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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2008 ZiPS Projections - Pittsburgh Pirates

Not the prettiest projections in the world, but did anyone really expect otherwise?  It’s unfair to put any blame on the recently hired Frank Coonelly, but considering how competitive baseball is, this seems pretty much what one should expect from a team that places far more importance on maximizing their corporate welfare dole than maximizing anything positive that’s baseball-related.

A few unexpected question marks have arisen since the end of 2006 - while the Pirates have to be happy that Gorzelanny and Snell were solid pitchers, I don’t think they wanted to be answering question marks about the play of Jason Bay or Zach Duke right now.  Again, I really want to give Coonelly a chance, but it’s hard to give the organization as a whole the benefit of the doubt given the mismanagement from top to bottom, to injury management to coaching to a lack of a coherent plan centered on winning games of baseball.  Littlefield may be gone, but I don’t think that’ll be enough as long as the surname “Nutting” appears in the chain of command.


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Jason Bay           lf 29 .265 .361 .478 154 565 92 150 32 2 28 89 81 149 9 0
Josh Phelps         1b 30 .292 .352 .483 115 373 35 109 22 2 15 57 30 89 2 1
AVERAGE 1B——————- 1b——.284 .359 .470—————————————————————
Adam LaRoche*        1b 28 .272 .348 .492 148 514 75 140 38 0 25 84 58 115 0 2
AVERAGE LF——————- lf——.282 .351 .448—————————————————————
Ryan Doumit#        c   27 .276 .344 .463 107 322 45 89 22 1 12 47 26 73 1 3
AVERAGE RF——————- rf——.282 .348 .450—————————————————————
AVERAGE 3B——————- 3b——.279 .345 .445—————————————————————
Steven Pearce         1b 25 .267 .324 .462 139 472 55 126 37 2 17 70 35 86 7 5
AVERAGE CF——————- cf——.276 .338 .442—————————————————————
AVERAGE 2B——————- 2b——.281 .339 .411—————————————————————
Freddy Sanchez       2b 30 .298 .340 .415 146 557 71 166 40 2 7 66 31 58 0 2
Xavier Nady         rf 29 .259 .319 .449 117 390 50 101 21 1 17 64 25 92 1 0
Nate McLouth*        cf 26 .259 .329 .415 138 378 67 98 22 2 11 34 35 74 17 3
Jose Bautista         3b 27 .249 .329 .415 146 523 71 130 32 2 17 62 57 113 4 3
Kevin Thompson       cf 28 .252 .335 .404 112 381 54 96 26 4 8 40 45 81 15 7
AVERAGE SS——————- ss——.279 .332 .404—————————————————————
AVERAGE C———————- c——.263 .322 .397—————————————————————
Adam Boeve           rf 28 .245 .326 .372 111 363 40 89 17 1 9 38 38 116 11 5
Chris Duffy*        cf 28 .267 .319 .372 92 333 49 89 15 4 4 27 20 65 14 5
Ronny Paulino         c   27 .263 .321 .366 128 437 48 115 21 0 8 46 36 80 1 1
Yurendell de Caster     1b 28 .251 .325 .376 114 378 33 95 21 1 8 39 37 92 5 6
Russ Johnson         3b 35 .241 .329 .359 88 290 29 70 17 1 5 25 37 42 1 2
Jose Castillo         2b 27 .259 .307 .382 119 398 44 103 20 1 9 48 25 74 2 2
Brian Bixler         ss 25 .257 .322 .345 128 455 58 117 22 3 4 35 33 125 14 5
Jack Wilson         ss 30 .261 .313 .361 141 518 62 135 24 2 8 42 36 54 2 4
Mike Ryan*          lf 30 .237 .284 .383 105 316 27 75 15 2 9 33 21 78 0 1
Chris Aguila         rf 29 .255 .297 .359 92 259 28 66 13 1 4 26 15 60 3 2
Brad Eldred         1b 27 .211 .264 .423 104 355 37 75 16 1 19 46 21 119 4 2
Andrew McCutchen       cf 21 .239 .293 .347 126 461 52 110 21 1 9 40 33 100 12 5
Shelby Ford#        2b 23 .236 .293 .340 82 297 38 70 18 2 3 29 16 69 5 2
Neil Walker#        3b 22 .229 .291 .343 122 420 48 96 22 1 8 39 35 77 5 3
Nyjer Morgan*        cf 27 .264 .319 .326 93 341 50 90 10 4 1 19 21 60 24 14
Luis Ordaz           2b 32 .259 .291 .333 70 228 20 59 12 1 1 18 10 37 3 2
Cesar Izturis#        ss 28 .252 .296 .318 95 330 31 83 17 1 1 21 19 24 4 4
Javier Guzman         ss 24 .250 .285 .334 107 380 39 95 16 2 4 28 16 56 7 5
Peter Bergeron*      cf 30 .234 .295 .322 94 329 36 77 15 1 4 23 27 67 3 5
Tripper Johnson       3b 26 .221 .283 .324 121 420 42 93 23 1 6 38 33 74 5 3
Carlos Maldonado       c   29 .217 .284 .307 80 244 18 53 10 0 4 23 21 60 0 0
Jason Bowers         2b 32 .210 .279 .290 89 290 24 61 15 1 2 22 24 47 6 3
David Parrish         c   29 .214 .270 .293 72 229 19 49 9 0 3 20 16 54 0 0
Jose Hernandez       3b 38 .212 .265 .306 89 255 20 54 9 0 5 27 16 75 0 1
Einar Diaz           c   35 .202 .251 .276 54 163 12 33 9 0 1 15   8 17 1 1

