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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2009 ZiPS Projections - Colorado Rockies

The problem with the Rockies isn’t that they’re a poorly-run team.  They’re not.  Dan O’Dowd’s a smart guy, the Rockies are decent at developing players of all types.  They rarely do mind-blowingly stupid things.

The problem with the Rockies is that they’re not really run at all.  All decisions seem to be made at the tactical level:  Is X player better than Y player?  Would we rather have Z or trade him for A and B?

What’s missing is some kind of long-term strategy.  This is an ongoing problem for the Rockies for at least half-a-decade.  The team had that huge run in 2007 to finish 90-73 and eventually get to the World Series.  What did they do to try to repeat in 2008?  Nothing.  Like Homer and his nuclear physics test, the plan was essentially to hide under a pile of coats and hope that everything would just work out.

It didn’t and the team finished 74-88.  Winning 74 games isn’t the end of the world and the Rockies have some decent talent all over the place.  But they essentially wasted the year in that they answered very few questions about the team going forward.  What’s the team doing with Jeff Baker and Clint Barmes?  Damned if they know.  What’s the plan with Ian Stewart?  Dunno.  How will they give players like Seth Smith and Joe Koshansky well-deserved opportunities?  They’ll tell you when they know.

So all over, we see the artifacts of poor planning sucking the talented players down.  Willy Taveras gets 500 plate appearances playing like a Texas League 5th-outfielder.  Scott Podsednik actually gets signed and played.  Mark Redman and Livan Hernandez are actually given playing time on purpose.  Ryan Spilborghs, when his wrist wasn’t injured, kinda just hung around without much to do.  They hang onto Matt Holliday for too long and then trade him for a package in which the primary player will be a free agent in 2 years.

The Rockies could win 90 games (which would make the playoffs most likely) or they could win 70.  But in the long-run, it won’t really matter as the team builds on both success and failure equally poorly.

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

VERY GOOD
Chris Iannetta       c   26 .268 .373 .481 106 339 49 91 21 3 15 57 49 80 1 1 113 Fr

FAIR
Michael McKenry       c   24 .247 .311 .438 126 482 48 119 29 0 21 77 41 114 4 8   86 Vg
Edwin Bellorin       c   27 .274 .305 .401 83 299 26 82 18 1 6 45 12 41 1 1   76 Av
Yorvit Torrealba       c   30 .252 .309 .397 86 290 31 73 19 1 7 39 20 57 2 3   76 Av

POOR
Paul Phillips         c   32 .263 .300 .343 81 274 25 72 13 0 3 21 14 31 0 1   62 Av

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

VERY GOOD
Todd Helton*        1b 35 .297 .411 .459 108 394 60 117 27 2 11 52 75 56 2 1 119 Vg

AVERAGE
Garrett Atkins       3b 29 .301 .360 .489 159 632 95 190 40 2 25 112 59 95 3 1 111 Fr
Ian Stewart*        3b 24 .281 .355 .503 159 551 86 155 34 5 26 95 58 144 9 2 113 Av
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Joe Koshansky*        1b 27 .275 .342 .503 152 545 74 150 33 2 29 109 53 157 3 2 109 Av

POOR
Christian Colonel     lf 27 .293 .337 .442 127 471 60 138 32 1 12 60 30 67 5 4   94 Av
Jeff Baker           2b 28 .269 .323 .466 101 294 43 79 18 2 12 48 23 76 3 1   96 Av
Dan Ortmeier#        lf 28 .257 .305 .419 96 327 44 84 17 3 10 44 20 69 10 4   80 Av

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

VERY GOOD
Ian Stewart*        3b 24 .281 .355 .503 159 551 86 155 34 5 26 95 58 144 9 2 113 Fr

AVERAGE
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Jeff Baker           2b 28 .269 .323 .466 101 294 43 79 18 2 12 48 23 76 3 1   96 Pr

POOR
Clint Barmes         ss 30 .275 .318 .422 119 436 54 120 24 5 10 48 20 65 8 4   84 Av
Eric Young Jr.#      2b 24 .267 .329 .375 112 464 69 124 22 2 8 38 37 82 44 17   74 Av
Omar Quintanilla*      ss 27 .267 .326 .364 102 330 46 88 21 1 3 28 27 59 3 1   74 Av
Jon Herrera#        ss 24 .281 .326 .349 109 381 46 107 13 2 3 35 23 48 13 6   71 Av
Luis A. Gonzalez       2b 30 .260 .304 .375 34 104 10 27 6 0 2 11   4 17 0 0   70 Fr

