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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, December 13, 2010

2011 ZiPS Projections - Atlanta Braves

The Braves were one of ZiPS’s favorites going into the 2010 season and unlike a certain other team *COUGHMARINERCOUGH* the Braves didn’t let my old computer down and won 91 games.

Now, the Braves pitching staff wasn’t as exciting as the 90s staffs (praising with faint damnation), but they still finished 3rd in the league in ERA thanks to Billy Wagner and the Pips and Hudson’s fine full-season return.  ZiPS is a bit skeptical at some of the hard-throwing relievers thanks to some troublesome walk rates, but the team has suitable depth to be able to absorb a Nasty Surprise or two.

ZiPS likes Jason Heyward.

Next up:  Astros

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Batting Projections

Player            B    PO  Age    BA  OBP  SLG   G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO  SB  CS OPS+
Jason Heyward     L    RF  21   .281 .393 .490 153 555  93 156  32   6  24  86  95 123  13   5  136
Brian McCann      L    C   27   .275 .357 .469 151 524  65 144  34   1  22  89  63  91   5   1  120
Dan Uggla         R    2B  31   .259 .346 .469 150 559  88 145  28   1  29  87  71 144   4   2  116
Chipper Jones     B    3B  39   .258 .370 .416 100 341  50  88  19   1  11  48  63  58   4   0  111
Martin Prado      R    2B  27   .294 .342 .442 137 520  79 153  35   3  12  60  38  67   4   3  109
Nate McLouth      L    CF  29   .247 .339 .425 129 445  71 110  24   2  17  60  55  87  18   3  104
Derrek Lee        R    1B  35   .262 .343 .432 135 516  74 135  29   1  19  78  64 113   3   2  107
Freddie Freeman   L    1B  21   .272 .333 .442 156 545  76 148  35   2  18  85  45 105   5   4  106
Eric Hinske       L    LF  33   .239 .329 .424 111 255  36  61  15   1  10  40  32  67   3   1  101
Troy Glaus        R    1B  34   .241 .342 .406 103 345  44  83  15   0  14  59  52  83   0   0  100
David Ross        R    C   34   .241 .349 .404  60 141  17  34   9   1   4  24  23  40   0   1  102
Rick Ankiel       L    CF  31   .242 .303 .439 111 360  48  87  19   2  16  45  30 102   4   2   97
Alex Gonzalez     R    SS  34   .253 .295 .414 129 474  56 120  30   2  14  61  24  86   1   2   88
Joe Mather        R    RF  28   .240 .306 .390 109 359  48  86  18   3  10  44  30  78   7   3   86
Brooks Conrad     B    3B  31   .226 .295 .395 121 349  53  79  19   2  12  54  32 100   7   1   84
Matt Young        L    LF  28   .246 .326 .346 131 491  71 121  23   7   4  34  52  71  25   9   81
Brent Clevlen     R    RF  27   .233 .297 .380 105 382  43  89  15   4  11  51  33 128   5   1   80
Wilkin Ramirez    R    CF  25   .227 .283 .385 141 525  64 119  18   7  17  58  38 193  24  10   77
Josh Anderson     L    CF  28   .250 .288 .322 108 348  49  87  13   3   2  22  16  56  23   5   64
Tyler Pastornicky R    SS  21   .245 .302 .331 155 595  79 146  23   5   6  48  48 106  39  17   70
Joseph Thurston   L    2B  31   .248 .298 .351 128 424  45 105  17   3   7  46  27  70   7   6   74
Diory Hernandez   R    SS  27   .257 .296 .357  99 339  33  87  16   3   4  39  16  61   7   7   75
Christian Colonel R    3B  29   .243 .299 .342 104 345  39  84  15   2   5  43  26  65   3   3   72
Orlando Mercado   R    C   26   .244 .324 .301  93 299  31  73  11   0   2  31  35  46   1   1   70
Mauro Gomez       R    1B  26   .228 .272 .362 129 508  49 116  27   1  13  60  26 164   1   1   69
Brandon Hicks     R    SS  25   .205 .275 .341 116 396  49  81  18   3  10  35  34 137  11   4   65
Eric Duncan       L    2B  26   .227 .274 .345 123 449  46 102  20   3   9  49  28 118   4   3   65
Luis Bolivar      R    SS  30   .219 .262 .326 112 365  47  80  13   4   6  33  17  97  15   4   57
Jordan Schafer    L    CF  24   .211 .285 .329  89 322  36  68  14   3   6  24  33  98  10   8   65
J. C. Boscan      R    C   31   .215 .278 .284  76 261  20  56  12   0   2  22  21  64   1   0   52
Clint Sammons     R    C   28   .199 .258 .284  93 317  27  63  12   0   5  28  24  77   4   2   46

Defensive Projections

Player                 CTHr    1B      2B      3B      SS      LF      CF      RF
Jason Heyward                                                        FR/127  EX/164
Brian McCann             AV
Dan Uggla                            FR/129
Chipper Jones                                AV/112
Martin Prado                 VG/113   AV/95   AV/87  PO/120  AV/113
Nate McLouth                                                  AV/45   FR/63
Derrek Lee                    AV/99
Freddie Freeman              AV/141
Eric Hinske                  AV/113          FR/108          AV/109          AV/109
Troy Glaus                   FR/136           FR/70
David Ross               AV
Rick Ankiel                                                  AV/145  FR/215  FR/127
Alex Gonzalez                                         AV/85
Joe Mather                   FR/109          PO/122          AV/105  PO/157  FR/131
Brooks Conrad                AV/129  FR/151  FR/128  FR/139  FR/106
Matt Young                           PO/131                   VG/54   AV/79   VG/54
Brent Clevlen                                                VG/168  FR/106  VG/168
Wilkin Ramirez                                               AV/220  FR/112  AV/148
Josh Anderson                                                VG/115  AV/145  AV/112
Tyler Pastornicky                    VG/144          VG/144
Joey Jo-Jo Thurston                  AV/123  FR/130  PO/131  AV/100          AV/108
Diory Hernandez                      AV/135  VG/125  FR/122
Christian Colonel            AV/124  PO/113  PO/177          FR/105          AV/128
Orlando Mercado          VG  FR/126
Mauro Gomez                  FR/161          PO/125
Brandon Hicks                                        AV/157
Eric Duncan                  PO/114  PO/127  PO/142          FR/124          PO/113
Luis Bolivar                 VG/149  AV/129  PO/147  AV/204  AV/110          AV/108
Jordan Schafer                                               VG/107   AV/54  VG/112
J. C. Boscan             AV
Clint Sammons            AV                  PO/124

