By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com and Baseball Think Factory recently released his annual ZiPS projections for the Phillies and I strongly encourage you to take a look.
The projections are based on various computer algorithms and are highly respected by baseball experts, so it's not as if these numbers are pulled at random.
I'll compare the ZiPS and Bill James projections this weekend, but for now here are few things that caught my eye.
- Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are both projected to fall short of 500 plate appearances, indicating the odds are against both remaining healthy for the duration of the season.
- Domonic Brown needs a full season at the major league level to truly show if he can succeed with the Phillies. ZiPS forecasts him to finish second on the club in home runs with 18 with a slash of .265/.332/.461. Nothing outstanding, but at least serviceable. Also, the 112 OPS+ would be nice to see come to fruition.
- Ben Revere is projected to have the lowest strikeout rate in the starting lineup (9.4%), but he's also projected to walk the least (5.2%).
- Roy Halladay is expected to bounce back from last season, but his numbers won't necessarily revert back to where they were prior to last season. He's also projected to pitch less than 180 innings.
- If you look at the depth chart and sum the numbers you get 35 wins above replacement (WAR). Szymborski has his replacement level set at 45, meaning if you add the 35 wins above replacement to the standard 45 you realize the Phillies are projected to win 80 games in 2013.
As I've said with the Bill James projections (read about offense here) | (read about pitching here), you can't put all of your stock into these figures. They do, however, make for interesting conversation.