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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, November 08, 2008

2009 ZiPS Projections - Arizona Diamondbacks

For the third year in a row, the Diamondback offense was rather lackluster, but this time around, Pythagoras caught up with the team and they went from outperforming their RS/RA by 11 games to hitting the figure right on the nose.

Eric Byrnes did no favor to the Diamondbacks this season, playing terribly and eventually tearing his hamstring, thus ending any hopes of Arizona being able to sell high before the salary increase to $11 million kicks in for 2009.  Now the team is faced with paying $11 million to an easily replaceable player
that could have been used for a more important purpose like bringing Orlando Hudson back.  Overpaying to bring back a popular, mediocre player might be fun when you’re coming off a 90-win playoff season, but like binge drinking, it becomes a lot less enjoyable in the morning.

The Diamondbacks have a great top 3 rotation and some solid position players, but they really need to add an impact hitter (and if Byrnes becomes a 4th outfielder, so be it), shore up the infield, and another solid relief arm or two.  Luckily for Arizona, they’re in the same division as Colorado and San Francisco, San Diego’s going to do a total rebuild, and the Dodgers have a GM who still can’t figure out the difference between above-average players and replacement-level ones.

Don’t be too worried about the Jarrod Parker projection - that’s a 2009 projection, not some final verdict on his prospectitude.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-
CATCHERS
————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS THR

VERY GOOD
Chris Snyder         c   28 .246 .347 .425 102 301 36 74 18 0 12 44 44 77 0 0   Av

AVERAGE
Miguel Montero*      c   25 .253 .322 .425 99 261 34 66 16 1 9 37 26 52 0 0   Av
————————————————————————————————————————————————-

FAIR
Robby Hammock         c   32 .244 .300 .362 95 307 28 75 13 1 7 34 22 47 2 1   Fr

————————————————————————————————————————————————-
FIRST BASEMEN
————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS RNG

VERY GOOD
Adam Dunn*          lf 29 .252 .385 .522 148 500 85 126 25 1 36 101 104 150 4 1 Fr

AVERAGE
Conor Jackson         1b 27 .296 .377 .454 140 487 74 144 32 3 13 67 58 60 4 2 Av
————————————————————————————————————————————————-

FAIR
Jamie D’Antona       3b 27 .286 .334 .450 125 447 52 128 29 1 14 64 31 65 1 0 Av
Chad Tracy*          1b 29 .274 .332 .422 98 339 42 93 21 1 9 45 28 58 1 0 Av

POOR
Josh Whitesell*      1b 27 .249 .345 .417 125 381 42 95 20 1 14 48 52 125 2 3 Vg
Tony Clark#          1b 37 .238 .325 .415 85 147 16 35 5 0 7 22 19 42 0 0 Av
Robby Hammock         c   32 .244 .300 .362 95 307 28 75 13 1 7 34 22 47 2 1 Fr
Don Kelly*          2b 29 .245 .304 .331 101 335 38 82 16 2 3 30 27 34 6 4 Av

————————————————————————————————————————————————
SECOND BASEMEN
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS RNG

VERY GOOD
Orlando Hudson#      2b 31 .290 .363 .431 127 473 65 137 29 4 10 60 54 74 6 3 Av
Mark Reynolds         3b 25 .257 .334 .484 150 525 88 135 29 3 28 89 59 180 7 2 Fr

FAIR
David Eckstein       ss 34 .289 .357 .364 97 363 48 105 19 1 2 35 28 26 4 2 Av
Chris Burke         lf 29 .255 .336 .388 110 294 44 75 16 1 7 34 29 51 9 1 Fr

POOR
Jesus Merchan         ss 28 .281 .318 .374 111 398 44 112 18 2 5 41 15 29 6 2 Av
Augie Ojeda#        ss 34 .240 .332 .304 85 204 25 49 8 1 1 16 23 22 0 0 Av
Don Kelly*          2b 29 .245 .304 .331 101 335 38 82 16 2 3 30 27 34 6 4 Fr

