It’s time to check in on my preseason bold predictions.
Note: For all the rankings, I used ESPN.com’s Player Rater.
BOLD prediction #1: Trea Turner will perform 20 spots worse than his ADP suggests.
I’m going to luck into getting this one eventually. Turner was going way too early compared to my projections. I saw him more as a 2nd to 3rd round talent.
He was proved me wrong by stealing 35 bases until he fractured his wrist in late June and will likely miss all the 2017 season. He currently ranks 7th overall but his value will continue to drop as others continue to rack up the counting stats.
BOLD prediction #2: Giancarlo Stanton will hit 50 home runs.
The main theory behind this prediction is there is no such thing as an injury prone hitter. Owners were staying away from Stanton because of his injuries. This season, Stanton has played in 92 of Miami’s 93 games with 30 HR. If he can keep this rate up, he will hit 22 HR over the last 69 games putting him at 52 HR. Looks like a little better than 50-50 right now.
BOLD prediction #3: Kyle Seager will outperform his brother Corey.
Unless Kyle goes on a tear, it seems like Corey (#40) will outperform Kyle (#134). Here is how they’ve performed this season:
The main reason for the discrepancy is that projections had Corey’s BABIP regressing from .355 to around .320. Instead, he’s raised it to more than offset his extra strikeouts.
With the Player Rater, Tuner is at #78 and Herrera is at #282. Turner has covered his end of the bargain while Herrera has been a complete mess.
Herrera’s OBP is down 40 points from his career rate. Also, he was a decent source of steals but this season his just five for 10. I’m claiming 50% credit.
BOLD prediction #5: Clayton Kershaw will produce his best season ever.
It’s going to be close. He’s at 15 Wins and a nice 2.07 ERA. He may not get to the 301 strikeouts of 2015 but he will easily surpass the 15 Wins total from that year. But Kershaw could slump or get hurt. I feel I have about a 33% chance of the career year happening.
BOLD prediction #6: Chris Davis will be a top-25 fantasy producer.
No way will this prediction come true. I figured playing through an injury in 2016 would have sapped his production. His production hasn’t improved. His AVG is down to .218 with a 38% K%. He has only hit 16 HR. Additionally, he’s missed a month of time. I’m out.
BOLD prediction #7: Robbie Ray will be a top-12 fantasy pitcher.
Let me bring forward this evidence:
One spot off. He could go one of three ways: move up, or down, or stay the same. My head says 33% chance but my heart hopes for gaining one spot. I’ll go with 33% for now.
BOLD prediction #8: No Cubs starting pitcher will be in the top-20 starting pitchers at season’s end.
I’m looking good with Arrieta at #36, Lester at #45, and Quintana at #50. The Cubs starters were due for major regression with a historically great 2016 season help by a great defense. All their major starting pitching stats have gotten worse this year.
I could see Arrieta sneak into the top 20 but I doubt it. I will go with a 75% chance of the prediction happening.
BOLD prediction #9: Rick Porcello will out-produce his 2016 season except for his Win total.
I still stand behind the reasoning for this selection. I thought some late-season changes to his arsenal would keep his production going. He has been able to increase his strikeouts but he is getting hit around with a career high BABIP.
There is just not enough time to improve his 2017 WHIP and ERA. Nothing for me here.
BOLD prediction #10: Jose Berrios pulls it together and is a top-50 starting pitcher.
He’s at #33 right now (higher than any Cub pitcher). He was being taken way too late with such a high pedigree. There is some chance for a fall off but this is a hit for now.
Batting .451. A little less than half right looks to be right around my season’s end total. I’ll take it.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.