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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, November 01, 2008

2009 ZiPS Projections - Chicago Cubs

A second disappointing first-round sweep in the playoffs aside, I still maintain that the Cubs are the best team in the National League.  With no gaping holes on either side of the ball, good depth in a lot of places, and the willingness to spend money if need be, I expect the Cubs to once again be one of the best teams in the league.  While they were fortunate in some instances, such as Ryan Theriot putting up an easy career-best season, there were also a number of disappointments to balance out the equation, from Hill’s strange command issues to Fukudome’s unfortunate lack of power (from a HR every 20 at-bats in Japan to a HR in every 50 AB in the US.  Samardzija is probably the most interesting projection to watch as he an extremely odd season, going from not being able to do much with AA hitters and then mowing down MLB hitters, so while I wouldn’t be surprised if his projection was accurate, I also wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it wasn’t horrifically wrong. 
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CATCHERS
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Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS CThr

EXCELLENT
Geovany Soto         c   26 .294 .367 .521 139 489 69 144 32 2 25 91 56 113 0 1   Av

AVERAGE
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Jake Fox           1b 26 .244 .293 .434 126 479 58 117 28 0 21 74 25 103 5 2   Fr

POOR
Steve Clevenger*      c   23 .256 .300 .344 98 352 31 90 19 0 4 34 23 36 4 2   Fr
Henry Blanco         c   37 .253 .286 .343 45 99 11 25 3 0 2 10   5 20 0 0   Av
Welington Castillo     c   22 .240 .281 .345 97 342 31 82 15 0 7 37 15 74 1 2   Vg
Koyie Hill#          c   30 .224 .280 .348 80 250 25 56 13 0 6 29 19 52 2 1   Vg

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

VERY GOOD
Geovany Soto         c   26 .294 .367 .521 139 489 69 144 32 2 25 91 56 113 0 1 Av
Derrek Lee           1b 33 .294 .371 .466 123 476 72 140 32 1 16 74 56 95 6 2 Av

AVERAGE
Mark DeRosa         2b 34 .283 .362 .440 135 466 74 132 28 3 13 66 52 92 3 1 Av
Micah Hoffpauir*      1b 29 .286 .323 .505 87 315 47 90 25 1 14 55 17 47 3 0 Fr
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FAIR
Daryle Ward*        1b 34 .271 .359 .436 91 133 15 36 10 0 4 20 18 26 0 0 Fr
Jason DuBois         1b 30 .254 .315 .459 104 355 42 90 19 0 18 60 28 97 2 1 Fr

POOR
Matt Craig#          1b 28 .258 .327 .404 102 329 37 85 19 1 9 43 31 73 2 0 Fr
Josh Kroeger*        1b 26 .253 .302 .419 127 454 51 115 26 2 15 63 30 93 8 3 Fr
Jake Fox           1b 26 .244 .293 .434 126 479 58 117 28 0 21 74 25 103 5 2 Av
Steve Clevenger*      c   23 .256 .300 .344 98 352 31 90 19 0 4 34 23 36 4 2 Av
Koyie Hill#          c   30 .224 .280 .348 80 250 25 56 13 0 6 29 19 52 2 1 Av

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

EXCELLENT
Mark DeRosa         2b 34 .283 .362 .440 135 466 74 132 28 3 13 66 52 92 3 1 Av

AVERAGE
Mike Fontenot*        2b 29 .268 .340 .418 136 366 54 98 24 2 9 49 39 69 4 2 Av
————————————————————————————————————————————————

FAIR
Bobby Scales#        2b 31 .266 .336 .394 117 398 54 106 20 2 9 50 39 95 6 4 Fr
Ryan Theriot         ss 29 .285 .353 .352 134 488 70 139 21 3 2 47 50 50 19 6 Vg

POOR
Ronny Cedeno         ss 26 .265 .309 .382 116 340 42 90 15 2 7 41 20 65 6 4 Av
Nate Spears*        2b 24 .240 .304 .333 121 408 52 98 19 2 5 41 33 73 5 3 Av
Luis Figueroa#        2b 35 .259 .304 .325 62 212 23 55 9 1 1 19 13 19 1 2 Av
Andres Blanco#        ss 25 .257 .287 .304 97 296 23 76 6 1 2 25 11 31 7 2 Vg
Tony Thomas         2b 22 .226 .271 .350 93 380 46 86 21 1 8 41 22 81 22 9 Fr

