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2022 ZiPS Projections: Milwaukee Brewers

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 Milwaukee Brewers.

Batters

I can’t say I’m displeased to see Luis Urías at the top of the batter list — I’ve long been fascinated by him and even featured him on my breakout list last year — but I’d definitely be uneasy about having him as my team’s best player. Urías projects to essentially repeat his 2021 season. Third base (or second) is a better long-term home for him than shortstop, so last year’s Willy Adames acquisition showed the correct instinct on Milwaukee’s part. Read the rest of this entry »


Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 1/20/21

12:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The chat is now.

12:03
Matt: ZiPS seems very down on Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh. Is there any hope for them?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yes. Adell’s projection has already rebounded from the year before! But he still needs to develop.

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As for Marsh, ZiPS is not yet enthralled by his offense

12:05
Tyler: Rangers ZIPS came out today. The rotation is a nothing burger outside of Gray. ZIPS seems to under project innings for Hearn (92), Dunning (109), who are both certain to be in the rotation but has (134) for Folty who isn’t even on the team?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS goes from history.

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2022 ZiPS Projections: Texas Rangers

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 Texas Rangers.

Batters

If you start by looking at the offensive comps in the chart below, you can see how quickly things go downhill in the batters’ projections. You start with two easy Hall of Famers and then about 40 seconds later, you’re reassembling the late-80s Braves. Now, the late-80s Braves eventually became the 90s Braves, something the Rangers are no doubt striving for, but getting from Point A to Point B isn’t a route you can just put into your car’s navigation system.

Signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien is a great place to begin, though. Seager’s health record hasn’t been perfect, but it hasn’t been Eric Davis-like, either, and he still has a couple of seasons left of his 20s. Semien is a few years older, but after rightfully being a big part of the American League MVP race in two of the last three seasons, he starts off on a pretty high pedestal. Read the rest of this entry »


2022 ZiPS Projections: Atlanta Braves

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 Atlanta Braves.

Batters

Can the Braves win the World Series again? Yup! But it would be a lot easier to do if they could bring back Freddie Freeman. Sure, finishing his Atlanta career with a World Series trophy is a storybook ending, but that’s for a 39-year-old Freeman, so let’s can the epilogue for now. While it’s still taken as an assumption that he’ll return, the fact is he didn’t sign before the 2021 season, he didn’t sign during the 2021 season, and he didn’t sign before the lockout. Until he actually puts his pen to the dotted line, anything can happen, and until then, first base is the Braves’ biggest weakness.

ZiPS is projecting a solid return for Ronald Acuña Jr., but there’s still some danger in that outfield. It seems nearly certain that Marcell Ozuna will return, but from a baseball standpoint, he didn’t hit at all early last year. Now, imagine a scenario in which Acuña isn’t quite ready, Ozuna is struggling, and the Braves have to field a designated hitter in addition to cobbling together whatever at first. The outfield depth just isn’t that strong, especially with neither Cristian Pache nor Drew Waters having any kind of breakout years in Triple-A. There’s a reason that Alex Anthopoulos had to remake the outfield on the fly last summer, which is something that you ideally don’t have to do again in 2022.
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2022 ZiPS Projections: Miami Marlins

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 Miami Marlins.

Batters

We’ll get the bad news out of the way first because, well, that’s the order we do these blurbs in. There’s a lot to like about the Miami Marlins, but most of those things are on the pitching side. The offensive holes aren’t so deep as to prevent baseballs or electromagnetic radiation from escaping. But the offense is thoroughly uninspiring wherever you look. The lineup is neither good nor particularly young, and as such, it will likely struggle to push the Marlins to be much better than the National League’s 14th-ranked offense in runs scored, Miami’s 2021 mark. Read the rest of this entry »


2022 ZiPS Projections: Washington Nationals

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 Washington Nationals.

Batters

You can divide Washington’s offense into two distinct parts. The first part is Juan Soto, who got Ted Williams as his top offensive comp. That’s the straight-up, pure, 100% unadulterated Ted Williams comp, too. There’s no trick here; I’m not going to say, “Ha ha! ZiPS was talking about 1980s minor league outfielder Ted Williams.” Soto’s plate discipline is other-worldly. In his best season, Joey Votto was still nearly a quarter more likely to swing at an out-of-the-zone pitch than Soto was as a 22-year-old in 2021. Read the rest of this entry »


2022 ZiPS Projections: Kansas City Royals

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 Kansas City Royals.

Batters

Let’s start with the good news first: Kansas City’s offense has several very interesting offensive players in the high minors. Then there’s the bad news: Kansas City’s offense has several very interesting offensive players in the high minors. That Bobby Witt Jr. projects well is not a surprise, but Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, and Vinnie Pasquantino all crushed the feckless assortment of minor league pitchers they faced, and you have to feel much better about the long-term outlook of all three in the majors. How does this quartet of young players transition from terrorizing minor leaguers and start threatening major league ones? That’s a trickier question, given the contours of the roster.

One risk facing the Royals is that Witt plays third base, with Nicky Lopez remaining the shortstop. This would the same mistake that the Orioles made some years ago with Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy; for a handful of runs, the team would needlessly be lowering the ceiling on a franchise player. Baltimore had the excuse of being a good team in a tough division, in which absolutely maximizing wins had a great deal of value. Not giving Witt every opportunity to be a foundational talent at shortstop so that the Royals can be a .480 team instead of a .478 one doesn’t feel like it has the same upside. In five years, he could be their Carlos Correa. In five years, the Rockies will be paying Lopez $10 million a year to put up 1.1 WAR and block the latest iteration of Brendan Rodgers or Ryan McMahon. Read the rest of this entry »


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. Read the rest of this entry »


2022 ZiPS Projections: New York Mets

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 New York Mets.

Batters

It feels a little weird to be optimistic about the Mets after the season they just had (or perhaps because the Mets are one of the world’s most powerful pessimism-inducing entities). But when I look at the offense, there’s just not that much to complain about. None of Starling Marte, Mark Canha, or Eduardo Escobar are superstars — though Marte comes close at times — but signing that trio really improved how the lineup looks going into 2022. The team has a credible backup at most positions and even some upper minors depth (Brett Baty, Mark Vientos and, if you believe Steamer rather than ZiPS, Khalil Lee) they can use if the need arises. Read the rest of this entry »


2022 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 a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Oakland Athletics.

Batters

The departures of Mark Canha and Starling Marte are a real setback for Oakland, but the lineup’s core remains intact. This starts with bullishness on the Matts.

Five-win projections from a first baseman are kind of rare in ZiPS — I started building WAR projections into ZiPS in 2014, and this will be only the sixth time it’s happened — but Matt Olson is at the likely height of his powers. As terrific as he was in 2021, with a .271/.341/.540 line and 5.0 WAR, ZiPS isn’t projecting a dropoff, thanks both to regression and because it thinks he was somewhat unlucky in BABIP the last two years relative to his hit data. Vladito versus Olson for supremacy in the AL should be a fun battle the next few years, though the former is likely to vanquish the latter for good in a few years given their respective ages.

ZiPS isn’t projecting Matt Chapman to set any new personal bests, as his offense has fallen off enough that he’s probably left his 2018–19 MVP-ish peak for good. Getting back to the four-win threshold would still make him All-Star level, though. Chapman seems to come up in trade talks reasonably regularly, but I’m not sure the A’s actually move him this year unless the playoff race is an uphill battle in July.
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