Per the depth chart, there are no surprises regarding who are the main roster components on the team:
- SP: Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija, Peavy, Cain
- RP: Casilla, Romo, Strickland, Osich, Kontos
- Lineup: Posey, Belt, Panik, Duffy, Crawfor, Pagan, Span, Pence (plus Susac as backup C)
Together, per the depth chart above, they add up to 41 zWAR (unfortunately, Szymborski warns that one should not add them all up and that he'll karate chop anyone who does so, but still, that is what they add up to, so I'm throwing that out there.)
- Position Players
- ISO: Belt leads with 185 (why I still see people hating on him, I can't understand), followed by Pence with 165, but then Blanks is next with 165 (then Crawford 159, Posey 157, Parker 154; Duffy is at 128).
- OPS+: Posey leads by a lot with 133, followed by Belt with 122 (again...), Pence with 110, then Blanks with 105. Duffy is 104, Crawford and Span are 103, Panik 102. The rest are under 100.
- Def (only names known to Giants fans, and still in Giants system, and at least some chance of being in MLB): Duffy and Crawford lead with 7, Parker is at 6, Lollis at 4, tied with Belt, Adrianza at 3, Posey at 2, Panik at 1 (really?)
- zWAR: Posey leads with 6.3 (among leaders in majors), Duffy! at 3.7, Crawford at 3.5, Panik at 2.7, Belt at 2.5, Span at 2.4, Pence at 1.9, Susac at 1.3, Parker at 1.1, Adrianza at 0.9 (and only 331 PA, so he's actually projected to be an average 2 WAR player), Blanco at 0.9, Blanks at 0.5 (only 185 PA, so close to average player), Pagan 0.4, Tomlinson 0.4 (but he's not getting 518 PA).
- ERA: Bumgarner 2.70, Cueto 2.87, Samardzija 3.31, Peavy 3.66, Blackburn 3.81, Heston 4.00, Cain 4.25
- K/BB: Bumgarner 5.02, Samardzija 4.09, Cueto 3.56, Peavy 3.20, Blackburn 2.83, Cain 2.68, Heston 2.09
- zWAR: Bumgarner leads with 4.8 (31 starts), Cueto 4.1 (30 starts), Samardzija 3.0 (29 starts), Peavy 1.4 (24 starts), Blackburn 1.0 (127.2 IP, 21 starts; he's not getting that many unless there is an injury or severe under-performance), Heston 0.9 (26 starts), Cain 0.3 (18 starts)
- ERA: Strickland 2.59, Rom 2.82, Casilla 2.86, Broadway 3.19, Kontos 3.39, Osich 3.43, Lopez 3.45, Law 3.58, Gearrin 3.68, Black 3.77, Okert 3.80, Jacob Smith 3.93
- K/BB: Romo 5.36, Strickland 5.00, Broadway 3.67, Kontos 3.22, Okert 2.50, Casilla 2.47, Gearrin 2.43, Osich 2.35, Smith 2.19, Law 1.87, Black 1.86, Lopez 1.77
- zWAR: Strickland 0.8, Romo 0.6, Casilla 0.5, Kontos 0.3, Osich 0.2, Broadway 0.2, Law 0.1, Gearrin 0.0
- 2012 (29YO): ZiPS 654 PA, .290 wOBA; Actual: 688 PA, 1.5 fWAR, .323 wOBA
- 2013 (30 YO): ZiPS 665 PA, 2.1 zWAR, .316 wOBA; Actual: 687, 5.5 fWAR, .356 wOBA
- 2014 (31 YO): ZiPS 665 PA, 2.6 zWAR, .325 wOBA; Actual: 708, 4.7 fWAR, .341 wOBA
- 2015 (32 YO): ZiPS 674 PA, 2.5 zWAR, .327 wOBA; Actual: 223, 1.6 fWAR, .347 wOBA (had he performed at this level all year, it would have roughly been 669 PA, 4.8 fWAR)
- 2016 (33 YO): ZiPS 485 PA, 1.9 zWAR, .329 wOBA
Still, it is interesting to see what the ZiPS methodology says about our players. Let's take a look at our prospects.
