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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, October 10, 2008

2009 ZiPS Projections - Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays led the AL in ERA this season and almost all of that staff is guaranteed to be back next year, but the offense has a lot of work to do.  None of the hitters are actually terrible per se, but there just haven’t been a lot of pleasant surprises for the team.  Like the Angels, the Jays are a team that really needs to take advantage of one of the best free agent crops in recent seasons and if they can’t do that, they can’t be in the hunt for the playoffs and they need to clean house and rebuild.  This isn’t the NL West and striving to win 86 games and complaining about the Yankees and Red Sox won’t get the Jays into October.  When the Orioles are being more decisive about organizational direction than your team is, you need to take a long, hard look at your short and long-term goals and I don’t think Ricciardi’s shown that he does anything but fly by the seat of his pants.

Nothing illustrates the Jays problem than Matt Watson, who’s always had the potential to be a good 4th outfielder, being 2nd on the below list.


Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS
Alexis Rios         rf 28 .293 .347 .478 146 569 88 167 39 6 18 87 45 103 20 5
AVERAGE 1B————————————————————————————————————————-
Matt Watson*        lf 30 .271 .347 .458 55 192 31 52 13 1 7 31 21 29 2 1
AVERAGE LF————————————————————————————————————————-
AVERAGE RF————————————————————————————————————————-
Lyle Overbay*        1b 32 .270 .350 .417 141 496 65 134 32 1 13 66 60 94 2 1
Scott Rolen         3b 34 .259 .340 .416 102 363 54 94 25 1 10 49 38 61 4 2
Adam Lind*          lf 25 .276 .323 .443 127 460 60 127 25 2 16 68 30 97 2 1
Vernon Wells         cf 30 .274 .329 .444 130 514 72 141 29 2 18 76 41 71 8 6
AVERAGE CF————————————————————————————————————————-
AVERAGE 3B————————————————————————————————————————-
Aaron Hill           2b 27 .281 .334 .400 119 438 55 123 29 1 7 51 32 64 4 2
AVERGE 2B—————————————————————————————————————————
Joe Inglett*        2b 31 .283 .338 .379 122 414 52 117 18 5 4 44 31 61 8 6
Jose Bautista         3b 28 .230 .319 .414 137 457 62 105 25 1 19 65 54 119 4 3
AVERAGE SS————————————————————————————————————————-
Marco Scutaro         ss 33 .261 .334 .364 105 352 50 92 16 1 6 39 37 53 4 1
AVERAGE C—————————————————————————————————————————
Gregg Zaun#          c   38 .233 .333 .357 87 258 30 60 14 0 6 31 38 42 1 1
Brad Wilkerson*      rf 32 .230 .315 .393 82 270 36 62 15 1 9 37 33 84 2 2
Kevin Mench         lf 31 .253 .300 .395 89 281 33 71 17 1 7 35 18 49 1 0
Travis Snider*        rf 21 .251 .304 .411 137 526 66 132 27 0 19 74 39 151 2 6
Rod Barajas         c   33 .242 .298 .401 85 277 34 67 17 0 9 37 18 52 0 0
Hector Luna         3b 27 .254 .305 .383 119 413 54 105 21 1 10 50 27 87 6 4
Chip Cannon*        1b 27 .223 .295 .369 104 363 36 81 17 0 12 46 34 127 1 0
J.P. Arencibia       c   23 .247 .272 .414 99 396 40 98 21 0 15 56 12 83 0 0
Russ Adams*          rf 28 .231 .297 .361 119 407 52 94 19 2 10 47 37 73 6 2
Brian Jeroloman*      c   24 .226 .320 .313 101 336 27 76 14 0 5 31 46 64 0 0
Buck Coats*          cf 27 .243 .291 .341 128 449 53 109 21 1 7 46 30 92 13 3
Curtis Thigpen       c   26 .221 .281 .322 100 339 31 75 20 1 4 32 26 61 2 1
Pedro Lopez         ss 25 .237 .281 .320 119 413 42 98 17 1 5 39 25 70 4 3
Wayne Lydon         rf 28 .227 .289 .297 121 471 61 107 17 2 4 39 40 100 25 7
Danny Sandoval       2b 29 .233 .267 .300 108 390 33 91 14 0 4 33 16 54 4 3