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

VERY GOOD
Garrett Atkins       3b 29 .301 .360 .489 159 632 95 190 40 2 25 112 59 95 3 1 111 Fr
Ian Stewart*        3b 24 .281 .355 .503 159 551 86 155 34 5 26 95 58 144 9 2 113 Av

FAIR
Christian Colonel     lf 27 .293 .337 .442 127 471 60 138 32 1 12 60 30 67 5 4   94 Fr
Jeff Baker           2b 28 .269 .323 .466 101 294 43 79 18 2 12 48 23 76 3 1   96 Fr

POOR
Clint Barmes         ss 30 .275 .318 .422 119 436 54 120 24 5 10 48 20 65 8 4   84 Av
Luis A. Gonzalez       2b 30 .260 .304 .375 34 104 10 27 6 0 2 11   4 17 0 0   70 Fr

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

VERY GOOD
Troy Tulowitzki       ss 24 .280 .350 .457 133 508 77 142 31 4 17 74 52 91 4 4 101 Vg

FAIR
Clint Barmes         ss 30 .275 .318 .422 119 436 54 120 24 5 10 48 20 65 8 4   84 Av

POOR
Omar Quintanilla*      ss 27 .267 .326 .364 102 330 46 88 21 1 3 28 27 59 3 1   74 Av
Jon Herrera#        ss 24 .281 .326 .349 109 381 46 107 13 2 3 35 23 48 13 6   71 Av
Christopher Nelson     ss 23 .241 .293 .377 98 398 45 96 22 1 10 56 28 79 9 4   67 Fr
Luis A. Gonzalez       2b 30 .260 .304 .375 34 104 10 27 6 0 2 11   4 17 0 0   70 Pr
Hector Gomez         ss 21 .243 .273 .355 39 169 19 41 8 1 3 14   6 35 4 4   57 Vg

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

VERY GOOD
Brad Hawpe*          rf 30 .283 .377 .498 146 498 71 141 27 4 24 91 74 129 3 2 118     Pr

AVERAGE
————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Seth Smith*          rf 26 .296 .359 .473 143 469 65 139 32 3 15 70 44 78 8 2 106 Av Av
Ryan Spilborghs       cf 29 .295 .369 .450 100 298 49 88 18 2 8 43 35 54 7 3 105 Av Av

FAIR
Matt Murton         lf 27 .290 .351 .431 124 404 55 117 23 2 10 46 36 49 6 2   96 Av Fr
Christian Colonel     lf 27 .293 .337 .442 127 471 60 138 32 1 12 60 30 67 5 4   94 Av Av
Jeff Baker           2b 28 .269 .323 .466 101 294 43 79 18 2 12 48 23 76 3 1   96 Fr Fr

POOR
Dan Ortmeier#        lf 28 .257 .305 .419 96 327 44 84 17 3 10 44 20 69 10 4   80 Av Fr
Scott Podsednik*      lf 33 .276 .340 .360 91 272 42 75 16 2 1 20 24 44 20 9   77 Av  
Chris Frey*          cf 25 .281 .321 .367 136 474 52 133 24 4 3 38 26 55 12 6   73 Av Av
Sean Barker         rf 29 .254 .298 .387 98 323 43 82 19 3 6 42 17 86 10 4   71 Av Av
Carlos Gonzalez*      cf 23 .246 .288 .391 130 468 56 115 33 1 11 58 25 103 7 4   69 Av Av
Luis A. Gonzalez       2b 30 .260 .304 .375 34 104 10 27 6 0 2 11   4 17 0 0   70 Av Fr

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

AVERAGE
Seth Smith*          rf 26 .296 .359 .473 143 469 65 139 32 3 15 70 44 78 8 2 106 Pr
Ryan Spilborghs       cf 29 .295 .369 .450 100 298 49 88 18 2 8 43 35 54 7 3 105 Pr
———————————————————————————————————————————————————
Matt Murton         lf 27 .290 .351 .431 124 404 55 117 23 2 10 46 36 49 6 2   96 Fr

