Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 1/19/23

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The appointed time in the prophecy has been reached.

12:00
Nick: What would a Gleyber Torres extension look like?

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’d offer him a set number of dollars in return for a set number or seasons!

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (Sorry, it’s opening)

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS would offer 5/119 or 6/138

12:04
Rizz: Does ZiPS just not care about exit velo/barrel data much? Carlson’s statcast numbers were about as bad as you can get last year, yet ZiPS isn’t forecasting much of a regression. Nootbaar is essentially the inverse, yet ZIPS didn’t think his performance was sustainable. Two of many instances I’ve pinpointed over the last few weeks

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS does, but it doesn’t *only* care about that

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Let me put it this way, if that was the overriding thing to look at at the expense of other stuff, Statcast’s x numbers would be more predictive than they actually are

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If not for that hard hit/barrel etc. numbers, his projection would be worse; ZiPS is basically projecting him to have his second-best professional season

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (More in a minute)

12:07
Derek: I actually agree with your Teoscar take – he’s a *good* (not great) hitter with the defensive abilities of a DH. On most WS-caliber teams he’s probably the 7th-9th best position player (while obviously hitting higher in the lineup than that).

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I probably could have worded it better. My general point stands, I feel – a top team should ideally not go into a season with Plan As — multiple in the case of the M’s — that are worse than Hernandez is projected.

12:08
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s got a very good one dimension, but he’s a one-dimensional player with little defensive value entering his 30s. Those guys do not age well or gradefully or gradually in most cases.

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (And he’s also moving into a park less conducive to his skillset)

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Just to illustrate on the former, of the top 400 player-baselines in his comp cohort

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 281 of 400 players saw their homers per contact decline from their baseline.

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The next season

12:12
Derek: Please explain wtf is going on with the Angelos family.

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can only ask them important information on days that are not holidays for anyone in the world.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’d love to give you MASN revenue data for example. But today is Orthodox Epiphany.

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And tomorrow is Inauguration Day

12:15
Guest: Will Tigers sign any more bats, or could they be done on MLB deals?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Done on anything that will move the needle

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Because there’s not just much there

12:15
Morbo: Dan, I told you on Twitter I was going to come to your chat and ask for Pujols’projection. So here I am. Can I get Pujols’ projection? I NEED IT!

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dangit, I can’t – I just hit go on the Marlins pitching projection batch

12:15
NYBaseballNerd: I’ve always wondered if ZiPS is a series of gigantic Excel spreadsheets or if you wrote code for it. Also, what hardware does it run on?

12:15
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It is at its core, but there’s also a lot of Visual Basic involved.

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I run it on my main PC if I’m not doing anything else, which is a Ryzen 5950X

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: if I’m playing a game or something while I wait, I’ll run it on an Intel i7-8700K.

12:16
Appa Yip Yip: Have you ever tried to have ZiPS come up with trade values, or is that too subjective for the computer to be good at?

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not really a fan of doing it that way because the considerations of teams can be fairly complex.

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, on Pujols, I haven’t re-run it to make sure nothing screwed up, but his initial projection was .249/.309/.441, 107 OPS+, 0.8 WAR as a DH in like 350 PA

12:18
Ben: How do you think AI will impact baseball over the next few decades, if at all?

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s certainly possible

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I wonder if AI will eventually do things like help predictd injuries

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though I expect printed body parts to eventually be a larger impact there

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can see someday that implanting an artificial UCL made of graphene or whatever becomes a standard procedure.

12:22
Appa Yip Yip: The Jays need a 4th outfielder, but Robbie Grossman probably wants a starting job. Are they just gonna end up rolling with Whit Merrifield filling that role?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I suspect so

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If Grossman wants a starting job, I think the Varsho acquisition ended any chance of that in Toronto

12:22
RobertoBeers: A man A Dan A day closer to death, htaedotresolcyadanadanama

12:22
Liz: What’s your favorite jam to put on a PBJ sandwich? If you don’t like PBJ, what’s your favorite jam to put on toast?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like jam on biscuits

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like butter on toast

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like peanuts but I don’t like the viscosity of peanut butter

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I like blackberry best

12:23
Kerrick: I know everyone’s top prospect list is different but how is Andrew Moore ranked 14 for the Reds? A 23 Y/O relief pitcher in Low A with a 4.29 ERA and 29 BB in 42 innings.

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That would be a question for Eric!

12:23
PewPewPew: I’m sad that the Cubs keep signing guys to bury Matt Mervis…and I like Mancini!  What say you?