* - Bats Left
# = Switch-Hitter

Name           CThr 1b 2b 3b ss lf cf rf
Rios                       Av Vg
Watson*            Av       Av   Av
Overbay*          Vg            
Rolen                 Ex        
Lind*            Fr       Fr   Fr
Wells                       Av  
Hill               Vg   Pr      
Inglett*            Av Fr Pr Av Fr Av
Bautista             Pr Fr   Fr   Fr
Scutaro           Av Av Vg Av Av    
Zaun#          Av                
Wilkerson*          Av       Av Pr Av
Mench             Fr       Fr   Fr
Snider*                    Fr   Fr
Barajas         Av   Av            
Luna             Av Av Vg Fr      
Cannon*            Av   Pr        
Arencibia       Av                
Adams*              Fr Fr Fr     Av
Jeroloman*      Av                
Coats*                    Vg Fr Vg
Thigpen         Fr   Av Pr Fr        
Lopez               Vg   Vg      
Lydon                     Vg Vg Vg
Sandoval             Av Av Av      

Player Spotlight - Alex Rios
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .314 .373 .525 152 592 105 186 45 7 22 101 53 95 25 5 134
Mean         .293 .347 .478 146 569 88 167 39 6 18 87 45 103 20 5 115
Pessimistic (15%) .270 .319 .417 137 533 60 144 33 3 13 69 37 110 16 6   93

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Pete Fox, Al Cowens

Player Spotlight - Adam Lind
Name           AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Optimistic (15%)  .297 .348 .518 145 525 80 156 35 6 23 91 39 103 3 1 125
Mean         .276 .323 .443 127 460 60 127 25 2 16 68 30 97 2 1 100  
Pessimistic (15%) .244 .284 .371 111 402 36 98 19 1 10 48 22 92 1 1   71  

Top Near-Age Offensive Comps: Derrick May, Al Woods

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K
B.J. Ryan*          33   2.68   4   1 46   0   47.0   36   14   3   18   51
Scott Downs*          33   2.93   4   1 67   0   67.2   59   22   4   26   57
Roy Halladay         32   3.40 16   9 32 32   225.0 223   85 18   42 155
Casey Janssen         27   3.54   4   2 58   0   61.0   63   24   5   14   36
Brian Tallet*        31   3.76   3   2 56   0   67.0   62   28   5   30   54
Jason Frasor         31   3.79   3   2 54   0   57.0   47   24   5   29   59
Brandon League         26   3.84   3   3 50   0   68.0   68   29   4   25   47
A.J. Burnett         32   3.95 12 10 28 28   180.0 172   79 20   66 170
Shaun Marcum         27   4.04   8   6 30 23   147.0 141   66 20   44 126
Jeremy Accardo         27   4.06   3   3 51   0   51.0   51   23   5   18   37
Jesse Litsch         24   4.09 13 11 31 30   187.0 197   85 21   44   98
AVERAGE RELIEVER——————- 4.09———————————————————————-
Jesse Carlson*        28   4.11   5   5 65   0   70.0   69   32   8   23   53
Dustin McGowan         27   4.15   9   8 29 23   141.0 133   65 14   62 122
Shawn Camp           33   4.34   3   3 55   0   56.0   60   27   5   15   44
Brett Cecil*          22   4.40   4   4 23 23   90.0   89   44 10   36   65
Brian Wolfe           28   4.57   4   4 43   5   67.0   72   34   8   20   37
AVERAGE STARTER———————4.61———————————————————————-
John Parrish*        31   4.97   3   3 28   7   67.0   70   37   8   37   52
Davis Romero*        26   5.02   7   9 31 20   120.0 136   67 20   38   83
Reid Santos*          26   5.07   3   5 45   4   87.0   93   49 15   33   58
Chris George*        29   5.20   4   7 33 13   97.0 108   56 11   45   61
Jean Machi           27   5.26   3   4 38   4   77.0   84   45 10   39   43
David Purcey*        27   5.27   6 10 23 23   128.0 139   75 19   54   92
Mike Gosling*        28   5.28   4   7 41   9   92.0 102   54 13   41   68
Jordan de Jong         30   5.29   3   5 46   0   68.0   72   40 10   36   49
Mike MacDonald         27   5.43   5   9 31 19   131.0 160   79 19   39   62
Fabio Castro*        24   5.45   4   8 32 14   104.0 110   63 16   53   73
Sean Stidfole         25   5.47   2   3 55   0   74.0   79   45 11   46   43
Bill Murphy*          28   5.51   4   8 42 16   116.0 128   71 17   60   88
Dirk Hayhurst         28   5.55   3   6 42   8   94.0 108   58 14   34   66
Ricky Romero*        24   5.90   4   8 22 22   119.0 138   78 17   67   66
Jonah Bayliss         28   6.13   3   6 57   0   69.0   79   47 14   33   48

