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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2010 ZiPS Projections - Pittsburgh Pirates

This will probably shock absolutely nobody, but the Pirates won’t be a very good team in 2010.

It’s hard to tell a Pirate fan to be patient after two decades of futility, but that’s pretty much what one has to do.  The latest Pirate regime has shown a lot of acumen that previous management had not, but fixing the Pirates properly is and will continue to be a long, drawn-out process.  Bonifay and Littlefield talked good games about rebuilding and five-year plans, but the organization under those two never showed the slightest bit of forward-thinking and five-year plans stayed endlessly at year two.

The Bucs will spend 2010 trying to sort out some of the talent they’ve acquired in the last year.  There’s not a whole lot of must-play star talent that will make some of the decisions easy (aside from McCutchen), so the team’s going to be tested at how to find playing time for all of Walker, Milledge, Tabata, and Moss, among other questions.  Some of the non-stathead Pirate fans are going to continue to be unhappy because Doumit and Duke should be the next to go.

So, 2010?  Don’t count the Pirates on getting too far into the 70s in the win column, but there’s a lot more hope with the future of the team, if they continue to do what they’re doing, then with MLB’s other moribund franchise, the Royals.

Offensive Projections

Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
Garrett Jones*        rf 29 .285 .339 .494 138 526 70 150 34 2 24 78 44 104 11 4   114
Andrew McCutchen       cf 23 .281 .355 .446 149 597 105 168 35 9 15 72 66 101 27 11   108
Jeff Clement*        c   26 .266 .340 .461 120 451 59 120 30 2 18 64 45 99 1 1   107
Brian Myrow*        1b 33 .265 .358 .405 101 336 39 89 18 1 9 41 46 71 1 1   99
Ryan Doumit#        c   29 .276 .329 .452 97 341 49 94 22 1 12 52 24 58 3 1   101
Steven Pearce         1b 27 .268 .331 .456 143 504 66 135 34 2 19 85 44 98 8 6   103
Taggert Bozied       1b 30 .260 .332 .440 92 327 42 85 19 2 12 37 32 75 4 2   100
Akinori Iwamura*      2b 31 .286 .356 .400 106 412 59 118 23 6 4 31 44 78 9 4   99  
Andy LaRoche         3b 26 .260 .345 .399 134 461 63 120 24 2 12 61 55 74 4 2   94
Jeff Salazar*        lf 29 .255 .330 .401 119 364 52 93 16 5 9 44 39 71 11 2   90
Delwyn Young#        2b 28 .269 .322 .409 125 372 46 100 24 2 8 46 28 82 2 1   89
Neil Walker#        3b 24 .260 .303 .447 125 465 62 121 31 4 16 84 30 90 7 4   93
Lastings Milledge     cf 25 .272 .329 .398 107 394 45 107 21 1 9 42 27 78 14 6   89
Brandon Moss*        rf 26 .259 .321 .412 135 444 52 115 27 4 11 56 39 112 2 4   90
Erik Kratz           c   30 .250 .304 .426 85 296 33 74 20 1 10 34 21 67 3 0   88
Pedro Alvarez*        3b 23 .233 .311 .419 131 506 66 118 26 1 22 84 59 165 2 1   88
Robinzon Diaz         c   26 .296 .325 .389 83 301 27 89 14 1 4 31 11 23 2 2   86
Jason Jaramillo#      c   27 .264 .328 .375 95 341 34 90 18 1 6 36 30 59 1 1   84
Ramon Vazquez*        ss 33 .253 .340 .364 100 261 31 66 13 2 4 24 34 56 1 1   84
Larry Broadway*      1b 29 .249 .322 .401 101 334 35 83 19 1 10 40 35 86 1 4   88
Jim Negrych*        2b 25 .274 .338 .356 106 402 59 110 20 2 3 42 37 64 6 3   82
Jose Tabata         rf 21 .266 .323 .373 102 402 53 107 21 2 6 37 29 63 10 5   81
Craig Monroe         rf 33 .235 .294 .426 75 230 29 54 14 0 10 37 19 60 0 1   85
Jason Delaney         1b 27 .248 .321 .348 130 471 48 117 23 3 6 56 49 111 2 3   75
Ronny Cedeno         ss 27 .252 .300 .386 114 345 39 87 13 3 9 38 22 68 6 3   78
Hector Gimenez#      3b 27 .255 .298 .377 88 310 29 79 15 1 7 37 19 61 1 2   75
Shelby Ford#        2b 25 .244 .295 .362 103 389 53 95 21 5 5 45 22 78 11 2   71
Brian Bixler         ss 27 .237 .303 .359 131 465 71 110 21 6 8 42 36 145 15 5   72
Brian Friday         ss 24 .249 .320 .349 104 410 50 102 20 3 5 38 36 81 7 8   75
Luis Cruz           2b 26 .264 .295 .373 119 416 49 110 25 1 6 42 16 45 4 4   73
Pedro Lopez         2b 26 .261 .309 .333 106 375 41 98 14 2 3 29 25 57 3 4   68
Steven Lerud*        c   25 .227 .296 .323 102 353 34 80 17 1 5 35 29 90 2 1   62
Miguel Perez         c   26 .247 .290 .339 54 174 16 43 7 0 3 18   8 42 1 1   64
Adam Melhuse#        c   38 .223 .302 .309 34 94   9 21 5 0 1   9 10 26 0 0   60
Argenis Diaz         ss 23 .240 .283 .306 122 445 34 107 17 3 2 32 25 97 5 4   54
Gorkys Hernandez       cf 22 .231 .280 .312 128 532 68 123 23 4 4 40 34 138 13 10   55

Defensive Projections

Name           CThr 1b     2b     3b     ss     lf     cf     rf    
Jones*            Av/128                 Av/88       Av/87  
McCutchen                                     Vg/88      
Clement*        Pr   Fr/106                                
Myrow*            Av/123                 Fr/147       Fr/147
Doumit#        Av                       Fr/93       Fr/93  
Pearce             Av/109                             Fr/136
Bozied             Av/103                 Pr/103       Pr/103
Iwamura*                Av/76   Av/73                      
LaRoche           Av/101 Fr/121 Av/101                      
Salazar*                                Av/83   Fr/91   Av/83  
Young#                  Pr/95             Fr/96       Fr/101
Walker#                      Av/125                      
Milledge                                 Vg/113 Fr/117 Fr/188
Moss*            Fr/112                 Av/92   Pr/95   Av/69  
Kratz         Av                                      
Alvarez*                      Fr/139                      
Diaz           Av             Pr/116                      
Jaramillo#      Av                                      
Vazquez*                Fr/44   Fr/107 Fr/89                  
Broadway*          Av/100                 Fr/120            
Negrych*                Fr/154 Av/149                      
Tabata                                       Fr/88   Fr/108
Monroe                                 Av/98       Av/98  
Delaney           Av/138                 Fr/114            
Cedeno                 Vg/98       Fr/114                
Gimenez#        Av   Av/138       Fr/138                      
Ford#                  Av/123                            
Bixler                 Av/119 Av/119 Fr/107       Fr/121      
Friday                             Av/133                
Cruz                   Av/118 Av/118 Av/118                
Lopez                   Vg/102 Vg/110 Vg/110                
Lerud*        Av                                      
Perez         Fr                                      
Melhuse#        Fr                                      
Diaz                             Vg/136                
Hernandez                               Vg/135 Vg/135 Vg/135