Technically not a prospect, but Andrew Susac has the highest zWAR in the list among non-starters with 1.3 zWAR (only 311 PA, so projected to be almost 3 zWAR player) with a batting line of .224/.305/.347/.652. Parker is the first one I would call a prospect, and he's listed at 1.1 zWAR (515 PA) with .214/.294/.368/.662. Adrianza is at 0.9 zWAR (only 331 PA means roughly 2 WAR player, or the mark of an average player, and there are people who don't much of him as a player) and his batting line is .224/.295/.310/.605 (obviously, most of his value is defense). Kyle Blanks is projected at 0.5 zWAR wtih only 185 PA, which is also roughly average, just short of 2 zWAR, but with a nice .248/.319/.412/.731 batting line.
The first to have no MLB experience at all is next, Christian Arroyo with 0.4 zWAR (459 PA). His batting line is projected to be .246/.279/.352/.631. Tomlinson is next at 0.4 zWAR (518 PA) and only a .239/.294/.307/.601 batting line, showing that the ZiPS methodology does not think that he will be able to keep his BABIP up at that high a pace. Then there is Mac Williamson 0.3 zWAR (414 PA) and only .233/.302/.361/.663. Then there are a number of players with major league experience, which I'll skip until I get to Trevor Brown, who is projected at 0.0 zWAR (383 PA). The rest of the prospects are all negative zWAR.
Among pitchers, Blackburn leads the way with 0.9 zWAR, in 127.2 IP, 3.81 zWAR. That evefn mor th what Heston is projected at and with less IP than Heston as well. Next, all the way down the list is Chase Johnson with only 0.2 zWAR and a 4.30 ERA in 115.0 IP. Ray Black, Derez Law, and Ty Blach are the only other ones with positive zWAR, at 0.1. Black is projected at 28.2 IP with 3.77 ERA (and huge 30.4% K%; Strickland and Romo are next with 26.8% K%), Law at 27.2 IP with 3.58 ERA, and Blach at 140.2 IP (I don't really pay much attention to the ZiPS projected IP, but only note because you get a better sense of what the player zWAR production rate is, and where he might be under other circumstances) and 4.41 ERA. Law is the last prospect projected to have an ERA that is under the average (and thus is above average, in the topsy-turvy world of pitchers).
Projected Team Stats
With a lineup of Span, Panik, Duffy, Posey, Belt, Pence, Crawford, Pagan, I get a Runs Scored average of 4.25 runs scored per game.
With a pitching rotation of Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija, Peavy, and Cain, and a bullpen of Casilla, Romo, Lopez, Kontos, Strickland, Osich, and Heston as the long reliever, I got a team ERA of 3.16 and a Runs Allowed of 3.31 (last season the Giants allowed 0.15 unearned runs; they have basically the same defensive team back, which should be improved in the OF with Span manning CF). Based on the projected wins from ZiPS and the pitchers, there is a winning percentage of .580 which works out to almost 94 wins in a 162-game season.
Putting the RS and RA projections together, Pythagorean says a 4.25 RS and 3.31 RA would result in a 101 win season. Obviously, I don't think that is a likely projection, but I think it shows the potential of the team at its best. I think that it's safe to say that a 95+ win season is what I'm expecting.
That's roughly what I was expecting last season, and that's corroborated by how well the team produced when Pence was actually in the starting lineup, 34-17, which works out to a 108 win season. Again, not likely, as it was small samples, and yet, that's almost a third of a season (which is 54 games) and not that small a sample. They only had to go 61-50 in the rest of the season to reach 95 wins, which is an 89 win seasonal rate, good but not great.
In any case, at minimum, I have high hopes for the season (again, like last season) and hopefully the core guys can stay healthy enough to play together for more than a third of the season together. If they can do that, I would feel really good about our chances.
Go Giants! Team of the 2010's!