44 68 12 1 17 51 32 133 5 2
Nelson Velazquez R 23 RF 445 419 52 99 18 2 17 62 20 134 10 2
Luis Vazquez R 22 SS 280 261 29 58 6 1 4 20 14 63 5 2
Austin Romine R 33 C 177 169 17 41 8 0 4 22 7 48 0 0
Eric Sogard L 36 2B 311 284 31 69 12 1 4 23 22 49 5 1
Nelson Maldonado R 25 1B 291 271 35 71 14 2 5 28 16 56 1 0
Tyler Ladendorf R 34 3B 184 170 20 36 7 0 5 19 9 47 1 0
Tyler Payne R 29 C 277 259 28 53 12 1 5 25 13 74 0 0
Yonathan Perlaza B 23 RF 420 389 53 95 18 1 14 55 23 101 4 2
Erick Castillo R 29 C 186 165 20 36 4 0 2 9 12 32 0 0
Trent Giambrone R 28 2B 370 335 39 67 13 1 10 33 30 111 10 4
Jose Lobaton B 37 C 222 200 23 38 10 0 6 23 20 70 0 0
Cam Balego R 27 1B 354 310 37 63 12 1 8 30 32 83 1 3
Levi Jordan R 26 3B 281 255 31 53 9 1 5 23 17 78 2 2
Jared Young L 26 1B 405 373 43 86 15 2 8 39 24 92 4 1
Johneshwy Fargas R 27 CF 341 314 31 67 8 3 6 26 18 88 25 12
Taylor Gushue B 28 C 285 261 31 55 12 0 7 29 19 85 0 0
D.J. Artis L 25 LF 268 237 28 49 6 0 8 20 24 85 11 3
Bryce Ball L 23 1B 449 393 54 76 18 1 16 51 50 125 0 0
Bradlee Beesley R 24 LF 228 212 23 39 8 1 7 25 11 72 9 1
Tim Susnara L 26 C 218 195 17 32 5 1 3 13 19 83 1 0
Josue Huma B 22 2B 368 341 44 69 11 1 5 28 22 82 5 1
Darius Hill L 24 LF 329 308 41 80 7 1 6 25 17 62 3 3
Reivaj Garcia B 20 2B 186 180 16 37 5 0 2 9 6 58 2 0
Tyler Durna L 25 1B 425 388 51 86 16 1 5 33 30 80 1 3
Delvin Zinn R 25 SS 426 394 39 80 10 1 4 24 21 99 23 8
Andy Weber L 24 SS 417 382 35 75 19 3 2 25 26 123 2 0
Jake Slaughter R 25 3B 388 362 41 75 10 2 4 26 15 109 8 3
Christopher Morel R 23 CF 459 418 50 86 15 3 15 54 31 136 12 3
Alexander Canario R 22 CF 461 431 42 83 13 1 19 48 24 140 11 4

