2022 ZiPS Projections: Tampa Bay Rays

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 Tampa Bay Rays.

Batters

Which team in baseball has the best middle infield? I imagine most fans would likely say the Rangers (Corey Seager and Marcus Semien) or the Padres (Fernando Tatis Jr. and mostly Jake Cronenworth). The Rays are another possible answer, though. Wander Franco’s very quickly become a star, and Brandon Lowe is my pick for the most underrated second baseman in the game. I talked quite a lot about Franco’s outlook when he he signed his big ol’ contract extension, so I won’t rehash that here. Confusingly, Lowe wasn’t even one of the American League’s four Silver Slugger finalists at second base in 2021, as his .863 OPS apparently wasn’t up to the standards of DJ LeMahieu (.711 OPS, about half his games not at second). I would be surprised if the best middle infield came from a team other than these three.

The rest of the lineup looks, well, like a Rays lineup. There are very few players who aren’t underdogs for a spot on the All-Star team, the closest being Austin Meadows. Meadows always has to “beat out” his injury history, and when he does, as he managed in most of 2019, he’s a very dangerous hitter. When looking at the advanced hit data for Meadows, ZiPS thought he should have had a .282 BABIP in 2021, well above his quite disappointing .249. But that’s good news in a way; he was still an average player despite a down BABIP year.

The theme of being rock-solid but not spectacular persists everywhere else. Except for arguably at first base, ZiPS doesn’t see the Rays as meaningfully below-average anywhere. And these numbers aren’t really even that far from the likely floors, as the usual supporting cast of reserves and Triple-A talent is ready and waiting and will likely be buttressed by the Rays’ usual minor league signings, which they haven’t really engaged in much so far this winter. The last time Tampa finished in the bottom third of the league in WAR for position players was 2006:

Most Recent Bottom-Third Offense
Team Year
St. Louis Cardinals 1988
Boston Red Sox 2006
Tampa Bay Rays 2006
Los Angeles Dodgers 2012
New York Mets 2013
Chicago Cubs 2014
Cleveland Guardians 2014
Atlanta Braves 2016
Minnesota Twins 2016
New York Yankees 2016
Oakland Athletics 2016
Philadelphia Phillies 2018
San Diego Padres 2018
Chicago White Sox 2019
San Francisco Giants 2019
Toronto Blue Jays 2019
Cincinnati Reds 2020
Houston Astros 2020
Milwaukee Brewers 2020
Washington Nationals 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks 2021
Baltimore Orioles 2021
Colorado Rockies 2021
Detroit Tigers 2021
Kansas City Royals 2021
Los Angeles Angels 2021
Miami Marlins 2021
Pittsburgh Pirates 2021
Seattle Mariners 2021
Texas Rangers 2021

Even great teams put up a stinker season once in a while, and only three have avoided finishing in the bottom-third for position players in the last decade. (As an organization, the Cardinals may be really good at this baseball stuff.)

Pitchers

The pitching staff might be even more Rays-y than the lineup. ERA+ projections above 100 are the rule here rather than the exception. Even when you filter out the players who are unsigned free agents and the pitchers with the most serious injury issues (Tyler Glasnow, Yonny Chirinos, Nick Anderson, Brendan McKay), you still end up with 18 pitchers projected over 100. Only Glasnow is practically guaranteed to miss most, if not all, of the 2022 season. The Rays pitching staff could all participate in an ill-conceived National Lick a School Doorknob Day and still have enough pitchers not on the roster to field an entire staff of above-replacement hurlers. Despite this depth, the highest WAR projection for a Ray is Shane McClanahan’s at just 2.0. Only the Twins and Pirates so far have a lower top-projected WAR.

Now, could any of these guys turn out to be a fairly conventional ace pitcher? ZiPS gives McClanahan and Shane Baz the best chances of doing that, should the Rays use them in a way that allows for that sort of thing. Of course, the Rays don’t do conventional very often.