12:23
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t see the point of not playing Mervis

12:24
TomBruno23: Realizing it all comes down to the terms…with the Cardinals only have Matz under contract after 2023 in the rotation, who would you prioritize for an extension: Montgomery or Mikolas? Wainwright obviously retiring and the timing is way off for both sides on a Flaherty deal.

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Monty

12:24
TomBruno23: That Alec Burleson projection and top comp is pretty cool.

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Don’t get TOO excited about a comp

12:25
Joe: Is Gunnar Henderson more likely to hit his 20th percentile projection or his 80th percentile projection, and yes, I realize that he’s statistically as likely to hit either one!

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d say 20th since I’m naturally fairly conservative

12:25
Glennn: Dan – you’re watching a Tigers game in person and Miggy hits a pop up. He lowers his head and starts half-heartedly jogging towards first, knowing this is an out.
Only it isn’t. The ball continues to travel skyward, straight up into the air. The ball isn’t coming back down!
A: is there a high enough distance the ball can travel straight up that it’s considered “foul”?
B: If not, and you have to wait for it to come back down before the game can resume, how long do you sit in the stands waiting for this ball to drop back down? Do you leave after 30 minutes?

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depends how late it is

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure there’s a direct rule dealing with a space popup

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think at some point, the umpire would declare that it left the field of play in fair territory

12:27
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I don’t think ground rules would be in effect, making it a ground rules double

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: there’s no atmospheric rules double

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: or earth rules doubles

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So my inclination would be to call it an inside-the-park home run

12:28
Morbo: When you make a typo while making fun of someone else’s typo 🙄

12:28
Morbo: 👍for gradedully

12:28
Oaktown Blues: Which international FA pitcher that the A’s signed is ZiPS more optimistic about – Rucinski or Fujinami? Do you agree?

12:28
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS liked Rucinski more. I’m not sure really

12:29
Urban Shocker’s Jockstrap: How concerning does ATL’s 2023 shortstop situation look with the current options of Grissom, Arcia, and Shewmake according to ZiPS? Is ZiPS optimistic about any of their potential options and, if not, do you think it likely that AA makes a move to upgrade?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s fine and the team is not likely to upgrade

12:29
TomBruno23: Mozeliak really wishes you had released the STL projections before last weekend’s Winter Warmup and media Q&A…

12:29
TomBruno23: Is it ok to throw away all these family Christmas cards that come in the mail or was I ok to do it immediately after opening?

12:29
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I usually keep them in a box until the following Christmas

12:29
Lars Noot Bar: I am made of creamy milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, with a soft and chewy center, infused with gooey caramel, adding a touch of sweetness and a hint of saltiness. I also come in a hazelnut version.

12:29
Well-Beered Englishman: As a neutral TV watcher, and possibly irrespective of goodness, which teams do you think will provide the most excitement/entertainment?

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Padres are fun. Mairners are fun

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Mariners

12:30
StevenSeagull: Have you seen any reason at all to believe that Syndergaard will be a vastly different pitcher than last year?  I’m seeing the fluff pieces about hard work, at this facility or that, and just don’t know what to think?

12:30
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unless he hard works his way back to a 98 mph fastball, I’m not seeing it

12:31
TomBruno23: How dare you talk about MASN revenues on today, NATIONAL POPCORN DAY.

12:31
ClydeH: Zips 2023 projections do not appear to be on FanGraphs yet.  Can you provide eta ?

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: About 10 days? Only 4 teams left to go

12:31
Scotty: Did you see the cluster that was the Castellini presentation? What in the world is going on in Cincinnati?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah. I tweeted about it a few times too!

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They apparently screwed up looking up the data on FanGraphs, either intentionally or unintentionally, to make their case lake better

12:32
Appa Yip Yip: AI will generate extra fingers on pitchers hands so they can spin the ball better

12:32
Marko from Tropoja: What percentage chance would you give Kershaw of getting to 175 IP this season?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 20

12:33
Stu: Thanks for chatting…what team do you think is currently the farthest from returning to contention?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Nats

12:33
Morbo: I for one look forward to cyborg baseball and the days of Pitch-o-mat 5000 and Wireless Joe Jackson!

12:33
pomPOM: are you going to do your annual MiLB/Rookies who ZIPS loves article again this year?

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wait, do I do that?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unless I’ve lost my mind, which is a possibility, that’s something someone else does with ZiPS

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do some breakouts/busts pieces

12:34
Teoscar Hernandez: Would you rather have me or Nick Castellanos?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You, easily

12:34
Farhandrew Zaidman: I’m almost certain the synthetic UCL braces already exist and tons of professional pitchers already have them.

12:34
Ya Boy: Just morbidly curious…do you ever bet on MLB games/outcomes?