Batters – Advanced
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Willson Contreras .240 .339 .442 106 .202 .296 5.3 0 2.6 Frankie Hayes
Patrick Wisdom .225 .300 .488 105 .264 .289 5.2 1 2.0 Brandon Larson
Ian Happ .239 .341 .456 110 .217 .309 5.6 -4 1.8 Bob Skube
Nick Madrigal .295 .339 .386 93 .091 .311 4.9 5 1.7 Placido Polanco
Rafael Ortega .250 .320 .412 93 .162 .293 4.7 2 1.6 Del Unser
Nico Hoerner .277 .341 .370 90 .092 .322 4.7 5 1.3 Edgardo Alfonzo
Michael Hermosillo .230 .320 .431 98 .202 .300 4.9 1 1.2 Lou Collier
Frank Schwindel .267 .305 .474 103 .207 .284 5.3 0 1.2 Ron Coomer
Yan Gomes .246 .298 .409 86 .163 .292 4.4 1 1.2 Mike Heath
Abiatal Avelino .252 .299 .362 75 .109 .297 4.1 3 1.1 Eddy Garabito
Miguel Amaya .217 .321 .370 84 .152 .253 4.2 2 1.1 Pete Gonzalez
Jason Heyward .243 .319 .393 88 .150 .281 4.6 4 1.0 Bubba Carpenter
Matt Duffy .276 .346 .373 92 .097 .332 4.9 -2 1.0 Matt Macri
Brennen Davis .224 .307 .407 88 .183 .292 4.4 -4 0.8 Carmelo Martinez
Sergio Alcántara .222 .308 .317 67 .095 .296 3.4 5 0.8 Doug Baker
Chase Strumpf .201 .287 .330 64 .128 .270 3.3 6 0.6 Sean Walsh
P.J. Higgins .233 .299 .333 69 .101 .288 3.5 1 0.4 Brad Ausmus
Tony Wolters .220 .303 .307 64 .087 .279 3.1 3 0.4 Doug Newstrom
David Bote .228 .310 .386 84 .158 .279 4.1 -4 0.4 Mike Moriarty
Clint Frazier .231 .317 .414 93 .183 .302 4.6 -4 0.3 Chris Jelic
Bryce Windham .250 .310 .333 72 .083 .291 3.7 2 0.3 Liu Rodriguez
Ian Miller .248 .304 .341 72 .094 .300 4.0 -1 0.3 Cory Sullivan
Narciso Crook .222 .292 .388 79 .166 .296 4.0 2 0.2 Sil Campusano
Andrew Romine .244 .289 .316 62 .072 .305 3.2 3 0.2 Jose Vizcaino
Robinson Chirinos .209 .305 .372 80 .163 .291 3.9 -4 0.2 Jeff Reed
Alfonso Rivas .244 .323 .341 78 .098 .323 3.9 3 0.2 Dale Holman
Nick Martini .248 .337 .363 87 .114 .311 4.4 -3 0.2 Gene Hermanski
Greg Deichmann .210 .289 .331 65 .121 .291 3.3 7 0.1 Wynter Phoenix
Harold Ramirez .273 .312 .414 91 .141 .316 4.8 -6 0.1 Robert Perez
Trayce Thompson .198 .274 .388 74 .190 .264 3.6 -2 0.1 Nick Gorneault
Nelson Velazquez .236 .277 .411 80 .174 .306 4.2 0 0.1 Victor Diaz
Luis Vazquez .222 .272 .299 52 .077 .278 2.9 4 0.1 Andres Blanco
Austin Romine .243 .271 .361 67 .118 .316 3.5 -1 0.0 Robert Machado
Eric Sogard .243 .297 .335 68 .092 .281 3.7 0 0.0 Joe Stripp
Nelson Maldonado .262 .307 .384 83 .122 .314 4.3 -1 0.0 Phil Clark
Tyler Ladendorf .212 .257 .341 58 .129 .263 3.1 3 0.0 Jason Wood
Tyler Payne .205 .246 .317 49 .112 .267 2.6 2 -0.3 Jason Brown
Yonathan Perlaza .244 .288 .404 82 .159 .296 4.1 -4 -0.3 Dave Engle
Erick Castillo .218 .288 .279 53 .061 .260 2.8 -2 -0.4 Hector Ortiz
Trent Giambrone .200 .269 .334 60 .134 .266 3.1 0 -0.4 Keith Johns
Jose Lobaton .190 .266 .330 58 .140 .258 2.9 -3 -0.4 Gregg Zaun
Cam Balego .203 .295 .326 66 .123 .251 3.1 3 -0.4 Alex Miranda
Levi Jordan .208 .266 .310 53 .102 .279 2.7 1 -0.5 Roger Burnett
Jared Young .231 .282 .346 66 .115 .286 3.5 2 -0.6 Micah Hoffpauir
Johneshwy Fargas .213 .268 .315 55 .102 .277 2.9 0 -0.6 Jose Soriano
Taylor Gushue .211 .264 .337 59 .126 .284 3.0 -5 -0.6 Craig Tatum
D.J. Artis .207 .292 .333 67 .127 .285 3.5 -4 -0.7 Gary Johnson
Bryce Ball .193 .284 .366 72 .173 .238 3.5 -2 -0.7 Jim Orsag
Bradlee Beesley .184 .233 .330 48 .146 .241 2.9 0 -0.8 Saul Bustos
Tim Susnara .164 .240 .246 30 .082 .266 2.0 -1 -0.9 Jerrey Thurston
Josue Huma .202 .256 .284 44 .082 .252 2.6 2 -0.9 Gary Miller-Jones
Darius Hill .260 .299 .347 72 .088 .308 3.7 -5 -0.9 Andre Ethier
Reivaj Garcia .206 .231 .267 32 .061 .292 2.2 -1 -0.9 Bobby Falls
Tyler Durna .222 .283 .307 58 .085 .267 2.9 4 -1.0 Randy Jorgensen
Delvin Zinn .203 .249 .264 37 .061 .261 2.4 3 -1.0 Ruben Castillo
Andy Weber .196 .254 .277 42 .081 .284 2.4 1 -1.1 Glenn DiSarcina
Jake Slaughter .207 .253 .279 42 .072 .285 2.5 2 -1.1 Wade Robinson
Christopher Morel .206 .262 .364 64 .158 .266 3.4 -10 -1.2 Chris Colton
Alexander Canario .193 .235 .360 55 .167 .235 2.9 -10 -1.8 Mike Mallory

