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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

River Ave Blues: Jesus Montero and ZiPS

And from the comments…“Cano will hit over .299. I’ll bet my life savings on that.” Way over…like this season’s .302!

You might have seen this earlier, but Dan Szymborski posted his 2012 Yankees ZiPS Projections early Monday afternoon, the first team of the offseason. You can click the link and peruse all of the projections at your leisure, but I’m going to spend some time focusing on everyone’s favorite player, Jesus Montero. We’ll discuss the other guys at some point this offseason … eventually.

Following his big September debut (.328/.406/.590 and a .421 wOBA), the ZiPS system forecasts a .271/.333/.486 batting line with 37 doubles and 27 homers in 579 at-bats for Montero in 2012. At first glance, that might seen a bit disappointing because of the generally low AVG and the OBP, but it most definitely shouldn’t be. I said this on Twitter, but if Montero does that next season, he’ll probably win Rookie of the Year even if the majority of his at-bats come as a DH*. ZiPS isn’t being tricked by that big September either, the system called for almost exactly the same thing for 2011: a .276/.334/.503 line with 34 doubles and 28 homers in 539 at-bats.

...We’ve talked about the whole DH/backup catcher thing, but putting it into practice is much easier said than done. The ZiPS numbers don’t mean anything at the end of the day, but they’re a nice little reminder of just how much Montero can help the Yankees if given the chance.

Repoz Posted: October 25, 2011 at 09:25 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics, yankees, zips

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ESPN: Szymborski: A staff for the ages (INSIDER)

n December, the Philadelphia Phillies were revealed to be the notorious “mystery team” in the hunt for Cliff Lee, eventually signing the 2008 AL Cy Young winner to a five-year, $120 million contract. With Philly’s rotation already containing Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, the hype surrounding the team’s quartet of starting pitchers reached epic proportions. The hypemakers were wrong—the Phillies’ starters went on to exceed expectations.

After the inking of Lee, we took a look at the Philly front four using the ZiPS projection system. For the Fab Four, we came up with a projection of 19.8 WAR (wins above replacement), which would have given the Phillies the 13th-best top four starters in a rotation since the start of the divisional era in 1969.

Dan Szymborski Posted: September 20, 2011 at 06:06 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, zips

BPP: An interview with Dan Szymborski

You can’t spell ZiPS without…Dan!

How long ago did you come up with ZiPS?

Szymborski: The genesis of it was there’s a [person] who contributes to Baseball Think Factory named Chris Dial, and in the late ’90s, they were talking about how someone could make a projection system that’s very basic and get most of the way there, in a way kind of a primordial version of Marcel which is a tabulator.

Before 2002, I was thinking maybe I should try my hand at a projection system. At that time, Voros McCracken’s FIPS research was fairly new, so I wanted to [align my idea.] That’s why I made it rhyme with FIPS, and the Z stands for Szymborski, the second letter of my name. I mean, it’s just a little side thing that started. Then I decided to do hitter projections, because it seemed kind of stupid to do because there were not hitter projections. And then over time, as computers got faster, I could do more things. Over time, it became a pretty complex system… I’m pretty happy with how it’s worked out.

Do you think you have another ZiPS idea in you or do you think that’s going to be your big thing?

Szymborski: I dunno. I always kind of think of myself more as a writer than a statistics developer, but I have more ideas how to use it. I continually refine my aging models and long-term projections and the different things I can do with it. I certainly hope there are other ideas in me, but I don’t have those ideas yet. Hopefully they will develop over the next few years.

Repoz Posted: September 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, media, primate meetups, projections, sabermetrics, site news, zips



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