FAIR
Dexter Fowler         cf 23 .275 .345 .385 100 397 60 109 17 3 7 40 38 78 18 10   84 Vg

POOR
Dan Ortmeier#        lf 28 .257 .305 .419 96 327 44 84 17 3 10 44 20 69 10 4   80 Fr
Scott Podsednik*      lf 33 .276 .340 .360 91 272 42 75 16 2 1 20 24 44 20 9   77 Pr
Chris Frey*          cf 25 .281 .321 .367 136 474 52 133 24 4 3 38 26 55 12 6   73 Fr
Sean Barker         rf 29 .254 .298 .387 98 323 43 82 19 3 6 42 17 86 10 4   71 Fr
Carlos Gonzalez*      cf 23 .246 .288 .391 130 468 56 115 33 1 11 58 25 103 7 4   69 Av

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

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

MIDDLE THIRD
Aaron Cook           30   4.38 11 11 29 29   193.1 221   94 15   48   83 109
Ubaldo Jimenez         25   4.44 11 12 32 32   180.1 175   89 14 102 153 107
Jeff Francis*        28   4.64   9 11 29 29   178.1 194   92 22   58 125 102
————————————————————————————————————————————
Jorge de la Rosa*      28   4.95   6   7 24 17   96.1   98   53 13   46   87   96
Jason Marquis         30   5.03   8 12 28 28   161.0 179   90 20   68   83   94
Greg Smith*          25   5.03   7 10 25 25   143.0 154   80 19   49   84   95

BOTTOM THIRD
Greg Reynolds         23   5.70   4   7 19 19   94.2 114   60 13   34   39   83
Shane Lindsay         24   5.78   3   5 15 15   67.0   69   43   6   62   49   82
Franklin Morales*      23   5.87   5 11 26 26   133.1 146   87 18   93   77   81
Esmil Rogers         23   5.92   5   9 22 22   124.2 150   82 20   52   58   80
Samuel Deduno         25   6.09   3   6 16 16   88.2 101   60 11   66   57   79
Jason Hirsh           27   6.13   4   9 23 21   120.1 139   82 22   63   68   77

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

TOP THIRD
Huston Street         25   3.58   6   4 62   0   65.1   58   26   7   19   67 133
Manuel Corpas         26   3.71   4   2 76   0   77.2   79   32   6   21   56 128
Taylor Buchholz       27   3.72   5   4 64   0   67.2   64   28   6   20   54 128

MIDDLE THIRD
Jason Grilli         32   3.97   3   3 56   0   70.1   68   31   4   32   57 120
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Alan Embree*          39   4.43   2   3 65   0   61.0   61   30   7   22   53 107
Ryan Speier           29   4.66   3   3 60   0   63.2   68   33   5   29   42 102
Matt Belisle         29   4.87   5   7 33 13   101.2 117   55 13   24   64   96

BOTTOM THIRD
Steven Register       26   5.01   3   3 64   0   64.2   72   36   8   24   41   95
Juan Morillo         25   5.12   2   3 56   0   63.1   63   36   5   53   46   93
Ryan Mattheus         25   5.55   3   4 60   0   61.2   71   38   9   30   34   86

* - Throws Left

——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Troy Tulowitzki
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .280 .350 .457 133 508 77 142 31 4 17 74 52 91 4 4 101

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  J.J. Hardy, Andujar Cedeno, Eddie Miller

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   31
2nd Quintile   30
Mid Quintile   24
4th Quintile   12
Low Quintile   3

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        0     .400+  2     10+    4     200+  0
140+        1     .375+  17     5+    37     150+  28
130+        5     .350+  52
120+        13     .325+  86     2B     %
110+        34     .300+  98     45+    4
100+        56               30+    59
90+        79
80+        93
60+        98

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  2     50+    0     70+    0
.325+      4     .500+  16     40+    0     50+    0
.300+      22     .450+  57     30+    3     30+    0
.275+      60     .400+  92     20+    29     10+    12
.250+      90     .350+  100   10+    91

(Based on Projected PA)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Brad Hawpe
            AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Projection     .283 .377 .498 146 498 71 141 27 4 24 91 74 129 3 2 118    

