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 are the projections for the maybe-AL-East-favorite Toronto Blue Jays. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski. Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Cubs / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Rangers. Batters In 2012, Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie combined for just 217 total games played and 935 plate appearances, posting a 3.2 and 2.9 WAR, respectively. Were each to have produced at similar rates over 650 plate appearances instead (which probably isn’t a responsible thing to assume, actually, but that’s what’s happening right now), that would have been worth about another two or three wins to the Blue Jays — and likely even more, on account of how the Jays’ main replacements at right field (Moises Sierra) and third base (Adeiny Hechavarria) were worth less than replacement level. For 2013, even with just ca. 1,100 plate appearances projected between them, Bautista and Lawrie are expected to combine for about 9.0 WAR — or, roughly what they’d have produced together in a full season in 2012. Elsewhere, early indications are that the Blue Jays will wait until spring training to name a starting second baseman. ZiPS suggests that maybe Maicer Izturis and not Emilio Bonifacio would be the right choice, although it’s not the proverbial “slam dunk.” Pitchers Brandon Morrow‘s 2.4 WAR in 2012 was the team’s highest mark for a pitcher (by a factor of two, in fact). That same figure in 2013 would merit consideration merely for the fifth starter role, according to ZiPS, which projects offseason acquisitions R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle to combine for something like 10 wins. The bullpen features (deservedly, given his recent track record) an enthusiastic projection (60.1 IP, 79 ERA-, 1.2 WAR) for Casey Janssen — which is notable insofar as anyone who followed baseball in 2006 will remember Janssen as a soft-tossing starter. By way of illustrating his improvement, here’s a poorly designed graph of Janssen’s swinging-strike rates from 2006 to ’12: Bench/Prospects The aggressive nature of Toronto’s offseason necessarily means that their system is less impressive than it would have been otherwise, now lacking Travis D’Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, and Noah Syndergaard, among others. The very athletic Anthony Gose, despite a 2012 that saw him post a 73 wRC+, is viewed as something not unlike major-league average by ZiPS. And, at catcher, A.J. Jimenez is forecast roughly on par with J.P. Arencibia and newly acquired Josh Thole. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the Blue Jays, 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 Jose Bautista R 32 RF 497 74 108 21 2 31 80 7 2 Jose Reyes B 30 SS 613 83 164 32 10 12 55 34 9 Brett Lawrie R 23 3B 573 77 144 28 6 19 66 15 6 Edwin Encarnacion R 30 DH 529 71 126 24 0 28 80 8 2 Melky Cabrera B 28 LF 641 91 174 35 6 16 77 15 6 Kelly Johnson L 31 2B 578 67 120 23 4 20 60 12 4 Colby Rasmus L 26 CF 588 82 128 26 4 23 73 6 3 J.P. Arencibia R 27 C 464 52 100 23 2 23 72 1 0 Anthony Gose L 22 CF 662 78 141 23 8 11 54 47 14 Adam Lind L 29 1B 556 55 134 26 2 22 79 1 0 Josh Thole L 26 C 426 37 100 21 1 4 36 1 1 Maicer Izturis B 32 2B 365 42 89 20 1 4 33 11 4 A.J. Jimenez R 23 C 292 26 70 13 1 4 27 6 3 Rajai Davis R 32 LF 461 57 111 24 4 5 42 38 12 Luis Jimenez L 31 1B 532 65 122 27 1 14 63 2 0 Ryan Langerhans L 33 LF 370 40 67 14 2 10 33 5 5 Emilio Bonifacio B 28 CF 442 53 101 13 5 2 23 29 6 Jack Cust L 34 RF 429 49 77 15 1 15 50 2 0 David Cooper L 26 1B 572 59 134 35 1 13 65 0 1 Mike Nickeas R 30 C 241 22 50 10 0 3 26 0 1 Mike McCoy R 32 2B 414 45 80 14 1 3 27 19 7 Luke Hughes R 28 2B 313 32 62 14 2 7 29 4 2 Ryan Goins L 25 SS 546 46 120 25 3 4 46 7 6 Moises Sierra R 24 RF 494 53 110 15 2 15 59 7 8 Paul Phillips R 36 C 172 13 38 5 0 1 11 0 1 Omar Vizquel B 46 2B 157 14 37 6 1 0 7 2 2 Jim Negrych L 28 2B 420 48 92 16 2 5 39 5 5 Vladimir Guerrero R 38 LF 246 26 67 12 1 7 29 1 1 Eugenio Velez B 31 RF 436 44 94 20 3 6 41 19 9 Chris Woodward R 37 3B 383 33 80 19 1 4 31 3 2 Lance Zawadzki B 28 2B 355 35 70 12 3 6 30 8 2 Kevin Howard L 32 1B 342 30 77 12 1 6 31 4 3 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Jose Bautista 497 16.3% 18.1% .291 .266 .266 .391 .557 .395 Jose Reyes 613 7.3% 8.5% .157 .304 .293 .343 .450 .339 Brett Lawrie 573 6.5% 16.6% .186 .304 .275 .332 .461 .343 Edwin Encarnacion 529 10.6% 15.3% .235 .275 .273 .357 .508 .366 Melky Cabrera 641 6.4% 13.6% .161 .320 .294 .339 .455 .337 Kelly Johnson 578 10.6% 26.0% .179 .294 .236 .322 .415 .321 Colby Rasmus 588 8.7% 25.3% .196 .292 .242 .311 .438 .317 J.P. Arencibia 464 6.0% 27.6% .224 .273 .233 .282 .457 .316 Anthony Gose 662 8.0% 26.6% .121 .318 .237 .307 .358 .298 Adam Lind 556 7.0% 19.8% .188 .292 .263 .315 .451 .327 Josh Thole 426 8.2% 13.1% .091 .294 .261 .325 .352 .292 Maicer Izturis 365 7.4% 12.1% .103 .299 .270 .331 .373 .310 A.J. Jimenez 292 4.5% 17.5% .100 .303 .258 .295 .358 .283 Rajai Davis 461 5.0% 18.0% .109 .308 .259 .302 .368 .298 Luis Jimenez 532 8.6% 21.2% .146 .302 .252 .318 .398 .313 Ryan Langerhans 370 11.6% 31.4% .149 .288 .208 .302 .357 .287 Emilio Bonifacio 442 7.7% 20.4% .073 .320 .254 .312 .327 .287 Jack Cust 429 14.0% 33.1% .171 .298 .212 .329 .383 .315 David Cooper 572 7.7% 15.0% .146 .283 .257 .315 .403 .309 Mike Nickeas 241 7.1% 19.5% .088 .276 .229 .289 .317 .264 Mike McCoy 414 10.9% 17.4% .070 .269 .223 .310 .293 .273 Luke Hughes 313 7.0% 27.5% .138 .284 .218 .279 .356 .278 Ryan Goins 546 5.5% 20.1% .085 .296 .239 .280 .324 .259 Moises Sierra 494 5.9% 23.5% .140 .290 .241 .294 .381 .291 Paul Phillips 172 5.2% 12.8% .050 .268 .238 .281 .288 .247 Omar Vizquel 157 3.8% 10.2% .054 .278 .252 .277 .306 .251 Jim Negrych 420 8.1% 17.1% .093 .287 .244 .306 .337 .279 Vladimir Guerrero 246 2.0% 9.3% .148 .288 .284 .305 .432 .314 Eugenio Velez 436 6.0% 22.0% .109 .292 .234 .285 .343 .274 Chris Woodward 383 4.4% 20.9% .093 .274 .223 .262 .316 .253 Lance Zawadzki 355 5.4% 26.5% .108 .275 .210 .255 .318 .252 Kevin Howard 342 5.0% 17.0% .099 .273 .238 .276 .337 .264 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Jose Bautista 497 8.1 153 -1 4.6 Ralph Kiner Jose Reyes 613 6.2 113 -3 4.3 Rafael Furcal Brett Lawrie 573 5.8 112 9 4.3 Adrian Beltre Edwin Encarnacion 529 6.8 131 0 3.3 Richie Zisk Melky Cabrera 641 6.0 113 -3 2.5 Shannon Stewart Kelly Johnson 578 4.8 98 -1 2.4 Jed Hansen Colby Rasmus 588 4.8 100 -1 2.2 Ernie Young J.P. Arencibia 464 4.6 96 -2 2.0 John Buck Anthony Gose 662 4.2 80 4 2.0 Herm Winningham Adam Lind 556 5.2 105 -1 1.4 Larry Sheets Josh Thole 426 4.2 84 -3 1.1 Bruce Benedict Maicer Izturis 365 4.7 91 -1 1.1 Wally Backman A.J. Jimenez 292 3.9 76 3 1.1 Kirt Manwaring Rajai Davis 461 4.4 81 2 0.7 Gil Coan Luis Jimenez 532 4.6 93 -2 0.6 Lyle Overbay Ryan Langerhans 370 3.5 78 7 0.6 Brad Wilkerson Emilio Bonifacio 442 4.2 74 -4 0.5 Alex Cole Jack Cust 429 4.4 92 -4 0.4 Adam Hyzdu David Cooper 572 4.6 93 -4 0.3 Rod Brewer Mike Nickeas 241 3.1 64 0 0.3 Chris Tremie Mike McCoy 414 3.3 65 -1 0.1 Julio Cruz Luke Hughes 313 3.4 71 -3 0.0 Seth Bynum Ryan Goins 546 3.1 63 -3 0.0 Felix Molina Moises Sierra 494 3.8 81 1 -0.1 Angel Echevarria Paul Phillips 172 2.7 55 -2 -0.2 Raul Chavez Omar Vizquel 157 2.9 58 -1 -0.2 Rey Sanchez Jim Negrych 420 3.5 74 -6 -0.3 Josh Labandeira Vladimir Guerrero 246 4.9 97 -9 -0.4 Rich Aurilia Eugenio Velez 436 3.5 70 -1 -0.5 Doug Clark Chris Woodward 383 2.9 56 -2 -0.5 Jeff Branson Lance Zawadzki 355 2.9 54 -4 -0.6 Kevin Davis Kevin Howard 342 3.2 65 0 -0.7 Kevin Jordan *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER R.A. Dickey R 38 30 29 194.3 148 47 25 193 90 84 Josh Johnson R 29 24 24 149.0 123 45 14 143 65 61 Brandon Morrow R 28 28 28 154.0 157 59 17 142 73 68 Ricky Romero L 28 30 30 187.3 143 84 21 183 98 92 Mark Buehrle L 34 26 26 168.3 91 34 23 186 88 82 Brett Cecil L 26 32 26 158.3 112 51 23 171 92 86 Casey Janssen R 31 58 0 60.3 61 15 6 54 24 22 Buzz Oliver L 42 52 0 44.7 39 13 4 42 18 17 Drew Hutchison R 22 20 20 102.3 81 34 16 110 60 56 Esmil Rogers R 27 67 0 80.0 79 31 9 79 41 38 J.A. Happ L 30 25 23 130.7 109 58 20 137 80 75 Steve Delabar