Saturday, 21 January 2012

2012 Toronto Blue Jays ZiPS projections

ZiPS projections are out for the 2012 edition of the Blue Jays.  Those can be found here.  These are computer generated, so I can forgive the light projections (in my opinion, at least) on guys like Lawrie and Arencibia, who don't have big samples of MLB playing time.  They usually need a little bit of tinkering to adjust for stuff like playing time and whatnot.  We'll go through some of the major league projections quickly.

Jose Bautista: .273 .408 .566
I can't really blame Bautista this year if he takes a step back, but if the last two years are worth anything, he probably won't.  I'd expect the batting average to be higher, but with his low-babip 2010 and low-skill, pre-August-2009 numbers in the picture, I can understand where the projection is coming from.  Again, computer-generated... I expect more games than the 136 they have there, and an OBP higher than that .408.  Not necessarily the .447 he did this season.  36 HR's looks about right, I suppose, based on the way people pitch him.

Brett Lawrie: .275 .333 .498
It's tough, given his style of play and 43 game sample size.  I feel like the walks (and therefore OBP) projection should be higher, but what do I know.  I don't think this is terribly far from what we should expect assuming he gets 148 games.  10 triples sounds outrageous to me.

Adam Lind: .264 .315 .466
Fingers crossed, but this one seems a bit ambitious.  He either gets fewer PA's vs. LHP, or just does worse than this unless he completely mashes against RHP.  Having said that, he was probably pressing a bit in the second half of last year, and was apparently playing hurt-ish, so who knows.  Dude's gotta learn to take a walk.

Kelly Johnson: .242 .323 .434
I feel like this is just some kind of midpoint between the two types of seasons he's had.  He's either hitting .220-ish or .280-ish, though the walkrate tends to stay right around the same, so I'd expect the OBP to be a bit higher if the BA is .242.

JP Arencibia: .229 .281 .442
There's no statistical or empirical evidence that can really explain it, but I'm certain the Jays are going to want JP's patience at the plate to improve.  Beyond that, he had a babip of .255, so I think we can expect a better average and OBP.  How much higher, I can't really say, since I don't know exactly how much a 20 point boost in babip helps.

Ricky Romero
Ricky was probably a bit lucky last year, outperforming his fip and xfip by big margins.  They expect a 3.72 ERA, which is probably right around fair, maybe a bit high.  He had an unusually low babip and an elevated strand rate, with all other numbers being pretty consistent with his career averages (walks came down a bit).

Brandon Morrow
Things keep going in the right direction for Morrow in terms for k's and bb's, but I think there's some work that needs to be done from the stretch.  They project a 4.12 ERA, which is quite a bit higher than his fip and xfip from each of the last two seasons.  I'd take the under on the ERA, but slightly.

Brett Cecil
They have him as a 5 ERA over 170 innings.  I honestly feel like if he's putting up anything near a 5 ERA after the first 5-6 weeks of the season, they'll just send him to the bullpen for good and let someone else have a shot at starting/make a trade.

They also have nasty looking numbers for Litsch, Drabek and Luis Perez, though I can't see any of those projections being anywhere close.  If Drabek pitches from the rotation, he'll be better than that or sent to the minors, while Litsch and Perez will be bullpen arms.  It kind of stinks that there aren't any projections for the SP prospects who are kind of close, i.e. Drew Hutchison or Deck Mcguire, who should be part of the team in 2012 at some point barring injury or performance issues.

The bullpen gets some pretty strong projections, with Frasor, Oliver, Janssen and Santos all coming in at better than league average, striking about 8+/9ip, and keeping walks down.  Villanueva's projections are probably skewed a bit due to his starts last season, so you can expect better than those if he remains in the bullpen fulltime.

They include some fun little comparables at the bottom, which should make for some fun time-killing on baseball-reference.

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