13 Predictions for the Rest of the Season

Of all the predictions, Goldilocks would pick these. Not too bold. Not too safe. Just right.

Why predictions? I’m a little prediction crazy. Plus, you’re not making trades at this point in most leagues, the RotoGraphs team is doing a great job of providing options to grab for a boost in the final weeks, and there will be plenty of time to analyze players for 2016 in the offseason. Here are 13 assorted thoughts and musings on the remaining 13 percent or so of the 2015 season.

1. Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez will be the first teammates to hit 40 homers since Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome did in 2006. Is this important? Maybe (round numbers!), maybe not. Either way it’s impressive.

Gonzalez generally hits plenty of home runs, outside of his miserable 2014. Arenado’s season induces some surprise. Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt were the only hitters in the top 20 for ISO with fewer than 20 home runs last season. Playing time held both back from hitting 20, so while Goldschmidt was a known entity, Arenado’s power flew slightly under the radar.

I should mention both the Angels (Mike Trout/Albert Pujols) and the Blue Jays (Josh Donaldson/Jose Bautista/Edwin Encarnacion) have a shot at this as well.

2. Giancarlo Stanton will hit at least one home run. He’s been pushed back, recovering slower than expected, and still feeling pain for a while now, so this one is mostly hope. Stanton, of course, is awesome. He has the best HR/FB and Hard% in baseball, as well as the two longest home runs this season (and four of the top 10).

3. Yasmani Grandal’s shoulder injury, which he suffered in early August, will not improve this month. Grandal went from a 170 wRC+ in July to a 52 wRC+ in August and now a 5 wRC+ so far in September. Remember the good times (AKA the first half) when valuing Grandal for 2016. On a side note: July Grandal would still have been a major improvement at catcher for the Mariners. Not fantasy related, just sad.

4. Chris Davis will hit at least seven more home runs. As ZiPS projects six, this is nothing outlandish.

5. Jose Abreu will finish with about 34 home runs, 97 runs, 100 RBI and a .294 average. Some fantasy owners will be disappointed, despite the fact Steamer projected almost that exact line before the season. After Abreu’s disparate first and second halves in 2014, I’d be happy with Abreu’s solid, consistent, season-long production across four categories.

6. Mike Trout will continue to play his way out of the top two in most fantasy drafts next season. And that’s not even a bad thing. He’s great. Bryce Harper and Goldschmidt have just been better this season. Doing particular damage to Trout’s status as top fantasy player is his declining steals. He’s sitting on 10 steals this season with ZiPS projecting another three. He’s actually attempting more steals than last season, the issue is he’s already tied a career-high by being caught seven times.

7. Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique injury will hold him to fewer than five more games in the regular season.

8. This one technically doesn’t fit since it has to do with the postseason, but Yasiel Puig and George Springer will do cool things in the playoffs hurting their chances to be bargains in fantasy drafts next year.

9. Matt Williams will not help Anthony Rendon’s chances to end on a high note by forcing him to bunt at least two more times.

10. Ian Desmond will be OK. Desmond was fantastic in August, tying Carlos Correa (who else?) for the lead in home runs and steals among shortstops. He’ll step back in September, but be better than he was early in the season.

11. Corey Dickerson will stay healthy for the remainder of the season.

12. Miguel Cabrera will double his second-half total of home runs. Granted, it’s only two. Now that injuries have hampered him for a second straight season, hopes for Cabrera have sunk a bit. Lack of homers aside, he’s looked great and I’m banking on a powerful end to the season.

13. The current second-half middle infield power leaders, Jung-ho Kang at SS and Jedd Gyorko at 2B, will finish there as well. Gyorko looks a lot more like the breakout 2013 version than the hobbled 2014 version, while Kang looks to have adjusted to MLB pitching quite nicely.





Adam McFadden contributes to RotoGraphs when he's not working as a sports editor at MSN. His writing has appeared online for FOX Sports and Sports Illustrated.

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FuriousToaster
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FuriousToaster

Are you suggesting that Harper will be a top2 pick next year? I would think Goldy, Donaldson, Trout then Harper… maybe…

I never believed that Harper’s swing mechanics were destined for long-term success, but streaks of greatness.

Hammer
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Hammer

What a ridiculous comment…

FuriousToaster
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FuriousToaster

I’ll take Goldy’s 5-category contribution over Harper’s regression next year. Players with well-defined timing mechanisms like Harper are prone to long slumps.

Satoshi
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Satoshi

Harper should be a consensus first overall pick next year. No one currently playing baseball has ever had a season as good as Harper’s 2015.

Uh
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Uh

You are joking right?

FuriousToaster
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FuriousToaster

Pujols (03) and A-Rod (07) have both had better offensive years than Harper.

Look, I’m not saying that what Harper is doing isn’t impressive, it really is. I just don’t believe he’s going to do it again next year so blindly that I would spend the first pick on him. There are players with longer records of success and consistency that deserve that slot.