April 29, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty (43) meets with starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) and the infielders during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting The 2013 Nationals, Part Two: The Infielders

The Washington Nationals arguably have the best power-hitting infield in all of baseball. Between Adam LaRoche, Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, they can all hit 20 homeruns and have in the past. That, though comes with strike outs which limits the positives they bring.

Throughout this series, I will be noting players on the 40-man roster and confirmed non-roster invitees. In the infield, that means no major additions or subtractions, save Mark DeRosa.

In the second installment of our “Predicting the Nationals” series, we take a look at the men in the infield (or, at least listed as infielders) using ZiPS (published at Fangraphs) and Bill James’s pre-season predictions (from the Bill James Handbook).

As you can see, the big things is that both systems tend to believe Desmond’s power surge but not completely and while ZiPS is bullish on LaRoche, James sees a much similar season coming from the veteran first baseman. What strikes me, more than with the catchers, is how similar some of the predictions are which makes sense. The longer a player has data, the more similar the projections will be since they are mostly based on history along with a combination of other factors like injuries and age.

A note before we begin: Obviously, playing time is not totally adjusted. This is just to get an idea of what the major prediction systems are offering for the Nationals this season.

Ian Desmond
ZiPS: 611 PA, .269/.312/.432, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 5.4 BB%, 20.6 K%, 3.4 WAR
James: 595 PA, .279/.326/.445, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 6.1 BB%, 19.2 K%

Danny Espinosa
ZiPS: 653 PA, .235/.308/.403, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 7.7 BB%, 27.7 K%, 2.8 WAR
James: 612 PA, .253/.327/.434, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 8.0 BB%, 24.8 K%

Adam LaRoche
ZiPS : 478 PA, .249/.322/.445, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 9.8 BB%, 23.4 K%, 1.9 WAR
James: 592 PA, .256/.334/.471, 26 HR, 87 RBI, 10.3 BB%, 23.5 K%

Steve Lombardozzi
ZiPS : 584 PA .267/.316/.372, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 5.5 BB%, 13.2 K%, 1.7 WAR
James: 358 PA, .293/.339/.399, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 5.9 BB%, 10.9 BB%

Chris Marrero
ZiPS : 476 PA, .253/.311/.372, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 7.1 BB%, 21.6 K%, -0.1 WAR

Anthony Rendon
ZiPS: 358 PA, .242/.327/.412, 9 HR, 46 RBI, 10.3 BB%, 22.1 K%

Chad Tracy
ZiPS: 168 PA, .255/.310/.366, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 7.1 BB%, 16.1 K%, 0.2 WAR

Ryan Zimmerman
ZiPS: 607 PA, .280/.348/.471, 23 HR, 87 RBI, 9.4 BB%, 17.6 K%, 4.3 WAR
James: 659 PA, .287/.359/.486, 25 HR, 93 RBI, 9.7 BB%, 17.5 K%

Will Rhymes (Non-Roster)
ZiPS : 482 PA, .261/.314/.346, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 6.6 BB%, 10.4 K%, 0.3 WAR
James: 230 PA, .270/.333/.355, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 8.3 BB%, 10.4 K%

No Projections for  Non-Roster Invites Matt Skole and Zach Walters

Tags: Adam LaRoche Chad Tracy Chris Marrero Danny Espinosa Ian Desmond Ryan Zimmerman Steve Lombardozzi Washington Nationals Will Rhymes

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