Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Boston Red Sox. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski. Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Dodgers / Giants / Mariners / Marlins / Mets / Nationals / Orioles / Padres / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / Twins / White Sox / Yankees. Batters It’s important, of course, to acknowledge always that front offices — especially the sort which have a reputation for embracing all manner of analysis — that they might possess certain information to which we, baseball’s laypeople, are not privy. To whatever degree that might be the case, however, it’s difficult to imagine what information precisely the Red Sox might have with regard to Jonny Gomes, whom the club signed to a two-year, $10 million contract this offseason and intends, it seems, to deploy as their starting left fielder. While the bar is rather low for Gomes to earn his money, Dan Szymborski’s math computer suggests that Gomes’ odds of producing like an average major-leaguer aren’t excellent. I asked Szymborski about the Gomes projection — and, in particular, to what degree it might account for platoon splits (Gomes having a reputation for possessing a large-ish one). To which question Szymborski replied: “ZiPS only knows past usage.” To that point, we ought to consider this when considering Gomes’s rather successful 2012 season: about 59% of Gomes’s plate appearances in 2012 were against left-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, only one-third of his plate appearances between 2009 and -11 were against lefties. Pitchers Of some concern to readers over the course of these ZiPS posts has been the relatively conservative projections for those players who have just produced excellent seasons. In light of same, it’s worth noting Jon Lester‘s forecast here. Lester, who posted WAR figures of 6.4 and 5.8 in 2009 and -10, respectively, was less effective so far as run prevention is concerned in 2011-12, during which pair of years he averaged only 3.5 WAR. Despite that, ZiPS projects him to improve upon his 2012 season both in terms of FIP relative to league average (91 FIP- in 2013 vs. 95 FIP- in 2012) and WAR (4.0 in 2013 vs. 3.3 in 2012) — in effect, regressing upwards to his previously established levels. Boston’s preoccupation with relief help in recent offseasons — exemplified by deals which have netted them Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, and Mark Melancon (while also losing them Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick… and also Mark Melancon) — has, at the very least, allowed them to construct what appears to be a clearly above-average bullpen. Bailey and Hanrahan are joined by offseason signing Koji Uehara to form one of the better per-inning relief triumvirates in the league this year. Bench/Prospects It’s