* - Throws Left

Player Spotlight - Jesse Litsch
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  3.44 17   9 34 33 212 207   81 21   38 120   129
Mean           4.09 13 11 31 30 187 197   85 21   44   98   108
Pessimistic (15%)  5.24   8 12 26 26 146 172   85 22   44   72   84

Top Near-Age Comps: Larry Christensen, Jeff Suppan

Player Spotlight - A.J. Burnett
              ERA   W   L   G GS INN   H   ER HR   BB   K   ERA+   
Optimistic (15%)  3.13 16   7 30 30 201 173   70 18   61 203   141
Mean           3.95 12 10 28 28 180 172   79 20   66 170   112
Pessimistic (15%)  4.91   8 10 23 23 141 150   77 19   63 124   90

Top Near-Age Comps:  Camilo Pascual, Bill Singer

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.

ZiPS Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: October 10, 2008 at 06:56 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Marcel Posted: October 10, 2008 at 07:55 PM (#2976190)
Just curious Dan, why do projections for Marcum and McGowan when they're going to miss all of next season anyway?
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2008 at 07:57 PM (#2976192)
"Dirk Hayhurst" = coolest new name in baseball?
   3. JJ1986 Posted: October 10, 2008 at 07:58 PM (#2976193)
When Matt Watson is a better hitter than most of your team then something has gone terribly wrong.
   4. fra paolo Posted: October 10, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#2976202)
Is that the same Chris George who had quasi-prospect status about five years ago?
   5. 1k5v3L Posted: October 10, 2008 at 08:07 PM (#2976203)
Is AJ Burnett guaranteed to be back?
   6. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 10, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#2976210)
The Jays led the AL in ERA this season and almost all of that staff is guaranteed to be back next year


It seems like the only starters who are likely to pitch for Jays next year are Halladay and Litsch. Purcey and Parrish will be back, but I don't think they're be helping win another ERA title. The loss of Marcum, McGowan, and Burnett (it seems likely he'll opt out) really hurts.
   7. flournoy Posted: October 10, 2008 at 08:18 PM (#2976212)
Wow, I had no idea until now that Hayhurst was claimed by the Blue Jays.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 10, 2008 at 09:53 PM (#2976319)
Just curious Dan, why do projections for Marcum and McGowan when they're going to miss all of next season anyway?

I always do projections for those that will probably miss a season.

Is that the same Chris George who had quasi-prospect status about five years ago?

Yes.

It seems like the only starters who are likely to pitch for Jays next year are Halladay and Litsch. Purcey and Parrish will be back, but I don't think they're be helping win another ERA title. The loss of Marcum, McGowan, and Burnett (it seems likely he'll opt out) really hurts.

That's their two likely best starters, they've had serious talks with Burnett, and the entire bullpen.

Wow, I had no idea until now that Hayhurst was claimed by the Blue Jays.