* - Bats Left
# = Switch-Hitter

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Bay                       Fr    
Phelps         Pr   Fr            
LaRoche*          Vg            
Doumit#        Pr   Av           Pr
Pearce             Av           Av
Sanchez             Fr Vg Fr      
Nady             Av       Av Pr Av
McLouth*                  Vg Av Vg
Bautista               Pr   Fr Pr Pr
Thompson                   Av Fr Av
Boeve                     Fr   Fr
Duffy*                      Vg  
Paulino         Av                
de Caster           Vg Pr Fr   Fr   Fr
Johnson           Av Fr Av        
Castillo             Pr Av Pr      
Bixler               Av   Av      
Wilson                   Av      
Ryan*                    Av   Fr
Aguila                     Av Fr Fr
Eldred             Av           Pr
McCutchen                   Vg Vg  
Ford#              Av          
Walker#        Av       Fr        
Morgan*                    Vg Vg  
Ordaz               Vg   Fr      
Izturis#            Av Vg Av      
Guzman               Av   Fr Av Av  
Bergeron*                  Av Fr Av
Johnson               Fr        
Maldonado       Av                
Bowers               Av Av Fr      
Parrish         Av                
Hernandez           Vg Fr Fr Fr Av Av Av
Diaz           Av                

Player Spotlight - Adam LaRoche
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Optimistic (15%)  .293 .374 .547 162 563 94 165 45 1 32 111 70 111 0 1
Mean         .272 .348 .492 148 514 75 140 38 0 25 84 58 115 0 2  
Pessimistic (15%) .251 .319 .440 127 439 55 110 29 0 18 59 44 108 0 2

