Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, will be released at FanGraphs this year. Below is the second set of 2013′s projections — for the AL West champion Oakland Athletics. Don’t hesitate to leave notes regarding format/presentation in the comments section, as the author frequently has no idea what he’s doing. Batters With his offseason acquisition of outfielder Chris Young (for Cliff Pennington and a minor leaguer), GM Billy Beane has created a good kind of the problem for the A’s: four of the team’s five best field players, per ZiPS — and four of the five team’s field players projected to record a WAR above 2.0 — are outfielders. Coco Crisp and Young both have positive career UZRs in center field; Reddick has the same in right. All three have pretty large sample sizes at their respective positions. Yoenis Cespedes has neither decent fielding numbers nor a sample that requires us to weight said numbers heavily. Still, based on the defensive reputations of all four players, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a lineup with Cespedes at DH and the other three playing the outfield. Outside of that quadrumvirate — and newly signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima (about whom Jeff Sullivan recently made some shockingly intelligent comments) — ZiPS sees mostly pieces, but little impact. Pitchers Brett Anderson‘s health is important to Oakland’s success next year, likely — and the lack of it over the last two-plus seasons is what has produced here a rather conservative projection for Anderson’s 2013. After him, there’s considerable youth. Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, and Dan Straily: together, they have 88 career starts. The first three, however, all posted FIP-minuses of 100 or lower in a starting role last season. Despite the fact that he’s pitched professionally for all of one season (after converting from first base) and now has more major-league innings (47.1) than minor-league ones (26.0), it might not be entirely ridiculous to suggest that left-hander Sean Doolittle is the best relief pitcher on the A’s right now. He posted a 73 xFIP- and 1.6 WAR in 2012, while posting similar strikeout/walk differentials against lefties and righties. ZiPS projects Doolittle to post both the team’s highest strikeout rate and lowest FIP. Bench/Prospects Acquired from Boston in the Andrew Bailey trade, Miles Head is a player about whose offensive potential Marc Hulet had some positive things to say this past April — and for whose defensive potential Hulet reserved less glowing remarks. The A’s moved him back to third base this season after he’d played mostly first in the Boston system. ZiPS is optimistic about him — although, after splitting his 2012 season between High- and Double-A, Head is likely to spend most of 2013 in the minors. