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2016 ZIPS projections out for Arizona Diamondbacks

We've got another set of projections to look at, with the release of Dan Szymborski's ZIPS projections, through Fangraphs. Think these ones look a little more favorable for the D-backs.

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2016 Diamondbacks ZIPS projections

Yeah, I know: projections mean nothing. We'll take that comment as read, please. But we're still a couple of months away from even the most meaningless of baseball games, so we take our entertainment and talking points where we can find them! Know shoe is working away on a post to compare these to the earlier STEAMER projections [which were pretty pessimistic], so I'll stick for now purely to the analysis of the ZIPS figures.

Starting pitching

Obviously, keen to see what expectations are for our new rotation guys, Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. The former is, understandably, expected to be easily our best pitcher, with 190 innings at an ERA+ of 142, good enough for a total of 5.2 fWAR.That'd be pretty sweet, as we haven't had any pitcher give us five WAR in a season since Dan Haren in 2009. Miller is lower, with an ERA+ of 108, but still good enough to be worth three WAR. The rest is a bit of a meh bag, with Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin and, I guess, Chase Anderson expected as the best. Corbin's expected innings are, for understandable reasons, low, at 128.2;  think it'll be more, and his value would be higher as a result.


Surprisingly, ZIPS thinks Silvino Bracho will be the best pitcher in thour bullpen, with an ERA+ of 130. A K-rate of 30.7% from any young pitcher will result in encouraging noises. Andrew Chafin and Brad Ziegler are also expected to be solid, even if the latter's projected ERA+ of 115 would be a severe step back from what he has produced from us lately. I think projection systems like ZIPS do tend to have problems with extreme ground-ball pitchers like Z. I certainly don't think it's entirely "luck" that, over the past four seasons, Ziegler's BABIP  has been forty points lower than the MLB average, it just reflects a steady diet of ground-balls, which tend statistically to become outs.

Starting position players

Regression rules at the top of the list, with Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock projected in the 4-5 WAR bracket; or, as Goldie calls it, "a decent month." Paul's 4.8 figure seems low for someone expected to have a 150 OPS+ and .920 OPS, as well as good defense. Pollock looks to be a beast with the glove, worth close to two full wins more than David Peralta, even as Peralta out-OPS+'s [is that a word?] him by a margin of 125-119. A little surprised to see no-one else on the team with an OPS+ of 100+; there's a sharp drop-off thereafter, down to Welington Castillo at 99 OPS+. Nick Ahmed, Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury are all expected to be better on defense than offense.

Bench position

ZIPS is thoroughly unimpressed with hopes for a breakout season from Yasmany Tomas, expecting another below-replacement campaign there. That's mostly due to his glove; 17 HR and a .264 average is fine, but he's seen as a bigger negative defensively, than Pollock is a positive. And, yes, Dan knows he forgot that Jarrod Saltalamacchia will not be returning to the Diamondbacks in 2015. It doesn't look as if Oscar Hernandez or Tuffy Gosewisch are going to be much help, though I'll confess I did get a cheap laugh out of who ZIPS projected as the No. 1 Comp for Phil Gosselin. No, it's apparently another Mike Tyson...


Hard to be sure at this point quite where the team stacks up, as ZIPS for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have not yet hit the tubes of the Interwebz. One of the comments below the article suggests the projections overall peg the 2016 Arizona Diamondbacks at about 84 wins, which is not far off my current personal guestimate of 88 or so.