Reviewing Adam McFadden’s Bold Predictions for 2015

In case you’re not already fighting Bold Prediction fatigue, it’s time to see how I did with mine.

1. Jorge Soler will hit at least 33 home runs

Vast and confounding is the mystery of Soler’s performance this season. One of the few things I am sure of is that he did not hit anywhere close to 33 home runs. Soler was more aggressive and struggled to make contact, while his ISO more than halved from his debut. You’ll see later where an extra dose of boldness hurt my chances, but not this time. I was nowhere close.


2. Tony Cingrani will be a top-three closer for the final two months of the season

This required a couple of steps. An Aroldis Chapman trade. A dominant bullpen Tony Cingrani. Neither of them happened. The reason for this prediction was to highlight how great Cingrani could be in a bullpen role, where his reliance on the fastball wouldn’t be as much of an issue. He generated strikeouts but the walk problems from 2014 worsened and he was a complete afterthought for fantasy. The predictions are not off to a great start…


3. Danny Salazar will be a top-35 starting pitcher

That’s more like it! Salazar finished 20th on ESPN’s Player Rater. I loved Salazar’s skills and blamed 2014 on a triceps injury and the always-vague “mechanical issues.” It worked. Salazar was just as nasty as usual and added a few more ground balls for good measure. I think he can do even better and will be buying in where I can next season.


4. Michael Bourn will steal at least 35 bases

Back to the House of Pain. Bourn played quite a bit and stole 17 bases, which you may notice is not particularly close to 35. In the interest of full disclosure: I was struggling for a final prediction, since I didn’t want to repeat what the rest of the RotoGraphs crew had done, and settled on Bourn. It was quite the whiff.


5. Arismendy Alcantara will be a top-seven second baseman

Let’s step outside the ESPN Player Rater and run the numbers on this one using wRC+. Ian Kinsler was the seventh-best second baseman with a 111 wRC+. Alcantara’s wRC+ for the season was -3.


6. Alex Rodriguez will hit at least 20 home runs

I liked a rested and healthy-ish Rodriguez to rebound. I was right and he hit this mark in July.


7. George Springer will not be a top-25 outfielder

Springer finished 37th, though his downfall was an injury, not the performance issues I raised. While correct in result, I was wrong in how it would happen.


8. Francisco Liriano will be a top-25 starting pitcher

I felt confident when Liriano was cruising early. I was nervous when he struggled through a bad August. And I was relieved to see he finished 25th. In the original prediction I said this needed at least 160 innings, a walk rate around 10.1% and better luck for wins. He got all three.


9. Carlos Gonzalez will easily outperform Michael Brantley

In a fun twist, these guys ended up with nearly identical values in ESPN, where Gonzalez earned a Player Rater score of 7.96 and Brantley was at 7.98. Gonzalez had a mostly miserable first half that had me backpedalling from this prediction as quickly as I could. Then he hit 27 second-half home runs. Whoa. Brantley meanwhile did Brantley things all year when he was healthy enough to play. In the original draft, I had simply that these two players would perform equally (which was bold because of the difference in their rankings). After adding the extra dose of boldness in the form of that annoying “easily outperform,” this one goes down as a loss.


10. Yasiel Puig will not a be a top-12 outfielder

I didn’t want to pay for Puig’s hoped-for leap to elite and his ADP demanded it. He finished 89th while injuries held him to 79 games. I’ll even give myself a pat on the back for saying I’d rather have Bryce Harper at a cheaper price. It’s impossible to say what Puig would have been if he had a fully healthy season, but he didn’t look like a top-12 outfielder when he played so I feel solid about taking this one.


There was one injury assist, but I feel great about getting five right and kind of enjoy the fact that when I missed, I mostly missed spectacularly.

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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Impressive performance! I would even give you credit for #9 given the spirit of your prediction (Brantley coming down to earth, CarGo coming back with a vengeance).

I think you easily win the highest accuracy in Bold Predictions this year.