The ZiPS projections are out for the 2009 Reds, and they’re very interesting. First, the commentary:

While Walt Jocketty made a complete botch of the outfield situation, the Reds aren’t really as bad as some people are making the team out to play. Yes, the offense should be mediocre, but the Reds are at the point at which the pitching is a solid, not spectacular, plus, and there are still a few good players, especially Jay Bruce who ZiPS absolutely loves.

And make no mistake about it, it was quite a botching. The team replaced Dunn by signing Taveras and allegedly having Hopper split time with Dickerson in left. Yes, Jay Bruce is a better rightfielder than a centerfielder, but so’s everyone else and he played quite well in the majors defensively in center. Bruce in center and a couple of the random below-average corner outfielders they have hanging around is a much better outfield than any configuration that has Taveras starting and Hopper getting way too many, courtesy of the Dust.

Jocketty (and the Reds fanbase) may prefer the Reds to be a team of slapping swifties, but … we have ample evidence that making decisions based on the conditions you want rather than the conditions you have doesn’t usually turn out that well. The Reds play in an environment in which you need a lot of runs to win and having 2/3 of an outfield that looks like a 1920s Braves outfield doesn’t strike me as a great idea.

Indeed. Below the jump, I’ll post the projected stats. Pay particular attention to Jay Bruce’s line, which I would love to see. Also notice that Joey Votto projects as an average 1B in 2009, but a “Very Good” corner outfielder. Very interesting….

Check it all out below (plus go to the original post for more interesting stuff about some of the individual Reds, including Bruce, Harang, and Volquez):

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CATCHERS
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Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG 

AVERAGE
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ramon Hernandez          c   33  .263  .326  .418 125 433  49 114 23  1 14  71  35  70  1  1   91   Av 

FAIR
Javier Valentin#         c   33  .261  .322  .406  70 138  13  36  8  0  4  20  13  22  0  0   87   Fr
Ryan Hanigan             c   28  .260  .338  .338  97 308  36  80 12  0  4  31  32  48  1  1   76   Av 

POOR
Wilkin Castillo#         c   25  .254  .287  .346 129 456  45 116 22  1  6  43  18  63  9  7   63   Vg
Craig Tatum              c   26  .225  .266  .356 103 365  32  82 18  0 10  47  20  87  1  2   59   Fr
Chris Kroski*            c   27  .209  .258  .330  36 115   9  24  5  0  3  10   6  27  0  0   51   Av
Devin Mesoraco           c   21  .219  .251  .330  85 324  21  71  9  0  9  36  13  86  2  4   49   Fr 

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FIRST BASEMEN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG 

AVERAGE
Joey Votto*              1b  25  .280  .353  .490 158 567  71 159 34  2 27  92  63 124 12  7  115  Av
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAIR
Kevin Barker*            1b  33  .249  .328  .434 114 410  55 102 22  0 18  66  48 111  1  1   95  Av 

POOR
Jeff Keppinger           2b  29  .291  .343  .384 123 461  54 134 24  2  5  44  36  26  3  2   88  Av
Wes Bankston             1b  25  .260  .303  .436 111 415  51 108 20  1 17  64  23  88  2  2   88  Av
Javier Valentin#         c   33  .261  .322  .406  70 138  13  36  8  0  4  20  13  22  0  0   87  Fr
Adam Rosales             1b  26  .244  .301  .414 121 442  60 108 24  3 15  53  28  96  7  3   83  Av
Ryan Hanigan             c   28  .260  .338  .338  97 308  36  80 12  0  4  31  32  48  1  1   76  Av
Todd Frazier             ss  23  .240  .293  .405 144 555  70 133 24  1 22  71  40 155  9  8   78  Av
Luis Bolivar#            2b  28  .237  .283  .353 108 334  41  79 14  2  7  31  18  77 12  4   64  Av 

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SECOND BASEMEN
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Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG 

AVERAGE
Brandon Phillips         2b  28  .268  .320  .440 154 605  87 162 28  5 22  80  41 104 25  7   94  Vg
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAIR
Jeff Keppinger           2b  29  .291  .343  .384 123 461  54 134 24  2  5  44  36  26  3  2   88  Av
Danny Richar*            2b  26  .258  .311  .417 136 508  70 131 25  4 16  63  38  97 11  5   86  Fr
Jerry Hairston Jr.       ss  33  .272  .333  .405  57 158  25  43 10  1  3  16  12  27  5  2   90  Fr 

