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, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Seattle Mariners. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski. Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox. Batters One, choosing to wax optimistic with regard to the projections below, would note that five of the top six players by projected WAR on the Mariners are either 25 years old or younger. Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino, Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, and (less immediately) Brad Miller: not only might they form a young, cost-controlled nucleus around which the front office can build, but their youth suggests that improvement is not only possible, but likely. Another, choosing to be less optimistic — perhaps because he knows that, as a resident of Seattle, summer proper is still ca. six months away and that the city will remain ensconced in a 45-degree rain cloud until then — perhaps that other one would emphasize the lack of impact talent among the club’s field players and how recent acquisitions (like Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales, and Michael Morse) address the team’s needs, but by too little. Pitchers If there’s a legitimately optimistic, and also equally legitimate pessimistic, perspective one might assume with regard to the club’s batting corps, that’s less the case with the starting rotation, about which one might say “Felix Hernandez and… pray for rain… for four days.” Neither Hisashi Iwakuma nor Erasmo Ramirez are projected to be disasters, but they also don’t appear to be what one might call “anchors of the rotation.” The bullpen — in ZiPS’ estimation, at least — is constructed similarly to the rotation, with one decidedly competent piece (in this case, Tom Wilhelmsen) followed by a number of mediocre ones. True, that assessment might be unfair to left-hander Charlie Furbush, whose projection is also somewhat promising — but that information interferes with the author’s narrative and is being ignored for that purpose. Bench/Prospects More than most teams we’ve considered so far, it seems, the bulk of the Seattle Mariners’ talent is at the minor-league level. Neither Zunino nor Miller nor Nick Franklin is likely to begin the season on the major-league roster. Likewise for the pitching triumvirate of Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. But at least some portion of those six pieces will be of some help to the team in the near future. What the ZiPS projections also remind us is how Carlos Triunfel enters just his age-23 season. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the Mariners, 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 Ackley L 25 2B 690 97 152 27 6 13 56 11 3 Mike Zunino R 22 C 598 86 135 22 0 16 66 3 2 Kyle Seager L 25 3B 663 80 160 34 2 14 75 12 7 Jesus Montero R 23 C 597 60 145 23 1 18 70 0 1 Brendan Ryan R 31 SS 473 52 95 18 3 3 34 11 4 Brad Miller L 23 SS 666 87 146 27 4 9 54 16 7 Franklin Gutierrez R 30 CF 409 48 91 17 2 8 38 11 2 Michael Saunders L 26 CF 517 71 107 22 3 14 50 15 4 Kendrys Morales B 30 DH 411 48 100 18 1 16 52 1 2 Nick Franklin B 22 SS 540 63 114 21 5 8 39 11 4 Carlos Triunfel R 23 SS 626 66 142 29 2 7 50 5 4 Casper Wells R 28 RF 405 