————————————————————————————————————————————————
THIRD BASEMEN
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS RNG

AVERAGE
Mark Reynolds         3b 25 .257 .334 .484 150 525 88 135 29 3 28 89 59 180 7 2 Fr
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Jamie D’Antona       3b 27 .286 .334 .450 125 447 52 128 29 1 14 64 31 65 1 0 Pr

FAIR
Chad Tracy*          1b 29 .274 .332 .422 98 339 42 93 21 1 9 45 28 58 1 0 Fr

POOR
Jesus Merchan         ss 28 .281 .318 .374 111 398 44 112 18 2 5 41 15 29 6 2 Av
Robby Hammock         c   32 .244 .300 .362 95 307 28 75 13 1 7 34 22 47 2 1 Fr
Augie Ojeda#        ss 34 .240 .332 .304 85 204 25 49 8 1 1 16 23 22 0 0 Vg
Don Kelly*          2b 29 .245 .304 .331 101 335 38 82 16 2 3 30 27 34 6 4 Av

————————————————————————————————————————————————
SHORTSTOPS
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS RNG

AVERAGE
Stephen Drew*        ss 26 .274 .327 .449 149 572 75 157 35 7 17 80 46 101 5 2 Fr
————————————————————————————————————————————————
David Eckstein       ss 34 .289 .357 .364 97 363 48 105 19 1 2 35 28 26 4 2 Av
Chris Burke         lf 29 .255 .336 .388 110 294 44 75 16 1 7 34 29 51 9 1 Fr

FAIR
Jesus Merchan         ss 28 .281 .318 .374 111 398 44 112 18 2 5 41 15 29 6 2 Av

POOR
Augie Ojeda#        ss 34 .240 .332 .304 85 204 25 49 8 1 1 16 23 22 0 0 Av
Don Kelly*          2b 29 .245 .304 .331 101 335 38 82 16 2 3 30 27 34 6 4 Pr

——————————————————————————————————————————————————
CORNER OUTFIELDERS
——————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS LF RF

EXCELLENT
Adam Dunn*          lf 29 .252 .385 .522 148 500 85 126 25 1 36 101 104 150 4 1 Pr Pr

VERY GOOD
Conor Jackson         1b 27 .296 .377 .454 140 487 74 144 32 3 13 67 58 60 4 2 Av  

AVERAGE
——————————————————————————————————————————————————
Justin Upton         rf 21 .265 .349 .457 138 490 71 130 27 5 19 74 60 128 11 8 Av Av

FAIR
Chad Tracy*          1b 29 .274 .332 .422 98 339 42 93 21 1 9 45 28 58 1 0 Av Av
Eric Byrnes         lf 33 .262 .323 .436 98 381 57 100 21 3 13 53 29 62 18 4 Vg Vg
Jeff Salazar*        cf 28 .263 .343 .405 127 380 59 100 21 3 9 48 44 70 8 3 Vg Vg
Chris Burke         lf 29 .255 .336 .388 110 294 44 75 16 1 7 34 29 51 9 1 Fr Fr

POOR
Tim Raines Jr.#      cf 29 .264 .301 .407 103 364 50 96 18 2 10 46 18 65 18 4 Av Av
Trent Oeltjen*        rf 26 .271 .322 .376 117 380 50 103 18 5 4 40 20 54 15 7 Vg Vg
Alex Romero#        cf 25 .276 .312 .385 130 431 50 119 23 3 6 47 21 43 12 6 Av Av
Robby Hammock         c   32 .244 .300 .362 95 307 28 75 13 1 7 34 22 47 2 1 Fr Fr
Cyle Hankerd         lf 24 .252 .299 .360 116 428 36 108 20 1 8 45 21 59 3 4 Pr Pr
Gerardo Parra*        cf 22 .256 .302 .353 126 507 51 130 21 2 8 52 30 66 26 13 Vg Vg

————————————————————————————————————————————————
CENTERFIELDERS
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS RNG