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the A’s, 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 Yoenis Cespedes R 27 CF 625 90 155 25 4 23 84 13 5 Chris Young R 29 CF 525 59 103 26 1 16 51 16 6 Coco Crisp B 33 CF 462 63 109 21 6 8 42 32 5 Hiroyuki Nakajima R 30 SS 626 78 156 25 3 8 81 13 8 Josh Reddick L 26 RF 614 72 136 29 5 22 63 7 4 Josh Donaldson R 27 3B 535 63 114 26 1 15 66 7 3 Stephen Drew L 30 SS 451 53 96 19 5 8 43 4 3 Miles Head R 22 3B 602 61 138 28 4 15 58 3 2 Brandon Moss L 29 LF 532 65 113 26 1 21 70 5 4 Derek Norris R 24 C 470 52 79 18 1 12 48 8 3 Chris Carter R 26 1B 568 73 115 26 1 25 73 4 2 Andy Parrino B 27 SS 462 51 88 20 3 6 39 5 2 Daric Barton L 27 1B 496 57 95 22 2 7 43 5 2 Seth Smith L 30 LF 445 53 95 21 3 13 47 4 2 Scott Sizemore R 28 2B 453 54 93 20 2 9 43 6 3 Eric Sogard L 27 2B 464 58 105 17 3 6 38 10 5 Collin Cowgill R 27 CF 514 51 111 21 3 7 48 16 5 Jemile Weeks B 26 2B 544 61 120 21 8 3 35 17 7 Brandon Inge R 36 3B 428 38 83 16 2 11 48 1 2 George Kottaras L 30 C 222 20 42 9 1 6 24 0 1 Adam Rosales R 30 SS 352 39 75 15 2 7 37 3 2 Scott Moore L 29 3B 437 47 91 20 1 11 49 2 2 Shane Peterson L 25 LF 484 51 96 18 3 7 42 9 3 Jermaine Mitchell L 28 CF 543 60 105 17 7 6 37 14 10 Michael Taylor R 27 RF 538 63 112 23 2 10 56 12 4 Michael Choice R 23 CF 511 50 104 19 2 12 48 5 4 Luke Montz R 29 1B 397 40 72 15 0 14 47 2 2 Steve Parker L 25 3B 525 51 106 21 3 7 49 3 2 Jason Jaramillo B 30 C 287 23 55 12 0 2 24 1 1 Wes Timmons R 34 2B 325 36 70 13 0 3 26 7 3 Josh Horton L 27 2B 445 43 89 17 3 4 44 3 2 Grant Green R 25 LF 634 67 147 28 3 9 56 8 7 Matt Rizzotti L 27 1B 481 41 101 23 1 9 44 2 1 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Yoenis Cespedes 625 7.8% 16.6% .179 .299 .273 .338 .452 .343 Chris Young 525 11.6% 23.4% .167 .271 .225 .319 .392 .314 Coco Crisp 462 8.2% 12.3% .137 .285 .263 .322 .400 .320 Hiroyuki Nakajima 626 5.6% 14.9% .095 .306 .271 .316 .366 .298 Josh Reddick 614 7.7% 21.2% .187 .275 .243 .300 .430 .311 Josh Donaldson 535 7.3% 22.1% .149 .277 .234 .295 .383 .297 Stephen Drew 451 9.8% 20.2% .132 .288 .238 .313 .370 .298 Miles Head 602 6.0% 27.1% .145 .322 .247 .299 .392 .301 Brandon Moss 532 8.3% 25.8% .190 .284 .236 .305 .426 .314 Derek Norris 470 13.0% 30.0% .140 .267 .198 .307 .338 .290 Chris Carter 568 10.7% 29.2% .208 .288 .231 .317 .439 .327 Andy Parrino 462 9.7% 27.5% .108 .297 .217 .302 .325 .273 Daric Barton 496 14.7% 17.9% .114 .276 .231 .351 .345 .312 Seth Smith 445 10.1% 21.1% .169 .284 .242 .324 .411 .314 Scott Sizemore 453 9.3% 25.8% .128 .305 .233 .313 .361 .296 Eric Sogard 464 8.2% 12.5% .098 .277 .250 .314 .348 .292 Collin Cowgill 514 7.4% 20.6% .103 .291 .238 .299 .341 .284 Jemile Weeks 544 8.1% 15.3% .095 .290 .247 .314 .342 .290 Brandon Inge 428 8.2% 27.1% .138 .276 .216 .286 .354 .279 George Kottaras 222 13.5% 22.5% .153 .267 .221 .326 .374 .306 Adam Rosales 352 6.8% 21.3% .125 .280 .234 .288 .359 .280 Scott Moore 437 8.0% 22.0% .141 .280 .235 .306 .376 .295 Shane Peterson 484 9.9% 25.6% .105 .299 .225 .311 .330 .286 Jermaine Mitchell 543 9.0% 27.3% .101 .296 .216 .291 .317 .268 Michael Taylor 538 9.5% 22.9% .118 .291 .233 .310 .351 .294 Michael Choice 511 7.0% 28.0% .127 .293 .223 .286 .350 .277 Luke Montz 397 9.6% 27.5% .161 .249 .204 .285 .365 .281 Steve Parker 525 7.8% 