POOR
Adam Rosales             1b  26  .244  .301  .414 121 442  60 108 24  3 15  53  28  96  7  3   83  Pr
Drew Anderson*           2b  26  .239  .282  .389 158 581  71 139 30  6 15  69  33 137  8  5   71  Fr
Paul Janish              ss  26  .228  .293  .347 131 447  50 102 21  1 10  46  35  89  5  2   65  Vg
Luis Bolivar#            2b  28  .237  .283  .353 108 334  41  79 14  2  7  31  18  77 12  4   64  Fr 

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THIRD BASEMEN
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG 

VERY GOOD
Edwin Encarnacion        3b  26  .272  .354  .481 145 507  76 138 32  1 24  78  55 102  4  1  113  Fr 

FAIR
Jeff Keppinger           2b  29  .291  .343  .384 123 461  54 134 24  2  5  44  36  26  3  2   88  Av
Wes Bankston             1b  25  .260  .303  .436 111 415  51 108 20  1 17  64  23  88  2  2   88  Pr
Jerry Hairston Jr.       ss  33  .272  .333  .405  57 158  25  43 10  1  3  16  12  27  5  2   90  Av 

POOR
Adam Rosales             1b  26  .244  .301  .414 121 442  60 108 24  3 15  53  28  96  7  3   83  Pr
Todd Frazier             ss  23  .240  .293  .405 144 555  70 133 24  1 22  71  40 155  9  8   78  Fr
Drew Anderson*           2b  26  .239  .282  .389 158 581  71 139 30  6 15  69  33 137  8  5   71  Fr
Juan Francisco#          3b  22  .238  .259  .419 144 589  56 140 24  1 27  87  16 163  5  5   71  Fr
Paul Janish              ss  26  .228  .293  .347 131 447  50 102 21  1 10  46  35  89  5  2   65  Vg
Luis Bolivar#            2b  28  .237  .283  .353 108 334  41  79 14  2  7  31  18  77 12  4   64  Av 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SHORTSTOPS
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Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG 

AVERAGE
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Keppinger           2b  29  .291  .343  .384 123 461  54 134 24  2  5  44  36  26  3  2   88  Pr 

FAIR
Danny Richar*            2b  26  .258  .311  .417 136 508  70 131 25  4 16  63  38  97 11  5   86  Pr
Jerry Hairston Jr.       ss  33  .272  .333  .405  57 158  25  43 10  1  3  16  12  27  5  2   90  Fr
Sea Bass Gonzalez        ss  32  .258  .313  .407  63 221  28  57 13  1  6  27  13  42  1  1   84  Av
Adam Rosales             1b  26  .244  .301  .414 121 442  60 108 24  3 15  53  28  96  7  3   83  Pr
Chris Valaika            ss  23  .258  .290  .409 148 594  65 153 25  1 21  82  24 127  6  7   78  Fr
Todd Frazier             ss  23  .240  .293  .405 144 555  70 133 24  1 22  71  40 155  9  8   78  Fr 

POOR
Paul Janish              ss  26  .228  .293  .347 131 447  50 102 21  1 10  46  35  89  5  2   65  Av
Luis Bolivar#            2b  28  .237  .283  .353 108 334  41  79 14  2  7  31  18  77 12  4   64  Fr 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CORNER OUTFIELDERS
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+  LF  RF 

VERY GOOD
Joey Votto*              1b  25  .280  .353  .490 158 567  71 159 34  2 27  92  63 124 12  7  115  Av  Av
Jay Bruce*               rf  22  .276  .328  .522 158 613  94 169 32  4 37  98  48 163 10  8  115  Vg  Vg 

AVERAGE
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jonny Gomes              rf  28  .239  .337  .478 104 318  50  76 18  2 18  49  39 101  8  4  108  Fr  Fr 

FAIR
Laynce Nix*              rf  28  .259  .311  .492 111 378  49  98 18  2 22  61  25 103  4  1  103  Fr  Fr
Daniel Dorn*             lf  24  .249  .310  .471 111 410  56 102 20  1 23  70  31  98  3  1   98  Fr  Fr 

