Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/16/14
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 first set of 2013′s projections — for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. Don’t hesitate to leave notes regarding format/presentation in the comments section, as the author frequently has no idea what he’s doing. Other thing: Szymborski himself will be chatting at Noon ET today in these very same electronic pages, and will happily answer any questions readers have regarding the projections themselves. Batters The Giants’ success is tied pretty strongly to the health and success of Buster Posey — not merely because only one player (i.e. Mike Trout) posted a higher WAR than Posey in 2012, but also because San Francisco’s catching corps lacks anything like impact talent. At 23, Hector Sanchez certainly has some promise, but even approaching Posey’s production would be a considerable challenge. Of some interest will be how well the club is able to account for the departure of Melky Cabrera. While they were obviously able to win a championship following his suspension, Cabrera was also integral to the Giants’ regular-season performance, posting a 4.6 WAR in just 113 games (501 plate appearances). Manning the corners now will be Hunter Pence in right field and (likely) a platoon of Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres in left. ZiPS is optimistic neither about Blanco’s ability to match his career-high 2.4 wins from 2012, nor Pence’s ability to earn the entirety of the ca. $14 million he’s likely to receive in arbitration. Pitchers Allow the author to make all necessary caveats and disclaimers regarding, in particular, Matt Cain‘s ability to prevent runs above and beyond those inputs for which WAR accounts. Adjudged solely by runs allowed per nine innings, Cain was worth 6.1 wins in 2012 — and has exceeded his WAR totals by ca. 10 runs by that measure over the course of his career. He’s good. Everyone acknowledges it. Huz-zah. Otherwise, besides the departure of Brian Wilson (who was non-tendered) and a couple pieces maybe at the very back end of the bullpen, almost the entire pitching staff returns. Tim Lincecum‘s No. 1 comparable player, Tom Gordon, is notable, perhaps: Gordon was an undersized right-hander who made 203 starts between his age-20 and -29 seasons before becoming a dominant reliever. Lincecum, who enters his own age-29 season, has made 188 starts. Despite an underwhelming season in the rotation, Lincecum was excellent out of the bullpen during the postseason. Bench/Prospects Mostly owing to their defensive acumen — which is substantiated by scouting reports — both outfielder Gary Brown and shortstop Ehire Adrianza profile as potentially useful pieces in the present, should injury or ineffectiveness elsewhere require their presence. Much of Joe Panik‘s profile — high-contact infielder who’s probably more appropriately deployed at second base than shortstop — resembles the recently re-signed Marco Scutaro‘s. Now out of options, Conor Gillaspie will serve as depth at first and third (and maybe second) at the major-league level. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the Giants, 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 Buster Posey R 26 C 583 75 153 30 2 20 86 3 1 Pablo Sandoval B 26 3B 547 68 141 30 3 18 76 2 3 Angel Pagan B 31 CF 610 81 151 32 9 8 55 25 8 Brandon Belt L 25 1B 544 63 124 28 5 13 67 12 5 Gary Brown R 24 CF 654 78 151 30 6 6 52 29 16 Hunter Pence R 30 RF 665 82 159 28 4 18 90 9 4 Andres Torres B 35 CF 425 54 87 21 6 6 37 14 5 Joe Panik L 22 SS 640 77 153 27 4 4 57 7 4 Marco Scutaro R 37 2B 542 53 132 24 3 5 45 6 3 Conor Gillaspie L 25 3B 566 59 132 23 5 8 57 2 4 Brandon Crawford L 26 SS 475 49 99 21 4 6 42 4 5 Ehire Adrianza B 23 SS 531 50 106 26 5 4 42 10 4 Hector Sanchez B 23 C 362 34 88 20 1 6 57 0 1 Joaquin Arias R 28 SS 371 39 90 15 3 4 35 6 1 Adam Duvall R 24 3B 615 63 122 25 4 16 67 4 4 Gregor Blanco L 29 RF 400 50 78 14 4 4 25 21 5 Brett Pill R 28 1B 543 56 131 29 2 13 67 4 3 Nick Noonan L 24 SS 548 55 121 21 3 4 47 6 4 Guillermo Quiroz R 31 C 333 35 68 14 2 6 38 0 1 Freddy Sanchez R 35 2B 224 23 55 11 1 3 24 1 1 Francisco Peguero R 25 RF 515 56 129 17 9 4 54 13 6 Roger Kieschnick L 26 LF 398 48 83 16 5 10 43 4 4 Aubrey Huff L 36 1B 278 24 59 12 0 5 28 2 1 Todd Linden B 33 1B 387 42 82 17 4 5 35 2 2 Juan Perez R 26 RF 573 61 129 26 6 7 48 14 11 Ryan Theriot R 33 2B 487 54 118 19 2 1 36 11 7 Tyler LaTorre L 30 C 179 17 33 8 0 1 15 0 1 Xavier Nady R 34 LF 254 22 51 10 0 4 23 1 0 Wes Hodges R 28 1B 384 33 83 19 1 6 35 2 1 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Buster Posey 583 10.1% 15.6% .184 .326 .299 .372 .482 .363 Pablo Sandoval 547 7.9% 13.7% .182 .300 .285 .338 .467 .334 Angel Pagan 610 6.9% 14.4% .132 .306 .270 .320 .403 .311 Brandon Belt 544 12.3% 22.8% .164 .330 .264 .358 .429 .341 Gary Brown 654 5.5% 17.0% .101 .303 .255 .314 .356 .293 Hunter Pence 665 7.4% 18.6% .148 .299 .262 .317 .410 .316 Andres Torres 425 10.4% 22.8% .136 .298 .233 .318 .369 .303 Joe Panik 640 7.2% 11.3% .080 .290 .262 .318 .342 .292 Marco Scutaro 542 6.3% 7.9% .092 .283 .269 .316 .360 .294 Conor Gillaspie 566 7.4% 15.9% .111 .295 .256 .313 .367 .293 Brandon Crawford 475 7.6% 23.2% .109 .293 .230 .292 .340 .272 Ehire Adrianza 531 6.8% 21.1% .100 .279 .221 .280 .321 .262 Hector Sanchez 362 3.9% 20.7% .117 .308 .257 .285 .373 .283 Joaquin Arias 371 3.2% 13.5% .095 .288 .258 .285 .352 .275 Adam Duvall 615 7.0% 24.4% .145 .268 .219 .283 .364 .281 Gregor Blanco 400 11.8% 22.0% .099 .292 .227 .322 .326 .293 Brett Pill 543 4.1% 14.4% .142 .280 .258 .295 .400 .298 Nick Noonan 548 6.4% 19.5% .078 .295 .241 .290 .318 .264 Guillermo Quiroz 333 6.0% 25.5% .118 .286 .223 .275 .341 .266 Freddy Sanchez 224 5.4% 14.7% .107 .304 .268 .312 .376 .294 Francisco Peguero 515 2.5% 19.8% .095 .320 .262 .283 .357 .276 Roger Kieschnick 398 6.0% 30.4% .152 .303 .226 .274 .378 .279 Aubrey Huff 278 9.4% 15.8% .109 .267 .239 .309 .348 .285 Todd Linden 387 8.0% 25.6% .114 .310 .234 .302 .349 .286 Juan Perez 573 3.8% 23.6% .109 .303 .238 .271 .346 .267 Ryan Theriot 487 6.0% 11.1% .058 .297 .265 .312 .323 .277 Tyler LaTorre 179 8.4% 26.3% .069 .286 .208 .282 .277 .246 Xavier Nady 254 5.5% 24.8% .094 .278 .218 .272 .312 .258 Wes Hodges 384 3.6% 25.0% .107 .291 .227 .258 .334 .259 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Buster Posey 583 6.9 139 5 6.5 Joe Torre Pablo Sandoval 547 5.9 125 2 4.1 Jim Lefebvre Angel Pagan 610 4.9 103 4 3.5 Mookie Wilson Brandon Belt 544 5.7 121 1 2.7 Johnny Callison Gary Brown 654 4.0 89 5 2.1 Lemmie Miller Hunter Pence 665 4.8 104 -1 2.1 Gary