Pitching Projections - Starters

Player            T     Age   ERA      W    L    G   GS     IP    H   ER   HR   BB    K ERA+
Tommy Hanson      R     24    3.10    15    7   34   34  203.0  175   70   16   62  192  130
Tim Hudson        R     35    3.70    10    7   24   24  148.3  142   61   13   49   92  109
Jair Jurrjens     R     25    3.82    12    9   30   30  176.7  172   75   15   62  135  106
Julio Teheran     R     20    4.12    10    8   25   25  137.7  129   63   15   61  121   98
LEAGUE AVERAGE—————————————————————————————————————96
Mike Minor        L     23    4.33     9    9   29   29  158.0  147   76   19   74  162   93
Derek Lowe        R     38    4.39    13   13   32   32  184.3  197   90   17   62  118   92
Arodys Vizcaino   R     20    4.73     3    3   11   11   40.0   40   21    4   22   33   86
Kenshin Kawakami  R     36    4.74     6    8   25   21  119.7  127   63   15   44   81   85
Brett Oberholtzer L     21    4.81     7    8   27   23  134.7  156   72   14   37   87   84
Randall Delgado   R     21    4.89     8   10   28   28  140.0  144   76   16   76  112   83
J. J. Hoover      R     23    4.98     8   11   29   26  142.7  157   79   16   61  105   81
Scott Diamond     L     24    5.02     7    9   27   27  147.0  171   82   12   68   91   81
James Parr        R     25    5.30     4    5   17   13   73.0   81   43   11   30   49   76
Todd Redmond      R     26    5.46     7   11   28   27  153.3  171   93   28   54  106   74
Jose Ortegano     L     23    5.50     7   12   30   26  126.0  146   77   17   58   79   74
Erik Cordier      R     25    5.84     6   13   28   25  126.3  141   82   13  100   80   69

Pitching Statistics - Relievers

Player            T     Age   ERA      W    L    G   GS     IP    H   ER   HR   BB    K ERA+
Billy Wagner      L     39    2.38     4    1   48    0   45.3   32   12    4   16   62  170
Takashi Saito     R     41    3.08     4    2   50    0   49.7   41   17    4   18   56  131
Craig Kimbrel     R     23    3.53     5    3   59    0   63.7   43   25    5   54   92  115
Kyle Farnsworth   R     35    3.64     3    2   53    0   54.3   49   22    6   19   57  111
Jonny Venters     L     26    3.66     5    3   81    0   83.7   75   34    6   44   78  111
Eric O’Flaherty   L     26    3.66     3    2   68    0   51.7   48   21    4   19   43  111
Kris Medlen       R     25    3.74     7    5   38   12  113.0  108   47   11   32   99  108
LEAGUE AVERAGE————————————————————————————————————- 108
Peter Moylan      R     32    3.88     4    3   66    0   51.0   47   22    4   27   43  104
Brandon Beachy    R     24    3.91     4    3   35   11   99.0   98   43    8   33   86  104
George Sherrill   L     34    4.04     2    2   62    0   49.0   46   22    4   23   42  100
Scott Linebrink   R     34    4.05     3    3   51    0   53.3   52   24    7   16   49  100
Cristhian MartinezR     29    4.19     3    3   52    1   73.0   78   34    7   19   47   97
Stephen Marek     R     27    4.72     4    5   54    0   55.3   54   29    6   34   48   86
Mariano Gomez     L     28    4.76     4    4   43    0   56.7   60   30    5   29   31   85
Cory Gearrin      R     25    4.88     3    4   49    0   62.7   63   34    8   35   51   83
Lee Hyde          L     26    4.93     4    5   43    0   49.3   52   27    5   26   36   82
Vladimir Nunez    R     36    4.95     2    2   40    1   63.7   67   35    6   37   49   82
Scott Proctor     R     34    5.02     3    4   50    0   52.0   55   29    7   27   42   81
Juan Abreu        R     26    6.30     2    5   41    0   50.0   52   35    9   45   45   64

Extrapolated Career Statistics

Player                BA   OBP   SLG     G    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    BB    SO    SB  OPS+
Jason Heyward       .275  .395  .477  2750  9876  1654  2716   548    94   420  1489  1838  1953   217   134
Chipper Jones       .300  .400  .522  2540  9114  1637  2735   547    40   465  1623  1563  1431   157   138
Brian McCann        .268  .344  .443  2394  8342   954  2239   520    11   305  1320   893  1252    68   109
Derrek Lee          .276  .358  .478  2290  8324  1262  2298   510    32   370  1271  1028  1868   111   117
Troy Glaus          .252  .354  .474  1822  6378  1004  1605   335    10   355  1105   984  1588    56   115
Martin Prado        .286  .334  .425  1764  6559   941  1876   423    34   141   730   470   783    44   102

Player               W    L    S     ERA    G   GS       IP    H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA+
Tim Hudson         206  124    0    3.63  456  453     2944 2833 1186  248  930 1928    120
Derek Lowe         185  164   85    4.00  679  402     2779 2855 1235  232  825 1789    111
Jair Jurrjens      152  115    0    3.80  384  385     2290 2207  966  209  821 1772    108

