I promised myself I would make a mix of positive and negative predictions this year, and I aimed to make them really bold, refusing to make any prediction that was less bold than one made by another writer about the same player.
Let’s see how that is working out as of the All-Star break.
1. Billy Hamilton steals less than 25 fantasy relevant bases. I thought Hamilton would spend a lot of time on the bench, stealing bases as a PR, where they are extremely unlikely to have fantasy value. Instead, he has kept his job, having taken a big step forward in his offense (which is still really bad). And he has 22 SB, every single one as a starter. After years of avoiding him, I finally traded for Hamilton in my 5×5 to try to make up ground in SB, so it would be awfully fitting if my prediction somehow finally came true and cost me a title – but this is probably going to be very, very wrong.
2. Zack Greinke ends up outside the top 30 SP. Per CBS, Greinke is…#30. That’s right, I set my over-under at 30, and here we are. Greinke was coming off the board in the top 10 SP, so in spirit, this prediction was spot on. He also has 10 wins for a pretty bad team right now – assuming that falls off and he does not take a step up elsewhere (his peripherals give no reason to expect improvement), this should be a win.
3. Jordan Zimmermann ends up outside the top 50 SP. Zimmermann is around 52 (there are some SP/RP swing guys ahead of him) and now he is hurt. I feel pretty good about this one. My argument was that his 2014 was the outlier, based on peripherals and underlying performance, rather than 2015 being the outlier based on surface results. So far, that has been spot on.
4. Santiago Casilla finishes third in Saves – on the Giants. This is a definitive loss. Casilla has 21 saves and while his performance has been less-than-great, it has certainly not required a change in role. Even if he lost the job today, he is likely to end the year as the team-leader in saves and there is no chance TWO teammates pass him.
5. Francisco Lindor is not a top 12 SS. Uhhhh…nevermind. Lindor is the #5 fantasy SS and there is a legitimate case to be made for him as the top real SS in MLB. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate, though not the best candidate. Incredible.
6. Eugenio Suarez is one of the SS to surpass Lindor, going 15/10 with 70+ R and RBI, and solid rates. This falls apart on the last two words (also the passing Lindor thing…). 15/10 looks good, as he is at 15/6 at the break. He has 41 R and 40 RBI, so 70/70 is well within play. But his .228/.295/.402 line is not great. He is still an excellent MI option in almost all formats, particularly those that give you some credit for those SB, but he is not what I predicted.
7. Carlos Santana returns great value, ESPECIALLY in OBP leagues. Santana is the #12 1B in my CBS OBP league. Among guys who are used at 1B (i.e., they don’t also qualify at more useful positions), he is 6th. That matches my top 12 and top 8 in OBP leagues, easily.
8. Freddie Freeman is a top-6 1B. Among guys who are being used at 1B, Freeman is currently 9th. That is very solid, but not good enough. Hopefully you picked up your 1B one spot earlier on this list.
9. Wilson Ramos his .270 with 20 HR. Ramos at the break has 13 HR, so that 20 is well within range. And he is hitting .330, so as long as he hits something like .200 in the second half, he’ll match that .270. Depth Charts projections have him ending up with 19 HR, so this is no sure thing, but I still think he comes through. Of course, with Ramos the question is always health – that has to stick.
10. Pedro Alvarez leads the AL in HR. Alvarez has nine HR. That’s right. So few that I do not even need to use numerals to type it out per AP style. Not enough to lead the AL at all. Not enough to lead his team. I mean, Alvarez leads the Orioles in PA as a DH and doesn’t even lead his team in HR as a DH (Trumbo has 12 as a DH). This one was bad.
Chad Young is a product manager at Amazon by day and a baseball writer (RotoGraphs, Let's Go Tribe), sports fan and digital enthusiast at all times. Follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.