51 79 17 3 13 38 5 4 Leon Landry L 23 CF 571 62 131 24 10 6 47 20 12 Justin Smoak B 26 1B 552 57 112 20 0 18 58 1 0 Michael Morse R 31 1B 481 53 112 19 1 17 57 1 1 Stefen Romero R 24 2B 560 64 129 23 3 14 61 9 8 Eric Farris R 27 2B 534 45 120 17 2 5 29 24 8 Miguel Olivo R 34 C 387 42 81 14 1 14 41 5 5 Vinnie Catricala R 24 3B 607 65 131 29 2 11 59 8 3 Alex Liddi R 24 3B 581 73 118 25 3 15 62 7 5 Robert Andino R 29 2B 480 51 100 17 1 6 31 9 4 Ronny Paulino R 32 C 273 21 62 12 1 2 19 0 0 Munenori Kawasaki L 32 SS 444 52 102 11 3 1 33 14 8 Jesus Sucre R 25 C 367 34 82 13 0 3 25 1 2 Jason Bay R 34 LF 372 40 70 10 1 10 35 8 1 Mike Carp L 27 1B 506 58 109 21 1 16 60 3 3 Raul Ibanez L 41 LF 435 45 95 19 2 14 50 2 0 Eric Thames L 26 LF 564 59 119 23 5 13 50 4 3 Julio Morban L 21 CF 429 49 88 14 3 9 36 6 4 Francisco Martinez R 22 3B 519 56 108 16 3 4 35 17 9 Chone Figgins B 35 LF 367 38 74 11 2 2 20 15 7 Carlos Peguero L 26 RF 484 59 92 15 3 16 52 4 4 Mike Jacobs L 32 1B 464 39 85 15 1 12 43 1 1 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Dustin Ackley 690 9.9% 17.5% .126 .287 .247 .322 .373 .305 Mike Zunino 598 7.7% 22.2% .131 .302 .251 .318 .382 .301 Kyle Seager 663 6.9% 17.0% .132 .302 .264 .319 .396 .311 Jesus Montero 597 6.2% 19.1% .144 .299 .263 .310 .407 .305 Brendan Ryan 473 7.4% 18.6% .078 .276 .227 .292 .305 .264 Brad Miller 666 7.8% 21.2% .103 .298 .241 .300 .344 .284 Franklin Gutierrez 409 6.4% 19.8% .121 .287 .243 .293 .364 .286 Michael Saunders 517 9.1% 26.3% .150 .294 .231 .302 .381 .300 Kendrys Morales 411 6.6% 20.7% .181 .301 .265 .319 .446 .325 Nick Franklin 540 6.7% 24.6% .112 .301 .232 .286 .344 .274 Carlos Triunfel 626 3.5% 17.9% .093 .289 .243 .284 .336 .270 Casper Wells 405 8.6% 29.1% .172 .286 .219 .300 .391 .300 Leon Landry 571 3.9% 16.5% .116 .285 .245 .280 .361 .274 Justin Smoak 552 10.9% 22.6% .153 .271 .230 .315 .383 .305 Michael Morse 481 5.8% 25.2% .162 .308 .253 .306 .415 .311 Stefen Romero 560 3.8% 18.4% .135 .278 .245 .282 .380 .283 Eric Farris 534 3.9% 13.7% .073 .273 .242 .278 .315 .261 Miguel Olivo 387 3.6% 30.2% .158 .279 .220 .249 .378 .265 Vinnie Catricala 607 6.3% 21.4% .119 .287 .236 .294 .355 .286 Alex Liddi 581 7.1% 31.0% .143 .303 .223 .281 .366 .281 Robert Andino 480 7.3% 21.3% .085 .286 .230 .289 .315 .267 Ronny Paulino 273 5.5% 17.2% .078 .287 .242 .282 .320 .261 Munenori Kawasaki 444 4.3% 14.9% .048 .292 .248 .285 .296 .252 Jesus Sucre 367 3.0% 15.3% .063 .271 .234 .261 .297 .241 Jason Bay 372 11.0% 26.9% .130 .274 .215 .304 .345 .289 Mike Carp 506 7.7% 23.7% .155 .286 .239 .304 .394 .304 Raul Ibanez 435 6.7% 18.2% .162 .261 .238 .292 .400 .296 Eric Thames 564 6.9% 26.6% .141 .300 .233 .295 .374 .290 Julio Morban 429 4.7% 30.5% .118 .300 .220 .259 .338 .256 Francisco Martinez 519 5.4% 25.6% .070 .299 .224 .268 .294 .247 Chone Figgins 367 9.5% 18.0% .065 .281 .231 .306 .296 .268 Carlos Peguero 484 6.4% 40.5% .156 .325 .207 .269 .363 .273 Mike Jacobs 464 8.4% 30.0% .126 .266 .202 .267 .328 .259 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Dustin Ackley 690 4.4 98 6 3.4 Dick McAuliffe Mike Zunino 598 4.4 99 2 3.3 Todd Zeile Kyle Seager 663 4.6 103 -1 2.7 Buddy Bell Jesus Montero 597 4.6 103 -8 2.5 Joe Torre Brendan Ryan 473 3.2 71 11 2.0 Brian Harris Brad Miller 666 3.7 84 -4 1.7 Ron Wotus Franklin Gutierrez 409 4.0 86 6 1.7 Darnell McDonald Michael Saunders 517 4.2 94 -4 1.4 Scott Lydy Kendrys Morales 411 5.1 115 0 1.3 Xavier Nady Nick Franklin 540 3.5 79 -3 1.2 Alex Gonzalez Carlos Triunfel 626 3.3 76 -2 1.2 Aurelio Rodriguez Casper Wells 405 4.0 95 5 1.1 Jason Cooper Leon Landry 571 3.5 81 3 1.1 Tyler Colvin Justin Smoak 552 4.3 98 0 1.0 Jim Bonnici Michael Morse 481 4.6 103 -2 0.9 Xavier Nady Stefen Romero 560 3.7 87 -4 0.9 German Duran Eric Farris 534 3.3 69 1 0.8 Mark Sheehy Miguel Olivo 387 3.1 76 -1 0.7 Jim Hegan Vinnie Catricala 607 3.7 84 -8 0.7 Mark Lewis Alex Liddi 581 3.5 83 -5 0.7 Delwyn Young Robert Andino 480 3.2 73 -1 0.5 Edwin Maysonet Ronny Paulino 273 3.2 72 -2 0.5 Chris Heintz Munenori Kawasaki 444 3.0 67 -1 0.4 Rey Sanchez Jesus Sucre 367 2.6 59 0 0.3 Moses Zucker Jason Bay 372 3.8 85 -2 0.3 Jon Nunnally Mike Carp 506 4.2 98 -5 0.3 Danny Lewis Raul Ibanez 435 4.2 95 -8 0.1 Jim Bottomley Eric Thames 564 3.8 89 -6 0.0 LaVel Freeman Julio Morban 429 3.0 69 -2 -0.1 Kevin Wiggins Francisco Martinez 519 2.7 61 -1 -0.2 Danny Ainge Chone Figgins 367 3.2 73 0 -0.2 Mark McLemore Carlos Peguero 484 3.2 78 -2 -0.3 Ralph Bryant Mike Jacobs 464 2.9 69 -2 -0.8 Jody Davis *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER Felix Hernandez R 27 32 32 228.3 216 58 16 201 82 77 Hisashi Iwakuma R 32 24 18 128.3 101 33 16 127 59 55 Erasmo Ramirez R 23 29 24 144.3 92 38 15 148 72 67 Tom Wilhelmsen R 29 71 0 75.0 83 29 6 60 27 25 Charlie Furbush L 27 56 0 55.0 61 21 5 43 20 19 Danny Hultzen L 23 26 26 116.0 110 83 9 105 61 57 Kevin Millwood R 38 22 22 125.7 80 44 15 133 68 64 James Paxton L 24 22 22 101.7 102 65 11 98 56 52 Shawn Kelley R 29 42 0 44.3 43 17 5 40 19 18 Blake Beavan R 24 31 31 184.3 83 37 24 206 103 96 Josh Kinney R 34 56 0 61.3 50 25 5 57 28 26 Jeremy Bonderman R 30 27 26 159.0 110 58 21 161 89 83 Brandon Maurer R 22 22 21 106.0 68 53 8 108 60 56 George Sherrill L 36 28 0 19.0 19 8 2 18 10 9 Danny Farquhar R 26 52 0 67.7 54 34 6 63 33 31 Lucas Luetge L 26 54 0 58.3 46 27 5 58 30 28 Taijuan Walker R 20 20 20 116.0 91 63 13 119 67 63 Bobby LaFromboise L 27 48 0 60.0 42 29 5 59 31 29 David Pauley R 30 45 3 71.3 40 27 8 78 40 37 Stephen Pryor R 23 51 0 54.7 56 39 7 47 30 28 Carter Capps R 22 58 0 74.7 78 29 11 72 40 37 Anthony Fernandez L 23 26 26 145.7 85 57 19 158 87 81 Oliver Perez L 31 53 0 55.7 48 35 6 53 31 29 Brian Moran L 24 48 0 63.3 53 26 9 63 35 33 Hector Noesi R 26 31 21 133.3 89 51 19 142 80 75 Logan Bawcom R 24 53 0 59.0 54 43 7 56 34 32 Brian Sweeney R 39 23 7 66.3 35 25 11 75 44 41 Andrew Carraway R 26 26 24 131.3 68 43 19 151 83 78 Chance Ruffin R 24 54 0 68.0 50 42 8 69 42 39 D.J. Mitchell R 26 26 22 131.0 72 73 16 145 85 79 Yoervis Medina R 24 37 10 87.0 55 53 14 97 61 57 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- Felix Hernandez 228.3 944 22.9% 6.1% .287 3.04 2.99 79 78 Hisashi Iwakuma 128.3 545 18.5% 6.1% .285 3.86 4.03 100 105 Erasmo Ramirez 144.3 619 14.9% 6.1% .285 4.18 4.11 109 107 Tom Wilhelmsen 75.0 314 26.4% 9.2% .278 3.00 3.04 78 79 Charlie Furbush 55.0 229 26.6% 9.2% .273 3.11 3.15 81 82 Danny Hultzen 116.0 536 20.5% 15.5% .294 4.42 4.56 115 119 Kevin Millwood 125.7 554 14.4% 7.9% .286 4.58 4.45 119 116 James Paxton 