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

EXCELLENT
Aramis Ramirez       3b 31 .289 .362 .520 145 546 84 158 39 3 27 100 56 76 1 1 Av

VERY GOOD
Mark DeRosa         2b 34 .283 .362 .440 135 466 74 132 28 3 13 66 52 92 3 1 Vg

FAIR
Mike Fontenot*        2b 29 .268 .340 .418 136 366 54 98 24 2 9 49 39 69 4 2 Av
Matt Craig#          1b 28 .258 .327 .404 102 329 37 85 19 1 9 43 31 73 2 0 Pr

POOR
Bobby Scales#        2b 31 .266 .336 .394 117 398 54 106 20 2 9 50 39 95 6 4 Fr
Ronny Cedeno         ss 26 .265 .309 .382 116 340 42 90 15 2 7 41 20 65 6 4 Av
Luis Figueroa#        2b 35 .259 .304 .325 62 212 23 55 9 1 1 19 13 19 1 2 Av

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

AVERAGE
Mike Fontenot*        2b 29 .268 .340 .418 136 366 54 98 24 2 9 49 39 69 4 2 Fr
Bobby Scales#        2b 31 .266 .336 .394 117 398 54 106 20 2 9 50 39 95 6 4 Pr
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Ryan Theriot         ss 29 .285 .353 .352 134 488 70 139 21 3 2 47 50 50 19 6 Av

FAIR
Ronny Cedeno         ss 26 .265 .309 .382 116 340 42 90 15 2 7 41 20 65 6 4 Vg

POOR
Nate Spears*        2b 24 .240 .304 .333 121 408 52 98 19 2 5 41 33 73 5 3 Fr
Luis Figueroa#        2b 35 .259 .304 .325 62 212 23 55 9 1 1 19 13 19 1 2 Av
Andres Blanco#        ss 25 .257 .287 .304 97 296 23 76 6 1 2 25 11 31 7 2 Av

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

VERY GOOD
Alfonso Soriano       lf 33 .280 .340 .519 117 489 81 137 31 1 28 94 40 113 19 5 Vg  

AVERAGE
Mark DeRosa         2b 34 .283 .362 .440 135 466 74 132 28 3 13 66 52 92 3 1 Av Av
Micah Hoffpauir*      1b 29 .286 .323 .505 87 315 47 90 25 1 14 55 17 47 3 0 Fr Fr
——————————————————————————————————————————————————
Daryle Ward*        1b 34 .271 .359 .436 91 133 15 36 10 0 4 20 18 26 0 0 Pr Pr

FAIR
Kosuke Fukudome*      rf 32 .270 .357 .400 120 423 62 114 24 2 9 53 59 89 7 3 Av Av
Reed Johnson         cf 32 .285 .355 .403 94 305 47 87 19 1 5 37 20 59 4 3 Vg Vg
Mike Fontenot*        2b 29 .268 .340 .418 136 366 54 98 24 2 9 49 39 69 4 2 Av  
Jason DuBois         1b 30 .254 .315 .459 104 355 42 90 19 0 18 60 28 97 2 1 Pr Pr
Bobby Scales#        2b 31 .266 .336 .394 117 398 54 106 20 2 9 50 39 95 6 4 Fr Fr
Josh Kroeger*        1b 26 .253 .302 .419 127 454 51 115 26 2 15 63 30 93 8 3 Fr Fr

POOR
Felix Pie*          cf 24 .262 .308 .412 140 439 63 115 19 4 13 59 28 84 15 6 Vg Vg
Jake Fox           1b 26 .244 .293 .434 126 479 58 117 28 0 21 74 25 103 5 2 Pr Pr
Brad Snyder*        cf 27 .239 .298 .416 113 397 48 95 22 3 14 56 31 129 9 2 Av Av
Andres Torres#        cf 31 .249 .314 .372 107 374 51 93 18 5 6 42 33 89 16 5 Vg Vg
Tyler Colvin*        cf 23 .243 .274 .394 128 515 55 125 27 3 15 66 21 98 9 5 Vg Vg
Sam Fuld*          cf 27 .237 .300 .326 109 405 51 96 20 2 4 39 34 56 10 6 Vg Vg