POOR
Darnell McDonald         lf  30  .267  .323  .415 122 465  61 124 26  2 13  56  37 104 19  5   89  Av  Av
Jeff Keppinger           2b  29  .291  .343  .384 123 461  54 134 24  2  5  44  36  26  3  2   88  Av  Av
Chris Dickerson*         cf  27  .235  .317  .413 140 494  70 116 22  6 18  60  56 171 25  7   87  Av  Av
Jerry Hairston Jr.       ss  33  .272  .333  .405  57 158  25  43 10  1  3  16  12  27  5  2   90  Av  Av
Adam Rosales             1b  26  .244  .301  .414 121 442  60 108 24  3 15  53  28  96  7  3   83  Av  Av
Chris Heisey             rf  24  .245  .299  .373 149 579  73 142 28  2 14  59  38 101 24  4   73  Av  Av
Norris Hopper            lf  30  .290  .333  .333  69 207  27  60  7  1  0   9  13  21  7  3   74  Vg  Vg
Todd Frazier             ss  23  .240  .293  .405 144 555  70 133 24  1 22  71  40 155  9  8   78  Av
Sean Henry               lf  23  .250  .302  .385 135 520  64 130 22  3 14  61  35  96 17 11   76  Av  Av
Drew Anderson*           2b  26  .239  .282  .389 158 581  71 139 30  6 15  69  33 137  8  5   71  Av
Juan Francisco#          3b  22  .238  .259  .419 144 589  56 140 24  1 27  87  16 163  5  5   71  Av
Drew Stubbs              cf  24  .228  .292  .353 141 549  67 125 26  2 13  49  48 151 24 13   66  Vg  Vg
Luis Bolivar#            2b  28  .237  .283  .353 108 334  41  79 14  2  7  31  18  77 12  4   64  Av  Av 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CENTERFIELDERS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name                     P  Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB   K SB CS OPS+ RNG 

VERY GOOD
Jay Bruce*               rf  22  .276  .328  .522 158 613  94 169 32  4 37  98  48 163 10  8  115  Vg 

AVERAGE
Laynce Nix*              rf  28  .259  .311  .492 111 378  49  98 18  2 22  61  25 103  4  1  103  Pr
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAIR
Darnell McDonald         lf  30  .267  .323  .415 122 465  61 124 26  2 13  56  37 104 19  5   89  Fr
Chris Dickerson*         cf  27  .235  .317  .413 140 494  70 116 22  6 18  60  56 171 25  7   87  Fr
Jerry Hairston Jr.       ss  33  .272  .333  .405  57 158  25  43 10  1  3  16  12  27  5  2   90  Fr 

POOR
Chris Heisey             rf  24  .245  .299  .373 149 579  73 142 28  2 14  59  38 101 24  4   73  Av
Norris Hopper            lf  30  .290  .333  .333  69 207  27  60  7  1  0   9  13  21  7  3   74  Av
Willy Taveras            cf  27  .272  .318  .331 125 475  70 129 16  3  2  29  32  73 48 10   71  Av
Sean Henry               lf  23  .250  .302  .385 135 520  64 130 22  3 14  61  35  96 17 11   76  Pr
Drew Stubbs              cf  24  .228  .292  .353 141 549  67 125 26  2 13  49  48 151 24 13   66  Vg 

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STARTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name                     Age    ERA   W   L   G  GS     INN    H   ER  HR   BB    K  ERA+ 

TOP THIRD
Edinson Volquez           25   3.97  12  11  32  32   181.1  166   80  19   85  180  117 

MIDDLE THIRD
Aaron Harang              31   4.46  11  12  32  31   204.0  212  101  32   51  184  104
Bronson Arroyo            32   4.62  11  14  33  33   202.2  215  104  30   64  161  101
Johnny Cueto              23   4.78   9  13  30  30   169.1  176   90  28   55  151   97
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ben Jukich*               26   5.11   6  10  26  26   144.1  163   82  17   56   79   91
Micah Owings              26   5.12   6   9  26  23   133.2  142   76  19   51  106   90 

BOTTOM THIRD
Ramon A. Ramirez          26   5.36   5  10  35  22   139.1  144   83  27   64  116   86
Jordan Smith              23   5.58   6  11  23  23   119.1  144   74  19   34   56   83
Matthew Maloney*          25   5.77   7  13  26  26   146.2  163   94  28   63  107   81
Homer Bailey              23   5.83   5  12  25  25   132.2  150   86  22   68   93   80
Sam Lecure                25   6.12   5  11  25  25   132.1  158   90  25   57   80   76
Adam Pettyjohn*           32   6.27   5  14  28  23   145.0  181  101  32   43   75   74
Daryl Thompson            23   6.51   4  12  24  24   123.0  150   89  32   39   74   71
James Avery               25   7.11   4  13  25  25   130.1  169  103  32   55   63   65 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RELIEVERS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name                     Age    ERA   W   L   G  GS     INN    H   ER  HR   BB    K  ERA+ 

TOP THIRD
Arthur Rhodes*            39   3.46   4   2  57   0    39.0   35   15   1   21   42  134
Francisco Cordero         34   3.48   6   3  69   0    67.1   58   26   6   30   79  134 

MIDDLE THIRD
David Weathers            39   4.14   5   4  67   0    67.1   69   31   7   29   45  111
Bill Bray*                26   4.18   3   3  61   0    56.0   56   26   7   25   58  110
Robert Manuel             25   4.23   4   4  40   5    83.0   88   39   9   20   57  109
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jared Burton              28   4.28   4   4  54   0    61.0   60   29   7   29   52  107
Danny Herrera*            24   4.34   4   5  43   2    64.1   67   31   7   21   47  105
Kent Mercker*             41   4.45   1   1  38   0    30.1   32   15   4   12   19  104
Josh Roenicke             26   4.63   3   4  57   0    56.1   57   29   7   29   49   99
Mike Lincoln              34   4.68   3   4  59   0    65.1   66   34  10   23   55   99
Carlos Fisher             26   4.70   5   6  52   0    69.0   72   36   7   32   51   99
Nick Masset               27   4.76   2   3  33   7    73.2   83   39   8   29   50   97
Aaron Fultz*              35   4.83   2   2  34   0    31.2   34   17   4   15   26   96
Matt Belisle              29   4.87   5   7  33  13   101.2  117   55  13   24   64   96 

BOTTOM THIRD
Jon Adkins                31   5.25   2   4  57   0    61.2   72   36   9   19   32   88
Pedro Viola*              26   5.33   3   6  49   4    77.2   84   46  12   35   54   88
Ron Flores*               29   5.40   3   6  55   0    56.2   62   34   8   31   41   85
Justin Mallett            27   6.09   3   6  32  11    85.2  100   58  16   42   53   76
Jeff Kennard              27   6.48   2   7  45   0    66.2   81   48  12   35   39   72 

* - Throws Left

---------------------------------------------

7 Responses

  1. Glenn

    Let’s hope the reality is not as grim as his projections.

  2. justcorbly

    I still se Dunn’s dismissal as a salary dump. Hence, it was inevitable tht the outfiled would be weaker. You can’t replace one player with another with a track record of comparable performance without paying pretty much the same.

    I agree they’re going with an outfiled that seems to have one wing and a couple of prayers, but the die was cast when the decision to dump Dunn was made. More clever people would have begun looking for and acquiring replacement outfielders a year or so Dunn’s departure. But, MLB isn’t running with its full share of clever people.

  3. Mark in CC

    It looks like they are pretty good when it comes to veteran players which are obviuosly the easiest to project (Hernandez, Phillips, Encarnacion, Cordero, Rhodes would seem about right) but I am not so sure on their process for young guys.

    As they say offensively it uses, “Weighted recent years.” How do you do that with a guy like Dickerson. Or even the outfield defense of Votto. Where does a track record come from there, 50 games in the minors? And, if Lance Nix could do what they project him to do why would he be still trying to make a big leeague team at age 28?

    And if you feel the numbers for players he likes like Jay Bruce are inflated then how can you count on the rest? Maybe he likes Nix and dislikes Dickerson.

  4. nick in va

    Jocketty brought Taveras in, but Dusty will develop a crush on him and bat him leadoff even if hes’ hitting .200.

    EE should be in the outfield. The guy cannot play third. I like him, but I sweat every time a ball is hit his way. It’s like the feeling I get when Weathers comes in.

  5. Mark T

    One thing that troubles me a little bit is the fact that Taveras has played on two World Series teams as leadoff hitter, but didn’t stick. I know it is his anemic numbers that cause teams to pink slip him – I get all of that. It’s just that he played on teams that won a lot of games, and they did well with him leading off.

    What gives? Is there something the stats don’t tell us?

  6. Deaner

    Nice! I’m very optimistic.

    I definitely like EdE’s line and when you think about it, he may be the key to the whole thing.

    Expecting Bruce to hit 37 HRs may be a stretch but doubt doubt fun to think about.

    Also, some of Phillips’ projections seem a little low to me.