I'd run through the streets yelling ZiPS day, except it's pretty cold this morning even in Arizona—the St. Louis Cardinals' ZiPS projections are on FanGraphs for 2014, which gives us not only something to talk about this weekend but also something to loop into conversations we have until sometime in late May. Dan Szmyborski's annual projections areyour chance to establish a new baseline for:
Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos discussions
Peter Bourjos outprojects Jon Jay with the bat, which just might come as a surprise—Bourjos is at .259/.314/.424, while Jay falls to .282/.339/.375. That would certainly make the decision about how to start unequivocal, but it still leaves Jay looking like a useful contributor off the bench. (Unless you're as perversely interested as I am in seeing what Mike O'Neill [.275/.360/.331] would do.)
Sleeper Prospect talk
GOOD NEWS: Stephen Piscotty hitting .266/.318/.391 while still awaiting a full season in Memphis. BAD NEWS: James Ramsey hitting .209/.297/.314. In the middle sits Randal Grichuk, doing a full-on low-OBP slugger thing.
There's also the continuing, confusing case of Greg Garcia, who lags behind Daniel Descalso with the bat after an above-average season in Memphis. And of Starlin Rodriguez, who should probably work very hard on moving back to the infield over the offseason.
Taveras and Wong
Oscar Taveras and Carlos Beltran have basically the same projection, which should be a warning to teams chasing Beltran and a relief to fans who've spent the offseason getting fractionally more worried about Taveras's season every day. But it's Kolten Wong whose ZiPS season would be the biggest relief: .266/.316/.380, good for a basically average season at second base.
And I haven't even gotten to the pitchers—good news for people who think trading Shelby Miller might not be a great idea—or the No. 1 comps—the Cardinals' rotation goes Mike Mussina, Jack McDowell, Darryl Kile, which isn't bad—yet.