not completely outrageous — if the Jonny Gomes deal ever becomes a problem — to assume that outfield prospect Jackie Bradley might be the solution. After gaining considerable attention during his sophomore year at South Carolina, Bradley’s junior season was less impressive. The Red Sox took him with the 40th pick that summer anyway, and Bradley has been excellent so far as a professional. Acquired in the giant August trade with the Dodgers, Rubby de la Rosa‘s per-inning stats are encouraging, although ZiPS’ innings projection is duly restrained for a pitcher who’s thrown little more than a hundred of them over the past two seasons combined. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the Red Sox, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player (click to embiggen): Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Credit to MLB Depth Charts for roster information. Batters, Counting Stats Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS Dustin Pedroia R 29 2B 609 76 156 35 2 17 66 20 6 David Ortiz L 37 DH 418 56 106 26 0 23 62 0 1 Shane Victorino B 32 CF 637 79 153 32 10 13 64 27 6 Jacoby Ellsbury L 29 CF 451 57 118 25 3 12 48 23 7 Will Middlebrooks R 24 3B 500 45 120 25 1 19 74 8 2 Mike Napoli R 31 1B 432 52 92 18 1 23 59 2 1 Stephen Drew L 30 SS 451 54 101 22 5 9 50 4 3 Jackie Bradley L 23 CF 516 59 112 25 2 8 41 18 9 Jarrod Saltalamacchia B 28 C 397 45 82 19 2 17 49 1 1 Ryan Lavarnway R 25 C 573 55 125 30 0 15 66 1 1 Daniel Butler R 26 C 396 32 80 21 1 7 40 1 0 Brock Holt! L 25 SS 548 60 133 26 5 2 49 11 9 Pedro Ciriaco R 27 SS 538 61 137 24 5 5 53 22 9 Jose Iglesias R 23 SS 506 45 118 15 1 2 34 14 5 Christian Vazquez R 22 C 471 43 99 22 1 9 47 1 2 Xander Bogaerts R 20 SS 499 51 111 25 2 15 53 4 6 David Ross R 36 C 163 14 35 7 0 6 23 0 0 Ryan Kalish L 25 CF 351 42 79 16 1 7 40 15 5 Ryan Sweeney L 28 RF 322 37 79 20 3 1 30 1 1 Daniel Nava B 30 LF 418 42 88 24 1 7 41 4 2 Alex Hassan R 25 LF 442 42 93 22 1 7 39 3 1 Jonny Gomes R 32 LF 391 47 81 15 1 15 54 4 2 Tony Thomas R 26 2B 383 41 78 19 4 8 40 11 3 Lyle Overbay L 36 1B 330 33 69 21 1 7 33 1 0 Mauro Gomez R 28 1B 574 61 134 36 2 17 77 3 1 Drew Sutton B 30 2B 339 33 69 21 2 3 32 2 3 Mitch Maier L 31 RF 260 28 52 8 3 4 23 3 1 Jason Repko R 32 LF 279 30 55 8 2 6 24 7 4 Mike Rivera R 36 C 195 17 36 8 0 3 16 1 1 Bryce Brentz R 24 RF 518 48 113 23 2 14 61 4 5 Scott Podsednik L 37 LF 297 24 67 9 2 1 14 12 3 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Dustin Pedroia 609 9.4% 10.2% .167 .298 .289 .357 .456 .352 David Ortiz 418 13.4% 14.8% .264 .300 .294 .388 .558 .385 Shane Victorino 637 7.7% 11.9% .158 .287 .267 .330 .425 .329 Jacoby Ellsbury 451 6.4% 13.1% .161 .305 .284 .333 .445 .340 Will Middlebrooks 500 4.6% 27.0% .179 .316 .255 .292 .434 .315 Mike Napoli 432 11.8% 27.5% .240 .297 .248 .347 .488 .356 Stephen Drew 451 9.5% 20.0% .146 .300 .250 .322 .396 .311 Jackie Bradley 516 9.3% 20.9% .118 .304 .249 .329 .367 .308 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 397 7.8% 31.0% .204 .290 .227 .290 .431 .310 Ryan Lavarnway 573 8.4% 23.7% .145 .298 .243 .311 .388 .305 Daniel Butler 396 7.8% 21.2% .123 .273 .225 .298 .348 .287 Brock Holt! 548 6.9% 16.8% .084 .320 .267 .320 .351 .291 Pedro Ciriaco 538 2.0% 17.7% .094 .315 .266 .281 .360 .275 Jose Iglesias 506 4.9% 13.4% .050 .292 .254 .298 .304 .266 Christian Vazquez 471 7.4% 23.4% .119 .288 .231 .294 .350 .283 Xander Bogaerts 499 6.4% 27.1% .161 .308 .242 .295 .403 .299 David Ross 163 9.8% 29.4% .173 .315 .241 .315 .414 .317 Ryan Kalish 351 7.7% 23.1% .122 .308 .248 .306 .370 .299 Ryan Sweeney 322 7.1% 15.5% .098 .317 .268 .321 .366 .299 Daniel Nava 418 9.6% 20.3% .129 .293 .240 .329 .369 .307 Alex Hassan 442 10.2% 20.8% .117 .296 .240 .328 .357 .305 Jonny Gomes 391 10.5% 28.4% .183 .306 .240 .332 .423 .328 Tony Thomas 383 6.3% 29.0% .146 .298 .222 .277 .368 .280 Lyle Overbay 330 10.3% 23.3% .149 .294 .235 .315 .384 .303 Mauro Gomez 574 5.7% 26.8% .171 .321 .252 .300 .423 .310 Drew Sutton 339 8.8% 24.8% .113 .307 .231 .307 .344 .283 Mitch Maier 260 10.0% 23.1% .114 .287 .227 .306 .341 .285 Jason Repko 279 6.1% 25.8% .118 .275 .217 .274 .335 .267 Mike Rivera 195 6.2% 30.8% .096 .284 .202 .263 .298 .246 Bryce Brentz 518 5.8% 30.9% .144 .318 .234 .282 .378 .284 Scott Podsednik 297 4.7% 17.2% .059 .296 .246 .283 .305 .259 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Dustin Pedroia 609 6.4 117 8 4.8 John Valentin David Ortiz 418 8.2 150 0 3.4 Willie McCovey Shane Victorino 637 5.5 101 0 2.9 Brian McRae Jacoby Ellsbury 451 5.8 107 2 2.5 Del Unser Will Middlebrooks 500 4.7 92 3 1.8 Joe Crede Mike Napoli 432 6.1 121 -2 1.8 Nick Esasky Stephen Drew 451 4.5 92 0 1.7 Lou Collier Jackie Bradley 516 4.3 87 5 1.6 Rich Becker Jarrod Saltalamacchia 397 4.3 90 -3 1.3 Dave Duncan Ryan Lavarnway 573 4.3 87 -8 1.3 Chris Snyder Daniel Butler 396 3.6 73 3 1.2 Blake Barthol Brock Holt! 548 4.0 80 0 1.1 Ernest Riles Pedro Ciriaco 538 3.8 71 3 1.1 Javier Guzman Jose Iglesias 506 3.4 63 8 1.1 Al Pedrique Christian Vazquez 471 3.5 72 0 0.9 Marcus Jensen Xander Bogaerts 499 4.1 85 -4 0.9 Tony Batista David Ross 163 4.6 94 1 0.8 Tom Wilson Ryan Kalish 351 4.2 81 0 0.6 Scott Lusader Ryan Sweeney 322 4.3 84 4 0.5 Dave Martinez Daniel Nava 418 4.3 87 1 0.4 Nate Espy Alex Hassan 442 4.2 84 1 0.4 Adam Leggett Jonny Gomes 391 5.0 101 -7 0.3 Don Lock Tony Thomas 383 3.7 72 -2 0.2 Brandon Powell Lyle Overbay 330 4.3 87 0 0.2 Tom Wilson Mauro Gomez 574 4.6 91 -5 0.1 Stan Royer Drew Sutton 339 3.6 75 -4 -0.1 Bobby Scales Mitch Maier 260 3.7 74 0 -0.2 Pat Sheridan Jason Repko 279 3.1 63 3 -0.3 Thomas Johnson Mike Rivera 195 2.6 50 -2 -0.3 Joe Oliver Bryce Brentz 518 3.6 75 -2 -0.7 Jeff Deardorff Scott Podsednik 297 3.3 