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Name           PO   EX   VG   AV   FR   PO       COMP 1       COMP 2       COMP 3
JonesGarrett     RF   18%  30%  21%  18%  12%    StoneJohn KirklandWillie   JonesJacque
McCutchenAndrew   CF   27%  30%  30%  12%  2%    ByrdMarlon GrissomMarquis   BeltranCarlos
ClementJeff     1B   2%  16%  27%  42%  14%    FalconeDave   McAnultyPaul   RichardChris
DoumitRyan       C   18%  44%  24%  12%  2%    AshbyAlan   VaritekJason   HammockRobby
PearceSteven     1B   3%  8%  14%  40%  35%    NymanChris     BurnsJack   WhiteDerrick
BoziedTagg       RF   4%  7%  13%  29%  47%      MeleSam     JonesChris   LesherBrian
MyrowBrian       1B   2%  5%  10%  37%  46%      SnowJ.T.    BrockGreg     AbadAndy
LaRocheAndy     3B   2%  11%  25%  36%  27%  AspromonteBob   EdwardsMike     LawVance
SalazarJeff     LF   0%  3%  10%  27%  61%  BradshawTerry     StroudEd     JonesChris
WalkerNeil       3B   1%  7%  19%  36%  38%    WallerCasey   SpiezioScott   CaminitiKen
MilledgeLastings   LF   0%  2%  6%  23%  69%    BrownEmil   SothernDenny     RabeJosh
YoungDelwyn     2B   5%  10%  19%  34%  31%    ScalesBobby   BarberieBret   ManuelJerry
KratzErik       C   4%  23%  32%  32%  9%  SantiagoBenito     LakerTim   HammockRobby
DiazRobinzon     C   0%  8%  25%  46%  21%    TaylorZack   BradleyScott     RuizCarlos
MossBrandon     RF   1%  1%  3%  13%  83%      GrantTom   WakelandChris   VanderwalJohn
AlvarezPedro     3B   0%  5%  16%  34%  45%    MooreScott     HaasChris     DavidGreg
JaramilloJason     C   1%  8%  20%  43%  28%    RodgersBuck   GoochJohnny   WalbeckMatt
NegrychJames     2B   1%  2%  7%  24%  65%    GatesMike   EricksonMatt   HitchcoxBrian
VazquezRamon     SS   3%  12%  35%  34%  16%    KlausBilly     FregosiJim CrosettiFrankie
TabataJose       RF   0%  0%  1%  7%  93%  CanateWillie   AlvarezTony   HunterScott
BroadwayLarry     1B   0%  0%  1%  11%  87%    BarkerKevin   WardPreston PritchettChris
MonroeCraig     RF   2%  2%  3%  10%  83%    EversHoot       RudiJoe   ThompsonRyan
CedenoRonny     SS   2%  2%  14%  38%  44%  HolbertAaron   FurmaniakJ.J.  GarciaCarlos
FordShelby       2B   0%  1%  3%  12%  84%  PattersonJohn     OlmedaJose     KataMatt
GimenezHector     3B   0%  0%  1%  5%  93%    StrangeDoug   WilliamsGlenn     FultonGreg
BixlerBrian     SS   0%  2%  15%  38%  45%      NocePaul     BasakChris     RansomCody
DelaneyJason     1B   0%  0%  0%  2%  98%      EspyNate CarpenterGlenn     BurnsJack
CruzLuis       SS   0%  2%  8%  25%  65%      FoliTim   BarmesClint     CruzDeivi
FridayBrian     SS   0%  2%  6%  19%  73%  ConcepcionDave   FletcherScott   JacksonDamian
LopezPedro       2B   0%  0%  0%  2%  98%    HamricRusty     LeggGreg     ForbesP.J.
PerezMiguel       C   0%  0%  0%  2%  98%    KnappMike     KratzErik   ParrishDave
LerudSteven       C   0%  0%  0%  4%  95%    SkeelsAndy     BakoPaul     BakerJohn
MelhuseAdam       C   0%  1%  1%  4%  95%  DifeliceMike     LampkinTom   ParrishLance
DiazArgenis     SS   0%  0%  0%  0%  100%    HuylerMike   LackeySteve   PetitGregorio
HernandezGorkys   CF   0%  0%  0%  0%  100%  JacksonDarrin ColemanMichael     RepkoJason

Name         .300 BA .375 OBP .500 SLG 140 OPS+  45 2B   10 3B   30 HR   30 SB
JonesGarrett       26%    7%    44%    8%    8%    0%    20%    0%
McCutchenAndrew     20%    22%    5%    2%    9%    61%    0%    37%
ClementJeff         8%    8%    18%    2%    1%    0%    2%    0%
DoumitRyan         22%    6%    12%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%
PearceSteven       10%    5%    14%    3%    7%    0%    7%    0%
BoziedTagg         8%    7%    7%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%
MyrowBrian         11%    26%    4%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%
LaRocheAndy         5%    10%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
SalazarJeff         3%    3%    0%    0%    0%    5%    0%    0%
WalkerNeil         4%    0%    6%    0%    1%    2%    1%    0%
MilledgeLastings     13%    3%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
YoungDelwyn       14%    3%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
KratzErik         6%    1%    3%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
DiazRobinzon       40%    4%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
MossBrandon         3%    1%    2%    1%    0%    2%    0%    0%
AlvarezPedro       0%    0%    1%    0%    0%    0%    9%    0%
JaramilloJason     10%    4%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
NegrychJames       17%    9%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
VazquezRamon       6%    13%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
TabataJose         8%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
BroadwayLarry       2%    2%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
MonroeCraig         4%    0%    8%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%
CedenoRonny         4%    0%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
FordShelby         1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    3%    0%    0%
GimenezHector       4%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
BixlerBrian         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    21%    0%    0%
DelaneyJason       1%    1%    0%    0%    0%    1%    0%    0%
CruzLuis           7%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
FridayBrian         3%    2%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
LopezPedro         6%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
PerezMiguel         5%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
LerudSteven         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
MelhuseAdam         6%    6%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
DiazArgenis         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
HernandezGorkys     0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    1%    0%    0%

Pitching Statistics - Starters

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Charlie Morton         26   4.12 11 11 30 30   164.0 164   75 13   64 116 103
Paul Maholm*          28   4.34   9 11 32 32   205.1 220   99 20   58 134   98
Zach Duke*          27   4.76   9 13 31 30   189.0 223 100 20   42   91   89
Kevin Hart           27   4.83   6 10 42 19   130.1 138   70 17   55   96   88
Jeff Karstens         27   4.87   5   7 31 15   105.1 113   57 14   35   61   87
Tim Alderson         21   4.94   6   9 27 27   136.2 157   75 16   42   72   86
Daniel McCutchen       27   4.99   8 13 28 27   157.0 173   87 24   43   98   85
Ross Ohlendorf         27   5.03   7 12 26 26   155.2 172   87 23   50 105   84
Brad Lincoln         25   5.14   6 10 24 24   122.2 142   70 18   32   76   83
Eric Hacker           27   5.19   5 10 28 26   138.2 163   80 14   55   74   82
Bobby Livingston*      27   5.22   5   9 23 22   132.2 166   77 14   36   57   81
Jason Davis           30   5.33   4   7 32 11   82.2   95   49   7   45   40   80
Yoslan Herrera         29   5.60   5 11 27 22   119.0 145   74 14   49   61   76
Phil Dumatrait*        28   5.60   3   7 22 12   72.1   83   45 11   33   40   76
Ty Taubenheim         27   5.62   5 10 24 20   105.2 122   66 16   44   62   75
Ron Uviedo           23   5.66   3   5 31 11   90.2 103   57 17   35   59   75
Jimmy Barthmaier       26   5.82   2   5 18 15   72.2   87   47 10   37   48   73
Daniel Moskos*        24   5.91   6 13 29 24   129.1 157   85 17   65   64   72
Virgil Vasquez         28   5.99   4 10 21 18   103.2 126   69 21   32   61   71
Kyle Bloom*          27   6.03   5 12 25 23   106.0 122   71 14   68   65   70
Bryan Morris         23   6.18   3   8 18 18   78.2   96   54   9   51   36   69
Donald Veal*          25   6.24   3   7 31 18   88.0 100   61 13   69   69   68