If you’re looking for a deep-dive guy on the farm, ZiPS is quite interested in Ian Seymour, a second-round draft pick in 2020 out of Virginia Tech. A not-very-big lefty, Seymour broke out in the Cape Cod League in 2019 and struck out just under two batters per inning in his four starts in 2020. A fastball-changeup-slider guy (the changeup is his best pitch), he pitches on the third-base side of the rubber and comes right at righties, and had no real platoon splits in the minors in 2021. After dominating in A-ball last year, the Rays aggressively promoted him to High- and then Triple-A within three weeks, getting him five innings in each of his starts for 28 strikeouts against only six walks, 10 hits, and a single homer. It would be a very Rays thing if Seymour got 40 innings in a swing role late in the summer and ended up on a playoff roster, resulting in every fan having to suddenly look up who this guy is.

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
Brandon Lowe L 27 2B 568 499 83 123 27 2 33 95 58 165 7 1
Wander Franco B 21 SS 536 487 85 138 27 8 16 71 41 73 8 6
Austin Meadows L 27 LF 591 526 80 136 31 4 29 102 54 128 8 4
Randy Arozarena R 27 LF 572 503 82 129 27 3 20 65 49 152 20 11
Mike Zunino R 31 C 352 318 47 63 13 1 22 54 27 126 0 0
Nelson Cruz R 41 1B 513 456 66 117 16 1 27 79 44 125 2 0
Kevin Kiermaier L 32 CF 414 377 51 88 18 7 7 41 30 101 11 5
Francisco Mejía B 26 C 334 304 36 76 17 3 9 38 19 65 0 0
Brett Phillips L 28 CF 380 327 50 60 9 6 12 42 45 144 17 2
Yandy Díaz R 30 1B 486 422 58 111 20 1 11 53 58 77 1 1
Curtis Mead R 21 3B 479 441 60 109 22 1 13 52 28 100 6 3
Taylor Walls B 25 SS 431 379 48 83 19 2 7 39 44 116 16 9
Vidal Bruján B 24 2B 477 437 57 101 21 3 8 45 35 92 38 9
Josh Lowe L 24 CF 496 438 63 102 21 2 15 57 47 150 20 3
Cal Stevenson L 25 CF 416 362 52 82 13 2 6 34 46 93 12 5
Manuel Margot R 27 RF 476 434 57 108 22 4 10 52 37 86 15 8
René Pinto R 25 C 366 339 37 73 16 1 9 37 21 110 3 2
Ji-Man Choi L 31 1B 376 318 40 72 16 1 12 48 51 105 1 1
Miles Mastrobuoni L 26 SS 444 402 50 96 14 3 5 32 38 107 7 7
Xavier Edwards B 22 2B 426 387 54 100 15 3 3 30 30 65 15 8
Austin Shenton L 24 3B 365 331 45 74 17 1 8 40 26 99 1 0
Esteban Quiroz L 30 2B 302 262 40 58 14 0 8 36 33 76 1 0
Greg Jones B 24 SS 322 294 33 63 10 2 7 26 23 103 18 3
Connor Hollis R 27 2B 277 252 29 57 12 1 5 19 18 63 7 2
Jonathan Aranda L 24 1B 403 358 48 84 15 2 9 38 32 94 3 1
Tristan Gray L 26 SS 391 353 41 72 16 3 10 38 30 112 1 4
Brett Wisely L 23 2B 455 421 58 100 15 1 12 50 28 116 13 4
Ford Proctor L 25 C 433 380 50 79 15 1 7 34 45 118 4 4
Brendan McKay L 26 1B 154 134 15 28 4 0 4 12 16 43 0 0
Logan Driscoll L 24 C 233 214 23 46 10 1 5 20 14 67 1 1
Ryan Boldt L 27 LF 305 278 32 60 12 2 7 28 21 95 9 2
Erik Ostberg L 26 C 216 199 23 41 6 1 5 20 15 66 0 1
Luis Trevino R 26 C 141 131 15 29 6 0 2 11 8 30 0 1
Blake Hunt R 23 C 341 313 32 59 12 1 7 27 24 100 1 0
Alika Williams R 23 SS 384 355 46 80 13 0 5 30 16 80 4 4
Kameron Misner L 24 CF 438 397 47 79 16 1 8 38 34 140 13 2
Ruben Cardenas R 24 LF 474 439 50 97 16 3 12 49 25 133 5 5
Jim Haley R 27 3B 415 384 38 75 13 1 11 37 20 135 14 3
Dillon Paulson L 25 1B 423 371 45 66 18 2 10 40 47 146 2 1
Niko Hulsizer R 25 RF 387 345 44 62 15 1 13 43 35 159 6 2
Joseph Odom R 30 C 283 262 23 47 11 0 5 22 17 101 0 0

