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!

Lineup

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

Rotation

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).

Comments (44)

  1. sweeeet.

    Buzz Oliver!

  2. http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove12/story/_/id/8758358/how-rest-american-league-east-catch-toronto-blue-jays-mlb

    Szymborksi also had the Jays as clear favourites in this piece back in December.

  3. pretty sure that the JPA-John Buck comp might be my favourite.

  4. Holy fuck if Romero bounces back……….

    • Romero will get some help just from good old run support.

      Our offence stands to perform a lot better this year.

      Having a nice lead has to help your confidence.

      • Not the point, and offense is irrelevant to how good Romero actually performs. If he hits 200 innings, this team is in exceptional shape – presuming he only gets 200 if they are of decent quality.

        • It does matter. He’s not a robot. He’s still a player on a team. If he does so-so and the team wins, he can relax a little. If he goes to pitch and already has a 3 run lead, he can relax. That is almost always a positive. Last year he clearly got too introverted. And I say that as someone who believes we have next to no insight into these guys. But in his case it was pretty obvious.

  5. Awesome. I love those comps, especially Larry Sheets and Wally Backman. Ick on the Woody WIlliams. Seriously, ick.

  6. If Brett Lawrie somehow manages to stay healthy this season, it seems he’ll be in for a huge year.

    • These projections assume he had another monster year in the field. I hope gibbons still aggressively shifts the infield but I think a lot of his WAR projections are predicated on the assumption that he has ++ fielding stats again.

      Obviously his bat could make strides which would be awesome too.

  7. This projection also had Bautista getting 497 plate appearances…

    Lots of room to go up

  8. A 105 OPS+ and a 1.4 WAR seems more than optimistic for Adam Lind considering he’s been worth negative value over the last three seasons according to fWAR (with OPS+ of 90, 95, 96). Now he’d obviously have a far better chance at reaching that if the team actually platoons him this season…

  9. We posted a similar analysis today at Blue Jays Way (minus the ZIPS) that had the Jays at 92 wins (with replacement level being 52 wins). We figured 45 WAR, less a variance of 5 wins to deal with injuries.

  10. WAMT – Very clever Stoeten.

  11. I stopped reading when I saw RA = Woody…

  12. Jesus Christ, Larry Sheets sucks

  13. Dunno if you caught it, but down at the bottom of the pitcher charts, Brad Lincoln’s closest comparable player is … the late Bruce Walton.

  14. Got my tickets today yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa boyyyyyyeeeeeeeeee

    Suck it Farrell

  15. The Beltre comp for Lawrie works for me, even from a qualitative standpoint. They both seem to field the position “physically” more than easily, and both (or at least Lawrie should be) are able to put up reasonable averages and very good power numbers.

    I still think he could be the break out, MVP-type guy on the team this year.

  16. Imagine if JBats has another 8 win season in him…

  17. Since AA has already named Dickey/Williams the opening day starter, who gets the start against the Bosux for the first game? Johnson/Schmidt?

  18. Who will be the opening day catcher?

  19. Good stuff Stoeten, another thing to note is the lower projected innings totals for Johnson, Morrow, and Buehrle. If you project their numbers over 200 IP as opposed to the IP totals that ZiPS projected then you get 4.6 for Johnson, 3.9 for Morrow, and 3.0 for Buehrle.

    Of course it’s likely that not all of them reach the 200 IP total, but 2 of the 3 of them should come close

  20. The comp for Romero is Fernando Valenzuela?

  21. Also, is Arrencibias comp being John fucking Buck not hilarious?

    • Been calling Buck JPA’s ceiling since we got him(Buck). JPA should be happy if he ever manages an 800OPS season.

  22. .316 wOBA! Suck it, haters!!!

  23. Buck is arencibias wet dream

  24. I think anyone who thinks Trount is going to put up 9 war and not experience some sophomore shine is deluded.

    • He can slump and still put up a 9 WAR. His bWAR this year was 10.7 in only 139 games. Projecting that out to 155 games gives him 11.9, so if he plays that many games next year he can decline by almost 25% and put up 9 WAR. If he improves and plays a full season we could be looking at 12 or 13 WAR. Not at all likely, but not impossible.

  25. Lind is predicted to have ABOVE LEAGUE AVERAGE OPS!? That would be sweet that is also super unlikely, unless (as already mentioned) he is only a platoon bat.

    Also, WAMT = +10

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