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Milwaukee Brewers: 2017 ZiPS Projections

thetzer
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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The 2017 ZiPS Projections are out for the Milwaukee Brewers. Let’s see how the team stacks up.

The ZiPS projections are calculated every year by Dan Szymborski, they have recently been published on fangraphs.  Projections attempt to use algorithms to predict future performance. As stated many times on these pages, predicting the future is very difficult. No projection system is perfect, but they can serve as a good baseline for performance expectations. For in-depth analysis, I suggest you read the full article by Carson Cistulli here. Below are the rounded win totals for the Brewers, courtesy of ZiPS.

Position players (17 wins)

Catcher: Andrew Susac/Jett Bandy (2 wins)

First Base: Eric Thames (2 wins)

Second Base: Johnathan Villar (3 wins)

Third Base: Travis Shaw/Hernan Perez (3 wins)

Short Stop: Orlando Arcia (2 wins)

Left Field: Ryan Braun (2 wins)

Center Field: Keon Broxton (2 wins)

Right Field: Domingo Santana (1 win)

Starting Pitchers (7 wins)

Junior Guerra (2 wins)

Zach Davies (3 wins)

Wily Peralta (1 win)

Chase Anderson (1 win)

Matt Garza (0 wins)

Bullpen (2 wins)

For comparison sake, here are my unscientific WAR projections from 3 weeks ago.

Position players (14 wins)

Catcher: Andrew Susac/Jett Bandy/Manny Pina (0 Wins)

First Base:Eric Thames (2 wins)

Second Base: Johnathan Villar (3 wins)

Third Base: Travis Shaw (1 win)

Short Stop: Orlando Arcia (2 wins)

Left Field: Ryan Braun (3 wins)

Center Field: Keon Broxton (2 wins)

Right Field: Domingo Santana (1 win)

Starting Pitchers (7 wins)

Junior Guerra (3 wins)

Zach Davies (2 wins)

Wily Peralta (1 win)

Jimmy Nelson (1 win)

Matt Garza (0 wins)

Chase Anderson (0 wins)

For the most part, these projections look pretty similar.  The rotation is almost identical, with Davies and Guerra win totals flipped.  ZiPS is a bit more bullish on the Brewers position players. Specifically, at catcher and third base. Perhaps the more interesting part of this projection is it also includes players in the minor leagues.

Mr. Cistulli does make two prescient observations. First, that some of the highest WAR projections are players who have never been in the big leagues, and probably will not break camp with this Major League club. This is true for pitchers and position players. Notably, Lewis Brinson is projected at 2.5 wins, and Brett Phillips is at 1.5 win. On the pitching side, Josh Hader is projected to put up 2 wins as well. The second observation is the Brewers seem to have a lot of players that can positively contribute. 20 players are projected to contribute a win or more, and no player will contribute more than 3 wins (though I could see Braun, Villar, and possibly Thames eclipse those totals).

As a whole, this shows the Brewers strategy of acquiring as much young talent as possible is on the verge of paying off. This may be the year when the prospects start outperforming the veterans. If they do, it will go a long way to help the Brewers compete in 2017 and beyond.

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