Dan Symborski’s ZiPS projections for the 2013 season were recently made available on Google Docs. Using the OPS metric as a measure of a player’s offensive value will make any serious baseball analyst have kittens. But it is interesting to look at the ZiPS system’s projections for OPS+, which accounts for for park effects and league context, to see the relative floor and ceiling for individual players.
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The chart above summarizes each Red Sox player’s chances of topping various OPS+ benchmarks, based on ZiPS. The median OPS+ projection is provided to the right. Players are listed in descending order of total expected WAR.
Barring an unexpected breakout, the Sox may be more reliant on David Ortiz’s offensive production in 2013 than ever before. With a 150 OPS+ forecast, his bat is projected to be 50% better than league average. Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli each have around a 20% chance to be an elite bat (130+) in the AL. The dropoff after that is significant as the team signed two outfielders – Victorino and Gomes – who project to essentially be right around league average (1% better).
For context, the rest of the AL East is provided below. While they have a few younger players who may drag down the lineup, the Blue Jays clearly appear to have the best chance to have a number of players be well above average. While the Yankees have more upside potential than the Sox, there is a clear separation between the top half and bottom half of the lineup. The same can be said about the Tampa Bay Rays. And, well, we got bored halfway through the Orioles…