I'm probably going to keep projecting Hayhurst as long as he's in baseball. Meritorious Internetary Contributions. I did that with CBW (and his projections sadly were weaker).
   9. jwb Posted: October 10, 2008 at 11:24 PM (#2976395)
Did I miss a John McDonald transaction?
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 11, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#2976415)
Oops, hopped from Inglett to Overbay on the 40-man roster.
   11. Eric P. Posted: October 11, 2008 at 12:41 AM (#2976469)
Just curious Dan, why do projections for Marcum and McGowan when they're going to miss all of next season anyway?


Only Marcum's out for the whole year. McGowan's surgery was to repair fraying in the labrum but nothing was found to be wrong with his rotator cuff and he could be ready for the start of the season, probably May at the latest.
   12. RJ in TO Posted: October 11, 2008 at 12:45 AM (#2976483)
I'm surprised. I honestly thought they were talking about the All-Star Break for McGowan's return.
   13. Frisco Cali Posted: October 11, 2008 at 01:13 AM (#2976605)
I always do projections for those that will probably miss a season.

Can you do one for me? I've missed a few seasons - 30 to be precise - when I probably hit about .250 in Little League as a left fielder. I distinctly remember hitting a triple once that year.
   14. John Northey Posted: October 11, 2008 at 10:58 AM (#2977547)
Given that you have Matt Watson projected to hit better than average for all positions outside of first base wouldn't he hit better than the vast majority of players on most teams by definition? If he is that good then he should be a starter, not a 4th outfielder.

As to the Jays you have Rios, Rolen, Wells, and Hill projected to hit better than positional average, while Scutaro is listed as just below average for his (seems odd that he appears to be the everyday shortstop for 2009...I keep hoping for a trade to improve there). It isn't good by any stretch, but having just shy of 1/2 the lineup (1/2 a person shy) above average for their position isn't horrible either, in fact it sounds like what 'normal' should be.
   15. Jason Robar Posted: October 11, 2008 at 03:48 PM (#2977640)
Dan, is there any way to manipulate ZiPS into thinking that Cecil will go 5 innings in the games that he starts? I realize that the way the Jays handled him this year is the cause of the projection, but there's the odd rumbling that Cecil could win the 5th starter's spot out of spring training. I can't see that happening if they think they need to keep stretching him out.
   16. MM1f Posted: October 11, 2008 at 04:55 PM (#2977696)
How on earth does Zips figure Watson to be an above-average LF next year anyway though?
What is the computer thinking there?

Watson being, in theory, the Jay's 2nd best OF seems like it is more Zips problem than the Jays.
   17. Rusty Priske Posted: October 11, 2008 at 05:19 PM (#2977709)
Uh... I figure I follow the Jays pretty closely normally, but, uh..

Who is Matt Watson?
   18. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 11, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#2977713)
Who is Matt Watson?

Slight Phelpser who generally has trouble with lefties. He's probably closer to 330/420 full-time.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: October 11, 2008 at 05:27 PM (#2977715)
Who is Matt Watson?

He was a regular outfielder for Sacramento earlier this decade who never really got a chance in Oakland. He went to Japan, but now he must be back. He was never a Jays prospect.
   20. MM1f Posted: October 11, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#2977718)
Journeyman AAAA OF.
Started out as a 3b in the Expos system. Moved to 2b when people thought he couldn't hit for 3b. Started hitting a lot, but I guess folks decided he wasn't an IF at all, so he moves to LF and puts up some good minor league years. Bounces from the Expos to the Mets to the A's.
   21. The_Ex Posted: October 11, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#2977728)
Watson played for the Jays AAA team in Syracuse this season. He missed time and only had 252 ab's but did walk a lot. He hit .290 with an OPS of .816. The ZIPS projection of an OPS of .805 is just marginally below his AAA numbers at age 30.
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 11, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#2977736)
Watson played for the Jays AAA team in Syracuse this season. He missed time and only had 252 ab's but did walk a lot. He hit .290 with an OPS of .816. The ZIPS projection of an OPS of .805 is just marginally below his AAA numbers at age 30.