Batters – Advanced
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Brandon Lowe .246 .333 .507 130 .261 .299 6.2 1 4.4 Chase Utley
Wander Franco .283 .340 .470 124 .187 .307 5.9 4 4.2 Barry Larkin
Austin Meadows .259 .332 .498 128 .240 .290 6.0 1 3.4 Kevin McReynolds
Randy Arozarena .256 .339 .441 116 .185 .329 5.4 -4 2.0 Matt Holliday
Mike Zunino .198 .273 .453 98 .255 .241 4.2 4 2.0 Dave Duncan
Nelson Cruz .257 .327 .474 120 .217 .296 5.7 -1 1.9 Jim Rice
Kevin Kiermaier .233 .297 .374 86 .141 .301 3.9 9 1.7 Dewayne Wise
Francisco Mejía .250 .306 .414 99 .164 .291 4.6 1 1.6 Dave Engle
Brett Phillips .183 .284 .358 78 .174 .281 3.8 9 1.6 Louie Meadows
Yandy Díaz .263 .352 .393 109 .130 .299 5.0 -1 1.4 Keith Moreland
Curtis Mead .247 .296 .390 90 .143 .293 4.1 2 1.3 Joe Crede
Taylor Walls .219 .301 .335 78 .116 .297 3.4 6 1.3 Cesar Crespo
Vidal Bruján .231 .290 .348 78 .117 .276 4.0 3 1.2 Nelson Liriano
Josh Lowe .233 .308 .393 94 .160 .319 4.6 -7 1.1 Scott Lusader
Cal Stevenson .227 .313 .323 79 .097 .289 3.6 4 1.0 Rick Manning
Manuel Margot .249 .307 .387 93 .138 .290 4.3 4 0.9 Ira Smith
René Pinto .215 .266 .348 70 .133 .291 3.2 6 0.9 Craig Colbert
Ji-Man Choi .226 .335 .396 104 .170 .299 4.6 -2 0.8 Tony Clark
Miles Mastrobuoni .239 .305 .326 77 .087 .314 3.3 2 0.8 Kevin Stocker
Xavier Edwards .258 .313 .336 82 .078 .304 3.8 1 0.7 William Suero
Austin Shenton .224 .288 .353 79 .130 .295 3.6 2 0.6 Phillip Cuadrado
Esteban Quiroz .221 .316 .366 90 .145 .281 4.0 -3 0.6 Ron Warner
Greg Jones .214 .280 .333 71 .119 .304 3.6 1 0.6 Buddy Biancalana
Connor Hollis .226 .290 .341 76 .115 .283 3.6 2 0.5 Rob Mummau
Jonathan Aranda .235 .305 .363 86 .128 .294 3.9 2 0.4 Chris Pritchett
Tristan Gray .204 .272 .351 73 .147 .268 3.0 2 0.4 Todd Carey
Brett Wisely .238 .285 .363 80 .126 .300 3.8 -5 0.1 Ruben Santana
Ford Proctor .208 .295 .308 70 .100 .282 3.0 -4 0.0 Doug Newstrom
Brendan McKay .209 .299 .328 76 .119 .276 3.3 1 0.0 Bryan Peck
Logan Driscoll .215 .267 .341 69 .126 .289 3.1 -2 -0.1 Eric Helfand
Ryan Boldt .216 .276 .349 74 .133 .301 3.5 1 -0.2 Jalal Leach
Erik Ostberg .206 .264 .322 63 .116 .281 2.8 -2 -0.3 Larry Owen
Luis Trevino .221 .277 .313 65 .092 .273 2.8 -3 -0.3 Wyatt Toregas
Blake Hunt .188 .250 .300 53 .112 .252 2.5 0 -0.4 Walt McKeel
Alika Williams .225 .261 .304 58 .079 .278 2.7 0 -0.5 Jorge Velandia
Kameron Misner .199 .268 .305 60 .106 .285 3.0 -2 -0.5 Francisco Plasencia
Ruben Cardenas .221 .265 .353 71 .132 .289 3.1 2 -0.6 Dan Wagner
Jim Haley .195 .245 .320 56 .125 .269 2.8 0 -0.7 Henry Calderon
Dillon Paulson .178 .270 .318 64 .140 .260 2.8 3 -0.8 Greg Thomas
Niko Hulsizer .180 .264 .342 68 .162 .283 3.0 -2 -0.9 Adam Bonner
Joseph Odom .179 .234 .279 43 .099 .269 2.1 -3 -1.0 Charlie Greene

