FanGraphs released the ZiPS projections for the 2023 Brewers on Thursday.
ZiPS, or the Szymborski Projection System, was developed by analyst and statistician Dan Szymborski. To arrive at its projections for most players, the system uses statistics from the past four seasons, weighing recent seasons more heavily. It then takes into account aging curves for similar players.
The full projections can be viewed here, but here’s a quick rundown.
ZiPS’ view of this year’s Brewers team aligns with the assessment of other analysts: the Brewers are a pitching-first team that features healthy position player depth, but they lack a star offensive player.
The system projects Willy Adames for 4.2 WAR and a .252/.321/.470 line (114 OPS+). Luis Urias (2.7 WAR) comes in as the team’s second-best position player, and Rowdy Tellez leads the team with a projected 118 OPS+. Jesse Winker is also pegged for a 114 OPS+.
Barring another acquisition, Milwaukee will rely on several of their prospects in center field, right field, and second base. The computer does not see any of Garrett Mitchell (91 OPS+), Sal Frelick (92), Brice Turang (77), or Joey Wiemer (80) as impact bats out of the gate.
ZiPS is also bearish on recently-acquired catcher William Contreras, who is predicted to regress to a 104 OPS+ after putting up a 138 mark last season. In a more positive projection, it expects Abraham Toro, who figures to compete with Turang for playing time at the keystone, to hit for a 100 OPS+.
While Adames is the only position player expected to perform at a high level, ZiPS forecasts the club to accumulate at least 2 WAR (the benchmark for a solid everyday player) at every position except second base and designated hitter.
Unsurprisingly, the computer expects Corbin Burnes (2.99) and Brandon Woodruff (2.96) to lead the way for the pitching staff with sub-3.00 ERAs. Due to his injury history, Freddy Peralta is only expected to throw 103 innings but post a solid 3.67 ERA in that span. Eric Lauer (102 ERA+), Aaron Ashby (103) and Adrian Houser (97) round out the rotation as league-average starting pitchers.
In the bullpen, ZiPS expects another dominant campaign for Devin Williams (2.79 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 36.4% strikeout rate) and a strong follow-up for Hoby Milner after his breakout 2022 (3.62 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 26.3% strikeout rate). Matt Bush, Jake Cousins, and Peter Strzelecki also project as solid arms.
Wade Miley, whose reported signing has yet to be officially announced by the Brewers, is not included in these projections.
The Brewers lack star power, but at least one projection system believes that their depth will keep them in the thick of the playoff race in 2023.