Trea Turner and the Phillies
Numerous analytical and projection systems have begun unveiling their forecasts for the 2024 season. 
 
Over the coming weeks, we'll dig into these projections, examining essential details and showcasing noteworthy observations. Our initial focus will delve into the 2024 ZiPS projections, revealed last week on FanGraphs for the Phillies. 
 
How does ZiPS work? 
 
Developed by Dave Szymborski, the projection system uses growth and decline curves based on player type to find trends. It then factors those trends into the past performance of those players to develop projections. The system uses statistics from the previous four years for players ages 24-38 and adds additional weight to recent seasons. The system also factors velocities, injury data, and play-by-play data into its formula. 
 
ZiPS has shown a strong track record of accuracy in predicting player performances and team outcomes. A year ago the system projected the Phillies to win 85 games with a 37% chance of earning a wild-card berth. In reality, the Phillies won 90 games and reached the NLCS.  
 
"It's one of the best public projection systems available," said one NL executive. "Teams take this system seriously." 
 
What does ZiPS say about the Phillies in 2024? 
 
The system ranks the starting rotation as one of the top five in baseball but also points out that reliable depth beyond Cristopher Sanchez and Taijuan Walker at the back-end is nearly nonexistent. The system also points to a bullpen with some solid arms, such as Jose Alvarado, Matt Strahm, and Orion Kerkering, but projects concern about Dylan Covey and Andrew Bellatti. 
 
At the plate, ZiPS projects Trea Turner with a 5.0 WAR to be the club's most valuable player. Turner got off to a brutal start last season but managed to piece together a solid second half to finish with a .266/.320/.459 slash line to go with a 111 OPS+. FanGraphs projects he'll slash .290/.342/.479 in 2024 with a 124 OPS+. 
 
Here are three of the most interesting Phillies ZiPS projections for 2024.
 
1. Bryson Stott and a potential regression at the plate 
Stott pieced together a solid season last year, hitting .280 with a 104 OPS+, but ZiPS projects a concerning drop in 2024 to a .257 average and a 91 OPS+. The projection partly comes from the fact Stott is entering just his third year in the majors, but it demonstrates how pivotal the season will be for the 26-year-old.
 
2. Kyle Schwarber's top-hitting comp is Pat Burrell 
Schwarber, who hit .197 last year with 47 homers and 104 RBIs, is not your prototypical leadoff hitter, but he gets on base, and that's what counts. ZiPS projects he'll hit .218 in 2024 with 38 homers and 96 RBIs. It also projects he'll post a 123 OPS+, the second-best mark on the club behind Trea Turner (124 OPS+) and Bryce Harper (150 OPS+). 
 
Interestingly enough, Burrell collected a career-high 114 walks in his age-30 season and posted a 128 OPS+, the second-highest mark of his career. ZiPS projects Schwarber to collect 97 walks and 188 strikeouts. If the projected strikeout total comes to fruition, it'll mark a career-high for Schwarber.
 
3. Cristopher Sanchez should be a solid back-end arm
Sanchez assumed a back-end spot in the rotation last year and performed admirably, posting a 3.44 ERA over 99 1/3 innings. He also posted an outstanding 1.04 WHIP and a 6/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 
 
ZiPS projects he'll regress slightly in 2024 but still put up respectable numbers for a hurler at back-end of a rotation. The system suggests a 4.36 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP and a strikeout-to-walk ratio closer to 3/1.

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