Archive for 2013 ZiPS Projections

Now Available: Full 2013 ZiPS Projections Spreadsheet

Note: if Google spreadsheet below isn’t working, click here for one the author has uploaded himself after having modified only slightly from Szymborski’s original.

With the release last Thursday of the ZiPS projections for the Cleveland Indians, now all 30 major-league teams have been caressed tenderly by proprietor Dan Szymborski’s math computer.

While we wait — as if sitting atop some combination of pins and needles — for ZiPS to be added to the projection leaderboard area here at the site, Szymborski has released a spreadsheet including all the ZiPS projections for 2013.

Click this hyperlinked text to visit the full spreadsheet for the 2013 ZiPS projections.

In the meantime, some observations:

• Highest Projected WAR (Field Players): Mike Trout, 8.0

• Most Defensive Runs Saved: Craig Gentry, +15

• Highest Projected WAR (Pitchers): Justin Verlander, 6.4

• Lowest ERA: Craig Kimbrel, 1.57

• Yankees Prospect Corban Joseph: 579 PA, .242/.313/.389, 87 OPS+, 1.0 WAR


2013 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Cleveland Indians. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Braves / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Red Sox / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
If you’re like the author, you’re hirsute in a way that make pets and small children demonstrably uncomfortable. You’re also a bit surprised by the competence of the Indians offense entering 2013. No Cleveland field player posted better than a 3.4 WAR in 2012; in fact, there are three players here — Carlos Santana (4.4), Michael Bourn (4.0), and Asdrubal Cabrera (3.7) — projected to surpass last year’s team-high mark. Six other players are forecast to post something between a 2.0 and 3.0 WAR.

A thing to note: both Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs are projected as center fielders, where each spent the majority of 2012 defensively. Moving to the corners won’t affect their individual WAR projections, likely, but does mean that what they lose in runs to positional adjustment, they’re likely to regain in terms of runs saved afield. If we say that Brantley and Stubbs are roughly average center fielders, then it’s also fair to say they’re likely to save something like +10 runs defensively in either left or right field.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Atlanta Braves. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Red Sox / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
Basically every starter for Atlanta — plus the Francisco/Johnson platoon at third — appears likely to produce something between two and four wins above replacement. For obvious reasons, that’s more of a good thing than a bad one — on account of, I mean, more wins is better than fewer wins. If there is a downside to having such a balanced roster, it’s that upgrading at midseason is more challenging. Last season, for example, the Chicago White Sox had the blackest of possible holes at third base. Therefore, their late-June acquisition of Kevin Youkilis represented a considerable improvement over the status quo. As of now, the possibility that the Braves will have such a glaring weakness is on the low-ish end of things.

Posing some difficulty to those who would prefer to draw strong conclusions about Atlanta based on these projections is what one might call, were he/she in the mood, the Brian McCann Shoulder Situation. The very good Braves catcher had surgery on his right shoulder in October — of which procedure Dan Szymborski’s math computer is entirely unaware. Reports suggest that McCann should be ready by mid-April, but even that timetable is liable to futz around with McCann’s “real” projection for 2013.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Boston Red Sox

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Boston Red Sox. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
It’s important, of course, to acknowledge always that front offices — especially the sort which have a reputation for embracing all manner of analysis — that they might possess certain information to which we, baseball’s laypeople, are not privy. To whatever degree that might be the case, however, it’s difficult to imagine what information precisely the Red Sox might have with regard to Jonny Gomes, whom the club signed to a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason and intends, it seems, to deploy as their starting left fielder. While the bar is rather low for Gomes to earn his money, Dan Szymborski’s math computer suggests that Gomes’ odds of producing like an average major-leaguer aren’t excellent.

I asked Szymborski about the Gomes projection — and, in particular, to what degree it might account for platoon splits (Gomes having a reputation for possessing a large-ish one). To which question Szymborski replied: “ZiPS only knows past usage.” To that point, we ought to consider this when considering Gomes’s rather successful 2012 season: about 59% of Gomes’s plate appearances in 2012 were against left-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, only one-third of his plate appearances between 2009 and -11 were against lefties.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Baltimore Orioles

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Baltimore Orioles. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
Readers with an interest in arbitrary-ish end points will be keen on learning that, among major-league catchers over the last two seasons, Matt Wieters is fourth overall by WAR with a mark of 9.1. Other readers — even those who are entirely wary of arbitrary end points — will recognize that Wieters is projected by ZiPS to produce in 2013 roughly what he averaged between 2011 and -12. In either case, he’s probably one of the five-best catchers in the major leagues.

For as much as it will cost the team — i.e. something like $2.5 million total — experimenting with a platoon of Wilson Betemit and Danny Valencia (or the recently acquired Russ Canzler, as the case may be) at DH isn’t the worst possible idea. Isolating platoon skill requires a considerable number of plate appearances; however, the switch-hitting Betemit has been better against righties (117 wRC+, .350 BABIP, 1752 PA) and Valencia has been better against left-handers (127 wRC+, .343 BABIP, 326 PA).

