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Five Takeaways From ZIPS SF Giants Projections

SF Giants right-handed pitcher Logan Webb. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SF Giants right-handed pitcher Logan Webb. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Logan Webb, ZIPS
Logan Webb #62 of the SF Giants pitches during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on September 18, 2020. The Athletics defeated the Giants 6-0. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

ZIPS released their projections for the SF Giants next season and Marc Delucchi finds five big takeaways from their estimates.

Dan Szymborski over at FanGraphs has begun sharing his annual ZIPS projections for all 30 MLB teams. On Monday, he released his projections for players who had last played in the SF Giants organization. Given how early we are in the offseason, there remains plenty of time for things to change. However, it’s also a useful tool for understanding where the players currently under team control stand.

While many of the projections are in line with their previous performances, a few things stand out. Here are five takeaways (three positive and two negatives).

5 SF Giants ZIPS Takeaways:
#1 Logan Webb (Positive)

Giants fans are rightfully anxious about a lot of their starting rotation. If Logan Webb, the lone player under 25 to start for the team last season, could reach his prospect ceiling, it could go a long way towards solidifying the unit. However, in 19 starts (21 games) over the last two seasons, he has posted a 5.36 ERA.

Still, ZIPS remains incredibly optimistic about Webb’s future. His top comp, Jake Westbrook struggled to find his footing in MLB early in his career, but eventually found his footing as an effective mid-rotation starter. His career went on to span 13 big-league seasons where he pitched 1747.2 innings to a 4.32 ERA (4.17 FIP). He never struck out more than 6.7 batters per nine innings, but still was consistently effective by limiting walks and home runs. While Webb’s strikeout projections are far superior to Westbrook’s, when adjusting for the play of the era, they become far more similar than it might appear on the surface.

A deeper look at Webb’s numbers explains where the projection is coming from. While Webb has struggled to limit runs thus far, his FIP has been at least a run below his ERA in both 2019 and 2020. Over his career, it estimates his performance more in line with a 4.15 ERA. Given his solid strikeout and walk rates, if his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) drops from his exorbitantly high career .340 value, there’s reason to believe more success is ahead. Given the dearth of starters currently on the roster or in the upper minor-leagues, a strong projection for Webb is a welcome sign.

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