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

VERY GOOD
Kosuke Fukudome*      rf 32 .270 .357 .400 120 423 62 114 24 2 9 53 59 89 7 3 Fr

AVERAGE
Reed Johnson         cf 32 .285 .355 .403 94 305 47 87 19 1 5 37 20 59 4 3 Av
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Jim Edmonds*        cf 39 .243 .334 .425 91 280 37 68 13 1 12 44 39 65 1 1 Av

FAIR
Felix Pie*          cf 24 .262 .308 .412 140 439 63 115 19 4 13 59 28 84 15 6 Vg
Brad Snyder*        cf 27 .239 .298 .416 113 397 48 95 22 3 14 56 31 129 9 2 Pr

POOR
Andres Torres#        cf 31 .249 .314 .372 107 374 51 93 18 5 6 42 33 89 16 5 Av
Tyler Colvin*        cf 23 .243 .274 .394 128 515 55 125 27 3 15 66 21 98 9 5 Av
Sam Fuld*          cf 27 .237 .300 .326 109 405 51 96 20 2 4 39 34 56 10 6 Vg

* - Hits Left
# - Switch-Hitter

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

TOP THIRD
Rich Harden           27   2.37   7   1 17 17   95.0   64   25   8   35 136
Carlos Zambrano       28   3.81 14 10 32 32   201.0 183   85 19   87 156
Ted Lilly*          33   4.03 13 11 32 32   190.0 175   85 26   65 172
Ryan Dempster         32   4.08 11   9 27 27   181.0 174   82 17   73 151
Rich Hill*          29   4.21   8   7 23 23   126.0 115   59 17   61 119

MIDDLE THIRD
Sean Marshall*        26   4.65   4   5 26 15   89.0   91   46 13   33   64
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Jason Marquis         30   4.80   9 11 28 28   163.0 172   87 19   69   95
Randy Wells           26   4.94   6   7 31 16   113.0 126   62 16   36   71
Angel Guzman         27   5.04   2   3 14   9   50.0   53   28   6   22   41
J.R. Mathes*          27   5.11   7   9 26 24   148.0 175   84 19   35   61
Justin Berg           25   5.17   5   8 29 24   127.0 141   73 11   68   53

BOTTOM THIRD
Kevin Hart           26   5.29   5   8 36 18   119.0 127   70 18   50   81
Jeff Samardzija       24   5.48   6   9 38 22   133.0 148   81 20   64   68
Adam Harben           25   5.63   5   8 27 17   104.0 112   65 10   75   59
Jason Stanford*        32   5.63   3   6 17 14   80.0   90   50 13   38   46
Mitchell Atkins       23   5.72   7 14 28 27   148.0 164   94 29   55   84
Donald Veal*          24   5.95   5 10 26 26   124.0 137   82 22   69   85

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

TOP THIRD
Kerry Wood           32   2.77   4   1 39   0   39.0   31   12   2   14   47
Carlos Marmol         26   2.79   5   2 80   0   87.0   61   27   8   43 106

MIDDLE THIRD
Mike Wuertz           30   3.91   3   2 69   0   69.0   64   30   8   30   69
Bobby Howry           35   4.07   6   5 74   0   73.0   75   33   9   17   59
Chad Gaudin           26   4.08   9   7 47 15   128.0 120   58 13   54 117
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Neal Cotts*          29   4.36   2   2 62   2   64.0   63   31   8   29   58
Rocky Roquet         26   4.50   2   2 43   0   54.0   53   27   6   27   41
Jeremy Papelbon*      26   4.56   3   4 35   4   77.0   80   39   9   30   41

