While not particularly relevant to the 2016 edition of the Mets, it’s difficult to examine the ZiPS projections below without also acknowledging the system’s relative optimism concerning free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (629 PA, 4.4 zWAR). The gap between Cespedes’s forecasted win total and Michael Conforto‘s second-best mark is equivalent to the gap between Conforto’s mark and the average of the club’s 11th- and 12th-best hitter projections. In other words: for whatever Cespedes’s flaws, his strengths appear capable of compensating for them at the moment.

Which isn’t to ignore another of the system’s perhaps surprsing outputs — namely, the projection for Conforto himself. Entering just his age-23 season, Conforto began the 2015 campaign as the left fielder for the High-A St. Lucie Mets. He’s expected to play that same position for the actual New York version of the team on opening day this year — and, it would seem, is a candidate to produce wins at a higher rate than any of his teammates.

In general, what the Mets feature is essentially the antithesis of a stars-and-scrubs configuration. The success of the club relies not on elite performances by one or two players, but rather the competence of the entire starting eight.

Source: Dan Szymborski, FanGraphs


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3 comments on “Dan Szymborski on the Mets’ offense

  • Eraff

    I looked at the Fan Graphs page and I don’t understand the projections

    Are these projected stats for the players at their existing levels?…Plawecki and d’Arnaud combine for 800 PA’s. …seem to be too many PA’s for the team total

  • Brian Joura

    Yeah, you can’t look at these on that type of team level. Here is the disclaimer from the bottom of the article:

    Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2016. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

    Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

    ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 3.93 ERA and the NL having a 3.75 ERA.

    Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

    Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

    Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

  • Patrick Albanesius

    Wow, those are some very positive projections for Conforto on Fangraphs.com. Nice!

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