Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 11/30/23

12:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ITS CLOBBERING TIME

12:00
striker: Being an Orioles fan and play analyst, who would you be willing to give up in a Cease deal? Would a Cease + Jimenez deal interest you?

12:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Jimenez no

12:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Cease, I’d do something with Westburg as the center (I like Westburg). But I wouldn’t go Westburg AND Mayo

12:04
Joe: What key indicators do you look at for determining if a prospect should be called up?

12:04
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Well, who he’s replacing really.

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Any prospect worth bringing up is worth challenging.

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not a fan of using prospects as role players

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: except breaking in pitchers the first year or so

12:05
Sirras: Which FA pitcher(s) do you think are most likely to outperform their ZiPS projection? To underperform?

12:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I actually think Nick Martinez still has potential that he hasn’t yet shown on his return

12:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m actually happy with most of the ZiPS starter free agent projections

12:06
TomBruno23: Fairly large news everyone I saw our man Big City at Lona’s Lil Eats yesterday Conversation went essentially like this, “Matt Adams…good to see you.” “Good to see you too.” “You really do not have to say that but thanks.” “OK.”

12:06
Alex: Why does zips like Alex Verdugo so much? It’s not like his secondary stats are that great either. And he didn’t tear up the minors or anything

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It still thinks that given his profile, he should be hitting better in Fenway

12:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: as far as I can tell; it’s always hard to extract things

12:08
J: I’m a little surprised by ZiPS’ Kerry Carpenter projection. While he doesn’t have a long track record, last year’s production seems mostly legit.

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The track record still matters.

12:09
Avatar Dan Szymborski: “Last season” is a bad projection system, even for young or youngish players

12:09
Kyle: What are your personal prognostications on how likely Nolan Jones will be able to hit 23 HR with 16 SB and a 260 average like Steamer says? 30% K rate but that’s mostly because of passiveness. Z-Contact isn’t great but not as bad as many other 30% K guys.

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS seems more optimistic. It’s about 50 PA lighter than Steamer, but ZiPS has him at 22 HR and .271

12:10
Avatar Dan Szymborski: though fewer SB (13)

12:11
Guest: If you’re a GM, do you trade anything of value for Jared Kalenic? Too risky a career move?

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Of value? Maybe. Of a LOT of value? No

12:11
Anon21: Do you think it’s dumb to pay for mid-tier relievers like Reynaldo Lopez in free agency? Just seems like the error bars around 60-inning seasons are so big that you’re better off hunting bargains from the enormous scrum of freely-available guys and moving on quickly from the ones who don’t click.

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depends on the team.

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Contenders ought to be more risk-averse

12:11
Avatar Dan Szymborski: but mediocre teams shouldn’t be doing it

12:12
Kyle: Can you estimate how much Glasnow’s ERA/WHIP would be hurt by being traded to CIN?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Some (Sorry, ZiPS is running Astros right now)

12:12
Harry: What is one thing that is generally accepted by the analytics community/industry that you disagree with?

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m probably more bunt-friendly than most people.

12:12
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Now, I don’t like sac bunts or bunts from players who suck at it

12:13
Avatar Dan Szymborski: BUT, the break-even chances quite a bit as the chances for a hit increase

12:14
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think every fast player should get a lot of focus on bunting until they show that it’s ineffective for them

12:15
Ben: Hey Dan, love the ZiPS projections coming out during this dead period before the Winter Meetings.  What would you do with Rafaela if you were the Red Sox?  Should he be considered for the starting CF job out of spring training?  Stashed in AAA?  Floated in a trade?  He’s a pretty polarizing prospect among Red Sox fans.

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d probably start him at AAA to work on plate discipline and see what happens from there

12:16
Guest: when does FIP not remove counting IBBs?
I get that it’s not a big deal but Penn Murfee had 3 intentional walks last season in 14 innings last season. His FIP would be more than a half run lower if IBBs weren’t counted

12:16
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’d certainly remove it.

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: When ZiPS calculates FIP/ERA relative to defensive expectations, it removes IBB

12:17
Insert Witty Name Here: Have you used any AI tools to analyze data yet? The chatGPT app doesn’t quite give the in depth stuff I always appreciated from you, but in a few years from now…

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No.

