More projections for next season are out, as Dan Szymborski posted his Brewers ZiPS numbers on Tuesday.
You’ll notice things aren’t as rosy as the Bill James projections. The highlights (other than a classic line from Szymborski:”Wolf, Bush, and Narveson ate a lot of innings, but threw too many of them back up on the mound.”):
– Rickie Weeks hitting .249/.352/.436. James had Weeks at .257/.358/.444. It’s pretty clear that no matter the projection system, Weeks’ injury-shortened and -hampered seasons weigh down the numbers. We all know what he’s capable of doing, but projection systems can only use the data you provide. At least ZiPS has his OPS+ at 111.
– Corey Hart hitting .272/.327/.480. James had him at a nearly identical .272/.332/.484. These numbers seem to be forming a consensus on Hart, and I can’t really blame them, as I’d probably guess .270/.330/.480 myself. Projections of home run totals in the low to mid 20s are also hard to argue with.
– Ryan Braun’s power returns, at the expense of batting average. ZiPS projects Braun at .295/.355/.525, with 31 home runs. I’d be fine with this if Fielder won’t be in the lineup — those RBI base hits are nice and everything, but without the big man hitting behind him, he’d have to start driving himself in a little more.
– ZiPS has Mat Gamel (.265/.337/.430, 105 OPS+) outproducing Casey McGehee (.272/.322/.430 101 OPS+). Given the opportunity to start for a full season, I’d actually buy that, but we all know it’s unlikely. Looks like most projections are still looking for McGehee to regress.
– Alcides Escobar hitting .269/.315/.368. I’m going to say that based on what we saw last season, that’s wildly optimistic and just leave it at that.
– Yovani Gallardo projected to be very good again, with an ERA+ of 117 and 176 K’s in nearly 160 innings.
– Randy Wolf is projected as the only other full-time starter above league average, with an ERA+ of exactly 100 and a regular ERA of 4.09 in 198 innings. I think those are numbers most of us were expecting of him last season, and if he can find a way to pitch the way he did late last season for a full year, we may actually see those results.
The projections also include some extrapolated career numbers for guys like Braun and Fielder, and some pretty interesting historical player comps.