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Paul Sorrento, Greg Walker

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Matt Capps           24   3.40   7   5 90   0   90.0   89   34   9   15   68
Damaso Marte*        33   3.63   3   2 72   0   52.0   46   21   4   27   57
Salomon Torres         36   3.94   4   4 76   0   80.0   82   35   7   29   56
LEAGUE AVERAGE RELIEVER———4.15———————————————————————-
Tom Gorzelanny*        25   4.16 11 10 30 30   184.0 193   85 17   61 128
David Davidson*        24   4.16   3   3 49   0   80.0   79   37   7   36   60
Brian Rogers         25   4.44   2   3 57   0   79.0   82   39 10   26   63
Jesse Chavez         24   4.45   4   5 53   1   91.0 101   45   8   27   61
Ian Snell           26   4.48 10 11 32 30   191.0 202   95 27   62 157
AVERAGE STARTER———————4.55———————————————————————-
Zach Duke*          25   4.60 10 12 30 29   182.0 214   93 17   50   98
Franquelis Osoria       26   4.61   4   5 63   0   82.0   94   42   8   26   41
John Grabow*          29   4.65   2   3 70   0   62.0   65   32   8   25   51
Paul Maholm*          26   4.89   8 12 29 29   175.0 198   95 21   62 108
Shawn Chacon         30   4.91   6   8 41 17   121.0 130   66 15   62   78
Matt Morris           33   4.98   9 13 30 30   188.0 222 104 21   60 106
Bryan Bullington       27   5.01   7 12 26 24   142.0 163   79 17   50   72
Bret Prinz           31   5.08   1   1 33   0   39.0   43   22   6   17   24
Mark Corey           33   5.08   3   5 46   1   62.0   70   35   7   29   42
John Wasdin           35   5.14   4   7 30 13   105.0 121   60 16   33   71
Shane Youman*        28   5.15   6 10 34 17   131.0 153   75 14   52   66
Josh Sharpless         27   5.35   3   4 51   0   69.0   74   41 11   34   54
Juan Perez           27   5.42   1   3 59   0   78.0   87   47 10   40   53
Michael Tejera*        31   5.43   4   8 32 14   106.0 124   64 16   42   54
Jonah Bayliss         27   5.45   3   6 56   0   71.0   76   43 11   34   56
John van Benschoten     28   5.50   7 14 27 25   131.0 149   80 15   68   75
Tony Armas Jr.        30   5.63   5 10 28 22   120.0 139   75 19   53   73
Josh Shortslef*        26   5.64   6 11 24 24   134.0 165   84 17   46   6
Romulo Sanchez         24   5.92   2   6 53   1   76.0   90   50 15   31   45
Yoslan Herrera         27   5.98   5 11 26 26   131.0 172   87 18   34   51
Wardell Starling       25   6.04   5 13 30 24   143.0 180   96 24   53   64
Sean Burnett*        25   6.14   4 11 22 22   110.0 140   75 14   47   38
Dewon Brazelton       28   6.18   4   9 22 16   102.0 126   70 16   45   52
Jason Roach           32   6.37   3 10 31 18   123.0 158   87 20   43   47
Matt Peterson         26   6.41   3 10 37 16   118.0 145   84 23   59   61
Kevin Gryboski         34   6.58   2   5 48   0   52.0   68   38   7   29   22

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - Ian Snell
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
Optimistic (15%)  3.44 14   9 34 34 220 205   84 22   62 205
Mean           4.48 10 11 32 30 191 202   95 27   62 157          
Pessimistic (15%)  5.53   6 12 27 25 153 179   94 27   60 114

Top Near-Age Comps:  Lynn McGlothen, Bob Welch

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2008. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.49 ERA and the NL having a 4.40 ERA.

Dan Szymborski Posted: October 17, 2007 at 06:15 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Paul The Paranoid Android Posted: October 17, 2007 at 06:38 PM (#2581443)
Yet again, one has to wonder what the point of the Matt Morris trade was.
   2. Brian White Posted: October 17, 2007 at 06:43 PM (#2581456)
Projecting Zach Duke and Ian Snell to both be league-average? Huh, wasn't expecting that. I figured Duke would project much worse, and Snell quite a bit better.
   3. flournoy Posted: October 17, 2007 at 06:57 PM (#2581499)
Call me crazy, but I don't think this bunch is as bad as the intro suggests. If the Pirates get lines like that out of Gorzelanny, Snell, Duke, Maholm, and Morris as their starting rotation, I think they'd be very pleased, and it would be a pretty good top-to-bottom rotation. Bay, LaRoche, and Doumit aren't superstars, but they're a decent group. They look to be an upgrade over Izturis and Paulino away from fielding a reasonable team.
   4. flournoy Posted: October 17, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2581504)
And we have a Russ Johnson sighting!
   5. Ryan Lind Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:03 PM (#2581509)
Any chance of a Phelps/LaRoche platoon happening? Could be a pretty nice combo.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2581523)
And we have a Russ Johnson sighting!

Einar Diaz? Luis Ordaz? Jose Hernandez? Dewon Brazelton? Kevin Gryboski? Wow, this is the Siberia of baseball.
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2581525)
I've done Russ Johnson every year. He deserved to be in the majors a long time, but he looks to have crossed the decline rubicon. Gotta feel for a guy that had a .750 OPS at 2B and 3B through 800 PA, plays badly while injured for 2 months and that's essentially the end of his major league career. Unfortunately, he's aging now.
   8. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2581604)
Johnson's gotta have what, nearly three years of service time? I don't feel too badly for a guy who got that many chances.
   9. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2581606)
For my part, I can't believe that Peter Bergeron is still in baseball. I don't follow the PCL enough.
   10. AROM Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2581625)
The Phelps projection shocked me. If he hits like that for more than the 77 AB he got for the Pirates, Yankees are going to really regret letting him and Carlos Pena slip away.
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 17, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2581628)
Indianapolis, actually - Nashville's with the Brewers now.