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Player            PO     EX   VG   AV   FR   PO             COMP 1             COMP 2             COMP 3
Jason Heyward     RF    60%  26%   8%   4%   1%    Johnny Callison        Ken Griffey        Buddy Lewis
Brian McCann      C     62%  27%   8%   3%   0%     Johnny Edwards       Dave Nilsson       Bill Freehan
Dan Uggla         2B    55%  18%  12%   9%   5%          Ron Santo         Troy Glaus        Dean Palmer
Chipper Jones     3B    25%  29%  23%  16%   7%        Bobby Grich       Dick Bartell       Ken Caminiti
Martin Prado      2B    40%  22%  17%  14%   7%      Davey Johnson         Jose Vidro         Buddy Bell
Nate McLouth      CF    31%  26%  26%  14%   4%       Jon Nunnally        Ricky Ledee          Mike Hart
Derrek Lee        1B     5%  17%  20%  32%  26%          Ron Santo       Kevin Millar       Fred McGriff
Freddie Freeman   1B     5%  17%  18%  30%  30%          Adam Lind           Joe DeSa       Ed Kranepool
Eric Hinske       LF     5%  15%  19%  27%  34%         Adam Hyzdu         Mike Hegan       Len Matuszek
Troy Glaus        1B     2%  10%  16%  36%  35%      Cecil Fielder         Bob Brenly         Adam Hyzdu
David Ross        C     22%  32%  23%  17%   7%        Jim Leyritz         Tom Wilson        Don Slaught
Rick Ankiel       CF     7%  13%  27%  31%  22%  John-Ford Griffin       Jerry Martin        Dustan Mohr
Alex Gonzalez     SS     8%  13%  24%  30%  25%         Pete Suder        Pedro Feliz        Chris Truby
Joe Mather        RF     0%   3%   6%  15%  75%      Darren Burton      Caleb Stewart           Ted Wood
Brooks Conrad     3B     2%   6%  12%  25%  56%    Scott Stahoviak       Tom Brookens       Steve Kiefer
Matt Young        LF     0%   2%   4%  11%  83%       Aaron Fuller     Terry Bradshaw       Dave Roberts
Brent Clevlen     RF     0%   1%   3%   9%  88%         Jed Hansen         Wil Culmer       Chris Aguila
Wilkin Ramirez    CF     1%   4%  12%  26%  57%        John Denman Reggie Abercrombie      Luis Saturria
Josh Anderson     CF     0%   2%   8%  21%  69%       Lou Thornton      Terry Blocker         Norm Brock
Tyler Pastornicky SS     3%   5%  12%  21%  59%          Mike Mesh      Juan Gonzalez    Jason Bourgeois
Joseph Thurston   2B     1%   2%   4%  12%  82%      Tommy Shields       Tom Runnells        Andy Sheets
Diory Hernandez   SS     1%   2%   7%  19%  70%   Johnnie LeMaster         Pat Meares      Kent Anderson
Christian Colonel 3B     0%   1%   2%   7%  90%        Juan Castro         Nick Ortiz       Leo Durocher
Orlando Mercado   C      0%   1%   4%  19%  77%         Greg Olson        Matt Tupman  Nelson Santovenia
Mauro Gomez       1B     0%   0%   0%   2%  98%     James Rothford        Chad Santos         Chris Cron
Brandon Hicks     SS     2%   3%   7%  15%  74%         Ryan Owens   Kelly Dransfeldt          Jake Wald
Eric Duncan       2B     0%   1%   2%   4%  93%          Jim Mason    Carlos Casimiro    Ryan Barthelemy
Luis Bolivar      SS     2%   1%   4%  10%  83%          Jake Wald     Brandon Chaves       Tommy Murphy
J. C. Boscan      C      0%   0%   1%   3%  95%       Chad Moeller       Chris Tremie     Charlie Greene
Clint Sammons     C      0%   1%   1%   2%  97%          Mike Ryan        Chris Curry        Joe Hietpas

Player            PO     TOP   MID   BOT              Comp1              Comp2              Comp3
Billy Wagner      RP     87%   11%    1%         Tug McGraw     Mike Remlinger        John Franco
Takashi Saito     RP     60%   34%    6%      Satchel Paige     Larry Andersen       Hoyt Wilhelm
Tommy Hanson      SP     90%   10%    0%       Don Drysdale     Kevin Millwood         Roy Oswalt
Craig Kimbrel     RP     36%   52%   13%       Mark Littell         Mario Soto      Jose Valverde
Kyle Farnsworth   RP     30%   47%   23%       Todd Worrell       Billy Taylor       Enrique Romo
Jonny Venters     RP     29%   54%   17%       Shane Rawley      Darren Oliver     Mitch Williams
Eric O’Flaherty   RP     34%   48%   18%        Dave Leiper      Scott Stewart          Tom Thobe
Tim Hudson        SP     48%   45%    7%        Mike Morgan      Mark Portugal         Vic Raschi
Kris Medlen       RP     24%   62%   14%        Chris Bosio      Pedro Astacio    Vicente Padilla
Jair Jurrjens     SP     45%   49%    6%        Storm Davis Jason Isringhausen          Jay Tibbs
Peter Moylan      RP     22%   48%   30%        Cory Bailey       Jose Alvarez Heathcliff Slocumb
Brandon Beachy    RP     15%   59%   26%      Jeff Robinson       Ron Robinson       Steve Karsay
George Sherrill   RP     19%   47%   34%        Kevin Tolar      Trever Miller       Greg Cadaret
Scott Linebrink   RP     21%   46%   33%   Randy St. Claire       Jeff Reardon      Mike Trombley
Julio Teheran     SP     27%   56%   17%         Jeff Juden      Mike Bielecki        John Smoltz
Cristhian MartinezRP     10%   41%   48%        Tony Arnold         Don Gordon           Jeff Tam
Mike Minor        SP     14%   56%   29%         Mark Davis        Scott Olsen      Arthur Rhodes
Derek Lowe        SP     12%   47%   40%       Steve Sparks        Mike Morgan     Rick Sutcliffe
Stephen Marek     RP      4%   33%   64%         Bob Gibson          Pat Flury        Kevin Barry
Arodys Vizcaino   SP     18%   33%   50%     Donnie Elliott        Matt Albers     Frank Williams
Kenshin Kawakami  SP      5%   42%   54%        Doug Drabek       Steve Parris       Rick Helling
Mariano Gomez     RP      6%   26%   68%   Chris Cumberland         Jim Brewer          Bob Smith
Brett Oberholtzer SP      6%   39%   55%   Bobby Livingston   Derek Lilliquist        Brad Halsey
Cory Gearrin      RP      2%   23%   74%         Mike Shade   Santiago Ramirez       Joe Borowski
Randall Delgado   SP      3%   31%   66%     Joaquin BenoitJohn Van Benschoten      Mike Bielecki
Lee Hyde          RP      3%   24%   73%    Anthony Ferrari           Sal Urso         Jeff Yoder
Vladimir Nunez    RP      3%   22%   75%          Ben Weber         Jim Brower           Don Aase
J. J. Hoover      SP      2%   33%   65%        Colby Lewis          Josh Hall       Ron Romanick
Scott Proctor     RP      3%   17%   80%          David Lee      Jim Dougherty         Jim Brower
Scott Diamond     SP      1%   27%   72%       Jake Chapman        Mike Miller     Derek Thompson
James Parr        SP      2%   21%   77%       Mike Wilkins      Joe Slusarski       Shane Bowers
Todd Redmond      SP      0%    9%   91%      Mark DiFelice       Brian Cooper        Mike Oquist
Jose Ortegano     SP      0%    9%   91%          Andy Beal      Mike Hinckley       Chris Seddon
Erik Cordier      SP      0%    3%   97%        Edwin Morel     Bill Mooneyham       Nate Puryear
Juan Abreu        RP      0%    2%   98%      Orlando Roman         Todd Bussa     Vinicio Cedeno