12:18
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I assume you’re not talking about things like neural networks)

12:19
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In any case, I always place a premium on tools that are more transparent

12:20
TomBruno23: Give me some names that are realistic for the Cardinals to add to their bullpen because the current crop is far from contender-ready.

12:20
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can see Stratton and/or Robertson

12:21
Ben: Am I wrong in my belief that more big market teams should be willing to trade away major league talent if they aren’t in a playoff race?  It seems like such an obvious thing to do yet only small market teams seem to ever really do it.  Is it just because of the fan backlash?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A lot of those big market teams have different horizons for a bounceback

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It depends on the situation

12:21
Mark: I was recently trying to find a glossary page or article discussing when statistics normalize or become predictive (ex: command+ takes 100 pitches to stabilize while stuff+ takes 10), and couldn’t find anything great. Any recs on where to find information like this?

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: For the Eno stats, I’m not sure

12:21
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Other stuff, I talked to here.

12:21
Creator of Zips: How dare you not credit my work!

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’re lucky I lower barrels of gruel into the oubliette.

12:22
Jake Larsen: If you were in charge of the Rays, would you keep Glasnow at least until the deadline? Or would you trade his 25 million $ contract knowing that he has never pitched over 120 innings in a season throughout his entire career and has no strong playoff pedigree over 10 appearances?

12:22
Avatar Dan Szymborski: As always, it depends on the return.

12:23
Jake Larsen: Is WWF No Mercy still the greatest wrestling video game ever made?

12:24
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I think it’s fair

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Though because of where I was and my friends were in life, I played more Wrestlemania 2000

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: And I’ll always have a soft spot for the Fire Pro wrestling series, that had way better move sets for CAW than any of the AKI games

12:25
Zink: When you’re projecting defense for minor leaguers, what all/most importantly goes into that? Presumably the scouting defense grades, but it seems like there isn’t much else to go on other than height/weight, speed, and arm. Is there anything else that you’ve found to be predictive?

12:25
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No scouting grades.

12:26
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I have a total zone-esque measure. I have coordinate data for every hit ball and I have a model of probability for everywhere on the field.

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Like I have a quarter millions of entries like this

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: trajectory hardness location coordX coordY adj x adj y slope degrees Responsibility   ground_ball medium 5 60.76 139.41 -69.24 70.59 -0.98088 -44.4469 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 93.72 166.28 -36.28 43.72 -0.82983 -39.6868 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 7 69.15 133.86 -60.85 76.14 -0.79919 -38.6313 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 99.8 170.84 -30.2 39.16 -0.7712 -37.6392 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 96.41 167.17 -33.59 42.83 -0.78426 -38.1058 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 60.26 121.37 -69.74 88.63 -0.78687 -38.198 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 113.29 187.56 -16.71 22.44 -0.74465 -36.6733 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 111.98 186.13 -18.02 23.87 -0.75492 -37.05 third baseman Zavier Warren   bunt_grounder medium 5 110.75 184.51 -19.25 25.49 -0.7552 -37.06 third baseman Zavier Warren   ground_ball medium 5 99.29 169.32 -30.71 40.68 -0.75492 -37.0498 third baseman Za

12:31
Guest: in light of the Lynn and Severino deals, how much does Jack Flaherty make this offseason? I’m assuming he will take a 1 yr

12:31
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s getting a one year deal, I think

12:32
TomBruno23: Anxiously awaiting the Cards ZiPS to see how close Wainwright and Lynn come out. Dylan Cease makes too much sense not to happen. Right? Wrong?

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Depends if they’re willing to give up the prospect number

12:32
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m less sure they’d do something like that after signing Gray

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: They’d basically be making a guy they signed to a one-year deal as a FA this sixth starter right away and I’m not sure they’d be keen on that

12:33
romorr: How would you fit Mayo into the Orioles 2024 plans? Let him fake it a bit at 3B, and come out early for a defensive replacement, or throw him at 1B and call it a day. I know he’s young, but 267 PAs with a .900 OPS in AAA last year shows that he should be close. His BB/K% numbers are wonderful for a power hitter.