Pitchers – Standard
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO FIP
Shane McClanahan L 25 10 7 3.86 26 25 126.0 115 54 18 42 143 3.86
Ryan Yarbrough L 30 9 7 4.01 29 18 146.0 145 65 18 30 115 4.01
Tyler Glasnow R 28 5 3 3.34 15 15 89.0 65 33 12 32 126 3.21
Yonny Chirinos R 28 7 6 3.96 27 19 131.7 123 58 17 32 112 4.00
Shane Baz R 23 6 4 3.49 20 20 85.0 73 33 10 27 98 3.50
Corey Kluber R 36 6 4 3.75 18 18 93.7 87 39 12 28 93 3.88
Andrew Kittredge R 32 6 3 3.09 55 5 70.0 61 24 7 14 78 2.98
Tommy Romero R 24 6 5 4.11 24 22 107.3 98 49 16 36 111 4.20
Jalen Beeks L 28 6 5 4.19 36 8 116.0 117 54 15 43 109 4.30
Brendan McKay L 26 4 4 4.06 20 18 75.3 69 34 11 27 79 4.14
Drew Rasmussen R 26 4 3 3.89 39 11 81.0 69 35 10 33 91 3.83
Jacob Lopez L 24 3 2 3.77 16 12 59.7 55 25 6 23 60 3.78
Luis Patiño R 22 6 6 4.42 28 22 106.0 98 52 16 43 111 4.41
Josh Fleming L 26 9 9 4.42 29 13 114.0 123 56 16 28 77 4.52
Ian Seymour L 23 3 2 3.81 15 14 54.3 48 23 6 23 59 3.88
Collin McHugh R 35 4 3 3.62 36 6 59.7 49 24 8 18 69 3.67
Matt Wisler R 29 5 4 3.68 45 5 63.7 56 26 9 19 77 3.59
Pete Fairbanks R 28 7 4 3.31 50 2 51.7 42 19 6 21 69 3.35
Chris Archer R 33 4 4 4.39 18 18 82.0 78 40 12 34 91 4.22
Jayden Murray R 25 5 5 4.41 20 20 81.7 83 40 11 25 65 4.44
Easton McGee R 24 4 4 4.52 21 20 87.7 93 44 12 23 63 4.48
Colin Poche L 28 7 5 3.79 64 2 73.7 57 31 11 26 94 3.83
Brooks Raley L 34 4 2 3.36 62 0 61.7 53 23 4 27 66 3.39
Miller Hogan R 25 5 4 4.20 27 8 70.7 72 33 9 18 56 4.18
Chris Mazza R 32 3 3 4.11 32 8 70.0 67 32 9 24 65 4.24
Jeffrey Springs L 29 4 3 3.42 41 1 50.0 40 19 6 20 69 3.24
Jack Labosky R 25 3 3 4.30 30 9 73.3 76 35 10 19 55 4.39
Colby White R 23 4 3 3.54 43 1 53.3 46 21 6 23 61 3.82
Oliver Drake R 35 4 3 3.74 60 1 65.0 54 27 7 23 69 3.56
Caleb Sampen R 25 4 4 4.54 15 14 67.3 70 34 7 28 46 4.59
Phoenix Sanders R 27 4 3 3.64 48 0 59.3 52 24 7 21 64 3.77
Ryan Thompson R 30 3 2 3.55 35 1 33.0 30 13 4 8 33 3.57
Nick Anderson R 31 3 2 3.47 39 0 36.3 30 14 5 11 43 3.59
JT Chargois R 31 4 3 3.70 52 0 48.7 41 20 5 23 53 4.00
Trevor Brigden R 26 5 4 3.89 29 2 44.0 42 19 5 15 40 4.07
Dietrich Enns L 31 7 8 4.83 26 15 98.7 99 53 16 36 92 4.64
Tommy Hunter R 35 2 1 3.48 30 0 31.0 28 12 3 8 28 3.60
Chaz Roe R 35 2 1 3.66 41 0 32.0 27 13 3 16 37 3.77
David Robertson R 37 2 1 3.76 28 1 26.3 22 11 3 11 31 3.56
Shawn Armstrong R 31 4 3 4.00 57 0 63.0 57 28 9 26 73 4.15
DJ Johnson R 32 2 1 3.82 28 0 33.0 29 14 5 11 39 3.88
Tyler Zombro R 27 2 2 4.12 27 1 43.7 45 20 5 10 32 4.03
J.P. Feyereisen R 29 5 4 4.04 53 0 55.7 45 25 7 29 66 4.11
Christopher Gau R 25 4 3 4.20 32 1 49.3 46 23 6 23 49 4.36
Ezequiel Zabaleta R 26 5 5 4.20 37 0 55.7 55 26 6 24 45 4.42
Joel Peguero R 25 6 6 4.61 39 3 54.7 56 28 6 24 41 4.59
Adam Conley L 32 3 3 4.32 48 0 50.0 48 24 7 19 48 4.34
Calvin Faucher R 26 2 2 4.63 34 2 56.3 54 29 7 33 55 4.76
David Hess R 28 6 7 5.04 34 10 89.3 93 50 17 32 81 5.05
Adrian De Horta R 27 3 4 5.23 23 10 53.3 51 31 9 31 55 5.22
Chris Muller R 26 2 2 4.64 25 0 33.0 29 17 4 22 36 4.76
Cristofer Ogando R 28 3 4 4.89 32 2 49.7 46 27 7 32 51 5.07
Justin Sterner R 25 4 4 4.63 33 0 56.3 56 29 8 24 51 4.65
Dalton Moats L 27 1 2 5.02 29 2 43.0 45 24 7 20 35 5.20
Mikey York R 26 2 2 5.27 25 3 41.0 42 24 6 22 35 5.13
Aaron Slegers R 29 3 4 5.29 39 9 81.7 94 48 16 24 55 5.41
Tanner Dodson R 25 3 4 5.12 35 1 51.0 53 29 7 27 41 5.12
Stetson Allie R 31 1 1 6.75 27 0 25.3 25 19 5 26 28 6.73

