The Dodgers ZiPS Projection Model Is Out

Over at one of my favorite sites, the Los Angeles Dodgers ZiPS projection totals came out Wednesday. Still, you might be reading this and asking me ‘what is ZiPS, Clint?’.

Let’s explain that a bit for you.

ZiPS is a system of player projections developed by FanGraph’s Dan Szymborski when he was at Baseball Think Factory. According a Q&A on the Baseball Think Factory website, ZiPS uses growth and decline curves based on player type to find trends. It then factors those trends into the past performance of those players to come up with projections.

The system uses statistics from the previous four years for players from ages 24-38, and it weights more recent seasons heavier. For younger or older players, it uses weighted statistics from only the previous three years. The system also factors velocities, injury data and play-by-play data into its equations.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at how ZiPS looks at the 2019 Dodgers!

How ZiPS Projects the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s so interesting to see how ZiPS projects the current iteration of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rather than going player-by-player, you can see above at every spot what a certain guy looks to be worth. The catching position is shared.

Some notable things stand out:

  • The projection system is bullish on Max Muncy. While it projects a bit of a drawback from his 2018, he’s still viewed favorably due to things like exit velocity data.
  • Corey Seager and Justin Turner are projected to be excellent 5 fWAR players basically. Big seasons coming for both if this projection system is accurate.
  • Cody Bellinger checks in as the most valuable outfielder – posting close to another four-win season (3.8).
  • Clayton Kershaw’s value is nearly equal to the entire bullpen. Moreover, this is why advanced metrics are not that into bullpen pitchers. They are not viewed as particularly valuable pieces. They’re more the sum of the whole.
  • Chris Taylor and Alex Verdugo are worth about two wins a-piece. This would mean that Verdugo has a decent first full season.
  • Walker Buehler is well on his way!

At this stage, it’s merely a projection system. Still, it’s great lead indicator to see the bones of a team in the month of January.

Final Thoughts

It’s great to see these projection systems come out early – and then look back after the season ends to see what was right and what missed. No system is foolproof. That said, what do you agree with? What can you see falling well short in these players above? How interested are you in the win shares that players are valued by in today’s game? Leave us your thoughts in the comments!

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    • You aren correct my friend! And around 5 is an All star player. Some variances in Fangraphs WAR, and BbRef WAR; and the ZiPS system is conservative typically I feel like.