BOTTOM THIRD
Jon Lieber           39   4.86   3   4 18   7   63.0   73   34 10   9   36
Jose Ascanio         24   4.91   2   2 53   0   77.0   82   42 12   27   52
Carmen Pignatiello*    26   4.91   1   1 51   0   55.0   59   30   7   23   39
Hector Carrasco       39   5.05   3   5 36   1   57.0   59   32   9   22   42
Mike Burns           30   5.12   5   8 38 10   102.0 118   58 16   26   58
Billy Petrick         25   5.63   2   3 20   3   40.0   45   25   7   14   23
Jesse Estrada         25   5.63   4   6 39   7   104.0 121   65 18   37   52
Edward Campusano*      26   5.67   2   4 39   0   54.0   58   34 10   28   40
Gregory Reinhard       25   5.78   4   8 39 12   109.0 120   70 17   56   69
Chad Fox             38   6.43   0   1   8   0   7.0   7   5   2   5   7

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - Derrek Lee
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .329 .412 .545 129 499 90 164 39 3 21 92 69 86 9 2 145
Mean         .294 .371 .466 123 476 72 140 32 1 16 74 56 95 6 2 114
Pessimistic (15%) .261 .334 .411 108 418 46 109 25 1 12 57 45 100 4 2   91

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Gil Hodges, Bob Watson

Player Spotlight - Tyler Colvin
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .270 .306 .466 143 575 75 155 34 5 23 91 29 97 12 4   96
Mean         .243 .274 .394 128 515 55 125 27 3 15 66 21 98 9 5   70
Pessimistic (15%) .219 .248 .333 109 438 33 96 19 2 9 45 15 94 6 4   48

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Lloyd Moseby, Rick Manning

Player Spotlight - Carlos Zambrano
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  3.12 17   8 34 34 222 183   77 18   85 192   147
Mean           3.81 14 10 32 32 201 183   85 19   87 156   120
Pessimistic (15%)  4.78   9 11 26 26 158 159   84 20   82 113   96

Top Near-Age Comps: Mike Boddicker, Ken McBride

Player Spotlight - Sean Marshall
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  3.74   6   4 29 17 101   94   42 11   31   77   122
Mean           4.65   4   5 26 15   89   91   46 13   33   64   98
Pessimistic (15%)  5.53   3   4 21 12   70   79   43 12   30   45   83

Top Near-Age Comps: Dave Hamilton, Doug Rau

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 01, 2008 at 05:41 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3001016)
Wow, there seems to be a real lack of young talent in the system. It's nice to see DeRosa project so well, but I'm not cheered by the Pie projection -- I'm not surprised or disappointed, I was just hoping that ZiPS would give me a reason to dream of more.

Harden projected to 136 Ks in 95 IP is just insanely good -- is that the best projected K/9 in ZiPS history?

Samardzija is a conundrum but he had a pretty good (short) run at AAA too. It's as if someone sat him down and for the first time said "son, you might want to consider striking some people out and not walking them." Still, his ML success was largely built on 0 HR in his 28 IP which seems unlikely to repeat. Also he gave up 5 UER in his 28 IP which makes his shiny ERA look less impressive.

But ... I'm going to have to take ZiPS off my facebook friends page. It's projecting Soto to hit 382 on-contact. Kendrick, Braun, now Soto ... tsk, tsk. ZiPS and I will have to come up with a bet before the season.
   2. Steve M. Posted: November 01, 2008 at 09:23 PM (#3001091)
That DeRosa contract is one of the top free-agent contracts in recent memory.
   3. Northpaw Posted: November 01, 2008 at 09:52 PM (#3001103)
Player Spotlight - Carlos Zambrano

Top Near-Age Comps: Mike Boddicker


Time to trade Zambrano for the top near-age comps to Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling.
   4. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 01, 2008 at 10:00 PM (#3001109)
Yeah, and a 2.37 ERA projection for Harden is just nuts. ZiPS must not have much built-in regression to the mean...
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 01, 2008 at 10:08 PM (#3001113)
Yeah, and a 2.37 ERA projection for Harden is just nuts. ZiPS must not have much built-in regression to the mean...

There actually is, but ZiPS is always freaking nuts over Harden.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2008 at 10:15 PM (#3001119)
That DeRosa contract is one of the top free-agent contracts in recent memory.

Just like I said it would be.