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Paul O’Neill, Warren Cromartie, Jay Buhner

ODDIBE

Offense     %
Top Quintile   24
2nd Quintile   40
Mid Quintile   19
4th Quintile   11
Low Quintile   6

OPS+        %    OBP   %    3B     %    Hits   %
160+        1     .400+  19     10+    6     200+  0
140+        10     .375+  56     5+    38     150+  23
130+        30     .350+  87
120+        50     .325+  98     2B     %
110+        77     .300+  100   45+    1
100+        91               30+    35
90+        98
80+        100
60+        100

BA         %    SLG   %    HR     %    SB     %
.350+      0     .550+  13     50+    0     70+    0
.325+      5     .500+  52     40+    2     50+    0
.300+      25     .450+  91     30+    21     30+    0
.275+      64     .400+  100   20+    78     10+    6
.250+      92     .350+  100   10+    100

(Based on Projected PA)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Ubaldo Jimenez
              ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       4.44 11 12 32 32 180.1 175   89 14 102 153   107

Top Near-Age Comps:  Jim Clancy, Van Mungo, Bump Hadley

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 42
Mid 1/3 54
Bot 1/3 4

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   1     >30   0
>140   3     >40   0
>130   7     >50   0
>120   19     >60   0
>110   42     >70   1
>100   73     >80   7
>90   95
>80   100   HR     %
>70   100   >14   59
          >20   92
K/9   %    >26   99
>180   5     >32   100
>160   17
>140   53
>120   90

(Based on Projected IP)
——————————————————————-

Player Spotlight - Aaron Cook
              ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Projection       4.38 11 11 29 29 193.1 221   94 15   48   83   109

Top Near-Age Comps:  Scott Erickson, Jake Westbrook, Mel Stottlemyre

ODDIBE

ERA   %
Top 1/3 48
Mid 1/3 49
Bot 1/3 3

ERA+  %    BB     %
>150   1     >32   2
>140   3     >43   33
>130   8     >54   82
>120   24     >64   97
>110   51     >75   100
>100   79     >86   100
>90   97
>80   100   HR     %
>70   100   >15   58
          >21   92
K/9   %    >28   99
>193   0     >34   100
>172   0
>150   0
>129   0

(Based on Projected IP)
——————————————————————-

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

OPS+ 140+

Hawpe     10
Atkins     4
Stewart   4

OBP .400+

Helton   67
Iannetta   21
Hawpe     19

SLG .550+

Koshansky 17
Stewart   13
Hawpe     13

BA .325+

Spilborghs 16
Atkins   15
Helton   14

2B 45+

Atkins   26
Stewart   11
Koshansky   6

3B 10+

Barmes     7
Tulowitzki 4
Frey     2

HR 30+

Koshansky 48
Stewart   35
Atkink   23

SB 50+

Young     30
Fowler     1

ERA+ 140+ (Starters)

Cook     3
Jimenez   3
Francis   2

ERA+ 140+ (Relievers)

Street   39
Corpas   37
Buchholz   37

K/9 9+ (Starters)

de la Rosa 23
Jimenez   5

K/9 9+ (Relievers)

Street   51
Bowers   32
Grilli     7

BB/9 1.5- (Starters)

Cook     2

BB/9 1.5- (Relievers)

Belisle   11
Street     6
Corpas     5

HR/9 0.7- (Starters)

Jimenez   59
Cook     56
Lindsay   49

HR/9 0.7- (Relievers)

Grilli   73
Morillo   62
Corpas   57


All figures in % based on projection playing time - Min. 300 PA/50 IP for inclusion

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

 

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Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 02:25 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. steagles Posted: February 10, 2009 at 02:37 PM (#3072996)
that looks like a terrible line for carlos gonzalez. i won't at all be surprised if his RC/27 is double or even triple that prediction, and his range looked tremendous in CF. all in all, it's just really a terrible line for him.
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3073012)
that looks like a terrible line for carlos gonzalez. i won't at all be surprised if his RC/27 is double or even triple that prediction, and his range looked tremendous in CF. all in all, it's just really a terrible line for him.

Double his RC/27 and he has the 11th highest RC/27 (of players that I've projected), just below Ryan Howard. I'll take the under!