Pitching Statistics - Relievers

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Matt Capps           26   3.88   5   5 64   0   65.0   64   28   8   16   54 109
Joel Hanrahan         28   4.04   3   3 72   0   78.0   74   35   7   38   88 105
Chris Bootcheck       31   4.13   2   2 47   0   61.0   60   28   5   24   56 103
Jose Ascanio         25   4.32   3   4 43   7   77.0   81   37   7   30   59   98
Craig Hansen         26   4.50   2   2 31   0   36.0   35   18   3   21   27   94
Evan Meek           27   4.55   1   1 48   0   63.1   62   32   5   37   51   93
Tyler Yates           32   4.57   2   3 46   0   43.1   43   22   4   22   39   93
Denny Bautista         29   4.61   3   5 56   0   68.1   68   35   6   42   58   92
Jorge Julio           31   4.76   2   3 55   0   58.2   59   31   6   35   52   89
Jeffrey Sues         27   4.92   3   5 46   0   78.2   77   43 11   43   66   86
Justin Thomas*        26   5.06   3   4 56   0   64.0   66   36   7   39   47   84
Steven Jackson         28   5.09   3   5 51   4   81.1   91   46   9   36   53   83
Brian Slocum         29   5.40   2   4 20   5   46.2   49   28   7   26   37   79
Anthony Claggett       25   5.77   4   9 38   7   82.2 100   53 10   43   44   74

* - Throws Left

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Player         PO     TOP   MID   BOT         COMP 1         COMP 2         COMP 3
CappsMatt       RP     27%  54%  19%    MelendezJose     DeLeonLuis     MateoJulio
HanrahanJoel     RP     20%  55%  25%  D’AcquistoJohn     BulgerJason       HowellKen
MortonCharlie     SP     37%  55%  9%    EggertsenTodd     BoggsTommy     LeaCharlie
BootcheckChris   RP     22%  50%  28%    OsunaAntonio   CarrascoHector     StantonMike
AscanioJose     RP     12%  52%  35%    FrohwirthTodd     DrummondTim     HigueraTeddy
MaholmPaul       SP     20%  63%  16%      HalamaJohn     RedmanMark     HaneyChris
HansenCraig     RP     13%  33%  54%    CornellJeff     BowlesBrian   PisciottaMarc
MeekEvan       RP     7%  45%  47%    BowlesBrian     CornellJeff       LugoRuddy
YatesTyler       RP     13%  38%  49%      LeeDavid SlocumbHeathcliff     HoughCharlie
BautistaDenny     RP     5%  37%  58%    CorcoranRoy       SmithRoy       StoopsJim
JulioJorge       RP     6%  37%  56%      BeanColter       LeeDavid   HoldridgeDavid
DukeZach       SP     10%  50%  40%    EllsworthDick     BallardJeff     PriestEddie
HartKevin       SP     1%  28%  71%      KimSun-Woo     ShieldsSteve     SeifertRyan
KarstensJeff     SP     1%  30%  69%      WoodMike     BritoMario     LincolnMike
SuesJeffrey     RP     2%  30%  68%    HedrickJustin       JonesJeff     RisleyBill
McCutchenDaniel   SP     3%  41%  56%    NeidlingerJim     MeadowsBrian     GuerrierMatt
OhlendorfRoss     SP     3%  38%  59%    NeidlingerJim     GuerrierMatt   TelfordAnthony
ThomasJustin     RP     2%  23%  75%    MancusoPaul   WiegandtScott       PottsMike
JacksonSteven     RP     1%  21%  78%    HeaverloJeff     NickleDoug     KingCurtis
LincolnBrad     SP     2%  31%  67%    TelghederDave     GearyGeoff     EvansKeith
HackerEric       SP     2%  31%  68%      LaCossMike     BeasleyChris       ScottMike
LivingstonBobby   SP     3%  30%  66%  RheineckerJohn   GuettermanLee   EllsworthDick
DavisJason       SP     1%  12%  87%  WilloughbyClaude   OdomBlue Moon   JuelsgaardJarod
SlocumBrian     RP     2%  21%  77%    CameronRyan       ShearnTom     ProctorScott
HerreraYoslan     SP     1%  13%  86%      MagraneJim TankersleyDennis     SnyderJohn
DumatraitPhil     SP     2%  14%  84%      SheaJohn   HampsonJustin   GonzalesFrank
TaubenheimTy     SP     1%  14%  85%      MackTony       FoleyRick     DickeyR.A.
UviedoRonald     SP     0%  7%  93%      BlazierRon   CastilloCarlos       BurnsTodd
ClaggettAnthony   RP     0%  5%  95%    GutierrezJim     FlanaganMike   RobertsWillis
BarthmaierJimmy   SP     1%  13%  86%    ChavezWilton     HooverJohn     RodgersBobby
MoskosDaniel     SP     0%  5%  95%    LockhartBruce     KleineVictor     SlatenDoug
VasquezVirgil     SP     0%  7%  92%    DiFeliceMark OliverasFrancisco   EllsworthSteve
BloomKyle       SP     0%  4%  96%      TabakaJeff     MusserNeal   HamiltonClayton
MorrisBryan     SP     0%  5%  94%    SodowskyClint   BumgarnerJeff     MorelEdwin
VealDonald       SP     0%  4%  96%    CromwellNate       PrattAndy     BeaumontMatt

Player         130 ERA+  100 ERA+  K/9 >8 BB/9 <2 HR/9

<1
CappsMatt 21% 70% 27% 39% 52%
HanrahanJoel 15% 63% 96% 0% 86%
MortonCharlie 7% 64% 4% 0% 91%
BootcheckChris 16% 58% 60% 2% 89%
AscanioJose 9% 52% 9% 1% 82%
MaholmPaul 2% 47% 1% 13% 76%
HansenCraig 13% 46% 13% 0% 81%
MeekEvan 7% 45% 20% 0% 85%
YatesTyler 9% 42% 46% 0% 71%
BautistaDenny 3% 35% 30% 0% 88%
JulioJorge 4% 30% 47% 0% 77%
DukeZach 2% 24% 0% 55% 59%
HartKevin 0% 19% 4% 0% 37%
KarstensJeff 1% 18% 0% 3% 37%
SuesJeffrey 1% 22% 27% 0% 39%
McCutchenDaniel 0% 13% 0% 15% 12%
OhlendorfRoss 0% 11% 1% 3% 15%
ThomasJustin 1% 20% 6% 0% 58%
JacksonSteven 0% 13% 0% 0% 55%
LincolnBrad 0% 10% 0% 25% 22%
HackerEric 0% 8% 0% 0% 64%
LivingstonBobby 0% 10% 0% 24% 70%
DavisJason 1% 8% 1% 0% 84%
SlocumBrian 2% 17% 17% 0% 37%
HerreraYoslan 0% 3% 0% 2% 45%
DumatraitPhil 0% 5% 0% 0% 28%
TaubenheimTy 0% 3% 0% 0% 25%
UviedoRonald 0% 4% 0% 1% 7%
ClaggettAnthony 0% 3% 0% 0% 49%
BarthmaierJimmy 0% 3% 1% 0% 35%
MoskosDaniel 0% 0% 0% 0% 32%
VasquezVirgil 0% 1% 0% 10% 5%
BloomKyle 0% 1% 0% 0% 39%
MorrisBryan 0% 1% 0% 0% 57%
VealDonald 0% 0% 14% 0% 27%

Extrapolated Career Statistics

Name           BA OBP SLG   G   AB     R     H   2B 3B   HR RBI   BB   SO SB CS OPS+
DoumitRyan     .265 .320 .431 1176 4029   538   1067 250 10 133 585   271   731 29 15   95
LaRocheAndy     .248 .334 .383 1261 4271   556   1058 211 22 107 529   506   693 34 19   87

Player         W   L   S   ERA     G   GS   IP     H   HR   BB   SO   ERA+
DukeZach       87   125   0 4.56   298   294 1836   2167   191   446   927   92
MaholmPaul     112   130   0 4.44   388   387 2449   2647   245   758   1600   96

All figures in % based on projection playing time

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 4.46 ERA and the NL having a 4.41 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 2007-2009.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on.

