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2014 Twins ZiPS Projections

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#1 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:54 AM

Just posted this morning at Fangraphs:

http://www.fangraphs...innesota-twins/

They also appear to have early Steamer and Oliver projections up too, if you want to compare.

Steamer batting: http://www.fangraphs...eam=8&players=0
Steamer pitching: http://www.fangraphs...eam=8&players=0

Oliver batting: http://www.fangraphs...eam=8&players=0
Oliver pitching: http://www.fangraphs...eam=8&players=0

Edited by spycake, 13 December 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#2 Boom Boom

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

I stopped reading after I saw they had Mauer's BA at .292.

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:08 AM

I stopped reading after I saw they had Mauer's BA at .292.


I did not ever started reading when I noticed that they have Jamey Carroll, Eric Farris, Ray Olmedo, Jeff Clement and Brian Dinkelman listed as Twins.

That really helps with credibility...

I like fangraphs as a reference of past statistics and complex measurements, but their non-statistical and their predictive stuff leaves a lot to be desired...
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#4 Tibs

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:10 AM

So this thing projects Miguel Sano would hit 30 homeruns if he played all year in the majors?

#5 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:17 AM

I did not ever started reading when I noticed that they have Jamey Carroll, Eric Farris, Ray Olmedo, Jeff Clement and Brian Dinkelman listed as Twins.

They simply list guys with their previous team if a new team hasn't signed them yet. Pelfrey is listed on the Twins too, for that reason. It's not any error or oversight, and it's probably the best way to handle it (as opposed to omitting them, tracking where every Ray Olmedo guy ends up, and constantly editing and updating the pages accordingly).

It's not a playing time projector, so a guy's projection can fairly easily be transferred between teams (accounting for ballpark and league, of course).

#6 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:19 AM

So this thing projects Miguel Sano would hit 30 homeruns if he played all year in the majors?

Yup. He'd bat .227 and have a K rate of 35%, though.

#7 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:26 AM

I stopped reading after I saw they had Mauer's BA at .292.


They definitely are forecasting a drop for Mauer -- a 121 OPS+, down from 144 last year.

I know ZiPS doesn't directly deal with injuries, but I wonder if it dings his projected performance due to his drop in playing time last year? The projection isn't out of line if you assume he's going to have a little rust, at best. He's had seasons at this level or worse before.

#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:31 AM

I noticed the projections for Mauer when I wrote my "overly optimistic" thread....and was mind boggled at them frankly. I just don't see him being below his norms.

I don't share thrylos' general disdain for all things Fangraphs, which he shared on nearly every thread.....it is just more information/entertainment that is available. I generally enjoy reading the site, especially the chats. Others disagree.
Lighten up Francis....

#9 Tibs

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:33 AM

Yup. He'd bat .227 and have a K rate of 35%, though.


Those 30 homers as a rookie would still be pretty impressive.

#10 Boom Boom

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:00 AM

They definitely are forecasting a drop for Mauer -- a 121 OPS+, down from 144 last year.

I know ZiPS doesn't directly deal with injuries, but I wonder if it dings his projected performance due to his drop in playing time last year? The projection isn't out of line if you assume he's going to have a little rust, at best. He's had seasons at this level or worse before.


The only season of Mauer's career that I'm seeing that was worse than what ZiPS is projecting was his Hindenburg-like 2011.

If Vegas set the over/under for Mauer's offensive numbers at what they are here, I'd bet my house on the over.

#11 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:08 AM

I don't think Mauer's projection means much of anything, except that 31 year olds as a group are likely to decline. I added links to Steamer and Oliver projections -- they all project a drop in his offense (and a sub-.300 average), although not as much as ZiPS.

Will be interesting to see if a fuller ZiPS projection is released -- I think in past years, they offered some "confidence intervals" on players, right? So Mauer's mean projection may have been .292, but he was actually still a pretty fair bet to hit his usual .320.

The more interesting thing might be the pitching. ZiPS projects Nolasco and Meyer to be average starters, but everyone else is significantly below. ZiPS doesn't like Hughes all that much, or Correia (or Pelfrey). Definitely the most pessimistic of the 3 (although Steamer and Oliver don't currently project any non-40-man guys, so no Meyer, Sano, etc.).

#12 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:19 AM

The only season of Mauer's career that I'm seeing that was worse than what ZiPS is projecting was his Hindenburg-like 2011.


By OPS+, his 2007 was slightly worse, and his first full season in 2005 was worse. Steamer and Oliver basically say the same thing too.

