Paul Sporer’s 2017 Bold Predictions – A Review

Time for the final review of Bold Predictions. I checked in on them back in mid-July and unfortunately, things didn’t get much better for me!

James Paxton Is A Top-15 Arm.

In the end, the injury sank this one as Paxton wound up with just 24 starts. However, he posted a 2.98 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in the 136 IP and still slotted 18th on ESPN’s Player Rater among SP. It’s a loss by the letter of the law as he’s not a top-15 arm at season’s end, but even with the sub-150 IP output, I can’t imagine anyone feels like they lost out by taking Paxton. I’m going to take half-credit on this one if that’s OK.

0.5 for 1 (.500)

Kevin Gausman Strikes Out 200 Batters.

This one actually came closer than I thought it would despite being a clear loss at just 179 Ks. He was striking out batters at 19% clip when I posted the update, but then reeled off a 26% mark in his final 14 starts to wind up 21 shy of the 200. He also posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.14 WHIP during that stretch so I can’t wait to fall for him again next year and get burnt. It’ll be neat.

0.5 for 2 (.250)

Francisco Liriano Does, Too.

He didn’t even reach 100.

0.5 for 3 (.167)

Carlos Martinez Posts A 2.50 Or Better ERA.

He took a 2.88 ERA into July, but then allowed 5 ER in three of his five starts and at least 3 ER in six of his final 11 starts winding up over a full run away (3.64) from the predicted mark.

0.5 for 4 (.125)

Michael Wacha Logs 200 Strong Innings.

To reach 200 innings, you’ll need a solid number of starts over six innings. Wacha managed just two and fell well short of the prediction with 165 innings. Even moving away from the count, they weren’t necessarily that strong, either. His 4.13 ERA and 1.36 WHIP landed him 63rd on the Player Rater.

0.5 for 5 (.100)

Blake Treinen Becomes A Stud Closer.

In the update I poked fun at myself for the miss, but also said he’d become the stud I projected in Oakland. He kinda was: 2.13 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 27% K, and 13 SV in 38 IP. I dunno, that’s kinda stud-ish. Can I get another half credit? Oh wait, I’m in charge… I’m taking it! I’ll be taking a shot on Treinen again in 2018 as he should come into the season with Oakland’s closer role.

1 for 6 (.167)

Delino DeShields Is This Year’s Jonathan Villar.

This was a total miss. I got excited when The Dentist (DDS… get it?) swiped 10 bases with a .293 AVG in June as I thought it might spur his playing time en route to a big second half, but that never happened. Hell, even the regressed Villar from this year wasn’t all that different:

  • DeShields – .269/.347/.367, 6 HR, 29 SB
  • Villar – .241/.293/.372, 11 HR, 23 SB

1 for 7 (.143)

Addison Russell Goes .280-30-100.

If only he hadn’t gotten hurt, right? Guys… right? Where’d everyone go??

1 for 8 (.125)

Joc Pederson Goes .270-35-20.

See y’all thought that was 35 HR and 20 SB, but it was actually RBI and 2B soooo I nailed it! The upside is failing so spectacularly on this one is you’ll finally never have to hear me talk about Pederson’s minor league base stealing again. I realize he’s just not going to run much in the majors at this point.

1 for 9 (.111)

Marcell Ozuna Hits 35 Home Runs.

:fist pump: Yesss!!! Let’s goooooo!!! :continues to overreact to his lone right call:

OK, I’ll settle down, but I am particularly geeked on this one because I had Ozuna on a few teams and wrote a glowing profile in the Baseball HQ Forecaster for him, too. Ozuna popped 37 HR, completing the breakout he started back in 2016 before a wrist injury derailed the season. While any breakout season needs some regression baked in, especially since he played 159 games, I believe in the skills he showed and think he’ll continue to be a premium power bat over the next few seasons.

2 for 10 (.200)

Hitting .200 on these makes me either Brad Miller (.201) or Luis Valbuena (.199). If you were a major leaguer and had to pick one of these seasons, which would you rather have?

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Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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al_beast
Member
al_beast

The only reason I didn’t buy Paxton this year is his health concerns from each year of his career. He was good while he was on the field, but still can’t stay healthy for at least 180 innings. I need more if I’m drafting him as an ace next year.

jarliek
Member
jarliek

If that’s the only reason why, it was a big mistake. He was not expensive, with the health concerns already baked into his low cost. I paid $1 for him in a mixed (yahoo avg was $2). I mean, even Rich Hill was worth his higher avg cost this year while only pitching 130ish innings.

Nobody will be drafting these guys as an ace but they’re definitely worth having, even at limited innings.

al_beast
Member
al_beast

I mean if you’re in a league like that that’s fine. I’m generally talking deeper leagues where you would have to take him as your 1 or 2 depending on the strategy. If you’re in a 10 team league sure, pay the $1 it takes.

Robert
Member
Member
Robert

Late in draft season, Paxton was a top 100 overall pick. You expect innings out of your 2 or 3 SP. He didn’t ruin seasons or anything, but his health is a strong concern.

HoratioSky
Member
HoratioSky

Exactly, guys like Paxton you need to count as taking up 2 roster spots. Like R.Hill+Paxton vs. Quintana. Studliness and sensitive skin + juiced balls = BLISTER FROM HELL + hypochondriac vs. totals.

Jackie T.
Member
Member
Jackie T.

If you have a few DL spots and streamable talent on the wire it completely changes the calculus. In such a format, he was still really valuable. That’s the type of league I’m in an he was a total success I’ll be targeting again.