None of the projection systems are expecting big things after how poorly Gonzalez played last year.
   3. Vida Blew Over the Legal Limit Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:07 PM (#3073016)
As a Reds fan, I'd sure love to see Taveras back in their outfield mix.
   4. steagles Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3073028)

Double his RC/27 and he has the 11th highest RC/27 (of players that I've projected), just below Ryan Howard. I'll take the under!

None of the projection systems are expecting big things after how poorly Gonzalez played last year.
maybe that was a little overzealous, but i do think that now is the time to jump on gonzalez's bandwagon. his defense, his established level of minor league performance, and his tools laden potential really make me think he's in for a hell of a year.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3073035)
maybe that was a little overzealous, but i do think that now is the time to jump on gonzalez's bandwagon. his defense, his established level of minor league performance, and his tools laden potential really make me think he's in for a hell of a year.

I liked CarGo last year, but I think you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. I agree his defense is better than generally accepted, but he's got a lot of learning to do in the batter's box. If he can manage a .310 or .315 or so, OBA, you've got to be happy with that. He's a freakin doubles machine, though. I think he'll be solid, eventually. AROM has his upside as Garret Anderson and that makes a lot of sense to me but I think his glove is better than GA's in his prime. I would advise patience.
   6. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3073037)
Koshansky!
   7. Mike Webber Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3073038)
I'm hoping everyone in my roto league forgets about Tulo, how likely is the hip injury to linger/reoccur?

Steagles, just switch bandwagons from Carlos Gonzalez to Dexter Fowler. You'll be happier.
   8. thinkmaui Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3073052)
Ian Stewart's line looks very similar to his home splits from last year. I hope for his sake ZIPS is correct, and he's definitely going to have to stop striking out almost 1/3rd of the time to get there.
   9. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3073058)
That's a nice line for Ian Stewart. ZiPS is really lovin' on the young players these days.
   10. steagles Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3073059)

I liked CarGo last year, but I think you may be setting yourself up for disappointment
. I agree his defense is better than generally accepted, but he's got a lot of learning to do in the batter's box. If he can manage a .310 or .315 or so, OBA, you've got to be happy with that. He's a freakin doubles machine, though. I think he'll be solid, eventually. AROM has his upside as Garret Anderson and that makes a lot of sense to me but I think his glove is better than GA's in his prime. I would advise patience.
i'm actually the opposite of that. i didn't much like gonzalez as a prospect, since i was led to believe he had zero chance to stick in CF and i didn't think he'd have enough of a bat to stick in a corner.

last year, he proved that he's a capable CFer, and while i still don't think his bat is all that great, i think it'll be enough to make him a very good player.



Steagles, just switch bandwagons from Carlos Gonzalez to Dexter Fowler. You'll be happier.


i'm firmly entrenched in that bandwagon, as well. 6'5" of lithe, lean CFer, who can draw a walk and steal a base will always be appreciated in my book.

i just happen to think gonzalez is better than the 9th best CF option in colorado.




also, for this particular list, i think separating out the tiers would make a huge difference. joe koshansky might be projected for a .500 SLG%, but i can't imagine that'd be better than average in that park and at 1B.
   11. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3073064)
Dude, don't underestimate the Koshansky!.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3073069)
Jeff Francis is unlikely to get to 178 innings. His shoulder is going to keep him from starting spring training on time, and he may need surgery.

No. 7: What hip injury? Tulowitzki tore a muscle in his quad last year, then ripped open his palm. Neither is likely to have any long-term effects.

My theory on Coors Field is that it has its greatest effect on power hitters who put the ball in play, which is why Matt Holliday's home/road splits narrowed throughout his career as he learned to draw more walks, and Brad Hawpe, who walks a lot, has never had a severe split. Carlos Gonzalez hardly walks ever, and doesn't strike out that much for a power hitter; he could be the new Dante Bichette. At any rate, the Rockies have four plausible outfield candidates in Gonzalez, Spilborghs, Hawpe and Stewart, so even if one of them falls apart or gets hurt, they'll be OK out there. It would be nice if one of them stepped forward to be an MVP candidate and fill Holliday's shoes, but even if they don't, none of them should be nearly as bad as Willy Taveras was last year.