Pitchers – Advanced
Player K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BB% K% BABIP ERA+ ERA- WAR No. 1 Comp
Shane McClanahan 10.2 3.0 1.3 7.9% 26.9% .299 106 94 2.0 Mark Guthrie
Ryan Yarbrough 7.1 1.8 1.1 4.9% 18.8% .289 102 98 2.0 Brian Anderson
Tyler Glasnow 12.7 3.2 1.2 8.9% 35.0% .280 123 82 2.0 John Smoltz
Yonny Chirinos 7.7 2.2 1.2 5.9% 20.6% .280 103 97 1.9 Mark Clark
Shane Baz 10.4 2.9 1.1 7.6% 27.7% .293 117 85 1.7 Frank Pastore
Corey Kluber 8.9 2.7 1.2 7.1% 23.6% .292 109 92 1.6 Connie Johnson
Andrew Kittredge 10.0 1.8 0.9 4.9% 27.5% .297 133 75 1.5 Mark Eichhorn
Tommy Romero 9.3 3.0 1.3 7.9% 24.4% .287 100 100 1.4 Doug Drabek
Jalen Beeks 8.5 3.3 1.2 8.5% 21.5% .306 98 102 1.1 Ed Vande Berg
Brendan McKay 9.4 3.2 1.3 8.5% 24.8% .290 101 99 1.0 Jamie Moyer
Drew Rasmussen 10.1 3.7 1.1 9.6% 26.6% .286 105 95 1.0 Chris Ray
Jacob Lopez 9.1 3.5 0.9 9.0% 23.4% .299 108 92 1.0 Bryan Hickerson
Luis Patiño 9.4 3.7 1.4 9.4% 24.3% .291 93 108 0.9 Jason Marquis
Josh Fleming 6.1 2.2 1.3 5.7% 15.7% .295 92 108 0.9 Eric Knott
Ian Seymour 9.8 3.8 1.0 9.9% 25.3% .296 107 93 0.9 Erik Bedard
Collin McHugh 10.4 2.7 1.2 7.3% 28.2% .279 113 89 0.9 Jeff Reardon
Matt Wisler 10.9 2.7 1.3 7.2% 29.2% .299 111 90 0.9 Blas Minor
Pete Fairbanks 12.0 3.7 1.0 9.7% 31.8% .303 124 81 0.8 Jay Howell
Chris Archer 10.0 3.7 1.3 9.6% 25.6% .306 93 107 0.8 Darren Dreifort
Jayden Murray 7.2 2.8 1.2 7.1% 18.5% .293 93 108 0.8 DeWayne Vaughn
Easton McGee 6.5 2.4 1.2 6.1% 16.7% .296 91 110 0.7 Mike Miller
Colin Poche 11.5 3.2 1.3 8.5% 30.8% .272 108 93 0.7 Eddie Guardado
Brooks Raley 9.6 3.9 0.6 10.2% 24.9% .299 122 82 0.7 Chuck McElroy
Miller Hogan 7.1 2.3 1.1 6.0% 18.6% .294 97 103 0.7 Carlos Silva
Chris Mazza 8.4 3.1 1.2 8.0% 21.6% .293 99 101 0.7 Terry Clark
Jeffrey Springs 12.4 3.6 1.1 9.6% 33.2% .304 120 84 0.6 Jason Christiansen
Jack Labosky 6.8 2.3 1.2 6.1% 17.6% .293 95 105 0.6 Josh Stevens
Colby White 10.3 3.9 1.0 10.0% 26.6% .294 115 87 0.6 Si Johnson