Matthews Andres Torres 425 4.2 94 4 2.1 Mitch Webster Joe Panik 640 4.0 87 -6 1.9 Liu Rodriguez Marco Scutaro 542 4.2 91 0 1.9 Mark Loretta Conor Gillaspie 566 4.0 91 1 1.8 Ernest Riles Brandon Crawford 475 3.3 78 6 1.7 Craig Cooper Ehire Adrianza 531 3.2 69 3 1.5 Pedro Sanchez Hector Sanchez 362 3.8 84 0 1.3 Rich Gedman Joaquin Arias 371 3.8 79 -2 1.2 Luis Maza Adam Duvall 615 3.5 82 -3 1.2 Corey Smith Gregor Blanco 400 4.0 84 4 1.1 Reggie Williams Brett Pill 543 4.3 94 0 1.0 Dan Rohrmeier Nick Noonan 548 3.2 72 -5 0.7 Gregorio Petit Guillermo Quiroz 333 3.2 73 -3 0.7 Chad Moeller Freddy Sanchez 224 4.3 94 0 0.7 Mark Grudzielanek Francisco Peguero 515 3.7 79 4 0.6 Alexis Rios Roger Kieschnick 398 3.5 82 1 0.4 Matt Cimo Aubrey Huff 278 3.8 86 0 0.4 Dave May Todd Linden 387 3.7 84 0 0.3 Mitch Webster Juan Perez 573 3.2 73 4 0.2 Drew Anderson Ryan Theriot 487 3.6 80 -7 0.0 Brian Dallimore Tyler LaTorre 179 2.5 59 -1 -0.3 Tom Nieto Xavier Nady 254 3.0 65 0 -0.3 Chad Moeller Wes Hodges 384 3.0 66 -1 -0.5 Nilson Robledo *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER Matt Cain R 28 31 31 210.7 179 55 17 179 75 70 Madison Bumgarner L 23 33 33 209.0 195 49 19 190 80 75 Tim Lincecum R 29 31 31 188.7 194 78 18 169 82 77 Ryan Vogelsong R 35 28 27 163.7 130 57 15 155 72 67 Sergio Romo R 30 66 0 52.0 64 11 4 39 14 13 Barry Zito L 35 24 23 135.7 91 53 15 134 70 65 Santiago Casilla R 32 60 0 56.3 51 24 5 49 22 21 Chris Heston R 25 23 23 136.7 86 50 11 148 72 67 Jose Mijares L 28 65 0 50.7 48 21 4 44 20 19 Jeremy Affeldt L 34 58 0 55.0 48 22 4 50 22 21 Brian Wilson R 31 47 0 48.0 49 23 3 42 19 18 Mike Kickham L 24 25 24 123.3 99 64 11 123 65 61 Eric Surkamp L 24 19 19 104.3 81 50 7 107 52 49 Javier Lopez L 35 65 0 41.3 31 17 2 39 17 16 Brett Bochy R 25 41 0 47.3 54 27 4 37 20 19 George Kontos R 28 51 2 70.0 58 25 7 67 32 30 Clay Hensley R 33 53 3 61.3 49 27 6 57 29 27 Heath Hembree R 24 51 0 47.3 47 28 4 40 21 20 Chad Gaudin R 30 37 3 63.7 49 23 6 64 31 29 Yusmeiro Petit R 28 21 17 98.0 67 30 10 111 55 51 Dan Runzler L 28 43 4 48.0 44 27 3 47 25 23 Brad Penny R 35 22 10 73.0 37 25 7 82 41 38 Shane Loux R 33 41 0 53.3 29 16 4 56 26 24 Dan Otero R 28 48 0 59.0 38 12 5 65 29 27 Guillermo Mota R 39 34 0 42.7 39 16 5 42 21 20 Boof Bonser R 31 17 8 42.0 24 20 4 47 26 24 Jake Dunning R 24 44 3 71.7 48 26 6 79 39 36 Clayton Blackburn R 20 22 22 125.7 95 27 24 137 75 70 Mitch Lively R 27 50 0 69.0 47 32 5 71 36 34 Scott Munter R 33 38 1 49.3 36 27 4 53 29 27 Jean Machi R 31 56 0 57.3 37 25 6 63 33 31 Steve Edlefsen R 28 50 0 56.3 36 32 5 60 33 31 Brian Burres L 32 24 21 107.3 65 50 15 126 72 67 Eric Hacker R 30 27 24 134.0 75 55 15 166 88 82 Edwin Escobar L 21 20 19 91.7 60 39 18 108 65 61 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- Matt Cain 210.7 853 21.0% 6.5% .265 2.99 3.30 78 86 Madison Bumgarner 209.0 850 23.0% 5.8% .285 3.23 3.11 84 81 Tim Lincecum 188.7 800 24.3% 9.8% .289 3.67 3.53 96 92 Ryan Vogelsong 163.7 689 18.9% 8.3% .283 3.68 3.76 96 98 Sergio Romo 52.0 202 31.6% 5.4% .279 2.25 2.33 59 61 Barry Zito 135.7 583 15.6% 9.1% .273 4.31 4.36 112 114 Santiago Casilla 56.3 236 21.6% 10.2% .277 3.36 3.66 88 95 Chris Heston 136.7 601 14.3% 8.3% .300 4.41 4.18 115 109 Jose Mijares 50.7 213 22.6% 9.9% .285 3.38 3.53 88 92 Jeremy Affeldt 55.0 232 20.7% 9.5% .289 3.44 3.55 90 92 Brian