But even then, Bergeron didn't even make it AAA this year! I think he was completely unemployed until the Pirates signed him to Altoona at the end of July, after which he hit 240/289/298!
   12. mange Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:01 PM (#2581629)
Bergeron began the year with the York Revolution, an expansion team in the independent Atlantic League.
   13. andrewberg Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2581631)
To me, the term, "average first baseman" has long entailed an image of Paul Sorrento. When I started reading the profile and noticed how close LaRoche was to the average baseline for yet another year, I thought to myself, "wow! He's slowly replacing Paul Sorrento as a precisely average first baseman." Then I notice that Sorrento is his top comp and feel vindicated.
   14. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2581633)
The Phelps projection shocked me. If he hits like that for more than the 77 AB he got for the Pirates, Yankees are going to really regret letting him and Carlos Pena slip away.

Well, he is a 273/344/476 career hitter in 1500 PA in the majors after all and the NL is a little weak the last couple of years. If the Yankees had instead taken Carlos Pena in the rule 5 draft and stuck him on the bench and the Devil Rays invite Josh Phelps to camp, it might have been the reverse (of course, Phelps wouldn't have hit as well as Pena did hit in 2007, but I think he'd be league average).
   15. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2581635)
Bergeron began the year with the York Revolution, an expansion team in the independent Atlantic League.

Much obliged - I always forget to check the indies.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:16 PM (#2581651)
Yeah, Bergeron has definitely fallen hard and fast.

If it's not too much trouble, Dan, do you mind doing quick projections on Jason Delaney, Luis Munoz, and Chris Hernandez? All three are fair-to-middling bets to spend some time in black and gold over the next year.
   17. Kyle S Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2581654)
Dan, why is freddy sanchez below the average 2b? he has a higher avg, obp, and slg.
   18. AROM Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2581661)
Well, he is a 273/344/476 career hitter in 1500 PA in the majors after all and the NL is a little weak the last couple of years.


He played very well in 2006 - Toledo is one of the tougher hitting environments in AAA. I thought he was useless against righties or something (I think when he had trouble in Toronto he was only hitting lefties) but his career splits are nothing out of the ordinary. The total evidence says that this guy really is a pretty good hitter, and even slightly above average compared to 1st basemen. His defense isn't much, but he's one more bit of evidence why its foolish to overpay for a Paul Konerko or Richie Sexson.

re: Pena - He was sitting in Columbus, one phone call away from Yankee stadium, but that call never came as they gave most of the time to Andy Phillips. Bad as that looks now, its hard to blame them as Phillips hit very well for years in the minors, certainly better than Pena did in 2006. Easy to blame them for wasting 15 starts at !B that year on the likes of Aaron Guiel and Miguel Cairo.
   19. zonk Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2581662)
How will Zach Duke's projection change once he becomes the PTBNL in the Izturis trade?
   20. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2581667)
Dan, why is freddy sanchez below the average 2b? he has a higher avg, obp, and slg.

I'm betting that he projects to more GIDP than average, and his 0/2 projection stealing bases will knock his run production down a bit, too, especially with regard to the average 2B.
   21. Gainsay Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2581669)
Under the old management, I don't think Doumit had any chance at being the full-time catcher. Perhaps with the changing of the guard, he'll get a shot, but I'm guessing he'll be more of a 1B/corner outfielder.

I also think Sanchez will beat those projections pretty easily assuming he stays reasonably healthy.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2581683)
Also, not sure whether it'll matter much, but Javier Guzman was one of the age-gate guys. His real DOB is 5/4/82, though the Altoona Curve website is the only one that prints it that way (since nobody pays any attention to the Pirates).
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2581688)
"How will Zach Duke's projection change once he becomes the PTBNL in the Izturis trade?"