 

2010 ZiPS Projections Archive

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Rays

Red Sox

Reds

Rockies

Royals

Tigers

Twins

White Sox

Yankees




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Dan Szymborski Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:44 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 10, 2009 at 11:53 PM (#3384400)
Vlad, if you read this, you're going to shoot me, but when checking the Iwamura projection you asked about, what I didn't realize (until it was pointed out to me in the Rays thread) that the Iwamura projection was actually his 2009 projection.
   2. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:24 AM (#3384441)
At least McCutchen looks good.

Is Milledge a VG defender in LF and a FR defender in RF because of his arm? Is that 188 the number of throwing errors he's going to make?
   3. JPWF13 Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:53 AM (#3384466)
That projection for Milledge is just an... ouch
his career OPS+ is 89, but then again he's gone 104, 92, 86...

I think this is make or break time for him.

There were a bunch of athletic guys who came up in recent years, all coming up at age 20-22, who just seemingly stalled out imediately for some reason:
Delmon Young,
Chris Young
Milledge
Melky Cabrera (whose "breakthrough was a 99 OPS+ at age 24- he posted 95 at age 21)
Jay Bruce (I know it's early... but that's what they said about Delmon and Chris Young)

I could almost put Ellsbury here to, Adam Jones has shown some improvement but is still kind of disappointing...

ok 2000-2009, 21 year old OFs with 300+ PAs:
Rocco Baldelli    99    2003
Carl Crawford    81    2003
Miguel Cabrera    130    2004
Melky Cabrera    95    2006
Delmon Young    91    2007
Jay Bruce    96    2008
Justin Upton    128    2009 

ok 2000-2009, 22 year old OFs with 300+ PAs:
Carlos Beltran    99    1999    22
Andruw Jones    113    1999    22
Peter Bergeron    67    2000    22
Corey Patterson    78    2002    22
Austin Kearns    134    2002    22
Albert Pujols    151    2002    22
Adam Dunn    121    2002    22
Wily Mo Pena    115    2004    22
Rocco Baldelli    100    2004    22
Carl Crawford    105    2004    22
Miguel Cabrera    151    2005    22
Grady Sizemore    123    2005    22
Nick Markakis    106    2006    22
Jeremy Hermida    84    2006    22
Jeff Francoeur    87    2006    22
Melky Cabrera    89    2007    22
Matt Kemp    125    2007    22
B
.JUpton    136    2007    22
Delmon Young    102    2008    22
Carlos Gonzalez    72    2008    22
Carlos Gomez    79    2008    22
Adam Jones    85    2008    22
Jay Bruce    97    2009    22
Gerardo Parra    86    2009    22
Colby Rasmus    88    2009    22
Andrew McCutchen    124    2009    22 


Torii Hunter    73    1999    23
Mark Kotsay    83    1999    23
Karim Garcia    84    1999    23
Juan Encarnacion    85    1999    23
Jose Guillen    67    1999    23
J
.DDrew    91    1999    23
Gabe Kapler    93    1999    23
Carlos Lee    94    1999    23
Ben Grieve    118    1999    23
Carlos Beltran    69    2000    23
Andruw Jones    125    2000    23
Peter Bergeron    45    2001    23
Juan Pierre    89    2001    23
Dee Brown    63    2001    23
Vernon Wells    96    2002    23
Corey Patterson    114    2003    23
Coco Crisp    76    2003    23
Austin Kearns    117    2003    23
Albert Pujols    187    2003    23
Adam Dunn    116    2003    23
Laynce Nix    81    2004    23
Alexis Rios    85    2004    23
Wily Mo Pena    105    2005    23
Willy Taveras    75    2005    23
Victor Diaz    108    2005    23
Kelly Johnson    91    2005    23
Carl Crawford    111    2005    23
Grady Sizemore    132    2006    23
Travis Buck    130    2007    23
Nick Markakis    121    2007    23
Jeremy Hermida    125    2007    23
Jeff Francoeur    103    2007    23
Chris Young    89    2007    23
Adam Lind    77    2007    23
Ryan Sweeney    101    2008    23
Melky Cabrera    68    2008    23
Matt Kemp    108    2008    23
Lastings Milledge    91    2008    23
B
.JUpton    107    2008    23
Dexter Fowler    98    2009    23
Delmon Young    97    2009    23
Carlos Gonzalez    122    2009    23
Carlos Gomez    69    2009    23
Adam Jones    104    2009    23 


just a bunch of randomness really
   4. heyyoo Posted: November 11, 2009 at 12:59 AM (#3384473)
Pittsburgh could surprise a bit simply because they have so many players that are going to get playing time that are in that age 26-29 sweet spot, with McCutcheon and Milledge being the ones younger and Iwamura still just 31.

Doubt they will pitch enough to contend, but I can easily see this team pushing both their OPS+ and ERA+ a tad over 90
   5. tomdaddydollars Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:16 AM (#3384493)
JPWF13: That can happen when a young, athletic player who's still sort of raw breaks into the majors and hits well off the bat, but ultimately, pitchers figure out how to pitch to him and he never really adjusts. In a way, it's actually better when a player like that comes in and stinks up the joint (a la Carlos Gonzalez in 2008) rather than hitting fairly well, but nothing spectacular (Bruce, Chris Young.) It's a lot easier to get a player's attention when he's slugging .361 than when he's slugging .467.
   6. tomdaddydollars Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:18 AM (#3384495)
Also, I'm at a loss for how you failed to mention Jeff Francouer on the list of "young athletic OFs who stalled out immediately for some reason," though in Francoeur's case we all know the reason.
   7. JoeHova Posted: November 11, 2009 at 01:30 AM (#3384502)
Clement's projection is surprisingly OK. Will he be playing somewhere in Pittsburgh next year?
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3384536)
Charlie Morton 26 4.12
Paul Maholm* 28 4.34
Zach Duke* 27 4.76
Kevin Hart 27 4.83
Jeff Karstens 27 4.87
Daniel McCutchen 27 4.99
Ross Ohlendorf 27 5.03
Brad Lincoln 25 5.14
Eric Hacker 27 5.19
Bobby Livingston* 27 5.22

Boy, it's going to be hard to tell those guys apart. Do the Pirates have a single rotation candidate who isn't a white guy between 25 and 28 years old? I think Maholm is the only one who isn't a control pitcher, too.

Donald "Bob Veale" Veal has been getting great reviews in the AFL.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:03 AM (#3384542)
This team is starting to look surprisingly un-terrible.
   10. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 02:53 AM (#3384592)
Brian Myrow, huh?
   11. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3384617)
AR! MATEYS!
   12. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:37 AM (#3384620)
Huh, I had never heard of Garrett Jones and it turns it he put up a .938 OPS last year. Of course, that far outpaces anything he ever did in the minors...
   13. epoc Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:45 AM (#3384624)
That LaRoche projection is pretty ouch as well. It might be the wishful thinking of the fan in me, but I like both he and Milledge as breakout candidates this year. But even if they don't break out, I'd be willing to put a lot of money on them both breaking .400 slugging.
   14. zonk Posted: November 11, 2009 at 04:33 AM (#3384646)
That LaRoche projection is pretty ouch as well. It might be the wishful thinking of the fan in me, but I like both he and Milledge as breakout candidates this year. But even if they don't break out, I'd be willing to put a lot of money on them both breaking .400 slugging.