(The writer shall not be held liable if the resemblance between that statement and actual history is nonexistent.)

Yeah, and a 2.37 ERA projection for Harden is just nuts. ZiPS must not have much built-in regression to the mean...

Oh, I don't think it's that (though I'm not sure how ZiPS handles lack of playing time) but more that ZiPS has no respect whatsoever for the NL. Still, as I wrote towards the end of the season, Harden is quite possibly the most _talented_ and even _best_ pitcher in the game. He just can't stay healthy (and presumably all those injuries will eventually degrade the talent).
   7. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 01, 2008 at 10:27 PM (#3001127)
Dan,

Jake Fox stopped catching a few years back. I have no clue why the Cubs website still has him listed as a catcher.
   8. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: November 01, 2008 at 11:42 PM (#3001161)
But ... I'm going to have to take ZiPS off my facebook friends page. It's projecting Soto to hit 382 on-contact. Kendrick, Braun, now Soto ... tsk, tsk. ZiPS and I will have to come up with a bet before the season.


Soto was at .379 this year, and was at .474 in 2007. Kendrick and Braun have similarly excellent on-contact rates through their career. What's wrong with expecting that to continue?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2008 at 04:58 AM (#3001218)
What's wrong with expecting that to continue?

There may be nothing wrong with it but almost nobody in MLB history has been able to maintain at that rate. For RHB, I think the list is Jimmie Foxx, Manny Ramirez and Andres Galarraga. Piazza for his career was 367/650. Now the big difference between Soto and Piazza is of course contact rate but even when Soto hits it, I don't think he hits it as well as Piazza. Bonds for his career was 353/719 and Soto's a fine hitter but I don't think Bonds when I look at his swing. Pujols at 376/701 career; Soto projected to 383/678.

Maybe he is that good, but especially for a projection, I'd regress that pretty heavily towards the mean.
   10. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 02, 2008 at 05:55 AM (#3001229)
Harden's almost like the guys in the old computer baseball games who had great stats in a September callup, and thus a really low injury rating. Someone just needs to go in there and change it!
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 02, 2008 at 06:05 AM (#3001230)
There may be nothing wrong with it but almost nobody in MLB history has been able to maintain at that rate. For RHB, I think the list is Jimmie Foxx, Manny Ramirez and Andres Galarraga. Piazza for his career was 367/650.

The problem is you're comparing what a player is doing in his prime years and what a player maintained over his career. Would you agree that Carlos Pena hitting 35 home runs in 2009 wouldn't be unreasonable? Only 4 player in history have hit 35 home runs for 18 years, so by that line of reasoning, it's unreasonable to project any individual player to hit 35 home runs.

From 1960-2006, there were 6813 player-seasons of 400 at-bats or more. Bonds .353 on-contact isn't that special - 1437 of those 6813 player-seasons were a .353 on-contact or better or more than a fifth.

I projected a .372 on-contact for Soto in 2008, BP projected a .363. You're far overestimating the short-term regression of on-contact BA and far underestimating the age curve of this ability.
   12. *BaseClogger* Posted: November 02, 2008 at 07:44 AM (#3001242)
1. Why Tyler Colvin?

2. Derrek Lee Av fielder?
   13. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 02, 2008 at 02:35 PM (#3001267)
Centerfield options:

Kosuke Fukudome -- .757 OPS, Fair defender -- VERY GOOD

Reed Johnson -- .758 OPS, Average defender -- AVERAGE
Jim Edmonds -- .759 OPS, Average defender -- AVERAGE

Felix Pie -- .720 OPS, Very good defender -- FAIR


The descriptions make it sound like Johnson and Edmonds are the best two (and might be platooned), while Fukudome is worse than either of them and not that different from Pie. Should Fukudome really be FAIR?
   14. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 02, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#3001285)
2. Derrek Lee Av fielder?

Lee's defensive ratings have been consistently mediocre from all the systems. Remember that the systems don't count the first baseman's ability to receive throws - Derrek's best attribute, IMO.

Free Mike Fontenot! And Micah Hoffpauir!

