Sweeps week is almost over! And by "sweeps week", I mean "projection-systems week", which is a minor difference. The first one is designed to interest as many people as possible. The second one makes you close the tab and vacuum. But these are minor concerns, as the projection systems fascinate me, and I'm the content despot.
Today we have the ZiPS projections from FanGraphs and Dan Szymborski, an annual tradition. Every year, these are posted, and every year we feel bad about the Giants and baseball, and we start making plans for Thanksgiving. The Giants never seem to project well in these things …
Number of position players projected for two WAR or better: 7
Say, that's downright acceptable. Desirable, even. Two wins above replacement is something of a code for "solid regular." Here's how the Giants grade out:
Players who project better than Morse: Andres Torres, Ehire Adrianza, Adam Duvall, Andrew Susac, Joe Panik, Brett Pill, Brandon Hicks, Tony Abreu, Joaquin Arias, Mac Williamson, and Guillermo Quiroz. Morse is tied with Jeff Arnold in projected WAR, and he's as close to Skyler Stromsmoe than he is to Gregor Blanco.
Other than that, let's get jazzed for Michael Morse.
I'll take the over, personally, even if just slightly. But look at us negative nabobs, focusing on the outliers! Only Mike Trout projects better than Buster Posey in this wacky computer world of ours, and there are six solid regulars behind Posey. Other notes:
- Kyle Crick projects to have a 15.8-percent walk rate if he were in the majors, which is one reason why he won't be in the majors. That's worse than any season of Jonathan Sanchez's Giants career! (Which says nothing about Crick as a prospect. Just found it interesting.)
- Both Edwin Escobar and Clayton Blackburn project better than Vogelsong, which is encouraging/discouraging. If Vogelsong fares poorly in April and May, and Escobar is doing well, I think that change will come quickly.
- Derek Law, Jean Machi, and Santiago Casilla are all bunched together in expected value, just ahead of Brett Bochy. That's probably good news for Law and Machi, but bad news for the Giants.
- Barry Zito, if he were with a team, would not be projected to do well.
- Dontrelle Willis's comp is Jim Abbott, which would be really mean if Willis threw right-handed. As is, it's pretty solid from a baseball perspective. Both were phenoms who hit an unyielding wall and never came back.
- Willis projects much better than Zito.
That's the story of the Giants and ZiPS. Don't look at the projections for the Dodgers or Diamondbacks, and you'll leave here happy.