Pitchers – Standard
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO FIP
Marcus Stroman R 31 13 9 3.60 31 31 170.0 163 68 19 47 148 3.79
Wade Miley L 35 10 7 3.97 26 26 143.0 143 63 16 47 107 4.21
Kyle Hendricks R 32 10 9 4.20 28 28 158.7 166 74 24 33 121 4.42
Adbert Alzolay R 27 9 8 4.45 28 21 115.3 108 57 19 40 124 4.34
Caleb Kilian R 25 6 4 4.06 18 18 82.0 83 37 11 20 66 4.23
Zach Davies R 29 8 9 4.92 29 29 139.0 144 76 22 59 103 5.12
Codi Heuer R 25 6 4 3.71 62 0 68.0 64 28 7 21 64 3.65
Justin Steele L 26 5 5 4.58 26 14 74.7 71 38 11 36 75 4.73
Cory Abbott R 26 6 7 5.12 26 22 121.3 121 69 22 59 122 5.13
Alec Mills R 30 7 8 5.11 31 22 125.0 137 71 24 37 95 5.24
Rowan Wick R 29 2 1 3.74 42 0 43.3 36 18 5 22 51 3.99
Ethan Roberts R 24 4 3 3.95 41 0 54.7 53 24 6 18 51 3.84
Jack Patterson L 26 4 4 4.81 23 9 63.7 63 34 8 38 57 5.00
Stephen Gonsalves L 27 5 5 5.06 24 12 80.0 74 45 13 50 87 5.14
Kohl Stewart R 27 5 6 5.16 20 15 82.0 89 47 12 33 61 4.98
Keegan Thompson R 27 4 4 4.97 32 12 70.7 70 39 13 32 69 5.10
Michael Rucker R 28 2 2 4.68 36 4 77.0 78 40 13 27 77 4.58
Adrian Sampson R 30 5 7 5.24 27 17 111.7 128 65 22 33 78 5.45
Ben Leeper R 25 4 3 3.86 28 0 32.7 29 14 4 13 38 3.82
Matt Swarmer R 28 6 7 5.34 24 21 113.0 124 67 24 35 95 5.35
Adam Morgan L 32 2 2 4.06 47 0 37.7 33 17 5 15 42 4.03
Brailyn Márquez L 23 3 3 4.89 8 8 35.0 32 19 4 23 36 4.75
Conner Menez L 27 4 5 5.14 33 14 89.3 87 51 17 47 91 5.33
Anderson Espinoza R 24 2 2 5.19 21 21 59.0 62 34 9 29 51 5.11
Joe Biagini R 32 4 5 5.11 31 13 81.0 89 46 13 34 64 5.09
Manuel Rodriguez R 25 4 4 4.50 39 2 46.0 45 23 6 22 40 4.77
Dillon Maples R 30 3 3 4.34 46 1 47.7 35 23 5 40 63 4.86
Tommy Nance R 31 2 2 4.24 34 0 40.3 37 19 5 19 41 4.39
Brendon Little L 25 1 1 4.87 23 3 44.3 44 24 6 24 40 4.89
Marcus Walden R 33 5 5 4.70 43 2 59.3 59 31 8 25 49 4.70
Brandon Hughes L 26 2 2 4.42 26 0 38.7 37 19 5 17 38 4.45
Erich Uelmen R 26 5 6 5.34 27 13 87.7 95 52 13 43 65 5.27
Ryan Jensen R 24 4 5 5.48 20 20 70.7 75 43 12 33 56 5.37
Brad Wieck L 30 2 2 4.46 36 0 36.3 30 18 6 17 47 4.31
Luis Lugo L 28 6 8 5.48 23 18 88.7 94 54 15 46 75 5.41
Locke St. John L 29 3 3 4.95 38 4 56.3 56 31 10 25 56 4.99
Scott Kobos L 24 2 2 4.55 26 0 31.7 30 16 4 15 29 4.60
Scott Effross R 28 5 5 4.85 42 2 65.0 68 35 11 19 57 4.73
Javier Assad R 24 5 7 5.57 22 21 97.0 113 60 17 37 60 5.52
Pedro Strop R 37 3 3 4.68 38 0 32.7 30 17 4 17 31 4.71
Ben Holmes L 30 2 2 5.59 10 8 38.7 40 24 7 21 35 5.51
Ryan Kellogg L 28 3 3 5.37 22 7 65.3 76 39 10 23 39 5.22
Ryan Lawlor L 28 2 2 4.78 22 0 32.0 29 17 4 20 34 4.74
Jonathan Holder R 29 3 3 4.75 41 0 47.3 46 25 7 18 44 4.45
Jason Adam R 30 2 3 5.02 28 1 28.7 25 16 5 16 35 4.99
Cayne Ueckert R 26 1 1 4.97 25 0 25.3 25 14 3 15 22 4.88
Wyatt Short L 27 3 3 4.98 32 1 47.0 47 26 7 24 42 4.99
Dan Winkler R 32 2 2 4.87 48 0 40.7 36 22 6 24 44 5.07
Samuel Reyes R 26 4 5 5.11 33 2 56.3 60 32 7 30 42 5.06
Alexander Vizcaíno R 25 3 4 5.76 17 15 65.7 69 42 12 35 55 5.66
Blake Whitney R 26 2 2 5.25 26 2 48.0 49 28 8 23 44 5.14
Peyton Remy R 25 3 4 5.86 16 13 63.0 70 41 11 32 44 5.72
Eury Ramos R 24 1 2 5.49 31 1 39.3 42 24 7 20 30 5.72
Dakota Chalmers R 25 3 4 6.00 20 17 66.0 69 44 13 43 56 6.18
Dakota Mekkes R 27 2 3 5.44 35 1 44.7 46 27 8 25 40 5.53
Cam Sanders R 25 5 7 5.95 19 19 87.7 91 58 16 55 77 5.88
Joe Nahas R 22 5 7 5.84 24 11 81.7 94 53 17 34 57 5.92
Dauris Valdez R 26 1 1 5.66 31 0 35.0 35 22 6 24 34 5.69
Juan Gámez R 28 3 3 5.57 35 0 42.0 45 26 6 25 31 5.49
Burl Carraway L 23 2 4 6.55 34 0 34.3 33 25 5 36 35 6.35
Jackson McClelland R 27 1 2 6.62 30 0 35.3 39 26 8 23 30 6.55