I could see Milledge, but I think LaRoche is permanently damaged goods. It's a shame, but it looks like he went the route of Willie Greene (immense talent derailed by a lingering hand/wrist injury).

I dearly hope Capps makes its back to something approaching that projection. I made the grievous error of signing him to a 3 year contract and now I'm stuck with him for two more seasons... absent a trade to the AL (please... please... please).
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2009 at 05:53 AM (#3384671)
This team is starting to look surprisingly un-terrible.

Really? McCutcheon and Doumit are the only two starters projected to be above-average for their position and not by huge margins. They have zero depth position-wise except in an unending array of AAAA 1B and Neil Walker. They don't have a SS or an LF. If the rotation's healthy, it's still a bad rotation and that's got to be one of the worst bullpen projections out there.

This is what I don't like about the Pirates' plan. They've traded away 10 starting position players, a couple starting pitchers and a couple of relievers in the last 1.5 seasons. None of those guys were great ... but look at those projections. Other than possibly Tabata and Alderson, did they get anybody in all those trades who has a legit shot at being part of the "next good Pirates team"? At best you have a collection of players entering their prime years whose upside is "league average" and their projection is "probably won't suck." Guys like Jones, Clement, Pearce, Milledge, Moss -- guys who haven't established themselves in the majors by age 25-26 and who don't project well -- are generally lucky if they're still playing past 30. (Pitchers admittedly are different and maybe somebody like Morton will put together a Suppan-like string of seasons.)

I know you can still make a case for trading away mediocre, pricier players for sub-mediocre, cheaper players with the chance a couple will turn out mediocre or better ... but the Pirate strategy is not a recipe for on-field success. Any success they have 5+ years from now will be the result of their drafting over the last few and next few years and maybe getting back some legitimately good prospects for Doumit or whoever.
   16. MM1f Posted: November 11, 2009 at 07:06 AM (#3384695)
Boy, it's going to be hard to tell those guys apart. Do the Pirates have a single rotation candidate who isn't a white guy between 25 and 28 years old? I think Maholm is the only one who isn't a control pitcher, too.

I dunno, isn't it a good thing to have young pitching? None of the Pirates arms is really young but they are all on the younger side, that is a good thing no?
As for white guys, well... they are major league pitchers. If they are not Latin signees they are hugely likely to be white.

I think Maholm is the only one who isn't a control pitcher, too.

Maholm IS actually a control pitcher I believe.
Actually I think you are pretty backwards with your comment. Most of those guys the Pirates have are raw stuff projects.
Morton has been a raw, projectable low/mid 90s fastball and plus curveball guy for years now who did not always throw strikes.
Ross Ohlendorf has hit 96, 97.
Kevin Hart has been a semi-prospect basically because he can reach back and get his FB to 95.
Lincoln throws strikes but he was a low/mid 90s fastball guy in college, unless TJ surgery took that away from him.
I remember McCutchen tossing 05 out of the pen in college too, but maybe he is a control guy nowadays as a starter.
   17. epoc Posted: November 11, 2009 at 07:59 AM (#3384709)
Walt, I personally think you're underestimating the talent the Pirates have accumulated with their recent slew of trades, but for the sake of argument, I'll grant your point. But the question then is: what's the better plan? I mean, what strategy, other than the current one, is the recipe for success for a team like the Pirates? From my perspective, it seems like this plan was the only sensible one available.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:10 PM (#3384774)
"Vlad, if you read this, you're going to shoot me, but when checking the Iwamura projection you asked about, what I didn't realize (until it was pointed out to me in the Rays thread) that the Iwamura projection was actually his 2009 projection."

Hey, it happens. If I weren't willing to put up with the occasional transcription error, I could always get off my ass and devise my own projection system.

I should probably just stop asking questions about system mechanics. The last time I did it, I think I accidentally got MGL fired from a consulting gig. He had posted some projection for Craig Wilson that looked off to me, and when I asked him about it, it turned out that he'd forgotten to include Wilson's HBPs in the projection, at a time when Wilson was averaging 20+ per 162. And he'd already turned the errant projection in to his employer.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3384784)
"Clement's projection is surprisingly OK. Will he be playing somewhere in Pittsburgh next year?"

His knees supposedly can't handle a regular gig behind the plate, so they've been working on teaching him to play first base. Barring any acquisitions, he and Pearce are probably in line to battle for 1B, and might end up as a platoon. That said, I think they'll look at signing an OF this offseason, which would shift Jones to 1B.

"I could see Milledge, but I think LaRoche is permanently damaged goods. It's a shame, but it looks like he went the route of Willie Greene (immense talent derailed by a lingering hand/wrist injury)."

Remember, ZiPS doesn't have any idea that he was playing hurt in 2008, and the translation on that line is awful. His 2009 ZiPS, which relied on it even more heavily, was .232/.325/.363.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3384785)
Really? McCutcheon and Doumit are the only two starters projected to be above-average for their position and not by huge margins. They have zero depth position-wise except in an unending array of AAAA 1B and Neil Walker. They don't have a SS or an LF. If the rotation's healthy, it's still a bad rotation and that's got to be one of the worst bullpen projections out there.

They've got a ton of averagish to just below looking starting pitchers and odds are some of them will break out.

Tabata, Milledge, Alvarez, LaRoche and Clement were all big time prospects, and I don't think it's too late for any or all of them to reach their potential.

Who cares about the bullpen? Figure that out when you have a good team in place elsewhere.

I'm not saying they'll be competitive this year, but they actually seem to be assembling some talent.

Plus, they've got $0 committed to anyone long-term. $17.625M committed in 2010, $13,500 in 2011 (no that's not a typo).
Any guys that develop they should be able to lock up long term. Plus, they should be able to spend on amateur bonuses and, eventually, some FAs when they get competitive.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3384786)
I mean, what strategy, other than the current one, is the recipe for success for a team like the Pirates?


Drafting premium talent in the early rounds - which they did with Alvarez and McCutchen but basically haven't done otherwise. If they'd drafted Wieters or Heyward when they had the chance, we might be singing a different tune. We'll see what they do this year.

They don't have a SS


despite drafting a ton of them over the years.

-- MWE
   22. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3384791)
Tabata, Milledge, Alvarez, LaRoche and Clement were all big time prospects, and I don't think it's too late for any or all of them to reach their potential.


Alvarez is the only one I'd put any stock in, at this stage. And none of them is likely to develop into a middle-of-the-order power bat.

The Pirates' track record in player development (not just drafting) has been just awful - that's one area that didn't get a lot of attention in the Littlefield years and which I'm not sure is getting the right amount of attention now.

-- MWE
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:41 PM (#3384804)
"Other than possibly Tabata and Alderson, did they get anybody in all those trades who has a legit shot at being part of the "next good Pirates team"?"

Well, there's Morton, who has the best 2010 projection among the team's starters. And even if LaRoche doesn't move forward one iota from here on out, he was good for 2.5 WAR last year. And of course, a lot of the players they acquired in those trades are too far from the majors for ZiPS to reasonably project, so they aren't listed in the chart above.

If you're saying that the deals didn't bring back a lot of future stars, that's true, but who's going to give up a future star for Jack Wilson? And if you want to criticize the system depth, you may want to re-familiarize yourself with exactly how shallow the system was when Huntington took over. The team's 2008 ZiPS page isn't a bad place to start - how many viable 2010 options are on that list? And here is Sickels's 2008 list of the team's top prospects - how many of those guys have any chance of developing into significant contributors?
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3384809)
"despite drafting a ton of them over the years."

At least we have a few SS prospects now. I'm cautiously optimistic about D'Arnaud, and I'm very curious to see how Cunningham looks coming back this year.
   25. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: November 11, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3384833)
Myrow: poor man's Dave Magadan. In an alternate universe (smaller bullpens?), could have had a 10-year career. Or never been signed at all (started in indy ball).