101.7 468 21.8% 13.9% .307 4.60 4.62 120 120 Shawn Kelley 44.3 190 22.6% 9.0% .282 3.65 3.57 95 93 Blake Beavan 184.3 796 10.4% 4.6% .284 4.69 4.65 122 121 Josh Kinney 61.3 266 18.8% 9.4% .286 3.82 3.85 99 100 Jeremy Bonderman 159.0 696 15.8% 8.3% .281 4.70 4.67 122 122 Brandon Maurer 106.0 479 14.2% 11.1% .292 4.75 4.52 124 118 George Sherrill 19.0 83 22.9% 9.6% .296 4.26 3.57 111 93 Danny Farquhar 67.7 300 18.0% 11.3% .282 4.12 4.29 107 112 Lucas Luetge 58.3 260 17.7% 10.4% .296 4.32 3.97 112 103 Taijuan Walker 116.0 530 17.2% 11.9% .299 4.89 4.85 127 126 Bobby LaFromboise 60.0 268 15.7% 10.8% .287 4.35 4.33 113 113 David Pauley 71.3 319 12.5% 8.5% .294 4.67 4.74 121 123 Stephen Pryor 54.7 250 22.4% 15.6% .274 4.61 4.90 120 128 Carter Capps 74.7 325 24.0% 8.9% .299 4.46 4.21 116 109 Anthony Fernandez 145.7 652 13.0% 8.7% .289 5.00 5.00 130 130 Oliver Perez 55.7 255 18.8% 13.7% .286 4.69 4.66 122 121 Brian Moran 63.3 279 19.0% 9.3% .289 4.69 4.60 122 120 Hector Noesi 133.3 593 15.0% 8.6% .287 5.06 4.85 132 126 Logan Bawcom 59.0 276 19.6% 15.6% .292 4.88 5.20 127 135 Brian Sweeney 66.3 299 11.7% 8.4% .286 5.56 5.51 145 143 Andrew Carraway 131.3 588 11.6% 7.3% .294 5.35 5.11 139 133 Chance Ruffin 68.0 315 15.9% 13.3% .289 5.16 5.18 134 135 D.J. Mitchell 131.0 611 11.8% 11.9% .292 5.43 5.42 141 141 Yoervis Medina 87.0 411 13.4% 12.9% .293 5.90 5.89 153 153 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp Felix Hernandez 228.3 8.52 2.29 0.63 121 4.8 Greg Maddux Hisashi Iwakuma 128.3 7.08 2.31 1.12 95 1.3 Doyle Alexander Erasmo Ramirez 144.3 5.74 2.37 0.94 88 1.0 Tim Dillard Tom Wilhelmsen 75.0 9.96 3.48 0.72 122 0.9 Joaquin Benoit Charlie Furbush 55.0 9.98 3.44 0.82 118 0.6 Mike Gonzalez Danny Hultzen 116.0 8.53 6.44 0.70 83 0.5 Neal Cotts Kevin Millwood 125.7 5.73 3.15 1.07 80 0.3 Rick Sutcliffe James Paxton 101.7 9.03 5.75 0.97 80 0.2 Randy Johnson Shawn Kelley 44.3 8.74 3.45 1.02 100 0.2 Steve Andrade Blake Beavan 184.3 4.05 1.81 1.17 78 0.2 Josh Towers Josh Kinney 61.3 7.34 3.67 0.73 96 0.1 Heathcliff Slocumb Jeremy Bonderman 159.0 6.23 3.28 1.19 78 0.1 Al Nipper Brandon Maurer 106.0 5.77 4.50 0.68 77 0.0 Rick Berg George Sherrill 19.0 9.00 3.79 0.95 86 -0.1 Paul Gibson Danny Farquhar 67.7 7.18 4.52 0.80 89 -0.1 Beiker Graterol Lucas Luetge 58.3 7.10 4.17 0.77 85 -0.2 Jake Benz Taijuan Walker 116.0 7.06 4.89 1.01 75 -0.2 Andy Ashby Bobby LaFromboise 60.0 6.30 4.35 0.75 84 -0.3 Pete Cappadona David Pauley 71.3 5.05 3.41 1.01 78 -0.4 Bryan Corey Stephen Pryor 54.7 9.21 6.42 1.15 79 -0.4 Lariel Gonzalez Carter Capps 74.7 9.40 3.49 1.33 82 -0.4 Tom Waddell Anthony Fernandez 145.7 5.25 3.52 1.17 73 -0.4 Larry Casian Oliver Perez 55.7 7.76 5.66 0.97 78 -0.5 Kevin Tolar Brian Moran 63.3 7.54 3.70 1.28 78 -0.5 Randy Harvey Hector Noesi 133.3 6.01 3.44 1.28 72 -0.6 Rick Heiserman Logan Bawcom 59.0 8.24 6.56 1.07 75 -0.6 Joe Valentine Brian Sweeney 66.3 4.75 3.39 1.49 66 -0.8 Michael Riley Andrew Carraway 131.3 4.66 2.95 1.30 68 -1.0 Andy Ghelfi Chance Ruffin 68.0 6.62 5.56 1.06 71 -1.0 Mark Wooden D.J. Mitchell 131.0 4.95 5.02 1.10 67 -1.1 Carlos Paredes Yoervis Medina 87.0 5.69 5.48 1.45 62 -1.5 Andy Cavazos *** 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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