R 29 60 0 63.3 84 25 12 53 31 29 Sergio Santos R 29 35 0 34.0 41 14 3 29 14 13 Aaron Loup L 25 72 0 75.3 52 18 7 81 39 36 Brandon Lyon R 33 53 0 49.7 41 17 5 49 25 23 Luis Perez L 28 35 0 42.3 39 16 4 40 20 19 Dustin McGowan R 31 13 13 74.0 56 32 10 80 45 42 Brad Lincoln R 28 39 17 117.3 88 31 21 133 74 69 Sam Dyson R 25 40 6 71.3 29 24 7 84 43 40 Rich Thompson R 28 42 0 51.7 43 24 7 52 29 27 Justin Germano R 30 29 15 108.3 65 27 19 125 70 65 Chad Beck R 28 58 0 59.7 28 21 6 68 34 32 Buddy Carlyle R 35 30 1 55.7 38 20 8 62 33 31 Ronald Uviedo R 26 48 0 66.0 52 29 9 71 40 37 Jeremy Jeffress R 25 49 0 54.7 45 35 6 57 33 31 Kyle Drabek R 25 22 21 114.0 72 68 17 127 77 72 Juan Perez L 34 43 0 39.0 38 25 6 40 25 23 Claudio Vargas R 35 18 9 56.0 33 23 9 67 39 36 Evan Crawford L 26 43 0 45.3 31 22 6 51 29 27 Bobby Korecky R 33 42 0 62.3 33 23 10 71 40 37 Jamie Moyer L 50 12 11 65.0 36 19 14 81 48 45 Alex Hinshaw L 30 46 0 44.7 42 35 7 47 32 30 Chad Jenkins R 25 23 23 123.0 56 40 23 163 93 87 Chorye Spoone R 27 33 11 83.3 41 66 11 105 67 63 Scott Richmond R 33 21 20 98.7 58 45 23 123 80 75 Ramon Ortiz R 40 26 20 116.3 57 40 25 149 92 86 Greg Smith L 29 22 21 113.3 55 51 26 146 94 88 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- R.A. Dickey 194.3 823 18.0% 5.7% .282 3.89 4.06 94 98 Josh Johnson 149.0 635 19.4% 7.1% .287 3.68 3.55 89 86 Brandon Morrow 154.0 663 23.7% 8.9% .296 3.97 3.78 96 91 Ricky Romero 187.3 829 17.3% 10.1% .284 4.42 4.50 107 109 Mark Buehrle 168.3 725 12.6% 4.7% .284 4.38 4.40 106 106 Brett Cecil 158.3 697 16.1% 7.3% .293 4.89 4.63 118 112 Casey Janssen 60.3 250 24.4% 6.0% .291 3.28 3.21 79 78 Buzz Oliver 44.7 189 20.6% 6.9% .290 3.43 3.52 83 85 Drew Hutchison 102.3 451 18.0% 7.5% .300 4.93 4.75 119 115 Esmil Rogers 80.0 350 22.6% 8.9% .310 4.28 3.86 104 93 J.A. Happ 130.7 587 18.6% 9.9% .295 5.17 4.79 125 116 Steve Delabar 63.3 268 31.4% 9.3% .291 4.12 4.37 100 106 Sergio Santos 34.0 145 28.3% 9.7% .306 3.44 3.07 83 74 Aaron Loup 75.3 325 16.0% 5.5% .301 4.30 3.68 104 89 Brandon Lyon 49.7 215 19.1% 7.9% .293 4.17 3.72 101 90 Luis Perez 42.3 183 21.3% 8.7% .298 4.04 3.83 98 93 Dustin McGowan 74.0 334 16.8% 9.6% .302 5.11 4.80 124 116 Brad Lincoln 117.3 516 17.1% 6.0% .302 5.29 4.79 128 116 Sam Dyson 71.3 322 9.0% 7.5% .299 5.05 4.74 122 115 Rich Thompson 51.7 231 18.6% 10.4% .290 4.70 4.64 114 112 Justin Germano 108.3 477 13.6% 5.7% .297 5.40 5.14 131 125 Chad Beck 59.7 268 10.4% 7.8% .295 4.83 4.62 117 112 Buddy Carlyle 55.7 249 15.3% 8.0% .300 5.01 4.78 121 116 Ronald Uviedo 66.0 298 17.4% 9.7% .302 5.05 4.75 122 115 Jeremy Jeffress 54.7 256 17.6% 13.7% .305 5.10 4.85 123 117 Kyle Drabek 114.0 537 13.4% 12.7% .293 5.68 5.64 138 137 Juan Perez 39.0 182 20.9% 13.7% .309 5.31 