58 -4 -1.0 Joe Orsulak *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER Jon Lester L 29 30 30 188.3 173 69 20 179 89 83 Clay Buchholz R 28 24 24 147.0 102 54 16 145 73 68 Ryan Dempster R 36 27 27 163.0 133 56 21 169 87 81 Felix Doubront L 25 29 23 121.7 111 53 15 124 66 62 Allen Webster R 23 28 24 129.0 83 61 11 142 75 70 Koji Uehara R 38 43 0 39.7 49 6 5 31 13 12 Joel Hanrahan R 31 64 0 59.0 66 27 7 51 26 24 Junichi Tazawa R 27 61 0 80.0 74 30 8 79 39 36 Alfredo Aceves R 30 51 3 76.3 60 29 8 75 39 36 Brandon Workman R 24 26 26 126.7 79 41 19 144 77 72 Franklin Morales L 27 47 4 64.0 61 31 8 59 32 30 Craig Breslow L 32 63 0 59.3 52 21 6 57 28 26 Rubby de la Rosa R 24 12 10 51.3 48 27 5 50 27 25 John Lackey R 34 21 21 127.0 78 45 16 147 79 74 Vicente Padilla R 35 32 5 48.7 42 14 6 50 25 23 Andrew Miller L 28 66 0 51.0 64 40 5 41 26 24 Andrew Bailey R 29 37 0 35.0 32 11 4 34 16 15 Alex Wilson R 26 34 11 88.3 59 49 10 97 54 50 Daniel Bard R 28 68 0 66.0 59 41 7 61 35 33 Aaron Cook R 34 21 20 110.0 42 39 14 135 72 67 Daisuke Matsuzaka R 32 18 18 87.3 67 42 14 94 57 53 Josh Fields R 27 37 0 48.0 43 29 5 47 27 25 Drew Naylor R 27 16 13 82.7 44 26 11 100 54 50 Clayton Mortensen R 28 50 0 72.7 60 42 10 71 42 39 Mike MacDonald R 31 20 15 87.0 36 26 10 110 57 53 Chris Hernandez L 24 25 24 122.7 59 63 16 143 81 76 Brandon Duckworth R 37 19 15 84.0 46 44 13 100 59 55 Pedro Beato R 26 50 0 58.0 37 27 8 65 37 35 Drake Britton L 24 25 24 107.0 73 68 16 121 75 70 Anthony Carter R 27 44 0 59.0 38 32 9 68 41 38 Tom Cochran L 30 24 19 97.0 56 68 14 112 72 67 Steven Wright R 28 29 17 108.0 63 69 18 128 82 77 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- Jon Lester 188.3 813 21.3% 8.5% .292 3.97 3.91 92 91 Clay Buchholz 147.0 640 15.9% 8.4% .280 4.16 4.43 97 103 Ryan Dempster 163.0 714 18.6% 7.8% .296 4.47 4.30 104 100 Felix Doubront 121.7 542 20.5% 9.8% .304 4.59 4.36 107 101 Allen Webster 129.0 590 14.1% 10.3% .308 4.88 4.58 114 107 Koji Uehara 39.7 156 31.4% 3.8% .271 2.72 2.80 63 65 Joel Hanrahan 59.0 255 25.9% 10.6% .288 3.66 3.90 85 91 Junichi Tazawa 80.0 349 21.2% 8.6% .306 4.05 3.94 94 92 Alfredo Aceves 76.3 333 18.0% 8.7% .293 4.24 4.34 99 101 Brandon Workman 126.7 565 14.0% 7.3% .299 5.12 5.04 119 117 Franklin Morales 64.0 282 21.6% 11.0% .288 4.22 4.49 98 104 Craig Breslow 59.3 256 20.3% 8.2% .290 3.94 3.75 92 87 Rubby de la Rosa 51.3 231 20.8% 11.7% .300 4.38 4.15 102 97 John Lackey 127.0 573 13.6% 7.9% .309 5.24 4.86 122 113 Vicente Padilla 48.7 210 20.0% 6.7% .303 4.25 3.98 99 93 Andrew Miller 51.0 234 27.4% 17.1% .295 4.24 4.41 99 103 Andrew Bailey 35.0 150 21.3% 7.3% .291 3.86 3.60 90 84 Alex Wilson 88.3 411 14.4% 11.9% .303 5.09 5.15 119 120 Daniel Bard 66.0 300 19.7% 13.7% .284 4.50 4.68 105 109 Aaron Cook 110.0 504 8.3% 7.7% .299 5.48 5.16 128 120 Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 