Bill James, CHONE, and ZiPS projections for Capps, Marquis, and more

With the Nationals in the thick of the free-agency signing period, Washington finds themselves in a familiar place of sorting out the weeds. The Nationals, a club that lost 100 games for the second straight season, are attempting to attract players who other teams may deem too unpredictable, or too much of a risk. These are the types of players a last place team can attain, therefor, the strategy is figuring out who will fit the bill, and who will be a waste.

Below are the 2010 projections from Bill James, CHONE, and ZiPS, which were attained from Fan Graphs, Baseball Projection, and Baseball Think Factory respectively.

Matt Capps

Capps enjoyed four very good years in the Pittsburgh bullpen, and three as the clubs closer. At only the age of 25 however, things fell apart for him in 2009. His batting average against skyrocketed, and as a result his ERA shot up to 5.80 from 3.02 the year before. Before offering him a multi-year deal the Nationals need to decide first, whether it makes sense to pay money for a closer considering their current position (which I don’t think it does), and second if they think Capps can regain both his control and his ability to get batters to swing and miss. Here are what the experts think will happen:

2009 Real: 5.80 ERA, 27 SV, 7.62 K/9, 2,71 K/BB, .323 BAA
Bill James: 3.47 ERA, 30 SV, 7.11 K/9, 4.09 K/BB, .258 BAA
CHONE:   4.02 ERA, PNA,   6.90 K/9, 2.87 K/BB, PNA
ZiPS:         3.88 ERA, PNA  , 7.42 K/9, 3.38 K/BB, PNA

Jason Marquis

Marquis had arguably his best year at the age of 30, after what had been a nothing but a mediocre career. At this point in his career he is a number two starter at best, and he isn’t getting any younger. The Nationals need to decide whether or not he can eat up innings this season. The club is in need of a starter who can help give the bullpen a rest with the clubs young starters often fluctuating. Here are what the experts think:

2009 Real: 4.04 ERA, 15-13 W-L, 216 IP, 3,33 BB/9, .264 BAA
Bill James: 4.37 ERA, 12-11 W-L, 202 IP, 3.43 BB/9, .268 BAA
CHONE:   4.73 ERA, W-L PNA , 177 IP, 3.65 BB/9, PNA
ZiPS:          4.44 ERA, 11-12 W-L, 184.1 IP, 3.25 BB/9, PNA

Kelly Johnson

Johnson was considered a promising young second baseman when he had a strong season first full season at just the age of 25. However, 2009 wast just plain ugly, as his batting average dipped 63 points from the year before, and his on base percentage hovered just above .300 at .303. Were the Nationals to invest in the 27 year old, they would have to evaluate whether or not they thought 2009 was a blip on the radar, or a warning sign that something has gone wrong in this youngsters career. Here are what the experts are saying:

2009 Real:  .224/.303/.389,  8 HR, 47 R
Bill James:  .274/.354/.455, 14 HR, 78 R
CHONE:    .262/.338/.428, 12 HR, 67 R
ZiPS:           NA


Here are the major additions to the 2010 Nationals roster, and what the experts think they will do next year:

Ivan Rodriguez

2009 Real :  .249/.280/.384,10HR, 55 R, .297 BABIP
Bill James:  .266/.302/.397, 8 HR, 42 R, .315 BABIP
CHONE:    .248/.283/.467, 9 HR, 47 R, PNA
ZiPS:          .263/.289/.389, 9 HR, 53 R, PNA

Brian Burney

2009 Real:  3.92 ERA, 8.31 K/0, 1.31 K/BB, .247 BAA
Bill James: 4.68 ERA, 8.64 K/9, 1.41 K/BB, .242 BAA
CHONE:   3.92 ERA, 8.28 K/9, 1.62 K/BB, PNA
ZiPS:         4.72 ERA, 7.64 K/9, 1.37 K/BB, PN