5.22 129 126 Claudio Vargas 56.0 258 12.8% 8.9% .307 5.79 5.40 140 131 Evan Crawford 45.3 209 14.8% 10.5% .306 5.36 5.04 130 122 Bobby Korecky 62.3 281 11.7% 8.2% .289 5.34 5.42 129 131 Jamie Moyer 65.0 295 12.2% 6.4% .300 6.23 5.76 151 139 Alex Hinshaw 44.7 216 19.4% 16.2% .310 6.04 5.67 146 137 Chad Jenkins 123.0 572 9.8% 7.0% .315 6.37 5.76 154 139 Chorye Spoone 83.3 421 9.7% 15.7% .316 6.80 6.35 165 154 Scott Richmond 98.7 464 12.5% 9.7% .301 6.84 6.50 166 157 Ramon Ortiz 116.3 538 10.6% 7.4% .303 6.65 6.10 161 148 Greg Smith 113.3 537 10.2% 9.5% .302 6.99 6.62 169 160 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp R.A. Dickey 194.3 6.86 2.18 1.16 110 4.0 Woody Williams Josh Johnson 149.0 7.43 2.72 0.85 116 3.4 Jason Schmidt Brandon Morrow 154.0 9.18 3.45 0.99 107 3.0 Tim Belcher Ricky Romero 187.3 6.87 4.04 1.01 96 2.6 Fernando Valenzuela Mark Buehrle 168.3 4.87 1.82 1.23 97 2.5 Jim Kaat Brett Cecil 158.3 6.37 2.90 1.31 87 1.3 Jason Jacome Casey Janssen 60.3 9.10 2.24 0.90 130 1.2 Rafael Betancourt Buzz Oliver 44.7 7.85 2.62 0.81 124 0.8 John Franco Drew Hutchison 102.3 7.13 2.99 1.41 86 0.8 Chad Durbin Esmil Rogers 80.0 8.89 3.49 1.01 100 0.7 Bert Roberge J.A. Happ 130.7 7.51 3.99 1.38 82 0.6 Casey Fossum Steve Delabar 63.3 11.94 3.55 1.71 103 0.6 Jorge Julio Sergio Santos 34.0 10.85 3.71 0.79 124 0.6 Ryne Duren Aaron Loup 75.3 6.22 2.15 0.84 99 0.6 Mark Peterson Brandon Lyon 49.7 7.42 3.08 0.91 102 0.5 Bryan Corey Luis Perez 42.3 8.30 3.40 0.85 105 0.5 Mike Stanton Dustin McGowan 74.0 6.81 3.89 1.22 83 0.4 Kevin Foster Brad Lincoln 117.3 6.75 2.38 1.61 80 0.2 Bruce Walton Sam Dyson 71.3 3.66 3.03 0.88 84 0.2 Jack Cassel Rich Thompson 51.7 7.49 4.18 1.22 91 0.2 Franklyn German Justin Germano 108.3 5.40 2.24 1.58 79 0.1 Justin Miller Chad Beck 59.7 4.22 3.17 0.90 88 0.1 Scott Rose Buddy Carlyle 55.7 6.14 3.23 1.29 85 0.0 Ricky Barlow Ronald Uviedo 66.0 7.09 3.95 1.23 84 -0.1 Anthony Chavez Jeremy Jeffress 54.7 7.40 5.76 0.99 83 -0.1 Marc Pisciotta Kyle Drabek 114.0 5.68 5.37 1.34 75 -0.2 Brett Laxton Juan Perez 39.0 8.77 5.77 1.38 80 -0.2 Marshall Bridges Claudio Vargas 56.0 5.30 3.70 1.45 74 -0.2 Alan Benes Evan Crawford 45.3 6.16 4.37 1.19 79 -0.2 Joey Long Bobby Korecky 62.3 4.77 3.32 1.44 80 -0.3 Brandon Puffer Jamie Moyer 65.0 4.98 2.63 1.94 68 -0.5 Jerry Reuss Alex Hinshaw 44.7 8.46 7.05 1.41 70 -0.6 Bill White Chad Jenkins 123.0 4.10 2.93 1.68 67 -1.2 Cameron Reimers Chorye Spoone 83.3 4.43 7.13 1.19 63 -1.4 Dallas Trahern Scott Richmond 98.7 5.29 4.10 2.10 62 -1.5 Russ Ortiz Ramon Ortiz 116.3 4.41 3.10 1.93 64 -1.6 Ed Riley Greg Smith 113.3 4.37 4.05 2.07 61 -2.0 Dan Smith *** 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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