398 16.8% 10.6% .296 5.46 5.34 127 124 Josh Fields 48.0 220 19.5% 13.2% .300 4.69 4.68 109 109 Drew Naylor 82.7 374 11.8% 7.0% .309 5.44 4.89 127 114 Clayton Mortensen 72.7 331 18.1% 12.7% .282 4.83 5.09 112 118 Mike MacDonald 87.0 397 9.1% 6.5% .313 5.48 4.88 128 114 Chris Hernandez 122.7 574 10.3% 11.0% .297 5.58 5.62 130 131 Brandon Duckworth 84.0 396 11.6% 11.1% .303 5.89 5.84 137 136 Pedro Beato 58.0 266 13.9% 10.2% .298 5.43 5.09 126 118 Drake Britton 107.0 510 14.3% 13.3% .303 5.89 5.83 137 136 Anthony Carter 59.0 277 13.7% 11.6% .304 5.80 5.60 135 130 Tom Cochran 97.0 471 11.9% 14.4% .301 6.22 6.19 145 144 Steven Wright 108.0 521 12.1% 13.2% .302 6.42 6.29 149 146 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp Jon Lester 188.3 8.27 3.30 0.96 110 4.0 Wilson Alvarez Clay Buchholz 147.0 6.24 3.31 0.98 104 2.8 John Denny Ryan Dempster 163.0 7.34 3.09 1.16 97 2.4 Steve Renko Felix Doubront 121.7 8.21 3.92 1.11 95 1.6 Sebern Wright Allen Webster 129.0 5.79 4.26 0.77 89 1.3 Mike Torrez Koji Uehara 39.7 11.11 1.36 1.13 160 1.1 Dennis Eckersley Joel Hanrahan 59.0 10.07 4.12 1.07 119 1.0 Ryne Duren Junichi Tazawa 80.0 8.33 3.38 0.90 107 1.0 Bert Roberge Alfredo Aceves 76.3 7.08 3.42 0.94 102 0.9 Mike Cather Brandon Workman 126.7 5.61 2.91 1.35 85 0.9 Mike Thurman Franklin Morales 64.0 8.58 4.36 1.13 103 0.8 Ron Villone Craig Breslow 59.3 7.89 3.19 0.91 110 0.8 Alan Embree Rubby de la Rosa 51.3 8.42 4.74 0.88 99 0.8 Jack Armstrong John Lackey 127.0 5.53 3.19 1.13 83 0.7 Aaron Sele Vicente Padilla 48.7 7.76 2.59 1.11 102 0.7 Dave Pavlas Andrew Miller 51.0 11.29 7.06 0.88 103 0.5 Armando Almanza Andrew Bailey 35.0 8.23 2.83 1.03 113 0.5 Doug Henry Alex Wilson 88.3 6.01 4.99 1.02 85 0.5 Mike Timlin Daniel Bard 66.0 8.05 5.59 0.95 97 0.5 Bart Miadich Aaron Cook 110.0 3.44 3.19 1.15 79 0.3 Aaron Sele Daisuke Matsuzaka 87.3 6.91 4.33 1.44 80 0.2 Chan Ho Park Josh Fields 48.0 8.06 5.44 0.94 93 0.2 Bob Gibson Drew Naylor 82.7 4.79 2.83 1.20 80 0.2 Mark Johnson Clayton Mortensen 72.7 7.43 5.20 1.24 90 0.2 Scott Cassidy Mike MacDonald 87.0 3.72 2.69 1.03 79 0.2 Steve Comer Chris Hernandez 122.7 4.33 4.62 1.17 78 0.2 Scott Forster Brandon Duckworth 84.0 4.93 4.71 1.39 74 -0.2 Ed Riley Pedro Beato 58.0 5.74 4.19 1.24 80 -0.2 Rick Berg Drake Britton 107.0 6.14 5.72 1.35 74 -0.3 Rafael Roque Anthony Carter 59.0 5.80 4.88 1.37 75 -0.5 Jared Camp Tom Cochran 97.0 5.20 6.31 1.30 70 -0.6 Eric DuBose Steven Wright 108.0 5.25 5.75 1.50 68 -1.0 Michael Johnson *** 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 2012. 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 4.09 ERA and the NL having a 3.92 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. Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.” Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected WAR.
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