Player              .300 BA  .375 OBP  .500 SLG   45+ 2B  10+ 3B   30+ HR  140 OPS+  30+ SB
Jason Heyward           23%      70%      38%       7%      15%      22%      38%       4%
Brian McCann            15%      23%      22%       8%       0%      13%      13%       0%
Dan Uggla                6%      15%      23%       2%       0%      42%      11%       0%
Chipper Jones            8%      42%       6%       0%       0%       0%       8%       0%
Martin Prado            40%      10%       7%      11%       2%       1%       3%       0%
Nate McLouth             1%       9%       4%       0%       0%       2%       2%       6%
Derrek Lee               7%      14%       7%       1%       0%       5%       4%       0%
Freddie Freeman         11%       6%      11%      13%       1%       8%       4%       0%
Eric Hinske              2%       8%       6%       0%       0%       0%       2%       0%
Troy Glaus               2%      14%       3%       0%       0%       0%       2%       0%
David Ross               7%      25%       7%       0%       0%       0%       3%       0%
Rick Ankiel              1%       1%       5%       0%       0%       1%       1%       0%
Alex Gonzalez            3%       0%       3%       2%       1%       1%       0%       0%
Joe Mather               1%       1%       1%       0%       1%       0%       0%       0%
Brooks Conrad            0%       1%       1%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%
Matt Young               1%       2%       0%       0%      19%       0%       0%      21%
Brent Clevlen            0%       0%       0%       0%       2%       0%       0%       0%
Wilkin Ramirez           0%       0%       1%       0%      25%       3%       0%      20%
Josh Anderson            3%       0%       0%       0%       1%       0%       0%      16%
Tyler Pastornicky        1%       0%       0%       0%       9%       0%       0%      69%
Joseph Thurston          2%       0%       0%       0%       2%       0%       0%       0%
Diory Hernandez          5%       0%       0%       0%       1%       0%       0%       1%
Christian Colonel        2%       1%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%
Orlando Mercado          2%       5%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%
Mauro Gomez              0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%
Brandon Hicks            0%       0%       0%       0%       1%       0%       0%       1%
Eric Duncan              0%       0%       0%       0%       1%       0%       0%       0%
Luis Bolivar             0%       0%       1%       0%       3%       0%       0%       0%
Jordan Schafer           0%       0%       1%       0%       1%       0%       0%       1%
J. C. Boscan             0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%
Clint Sammons            0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%       0%

Player               ERA+>130   ERA+>100     K/9 >8    BB/9 <2    HR/9 <1
Billy Wagner              81%        98%        99%        10%        80%
Takashi Saito             60%        91%        93%         8%        85%
Tommy Hanson              52%        98%        68%         4%        93%
Craig Kimbrel             36%        78%       100%         0%        84%
Kyle Farnsworth           23%        71%        89%         6%        61%
Jonny Venters             23%        73%        61%         0%        93%
Eric O'Flaherty           26%        76%        26%         4%        88%
Tim Hudson                16%        75%         0%         4%        79%
Kris Medlen               20%        79%        41%        14%        77%
Jair Jurrjens             11%        71%         7%         2%        88%
Peter Moylan              16%        63%        35%         0%        88%
Brandon Beachy            12%        64%        40%         4%        87%
George Sherrill           13%        58%        41%         0%        73%
Scott Linebrink           15%        59%        59%        18%        51%
Julio Teheran              4%        53%        42%         0%        59%
Cristhian Martinez         8%        39%         2%        29%        70%
Mike Minor                 1%        37%        89%         0%        45%
Derek Lowe                 3%        28%         4%         4%        73%
Stephen Marek              4%        29%        37%         0%        66%
Arodys Vizcaino            5%        33%        29%         0%        62%
Kenshin Kawakami           1%        17%         1%         1%        39%
Mariano Gomez              4%        26%         3%         1%        77%
Brett Oberholtzer          2%        16%         1%        18%        66%
Cory Gearrin               1%        20%        21%         0%        52%
Randall Delgado            0%        10%        14%         0%        55%
Lee Hyde                   3%        21%         7%         0%        56%
Vladimir Nunez             3%        17%        14%         0%        67%
J. J. Hoover               0%         9%         3%         0%        54%
Scott Proctor              3%        15%        25%         0%        43%
Scott Diamond              0%         6%         1%         0%        87%
James Parr                 0%         8%         1%         1%        25%
Todd Redmond               0%         1%         1%         0%         3%
Jose Ortegano              0%         1%         0%         0%        35%
Erik Cordier               0%         0%         0%         0%        66%
Juan Abreu                 0%         1%        50%         0%        24%

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 2011.  
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 4.29 ERA and the NL having a 4.14 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 2007-2010.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on.
2011 Projections Archive
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Diego Padres
Oakland A’s
Texas Rangers
Florida Marlins
Arizona Diamondbacks
Cleveland Indians
Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers
Baltimore Orioles
Colorado Rockies

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 13, 2010 at 03:52 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 13, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3709433)
ZiPS likes Teheran too, it appears.
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 13, 2010 at 04:46 PM (#3709443)
Is the #2 comp for Heyward Griffey Sr or Griffey Jr?

-- MWE
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 13, 2010 at 04:57 PM (#3709453)
That would be Jr.
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 13, 2010 at 05:07 PM (#3709462)
Takashi Saito has the awesomest comps ever.
   5. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 13, 2010 at 05:08 PM (#3709464)
While Callison's BBREF page shows him as having more patience than I remember (not saying much), and while Callison did walk at a decent rate his 1st couple of years. I'm not seeing it, the two men seem to have had fundamentally different approaches to swinging the bat (or not swinging it)
   6. Ron Johnson Posted: December 13, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3709474)
#5 The problem is that there just aren't a lot of comps to choose from for Heyward. You're going to end up with imperfect comps.
   7. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 13, 2010 at 05:27 PM (#3709479)
just FYI, i think your age for brandon beachey is off by 3 years.
   8. Frisco Cali Posted: December 13, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3709481)
Roy Oswalt is on both Josh Johnsons and Tommy Hansons comp list. Wonder who ZIPS likes best over their careers.
   9. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 13, 2010 at 05:42 PM (#3709494)
7: No, that's right; Beachy will be 24 next year.

ZiPS really seems to like young Braves. Hanson and Heyward both at 130+, and three prospects (Freeman, Teheran, and Minor) ready to step in and be league average players.
   10. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 13, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3709518)
Brooks Conrad is a "Fair" at 2b?

Your damn computers can't measure heart...or fear!

The Braves have quietly built one helluva deep team. It's the Minnesota Twins model--a superstar catcher, no offensive black holes anywhere else (even if several starters get injured), and a pitching staff built on pitching to contact. I like it.