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I like the longer-term prop bets, not individual games

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and I pick my spots.

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I only bet in situations where I see significant value

12:35
D: Will there be an article evaluating the Sean Murphy extension? I know it happened over the holidays so I could have missed it.

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m sure we had one

12:35
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Weird, we didn’t!

12:36
TomBruno23: Can I get excited about Masyn Winn’s comp to Alfredo Griffin? MLB needs more 419 PA 4 BB seasons.

12:36
Ya Boy: Do you run all the projections at once and release them one by one or do you run them one by one and write them up as they get spit out?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Do some enormous batch runs, but for articles, I run them one-by-one so I can double-check them for shenanigans

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Like one I missed

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: was the Jackie Robinson comp for Wong

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but it was Jackie Robinson in the early 70s, which could not be

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: which means that I accidentally mapped a name wrong and I’m not sure who it is

12:37
Bike: I have a question but I’m not sure if you’re taking inquiries on National Popcorn Day or not? I’d hate to disrespect the Midwest by asking the wrong question on today of all days

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t answer questions on Cincinnati Chili Day because I consider it a day of mourning

12:38
pomPOM: you’re all backwards on this jam thing:

12:38
pomPOM: Ah, he likes bread and butter
Ah, he likes toast and jam
Ah, that’s what his baby feeds him
Ah, he’s her loving cat…

12:38
Appa Yip Yip: Dan what is your opinion on ice water? Delicious and refreshing, or boring why is there no flavour.

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Boring, though I should drink more seltzer than I do

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Too much Coke

12:38
Urban Shocker’s Jockstrap: People always ask you “How is ZiPS?”, “When is ZiPS getting here?” But do they ever ask ZiPS “How is Dan?” “When is Dan being posted?” “Does Dan love me and my team?” Really makes you think about our priorities as a society.

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If ZiPS alive, so am I!

12:39
Sharps: Is there a type of player which you think has faded out from the MLB that you’d like to see return?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I do like the contact hitter types, but baseball’s not really structured to make that valuable

12:39
Guest: Name the most random baseball player of the last 20 years you can possibly think of please. First name that comes to mind.

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Andy Stankiewicz

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: because stank is in his name

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Oh, is that a rookies ZiPS like piece?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That’s just the top 100 I do almost every year

12:40
The Orioles Finances: Any chance I actually get to see daylight?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Find me a day that isn’t a holiday for somoene and we’ll talk

12:40
Guest: Baseball Trade Values says a straight-up Ha-Seong Kim/Tanner Houck trade makes sense for both sides. Your opinion?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Meh

12:40
Wireless Joe Jackson: Hey Dan, can you explicate what ZiPS sees in Dean Kremer to give him such a rosy projection?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m actually not sure here

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: his cohort is unusually good performing

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But at this stage in the season, I’m just worried about cranking out 30

12:41
pomPOM: if ZIPS every becomes sentient, will it love or hate you?  Quality of relationship?

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hate me, I’m sure

12:41
VegasJohnyroll: Am I the only one who thinks the Padres starting rotation is way too thin for a contender,   Maybe they plan on winning a ton of 10-7 games because with their current payroll I can’t see them adding much.   I’m nervous.

12:41
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It is a concern that I’ve expressed before. The org has lost a lot of plan Bs they had

12:41
Krontz: How’s the Dodgers’ OF play out? Outman? Thompson? Taylor out there mostly? Lots of playing time questions it seems ….

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m still of the belief the Dodgers pull out some wacky trade in spring training

12:42
Guest: Hearing BA say, “I am buying into Jackson Holliday because of the organization behind him” brought a tear to my eye, Dan. Too rich to think he follows the Gunnar path? Started A ball in 2021, 2022 ended in the majors.

12:42
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Gunnar’s improvement was unusually large and sudden, so it’s not something I’d want to predict players doing regularly

12:42
pomPOM: I’d think the change in the force of gravity would be far more concerning than time in seat at that point

12:42
Tacoby Bellsbury: Would you eat deep-fried Cincinnati chili dredged in Old Bay?

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: dear god no

12:43
zMike: As a Jays fan I enjoyed Teo in the dugout with his smile and during his hot stretches he can carry an offense. Not to mention that he was acquired for nothing from the ‘Stros. But he should be a DH / OF4 / platoon option due to his defense. Would look even more atrocious in a spacious OF or with the Jays new ‘funky’ OF dimensions.