According to the rules, he can't be the PTBNL.
   24. aleskel Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2581697)
when I read the first few posts of this thread, I thought, "what's the big deal? Johnson was just hurt for a part of this season, but he's still a pretty good player for Toronto." That's when I realized I was thinking about REED Johnson
   25. aleskel Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2581702)
and holy crap, is that John "Way Back" Wasdin I spy?
   26. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2581703)
According to the rules, he can't be the PTBNL.

As my mentor used to take great delight in pointing out, it's impossible to legislate against stupidity. Stupidity finds a way.

If anyone can remind me why I picked the Pirates to adopt once the Expos vanished, I think I've forgotten. Effects of a shame spiral?
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:40 PM (#2581712)
Hey, this year the Nationals had at least as many guys in the minors as the Pirates did who were slightly famous major leaguers eight years ago. And I didn't see any snickering about Brent Abernathy, Manny Alexander, Chris Michalak, Jason Simontacchi, Alex Escobar et al, when the Nationals ZIPS projections came out.
   28. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 17, 2007 at 08:43 PM (#2581719)
Well, I laughed.
   29. DosRafaels Posted: October 17, 2007 at 09:01 PM (#2581740)
Not very optimistic of Neil Walker at all. I'm sure that he's going to spend next year at AAA, but that's pretty depressing for one of the Pirates top prospects, especially after moving him from a catcher.
   30. flournoy Posted: October 17, 2007 at 10:25 PM (#2581817)
Hey, this year the Nationals had at least as many guys in the minors as the Pirates did who were slightly famous major leaguers eight years ago. And I didn't see any snickering...


I can only speak for myself, but I didn't really pay attention to the Nationals' projections. After all, they're the Nationals. However, the Pirates are always good for a few laughs, so I make sure to get in on Pirates' threads whenever possible.
   31. bibigon Posted: October 17, 2007 at 10:32 PM (#2581823)
Of the pitchers who we have 2008 ZiPS for so far, I think Snell is probably the best bet to beat his projection. He's been better than his projection for a year and a half now, and has the peripherals and stuff to match. I wonder how much predictive power looking at monthly splits would add overall.
   32. AROM Posted: October 18, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2581879)
If I took over the Pirates I'd try this lineup:

C Paulino - By ZIPS, Doumit is a far better hitter, probably better by enough to justify inferior defense here. I don't know what it is Zips sees in these two, both are 27, Paulino has hit 338/392 and Doumit 330/426 so far. I'd give the edge to Paulino and keep Doumit in a utility role

1B: Platoon LaRoche and Phelps

2B: David Eckstein - I want someone who can get on base and play good defense. His arm is not a problem at 2B, and I doubt he'll cost so much that the Pirates can't afford him.

SS: Jack Wilson - He takes a lot of abuse, but he's a pretty good player. I have no idea what they were thinking with Izturis.

3B: Freddy Sanchez - Bautista is one of the worst 3B defenders in the game. Sanchez was excellent here in 2006. By the above ratings, he's very good at 3rd and only fair at 2nd. The Pirates have only one player who can both hit major league pitching and play strong defense at 2nd or 3rd, and that is Sanchez at 3rd. That's why I suggest they go outside the organization for a 2B and grab Eckstein

RF: Steve Pearce. Xavier Nady is not a bad player, he's about average. As a fielder, he's average at best. He's not likely to get any better. Pearce might be a very good hitter, but should at least be as good as Nady, who should be traded.

CF: Nate McLouth. This guy could really surprise people if they ever commit to him fulltime instead of whatever method the Pirates have used to decide playing time in center. He had a great August playing everyday, was hitting even better in September, and his reward was to have his playing time cut in half so they could play Morgan. McLouth gives you some pop, a decent number of walks, and has stolen 34 bases in 36 career attempts. I hope they give him a full season.

LF: Bay - He had a bad year. Don't worry about it. He's good, and he'll bounce back.

