What Does ZiPS Forecast for the St. Louis Cardinals Batters?

USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have had an excellent start to the season. How likely are they to keep it up?

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the best clubs in baseball. So far this season, they've used good starting pitching and timely hitting to propel them to first place and baseball's best record. Using the updated ZiPS projections for the the 2013 season, I thought we might try to get an idea of what the most probable forecast is for the Redbird hitters over the rest of the year.

The following graph contains the ZiPS updated 2013 projections for each of the Cardinals position players.

UPDATED ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 2013 ZiPS PROJECTIONS


Player

PA

HR

RBI

R

BABIP

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

wOBA

Molina

591

12

81

63

.352

.333

.383

.479

.862

.373

Craig

588

15

108

77

.343

.302

.346

.459

.805

.349

Carpenter

616

10

55

92

.343

.299

.382

.436

.818

.360

Freese

465

10

56

51

.335

.277

.349

.406

.755

.332

Kozma

581

5

59

57

.294

.242

.292

.325

.617

.271

Holliday

635

23

87

105

.297

.275

.356

.455

.811

.351

Jay

605

8

61

79

.296

.258

.330

.356

.686

.301

Beltran

549

29

85

71

.309

.295

.348

.516

.864

.371

Adams

310

12

47

31

.332

.280

.318

.469

.787

.338

Descalso

378

6

46

49

.313

.266

.330

.401

.731

.318

Wigginton

241

4

23

29

.267

.218

.290

.324

.614

.272

Robinson

200

4

20

28

.255

.236

.322

.343

.665

.296

Cruz

150

2

16

12

.262

.213

.253

.314

.567

.249

*ZiPS projections are as of Sunday, June 23, 2013.

As you can see, there are a lot of good numbers on this chart. It is not surprising that ZiPS forecasts the Cardinals' best batters to be Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and Carlos Beltran come season's end. These three players have been the St. Louis lineup's most prolific producers to date. Nonetheless, ZiPS forecasts the trio to cool off some by season's end. This is perfectly reasonable.

The forecasts aren't all negative for Cardinals hitters. ZiPS sees a huge improvement for Ty Wigginton (here's hoping!) as well as a solid improvement from Jay (even if the end result isn't so solid). Being a pixelated projection system, ZiPS does not believe in black magiks and sees a rough rest of the season for Pete Kozma. ZiPS is also not aware of how delicious mayo is; it projects a brutal fall back to earth for Matt Adams.

For a bit more perspective, I compared the ZiPS updated 2013 end-of-season projections with where the Cardinals stood before last night's game. The following chart shows how much of an increase or decrease each player would have to produce in order for him to meet his ZiPS updated end-of-year projection.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ZiPS UPDATED PROJECTIONS
AND JUNE 23, 2013 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS STATS

Player

BABIP

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

wOBA

Molina

-.031

-.025

-.020

-.030

-.060

-.020

Craig

-.014

-.010

-.006

+.009

+.003

+/- 0

Carpenter

-.016

-.019

-.017

-.020

-.040

-.016

Freese

-.007

-.003

-.005

+.011

+.006

+.001

Kozma

-.009

-.011

-.006

-.003

-.004

-.001

Holliday

+.009

+.004

+.005

+.011

+.016

+.007

Jay

+.015

+.015

+.007

+.024

+.031

+.014

Beltran

-.009

-.014

-.002

-.026

-.028

-.013

Adams

-.035

-.026

-.019

-.060

-.079

-.035

Descalso

-.017

-.013

-.008

-.031

-.049

-.019

Wigginton

+.010

+.042

+.027

+.108

+.135

+.055

Robinson

+.038

+.018

-.019

+.016

-.005

-.007

Cruz

+.080

+.075

+.086

+.107

+.193

+.083


*I used the players' stats through play on Saturday June 22, 2013.

ZiPS finds it likely that Molina, Carpenter, and Beltran will see double-digit drops in production. It's important to keep in mind that ZiPS is using inputs from various seasons to project what is most likely to happen given a player's established level of production. There's no denying that Molina and Carpenter are producing at levels we haven't seen before. While Beltran is doing his smooth thing, he is aging and suffered a late-season collapse last year. Ending the season with a .370+ wOBA from Molina and Beltran with a .360 wOBA from the club's second baseman would be fantastic (even if it isn't as fantastic as the trio's April, May, and June production).

ZiPS projects Craig to see his BA and OBP drop but his SLG increase--all for no net effect on his wOBA. ZiPS forecasts a largely similar phenomenon for Freese. The projection system sees the numbers for Holliday and Jay to go up across the board, with correspondingly positive results on wOBA. ZiPS also projects a return to earth of sorts for Descalso.

The Cardinals have gotten off to a great start this season. Whether or not they can sustain their 100-win pace as a team will depend on whether individual players sustain, improve upon, or fall-off in their individual performances. It will be interesting to see whether the Cardinals can defy the forecast moving forward.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker