San Diego Padres: ZiPS Projections Have A Few Surprises

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 17: Manuel Margot
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 17: Manuel Margot /

We’ve entered one of the toughest stretches for a sports fan. Football is over, yet spring training is still two weeks away. To help pass the time, let’s take a glance at the recently released ZiPS projections for the San Diego Padres.

Created by Dan Szymborski, now of ESPN, the ZiPS projections are just that, projections. They are, however, still fun to peruse. Like Carson Cistulli of Fangraphs states in the article, the projections do show positive growth for the Padres. We likely won’t see any elite, All-Star performances this season, but every position should be manned by a player with an average to slightly above-average projection.

Luis Urias may surprise fans of the San Diego Padres the most.

Offensively, there appears to be some growth. Manuel Margot and Wil Myers project at a 3.2 zWAR. Comparatively, Jose Pirela led the offense with a 2.1 WAR last year. Unfortunately, three regular starts (Myers, Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe) are projected to strike out more than 25% of the time, while the whole team could struggle to reach base, once again.

The biggest surprise I see is Luis Urias. Urias has the second highest OBP projection on the team (.001 point behind Wil Myers) with one of the highest batting averages, .255. He also has the highest projected WAR (1.8) among all three second base candidates. Carlos Asuaje, the expected starter, comes in at 1.2 and Cory Spangenberg at 1.3. Urias received an invite to spring training, so this will be a battle worth keeping track of.

The starting rotation of the San Diego Padres leaves much to be desired.

ZiPS projects a starting rotation of Dinelson Lamet, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Perdomo, Clayton Richard,

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and Jordan Lyles. I’m not too sure about Lyles. I think he will come out of the pen for the Friars, but with so many wildcard options, it could any one of eight or nine pitchers taking the final rotation spot.

Also, be sure to watch out for Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi has a projection line of 117 IP, a 109/38 K/BB ratio, and 0.9 WAR. Only Richard (0.9), Perdomo (1.0), Mitchell (1.2), Brad Hand (1.6), and Lamet (1.9) project at or better than Lucchesi in WAR.

A word of caution with this set of projections. With so many young and inexperienced players, making accurate projections is difficult. There just isn’t a lot of past performance and data on much of these guys.

Check out the entire piece on Fangraphs and let us know what you think.

Next: Should The San Diego Padres Trade Brad Hand Now?