VERY GOOD
Justin Upton         rf 21 .265 .349 .457 138 490 71 130 27 5 19 74 60 128 11 8 Av

AVERAGE
Chris Young         cf 25 .254 .319 .484 162 603 93 153 39 5 30 100 57 138 20 5 Vg
Eric Byrnes         lf 33 .262 .323 .436 98 381 57 100 21 3 13 53 29 62 18 4 Fr
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Jeff Salazar*        cf 28 .263 .343 .405 127 380 59 100 21 3 9 48 44 70 8 3 Av
Chris Burke         lf 29 .255 .336 .388 110 294 44 75 16 1 7 34 29 51 9 1 Pr

FAIR
Tim Raines Jr.#      cf 29 .264 .301 .407 103 364 50 96 18 2 10 46 18 65 18 4 Fr
Trent Oeltjen*        rf 26 .271 .322 .376 117 380 50 103 18 5 4 40 20 54 15 7 Fr
Alex Romero#        cf 25 .276 .312 .385 130 431 50 119 23 3 6 47 21 43 12 6 Fr

POOR
Gerardo Parra*        cf 22 .256 .302 .353 126 507 51 130 21 2 8 52 30 66 26 13 Fr

* - Hits Left
# - Switch-Hitter

—————————————————————————————————————————-
STARTERS
—————————————————————————————————————————-
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K

TOP THIRD
Brandon Webb         30   3.08 18   9 32 32   225.0 206   77 12   61 183
Danny Haren           28   3.41 15   9 32 32   214.0 198   81 21   44 198
Max Scherzer         24   3.70   8   6 21 21   112.0 101   46   9   50 106

MIDDLE THIRD
Randy Johnson*        45   4.41   9   9 25 25   149.0 148   73 22   43 146
Doug Davis*          33   4.58   8 10 27 27   161.0 172   82 15   71 119
—————————————————————————————————————————-
Brooks Brown         23   4.89   8 12 27 27   149.0 163   81 14   71   81
Yusmeiro Petit         24   5.07   5   8 26 18   110.0 120   62 19   31   71

BOTTOM THIRD
Matt Torra           25   5.30   7 13 26 25   151.0 179   89 19   42   70
Billy Buckner         25   5.43   6 10 29 21   131.0 150   79 18   59   77
Esmerling Vasquez       25   5.51   4   8 27 19   111.0 120   68 14   66   65
Edgar Gonzalez         26   5.69   4   9 26 19   117.0 138   74 21   38   72
Juan Gutierrez         25   5.69   5   9 23 21   117.0 137   74 17   52   63
Hector Ambriz         25   5.70   6 12 28 27   150.0 171   95 25   60   75
Jarrod Parker         20   5.95   6 12 25 25   115.0 137   76 20   48   58
Evan MacLane*        26   6.32   4 11 27 21   131.0 171   92 22   37   51
Wes Roemer           22   6.64   5 14 28 28   160.0 201 118 36   57   72

—————————————————————————————————————————-
RELIEVERS
—————————————————————————————————————————-
Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K

TOP THIRD
Juan Cruz           30   3.36   4   2 50   5   67.0   53   25   6   36   82

MIDDLE THIRD
Tony Pena           27   3.71   5   4 75   0   80.0   79   33   7   22   57
Chad Qualls           30   3.74   6   5 76   0   77.0   75   32   7   25   60
Brandon Lyon         29   3.99   4   4 69   0   70.0   75   31   5   18   44
Doug Slaten*          29   4.02   3   2 60   0   47.0   47   21   4   21   36
Jon Rauch           30   4.23   6   6 84   0   83.0   81   39 12   25   72
—————————————————————————————————————————-