25.0% .101 .291 .224 .289 .325 .270 Jason Jaramillo 287 7.0% 20.9% .069 .262 .210 .272 .279 .246 Wes Timmons 325 8.6% 8.3% .077 .261 .246 .326 .323 .292 Josh Horton 445 7.0% 23.4% .085 .280 .218 .274 .303 .256 Grant Green 634 4.6% 21.1% .103 .303 .247 .285 .350 .275 Matt Rizzotti 481 8.7% 28.3% .120 .315 .232 .301 .352 .284 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Yoenis Cespedes 625 5.7 117 -6 3.2 Vernon Wells Chris Young 525 4.4 96 5 2.3 David Cook Coco Crisp 462 5.3 99 0 2.2 Stan Javier Hiroyuki Nakajima 626 4.2 89 1 2.2 Julio Franco Josh Reddick 614 4.6 99 7 2.1 Ryan Church Josh Donaldson 535 4.0 86 3 1.7 Gary Gaetti Stephen Drew 451 4.1 89 -1 1.4 Lou Collier Miles Head 602 4.2 90 -3 1.4 Brook Jacoby Brandon Moss 532 4.5 100 1 1.3 Luke Scott Derek Norris 470 3.5 79 -3 1.2 Luke Montz Chris Carter 568 4.9 107 -4 1.2 Mark Strucher Andy Parrino 462 3.4 74 0 1.0 Nick Green Daric Barton 496 4.3 94 2 0.9 Mike Twardoski Seth Smith 445 4.7 102 -3 0.8 Ben Broussard Scott Sizemore 453 4.0 86 -3 0.8 Mike Blowers Eric Sogard 464 3.9 83 -2 0.8 Ed Giovanola Collin Cowgill 514 3.8 77 0 0.8 Lou Collier Jemile Weeks 544 3.9 82 -4 0.7 Nelson Liriano Brandon Inge 428 3.4 76 2 0.7 Jason Wood George Kottaras 222 4.1 94 -3 0.7 Mike Fitzgerald Adam Rosales 352 3.6 78 -2 0.6 Nick Green Scott Moore 437 4.0 88 -6 0.5 Matt Craig Shane Peterson 484 3.7 78 3 0.4 Andy Tomberlin Jermaine Mitchell 543 3.1 69 2 0.2 Herm Winningham Michael Taylor 538 3.9 83 -2 0.2 Jordan Czarniecki Michael Choice 511 3.4 75 -3 0.1 Lance Hallberg Luke Montz 397 3.5 79 2 0.0 Ryan Jones Steve Parker 525 3.2 70 -4 0.0 Chris Saunders Jason Jaramillo 287 2.6 53 -2 -0.1 Chris Tremie Wes Timmons 325 3.8 81 -7 -0.1 Ted Sizemore Josh Horton 445 2.8 60 -1 -0.2 Jim Mason Grant Green 634 3.5 75 2 -0.3 Rod Allen Matt Rizzotti 481 3.7 81 -3 -0.4 Lyle Overbay *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER Jarrod Parker R 24 33 33 195.7 153 69 14 190 88 82 Tommy Milone L 26 29 29 173.3 130 31 17 185 81 76 Dan Straily R 24 31 31 170.0 153 79 21 161 85 79 A.J. Griffin R 25 31 31 171.3 121 47 22 170 86 80 Bartolo Colon R 40 20 20 127.0 75 23 15 136 62 58 Sean Doolittle L 26 61 0 71.3 83 27 6 57 27 25 Brett Anderson L 25 15 15 83.3 57 20 8 86 40 37 Grant Balfour R 35 61 0 57.3 57 21 5 47 21 20 Ryan Cook R 26 67 0 68.3 66 31 5 58 28 26 Pat Neshek R 32 57 0 56.7 48 17 4 56 24 22 Travis Blackley L 30 26 13 88.0 61 34 9 88 46 43 Jerry Blevins L 29 59 0 57.0 51 22 6 52 26 24 Jordan Norberto L 26 48 0 55.3 53 30 5 49 26 24 Evan Scribner R 27 52 0 59.0 50 22 7 58 30 28 Chris Resop R 30 55 0 58.7 49 24 6 59 30 28 Mike Ekstrom R 29 52 1 66.7 45 28 6 71 36 34 Jeremy Accardo R 31 48 0 58.0 35 28 5 62 33 31 Pedro Figueroa L 27 52 0 61.7 40 40 6 63 35 33 Jesse Chavez R 29 41 9 88.0 62 31 13 98 55 51 Brad Peacock R 25 27 24 128.3 101 71 17 142 83 78 Justin Thomas L 29 51 0 62.3 41 28 8 69 39 36 Garrett Olson L 29 33 15 89.7 58 56 11 106 64 60 Arnold Leon R 24 45 0 63.0 45 32 10 74 43 40 Andrew Werner L 26 26 26 132.3 79 49 23 170 98 92 Fabio Castro L 28 26 17 90.7 54 65 16 120 79 74 