SS: I, for one, believed in Lillibridge - oops.

The Pirates' track record in player development (not just drafting) has been just awful - that's one area that didn't get a lot of attention in the Littlefield years and which I'm not sure is getting the right amount of attention now.

What do you suggest that they do?
   26. epoc Posted: November 11, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3384937)
Obviously, you can't blame Huntington for Littlefield's refusal to draft top talent, and I think it's too early to make a judgment about either Huntington's regime's player development skills or the #4 pick of Sanchez this year. I think we can all agree that the 2010 Pirates are bad, but I faill to see that as conclusive proof that the current FO's plan isn't solid.
   27. Davo Dozier Posted: November 11, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3384983)
If you were extremely optimistic, you could come up with a scenario in which the Pirates win the Central next year.
   28. Sunday silence Posted: November 11, 2009 at 06:51 PM (#3385049)
whatever happened to the Pirates farm system? At least historically they had one of the best, if not the best. Not sure if that was still true in the 80s or whenever I lost interest in this team, or whether it was more a historical factoid... Do farm systems even mean as much anymore in this day of free agency/large market teams?
   29. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3385240)
What else to do?

Before I even try to answer that, let me try to explain some of the things that concern me about this plan:

1. What the Pirates have done is nearly unprecedented in baseball history. Over the course of 1.5 seasons, they traded nearly their entire opening day 2008 lineup (Doumit remains but they did trade Paulinho) plus Nyjer Morgan and a couple of starters and relievers. It's true, that 2008 lineup wasn't gonna win. It's true that, other than possibly Bay, none of them were "stars". It's true that, other than possibly McLouth, none of them were going to be part of the "next good Pirates team". But it's also true that lineup was full of league-average-ish guys, starting ML quality guys like LaRoche, Sanchez, Wilson, Nady and McLouth. The only player you'd point to and say "he probably wouldn't start for anybody else except maybe the Royals, etc." was Bautista.

It's one thing to trade off a couple guys in 2008 and a couple more in 2009. It's another thing to trade away half of your ML roster including every ML quality player you have in 18 months.

2. And if you're gonna do that, you damn well better bring back enough talent that you have nearly guaranteed that your team 3+ years from now will be a lot better than it would be otherwise.

Here's where we might have some disagreement. I'm not a prospect hound and maybe some of the really young guys they got are quite talented. (Of course I do know that it's quite rare for talented 19-year-olds to have any substantial impact in the majors though). But it appears that they mostly got back guys who, if you're lucky, will be exactly the sort of league-average-ish blah that you just traded away. Like I said, Alderson was a nice pickup, he could be genuinely good. Tabata was a reasonable roll of the dice -- everyone seems to agree he's got raw talent -- but it's not looking like it will pay off. But 1.5 legit prospects for 14+ ML players ... not a good return.

3. I believe teams do have a responsibility to put their "best" ML team on the field. Obviously teams need to balance off their responsibility to put their "best" team on the field 3-5 years from now vs. putting the "best" one out there today. Obviously there's no problem with "let's trade half a season of LaRoche for something." But these trades, as a whole, don't seem to have improved the 2012-2014 Pirates to any extent to me. The 2012-14 Pirates might be a lot better than the 2008-9 Pirates, but that will have little/nothing to do with these trades.

So, what should they have done differently? I wouldn't have traded McLouth. An OF of McLouth, McCutcheon and Jones is, y'know, reasonably young, cheap and productive. They needed to get more for Bay (I've never really been a LaRoche believer). They pretty much gave away Snell and Gorzelanny -- neither was particularly worth holding onto but they're still 5th/6th starter quality. Guys like Bautista and Paulinho are perfectly decent bench players and depth is one of the major reasons that teams like the Pirates win 65 instead of 70 (OK, that's probably an overestimate).

I've long been of the opinion that a lot of folks on Primer: (1) under-rate the value of average ML players; (2) over-rate the value of top prospects; and (3) GREATLY over-rate the value of middling prospects. The Pirates will be fairly lucky if they get a player as good (and cost-controlled) as Nate McLouth out of trading away an entire lineup plus. And chances are the folks in favor of the McLouth trade will, 4-5 years from now, be saying the Pirates might as well trade this new McLouth because he's not that good and he's not gonna be part of their next good team and they might as well get 3 middling prospects for him ... in hopes that one of those prospects might turn out to be as good as the new McLouth.

So, to sum up: I agree that, when all is said and done about the 2010-2011 Pirates, it won't really have mattered if they'd held onto some of those guys. But I'm also of the opinion that, when all is said and done about the 2012-2014 Pirates, it won't really have mattered that they traded away all those guys. And chances are those 2012-14 Pirates are going to find themselves in the same boat as the 2008-9 Pirates -- some decent players approaching FA who they need to get something for before they're gone. So, as a strategy, what's really to like?

It's not "that idiot Huntington missed this obvious magic bullet over here". That's especially true given the mess he was left with. There is no magic bullet. The key is drafting, signing, developing ... and making a few good trades. I don't see any genuinely good trades here other than Sanchez-Alderson (which still might not work out) -- no real disasters either.

My gripes are more (1) the wide acceptance that this is a good strategy simply because it's trading average MLers for "prospects" and (2) that if this strategy becomes widespread -- that if you aren't going to compete for a playoff spot in the next two years, you trade away your entire lineup (including good/average, young cost-controlled guys) for whatever you can get -- it will be very bad for baseball.

And before anyone brings up the famed example of the 97 Marlins fire sale:

Charles Johnson and Gary Sheffield for Preston Wilson
Moises Alou for nothing
Devon White for nothing
Robb Nen for nothing
Kevin Brown for Derrek Lee
Dennis Cook for nothing
Al Leiter for AJ Burnett
Kurt Abbott for nothing

That was a LOT more talent traded away and still Lee and Burnett (and Wilson became part of Pierre) were the only pieces that contributed to the 2003 Marlins championship. The 2003 Marlins were built by good drafting, a couple of later trades (Yarnall for Lowell, a prospect trade, and Mantei for Penny), and a few smart FA signings.

Alderson could be Burnett I suppose but I don't see a Derrek Lee (who was ML-ready to boot) in what the Pirates got back. And of course if Alderson does become Burnett, there's a very good chance the Pirates are gonna be in the same spot with him circa 2014 as they were with Nate McLouth.

They've got a ton of averagish to just below looking starting pitchers and odds are some of them will break out.

No, they've got a "ton" of replacement-level 6th starters. Their #3 starter (I suspect they think of Duke as their #1) projects to an 89 ERA+ ... that's really rather awful. The chances of one of these guys putting up a 100 ERA+ is no better than the chances of them putting up a 70 or Morton putting up an 85. None of them have the sort of K-rate that you look for in a "break out" candidate. You're looking at a bunch of guys out of which you might get a couple guys who can put up a handful of 95-100 ERA+ BIP-pitcher type seasons.

This current collection of Pirate starters doesn't look appreciably different then the collection they had a few years ago -- in with Morton and Ohlendorf, out with Snell and Gorzelanny. The 2005 Pirates had Wells, Redman, Fogg (all happily sitting in the mid-80s ERA+), Dave Williams (96!), the genuine prospect Ollie Perez, Duke, Snell, Maholm, Gorzelanny and the best 81 innings of Ryan Vogelsong's career. Or look at the 2008 page Vlad linked and you've got Gorzelanny and Snell a bit above-average, Duke and Maholm just below, Bullington at about a 90 ERA+, Morris and Chacon just above that, even JvBS was projected to about an 80 ERA+. They've still got a bunch of guys who don't strike anybody out, have bad K/BB ratios and project to 5th/6th starter range.

Tabata, Milledge, Alvarez, LaRoche and Clement were all big time prospects, and I don't think it's too late for any or all of them to reach their potential.