I honestly think this lineup could be pretty good.
   33. Kyle S Posted: October 18, 2007 at 01:21 AM (#2581896)
I honestly think that lineup would score fewer runs than almost every other NL team. Are you crazy, AROM? Also, I like the Pirate logic of reasoning that even though Doumit is a better hitter than Paulino by enough of a margin to make up for the gap in their defense, you'd still go with Paulino. Outstanding.
   34. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: October 18, 2007 at 01:34 AM (#2581906)
Nate McLouth?
   35. Frisco Cali Posted: October 18, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2581976)
Jack Wilson's defense is only average.
Has he entered his defensive decline phase?
   36. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 18, 2007 at 03:46 AM (#2581986)
3B: Freddy Sanchez


You know, I wonder where Morgan Ensberg will wind up. It would be cool if the Pirates could swing a deal for him without giving up too much.
   37. 4seamer Posted: October 18, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2581988)
I think Dan needs to chuck Dave Littlefield's old computer and get a new one with some of the mind blowing offensive numbers I see here.
   38. St.Philly Posted: October 18, 2007 at 06:12 AM (#2582040)
You know, I wonder where Morgan Ensberg will wind up. It would be cool if the Pirates could swing a deal for him without giving up too much.


It's too late, I've already called dibs on him. If you don't believe me, check the SD thread. It's actually possible that SD won't even tender Ensberg, so you'd have to give up nothing.
   39. AROM Posted: October 18, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2582252)
Also, I like the Pirate logic of reasoning that even though Doumit is a better hitter than Paulino by enough of a margin to make up for the gap in their defense, you'd still go with Paulino. Outstanding.


If I knew that ZIPS was right on these two, I'd go with Doumit. The actual performance gap between these two has been much less than that, and they are both the same age. That's why I stick with Paulino.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2007 at 04:04 PM (#2582353)
"The actual performance gap between these two has been much less than that, and they are both the same age."

The actual defensive performance gap is pretty close, though, too. They have exactly the same CS%, for example...
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2582362)
I honestly think that lineup would score fewer runs than almost every other NL team.

Yea, but its still an improvement over last year.
   42. AROM Posted: October 18, 2007 at 04:23 PM (#2582386)
Looking at multiyear catching data from THT, Paulino caught 20%, had .77 SBA per game, and allowed .32 PB/WP per game. Doumit allowed 1.01 SBA/game, threw out 16%, and allowed .52 PB+WP per game.

Paulino's got the edge on defense, Doumit on offense, but neither difference is huge. All other things being equal I prefer defense behind the plate. I wouldn't argue if the new manager chose Doumit though.
   43. AROM Posted: October 18, 2007 at 04:30 PM (#2582398)
Correction - those are just 2007 numbers. THT doesn't total the years. Paulino was also better in 2006, Doumit threw out 32% in 2005.

Either way Pirates need to pick the players they think are best and stick with them through ups and downs. In center field they seem to keep giving the same gang of players 200-300 at bats, and at the end of the year still don't know if any would be capable of contributing fulltime.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2582434)
Oddly, THT's numbers for SB/CS seem to be different than other people's. Compare them, for example, to ESPN's figures for Doumit.
   45. JPWF13 Posted: October 18, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2582568)
I honestly think that lineup would score fewer runs than almost every other NL team.


have you seen the Giant's lineup?
Last year the Pirates were 12th
The Giants were 15th, ten runs ahead of the Nationals.

The Giants won't have Bonds. The only "regular" (100+ games) with an ERA+ over 100 other than Bonds, was Winn, he'll be 34 and his carer OPS+ is 101.

The Giants "young guys" like Frandsen, Lewis and Ortmeier are pretty indistinguishable from guys like Duffy and McLouth.

No Bonds, and being on the wrong side of the aging curve could lead to something we haven't seen too much of lately, a sub 600 run team.
   46. Kyle S Posted: October 18, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2582578)
hence "almost" :)
   47. AROM Posted: October 18, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2582582)
Nate McLouth career per 650 PA:

.249 average
49 walks
107 runs
35 2B
4 3B
20 HR
28/2 SB/CS

Onbase average isn't great but his walk rate jumped last year, and he's only 26 so it could be real. I'd like to see what he can do leading off every day.
   48. Kyle S Posted: October 18, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2582591)
i agree. what's the alternative, some other tired re-tread? what do they have to lose? mccutchen isn't ready anyway, though he's probably the long-term solution. might as well wait to bring him up until you have a decent team - keep the arb clock from starting.
   49. Mike Green Posted: October 24, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2591978)
Technical question, Dan. Jack Wilson's BABIP is projected at .279. He's been at .300 from age 25-29. Is there a reason for that steep a drop in BABIP for him?