It would also be nice if they'd just forget about Podsednik once and for all. Those four guys plus Seth Smith and Dexter Fowler (who I presume starts the year at AAA) is plenty of outfielders.
   13. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3073070)
Ack, I forgot the tiers again!
   14. BeanoCook Posted: February 10, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3073071)
I think it is a good observation about the Rockies being more tactical than strategic.

However, if you take a step back, MLB has quietly started to resemble the NFL in that every year could be your year and you kind of have to take a "win now" approach to your team every year, or close to every year. Esp in a small 4 team division, where getting into the playoffs can happen by accident and these days winning the World Series once there is occasionally something of an accident.

Of course this is not to say the Rockies should not be trying to operate with a (strategic) plan in mind.
   15. BeanoCook Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3073073)
* Okay, I got my West divisions confused. Still, that division, NL West has lacked a dominant team for years now. Easier to win than most, as is the NL Wildcard.
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3073080)
Have you guys seen Koshansky play? He's a huge, ungainly dude who can hit the ball a mile, but he strikes out, and looks terrible doing it, about 40 percent of the time. I'd love it if he'd turn into a poor man's Ryan Howard, but I wouldn't bet on it.
   17. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3073086)
Tulowitzki tore a muscle in his quad last year, then ripped open his palm. Neither is likely to have any long-term effects.

I would be a little concerned about the torn quad. At Tulo's age it might be nothing but a similar injury has robbed Soriano of much of his speed.
   18. JPWF13 Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3073088)
his established level of minor league performance


which would be what exactly?
He hit .283/.344/.416 in the PCl last year,
He hit .286/.330/.476 in AA in 2007
He hit .300/.356/.563 in the Calif League for the Lancaster JetHawks- the TEAM hit .303/.368/.483- and that's a pretty typical line there.

Basically his established level of minor league performance says he has trouble reaching a league average OBP IN THE MINORS.

All he's got on his side is youth, and even considering his youth and his levels he didn't hit nearly as well as Milledge or Chris Young or Delmon Young did in the minors (when accounting for park/league context).
And those three put up OPS+s of 91, 91 and 102 last year.
   19. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3073099)
Combine translations and majors and here are the lines I have for Gonzalez (translated to major league team's home park):

2006: 218/264/379
2007: 274/308/438
2008: 246/284/361
   20. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3073111)
his defense, his established level of minor league performance, and his tools laden potential really make me think he's in for a hell of a year.

His minor-league performance isn't much to scream about.

Level, OPS, lgOPS
A-, 756, 723
A, 849, 723
A+, 919, 764
AA, 794, 731
AAA, 787, 801
MLB, 634, 734

He hasn't really sustained his performance through the high minors, and that's somewhat troubling. I agree that given his defense and his tools there's a lot to like here (I also find him aesthetically pleasing as a ballplayer and enjoyed rooting for him). But he's not getting any younger and the bat needs to show up at some point. He'll probably end up as at least average all things considered, but - unfair as it sounds - he was supposed to be a star.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 10, 2009 at 04:55 PM (#3073139)
"Have you guys seen Koshansky play? He's a huge, ungainly dude who can hit the ball a mile, but he strikes out, and looks terrible doing it, about 40 percent of the time."

Seems about right. I saw him at the Futures Game a few years back.
   22. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: February 10, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3073162)
Wow, is Spilborghs that bad in center? It seems odd that he's rated more poorly than Matt Murton.
   23. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3073168)
Ack, Murton shouldn't be rated at all out there.
   24. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 10, 2009 at 05:43 PM (#3073179)
My theory on Coors Field is that it has its greatest effect on power hitters who put the ball in play


Take out the word "power" and I think you're correct, although for some reason Taveras didn't (maybe because when he hits the ball in the air it's a weak popup, whereas most of the other guy who were primarily contact hitters at least had a little oomph). Pierre had big splits in two of his three years there. Aaron Miles also had huge splits in his two seasons.

-- MWE
   25. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: February 10, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3073215)
Like Homer and his nuclear physics test, the plan was essentially to hide under a pile of coats and hope that everything would just work out.