Clement was a big-time prospect because he was a C. Folks seem to agree he can't play there anymore and so, even if he reaches his potential, he's Adam LaRoche. Anyway, yes, there's a decent chance one of these guys pays off (i.e. actually becomes an above-average player) -- I'd say there's almost no chance of all of them paying off but no biggie. Now we'll leave Alvarez aside since he was a draftee and doesn't relate to the strategy behind all these trades. So what you've got is Nady, Bay, Morgan and Wilson for hopefully one guy who falls somewhere between Nady and Bay and maybe one guy in the Morgan-Nady range. And if that does pay off, then around 2013-14 (or sooner in LaRoche's case) you'll be in the same position with that good player as you just were with McLouth. That doesn't look like any sort of substantial progress to me.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 08:44 PM (#3385241)
"whatever happened to the Pirates farm system? At least historically they had one of the best, if not the best."

All but one of the scouting directors since the Syd Thrift era have been terrible (Mickey White is the exception). Also, the team drastically cut the draft budget under Littlefield, with predictable results, and totally stopped spending on foreign prospects, with equally predictable results.

In a more historical sense, it didn't help that Howie Haak got old and retired.
   31. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: November 11, 2009 at 08:58 PM (#3385271)
SS: I, for one, believed in Lillibridge - oops.

From the little of Lillibridge I saw this year, he looked like he can handle just about any position defensively. He was easily the fastest player who saw time in a White Sox uniform this year. The problem, of course, is that he can't hit a lick. That and he looks like a 15-year old boy. I imagine he'll be carded until he's at least 40.
   32. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:13 PM (#3385289)
What do you suggest that they do?


Get guys who have a background in player development into the organization, and standardize instruction at all levels so that everyone teaches the same way. Spend some frickin' money on the minor league facilities. Establish GOOD working relationships with the affiliates so that they will support what you are trying to do.

I'm not saying that the Pirates HAVEN'T tried to do this, but the fact that (a) Hickory wanted out of the relationship and (b) Lynchburg wanted out of the relationship and (c) Altoona isn't all that happy with the relationship, although they aren't likely to ask out of it, doesn't speak well for what they have done.

-- MWE
   33. JPWF13 Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:13 PM (#3385290)
Also, I'm at a loss for how you failed to mention Jeff Francouer on the list of "young athletic OFs who stalled out immediately for some reason,"


I thought of him, but the guys I named all significantly outhit him in the minors, he's a different case imho, he wasn't that good, his initial 50-60 mLB games were flukish, after that he started matching his MLEs- only a little better.

The Delmons, Milledges's, Chris Youngs, Adam Joneses, have all failed to match their MLEs AND most have regressed from that point on.
   34. JPWF13 Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:17 PM (#3385299)
Just wanted to add that Pedro Alvarez's projection looks kind of low to me.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3385307)
"They needed to get more for Bay (I've never really been a LaRoche believer)."

Which is nice, but nobody was offering more. Tampa's best package at the deadline was Niemann and Brignac, and Florida was trying to center theirs on Jeremy Hermida. And Bay's value wasn't exactly going up...

"So, what should they have done differently? I wouldn't have traded McLouth."

OK. As the extension of this, who would you have used in the rotation instead of Morton, a.k.a. the best pitcher currently on staff?

"They pretty much gave away Snell and Gorzelanny -- neither was particularly worth holding onto but they're still 5th/6th starter quality."

Snell is due $4.25M next year, and he demoted himself to AAA in-season rather than keep pitching for the team. Hanging onto him wasn't an option. Gorzelanny was traded for a guy that ZiPS is projecting as being good for a 4.83 in the rotation next year, so if you believe the projection, that's a fifth starter for a fifth starter.
   36. RJ in TO Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3385325)
Snell is due $4.25M next year, and he demoted himself to AAA in-season rather than keep pitching for the team.


Which was a truly stunning event. I'd never heard of a player before requesting that he be demoted because he didn't want to stay on the major league squad.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3385331)
Which was a truly stunning event. I'd never heard of a player before requesting that he be demoted because he didn't want to stay on the major league squad.

Well, you could understand if it was a Met, fearing for his physical well-being.
   38. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3385332)
Didn't Khalil Greene do that because he thought he sucked so much that he was hurting the team?
   39. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:38 PM (#3385334)
Snell is due $4.25M next year, and he demoted himself to AAA in-season rather than keep pitching for the team.


I'm still of the opinion that the Pirates mishandled this situation, and that while Snell's reaction was immature that the team has only itself to blame for what happened.

-- MWE
   40. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:47 PM (#3385348)
I've long been of the opinion that a lot of folks on Primer: (1) under-rate the value of average ML players; (2) over-rate the value of top prospects; and (3) GREATLY over-rate the value of middling prospects. The Pirates will be fairly lucky if they get a player as good (and cost-controlled) as Nate McLouth out of trading away an entire lineup plus. And chances are the folks in favor of the McLouth trade will, 4-5 years from now, be saying the Pirates might as well trade this new McLouth because he's not that good and he's not gonna be part of their next good team and they might as well get 3 middling prospects for him ... in hopes that one of those prospects might turn out to be as good as the new McLouth.


If I'm following you here, and please correct me if I'm not, it's not the overrating of middling prospects that peeves you so much as conflating or ignoring the difference in value between developing your own middling prospects and acquiring them?
   41. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: November 11, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3385361)
Get guys who have a background in player development into the organization
What do they have now (I'm serious)? Are they not there, are they there but not effective, is it the people you're drafting (we've already covered the international side)?
and standardize instruction at all levels so that everyone teaches the same way.
Do they not do this?
I'm not convinced that this is a prerequisite, but do think it's a good idea to have a "Pirate Way", though you do run the risk of not developing some guys that way...
Spend some frickin' money on the minor league facilities.
Same sort of questions. Do we know that they don't? (I've been under the impression that they don't - I'm sure you know.)
Establish GOOD working relationships with the affiliates so that they will support what you are trying to do.
I *did* know about this - they've been short-sighted, no doubt.
   42. Willinho Posted: November 11, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3385452)
but the fact that (a) Hickory wanted out of the relationship and (b) Lynchburg wanted out of the relationship and (c) Altoona isn't all that happy with the relationship, although they aren't likely to ask out of it, doesn't speak well for what they have done.


Do you mind elaborating on this? As far as I'm aware, both the Hickory/WV and Lynchburg/Bradenton moves were done primarily out of convenience - Charleston is much closer to Pittsburgh than Hickory, and Bradenton shares a city with the team's largest minor league complex. And Chuck Greenberg keeps extending Altoona's contract with the Pirates, so I really am curious as to what you mean here.
   43. epoc Posted: November 12, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3385642)
I don't understand Mike and Walt's gripes. It's not like the Pirates aren't also drafting and signing young talent or putting money into amateur and international scouting. I don't know how anyone is in a position to judge, based on two years, how well or poorly the Pirates are developing the in-house talent. Maybe you have some intimate knowledge of this, Mike? If so, I'd be really interested in hearing about it.

I can understand not liking a major league team to trade away all of its decent veterans, but I don't hear a better idea for the franchise, other than "sign and develop" (not mutually exclusive with trading) and "get better players in trade" (yeah, of course, but good luck with that). McLouth is a good example. The news I hear is that he was being a baby about being asked to switch to a corner spot. What are the Pirates supposed to do about that? Or Snell being a baby about everything? I mean, you basically have to trade those guys, and what they got back in both instances seems very fair to me (if not a plus for the Pirates). You could point out that it's alarmingly curious that the Pirates tend to have more of these types of issues with players and agents than the average team (Alvarez, Sano, Hinske, McLouth, Snell), but there's really nothing beyond the circumstantial to suggest that the Pirates are systematically to blame for all that stuff.