The batting average appears to be 20 points low.
   50. spycake Posted: October 24, 2007 at 10:31 PM (#2592049)
He's been at .300 from age 25-29

Wilson was "at" .308 at age 26, and "at" .296 at age 29 last year. Every other year he's been below that .279 projection.
   51. Mike Green Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:28 PM (#2592908)
Jack Wilson's BABIP from age 25-29 according to THT: .336, 277, .301, .313.
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2592918)
THT uses sac flies in their calculation of BABIP, whereas most other people don't.
   53. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 25, 2007 at 01:45 PM (#2592924)
THT uses sac flies in their calculation of BABIP, whereas most other people don't.


I use sac flies (counting them as a BIP), but I exclude bunts of all kinds, because (a) the vast majority of bunts are outs and (b) bunt attempts are highly discretionary, and including them tends to penalize the bunters. Since BABIP, to me, is a measure of how well the hitter is driving the ball, bunts don't really have anything to do with it.

For projections, though, I think you have to include them, because bunts ARE a big part of the game for some players.

-- MWE
   54. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:12 PM (#2592974)
What I'm confused about is THT doesn't seem to calculate BABIP the way they claim to. Just look at 2007:

Wilson 2007 THT BABIP: .313

BABIP = (H - HR) / (AB - K - HR + SF)
BABIP = (141 - 12) / (477 - 46 - 12 + 7)
BABIP = (129) / (426)
BABIP = 129/426
BABIP = .303

Wilson 2006 THT BABIP: .301

BABIP = (H - HR) / (AB - K - HR + SF)
BABIP = (148 - 8) / (543 - 65 - 8 + 5)
BABIP = (140) / (475)
BABIP = 140/475
BABIP = .295

Wilson 2005 THT BABIP: .277

BABIP = (H - HR) / (AB - K - HR + SF)
BABIP = (151 - 8) / (587 - 58 - 8 + 4)
BABIP = (143) / (525)
BABIP = 143/525
BABIP = .272

Actually, I just figured it out. THT isn't using (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR+SF), they're using (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR-SF).
   55. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:16 PM (#2592977)
Which is wrong, isn't it, since SF PAs aren't included in AB?
   56. Mike Green Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:29 PM (#2592999)
OK. Wilson has averaged 5-6 SFs each of the last 5 years. Using 5 sacrifice flies for 2008 and the (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR+SF) formula, his projected BABIP would be .275 for 2008. His 2004-07 BABIPs using the same formula would be .330, .272, .295, .303. The projected BABIP looks to me to be roughly 20 points low.
   57. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 25, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2593039)
I don't use 2004 BABIPs - the ideal projection range for some attributes (such as BABIP and speed score) is 3 years. I get a .292 weighted average for Wilson (.279 BABIP for 2008) and even for generic aging factors, 30-year-olds average an .008 drop in BABIP. Middle infielders, however, have a sharper BABIP aging trend, as do slower players.
   58. AROM Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2593056)
Back to Paulino and Doumit - their career slugging % so far are only 30 points apart, both are the same age, yet the projection has Doumit 100 points better for next year.

Are you using different age factors for them, one for a catcher and one for an OF/1B?
   59. Russ Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2593067)
Are you using different age factors for them, one for a catcher and one for an OF/1B?


I would guess that Doumit's minor league record kicks Paulino's record's ass.
   60. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2593069)
Last 4 years weighted 7-5-4-2 plus weighted for playing time, Paulino has a combined MLE/MLB SLG of .399 and Doumit has a SLG of .461. Plus, different aging factors - mediocre catchers have real crappy power trends real early.
   61. Mike Green Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:34 PM (#2593078)
Thanks, Dan. One more question arising from Wilson's projection in 2008 (and Alex Rios' projection from last year). When projecting IsoP, how much weight is attached in ZiPS to changes in GB rate?

It looks like you are using a fairly even weighting of previous 3 years power production for the projection, and I wonder whether very noticeable changes in GB rate such as Wilson's 2007 and Rios' 2006 might be reason to change the weighting.
   62. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2593081)
Paulino/Doumit: Put 'em in a quasi-platoon. Doumit is terrible versus lefties and reportedly wears down quickly with heavy use. Let Paulino start versus southpaws and when pitchers that struggle to hold runners are on the mound.
   63. AROM Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2593090)
I would guess that Doumit's minor league record kicks Paulino's record's ass.


