FanGraphs has released the 2014 ZiPS projections for the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are a lot of projection systems out there, but ZiPS is one of the most popular ones, and also one of the better systems. As I mentioned last night, I’ll be doing some analysis using these figures, and that analysis will come later tonight. For now, here is a quick rundown of what was said in the article.
**Talking about the first base position, Carson Cistulli said that someone like Andrew Lambo paired with Gaby Sanchez in a platoon could result in average production at first base.
**Jameson Taillon would rank third among Pirates starters on the depth chart if he was opening the season in Pittsburgh. I don’t think this means he should start the season in Pittsburgh, but it does give a good indication of the type of boost he could provide mid-June. He’s projected for a 1.5 WAR over a full season.
**Cistulli mentioned the Gregory Polanco/David Price trade discussions (there weren’t any discussions between the teams, just online trade ideas from ESPN). He notes that Polanco has the opportunity to approach, within a win, Price’s full value in 2014. That would be if Polanco would open the season in Pittsburgh. Just like Taillon, I don’t think that means he should open the season in Pittsburgh (I’m assuming both cases assume the player will be ready when they’re in the majors). It does show another big boost the team could receive. Polanco is projected for a 3.2 WAR over a full season, and that’s with ZiPS typically being conservative on prospects.
**The player comps are always fun to look at. Starling Marte drew a Matt Kemp comparison, while Polanco drew a Johnny Damon comparison. The Kemp comparison is interesting for Marte, mostly because I’ve noticed several comments on the site from people who would easily trade Marte.