BOTTOM THIRD
Wil Ledezma*          28   4.75   3   5 30 12   89.0   93   47   9   42   63
Jon Coutlangus*        28   4.86   2   3 40   0   37.0   37   20   3   24   28
Connor Robertson       27   4.89   4   6 50   0   70.0   75   38   8   33   50
Jailen Peguero         28   4.95   4   5 62   0   80.0   84   44   9   43   55
Leonel Rosales         28   5.40   1   3 44   0   50.0   58   30   7   21   30
Emiliano Fruto         25   6.03   4   8 43   7   91.0   95   61 15   66   72

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - Stephen Drew
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .291 .350 .486 162 622 91 181 41 10 20 94 57 102 8 0 111
Mean         .274 .327 .449 149 572 75 157 35 7 17 80 46 101 5 2   96
Pessimistic (15%) .255 .306 .409 137 526 51 134 30 6 13 65 39 100 2 2   81

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Kurt Stillwell, Jay Bell

Player Spotlight - Justin Upton
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .284 .375 .501 152 539 90 153 31 7 24 91 76 133 16 8 122
Mean         .265 .349 .457 138 490 71 130 27 5 19 74 60 128 11 8 104  
Pessimistic (15%) .245 .319 .415 121 429 46 105 22 3 15 58 44 121 6 7   86

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Ron Swoboda, Dwight Evans

Player Spotlight - Danny Haren
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  2.72 19   7 34 34 235 197   71 19   39 227   173
Mean           3.41 15   9 32 32 214 198   81 21   44 198   138
Pessimistic (15%)  4.29 10 10 27 27 174 179   83 21   47 149   109

Top Near-Age Comps:  Schoolboy Rowe, Javier Vazquez

Player Spotlight - Doug Davis
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  4.11 10   9 29 29 175 176   80 14   73 133   114
Mean           4.58   8 10 27 27 161 172   82 15   71 119   103
Pessimistic (15%)  5.39   5 10 22 22 127 147   76 14   65   88   87

Top Near-Age Comps:  Bill Hallahan, Al Downing

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 2009. 
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 4.44 ERA and the NL having a 4.38 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected.  More information
is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting
the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Positional offense is ranked by RC/27 and divided into quintiles based on what the
most frequent starting players at each position did in 2006-2008.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on. 

ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2008 at 09:35 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: November 09, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#3005568)
Justin Upton rf 21 .265 .349 .457


This isn't any better than what he did at age 20-average is up a bit but secondary bases down some.

Howcum these projection systems never project a very young player to improve significantly from his base? It's been a long-standing peeve of mine. A 20 year old with some power can run well and has a good eye has a pretty decent nonzero chance to turn into Mickey Mantle. If not he'll be Cesar Cedeno (free of the Astrodome) which is still pretty good.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: November 09, 2008 at 01:49 AM (#3005579)
Wilkin Castillo is in Cincinnati now.
   3. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: November 09, 2008 at 02:09 AM (#3005581)
Re: 1

That's the point of the Optimistic/Pessimistic range forecasts. However, for some reason Upton doesn't have as much variance as I would expect a player of his age and talent level to have.
   4. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 09, 2008 at 02:24 AM (#3005582)

Howcum these projection systems never project a very young player to improve significantly from his base?


Well, they do - the thing is that while younger (and much older players) have shorter pasts for the purposes of establishing a base level of performance, it never becomes one year.

Going forward:

Age 22: 264/363/471
Age 23: 270/368/495
Age 24: 276/380/526
Age 25: 281/388/547

People tend to overrate both the odds of a young player improving and the degree. Nobody's downside is Cesar Cedeno unless it's someone already far better than Cesar Cedeno, and Upton isn't.
   5. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 09, 2008 at 02:29 AM (#3005583)
Kinda surprising to see a bigger 23/24 leap compared to the 22/23 leap. I know it's not a huge difference, but I would've expected it to be the other way around and then some.
   6. stealfirstbase Posted: November 09, 2008 at 05:06 AM (#3005597)
Juan Cruz being 30 years old makes me feel old. We've seen that guys whole career, from "can't miss" to "overhyped Cubs' prospect" to "failed Cubs' prospect" to "has been" to being an elite reliever.

