ZiPS Update: Three Year Projections!

FanGraphs now has Dan Szymborski’s Three Year ZiPS Projections on both the sortable projections pages and all of the player pages.

As Dan notes:

It’s the ZiPS you love/like/hate, now slightly less accurate! Predicting the future is foggy and the further you go, the thicker the fog gets. Every time ZiPS runs a projection, it provides a player’s rest-of-career projection, but until now, only the first-year projection has been made public on a systematic basis.

ZiPS is a non-parametric model, deriving aging curves from very large groups of similar players, so history is the main guide. After all, there’s no experimental data; it’d be nice to let Jose Altuve play out his career a million times in a million realities and see how he ages, but that’s currently impossible. Plus, the MLBPA probably would not be open to participating in this unending purgatory.

The three-year projections are start-of-season projections. There’s currently no mechanism to update future projections the same way the in-season projections are calculated. The year-to-year model that ZiPS uses is much more robust than the in-season model and I am not smart enough to have figured out an automatic workaround yet.





David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

28 Comments
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J.D. Martinmember
3 years ago

My word, those Juan Soto projections

BenZobrist4MVP
3 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Martin

By 2021 he is basically tied with Trout for best projection in baseball. Wow.

scottsjunk1981member
3 years ago
Reply to  BenZobrist4MVP

What’s even more amazing is that these are median projections. So, given the high uncertainty that comes with having less than a year of MLB plate appearances, that means that the odds of greater than 10 WAR in 2021 has got to be something absolutely crazy like 15% or 20%.

Wow is right.

TMRegent
3 years ago
Reply to  scottsjunk1981

Well ZiPS does love the biebs, so never say never! But Soto, damn!

HappyFunBallmember
3 years ago
Reply to  BenZobrist4MVP

And that’s with a penalty for defense. My word indeed!

sadtrombonemember
3 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Martin

Juan Soto is a hitting prodigy. I think sometimes we have a tendency to forget that he was 19 years old. The track record of players slugging .500+ and with an OBP near .400 is…Mel Ott? Joey Votto, the guy who suspect his career is going to resemble, was in…High-A, I think. But ZiPs has never seen a guy like this before except Mel Ott, and thinks he’s going to grow into that kind of power while keeping the OBP. I’m not so convinced he’s got 40+ homers in him regularly, but heck, even Joey Votto in left field is something to celebrate.

CousinNicky
3 years ago
Reply to  J.D. Martin

Its interesting how it projects Soto to become an MVP player with Acuña not improving on his rookie numbers at all(they are nearly identical and actually slightly worse OBP). I also don’t buy Soto defense to be twice as good as he was last season.