That's a very nice projection for Marshall. ZiPS has consistently viewed his ERAs as a mirage. Looking at his stats, Marshall's K rate skyrocketed in 2008... 9 fewer Ks than last season in 38 fewer innings!
   15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 02, 2008 at 04:31 PM (#3001289)
Also: Dan, could we get a projection on Gaudin as a starter?
   16. CFiJ Posted: November 02, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#3001293)
Lee's defensive ratings have been consistently mediocre from all the systems. Remember that the systems don't count the first baseman's ability to receive throws - Derrek's best attribute, IMO.


I hope in the future this is something that could be worked into PBP data. It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to note when a first basemen took a throw below the waist, on a hop or hops, or on a stretch, and made the out.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2008 at 07:21 PM (#3001325)
From 1960-2006, there were 6813 player-seasons of 400 at-bats or more. Bonds .353 on-contact isn't that special - 1437 of those 6813 player-seasons were a .353 on-contact or better or more than a fifth.

And how many players have done it, oh, 3 years in a row?

But I'd love to see work on the aging curve for on-contact numbers. What you're suggesting is you lose this quickly as you age. However that doesn't jive with the traditional notion of "old man skills" where players trade BA (and sometimes Ks) for power. Of course a hitter like Soto has already made that trade pretty much.

And Pecota? The system that predicted Wily Mo Pena was going to be a superstar? :-)
   18. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 02, 2008 at 08:20 PM (#3001343)
And how many players have done it, oh, 3 years in a row?

Now you're getting into the Gambler's Fallacy.

But I'd love to see work on the aging curve for on-contact numbers.


Most of my work's with BABIP, not on-contact, simply because when I looked at the issue, I found that on-contact provided no useful predictive information that wasn't found elsewhere.

What I'm talking about is you're comparing 15-20 years of a player's career to a single, prime season of an excellent player's career.
   19. AROM Posted: November 02, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#3001359)
I await the Walt Davis On-Contact projection system. It's all well and good that you don't think Howie or Geovany can sustain their on contact batting average, but you never tell us what we should expect them to hit.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 02, 2008 at 09:52 PM (#3001360)
Wellington Castillo is probably my new favorite name in baseball. Can't wait til he gets called up.
   21. AROM Posted: November 02, 2008 at 09:54 PM (#3001361)
I'm surprised that Derrek Lee projects for such little power, even in the optimistic forecast. My guess is that if he has an especially good year it's more likely to include 35-40 homers than a .330 batting average.
   22. StillFlash Posted: November 03, 2008 at 09:23 AM (#3001484)
Thing is Soto really sucked up through 2006, then exploded at both AAA and with the Cubs. After 2006 I had him projected at 241/311/348, which was virtually unchanged for 4 seasons. After 2007 jumped to 272/339/436, and continued to improve to 277/345/460 after 2008. In two seasons his projections for BABIP have jumped 10% from 295 to 327, and his HR% doubled from 2.4 to 4.9.
   23. EnderCN Posted: November 04, 2008 at 06:20 AM (#3002354)
I expect most of the Cubs offense to regress. They still probably lead the NL in wins because of defense and pitching but they are more of a 92-93 win team that had a bunch of overachievers than a true 97 win team.
   24. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 04, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#3002735)
Initial thoughts, then I'll read the comments...

Great projection for Soto, I like seeing that. Pretty good projection for DeRosa, coming off such a career year. I think I'm in favor of a Fukudome/Johnson platoon in CF and acquiring a real RF. Not sure who that would be. Hoffpaiur should replace Ward on the bench, and he can spell Lee more often (Lee's optimistic project is 21HRs? Ouch, I like him be he's miscast as a 3 hitter). The Cubs want to bring back Blanco as a backup C, but Hill would be ok in that role (if Soto were to get hurt, C would be a HUGE hole). The Cubs could use an upgrade at SS, but I think Theriot's going to have that job to start; I'd rather see him and Fontenot as the backup IF (but Fontenot should take some of the PT from DeRosa). So I guess that means I see an upgrade coming in RF, a decline in CF (I doubt the CF platoon puts up the same numbers TOFU did), a decline at SS and 2b, and the other positions about the same.