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- Jarrod Parker 195.7 833 18.4% 8.3% .290 3.77 3.53 94 88 Tommy Milone 173.3 725 17.9% 4.3% .301 3.95 3.49 98 87 Dan Straily 170.0 740 20.7% 10.7% .283 4.18 4.47 104 111 A.J. Griffin 171.3 721 16.8% 6.5% .271 4.20 4.28 104 106 Bartolo Colon 127.0 531 14.1% 4.3% .280 4.11 3.95 102 98 Sean Doolittle 71.3 293 28.3% 9.2% .281 3.15 3.04 78 75 Brett Anderson 83.3 351 16.3% 5.7% .290 4.00 3.84 99 95 Grant Balfour 57.3 235 24.3% 8.9% .267 3.14 3.23 78 80 Ryan Cook 68.3 287 23.0% 10.8% .284 3.42 3.52 85 87 Pat Neshek 56.7 238 20.1% 7.1% .307 3.49 3.32 87 83 Travis Blackley 88.0 382 16.0% 8.9% .279 4.40 4.30 109 107 Jerry Blevins 57.0 239 21.3% 9.2% .282 3.79 3.83 94 95 Jordan Norberto 55.3 240 22.1% 12.5% .284 3.90 3.98 97 99 Evan Scribner 59.0 254 19.7% 8.7% .283 4.27 4.16 106 103 Chris Resop 58.7 251 19.5% 9.6% .301 4.30 3.83 107 95 Mike Ekstrom 66.7 295 15.3% 9.5% .298 4.59 4.31 114 107 Jeremy Accardo 58.0 259 13.5% 10.8% .294 4.81 4.46 119 111 Pedro Figueroa 61.7 284 14.1% 14.1% .284 4.82 5.10 120 127 Jesse Chavez 88.0 387 16.0% 8.0% .296 5.22 4.80 130 119 Brad Peacock 128.3 590 17.1% 12.0% .305 5.47 5.07 136 126 Justin Thomas 62.3 280 14.7% 10.0% .295 5.20 4.94 129 123 Garrett Olson 89.7 425 13.7% 13.2% .312 6.02 5.40 149 134 Arnold Leon 63.0 292 15.4% 11.0% .304 5.71 5.44 142 135 Andrew Werner 132.3 607 13.0% 8.1% .312 6.26 5.41 155 134 Fabio Castro 90.7 452 12.0% 14.4% .319 7.35 6.55 182 163 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp Jarrod Parker 195.7 7.04 3.17 0.64 103 3.0 Greg Maddux Tommy Milone 173.3 6.75 1.61 0.88 99 2.3 Glendon Rusch Dan Straily 170.0 8.10 4.18 1.11 93 1.8 Jeff Juden A.J. Griffin 171.3 6.36 2.47 1.16 93 1.7 Mike Boddicker Bartolo Colon 127.0 5.31 1.63 1.06 95 1.4 Mike Morgan Sean Doolittle 71.3 10.48 3.41 0.76 124 1.3 Al Hrabosky Brett Anderson 83.3 6.16 2.16 0.86 98 1.1 Justin Atchley Grant Balfour 57.3 8.95 3.30 0.79 124 1.0 Eric Plunk Ryan Cook 68.3 8.70 4.08 0.66 114 0.9 Bryce Florie Pat Neshek 56.7 7.62 2.70 0.63 112 0.7 John Habyan Travis Blackley 88.0 6.24 3.48 0.92 89 0.6 Scott Schoeneweis Jerry Blevins 57.0 8.05 3.47 0.95 103 0.5 John Grabow Jordan Norberto 55.3 8.63 4.88 0.81 100 0.4 Darren Oliver Evan Scribner 59.0 7.63 3.36 1.07 91 0.1 Jerrod Riggan Chris Resop 58.7 7.51 3.68 0.92 91 0.1 Roberto Giron Mike Ekstrom 66.7 6.07 3.78 0.81 85 -0.1 Mike Bumstead Jeremy Accardo 58.0 5.43 4.34 0.78 81 -0.4 Jake Robbins Pedro Figueroa 61.7 5.83 5.83 0.88 81 -0.4 Dean Brueggemann Jesse Chavez 88.0 6.34 3.17 1.33 75 -0.4 Brian Sweeney Brad Peacock 128.3 7.08 4.98 1.19 71 -0.6 Doug Robertson Justin Thomas 62.3 5.92 4.04 1.16 75 -0.8 Joe Beimel Garrett Olson 89.7 5.82 5.62 1.10 65 -1.1 Kevin Rawitzer Arnold Leon 63.0 6.43 4.57 1.43 68 -1.2 Jim Dorsey Andrew Werner 132.3 5.37 3.33 1.56 62 -1.8 Nate Teut Fabio Castro 90.7 5.36 6.45 1.59 53 -2.5 Corey Lee *** 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. Dan Szymborski can be found on Twitter @DSzymborski. *** Other 2013 Projections: Giants.
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