Daily Notes: Most Improved Hitters So Far, Per ZiPS

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Most Improved Hitters So Far, Per ZiPS
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Most Improved Hitters So Far, Per ZiPS
In May, the author examined those hitters and pitchers whose projections had most improved, up till that point, according to the Steamer and ZiPS systems. This week, in the Notes, we’re revisiting that effort.

In yesterday’s edition: the league’s most improved hitters, according to Steamer — where “most improved” is defined as “greatest increase in wOBA projection.” Today: that same thing, but for ZiPS.

Note: only players with both a preseason and rest-of-season projection have been considered. Other note: any player either (a) presently absent from a major-league roster or (b) with fewer than 60 projected plate appearances remaining has been omitted from consideration.

5. Mike Carp, Cornerman, Boston
ZiPS (Pre): 506 PA, .239/.304/.394 (.286 BABIP), .305 wOBA, 97 wRC+
ZiPS (RoS): 105 PA, .274/.335/.471 (.331 BABIP), .350 wOBA, 117 wRC+
Notes: Owing to a switch in parks from Safeco to Fenway, Carp’s raw wOBA differential is greater proportionately than his wRC+ differential — which is what makes him fifth on this list, as opposed to second. Still, he’s been excellent for Boston. ZiPS, which is rather aggressive about integrating particularly low or high seasonal BABIPs into rest-of-season projections, appears to remain rather aggressive about integrating Carp’s rather high .410 BABIP into his rest-of-season projection.

4. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit
ZiPS (Pre): 662 PA, .313/.394/.561 (.322 BABIP), .399 wOBA, 154 wRC+
ZiPS (RoS): 181 PA, .330/.416/.603 (.338 BABIP), .429 wOBA, 174 wRC+
Notes: The average triple-crown winner has generally been worth about 10 wins and produced ca. 80 park-adjusted runs above league average offensively. As such, it’s uncommon for a batter to improve upon a such a season; however, this appears to be what Cabrera is doing.

3. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland
ZiPS (Pre): 535 PA, .234/.295/.383 (.277 BABIP), .297 wOBA, 88 wRC+
ZiPS (RoS): 158 PA, .258/.328/.424 (.299 BABIP), .329 wOBA, 110 wRC+
Notes: ZiPS appears to have been less moved than Steamer originally by Donaldson’s production at Triple-A last season or his excellent second half back in the majors. Nevertheless, Oakland’s third baseman appears among both systems’ both improved hitters.

2. Ryan Raburn, UT, Cleveland
ZiPS (Pre): 361 PA, .232/.284/.389 (.293 BABIP), .292 wOBA, 85 wRC+
ZiPS (RoS): 88 PA, .243/.309/.440 (.298 BABIP), .327 wOBA, 109 wRC+
Notes: Raburn has played both corner-outfield spots, made two starts at second base, and recorded a 26 xFIP-, as well, in an inning of relief work. While his projected strikeout rate and BABIP have remained virtually identical since the preseason, his walk rate (5.8% preseason, 7.6% presently) and home-run rate (2.8% preseason, 3.4% presently) have both increased.

1. Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore
ZiPS (Pre): 560 PA, .252/.305/.450 (.327 BABIP), .323 wOBA, 100 wRC+
ZiPS (RoS): 159 PA, .270/.332/.538 (.332 BABIP), .369 wOBA, 132 wRC+
Notes: As with yesterday’s version of this post using Steamer, Chris Davis is the most improved hitter according to ZiPS, as well. Also as with Steamer, the bulk of that improvement comes not from a higher BABIP or lower strikeout projection, but an increase in projected home-run rate, from 4.5% to 6.3%.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Seattle at Tampa Bay | 19:10 ET
Aaron Harang (102.2 IP, 111 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR) faces David Price (119.1 IP, 84 xFIP-, 2.1 WAR). Wil Myers Status Update: Wil Myers has recorded a 140 wRC+ (.376 BABIP) and 1.9 WAR in 193 plate appearances, and is presently seventh among all rookie hitters by WAR.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.5.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Carlos Carrasco CLE 4 7 4 3 2 MIN Kyle Gibson 13:10
Rick Porcello DET 8 7 6 1 6 CHA John Danks 14:10
Jacob Turner MIA 5 1 6 7 7 KC Ervin Santana 14:10
Bronson Arroyo CIN 4 3 4 5 4 CHN Chris Rusin 14:20
Andrew Cashner SD 6 6 5 7 3 COL Jorge de la Rosa 15:10
Chris Tillman BAL 5 9 7 3 9 AZ Patrick Corbin 15:40
Jered Weaver LAA 4 7 6 2 9 NYA Ivan Nova 19:05
Tim Lincecum SF 8 5 7 2 9 WAS J. Zimmermann 19:05
Jon Lester BOS 5 8 6 6 5 TOR Esmil Rogers 19:07
John Lannan PHI 2 0 4 8 7 ATL Brandon Beachy* 19:10
Aaron Harang SEA 4 4 6 10 8 TB David Price 19:10
Tyler Thornburg* MIL 5 4 5 3 5 TEX Matt Garza 20:05
Francisco Liriano PIT 9 7 8 3 10 STL Shelby Miller 20:15
Jarred Cosart HOU 1 4 3 6 3 OAK Jarrod Parker 22:05
Dillon Gee NYN 4 6 5 3 5 LAN Chris Capuano 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Jason Lukehart
10 years ago

Nice to see Ryan Raburn find his way onto the list. Cleveland recently signed him to a cheap 2-year extension, with a team option for 2016. I don’t expect him to perform quite as well as he has this year, but given his cost, he’s been a great find for the Tribe.