The Washington Nationals 2014 ZiPS Notes

Dan Syzmborski over at FanGraphs released the Washington Nationals’ ZiPS projections for 2014 today. Here’s some stuff we found interesting or of note:

  • Bryce Harper: .279/.363/.523, 28 HR, with 15 steals. I’ll take the OVER on the long balls and the UNDER on the steals. He’s bulking up for a reason. Harper comes complete with a 4.9 WAR and his #1 comp is Kal Daniels. Before you snicker or grimace like I first did, remember that Kal Daniels had nice seasons in 1987, 1988, and 1990. Albeit, Bryce Harper’s expectations are just much higher and he’ll need to be better than Daniels ever was.
  • Ian Desmond checks in as the second best hitter: .269/.315/.439, 20 HR, 23 steals, and a 3.5 WAR. Desmond is a nice little player all around.
  • Anthony Rendon got the Jeff Blauser comp. Blauser was a pretty damn good hitter, all things considered.
  • Another comp worth noting is that of Stephen Strasburg. They say he will be Mark Prior, making 26 starts, striking out 164 in 149 innings of work. He is projected for a 2.83 ERA and 3.8 WAR. Also with the same WAR projection is Jordan Zimmerman.
  • A.J. Cole earned a Zach Greinke comp.
  • Switch-hitting 24 year old Zach Walters: 20 HR, .247/.276/.443, we don’t see Walters having that kind of impact in the upcoming year.
  • Ryan Zimmerman is compared to Pinky Higgins (his first season came in 1930). Zimmerman is projected for his steady Eddie 3.4 WAR. Pinky Higgins probably has the biggest boner right now.
  • As pointed out by this comment, the Nationals are projected for a 43 WAR; or 91 overall wins. This is the highest projected amount so far. I’m bullish on the Nats again this year, though I think Matt Williams is a real wildcard as manager.
  • The new addition Doug Fister is projected to lead the team in innings at 192, worth a 4.0 WAR and earns the John Burkett comp. John Burkett was an RBI Baseball legend.

We’ll try to do a few more of these as the weeks go onward. Obviously with the month of February being here we have nothing better to do than tally a few notes on interesting (albeit conservative) projection systems like ZiPS.

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