On a related note, I don't know if people overrate prospects or what, but it seems like a lot of people have started underrating the type of player who's not a prospect but still extremely talented. So on one hand you have guys like Milledge, LaRoche, Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, B.J. Upton, etc., who are no longer prospects and have disappointed in the majors but who still have the prospect pedigree and are still very young. On the other hand, you have guys like Clement, Morton, etc. who are too old to be good prospects in the traditional sense, but who are performing well in the minors. In both cases, it seems like that type of player is underrated, and I don't mind the Pirates taking chances on that type of guy. They seem to me to be just as good as the chances on a younger prospect, except that where the upside on a younger guy might be "hall-of-famer," the upside on guys like Milledge and Clement might be "a couple of all-star seasons in his prime." I'll take that upside from a guy who's already an average-ish major leaguer (LaRoche, Morton) or close to it (Moss, Clement, Milledge).
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 12, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3385666)
and standardize instruction at all levels so that everyone teaches the same way.
Do they not do this?

I'm not convinced that this is a prerequisite, but do think it's a good idea to have a "Pirate Way", though you do run the risk of not developing some guys that way...


As seen in this story, there were serious rebellions at the minor-league level because Huntington's new "pitching coordinator" Troy Buckley and "director of player development" Kyle Stark were making the seemingly unprecedented move of trying to standardize instruction at all levels so that everyone taught the same way.

Apparently the trouble came when old-school coaches were offended because seemingly unqualified young guys were brought in to the individual teams to make sure the new policies got implemented.

But I guess no matter what the Pirates will do they will be criticized for not doing the opposite, until they win major-league games.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: November 12, 2009 at 08:34 AM (#3385870)
I can understand not liking a major league team to trade away all of its decent veterans

It's not trading away decent veterans, it's trading away an entire starting lineup and half an entire roster in 18 months without receiving tons in return, without seriously upgrading your chances of winning 3-5 years from now.

Do folks here realize that, from July 1 on, the Pirates were 26-58? They were outscored by 1.6 runs a game. Their 2nd half line (for convenience) was 241/309/376 ... and 288/352/464 on the other side. They are currently as bad or worse than the Nationals ... and I don't think the Pirates have anyone as good as Ryan Z, Strasburg or, if he gets healthy, Jordan Z (not to mention the fun Adam Dunn).

McLouth is a good example. The news I hear is that he was being a baby about being asked to switch to a corner spot. What are the Pirates supposed to do about that?

Write his name in the lineup in LF or RF. He'll get used to it.

So on one hand you have guys like Milledge, LaRoche, Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, B.J. Upton, etc., who are no longer prospects and have disappointed in the majors but who still have the prospect pedigree and are still very young.

But Milledge and LaRoche aren't "very young" anymore. LaRoche is 26, Milledge is 25. The "breakout" window is pretty much closed.

On the other hand, you have guys like Clement, Morton, etc. who are too old to be good prospects in the traditional sense, but who are performing well in the minors.

Clement's career minor-league OPS is 865, 860 in over 1600 AAA PAs. Morton has had a good 150 IP over the last 2 minor-league seasons but his career minor-league WHIP is 1.49 and his ERA is 4.29. None of those are really "good" performances.

I'll take that upside from a guy who's already an average-ish major leaguer (LaRoche, Morton) or close to it (Moss, Clement, Milledge).

I don't see any more upside for LaRoche -- league average is as good as he's gonna get. Pitchers are weird so I won't write off Morton. If the projection is correct, then Clement is roughly a league-average 1B. But Moss and Milledge aren't close to average, they're both 20-25 points of OPS+ short of average for their positions -- that's a lot.

I just don't know what to say. This is possibly the worst team in the majors right now, they don't have a crop of near-ML-ready prospects and, near as I can tell, aren't stocked with heaps of young talent that would give you hope that things will be substantially better 4-5 years from now. At best they traded away a dozen or so wins over 2009-10 for a dozen or so wins over 2011-2012. I just don't see that as an important shift. In the long run, it doesn't matter one way or the other -- which means I don't see why this should be considered a good strategy.
   46. epoc Posted: November 12, 2009 at 02:06 PM (#3385904)
Right, Walt, but so what to do instead then, though? Which is where your criticism hits a dead end. The benefit of making these trades is to put that extra dozen or so wins in place for the future, when a re-vamped system will hopefully begin producing a few elite talents and when the lack of financial commitments will make adding the extra FA pieces feasible. Seems like a fine plan to me. And I think we're talking past one another on the underrated old youngsters thing.
   47. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 12, 2009 at 06:26 PM (#3386143)
A more reasonably likely explanation for Huntington's purge is that ownership isn't giving him a dime more than his predecessors had. If Huntington wants to implement his ideas about being active internationally and drafting top talent then that cash has to come from somewhere. Its not as if revenues can fall much more than they have if the major league product suffers for it in the short term.
   48. Spahn Insane Posted: November 12, 2009 at 06:53 PM (#3386166)
legit shot at being part of the "next good Pirates team"?

This prompted me to look at the '93 Pirate roster, to see who among them we might have thought could be part of the "next good Pirates team," without knowing that that "good team" would be still be unforeseeable 17 years later. Hm...Midre Cummings?

EDIT: I take that back...one might've guessed Al Martin (118 OPS+, age 25) and Jay Bell (124 OPS+, age 27). Man, the Pirates have sucked for a long time--the last time they were any good was before Al Martin's career "peak."
   49. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 12, 2009 at 07:08 PM (#3386182)
"But Moss and Milledge aren't close to average, they're both 20-25 points of OPS+ short of average for their positions -- that's a lot."

Both have also been well-above-average defenders for the Pirates, which helps.
   50. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: November 18, 2009 at 09:33 AM (#3390240)
This is possibly the worst team in the majors right now

Go look at the ZiPS projections for the Royals when you have a chance.
   51. Cecil Fielder's Gut Posted: November 19, 2009 at 06:44 AM (#3390932)
Ohlendorf's projections seem a little on the low side to me. Towards the end of last season he really started to put it together. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with his arm slot, which led to a drop in ERA of like 1.50 points.
Anyone else think he might be pretty good next season?
   52. Zoppity Zoop Posted: November 19, 2009 at 09:15 PM (#3391561)
Dan, do you know how to get in contact with the jewelry maker that sponsored your projections? I might need a custom trinket made at some point. Why is a jewelry maker sponsoring baseball projections anyway?
   53. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 19, 2009 at 09:31 PM (#3391592)
Why is a jewelry maker sponsoring baseball projections anyway?

Baseball fans are typically white males with discretionary income. White males with discretionary income also frequently have girlfriends and wives.

So support my sponsors or I'll find out what team you root for and make their projections suck! Royal fans, click on the ad anyway.
   54. LB813 Posted: November 20, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3392569)
When are more projections coming out Dan? Its been over a week since the Pirates.
   55. josehamiton1032 Posted: November 20, 2009 at 08:53 PM (#3392785)
McCutchen will have another good year but i think that he will hit more around .290
   56. Runscreated Posted: January 22, 2010 at 12:23 AM (#3443564)
Still think Milledge has a chance to break out. He did have a hand injury last year. He also struggled when the Nats put him at top of the order and messed with his approach at the plate. Discipline at the plate will probably always be an issue. Power should increase as hand will be fully healed. I say 25 HRs- .280, 340. .480
   57. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 09, 2010 at 06:01 AM (#3456613)
I suppose I can wait until the upcoming full release - but what say you about Brandon Jones, Dan? (Traded b/w the Pirates and Braves efforts.)
   58. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 09, 2010 at 06:55 AM (#3456632)
Till it's time for his coming out, Missed Brandon Jones
Round and round and round
   59. Zoppity Zoop Posted: February 09, 2010 at 07:00 AM (#3456636)
Most of us love you Zim, but that's a real groaner.

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