Over at FanGraphs they’ve started rolling out Dan Szymborski’s computer-based– and generally pessimistic-ish– ZiPS projections for this year, one team at a time. I can attest that this method helps build up the anticipation, because even though I generally find projections to be pretty seriously pointless, I’ve been kind of interested in seeing what ZiPS was going to say about the Jays– even though I had mostly been expecting a long, painful wait until the project made it around to us. Turns out, though, that we’re kinda hot shit! So it’s here already– among the first ten teams previewed– which I think doubly makes sense, seeing as we’ve already seen some changes to the projected lineups of teams already previewed, like Nationals (who’ve re-signed Adam Laroche), and the Rangers (who’ve added Lance Berkman and AJ Pierzynski), and it seems as though the Jays are pretty much set.
Of course, I don’t think they’re set with Emilio Bonifacio at second base, as Alex Anthopoulos has indicated that Maicer Izturis will more likely be the guy, but since they both project to a (rounded) WAR of 1, but that’s neither here nor there if you’re going to the trouble of scrutinizing the numbers in the image above.
I’m not entirely sure why you’d worry that much– these are just projections, after all– but if you want to make a quick and dirty comparison between clubs, it’s kinda fun.
Especially this year, since the Jays actually hold their own against some of the best clubs in the game.
It’ll be fun to see how the Yankees, Rays, Orioles and Red Sox stack up, but right now we can see that the Jays have accumulated 45 WAR per the projections– and that might even be a little bit light, seeing as R.A. Dickey comes out as projection a “mere” four wins above replacement.
I say that’s light because, as FanGraphs‘ Dave Cameron wrote last month, that “there are pitchers who routinely outperform their FIP, and the way we do pitcher WAR will systematically underrate those pitchers. The primary group of pitchers who post results that are better than their BB/K/HR rates would suggest are knuckleballers.”
Dickey was worth 4.6 wins per FanGraphs’ calculation last year, while Baseball Reference had him a full win better.
Even so, the Jays 45 WAR is comparable to the 47 projected by the Nationals (whose chart has Mike Morse at 1B, though his 2 WAR total is interchangeable with LaRoche), and the 43 projected for the world champion Giants.
The Angels check in at an impressive 50 WAR, largely due to the eight wins projected for Mike Trout– Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie combined are only projected at nine, or about 1 WAMT.
Of course, those are all just the rounded numbers, and we have much more than that here: all kinds of tables with projected counting stats, rate stats, and various other metrics, as well as historical comps for all the players listed– and there are a lot, says Chorye Spoon and his projected -1.4 WAR.
The post is definitely worth checking out on its own, so I won’t steal too much more from it, but here’s what the OPS+projections and ERA+ projections for the club’s rotation and expected positional starters looks like, along with their projections for WAR, and the delightful comps we’re given to boot!
Jose Reyes – 113 OPS+, 4.3 WAR, Rafael Furcal
Melky Cabrera - 113 OPS+, 2.5 WAR, Shannon Stewart
Jose Bautista - 153 OPS+, 4.6 WAR, Ralph Kiner
Edwin Encarnacion - 131 OPS+, 3.3 WAR, Richie Zisk
Adam Lind - 105 OPS+, 1.4 WAR, Larry Sheets
Brett Lawrie - 112 OPS+, 4.3 WAR, Adrian Beltre [Note: swoon!]
Colby Rasmus - 100 OPS+, 2.2 WAR, Ernie Young
J.P. Arencibia - 96 OPS+, 2.0 WAR, John Buck
Maicer Izturis - 91 OPS+, 1.1 WAR, Wally Backman
R.A. Dickey – 110 ERA+, 4.0 WAR, Woody Williams
Brandon Morrow - 107 ERA+, 3.0 WAR, Tim Belcher
Mark Buehrle - 97 ERA+, 2.5 WAR, Jim Kaat
Josh Johnson - 116 ERA+, 3.4 WAR, Jason Schmidt
Ricky Romero - 96 ERA+, 2.6 WAR, Fernando Valenzuela
So… there’s that.
Image via FanGraphs (obviously).