He was better for Sacramento.

His projection should actually be a little lower - I didn't include his Japanese numbers.
   23. MM1f Posted: October 11, 2008 at 07:11 PM (#2977766)
Ohhh...He was in Japan.
I assumed he was hurt for parts of 06 and 08 and all of 07.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: October 11, 2008 at 08:21 PM (#2977796)
As to the Jays you have Rios, Rolen, Wells, and Hill projected to hit better than positional average, while Scutaro is listed as just below average for his (seems odd that he appears to be the everyday shortstop for 2009...I keep hoping for a trade to improve there). It isn't good by any stretch, but having just shy of 1/2 the lineup (1/2 a person shy) above average for their position isn't horrible either, in fact it sounds like what 'normal' should be.

Not exactly. There are lots of ways to get to "normal". Sure, it would be normal for a lineup to have, say, 4 above-average players, one average player and 4 below-average ... or 3/3/3 or whatever. But, generally, some of those above-average guys will be well above-average. Dan doesn't tell us exactly where average is but basically Rios, Rolen, Wells and Hill are just a hair above-average while Overbay and Lind look to be pretty substantially below-average. Scutaro and Zaun (who may not be back) are a smidgen below average and then you have the mystery DH. So the scary thing about that lineup is that there are no good hitters in it.

The second point is that the "average" is a mix of starters and backups. You want your starters to be ab0ve-average because your subs are going to be below. If Rolen plays 100 games of just above-average 3B you need a near-average backup for 60 -- hard to find.

The bright spot of the Jays lineup is the defense. They are above-average at 4 spots (1B, 2B, 3B, RF) and average at 3 and only below-average in LF (assuming Lind). A near-average offense and above-average defense can add up to fine overall value. And, unlike offensive numbers, backups are often as good or better defensively than the starters so an "average" defensive rating can mean that a player is a little better than the average starter at his position. (But, for ZiPS, "average" is something like +/- 5 runs).
   25. The_Ex Posted: October 11, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#2977849)
For clarity Watson was in Sacramento for parts of 2004, 2005 and 2006. I assume he was in Japan in 2007 and he was in Syracuse for all of 2008.
   26. a wider scope of derision Posted: October 20, 2008 at 02:14 PM (#2989889)
Snider's line seems low... even when you account for his crazy BABIP he's still should be good for a .750-.800 OPS (hey, just like the rest of the lineup!) Or am I just trying to wring anything positive from this lineup?

What is Janssen's projection as a starter?

Is it just me, or is it terrifying how similar this team is to the A's? (It's just not costing Wolff $100M+ plus he's got much more depth in the minors.) Trading Halladay would break my heart, but can somebody please get this guy some post-season innings already?
   27. *BaseClogger* Posted: October 31, 2008 at 12:11 AM (#3000115)
They remind me of an older version of the Reds...
   28. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 31, 2008 at 12:42 AM (#3000140)
I'm never sure just how to treat Japanese numbers for the guys who tanked and left quickly (though Watson lasted 363 PA for Lotte over '06/'07) - they tell us more about how they would do in a second stint there than how they would here, I think.
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 31, 2008 at 01:27 AM (#3000171)
Snider's line seems low... even when you account for his crazy BABIP he's still should be good for a .750-.800 OPS (hey, just like the rest of the lineup!) Or am I just trying to wring anything positive from this lineup?


Yes.

Snider's a talent, but he strikes out a ton, and the league will figure out pretty quickly that he's going to swing and miss a lot and keep extending his zone. He'll eventually adjust, I think, but it's unrealistic to expect much more than what ZiPS is showing. But he is just 20 (21 in February) and by far the best offensive talent on the team.

-- MWE
   30. flournoy Posted: June 11, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3214168)
In case any prospect hounds were curious, Cannon retired recently, though he's still hitting bombs in men's league ball. He just went 1-2 with an HBP, a long homer, and a warning track shot against my (rather sorry) team tonight.

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