FanPost

Giants RoS Projections: Position Players

With the ceremonial first half behind us, let's take a look at batting projections for the Giants. I have included ZiPS, Steamer, and my own projections, which, as they are untested, can be ignored at your leisure.

First, you'll need a little background on the terminology. In each table, there will be a "Garbanzo" row. That will be my system's projected wRC+ for each player. "GARwOBA" is the projected wOBA. Underneath the ZiPS and Steamer headings are the projected wOBA from each projection system. SZ is the average of the two non-Garbanzo projections, and SZG is the average including my projection. I basically tried to make it easy to ignore my projections, just in case you don't agree with my methodology, which is:

1. All years are weighted in linearly decreasing significance as you delve further in the past.

2. Minor league plate appearances are weighted the same as major league appearances, but adjusted for the strength of the league. Obviously, this is a point of contention, but I believe that minor league numbers are relevant as long as you are aware of the relative strengths and weaknesses of looking at those numbers. Minor league numbers will still lose relevance over time due to #1 above, but minor league appearances 10 years ago are just as important as major league ones.

3. Players are assumed to be replacement level with not enough data, but the "burden of proof" for the data is very low. After about 1000 PAs, almost all of the projection is based on real data. This is seemingly the same assumption ZiPS makes.

4. There IS an age adjustment, based on Jeff Zimmerman's work. Check it out! Give him page views! Hence, this projection system will underrate players who have exceptional aging abilities (Scutaro, Bonds), because it will assume those players to be average.

There are a lot of smaller things I did and plan to do for next year, but give me your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to poke at anything I forgot.

Now to the projections:

Catchers

Player

Garbanzo

GARwOBA

ZiPS

Steamer

SZ

SZG

Buster Posey

153

0.392

0.379

0.388

147

149

Hector Sanchez

86

0.291

0.285

0.291

83

84

Andrew Susac

82

0.285

82

Guillermo Quiroz

77

0.277

0.270

0.290

78

78

Buster Posey's and Yadier Molina's kids should get married and have more awesome catcher babies, so they can rule baseball by around 2040. In the meantime, we'll have to make do with the one Posey, and boy is he awesome. Note: ZiPS is conservative and it generally projects players further from the mean to be a bit closer, while Steamer is a bit more aggressive. I don't have an adjustment to the mean, so my numbers will always be the most aggressive.

Hector Sanchez is interesting, because he's actually not a terrible hitter for a catcher. He's a terrible catcher for a catcher, but that's a different story.

Andrew Susac, at this point, is perhaps only a notch above Hector Sanchez defensively, if that, but is looking like an offensive threat. He may be a name to watch in the future.

Infielders

Player

Garbanzo

GARwOBA

ZiPS

Steamer

SZ

SZG

Brandon Belt

129

0.356

0.344

0.351

123

125

Pablo Sandoval

128

0.354

0.335

0.357

122

124

Brock Bond

101

0.314

101

Brett Pill

99

0.311

0.300

0.324

99

99

Marco Scutaro

87

0.293

0.313

0.326

104

98

Tony Abreu

97

0.308

0.277

0.300

84

88

Brandon Crawford

85

0.290

0.289

0.298

87

86

Joaquin Arias

74

0.273

0.277

0.285

79

77

Nick Noonan

79

0.281

0.263

0.289

75

77

Kensuke Tanaka

75

0.274

75



My projection for Brandon Belt strikes me as a tad aggressive, but then Steamer's projection is approximately the same. I imagine Belt is disproportionately hurt by the death valley in RCF relative to the park factor (compared to Posey, Pence, and Sandoval), so he might underperform this projection by a bit (since the minor league numbers still weigh in somewhat heavily), but he is really just a good hitter.

Sandoval is incredibly mercurial (insert forced fat joke here), but his projection looks mighty slim.

Brock Bond was injured recently, and then stashed in San Jose ne'er to return. Alas, we've probably heard the last of him as a legitimate 2nd base option, but his minor league numbers still indicate some value.

Brett Pill isn't a terrible hitter, but he's average defensively and not a good hitter for his position. Considering the fact that he's now trapped behind a far superior player on the depth chart, there's really no upward potential for him.

Scutaro, like I mentioned above, is underrated by my system if he is indeed an exceptional ager.

Abreu is a solid dumpster dive pickup, and should hopefully wrest some PT away from Arias as the latter comes off the DL.

Tanaka doesn't really project to play much 2B with Scutaro, Abreu, and Arias in front, but it's worth noting that I did not input his Japanese league numbers. He's probably good for something closer to an 85 wRC+, which still wouldn't and shouldn't displace Abreu.


Outfielders

Player

Garbanzo

GARwOBA

ZiPS

Steamer

SZ

SZG

Hunter Pence

116

0.336

0.321

0.339

111

113

Angel Pagan

103

0.317

0.312

0.329

105

104

Andres Torres

98

0.309

0.300

0.309

94

95

Jeff Francoeur

90

0.297

0.307

0.300

94

92

Roger Kieschnick

98

0.309

0.282

0.308

88

91

Barry Bonds

91

0.299

91

Gregor Blanco

93

0.302

0.297

0.297

89

90

Juan Perez

92

0.300

0.269

0.303

82

85

Kensuke Tanaka

75

0.274

75

Hunter Pence is obviously a solid player, but he's likely worth more in a trade than a sandwich pick or his future cost, so, if the Giants lose a few games next week, he may not remain on the team.

Pagan's contract is looking more and more like a problem. He's going to struggle to be league average in a corner outfield spot in the long run, and he's probably the 4th best defensive CF in the organization right now, and maybe 5th if Brown's raw athletic tools translate. With that said, he's not a terrible CF, just average, and he is definitely not a bad hitter, so his contract is hardly Rowandian, just imperfect.

Past Pence, and maybe Torres, Blanco, and Perez due to their defense, the Giants don't have much going on in the outfield. Kieschnick looks fine with the bat, but he profiles very, very poorly to AT&T. Maybe they could try out this Bonds guy.

Tanaka, even if underrated by my system, shouldn't be playing LF over any of those other names, except Bonds.


Conclusion

I would say the Giants have an average offense. This is not a team, however, that projects to do a ton of damage down the stretch. If they were 4 games better, I would be ready to back this team as a solid contender for the division title, as the talent, plus a little luck, could probably pull it off. However, at this point, they're fringe contenders, and might be better served to trade Pence.

In my amateurish evaluation of the MCC grougthink, here are a few underrated and overrated players:

Underrated

Abreu

Torres

Perez

Overrated

Tanaka

Arias

LOLBELT

Belt

My opinions aside, what are your thoughts on my projection system? Questions? Comments? Concerns?

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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