Huh. I didn't know Augie Ojeda was still playing. Who else is floating around in the NL?
   7. karkface killah Posted: November 09, 2008 at 05:30 AM (#3005600)
Tough to believe Adam Dunn is only 29 yrs old still.
   8. Robert S. Posted: November 09, 2008 at 06:06 AM (#3005605)
The Diamondbacks have a great top 3 rotation and some solid position players, but they really need to add an impact hitter (and if Byrnes becomes a 4th outfielder, so be it), shore up the infield, and another solid relief arm or two.

IOW, Arizona isn't going anywhere anytime soon. They have some nice pieces, but they don't really add up to much.
   9. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: November 09, 2008 at 07:56 AM (#3005617)
I'm really hoping the D'Backs somehow find a way to bring Dunn back. The team struck out 1,287 times last year, which is just 112 shy of the 2001 Brewers record of 1399. If Dunn came back and whoever the new second basemen ends up being strikeouts out more than Orlando Hudson, they'd give it a real run.
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: November 09, 2008 at 01:37 PM (#3005625)
Man, what happened to O-dogs defense? I remember it being great back when he was with Toronto. Age?
   11. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#3005708)
Thou shalt not take Cesar Cedeno's name in vain.

At ages 21-22, Cedeno put up OPS+s of 162 and 152 while stealing 111 bases just for fun. I still consider him the most talented player I've ever seen -- granted, that promise "vanished" rather quickly.
   12. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 09, 2008 at 07:55 PM (#3005714)
Boy, ZiPS is not a fan of Mark Reynolds. Is he the leading candidate to take over 2B duties if Hudson moves on?
   13. karkface killah Posted: November 09, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3005728)
Any chance the Dbacks make an offer to Manny?
   14. Marcel Posted: November 09, 2008 at 10:41 PM (#3005769)
I don't think they have the money for Manny. If I'm not mistaken, they consider a 1 year/10 MM contract for RJ to be too expensive to do for next year.
   15. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: November 10, 2008 at 12:38 AM (#3005812)
Nobody's downside is Cesar Cedeno unless it's someone already far better than Cesar Cedeno, and Upton isn't.


I didn't understand JDiF's Cedeno comment, anyway. He wrote this:

If not he'll be Cesar Cedeno (free of the Astrodome) which is still pretty good.

Does he mean Cedeno from '82 on?
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: November 10, 2008 at 02:29 AM (#3005861)
Any chance the Dbacks make an offer to Manny?
Manny Alexandar, for sure, if he agrees to manny 2b.
   17. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 11, 2008 at 03:05 PM (#3006712)
A 20 year old with some power can run well and has a good eye has a pretty decent nonzero chance to turn into Mickey Mantle.

Only one person in all the history of baseball has turned into Mickey Mantle.
   18. Saul Posted: November 20, 2008 at 06:59 AM (#3012869)
It would have been interesting to see a player spotlight on Chris Young. I do not see him getting 100 RBI after getting just 85 in 2008, nor nearly a 50% increase in SB.
   19. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: December 28, 2008 at 09:32 AM (#3039135)
Chris Young went a couple of months last season without attempting a stolen base. Is there any speculation that he was playing through an injury?
   20. 1k5v3L Posted: December 28, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#3039177)
Chris Young went a couple of months last season without attempting a stolen base. Is there any speculation that he was playing through an injury?
Nah, I just think Kirk Gibson messed him up.
CY's sudden inability to steal bases had really nothing to do with injuries and had everything to do with his sudden inability to read pitchers. Maybe he was too busy timing the pitcher according to Gibson's complicated formula and less busy just running...
Honestly, I've never seen a more fidgety and confused base stealer at 1b than CY in 2008
   21. 1k5v3L Posted: January 31, 2009 at 12:10 AM (#3064723)
Dan, could we get Garland's projection in AZ? Pretty please?
   22. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 31, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3064730)
I would imagine that it looks a lot like Doug Davis.

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