Atlanta Braves: Projections for Nick Markakis in 2019

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 29: Nick Markakis
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 29: Nick Markakis /
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2019 Projections for Nick Markakis

These projections will likely be a little lower due to the fact that Markakis finished the season on a sour note. I think most Atlanta Braves fans understand that Nick is a valuable bat in our lineup and will contribute.

The only question that remains is if he will perform anywhere close to how he did in the first half of 2018.

I will be using three different projections to try and give everyone a solid idea of what they could expect from Kakes in 2019. Two of the projections used will come from the always trusty Fangraphs (ZiPS and Steamer) and the final will be pulled from Baseball-Reference.

The ZiPS and Steamer models are fairly similar on what we can expect from Markakis but there are subtle differences. Let’s break those down to get a better idea of a possible performance by the Atlanta Braves outfielder.

ZiPS Projection

I’ll start this by touching on the offensive projection for Markakis, who has only hit below .270 once in his career (.269 for Atlanta in 2016). The ZiPS model seems to concur with this as it has Markakis finishing with a .277 average in 2019.

However, the outlook on Markakis’ fWAR and defense aren’t looking too promising. The ZiPS projection has Markakis with a 0.9 fWAR and his defensive stat at a -8.6 (below-average). This projection assumes his defense won’t be much different than last season (-6.4).

Markakis is capable of making plays in the outfield but he isn’t going to make superstar plays. He’s been a below-average defender a majority of his career.

In his four years as an Atlanta Brave, Nick has averaged around a 1.4 fWAR and a -8.1 in the defensive production environment. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Markakis will produce around a 1.0 in the fWAR area and continue to play average defense.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable stats on the ZiPS projection for Markakis in 2019:

  • 144 games
  • .277 average
  • 153 hits
  • 9 home runs
  • 33 doubles
  • 72 RBI
  • 60 walks
  • 97 wRC+
  • .310 BABIP

This projection is the one that I believe will be what Braves fans can expect from Nick Markakis in 2019. He’s going to take more days off this season and will continue to produce for the club through consistent contact and the ability to get on base.

Steamer Projection

The Steamer projection is very similar to that of the ZiPS numbers. The only real discrepancy is that they believe Markakis will play 10 fewer games (134) and play slightly worse defense (they have him at a -9.4).

I could see why they’d consider Markakis missing 30 games due to how things transpired in the second half of 2018. However, I don’t think they’ll be able to convince him to take that much time off. The ZiPS is a bit more accurate to the number of games that will be played by Nick.

Everything else in the projection is fairly similar:

  • 134 games
  • .274 average
  • 137 hits
  • 11 home runs
  • 29 doubles
  • 62 RBI
  • 56 walks
  • 102 wRC+
  • .307 BABIP

As you see here, the projections on Fangraphs are similar and line up pretty well with what we have seen from the Atlanta Braves outfielder in the previous four years with the organization. This is what happens when you’re consistent at the plate.

Baseball-Reference Projection

This projection is a bit similar to the previous two but has Markakis batting at .269. This would match his “worst” season as an Atlanta Brave. However, it is basically spot on with the Fangraphs projections in every other area.

  • Roughly 140 games
  • .269 average
  • 147 hits
  • 11 home runs
  • 34 doubles
  • 74 RBI
  • 61 walks
  • .343 OBP
  • .395 SLG

This is a decent season and would surely help the team out each and every day. They aren’t superstar-level numbers but they are enough to benefit the team in the long run.

These are all fair assessments of how Markakis could perform in 2019. The average is pretty much spot on to his career numbers as an Atlanta Brave.

He will hit plenty of doubles, draw some walks, and create runs. Nick is a professional hitter and I’d expect nothing less from him.

However, what should fans really expect from the 35-year-old right fielder in 2019?