Every year, I plan out and make my way through the offseason based off of the different milestones that offseason baseball holds. Free Agency, International draft, prospect projections, fantasy baseball, and now writing about prospects as well. Well, that and the Ravens. One of the things I truly enjoy waiting for each season is the ZiPS projections from Dan Szymborski over at Fangraphs.
Shoot, even MLB.com has a section on their site dedicated to explaining what exactly they are. So, instead of me fumbling my way through it, I'll leave that up to them.
"ZiPS is a system of player projections developed by FanGraph's Dan Szymborski when he was at Baseball Think Factory. According a Q&A on the Baseball Think Factory website, ZiPS uses growth and decline curves based on player type to find trends. It then factors those trends into the past performance of those players to come up with projections."
Previous seasons, applying heavier weight to recent seasons, amongst other things, and you end up with a fun and useful projection system. It shouldn't need to be said, but they are just that. Projections. It's fun to look at them, and anyone that spends the time to come up with them, and a legitimate and well thought out system to boot, gets a round of applause from me.
There is a big part of this that you need to look at before getting too far into it. He projects for a lot of people in the system based on how they would do in the majors. He has a whole primer on it that you can check out. For now, try and focus on the guys who we know/expect to make it to the bigs.
With that being said, let's take a fan-heavy, completely biased, opinionated, and mildly irrational dive into it and see what Dan Z came up with, where he is right, where he is wrong, and the general thought for the Mariners heading into 2023.