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Get him as much work at AAA at 3B as possible. I don’t want to move him to the easy side of the defensive spectrum without a fight

12:33
Avatar Dan Szymborski: then figure it out

12:33
striker: Westburg, Kjerstad and Povich. Who says no?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: O’s hopefully. I wouldn’t give up Westburg AND Kjerstad

12:34
Jefferson: Torkelsons projection is not too surprising with his strong second half, but I am very surprised at his 20% split of 97 ops+ being slightly better than his career numbers. Did he always have an excellent floor like this?

12:34
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, but ZiPS liked his 2023 bette than his stats

12:36
Kyle: ZiPS has Skubal for a 3.65 ERA but 3.39 FIP – does the variance come from assessing park factors and defensive capabilities? What other factors does this variance take into account?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: In this case, it’s mostly D, which ZiSP is not enthralled with

12:36
The Ghost of Dan’s Grandma: Dear, there’s nothing but bean-riddled chili here in the afterlife.  Have they figured out a way to bring the dead back to life yet, sweetie?  Also, what D tier free agent do the Pirates sign this offseason, pumpkin?

12:36
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I doubt my grandmother ever ate chili in her life.

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: She mostly cooked north German and French cuisine

12:37
Avatar Dan Szymborski: probably more French than German

12:38
Guest: Is Zips likely to react poorly or VERY poorly to Brandon Woodruff not pitching for essentially 1.5 years?

12:38
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Haven’t run it yet, but probably very poorly given shoulder

12:39
Guest: Any thoughts on Wendle to the Mets? Seems like they could have just kept Guillorme as a player with a similar skill set

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Yeah, a bit meh on it. but probably harmless

12:39
Richard: When you say “ZiPS likes [Player Name]” in your writeups, are you using your personal expectation as a frame of reference or another projection system like Steamer?

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: depends on the context really

12:39
Avatar Dan Szymborski: when I’m talking more than steamer, I’ll say more than steamer

12:39
GA Blood: Hypothetically speaking, if a 2023 player hit their 50th percentile projection would you expect the 2024 projection to remain relatively constant from when you ran it before 2023 to when you run it before 2024? What are some factors that might change the projection in this circumstance?

12:40
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It depends on the exact distribution. Remember, ZiPS doesn’t use pre-ordained distributions

12:40
TomBruno23: 11.30.95 from the Nutter in Dayton is the accompaniment piece to the chat today. Sample In A Jar…

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Sorry door

12:44
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m listening to Woodpigeon’s Die Stadt Muzikanten

12:44
Dan’l: Who projects better: the pre-‘23 rotation of Montgomery/Mikolas/Wainright/Flaherty/Matz or pre-‘24 rotation of Gray/Mikolas/Gibson/Lynn/Matz??

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: PROBABLY 24

12:45
Harmon Ripkowski: Please please please add blown saves and holds back much further than you do. Thank you

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Me?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Or the site?

12:45
DK: Both ZiPS and Steamer have Samuel Basallo as a ~.285-.290 wOBA player next year. He’s only 19, and no one expects him to be major league ready next year, but I guess I was expecting a better projection after the year he had and the prospect hype he’s getting. His ZiPS comps aren’t anything special either.
 
Is there something about his profile that gives pause (inflated BABIP?  Size? Position?) or does ZiPS just want to see more than a one year breakout before anointing him the second coming of Josh Gibson?

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wants to see more

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He’s going to be really high on the top prospects list

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: probably top 10

12:45
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (The ZiPS list)

12:46
Harmon Ripkowski: Oh, and the best 19th century ballplayer’s nickname is…

12:46
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The Only Nolan

12:47
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He INSISTED on being billed that way

12:48
Avatar Dan Szymborski: He once played hooky from a game for a funeral but then went and got drunk instead

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and left to take care of his sick brother but was actually visiting a prostitute

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: John Thorn’s talked more about him, lemme find his blog entry

12:49
Avatar Dan Szymborski: here it is

12:49
Richard: Dan projecting baseball = ZiPS
Dan projecting water = SiPS
Dan projecting dodgeball = DiPS
Dan projecting fashion = HiPS
Dan projecting temperature = NiPS

12:50
CM Punk: O/U 3 years in the WWE in this current form?

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Over I think

12:50
Bob: Are the royals the worst projected team you have ever seen?  I can’t think of a pitching staff, major league and prospect wise that I can remember being worse.

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: No, there are definitely worst proejcted teams.

