I thought I would spend this month reviewing some of my preseason work. Unfortunately, because I was working on a piece for The Hardball Times last week, I didn’t get to post anything. However this week, I will review my Bold Predictions article and next week I will give an update on my BARF league team.
If you did not read my previous list, I urge you to do so, just for the introduction. I also urge you to read Alex Chamberlain’s update on his Bold Predictions. I mirrored Alex’s format in adding odds to my update predictions. Just like the odds, this article is mostly for fun.
1) Everyone will regret drafting Bryce Harper in the top 3.
At the beginning of the preseason, I wrote an article arguing against drafting Bryce Harper in the top three of standard leagues. It outlined his extreme jumps in many of his underlying statistics and my belief that many of these were not sustainable. About two weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good. He was hitting under .260 and on pace for about 30 home runs. Since then he’s added four home runs and four stolen bases and been hitting at a .311/.436/.600 clip and he has jumped from being ranked outside the top 50 to 36th. So, will people regret drafting Harper in the Top three? Barring a return to the slump we saw for six plus weeks, we they probably won’t. However, prior to the season, I had Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Manny Machado, and Jose Altuve ranked above him and if you took Harper over any of these guys, you are disappointed so far. However, according to my wife, he is still pretty either way.
Odds: Debatable, so we will call it 50%
This couldn’t have gone much worse. While Richards started a tad bit rough, he really seemed to be putting it together until he injured his elbow and much like the Angels season, this bold prediction was flushed down the toilet.
3) Bradley Zimmer will be a top 100 draft pick in 2017.
I really expected that with the injury to Michael Brantley, that Zimmer would have a chance to breeze through Double-A and Triple-A and we would see an early call up for him. However, the emergence of Tyler Naquin and the above average play of Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall coupled with Zimmer’s contact issue in the minors have made him an afterthought. Zimmer has been better over the course of the last month however, hitting .271/.371/.514 with 5 homeruns and 10 stolen bases. He may not make enough impact this season at the major league level, but he might be worth an investment as a buy low guy for those who play in dynasty formats.
4) Joc Pederson will go 30/25.
When the Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts was a player, he stole 226 bases from 2002-2007. When he was hired as the manager in Los Angeles, I thought he would institute more of a running game. It is obviously not on the top of his priority list. The Dodgers are tied in 26th place in stolen bases with 25 for 2016. Pederson himself has been virtually as advertised otherwise. Not playing much against lefties is hurting him and while he has improved his strikeout rate a bit; he is also walking a bit less. He will start the second half on the DL, so the chance he will even get back to 26 home runs is in doubt. I still believe in his talent, but the role and team are still concerning.
— Rickard Bergquist (@sportblogg) April 21, 2016
5) Joe Panik will not be a top 30 second baseman.
I was concerned with Panik’s back to begin the season. So far, it is not his back that has been the problem. He has dealt with a minor groin injury and is currently dealing with concussion related symptoms. While the counting stats have been decent, his average has taken a tumble, but that appears mostly BABIP related, though his hard contact % is down a bit this season. I still worry about his health, especially with the added concussion issue. Currently he is the 24th ranked second baseman on Yahoo, so this one is definitely still in play.
6) Jonathan Schoop will hit 30 home runs.
This one is going according to plan. Schoop is finally getting full time at bats and showing what he can do with him. I’d love to see his HR/FB and hard contact percentages come back up to last year’s numbers, but beggars can’t be choosers. The average will come down a bit, but there is no reason to doubt the power and the playing time. All he needs is one nice hot streak and I am golden.
Only things better than bombs off Jonathan Schoop’s bat are his handshakes. https://t.co/W12FFsWbMp
— Adam Comarow (@ComarowsCorner) July 7, 2016
7) Alen Hanson will be a top 25 short stop.
The Pirates would rather see Hanson get full time at bats at in the minor than it appears. It helps that Jordy Mercer has been fine this year and Josh Harrison has rebounded a bit. This one was probably the longest of long shots on this list. However, keep an eye on him. With the recent news that Jung Ho Kang is being investigated for sexual assault, he could find his way up and playing regularly if Kang was suspended.
8) Dalton Pompey will be a top 50 outfielder.
Why do they Blue Jays hate Pompey? I know he has been battling injuries recently, but he should have been up before the most recent injury issue when Kevin Pillar was struggling. Oh, well.
When I wrote this article, everyone was drafting Giles ahead of Gregerson. I had huge arguments on my podcast over this. Houston is a very smart organization with limited resources. I argued that using Giles in the setup role would keep his arbitration figures down, not to mention that the real life value of an elite set up man has value. Gregerson had a guaranteed contract in place and was very good in 2015. Since, losing the closer role, he has been great the last month. I would not be surprised to see him back in the role at some point this season, but as far as this bold prediction goes, I crushed it.
10) Joey Rickard will steal 20+ bases.
Rickard was a monster in Spring Training. He stole 5 bases (tied for Tied in all of baseball) and hit .397/.472/.571. I thought he would be a sneaky AL only option and so far he has been ok in that regard. Unfortunately, the Orioles have stolen the least amount of bases in the majors. Unfortunately he is platooning more now than he was earlier in the season, but there is a small margin of hope that he could steal more, but 20 is probably out of reach being in Baltimore.
Bonus: I will tweet the aforementioned obscene hashtag about Gregor Blanco twice as much as last season.
If you don’t understand this, you have to go back and read my preseason list.
Last season, I tweeted this 23 times. This year I have tweeted it 17 times. There have been complaints this year, which saddens me. However, I plan to ignore the critics and preserver!
I still am a petty, petty man.
Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.