The full ZiPS projections for the Reds were released today. You can find them here, but I though I would build off of yesterday’s discussion and point out some highlights.
Let’s start with Votto. If his 4.8 WAR projection seems low to you, you’re not alone, but a quick look at the numbers tells you what’s going on. First, he’s projected for not quite a full season. If he plays as much as last year, you can tack on half a win. Second, his slash line projection is .289/.416/.506. If Votto hits .289, I’ll eat my hat. What ZiPS is doing is regressing Votto’s BABIP.
BABIP is a notoriously tricky stat. It tends to fluctuate a bunch, but some players do show an ability to have a BABIP higher than average. Votto is one such player. His career BABIP is .359. ZiPS projects him at .334. Basically, he’s so good at keeping his BABIP up that the system can’t handle it. Tack on another win.
So, bascially, ZiPS thinks Votto is the same player with the power rebounding a bit. This should be encouraging.
Now for Billy Hamilton.
ZiPS sees him as a 2.5 win player based largely on a strong BABIP (only Votto projects to have a better one on the team). If he does get on base at the projected .319 clip, it will be a great year. That seems little high to me, but given that ZiPS is less bullish on his defense than I would be, this might be about right over all.
Many have already taken issue with Ludwick’s projection, but I don’t. He’s hurt a great deal by his defense, so while he figure to hit okay, a 36-year-old with a bum shoulder isn’t likely to have a bat that really plays in left.
The only other player who seems out of line to me is Jay Bruce. ZiPS thinks his strikeout spike from last year is real, but other wise, I don’t understand that 3.3 WAR. I’d bet on Bruce to be better than that.
In terms of pitching, the starters come in thusly:
Latos – 4.5 WAR
Bailey – 3.5 WAR
Cueto – 3.1 WAR
Cingrani – 2.6 WAR
Leake – 2.3 WAR
It’s important to note that neither Cueto or Cingrani is projected for a full season’s worth of innings. This is not unreasonable considering what we know about these two pitchers. If they both pitch full seasons, Cueto’s total WAR would look like Latos’ and Cingrani’s would look like Bailey’s.
All in all, I find myself pleased with these projections. I’ll be making my own in a few weeks, but these make me feel less pessimistic than I did before.
What do you all think?