Also: Where is (or did) Ankiel going this offseason? Is he staying in Atlanta?
   11. flournoy Posted: December 13, 2010 at 06:19 PM (#3709525)
Craig Kimbrel: 100% chance of K/9 > 8, 0% chance of BB/9 < 2. Sounds right.
   12. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: December 13, 2010 at 06:34 PM (#3709536)
I'd be ecstatic if McLouth and Freeman hit those projections.

As long as Heyward and McCann don't go down they're a playoff team.
   13. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 13, 2010 at 06:35 PM (#3709538)
Ankiel is already released, so he's not in Atlanta for 2011.

Heyward will slug well over .500 next year.
   14. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: December 13, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3709542)
Heyward you go?
   15. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: December 13, 2010 at 06:42 PM (#3709543)
It never works this way because of injuries/ineffectiveness, but there will be some interesting decisions for Wren to make come July if Teheran/Delgado are knocking on the door and Medlen is just about back from TJS.

My prediction: Medlen goes to the pen when healthy. Beachy is a swingman. Minor or Jurrjens gets traded. Teheran is in the rotation by August 1. Delgado is AAA and challenges for a rotation spot in 2012.
   16. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 13, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3709558)
My prediction: Medlen goes to the pen when healthy. Beachy is a swingman. Minor or Jurrjens gets traded. Teheran is in the rotation by August 1. Delgado is AAA and challenges for a rotation spot in 2012.


Medlen returns as swingman. Beachy goes to Pittsburgh in return for Matt Diaz, who helps replace Chipper's missed games down the stretch. Teheran takes Derek Lowe's spot after he's traded to the Yankees.
   17. John DiFool2 Posted: December 13, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3709577)
Heyward's career projections seem low, at least in the sense that he doesn't improve much on his OPS+ from here on out, which doesn't seem right.

Ankiel is already released, so he's not in Atlanta for 2011.


Wonder if he'll entertain the option to switch back to the mound? Otherwise his career is over I'd think.
   18. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: December 13, 2010 at 07:35 PM (#3709588)
Isn't it more or less accepted that a lot of really elite young talent springs into the majors fully formed? I mean, I guess maybe Heyward should have done better this year to fit the A-Rod/Johnny Mize mold, but this is a theory I've heard quite a bit.
   19. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 13, 2010 at 07:35 PM (#3709589)
Wonder if he'll entertain the option to switch back to the mound? Otherwise his career is over I'd think.


I suspect he'll catch on as a LH pinch hitter, pinch runner and defensive CF somewhere. He has limited range, but his arm is phenomenal out there.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 13, 2010 at 07:40 PM (#3709592)
Heyward's career projections seem low, at least in the sense that he doesn't improve much on his OPS+ from here on out, which doesn't seem right.
The career projection has Heyward playing into his 40s, so there's a lot of decline period in there. At his peak, then, Heyward projects to be quite a bit better than he is right now.

Here are players with career OPS+ between 130 and 140, PA between 10000 and 13000:

Gary Sheffield
Reggie Jackson
Ken Griffey Jr
George Brett
Fred McGriff
Al Kaline
Paul Waner
Billy Williams
Rafael Palmeiro
Tony Gwynn
Joe Morgan
Rod Carew
Wade Boggs
Dave Winfield
Roberto Clemente

Hard to say that the projection seems low, if those are his final career comps.

(I am of the belief that Heyward will be significantly better than that, but I can't expect a projection system to see Heyward's once-in-a-decade talent with any sort of precision.)
   21. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 13, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3709613)
Wonder if he'll entertain the option to switch back to the mound? Otherwise his career is over I'd think.

Even though he's already been a Royal, he wasn't an ex-Brave then.
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 13, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3709621)
ZiPS has Heyward peaking with an OPS+ in the upper 150s and then in the 130s and declining through his 30s.
   23. Travolta19 Posted: December 13, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3709645)
(I am of the belief that Heyward will be significantly better than that, but I can't expect a projection system to see Heyward's once-in-a-decade talent with any sort of precision.)


So Heyward will basically be one of the best 5 players ever? Hard to get significantly better than any of these guys. So, I'll take the under on that statement.
   24. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 13, 2010 at 09:32 PM (#3709683)
How does Troy Glaus have both Cecil Fielder and Bob Brenly as comps? It's like Arnold Schwarznegger and Danny DeVito being twins.
   25. Sam M. Posted: December 13, 2010 at 09:39 PM (#3709693)
I can't expect a projection system to see Heyward's once-in-a-decade talent with any sort of precision.

Hey, the ROY voters didn't. Why should ZiPS?

The story of the Braves in 2010 and 2011, really, is the entrance of Heyward and the exit of Chipper. I'm trying to think of the last time a franchise had a similar passing of the torch from one HOF franchise player to the guy it hopes will be the next, and who gives every indication he might just pick right up at the last guy's peak.

If you look at the most recent guys who have retired and been inducted into the HOF (not the Jim Rice types who had a long wait), you don't see guys who left teams with young superstar talents just starting out:

2009: Rickey Henderson - didn't retire from one team where he'd had a long tenure, so not really the guy who's gonna hand over a legacy.
2007: Tony Gwynn - retired from San Diego in 2001. The HOF talent on that team other than Gwynn was 33 year old Trevor Hoffman. Nope.
2007: Cal Ripken - Baltimore in 2001? They did have a 21-year old named Tim Raines. Wrong one.
2005: Wade Boggs - retired from the Rays in 1999, with no Chipper-like legacy there.
2005: Ryne Sandberg - finished his second spin with the Cubs in 1997. No Jason Heywards on that roster.

Anyway, I won't just keep naming guys. My choice for the last Chipper/Heyward situation? You could make an argument for Reggie Jackson, retiring from the A's in 1987 -- although that's kind of a cheat, since his legacy with the A's had really been built many years before, and not during that one-year swan song. But that team did have McGuire and Canseco as up-and-coming Bash Brothers, and that's a definite pass-the-torch kind of moment.

For a guy finishing his whole, HOF career with one team, with another HOFer just waiting in the wings? The last such case I can find is Yaz's last two years (1982-83), which were also Wade Bogg's first two years with the Red Sox. If Heyward is better than that, as he sure seems to have the raw talent to be, that will be a rare thing indeed.
   26. John DiFool2 Posted: December 13, 2010 at 09:50 PM (#3709710)
I'm trying to think of the last time a franchise had a similar passing of the torch from one HOF franchise player to the guy it hopes will be the next, and who gives every indication he might just pick right up at the last guy's peak.