I read in the Trib yesterday the Cubs aren't that optimistic on resigning Dempster, which is fine by me. I'd love to see them get Peavy, but they don't have the prospects. I hope they give Hill a chance to bounce back, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him on another team (I'll be disappointed when that happens, but not in the Cubs). I'd love to see them dump Marquis this year, but he's probably hanging around. I see Marshall getting a spot. That leaves one hole in the top 5 (hopefully a top 3 type) and a need for a quality swing man/6th type (like Marshall was this season; maybe they let Gaudin try starting?). I assume they'll get a deal done with Wood, so the bullpen top 2 should be back. Everything after that is up in the air. There's a lot of arms around, so I don't want to see Hendry sign any big names to replace Howry (and Eyre's deal). Maybe there's a couple of veteran guys they can take chances on.

They are still a good team. I don't know if I buy the mainstream "can't win in the playoffs" team, but I don't want to see the same team again next year. I trust Hendry, to an extent. I wonder how the sale affects his spending this year (I know they've already said no big time FAs).
   25. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 04, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#3002745)
Samardzija is a conundrum but he had a pretty good (short) run at AAA too. It's as if someone sat him down and for the first time said "son, you might want to consider striking some people out and not walking them." Still, his ML success was largely built on 0 HR in his 28 IP which seems unlikely to repeat. Also he gave up 5 UER in his 28 IP which makes his shiny ERA look less impressive.

I'd like to see them keep him in the pen, but he's still learning how to pitch. I see one plus pitch, and potential for 2 others.

I'm surprised that Derrek Lee projects for such little power, even in the optimistic forecast. My guess is that if he has an especially good year it's more likely to include 35-40 homers than a .330 batting average.

And I completely disagree. He doesn't have much of an uppercut swing, and his power has completely disappeared after the wrist injury. He makes solid contact and hits the ball hard (part of the reason he had so many goddamned DPs this year), but it doesn't elevate. He had that 1 monster power year, but that's it. He is slowing down significantly (he barely attempts steals these days), so he's not going to beat many hits out.

As for his defense, I feel like he had a bad defensive year. I'm not sure if it's a decline, or it was a slump. But I'm ok with all the "average" ratings he's been getting.
   26. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 04, 2008 at 10:30 PM (#3003075)
I should really start a blog post about the Cubs offseason plans, but I'm just going to keep sticking stuff in here for now (easier to revisit later in the year here).

From one of Rosenthal's articles:

The Cubs can replace Wood, 31, with Carlos Marmol, who is five years younger, healthier and possibly even better. Jeff Szamardzija and Kevin Hart would be among the internal possibilities to replace Marmol, and the team always could dip into the free-agent market for setup help.

One way or another, the Cubs are going to need to spend on pitching, either by re-signing Dempster and Wood or by replacing them. Thus, they might be unable to afford free-agent outfielder Bobby Abreu, who earned $16 million last season


I'm 100% ok with Dempster getting overpaid elsewhere. I'd love to see the Cubs keep Wood, but if he wants the money elsewhere he's earned.

I like the idea of the Cubs pursueing Bobby Abreu, but I liked 2004 Abreu a lot more. But he would be a good fit on this this team.
   27. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 05, 2008 at 02:11 PM (#3003474)
Every time I see the name "Daryle" Ward, I think of the Mark McKinney character on The Kids in the Hall.
   28. Jose Canusee Posted: November 05, 2008 at 09:31 PM (#3003893)

15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 02, 2008 at 11:31 AM (#3001289)

Also: Dan, could we get a projection on Gaudin as a starter?


Didn't know they were trying to make Samardzija a starter, seems like starting Gaudin and even Lieber might be safer on the bullpen health...or maybe they need the swingmen out of the rotation for the 1/3 of the time Samardzija doesn't get out of the 2nd.

All you need to know about Harden and small sample sizes:
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/statistics/2003/10301.shtml
See the 2 names at the bottom for 2003 Midland (AA)-
Blanton 21.2 IP 11 H 5 BB 20 K 0.74 WHIP pales in comparison to
Harden 13 IP 0H 0 BB 17K 0.00 WHIP
   29. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 06, 2008 at 07:43 PM (#3004507)
Any opinions on the Peavy rumors? Sounds like Hendry's aiming for another Harden/Ramirez trash for treasure, and it might actually work again.
   30. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 06, 2008 at 09:11 PM (#3004554)
What's the latest you're read, SSR? The only thing I've seen is a Cubs offer of Pie/Cedeno/various other arms. Not sure that's enough, and Atlanta can easily top that.