Not a big deal -- with an age penalty and regression to the mean, that's not a surprising projection for a 31 year old, but plenty of guys outperform those projections too. It's one of the limitation of baseball projection -- to accurately capture the overall trends, you've got to miss on a fair number of guys.

#13 spycake

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:40 AM

Also, from the article:

Part of that appears to be adjustment for BABIP: no player is reasonably forecast to record one above .350, even though Mauer has exceeded that figure each of the last two seasons.


Indeed, Mauer's BABIP was a career high last year (and 2012 was his second-highest ever at the time, tied with his batting title season of 2006). So he's almost certainly due for some regression even before age is factored in.

#14 Willihammer

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

Mauer does kind of break assumptions about BABIP. He sprays the ball all over. He doesn't hit a lot of fly balls (which have the lowest babip's), and those he does hit, almost none are IFFB's, he hits a ton of liners, has no clear holes in his swing, runs decently well, etc etc. All of which makes him one of the best pure hitters in history, IMO.

#15 stringer bell

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 06:53 PM

While Mauer's BABIP was obscenely high last year, his K rate was also (for him) stratospheric. I expect that he will strike out considerably less, so that he will maintain a high batting average.

#16 Dman

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 07:10 PM

Mauer does kind of break assumptions about BABIP. He sprays the ball all over. He doesn't hit a lot of fly balls (which have the lowest babip's), and those he does hit, almost none are IFFB's, he hits a ton of liners, has no clear holes in his swing, runs decently well, etc etc. All of which makes him one of the best pure hitters in history, IMO.


I agree.

#17 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:59 PM

Why does it seem like ZIPS gives Joe Mauer worse projections than what he actually produces?

#18 jorgenswest

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 09:22 AM

Last year, the ZIPS and others projected the Twins offense to significantly decline from 2012. It was written about and largely disregarded on TD.

Players in their 30s as a group decline. Players in their 30s who did not play a full season in the previous year gave a greater chance of decline. The Mauer projection is reasonable if he were to remain a catcher. ZIPS doesn't factor in the position change.

#19 spycake

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 06:15 PM

The Mauer projection is reasonable if he were to remain a catcher. ZIPS doesn't factor in the position change.


They do have him listed at 1B, so presumably if there is any different positional aging curve, Mauer is on the proper one now.

#20 jorgenswest

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 08:10 PM

They do have him listed at 1B, so presumably if there is any different positional aging curve, Mauer is on the proper one now.


I saw that. The forward should be ok. ZIPS is based on the previous 4 years of performance. Would those numbers have been better had Mauer been a 1B? He certainly would have played more games. I don't think ZIPS backward adjusts for a positional change. The only way it might matter is a move from catcher.

#21 spycake

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 09:48 PM

I saw that. The forward should be ok. ZIPS is based on the previous 4 years of performance. Would those numbers have been better had Mauer been a 1B? He certainly would have played more games. I don't think ZIPS backward adjusts for a positional change. The only way it might matter is a move from catcher.


That sounds right. If you believe Mauer's hitting rate stats will notably improve simply by virtue of moving from C to 1B, then yeah, ZiPS isn't going to help you.

#22 jorgenswest

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:44 AM

That sounds right. If you believe Mauer's hitting rate stats will notably improve simply by virtue of moving from C to 1B, then yeah, ZiPS isn't going to help you.


it is intuitive that the wear in the body of a catcher would effect their hitting. There aren't enough examples to study for a trend.

Biggio was a much better hitter after he left catching, but he left younger before his prime.

Bench had a poor year hitting as a 3B following an injury riddled last year as a catcher, but he was a little older and probably not healthy.

Torre had a monster year in 1971 following his last year as a catcher, but he also didn't catch in 1969.

#23 DSzymborski

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:41 PM

ZiPS still gives Mauer a 40% chance at .300 - one has to remember that for very high achievers, there's more downside than upside. If you start with Mauer's .317 4-year average, knock a few points off for age, and then just stick that as the middle of neat bell curve, you're going to tend to overrate great players. There are a lot more scenarios in which a 31-year old Mauer hits .300 than ones in which he hits .340. A lot more in which he hits .280 instead of .360. And even more in which he hits .260 rather than .380.

ZiPS does consider Mauer differently as a 1B than as a catcher and generally has Mauer's bat lasting longer and playing more games long-term than as a C.

#24 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:55 AM

Curious what the group thinks of the Mauer projection now?

#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:07 AM

There was SO much venom against these projections before the season. Kind of funny to see them as overly optimistic at this point.