Oliver Drake 9.6 3.2 1.0 8.6% 25.7% .278 109 91 0.6 Roger Mason
Caleb Sampen 6.1 3.7 0.9 9.4% 15.4% .294 90 111 0.5 Wayne Simpson
Phoenix Sanders 9.7 3.2 1.1 8.4% 25.6% .290 112 89 0.5 Mark Huismann
Ryan Thompson 9.0 2.2 1.1 5.9% 24.3% .289 115 87 0.4 Carlos Almanzar
Nick Anderson 10.7 2.7 1.2 7.4% 28.9% .281 118 85 0.4 Jerry Spradlin
JT Chargois 9.8 4.3 0.9 10.9% 25.1% .286 111 90 0.4 Ken Ryan
Trevor Brigden 8.2 3.1 1.0 7.9% 21.2% .294 105 95 0.4 David Wilhelmi
Dietrich Enns 8.4 3.3 1.5 8.4% 21.5% .296 85 118 0.3 Chris Hammond
Tommy Hunter 8.1 2.3 0.9 6.2% 21.7% .284 117 85 0.3 Jeff Shaw
Chaz Roe 10.4 4.5 0.8 11.5% 26.6% .296 112 89 0.3 Mike DeJean
David Robertson 10.6 3.8 1.0 10.0% 28.2% .292 109 92 0.3 Mike Fetters
Shawn Armstrong 10.4 3.7 1.3 9.6% 26.8% .300 102 98 0.3 Edwin Nunez
DJ Johnson 10.6 3.0 1.4 8.0% 28.3% .293 107 93 0.2 Marvin Freeman
Tyler Zombro 6.6 2.1 1.0 5.4% 17.3% .294 99 101 0.2 Jeff Tam
J.P. Feyereisen 10.7 4.7 1.1 12.1% 27.5% .279 101 99 0.2 Woody Williams
Christopher Gau 8.9 4.2 1.1 10.6% 22.6% .294 97 103 0.2 Brandon Kolb
Ezequiel Zabaleta 7.3 3.9 1.0 9.8% 18.4% .293 97 103 0.1 Rosman Garcia
Joel Peguero 6.8 4.0 1.0 9.9% 16.9% .296 89 113 0.0 Jack Cassel
Adam Conley 8.6 3.4 1.3 8.8% 22.2% .293 95 106 0.0 Will Brunson
Calvin Faucher 8.8 5.3 1.1 12.9% 21.6% .299 88 113 0.0 Rusty Ford
David Hess 8.2 3.2 1.7 8.2% 20.7% .296 81 123 -0.1 Brian Sweeney
Adrian De Horta 9.3 5.2 1.5 12.9% 22.8% .294 78 128 -0.1 Jason Bulger
Chris Muller 9.8 6.0 1.1 14.7% 24.0% .291 88 113 -0.1 Rafael Pimentel
Cristofer Ogando 9.2 5.8 1.3 14.1% 22.5% .291 84 120 -0.2 Marcus Gwyn
Justin Sterner 8.1 3.8 1.3 9.7% 20.6% .296 88 113 -0.2 Derek Hasselhoff
Dalton Moats 7.3 4.2 1.5 10.4% 18.1% .295 81 123 -0.2 Tim Hamulack
Mikey York 7.7 4.8 1.3 11.8% 18.8% .298 78 129 -0.3 Chris Demouy
Aaron Slegers 6.1 2.6 1.8 6.6% 15.2% .298 77 129 -0.4 Kris Wilson
Tanner Dodson 7.2 4.8 1.2 11.6% 17.7% .299 80 125 -0.4 Brad Pautz
Stetson Allie 9.9 9.2 1.8 20.6% 22.2% .303 61 165 -0.8 Mike Jeffcoat