Lieber might be safer on the bullpen health

Pretty sure he's going to retire.
   31. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 06, 2008 at 11:10 PM (#3004630)
Robothal says it's Cubs or Braves. Braves offer seems to be centered on Escobar/Reyes, Cubs would be on Pie/Marshall(my speculation)

I'd like to get it done without Vitters if possible. Welington Castillo's pretty expendable. I wouldn't mind dumping Colvin or Tony Thomas before they lose all value. San Diego would probably be a good place for Rich Hill to get his head on straight.

There's definitely a (Vitters-less)combo out there that does it for the Cubs over an Escobar/Reyes deal, but if the Braves really want to do it, they'll get him. I just don't think the Braves are that into making the deal.
   32. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 07, 2008 at 04:24 PM (#3004841)
Padres seem to be holding out for Hanson from the Braves. Peavy is complicating things by saying he won't accept a trade to the Braves if Escobar is going the other way. He doesn't want the team he's going to to be harmed on the major league level. Padres may be targeting Samardzija, though his NTC will probably complicate things.
   33. Conor Posted: November 07, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#3004864)
I expect most of the Cubs offense to regress. They still probably lead the NL in wins because of defense and pitching but they are more of a 92-93 win team that had a bunch of overachievers than a true 97 win team


Isn't this true for most 97 win teams? That they have some guys overachieve? Obviously not for every 97 win team, but I bet the majority of them. Usually when you win 97 games it means you have a lot of things go right, in terms of players staying healthy, or hitting to their 90th% projection.
   34. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 07, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#3004907)
Bruce Levine expects it to be done by Monday to Atlanta or Chicago. Cubs package looks like Pie/Cedeno/Atkins/Hill or Marshall

Apparently they really like Mitch Atkins...
   35. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 09, 2008 at 06:46 PM (#3005684)
Pie/Cedeno/Atkins/Hill

I'd do that no question. Same with subbing Marshall for Hill.
   36. MM1f Posted: November 12, 2008 at 05:27 AM (#3007262)
Apparently they really like Mitch Atkins...

Theres a fair amount to like there. Hes a good hitter too
   37. Saul Posted: November 20, 2008 at 06:47 AM (#3012867)
Harden should have more than 17 GS in 2009. I think his injury history is in the past, and he'll have a great season. Wow, ZiPS predicts 135 Ks in 95 innings pitched. Based on that, do you think he'd have around 260 Ks in 200 IP?
   38. booond Posted: January 18, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3054872)
From Rotoworld:

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playernews.aspx?sport=MLB&rwr=1


The Chicago Sun Times reports that Rich Harden has a small tear in his shoulder joint, calling it "just severe enough that some players might seek surgery but slight enough to be in a range often treated effectively with a strengthening program."

The report comes after pitching coach Larry Rothschild raised concerns about Harden's status by saying Saturday during a fan gathering that "he's not close to throwing off a mound yet" and "there's some issues there, no question.'' Harden did his best to quiet any concerns, saying: 'I'm on a set program, and I'm not behind at all. 'I'm right on schedule and feeling great. I'll be ready for the start of the season for sure. There's no doubt in my mind. Nobody has any doubts whether I'll be ready or not. I will.''
   39. thinkmaui Posted: January 19, 2009 at 05:17 AM (#3055008)
Pie may turn out to be the second coming of Corey Patterson, but talk about trading low. Was Pie really the player that held up the acquisition of Brian Roberts last year? Olson and Williamson instead of Roberts? Good grief...
   40. Domino427 Posted: February 14, 2009 at 06:19 AM (#3076941)
Dan,

I was wondering if you could give a projection for Kevin Gregg. It appears as if he wasn't with the Cubs when you did their projections, but had been traded by the time you got to the Marlins...leaving Gregg without a projection!

Thanks!

-Jason

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