Dan, this is creepy. I literally watched this episode less than 12 hours ago.
   26. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3073224)
Given the number of people that read this site and the dominant demographics, white educated males 25-49 with average or better incomes, I naturally just assume that every Simpsons episode has a Primate watching it right now.
   27. Good Night Moon Posted: February 10, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3073228)
Hey Dan,

Do you have projection for Glendon Rusch? With Francis possibly going down he becomes a little more important.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 10, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3073230)
I sure hope things don't get so dire that they get to the point where Glendon Rusch is in the rotation. Even without Francis, he'd be behind Cook, Jimenez, de la Rosa, Greg Smith, Jason Marquis, Franklin Morales and Jason Hirsh.
   29. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3073259)
GNM, there are a few projections I did that are missing (I believe they appeared correctly a few days ago in the ZiPS Facebook Group).

Bowers - 3-4, 5.48, 87 ERA+
Fogg - 5-11, 5.80, 82 ERA+
Rusch - 4-8, 5.91, 80 ERA+
   30. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 10, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3073277)
white educated males 25-49 with average or better incomes

Ha! Jokes on you! I'm not white! <goes back to watching Simpsons>
   31. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3073289)
Ha! Jokes on you! I'm not white! <goes back to watching Simpsons>

I did say mostly!
   32. The District Attorney Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3073299)
Whoa, I never noticed the link to the ZiPS Facebook Group. Sounds like a happening spot.
   33. Danny Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3073309)
Dan, any chance you could re-do the first few teams (like, um, the A's) with these fancy OPS+, tiers, and ODDIBE? Thanks!

None of the projection systems are expecting big things after how poorly Gonzalez played last year.

I think it's worth noting that ZIPS absolutely nailed Gonzalez last year:

Projection: .228/.271/.365, 68 OPS+
Actual: .242/.273/.361, 72 OPS+

His MLE at AAA--translated into Oakland--was also right at the same level. That said, the fact that he matched his projections doesn't mean he's the same prospect he was last year. CarGo's prospectdom has never been based on his numbers, but on the chance that he could translate his great tools into great skills. Another year without doing so dims his hopes some. But he was also surprisingly good with the glove after being hyped as overmatched in CF last offseason. Dewan had him as +5 plays in CF in 530 innings and anther +5 plays in RF in just 160 innings. UZR said pretty much the same (+3 runs in CF, +4 runs in RF).
   34. Greg K Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3073311)
The joke is also on you because I am very much below average income!!!

...oh wait
I think that means the joke is on me.
   35. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3073321)
All decisions seem to be made at the tactical level

What's missing is some kind of long-term strategy.

But they essentially wasted the year in that they answered very few questions about the team going forward.

So all over, we see the artifacts of poor planning sucking the talented players down.


So, what you're trying to say here, Dan, is that the Rockies are a poorly run team?
   36. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:32 PM (#3073329)
The joke is also on you because I am very much below average income!!!

Don't worry, soon any income will be above average. You might even be able to hire a giant to carry you around!
   37. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:34 PM (#3073333)
So, what you're trying to say here, Dan, is that the Rockies are a poorly run team?

Not really, I mean, they're functional at lots of things, not like the 98-02ish Orioles.
   38. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:38 PM (#3073340)
Aaron Cook turns 30 this year. Two of the top 3 ZiPS comps (Erickson and Stottlemyre) had their last good season right around that point (Erickson was 30, Stottlemyre 31) and declined rather quickly from there (although in Mel's case it was injury and not age, but the signs of decline were there). Bronson Arroyo, a not terribly dissimilar pitcher to that bunch, also declined at age 31 a year ago. If Cook crashes and burns, the Rox don't have much in reserve.

-- MWE
   39. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 10, 2009 at 07:40 PM (#3073342)
The Rockies make good decisions, for the most part - but they make them as though they were playing in a fantasy league, where you don't normally worry about next year until next year rolls around.

-- MWE
   40. jwb Posted: February 10, 2009 at 10:12 PM (#3073562)
I've got Carlos Gonzalez a little higher than #9 on my depth chart. However, if anyone wishes to debate the relative merits of Scott Podsednik and Carlos Gonzalez, start the war without me.
   41. devil_fingers Posted: February 10, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3073616)
Dan -- I have read the FAQ, but I have to assume that your "Excellent/Good/Fair/etc." rankings just take account of offense relative to position. Brad Hawpe's a good hitter, but he's a historically bad right fielder defensively, to the point where it more than nullifies his offense. It's so bad I almost feel bad for making fun of it. He was between minus 3-4 wins defensively in every system I've seen for 2008. that's just... What can you say?