Yaz from TeddyW
Mick from JoeD

Tho it took a year or three for the replacements to get going.
   27. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 13, 2010 at 10:02 PM (#3709727)
How does Troy Glaus have both Cecil Fielder and Bob Brenly as comps? It's like Arnold Schwarznegger and Danny DeVito being twins.

Just looking at BA/OBP/SLG/HRper600 PA neutral park/neutral league 2010/weighted recent:

Glaus 07-10: 246/349/417/21
Fielder 95-98: 239/333/418/24
Brenly 85-88: 243/337/419/21
   28. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 13, 2010 at 10:25 PM (#3709740)
I think being significantly better than Gary Sheffield, Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr, George Brett, Fred McGriff, Al Kaline, Paul Waner, Billy Williams, Rafael Palmeiro, Tony Gwynn, Joe Morgan, Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, Dave Winfield, and Roberto Clemente would make Hayward much better than a "once-in-a-decade talent". You're projecting him to be almost at a Matt Wieters level of value here.
   29. Dan Posted: December 13, 2010 at 10:46 PM (#3709751)
I think the reason Heyward's stats look low is that people are seeing him not even compiling 500 HR. His rate stats look solid, he's just not projected to hit for prodigious power. Personally I agree with MCoA, not necessarily that he'll blow away that OPS+, but I expect him to hit 500 home runs. A lot of that is probably thrown off by Heyward's wrist injury in 2010 though. He wasn't hitting for any power for 2 months, which dropped his slugging and home run totals far below what I think his talent should have us expecting going forward.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2010 at 12:56 AM (#3709862)
ZiPS likes Jason Heyward.

Or projects him pretty much the exact same as I have and we all know I hate him. :-)

For 2011, ZiPS projects an almost identical performance with a perfectly reasonable 30 point jump in ISO. For his career, I'm of the opinion that ZiPS career projections seriously overstate playing time -- but it's just an opinion -- so I'd put this down as a realistic upside.

A lot of that is probably thrown off by Heyward's wrist injury in 2010 though. He wasn't hitting for any power for 2 months

Sorry, not buying that. From May 5 through the end of the season, Heyward hit just 10 HR in 521 PA with a 148 ISO. He had a good month in Aug but just a 110 ISO in Sept. The wrist injury might well explain his lack of power, especially HR, over the last 4-5 months of the season, but it's incorrect to claim that effect only lasted 2 months.

The power is the main question with him. He's already massive so this isn't a 20-year-old kid you think will add power as he fills out. Presumably more power is on the way but he'll likely need to put up some ISOs in the 300 range to substantially surpass that projection.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2010 at 01:09 AM (#3709874)
Isn't it more or less accepted that a lot of really elite young talent springs into the majors fully formed?

No. There's been a lot of speculation, including by me, that this is often the case with elite young talent. It's certainly not uncommon to see players "peak" early. But as far as I know, nobody's done a study on aging curves showing that elite young players don't improve (much) while regular young players do. And we also still see a reasonable number of people who will look at, say, a 125 OPS+ at age 20 and start projecting HoF careers based on standard aging curves. And, of course, every once in a while a Pujols comes along to provide a perfect example of that.
   32. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 14, 2010 at 01:17 AM (#3709879)
The power is the main question with him. He's already massive so this isn't a 20-year-old kid you think will add power as he fills out. Presumably more power is on the way but he'll likely need to put up some ISOs in the 300 range to substantially surpass that projection.


Wow. It's been a long time since I could break this out without even a *hint* of irony or snark, but seriously, you need to get your head out of the spreadsheets and watch a game, man. Anyone who's seen Jason Heyward play baseball would never say with seriousness that "the power is the main question with him." He's crushed the ball at every level, excepting his 20-year-old rookie season in MLB where he had a thumb and wrist injury sap his power stroke for three months. He will crush the ball in MLB.
   33. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: December 14, 2010 at 01:28 AM (#3709886)
I don't even care about Heyward power production. If he can put up .400+ OBPs with just a 200 ISO, I'll be happy.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3709889)

Anyway, I won't just keep naming guys. My choice for the last Chipper/Heyward situation? You could make an argument for Reggie Jackson, retiring from the A's in 1987 -- although that's kind of a cheat, since his legacy with the A's had really been built many years before, and not during that one-year swan song. But that team did have McGuire and Canseco as up-and-coming Bash Brothers, and that's a definite pass-the-torch kind of moment.


I was going to point to a McGwire exit(replaced by Pujols), but as you mentioned, he really didn't cut his teeth with the Cardinals, although many argue that his hof cap should be a Cardinal cap(if he makes it in)
   35. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 14, 2010 at 01:37 AM (#3709892)
I was going to point to a McGwire exit9replaced by Pujols), but as you mentioned, he really didn't cut his teeth with the Cardinals, although many argue that his hof cap should be a Cardinal cap(if he makes it in)


If you're limiting the question to the Chipper sort of "career model with one organization" you're going to have a really hard time finding comps. Maybe Jeter-to-Cano is one in the making?

Of course, Atlanta also has Freeman coming up. If he were in a non-Heyward having organization he'd be a superstar prospect. As it is, he's just "Jason's roommate."
   36. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2010 at 02:05 AM (#3709913)
If you're limiting the question to the Chipper sort of "career model with one organization" you're going to have a really hard time finding comps. Maybe Jeter-to-Cano is one in the making?

As for Jeter and Cano, I think they've already played too many years together for the sort of thing I had in mind -- one guy just coming up as the other guy is on his way out the door. Cano's already been around five years, and is virtually certain to play at least two more (maybe more) as Jeter's DP partner. Hell, have the Yankees ever had a longer-tenured DP combo than seven years?

Comps are, indeed, hard to come up with. Tedddy Ballgame to Yaz doesn't work, exactly, because their careers didn't overlap. Williams retired in 1960; Yaz started with the Sox in 1961. DiMaggio-to-Mantle in 1951 certainly works, though. God help us if Jason Heyward is the next Mickey Mantle.
   37. Tuque Posted: December 14, 2010 at 03:15 AM (#3709934)
as far as I know, nobody's done a study on aging curves showing that elite young players don't improve (much) while regular young players do

This is why I love Barry Bonds' career path. Nobody would look at that 124 OPS+ through age 24 and assume that would be a future Hall of Famer (though nobody would rule it out, admittedly). But regardless of whether he actually makes it to the HOF, he is, regardless, very possibly the greatest player in the history of baseball. So yeah, at least some elite young players improve a hell of a lot.
   38. flournoy Posted: December 14, 2010 at 04:06 AM (#3709959)
Heyward didn't injure his wrist; he injured his thumb.