Wilson 48.0 205 23.9% 11.2% .296 3.38 3.24 88 84 Mike Kickham 123.3 551 18.0% 11.6% .294 4.45 4.38 116 114 Eric Surkamp 104.3 464 17.5% 10.8% .306 4.23 4.00 110 104 Javier Lopez 41.3 174 17.8% 9.8% .296 3.48 3.24 91 84 Brett Bochy 47.3 201 26.9% 13.5% .281 3.61 3.56 94 93 George Kontos 70.0 299 19.4% 8.4% .282 3.86 3.94 101 103 Clay Hensley 61.3 263 18.6% 10.3% .277 3.96 4.14 103 108 Heath Hembree 47.3 208 22.6% 13.5% .278 3.80 4.17 99 109 Chad Gaudin 63.7 273 18.0% 8.4% .295 4.10 3.96 107 103 Yusmeiro Petit 98.0 430 15.6% 7.0% .309 4.68 4.16 122 108 Dan Runzler 48.0 215 20.5% 12.6% .311 4.31 3.82 112 100 Brad Penny 73.0 321 11.5% 7.8% .291 4.68 4.40 122 114 Shane Loux 53.3 228 12.7% 7.0% .287 4.05 3.94 105 103 Dan Otero 59.0 250 15.2% 4.8% .306 4.12 3.67 107 96 Guillermo Mota 42.7 183 21.3% 8.7% .294 4.22 3.98 110 104 Boof Bonser 42.0 191 12.6% 10.5% .297 5.14 4.76 134 124 Jake Dunning 71.7 316 15.2% 8.2% .307 4.52 4.06 118 106 Clayton Blackburn 125.7 535 17.8% 5.0% .279 5.01 4.90 130 128 Mitch Lively 69.0 306 15.4% 10.5% .298 4.43 4.24 115 110 Scott Munter 49.3 224 16.0% 12.0% .309 4.93 4.45 128 116 Jean Machi 57.3 256 14.5% 9.8% .298 4.87 4.58 127 119 Steve Edlefsen 56.3 257 14.0% 12.4% .296 4.95 4.78 129 125 Brian Burres 107.3 492 13.2% 10.2% .300 5.62 5.24 146 136 Eric Hacker 134.0 614 12.2% 9.0% .317 5.51 4.80 143 125 Edwin Escobar 91.7 418 14.4% 9.3% .289 5.99 5.84 156 152 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ No. 1 Comp Matt Cain 210.7 7.65 2.35 0.73 121 Freddy Garcia Madison Bumgarner 209.0 8.40 2.11 0.82 112 Eric Milton Tim Lincecum 188.7 9.25 3.72 0.86 98 Tom Gordon Ryan Vogelsong 163.7 7.15 3.13 0.82 98 Mike Torrez Sergio Romo 52.0 11.08 1.90 0.69 161 Ugueth Urbina Barry Zito 135.7 6.04 3.52 0.99 84 Bob Knepper Santiago Casilla 56.3 8.15 3.84 0.80 108 Doug Bochtler Chris Heston 136.7 5.66 3.29 0.72 82 Mike LaCoss Jose Mijares 50.7 8.52 3.73 0.71 107 Randy Choate Jeremy Affeldt 55.0 7.85 3.60 0.65 105 Scott Schoeneweis Brian Wilson 48.0 9.19 4.31 0.56 107 Mike MacDougal Mike Kickham 123.3 7.23 4.67 0.80 81 Brandon Claussen Eric Surkamp 104.3 6.99 4.31 0.60 82 John Daniels Javier Lopez 41.3 6.76 3.70 0.44 104 Vic Darensbourg Brett Bochy 47.3 10.27 5.14 0.76 100 Eric Cammack George Kontos 70.0 7.46 3.21 0.90 94 Joey McLaughlin Clay Hensley 61.3 7.19 3.96 0.88 91 Jim Czajkowski Heath Hembree 47.3 8.94 5.33 0.76 95 Brad Voyles Chad Gaudin 63.7 6.92 3.25 0.85 88 Steve Crawford Yusmeiro Petit 98.0 6.15 2.76 0.92 77 Doug Waechter Dan Runzler 48.0 8.25 5.06 0.56 84 Steve Colyer Brad Penny 73.0 4.56 3.08 0.86 77 Jim Barr Shane Loux 53.3 4.90 2.70 0.68 89 Mike Barlow Dan Otero 59.0 5.80 1.83 0.76 88 Jeff Tam Guillermo Mota 42.7 8.22 3.37 1.05 86 Jose Mesa Boof Bonser 42.0 5.14 4.29 0.86 70 Elmer Riddle Jake Dunning 71.7 6.03 3.26 0.75 80 Rich DeLosSantos Clayton Blackburn 125.7 6.80 1.93 1.72 72 John Gardner Mitch Lively 69.0 6.13 4.17 0.65 81 Jose Segura Scott Munter 49.3 6.57 4.93 0.73 73 Ernie Camacho Jean Machi 57.3 5.81 3.93 0.94 74 Mike Sullivan Steve Edlefsen 56.3 5.75 5.12 0.80 73 Ryan Baker Brian Burres 107.3 5.45 4.19 1.26 64 Brian Barnes Eric Hacker 134.0 5.04 3.69 1.01 66 Dennis Tankersley Edwin Escobar 91.7 5.89 3.83 1.77 60 Greg Hibbard *** 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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