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.

104 Comments
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JohnThackermember
4 months ago

Wow, that Cardinals stat in there is amazing. 1988? I know the organization is a model of consistency, but I still didn’t expect them to be that much ahead of anyone else.

wily momember
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnThacker

came down here to comment on that too. when the second longest streaks are 2006, and after those two 2012? it’s completely insane

sadtrombonemember
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnThacker

That was what stood out to me too. It seems totally impossible. To give you an idea of this: The Cardinals manager is Oliver Marmol. He’s 35. In 1988 he would have been about two years old. Two. Years. Old. People come and go. 1988 is six years before Walt Jocketty took over the Cards.

kylerkelton
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnThacker

It’s funny when the article included some awesome projections for a great team but a stray Cardinals fact completely stole the show.

Cave Dameron
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnThacker

The Cardinals are just an incredibly consistent organization, always putting out a decent team. Their last losing seasons were 2007 and then 1999, and they still won 78 and 75 games in those seasons so they weren’t terrible.

Left of Centerfield
4 months ago
Reply to  Cave Dameron

How’s this for an amazing Cardinals’ fact: last time they lost 100 or more games was way back in 1908! It’s the longest streak of the original 16 franchises (tied with the Dodgers).

And from 1916 forward, they’ve only lost 90+ games three times:

1976: 90 losses
1978: 93 losses
1990: 92 losses

John Northeymember
4 months ago
Reply to  Cave Dameron

The Cardinals prove that you don’t need to tank to be a winner on a low budget. Just like the Rays are doing too (just not for as long).

sadtrombonemember
4 months ago
Reply to  John Northey

The Cardinals do not have a low budget, and what the Rays are doing isn’t tanking but it is extreme cost control.

treebeardedmember
4 months ago
Reply to  John Northey

This helps to prove the “eye test,” which I always joke about with my baseball friends, that the Cardinals are the safest bet in the game. You can reliably pencil them in between 83-93 wins every year. Usually not world-beating. Never terrible.

kick me in the GO NATSmember
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnThacker

they added Pedro Guerrero and Milt Thompson between 1988 and 1989 and then everyone started hitting.