Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Pirates 2005 ZIPS Projections

Sorry for the absence, but there really hasn't been much to write about in the last week.

Baseball Think Factory - Baseball Primer has posted its 2005 ZIPS Projections for the Pirates. Obviously, projections don't predict the future perfectly - they can't predict playing time at all, they don't know what to do with scouty observations or injuries, and predicting the performances of baseball players is an inexact art (look at the columns of numbers) no matter what tools are available.

Still, these things are fun to look at, and in fact they look pretty good - none of the projections look terribly outlandish.

A few of the more interesting ones:

J.R. House: .267/.320/.458
Daryle Ward: .257/.309/.433

That looks about right. The Pirates just acquired a veteran catcher to keep the first guy in the minors, and just paid the second guy a million bucks. Ward is a lefty and House is a righty, however.

Brad Eldred: .237/.284/.456

ZIPS seems to think Eldred's power will translate but that he won't be able to make contact. That seems to be about what the scouts think. Still, that power is terrific - ZIPS thinks he would hit 25 homers in 447 at bats. Eldred needs some more time in the minors, but he could be looking good in 2006 if he can make contact more consistently.

Jack Wilson: .286/.326/.413

This looks like a soft landing for Wilson. ZIPS thinks that his batting average and power will suffer a bit, but that he'll take a few more walks than he did in 2005. Either way, a .739 OPS and very good defense seems fine for a shortstop.

Nate McLouth: .282/.339/.394
Tike Redman: .287/.332/.386

ZIPS thinks McLouth will be Redman in 2005. The Redman projection looks a little optimistic - it has Redman taking a dozen more walks than he took last year.

Jason Bay: .286/.375/.497

The projection says Bay will be merely very good in 2005, probably because his 2004 strikeout rate was so high.

Mike Gonzalez: 3.36 ERA

ZIPS says Gonzalez will take a big step backwards but will still be an effective reliever. Gonzalez had 55 strikeouts and 6 walks in 2004, and ZIPS predicts he'll have 75 Ks and 27 BBs in 2005. Gonzalez will have a hard time putting up a 9:1 K:BB ratio again, but I don't see why it should drop below 3:1. I think he'll be better next year than ZIPS suggests.

Brian Meadows: 4.80

Ouch - but I doubt ZIPS takes into account the facts that Meadows is much better as a reliever than as a starter, and he should be reliever in 2005. I think his ERA will be better than 4.80 next year.

Jose Mesa: 4.63

That looks about right - that's a guy you give a minor league contract to, not a guy you give millions.

Oliver Perez: 3.84

Uh oh. ZIPS guy Dan Szymborski explains in the comments that Perez' 2004 DIPS ERA was much higher than his actual ERA, and that the Pirates' defense is likely to be bad again next year.

Mark Redman: 4.31

ZIPS thinks that Redman will land somewhere between his 2003 performance and his 2004 performance.

All in all, nothing here looks terribly encouraging. None of these projections make me look at the numbers and see something I didn't see before that would suggest the Pirates will win more than 75 games next year. Of course, the offseason is still young.

1 Comments:

Blogger Wilbur Miller said...

I guess these projections indicate that the Pirates might as well go with a younger team. The projection for House is higher than any OPS Santiago has put up since 1996. And McLouth already projects to outhit Redman. It's going to be painful to watch the Pirates come up with more and more ways to block guys like them and Eldred. Such as . . . the latest trade rumor, which has them sending Sanchez and Ward to the Angels for Chone Figgins and Darin Erstad.

Why do I get the feeling the next couple years are going to be even more aggravating than the last 12?

12:12 AM  

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