Parse these splits however you please:

.299/.425/.608 (120 PA) - Before the injury
.222/.328/.361 (183 PA) - After the injury, before the DL
.302/.419/.457 (320 PA) - After returning from the DL

I'll take the over on Heyward hitting .300/.415/.500 in 2011.
   39. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 14, 2010 at 04:22 AM (#3709973)
Exactly. And that absurd .608 SLG prior to the injury is dead even in line with his minor league slugging. The idea that Jason Heyward has everything *but power* is just wackadoodle wrong. The downside of Heyward is that he's a 21 year old kid with the expectations of an entire franchise on his back before he can drink legally. The upside of Heyward is that he hits like Albert Freakin' Pujols when healthy, while playing a fantastic defensive right field.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2010 at 04:39 AM (#3709984)
Wow. It's been a long time since I could break this out without even a *hint* of irony or snark, but seriously, you need to get your head out of the spreadsheets and watch a game, man. Anyone who's seen Jason Heyward play baseball would never say with seriousness that "the power is the main question with him." He's crushed the ball at every level, excepting his 20-year-old rookie season in MLB where he had a thumb and wrist injury sap his power stroke for three months. He will crush the ball in MLB.

I have seen a smidgen of Heyward. He's got a lovely swing, he's a big guy. He should be crushing the ball. He's not. You and others want to blame it on a thumb/wrist injury ... and, if that is the reason, you jump to the conclusion that these injuries will have no long-term effect on his development. I'm perfectly happy to blame it on the injury if you want, I am not willing to assume that won't affect him long-term.

I'm an empiricist. I like to see it actually happen before I assume it has.

My take on Heyward is quite plain and completely defensible -- moreso now that it's pretty much exactly what ZiPS projects.

He's crushed the ball at every level

This is a funny thing to say to someone you accuse of having his nose in a spreadsheet.

It's also a funny thing to say about a guy with a "career" 190 ISO in the minor leagues. That's of course bloody good for a 17-19 year-old but it's not "crushing" minor-league pitching. The crushing seems limited to 195 PA at AA with a 260 ISO.

In the minors, Heyward had 1 XBH per 9 AB with a 2:1 2B:HR ratio. In 2010, he had 1 XBH per 10 AB with a 3:2 ratio. ZiPS projects him to finish about there for his career with a slightly better 2B:HR ratio. His HR/FB ratio last year was 12.2% -- that's Chipper Jones, much lower than Manny (15%), well away from Thome (20% with a much higher K-rate). Are we talking about a guy who'll have 60-70 XBH per year? If so, they'll need to be mostly HR for him to significantly beat that projection.

My question remains -- where's the power. As I said, with most 20-year-olds a 180 ISO is a great sign because they are skinny kids who are generating power through bat speed and you assume that as they fill out, they'll have bat speed and strength and you'll see a good jump in power. But Heyward is huge -- not in a fat way, in a "holy crap" way. I don't see how he adds strength. Why isn't he hitting for more power now? (Injury? Fine but I want to see the recovery ... and it doesn't explain his minor-league numbers.)

What I assume will happen is that they will change his swing. He was a GB-heavy hitter last year and they'll add loft to his swing and the HR will follow (with probably a ding in BABIP). Will they follow at a higher HR/FB rate?

I'm not suggesting Hewyard is confined to a 180 ISO for the rest of his career. Most likely he'll hit a power peak in his late 20s-early 30s followed by a decline (in BA or ISO or both). His ZiPS projection looks perfectly reasonable for that assumed career length. But to significantly surpass that projection, he will need a major boost in power or a major boost in BA.

Heyward projection: 275/395/477, 134 OPS+
Thome career: 278/404/559, 147 OPS+

Thome's ISO is 6th all-time. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Heyward's chances of meeting/beating Thome's career ISO are fairly low (but not nonexistent). There are, of course, a lot of guys just shy of Thome's neighborhood -- Delgado, AROD, Sosa, etc -- so Heyward having a career ISO in the 250-270 range is reasonably likely.

Appropriate big boost in BA comps would be Edgar (312) and Chipper (306) which seem less likely than Thome.

If he does both, he's inner-circle.

Anyway, at the end of the day:

he had a 335 BABIP last year -- sustainable but unlikely to improve substantially.
he walked in 14.6% of his PAs -- this is already one of the better rates in MLB history.

So, to improve substantially from where he is, he either needs to:

a) strike out a good bit less without losing his on-contact production -- possible given his minor-league K rate and his May K-rate;

b) hit a lot more HRs -- possible given his size and age-20 ISO.

When I see reliable evidence of (a) or (b), I'll give him credit for (a) or (b) and change my projection accordingly.

In short, even with rose-colored glasses, I can't see a good chance that he puts together a better career than Thome (as a hitter -- he may have more defensive value of course). We have just seen Manny, Thome, Edgar, Walker, McGwire, Thomas, Bagwell, AROD, Chipper, Vlad and Sheffield put together such careers (of varying lengths and styles with Mac and Thomas at least having inner-circle peaks). Now, that's an HoF career, maybe even a once-a-decade career (last two decase aside :-). But it's not inner-circle HoF for a 1B/LF/RF (with the possible exception of Thomas).

So, what do you think the chances are that he'll be as good a hitter as Thome? Do you think that's his mean projection? What are the chances he makes it to Manny/Thomas career levels?

Unless you're willing to put his mean career projection in the long-career Giambi to Thome range (280/400/550), then you agree with me (and ZiPS). I call that a "realistic upside" for Heyward.
   41. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 14, 2010 at 04:42 AM (#3709985)
1. As a general rule, you won't go broke betting the under on a 21-year old's projection. Especially given that he was killing it for good chunks of last year - he could have some regression / a coalescing season ahead of him.
2. I'm not worried about Heyward's power going forward - given his minor league history, scouting reports, and having watched him play. As much as I'm not normally inclined to agree with my good friend Sam #2, his post 32 was totally justified.
   42. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 14, 2010 at 04:43 AM (#3709988)
I'll take the over on Heyward hitting .300/.415/.500 in 2011.


I'll take the under on a .300 BA.
   43. Honkie Kong Posted: December 14, 2010 at 05:57 AM (#3710029)
Thats a big bounceback predicted for McLouth. That would make the Braves a solid contender.

Meh years predicted for Venters and Kimbrel, and lots of people seem to take that for granted. I am a bit surprised by how pessimistic Kimbrel's projection is.
And Arodys gets a 85 ERA+ prediction from just A balls stats? ZiPS sure loves the Braves prospects.

