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Angels 2013 ZiPS Projections Released

January 11th, 2013

Earlier this week, over at Fangraphs, Dan Szymborski released his 2013 ZiPS projections for the Angels. Here are a few interesting notes from the article.

  • ZiPS projects Mike Trout to post an 8 WAR season, including a .282/.361/.507 slash line with 29 home runs and 47 stolen bases. Here is what Szymborski had to say about Trout’s projection:

It’s impossible to ignore the very optimistic projection for 2012′s Champion of WAR, Mike Trout — so, let’s not. While an eight-win season is certainly aggressive so far as a forecast is concerned — if for no other reason than only two or three players surpass the eight-win threshold per year — it’s also the case that ZiPS is being at least somewhat conservative with regard to Trout, forecasting him to hit fewer home runs, steal fewer bases, post a considerably lower BABIP, and save fewer runs afield in 2013 than in 2012.

  • ZiPS thinks Pujols will rebound slightly in 2013 to post a 5.3 win season with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs. I personally think those numbers seem a little low, but that may just be wishful thinking.
  • Mark Trumbo is projected as a 2+ win player with 34 home runs and 94 RBI’s (same as Pujols), albeit with a .309 OBP.
  • ZiPS is quite down on Josh Hamilton as he enters his first year as an Angel, projecting him to hit just 26 home runs with a .267/.329/.481 line, and 3.8 WAR.
  • ZiPS thinks Vernon Wells will post a positive(!) wins above replacement total.
  • Of the five projected starters, just one (Jered Weaver at 203) is projected to pitch 200+ innings. Weaver is projected at a very respectable ERA- of 77 and a 4.9 WAR. Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton are (not surprisingly) projected to posts ERA’s of 4.35 and 4.49 respectively. ZiPS likes Tommy Hanson, putting him at a 2.2 WAR with a 3.93 ERA and nearly 170 innings pitched.
  • Although he is likely to spend most of 2013 in the minors, Nick Maronde projects to be the 2nd best relief pitcher on the team (behind Ernesto Frieri) over a full season. Meanwhile, ZiPS is quite fond of Ryan Madson, projecting him at a 70 FIP-.
  • ZiPS projects the Angels starting lineup, rotation and bullpen to combine to be worth 51 WAR. Using the traditional estimate that a team filled with replacement level players would win roughly 45 games, ZiPS is essentially projecting the Angels to win ~96 games. That’s probably somewhat high, but it’s an impressive number for the generally conservative projection system.

You can follow Justin Millar on twitter at @justinmillar1, or email him at Justinmillar1@gmail.com. Comment below to join the discussion.



  • eric reining says on: January 12, 2013 at 8:18 am


    Given age-related decline, and the fact that first base is the most competitive position in baseball for power hitters, I find a 5+ WAR season to be quite steep vis a vis Albert Pujols. Don’t get me wrong, he should remain very serviceable, but I tend to believe 3.5-4.0 fWAR is more realistic. (Symborski makes it clear he doesn’t operate in fWAR or bWAR, but rather a computer projection based on historical data. I’m just giving a rough Fangraphs estimate since it’s clearly the more accurate compared to Baseball Reference.)

    As far as the rotation is concerned, I don’t see Weaver posting 5 WAR, because of his low GB rate and relatively low strikeout totals. To give context, David Price, Yu Darvish and Zack Greinke posted 5.1 fWAR apiece in 2012, and each rack up a ton of K’s. Weaver is not that guy, but he’s historically outperformed his peripherals, so I’m expecting another nice season in terms of ERA.

    Tommy Hanson is one pitch away from throwing his arm into the 2nd row behind the Angels dugout, and I see him as the key to their success in 2013. Keith Law said the inside of his shoulder looks like raw hamburger meat. Hyperbole? Certainly, but not a baseless assertion. If Hanson can provide a quality 180-200 innings, I think the West belongs to the Angels in 2013. If not, then you’re looking at an iffy fringe-#2 in C.J. Wilson who’s coming off injury, and two replacement-level pitchers at the backend in Blanton and Vargas. Pretty solid bullpen, sure, but you still need the guys to take you there.

    Right now, the Angels are the class of the West, at least on paper. If the Rangers acquire another bat — maybe Justin Upton — it should be an interesting year. I think Texas has the overall pitching advantage, with LAA clearly superior offensively. Both teams should be well above league average on defense.

    • Hudson Belinsky says on: January 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm


      A couple reactions:

      1) I agree that Hanson is a wild card. If he’s truly healthy (which seems unlikely) he could be stud.
      2) Blanton and Vargas might be only slightly better than replacement level, but both offer a clean bill of health, which will be critical if Wilson and Hanson are bit by the injury bug again in 2013. The depth behind the starting five is there for it to be okay for a bit if there are injuries.
      3) The Oakland A’s are a legitimate club, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them atop the division again in 2013.

  • Paris says on: January 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm


    Seems about right. The fact that they play 15 games against the Astros (and less games against Oak, Tex, Sea), seems like over 90 wins is a lock even if things go wrong. It’s pretty remarkable that they won 89 games last year after their disastrous April (offensively), league leading 22 blown saves, and a starting rotation that was either never quite healthy or never got in a groove where they were all pitching fine (when one guy got hot, the other was going through a rut etc.). They somehow still managed to hang tough in the best division in baseball and finished with the 3rd most runs scored.

    I think they improved this offseason everywhere they needed to. Should be exciting.

  • Justin Millar says on: January 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm


    I do think this will be a 90 win team next season with 96 as a best case scenario (If I had to bet an exact amount I would go 93). I think Oakland will be competitive, but more of an 85 win team as they had some significant luck last year, plus the pitching staff is relatively unproven. With all that, I still believe Texas is the top team in the division, and I think It will shake out like
    1. Texas
    2. Angels – winning a wild card spot
    3. Oakland
    4. Seattle
    5. Houston

    Of course, this is coming from a guy who picked a D-backs-Rays world series last year. So, what do i know.

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