Pitchers – Standard
Player K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BB% K% BABIP ERA+ ERA- WAR No. 1 Comp
Marcus Stroman 7.8 2.5 1.0 6.6% 20.8% .291 121 83 3.5 Andy Ashby
Wade Miley 6.7 3.0 1.0 7.7% 17.5% .290 110 91 2.4 Kenny Rogers
Kyle Hendricks 6.9 1.9 1.4 4.9% 18.0% .293 104 96 2.3 Bob Tewksbury
Adbert Alzolay 9.7 3.1 1.5 8.1% 25.3% .294 98 102 1.3 Tommy Greene
Caleb Kilian 7.2 2.2 1.2 5.7% 19.0% .293 107 93 1.3 Jon Lieber
Zach Davies 6.7 3.8 1.4 9.6% 16.8% .287 89 113 0.9 Omar Olivares
Codi Heuer 8.5 2.8 0.9 7.3% 22.4% .297 118 85 0.8 Manuel Corpas
Justin Steele 9.0 4.3 1.3 10.9% 22.7% .294 95 105 0.7 Brian Looney
Cory Abbott 9.0 4.4 1.6 10.9% 22.5% .297 85 117 0.5 Pete Fisher
Alec Mills 6.8 2.7 1.7 6.8% 17.4% .295 85 117 0.5 Travis Driskill
Rowan Wick 10.6 4.6 1.0 11.8% 27.3% .290 117 86 0.5 Jim Kern
Ethan Roberts 8.4 3.0 1.0 7.7% 21.9% .301 110 91 0.4 David Wilhelmi
Jack Patterson 8.1 5.4 1.1 13.1% 19.6% .299 91 110 0.4 Bob Weiland
Stephen Gonsalves 9.8 5.6 1.5 13.8% 24.0% .292 86 116 0.3 Brian Fuentes
Kohl Stewart 6.7 3.6 1.3 9.0% 16.6% .301 85 118 0.3 Eric Ireland
Keegan Thompson 8.8 4.1 1.7 10.3% 22.1% .292 88 114 0.3 Orlando Lind
Michael Rucker 9.0 3.2 1.5 8.1% 23.0% .304 93 107 0.3 Jose Silva
Adrian Sampson 6.3 2.7 1.8 6.7% 15.8% .299 83 120 0.3 Mike Harkey
Ben Leeper 10.5 3.6 1.1 9.3% 27.1% .301 113 88 0.3 Si Johnson
Matt Swarmer 7.6 2.8 1.9 7.1% 19.2% .298 82 122 0.3 Scott Atchison
Adam Morgan 10.0 3.6 1.2 9.3% 26.1% .289 107 93 0.3 Alan Embree
Brailyn Márquez 9.3 5.9 1.0 14.4% 22.5% .295 89 112 0.2 David West
Conner Menez 9.2 4.7 1.7 11.8% 22.8% .290 85 118 0.2 Chris Capuano
Anderson Espinoza 7.8 4.4 1.4 10.8% 19.0% .303 84 119 0.2 Ben Fritz
Joe Biagini 7.1 3.8 1.4 9.3% 17.6% .305 85 117 0.2 Ricky Bones
Manuel Rodriguez 7.8 4.3 1.2 10.7% 19.5% .291 97 103 0.2 Mike Hansen
Dillon Maples 11.9 7.6 0.9 18.0% 28.4% .280 100 100 0.2 Dwayne Henry
Tommy Nance 9.1 4.2 1.1 10.7% 23.2% .294 103 97 0.2 Gregg Olson
Brendon Little 8.1 4.9 1.2 12.0% 20.0% .297 89 112 0.1 Jeff Ridgway
Marcus Walden 7.4 3.8 1.2 9.6% 18.8% .290 93 108 0.1 Pete Walker