12:50
Avatar Dan Szymborski: That is like a 69-win projection

12:50
A Boy Named Yu: In case anyone was wondering, it only took $403 million/13 yrs to sign Ohtani in my MLB The Show.

12:50
Guest: Yamamoto just makes too much sense for the orioles and the next 5-6 years with rutch, henderson, and holiday.  I know it’s not going to happen, but man it would literally be the best move any team could make this offseason.

12:50
J: I think that in general some Fangraphs writers (not you) have been sloppy in explaining that consistent gaps between FIP and ERA are very frequently due to defense. I’m thinking in particular of an article on Nola that noted that his ERA is projected to trail his FIP, but it did not note that Philly’s defense is always terrible these days.

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I can only speak and control what I do, but I think the general tenor is that it is assumed that a lot of it is defense

12:51
Carl: Any thoughts on the likely extension for Chourio? Your own and/or ZiPS

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: ZiPS are in Eric’s upcoming article

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Which might be up by now! I’m not sure

12:51
Matt VW: After a 5.4 bWAR season at age 22 in 2019, Rafael Devers has posted value between 3.5 and 4.5 bWAR in the three full seasons since, with a ZIPS projection of 3.6 for his age 27 season in 2024. Is this the player he is now, or is there still some chance of reaching the higher ceiling he once seemed capable of?

12:51
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I’m not sure he has a super high ceiling just because there’s only so far you can go hitting homers.

12:52
Guest: Warren Morris. Why?

12:52
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Waitk, what’s going on?

12:52
A Boy Named Yu: What made up your Thanksgiving feast this year?

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: turkey, stuffing with sage sausage and pecans, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, pearl onions in mornay sauce, sweet potatoes with candied pecans, lima bean cassoulet (which I don’t care for).

12:54
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and my sister also made a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and she managed this with a two year old and a four year old and a 60 hour week last week as an oncology PA!

12:55
the guy who asks the lunch question: What’s for lunch?

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: A single plain chorizo sausage

12:55
Avatar Dan Szymborski: (I was behind and it was 11:40 and I realized I had not set up the chat yet)

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: so I just grabbed a sausage in my hand and ate in downstairs

12:56
Oddball Herrera: “In case anyone was wondering, it only took $403 million/13 yrs to sign Ohtani in my MLB The Show.”

I wish this meant that Ohtani is now off the market because someone signed him to play MLB The Show for $400 mil

12:56
Fisher: Have you run projections yet on Trea Turner? I was surprised that Steamer was close to his numbers last year and not the 2 before that. Is there a reason for that?

12:56
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You’d have to ask Jared!

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But ZiPS isn’t worried about him

12:57
Schroedinger’s Warren Morris: Can I be like Pat Meares when I grow up?

12:57
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Look, Cam Bonifay only has so many four year contracts to give out

12:57
171: I drive through the kenilworth & charles intersection on the way home from work every day and at least once a week i think about you sledding down the hill on the corner and think about how insane that is

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The bastards put a transformer at the bottom of where you come out!

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: You can’t go all the way from the top to the bridge because there’s a long plateau and you lose too much speed

12:58
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The best starting point is about halfway up.

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: It’s hard to see with all the leaves

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: But you start about halfway up to the bridge

1:00
Avatar Dan Szymborski: and you come out at the bottom

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: there was like a trail there, I don’t know if it’s still there

1:01
Avatar Dan Szymborski: a lot of people used to walk through there, because it was the only really good way to walk from bellona to the kenilworth park mall

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: There were also a bunch of really nice wild raspberries up near the bridge

1:02
TomBruno23: A Chourio Sausage?

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: This is a family chat!

1:02
Wistful Chris Lubanski: What time in baseball history do you glorify for no apparent reason?  I like 2003

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: 1989

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I was 11 and it was the Why Not year

1:02
A Boy Named Yu: What are your go-to fancy-ish snacks?  I used to always get my dad booze for Christmas but his doctor nixed that, so now I’m looking for fancy snacks to get him instead.

1:02
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Wrong guy to ask for this, I don’t usually have snacks

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: On that note, I have some Astros ZiPS to finish up for tomorrow so I gotta head out

1:03
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Thanks for coming all!





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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Alby
2 months ago

ZiSP has a certain zip to it.