It does, at least his AAA record, but its only about 230 at bats from 2005-2007. His A and AA records were not nearly as good - though thats in 2003 and 2004, so doesn't matter much or at all to Zips. Paulino hit pretty well in AAA, 315/372/538 in 273 AB in 2005. Both players have much more major league data to go on.

I was just wondering about Doumit's aging factors - if he's being looked at as a 1B/OF, who I assume have much better power trends than catchers. Its something to consider if people are asking if he should be made the regular catcher ahead of Paulino- maybe he won't hit so well if he has to catch.
   64. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2593097)
I use slightly different weights to determine a player's GB rate - GB rate outliers tend to behave rather similarly to other rate outliers.
   65. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 25, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2593111)
Doumit as a catcher is 271/340/451 - I should have projected him as one since I listed him as one, so that'll be fixed on the disk. High ISO catchers have fewer problems keeping the power up than lesser-ISO catchers.
   66. 4seamer Posted: October 27, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2595750)
Zips is suggesting the Pirates will be 2% improved on offense and score 735 runs next year if Doumit gets 550 AB catching, McLouth gets 550 AB in CF, and Nady and Bay each get 550 AB. If Paulino catches, they lose 1% of the improvement according to ZIPS.

That seems reasonable.

The problem then becomes how many runs allowed the Pirates give up with that defense on the field all year (with Doumit and McLouth 850+). That's another 90+ loss team.

So much for playing AAAA guys.
   67. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 28, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2597058)
4seamer, why bring McLouth CF defense into your point - he's decent out there (heck, Dan has him rated as average). Now, Doumit is a different story - he's consistently found different ways to be bad behind the plate, but he has the tools to be adequate and has shown flashes of respectability with the glove. I certainly don't think he's as bad as he looked this year and his work back there would benefit from more time as a backstop and less at RF/LF/1B.
   68. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 28, 2007 at 03:31 PM (#2597059)
That said, neither Doumit nor McLouth border on being solutions to problems, only stopgap responses.
   69. Gainsay Posted: October 28, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2597070)
I think there's a chance you may be selling both Doumit and McLouth a bit short. Neither has really had a full shot at starting in the majors. If they can beat their projections by a little bit, they'd be league average starters. That's certainly way better than the Pirate's other options. I'm hoping the new management really commits to giving them a shot this year.
   70. FrankM Posted: October 28, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2597110)
Why are home runs taken out in a hitter's BABIP?

I understand in the case of pitchers, since you're trying to isolate the things that a pitcher has 100% responsibilty for from the rest, but a batter's home run and single are both expressions of his ability to hit safely (from the batter's point of view). Is there some technical reason involving the level of accuracy in the resulting projections?

As for the Phelps projection, the system must think he's getting all 373 AB against LHP.
   71. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 28, 2007 at 04:44 PM (#2597121)
Why are home runs taken out in a hitter's BABIP?

Because BIP means "balls in play".

The Phillies thread has the same exact discussion about how a measurement including home runs (that would be "on-contact BA") would probably be more useful for hitters.
   72. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 28, 2007 at 09:59 PM (#2597257)
Don't forget about Dumatrait whenever you do catchup players, Dan.
   73. Russ Posted: October 28, 2007 at 10:31 PM (#2597265)
That said, neither Doumit nor McLouth border on being solutions to problems, only stopgap responses.



I think there's a chance you may be selling both Doumit and McLouth a bit short. Neither has really had a full shot at starting in the majors.



I agree with both of you guys here. Doumit and McLouth definitely have chances to be league average players for the rest of their careers (which has a significant amount of value at CF and C). I think they obviously both deserve shots to put together a full productive year (although Doumit's injuries are probably more to blame than the management for his lack of full years).

However, McLouth and Doumit represent two of the best position players in the Pirate organization under the age of 27 (!!!). Cutch, Walker, and Pearce round out the rest (with Delaney and Bixler having outside shots). Basically the Pirates have one guy who has a decent chance of being an All-Star (Cutch) and one guy who has an outside shot at being an All-Star (Walker) with another guy who came out of nowhere and I have no feeling how to judge (Pearce). That does not portend well for the future.

I'm torn about what to do with the 28-30 year olds in the organization. LaRoche, Bay, and Sanchez all have varying degrees of value and the organization would be in trouble without them. But if they can be turned into lower level prospects with significant upside, then it should be done.

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