Brandon Hughes 8.8 4.0 1.2 10.0% 22.4% .299 99 101 0.1 Kyle Sadlowski
Erich Uelmen 6.7 4.4 1.3 10.8% 16.3% .300 82 122 0.1 Mark Calvert
Ryan Jensen 7.1 4.2 1.5 10.3% 17.6% .294 80 126 0.1 Joaquin Benoit
Brad Wieck 11.6 4.2 1.5 10.9% 30.1% .286 98 102 0.1 Eddie Guardado
Luis Lugo 7.6 4.7 1.5 11.4% 18.5% .299 80 126 0.0 Randy Flores
Locke St. John 8.9 4.0 1.6 10.0% 22.5% .297 88 114 0.0 Jeff Fassero
Scott Kobos 8.2 4.3 1.1 10.7% 20.7% .289 96 104 0.0 Clay Rapada
Scott Effross 7.9 2.6 1.5 6.7% 20.2% .300 90 111 0.0 Darren Hodges
Javier Assad 5.6 3.4 1.6 8.4% 13.7% .301 78 128 0.0 Melqui Torres
Pedro Strop 8.5 4.7 1.1 11.6% 21.2% .286 93 107 0.0 Ryne Duren
Ben Holmes 8.1 4.9 1.6 11.9% 19.9% .297 78 128 0.0 Corey Lee
Ryan Kellogg 5.4 3.2 1.4 7.8% 13.3% .303 81 123 0.0 Chris Key
Ryan Lawlor 9.6 5.6 1.1 13.8% 23.4% .294 91 110 -0.1 Ricardo Jordan
Jonathan Holder 8.4 3.4 1.3 8.8% 21.6% .291 92 109 -0.1 Brian Edmondson
Jason Adam 11.0 5.0 1.6 12.5% 27.3% .290 87 115 -0.1 Calvin Jones
Cayne Ueckert 7.8 5.3 1.1 13.0% 19.1% .297 88 114 -0.1 Joel Moore
Wyatt Short 8.0 4.6 1.3 11.4% 19.9% .294 88 114 -0.1 Ken Vining
Dan Winkler 9.7 5.3 1.3 13.0% 23.9% .286 90 112 -0.1 Alan Mills
Samuel Reyes 6.7 4.8 1.1 11.6% 16.3% .301 85 117 -0.1 Dan Sullivan
Alexander Vizcaíno 7.5 4.8 1.6 11.7% 18.3% .294 76 132 -0.1 Pat Perry
Blake Whitney 8.3 4.3 1.5 10.6% 20.4% .297 83 120 -0.2 Gene Stechschulte
Peyton Remy 6.3 4.6 1.6 11.1% 15.2% .296 74 134 -0.2 Sean Evans
Eury Ramos 6.9 4.6 1.6 11.1% 16.7% .292 79 126 -0.3 Nick DeBarr
Dakota Chalmers 7.6 5.9 1.8 13.9% 18.1% .290 73 138 -0.3 Dave Proctor
Dakota Mekkes 8.1 5.0 1.6 12.3% 19.6% .295 80 125 -0.3 Tomas Santiago
Cam Sanders 7.9 5.6 1.6 13.4% 18.8% .294 73 137 -0.4 Donnie Bridges
Joe Nahas 6.3 3.7 1.9 9.1% 15.3% .297 75 134 -0.4 Jonathan Johnson
Dauris Valdez 8.7 6.2 1.5 14.6% 20.7% .296 77 130 -0.4 Pete Sikaras
Juan Gámez 6.6 5.4 1.3 12.8% 15.9% .298 78 128 -0.4 Ryan Baker
Burl Carraway 9.2 9.4 1.3 20.9% 20.3% .298 67 150 -0.7 Curt Heidenreich
Jackson McClelland 7.6 5.9 2.0 13.8% 18.0% .298 66 152 -0.8 Mumba Rivera