BTW does ZiPS penalise pitchers for a bad team defence behind them or is the projection fielding independent?
   44. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2010 at 06:15 AM (#3710064)
Projects defense, but very conservatively.
   45. bigboy1234 Posted: December 14, 2010 at 06:18 AM (#3710074)
I love me some ZiPS, but how in the world does Teheran project to be a better pitcher than Minor in 2011.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: December 14, 2010 at 06:26 AM (#3710088)
I would be interested in a retrospective on Walt's many "K-rate, BABIP, ISO, on-contact" analyses. They always seem to suggest that hitters will not improve, or, at least, that the shape of their future numbers is already written.
   47. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3710533)
I would be interested in a retrospective on Walt's many "K-rate, BABIP, ISO, on-contact" analyses. They always seem to suggest that hitters will not improve, or, at least, that the shape of their future numbers is already written.


I think Walt's analyses suggest rather that young hitters won't improve *as much* as the fans of their teams believe (hope?) they will. The main caveat that I offer is that there is good evidence that in-play BA/SLG for hitters IS a sustainable skill, although there is also some noise in there.

-- MWE
   48. smsetnor Posted: December 16, 2010 at 02:54 AM (#3711836)
On Jason Heyward's power.

I can't do all of the fun math stuff you guys do, but I did watch Heyward in person for every home game this year. I've been up next to him. He's still fairly slender, but has broad, broad shoulders. He still has a ton of body to fill out. No one is properly built at the ages of 20/21. The power will come naturally as he gets older because he is going to get stronger. There is no might here.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: December 16, 2010 at 02:36 PM (#3712101)
I think Walt's analyses suggest rather that young hitters won't improve *as much* as the fans of their teams believe (hope?) they will. The main caveat that I offer is that there is good evidence that in-play BA/SLG for hitters IS a sustainable skill, although there is also some noise in there.

Thanks for saving me the trouble on the first part. It is more that high-K players are generally limited as to how high they can go. That is often overlooked. It generally means that high-K players need to reduce their K-rates to be true stars. On young players more generally, it's a question of where are the likely areas of growth.

Now Heyward is not particularly high-K and his minor-league and May performances suggest he might improve in that area. This isn't a BJ Upton crusade on my part. In general, I have no problem with the ZiPS Heyward career projection as his mean projection. I'd probably call that sort of OPS+ more his 10,000 PA projection than his 12,000 PA projection but that's quibbling over 3-4 points of OPS+ and I don't pretend my crystal ball is anywhere near that good.

On your second bit -- absolutely in-play BA is a sustainable skill. I don't think I've ever said otherwise (for hitters at least). (I've often spoken out in favor of SLGip but have never seen a list and have no idea how much it varies.) More broadly, on-contact BA & SLG are sustainable skills. The "problem" for Heyward is that his BABIP last year was 335 and that's about what Dan projects him at (good) ... but, in the integration era, only 10 batters with 8000+ PA (and we're projecting Heyward's career here) have had a BABIP higher than 335 and only two (Carew & Jeter) have beaten that by more than 10 points. It's very unlikely that his career BABIP is going to be substantially better than what it was last year. So, in terms of a career projection, we can't expect his career BABIP to be higher than it was in 2010. So what has to happen for him to beat that projection?

To substantially beat the projection, he either has to hit 300 or he has to have an ISO around 260 (given whatever offensive context Dan is assuming). The only way he'll do the first one is to drop the K-rate without a substantial drop in his BABIP (or BA on-contact). The way to do the second is to (a) improve his G/F ratio and (b) improve his HR/FB ratio. At his current K-rate and BAcon, that translates to about 370/720 on-contact -- certainly possible. It would be better than Barry Bonds but he wouldn't be the only one. :-)

Those are both possible but should that be his mean projection? Doing one of those (or a partial combo of both) makes him Willie Stargell. Certainly doable but if we make that his mean projection, we're saying there's something like a 15-20% chance he's substantially better than that.

And my "hold the boat on Heyward" campaign began in response to some articles/blogs doing the "look at the other 20-year-old studs, he's gonna be inner-circle." I don't know where other folks put their inner-circle but to make my inner circle as a corner player he's got one more leap (or maybe half-leap) after that to make it into the Robinson-Musial camp.

I don't think I'm crazy to think that he has only a small chance to be inner-circle. And if he only has a small chance to be inner-circle, then his chance of being Thome can't be his mean projection but rather part of his upside. That leaves him about where ZiPS puts him. If someone wants to say he should be projected to 138 OPS+ over 10,000 PA ... well, I'll disagree but it's not worth arguing about.

What confuses me is why all you folks who've seen him so many times never mentioned that he's been a f'ing groundball machine. A G/F ratio of 1.3 compared to a league average of .8. Ichiro has a slightly lower G/F ratio for crying out loud.*

Maybe you guys need to get your noses back in a spreadsheet. :-)

Anyway, in an earlier thread, I guesstimated Heyward to, roughly, Jack Clark (137 OPS+, 8000 PA) to Billy Williams (133, 10000) to Dave Winfield (130, 12000). That's pretty close to what ZiPS projects. He's got a reasonable chance at something like Dick Allen (156, 7000) to Stargell (147, 10000) to Reggie (139, 12000) although that's probably too broad a range. The next step up is roughly McGwire to Thomas to Robinson.
   50. Rays&Sox; Posted: December 16, 2010 at 06:28 PM (#3712326)
Could we get a projection for Havana's own Barbaro Canizares? Interested to see if his career year at AAA bumps last year's .271/.331/.396 up to a usable bench/ph level. Thanks.
   51. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3712354)
268/325/297 for Canizares, slightly better than last year when league offense is taken into account.
   52. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:19 PM (#3712384)
That should be 397.
   53. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2010 at 10:38 PM (#3712606)
It's true that Heyward's BABIP may be as high as it is likely to get - but the flip side is that should Heyward's other skills develop, he may not need a .335 BABIP to be an elite player. At age 20, for example, guy named Alex Rodriguez posted a .382 BABIP while hitting .358/.414/.631 and winning a batting title. His career BABIP is only .318, but he's done pretty well for himself. Mickey Mantle also had a high BABIP season at age 20, and put together a pretty nice career as well with a career BABIP of just .319.

Heyward's skill set is kind of a junior-grade version of Mantle's, actually - he's not quite as powerful, doesn't run quite as well, but it's essentially the same set of raw tools.

-- MWE
   54. Danny Posted: January 12, 2011 at 12:47 AM (#3728459)
Request for a Wes Timmons projection. Thanks!

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