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Minnesota Twins

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Minnesota Twins. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
The Twins probably don’t have the least impressive set of offensive projections among the now-26 teams considered so far, but they probably do have the least impressive set of offensive projections for a club that also includes a player as good as Joe Mauer. Ben Revere and Denard Span, now both a part of the NL East, combined for seven-plus wins in 2012, and are projected for ca. five wins this season. Their replacements for the moment, Darin Mastroianni and Chris Parmelee — in center and right field, respectively — are projected to be worth only a fifth of that.

The reader will note that Ron Gardenhire’s actual deployment of Ryan Doumit, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau will likely be more nuanced than it’s represented in the depth-chart graphic below. The triumvirate made 48, 42, and 34 starts, respectively, at DH in 2012. Plus, Mauer made 30 starts at first base. Plus, Doumit made 56 at catcher. It’s not unreasonable to assume that they’ll be used similarly in 2013.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – San Diego Padres

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the San Diego Padres. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox / Yankees.

Batters
With regard to the projections below, an entirely reasonable person might ask: “To what extent does ZiPS account for catcher Yasmani Grandal’s 50-game suspension that he was given for a performance-enhancing substance in November — in light, particularly, of how Grandal is given the second-highest WAR projection among all Padres batters?” To which question the author is compelled to answer: “Not at all, unfortunately.” In point of fact, Grandal’s suspension likely calls for his WAR projection to be approximately two-thirded — which the author promises is a verb you can use in business memos or term papers or whatever.

Of note is the very elegant right-field platoon that persists in San Diego. A ninth-round pick out of Princeton and 19th-round pick out of something called Wheaton College, Will Venable and Chris Denorfia, respectively, continue to produce at something demonstrably better than replacement-level.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – New York Yankees

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the New York Yankees. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
It’s probably not entirely correct to say that Robinson Cano is twice as good as any of his field-playing teammates. What does appear to be the case, however, is that — owing to a combination of offensive production, positional adjustment, and durability — Robinson Cano is likely to be twice as valuable in 2013 as any of those same teammates.

Elsewhere, there are a lot of rather low plate-appearance projections among the Yankees batting corps. Brett Gardner, Travis Hafner, Alex Rodriguez, and Kevin Youkilis: none is forecast to make even as many as 500 plate appearances. Of course, A-Rod’s mean projection by that account is already appearing to be rather an optimistic one: according to general manager Brian Cashman, the nominal starting third baseman is expected back from hip surgery in July, but could potentially miss the entire season.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Miami Marlins

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Miami Marlins. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
It will come as no surprise to the reader to learn that the 2013 Marlins are likely to be a poor team. That’s not to suggest, of course, that the Miami players themselves will be anything less than committed to flawless victory, but rather that the front office — by way of their deadline and offseason trades — have conspired to make the chances of said flawless victory much less likely.

In the interest of brevity — and because the author is running out of port as he writes this — let’s summarize the projections for Miami’s field players via bullet-point technology:

Regard:
Giancarlo Stanton’s forecast — which is on par with Ryan Braun’s (link) and Buster Posey’s (other link) — suggests that, if healthy, he could contend for MVP candidacy in the National League.
• ZiPS concurs with Justin Ruggiano’s pronouncement via Twitter from November — regarding the Marlins center-field spot — that Ruggiano’s “got this.” His two-win projection is the second-highest among Miami field players.
• Here’s the departed Jose Reyes’s WAR projection relative to his replacement Adeiny Hechavarria’s: 4.3 vs. 1.3.

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2013 ZiPS Projections – Los Angeles Dodgers

Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mariners / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox.

Batters
The Dodgers begin 2013 with slightly more than double the payroll of their 2012 opening-day roster. That fact established, it will not surprise the reader to learn that the Dodgers have spent some of that additional money on position players. The club’s highest-paid field player at the start of 2012 was outfielder Andre Ethier, at $10.95 million. As of today, the Dodgers have five batters earning more than that: Adrian Gonzalez ($21.9 million), Carl Crawford ($20.9 million), Matt Kemp ($20.3 million), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million), and Ethier himself ($13.5 million).*

One would hope — for the sake of order in the universe, if nothing else — that the Dodgers’ financial outlay would correlate to success. In fact, it appears as though it will. The Dodgers produced 20.3 WAR via batting and fielding last season; the squad presented here is probably closer to 25 WAR. To the front office’s credit, there are some values here, as well: Luis Cruz, A.J. Ellis, and Tim Federowicz — all expected to produce like average major leaguers — will combine to make just $3 million in 2013.

Figures stolen directly from Cot’s Contracts.

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