Just before 2019 ended we took a look at the available projections for new Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama. There were only two available at the time – one from ClayDavenport.com and one from Rotowire’s Senior Editor Jeff Erickson. When it comes to projection systems, those two fall a little bit down the line. Near the top of the list is the ZiPS system by Dan Szymborski. Over at Fangraphs he’s been working through the Major Leagues on a team-by-team basis. He hasn’t reached the Cincinnati Reds yet, but he did chime in with the 3-year ZiPS projection on Akiyama for Craig Edwards article on the deal.

The ZiPS projections aren’t as friendly as the other two that we got to look at last week, but still show some value there, too. Here’s what ZiPS has for Shogo Akiyama over the next three season.

The power isn’t that different from the other two projections we saw last week, at least for 2020. The big difference seems to be in the on-base percentage between the ZiPS projection and the other two. ZiPS has it starting out at .331 and dropping a tiny bit in the following two seasons. The Clay Davenport projection had a .350, .356, and a .350 on-base percentage for the three seasons, while the Rotowire one was at .366 for 2020 (the only year they had).

Craig Edwards gets beyond the ZiPS projections in his article at Fangraphs. He dives into several scouting reports, and they offer different looks – particularly on the defense – that are worth looking at. Edwards cites a report from Wil Hoefer at Sports Info Solutions that provides the following:

He’s an above-average runner in his early 30s, and while he does show good range and jumps in center, advanced defensive metrics–which should be taken with a grain of salt since they are a fairly new phenomenon in evaluating NPB players–are lukewarm at best and show a decline in Runs Saved from his earlier years in center field.

Defensive metrics are still a bit sketchy. Even here in Major League Baseball where we have player tracking, things are still a work-in-progress. From a scouting perspective, a player with above-average speed and good jumps should be able to play well at any spot in the outfield. We’re all going to find out how accurate that is, but that report certainly gives a vote of confidence for the defensive values he could bring.

The ZiPS projections do have negative defensive value built in. In 2020 the projection has Shogo Akiyama as a roughly league average player. But in both 2021 and 2022 things take a step backwards. If the defensive value is better than projected by ZiPS, it could change things quite a bit.

16 Responses

  1. doofus

    The “doofus delineator” modeling had projections for Shogo similar to ZIPS.

  2. Jbrat22

    Maybe someone posted this and I missed it, but I’m most interested to see his splits vs. righties and lefties. Unless something major happens over the next few weeks, you’ve gotta think the Reds will platoon/rotate these OFers, with Senzel, Winker, Shogo, and Aquino each getting at least 350-400 PAs, assuming everyone stays healthy. If someone gets hurt, having Phlerv and Van Meter as 4th-5th OFers is pretty solid.

    • Chris Holbert

      If Senzel is healthy and still a Red, I would hope he gets more than 350 to 400 ABs, to me that would be disappointing, he has never shown to be a platoon type player..

      • Dawson

        Agreed. I don’t understand why many people seem to be down on Senzel. He wasn’t a star last year, but it was his rookie season.

    • Jbrat22

      Not down on Senzel at all, simply stating that they can get those four guys the lion’s share of at bats in the OF. I would expect Senzel to get 500-600

  3. Hotto4Votto

    Would be pretty disappointing if those projections turned out to be accurate. Hopefully his numbers will fall somewhere between these projections and the more optimistic ones. Unfortunately, these projections lend credence to my concerns that he’d be a part-time player. Still would like to get more info on the contract details.

    • JayTheRed

      I am hoping that the stats he gives us in MLB will only be down a little bit. Something like this

      .285 BA, .370 OBP, 16 to 18 HR.

      Nobody can know what someone is going to do in the future. Maybe he won’t do well at all. Maybe he will continue at his past results. Maybe he produces even better? Though doubtful, I would be happy with something close to what I posted above in this message.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        The front office would absolutely take those numbers.

  4. Tom

    I think the platooning options are what make this deal (and the outfield construction) solid. The Winker/Ervin platoon is quite strong (in 2019, Winker had a plus .800 OPS against righties and Ervin had a plus 1.000 OPS against lefties. Now we also have Senzel/Akiyama in CF and Aquino/Akiyama in RF. And, Lorenzen is also available substitution and spot starts. I think this gives the Reds lots of opportunities to put players in the best situations to succeed, keep them fresh, and maximizes options off the bench. Plus, this outfield can remain intact for several years.

    Personally, I’d resign Iglesias and have him spit time at SS with Galvis and then I’d be done with the changed for position players (unless the price for Story or Lindor is lower than what we expect).

    I think the next important move is shoring up the bullpen with as many options as possible.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Personally, I’d be very disappointed if #gettheoffense ultimately resulted in Moustakas and two part time players, one of whom was part of the bad offense from a year ago. Coming into the offseason, the Reds had two obvious positions that were in need of upgrading, neither has been addressed at this point.
      Also, we were promised by the FO that payroll would increase by a good margin from last year. At this point we haven’t even surpassed last season’s payroll. It would be disappointing if we only pass it due to adding bench players and relievers (which typically aren’t good bets for finding value on the FA market).

      I hope Akiyama is better than a platoon player, but if he’s close to these projections that’s what he’ll be. Recent history of players coming stateside should temper our expectations until he proves otherwise.

      • Bdh

        What a miserable person you are.

        Players the front office have acquired so far for the 2020 Reds season

        Bauer 18.6mil
        Galvis 5.5mil
        DeLeon ?
        Moustakas 16mi
        Miley 7.5mil
        Shogo 7mil
        Jankowski 1mil

        Add in the the hypothetical additions that you responded to (Iglesias and a couple relievers) and it is easily over 60mil added for next year

        That list includes
        2 former cy young candidates
        1 all star position player
        The best player coming over from Japan this year
        A couple of decent shortstops 1 with a little pop and the other who had the highest average on the team last year. Both are good to great with the glove.

        + some help in the bullpen.

        As far as #gettheoffense the previous mentioned players plus the young outfield who didn’t put in full seasons last year is getting the offense for this year in my opinion. All 3 come with questions but all have a chance to be special players and adding shogo takes some pressure off of them.
        Winker – could be a .300/.400/.450+ player
        Senzel – possibly a 25/25 guy this year with a decent average.
        Aquino – big power bat and a rocket arm in RF.

        Biggest hole on offense for this team would be behind the plate where there’s a gold glove catcher. Maybe Stephenson solves this problem during the year too.

        You also save all of your trade chips and can get someone at the deadline (possibly Lindor if Cleveland isn’t contending) for a lot less than what the price they would cost now.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Well thanks for just discussing baseball and not making it personal.

      • Corky Miller

        Ichiro’s OBP dropped 80 points in his first year from the Japanese league.

        So tempering expectations isn’t wrong.

        FWIW, Ichiro still had a .380 his first year in the states 🙂

  5. AirborneJayJay

    Nothing is official until it’s official. When did the Reds announce the signing of Akiyama??
    So he is not a Red just yet. I thought the Reds would have had him in Cincinnati by now to sign. Are they delaying his physical because his foot is not healing well? Is something amiss?

    • Rex

      could the delay be a way to avoid a 40 man roster move?

  6. Joshg

    anything less than a .350 OBP would be disappointing to me