12:43
Guest: If you could give one player a ridiculously high, 2017 Avisail Garcia-type BABIP for 2023, who do you think would be the most fun player to choose?  I think Tommy Edman could be like an 8.0 WAR player with it so that would be fun. Steven Kwan would also be pretty exciting

12:43
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Tim Anderson’s a good bet for that, though ZiPS has largely been doing that

12:44
StevenSeagull: In your view, are there enough top-level baseball players to expand MLB at some point?  Honestly, it seems like talent is stretched pretty thin already, particularly for teams that aren’t good at drafting/development/paying.

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t know, talent is pretty subjective

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But if it were thin, we’d see a larger deviation in performances

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t want expansion simply because I cringe at the thought of eight four-team divisions

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and owners would naturally push for 14 or 16 team playoffs

12:45
Morbo: The Angelos will provide revenue data on April 1 but in celebration of that day it will all be fake and say they don’t make any money

12:45
Farhandrew Zaidman: I’m surprised at the tepid Chafin market, I thought he may well have been the best LHP reliever available this offseason.

12:45
80grademustache: how does Zips evaluate a guy like Strider considering the “shorter” minor league track record but dominate first full season? Especially being a RHP. I’d imagine there aren’t many comps perhaps?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There’s more uncertainty

12:46
An Englishman: I love the American sport of baseball. What does ZiPs like about Liberatore?

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Honestly, what it really loves about most Cardinals pitchers is the Cardinals defense

12:47
Guest: Re: Vinny P. I think he’ll average around 25 homers over the next 5+ years with maybe one or two years with 30+. Am I sell his power short?

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think so. It’s not a particularly good home run park and homers are down across the league

12:49
Chip: If Aaron Judge were to make 100% contact with a baseball and actually caused the ball to vaporize, is that a ball or a strike?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think that’s a foul ball

12:50
Dan: How many people would be MLB regulars but aren’t simple because they play for the wrong team and are blocked/overseas?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Fewer than there used to be. Teams are better at this kind of thing than they used to be

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: If he were 10 years older, Nelson Cruz would not have had a career in the United States.

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And born 10 years later, Edgar Martinez gets 3000 hits

12:51
phlij: how serious a contender are the Phillies? Same level as Mets/Braves/Padres?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Not on that level as they’re thinner, but Turner is a big deal

12:52
Lij: how did the brewers end up with William Contreras in that trade? Where did they come jn

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They gave up Ruiz!

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: My favorite trade of all time remains the Wil Myers trade

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Rays trade Wil Myers to the Padres and somehow the Nats end up with the best player.

12:53
Guest: Coke > Pepsi

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Every drink a really old can of Coke?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Old Coke is just Pepsi

12:53
LeonardFarnsworth: They’re listening! You said the o’s should spare no expense, and look! Reed Garrett!

12:53
Yeah Well Hiura Towel: If the ABS system were already in place, would there be any chance in hell that going back to a challenge system would be a welcome idea?

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: oh god no

12:53
Guest: Who is the most likely 95+ win team from last year to win fewer than 85? Yankees, Mets, Braves, Dodgers, and Astros are the options

12:53
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Dodgers

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, I think it’s extremely unlikely of course

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But the Dodgers are thinner than usual and a couple bad rolls and they lose, say, Betts and  Urias, and I think the wheels come off the shopping cart

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And if things start to go bad, we have them like five million over the luxury tax threshold

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They may want to liquidate some salary in that case to get back under, which is what they had hoped to do

12:56
Grant: The Athletic is doing a series on potential expansion sites, highlighting Portland, Nashville, Montreal, and Las Vegas. What are your thoughts on the future of expansion in MLG?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I had the neural network do that!

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Hmm, can’t find it

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So here’s an old one: five new team names for each team.

12:59
Avatar Dan Szymborski:

1:00
Ben: A vaporized ball is the moral equivalent of a swinging-strikeout passed ball — he swung and the ball has vanished. Send Judge to first base.

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But it vaporized from his contact

1:00
Rob: I think this is a general ZiPS question rather than Cardinals specific but I can’t tell how AB are projected? Seems like there are too many AB assigned to Gorman and Donovan to add up to a job share, for one instance. Just curious – thanks!

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS is agnostic on team decisions

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s past playing time, age, position, injury history

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I don’t think projecting, say, a Double-A prospect to go .000/.000/.000 in 0 PAs a very useful way to use a projection system

1:01
Joe: I’ve just gotten into OOTP and holy shit why didn’t anyone warn me

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: OOTP uses ZiPS as basis for starting points!

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, I can’t stretch out the discussion hour this week as I’m going on ESPN 101 in St. Louis at 1:15 ET/

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: So thanks for coming everyone!





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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Albymember
19 days ago

The Pittsburgh Howling Dewdrops?