Thanks for the projection, as always. Any specific suggestions on what they should be doing?

Love the "Homer" plan, even if you do use it a lot. I hope that all of Dayton Moore's offseason brilliance earn him quite the Oracle intro the the Royals 2009 projections... Maybe even another note from Billy.
   42. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 10, 2009 at 11:00 PM (#3073637)
He was between minus 3-4 wins defensively in every system I've seen for 2008.

I thought this sounded impossible and that you were exaggerating. Then I looked it up and... wow.
   43. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 10, 2009 at 11:05 PM (#3073644)
Dan -- I have read the FAQ, but I have to assume that your "Excellent/Good/Fair/etc." rankings just take account of offense relative to position.

Dev, check the last bit in the disclaimer!
   44. Too Much Coffee Man Posted: February 10, 2009 at 11:09 PM (#3073647)
I would characterize the Rockies' strategy is largely hang on and hope every good young player pans out like Tulo, Jimenez, Morales, and Corpas did in 2007.
And keep signing older fill-in guys thinking that you'll occasionally get hits like Herges in 07.
That's not a bad strategy, one that would generally get good props here.
I just think that they are TOO dependent on prospects being the solution to everything. They could, for example, use a quality bat in the OF at a time when there are several really good hitters who can probably be snagged cheap. This is a pretty winnable division, even after trading Holliday. They just don't seem to be doing much beside relying on prospects to mature.
As a narrow strategy, it doesn't address other issues like what to do with Todd Helton who is over-payed and under-productive. It's probably too late to trade him (when did he turn 35?). But the time for thinking about that was a few years ago.
   45. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 10, 2009 at 11:31 PM (#3073670)
Wow, Aaron Cook is 30 already?

I'm getting old...
   46. devil_fingers Posted: February 10, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3073672)
Oops. Sorry, Dan. As usual, I'm the idiot in the room. Sorry for making you redirect me to the obvious.
   47. calhounite Posted: February 11, 2009 at 02:37 AM (#3073818)
trading Holliday for Jose Guillen Jr. and Craptastic FlyBaller is dumb, but not many Hollidays come along..so, yea, rare
   48. KJOK Posted: February 11, 2009 at 06:17 AM (#3073995)
I would characterize the Rockies' strategy is largely hang on and hope every good young player pans out like Tulo, Jimenez, Morales, and Corpas did in 2007.

I agree. Just look at all of the guys they potentially will have that have come up thru their system:

Ianetta
Stewart
Tulowitzki
Hawpe
Spillbourghs
Fowler
Smith, Seth
Koshansky
Barmes
Colonel
Francis
Jimenez
Morales
Reynolds
Corpas
Register
Morillo
and probably a couple I missed..

That's essentially your 2006-2007 Tulsa Drillers.
   49. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 11, 2009 at 06:56 AM (#3074032)
You left out several of the Rockies' older guys who came up through the system, like Cook, Atkins and Helton.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: February 11, 2009 at 07:48 AM (#3074048)
I've got Carlos Gonzalez a little higher than #9 on my depth chart.

Of course he's not really 9th on the ZiPS depth chart either. First, Murton's on there by mistake. The other two average-hitting guys are poor defensively. Of the poor-hitting guys, Gonzalez is rated the best defender. ZiPS is saying Fowler's the "best" CF choice and after that, ZiPS is just holding its nose, closing its eyes and praying the dart doesn't hit Podsednik.
   51. Sammy's Corked Whine Posted: February 12, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3075456)
The ZIPS projections are great to have again this year. One of the best things Dan does and I'm grateful for 'em.

I'll be glad though after he's plowed through these and can go back to the other best thing he does: transaction analysis. Lowe, Looper, Dunn, Abreu... they're kind of piling up.
   52. zfan Posted: February 21, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3082628)
Wait a minute...the Colorado Rockies of all teams have a player named CHRISTIAN COLONEL?! Does he work for the Salvation Army in the offseason or run Jesus boot camps?

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