Players are listed with their most recent teams wherever possible. This includes players who are unsigned, players who will miss 2022 due to injury, and players who were released in 2021. So yes, if you see Joe Schmoe, who quit baseball back in August to form a big band orchestra that only plays nu-metal versions of baroque cantatas, he’s still listed here intentionally. ZiPS is assuming a league with an ERA of 4.36, similar to the post-June substance-enforcement environment.

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 that 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 2022.

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.





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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Dmjn53
7 months ago

“at least Jason Heyward is unlikely to struggle anywhere near as much as he did last season.”

At age 32, with an offensive profile that didn’t have any room for decline anyway, isn’t it more than possible that he’s just cooked?

sourbob
7 months ago
Reply to  Dmjn53

Not fun to say, but could be the case. Heyward is owed a ton of money and is beloved. Either of those can help a declining player stay on a roster. J-Hey is starting to push the line for bad that decline can get and still have those other two factors save him.

dl80member
7 months ago
Reply to  Dmjn53

Hot take: Heyward is at least as done as Hosmer

Jason Bmember
7 months ago
Reply to  Dmjn53

That was my first thought also: “at least Jason Heyward is unlikely to struggle anywhere near as much as he did last season**.”

**Citation missing and badly needed

TheGrandslamwich
7 months ago
Reply to  Dmjn53

I remember when Jason Heyward, as a prospect, was being compared to Griffey. Now he is compared to Bubba Carpenter.

sadtrombonemember
7 months ago

This got me curious, because I remember some crazy comps too. So I googled up and got:
-Jeff Bagwell (Eno Sarris)
-Dave Parker, Fred McGriff (John Sickels)
-Dave Winfield, Dave Parker (Jonathan Mayo)
-Carl Yaszstremski, Reggie Smith, Chet Lemon (Dave Fleming)

That’s three Hall of Famers, three Hall of Fame-adjacent guys, and a guy who put up 30 wins in five seasons and was hailed as one of the 100 greatest players of all time (in only a few years) before drugs destroyed his career. Of those, Heyward’s career arc most resembles the last one despite not ever really showing as much power as Parker and him not having a cocaine habit (that we know of).

dl80member
7 months ago
Reply to  sadtrombone

Great points here. I wonder if his absurdly good rookie year set the expectations too high for what he could really be.

If that year never happened, he would have settled in as an average to slightly above average hitter with very good rightfield defense, but with no illusions of the lofty .390+ OBP. He would still have some very good seasons, but the offense wouldn’t be the real reason.

He’d look a lot more like Jeff Francoeur or Franklin Gutierrez.

sadtrombonemember
7 months ago
Reply to  dl80

Someone pointed me to his batted ball profile a couple of years ago, and noted that while his BABIP wasn’t especially high in his good years he was still getting extremely lucky–lots of grounders that just missed. He nearly outperformed his xwOBA by 50 points in his walk year. It’s fair to question whether that was always the case but it’s worth noting his hard hit rate in 2010 was actually pretty solid (38.8%) and adequate in 2012 (34.5%) but comically low from 2013-2015. He’s one of those guys like Jackie Bradley who was always changing his swing, and at some point he must have just lost it.

Jamie
7 months ago

Is it weird that ZiPS ends up settling on comps like Bubba Carpenter and Bob Skube for guys who have had more than 30 big league plate appearances?