These were fun. I usually just say crazy things to my friends and when one of them is true, try to remind them about it and they usually don’t care because they have lives that involve things outside of baseball. Losers. Anyway, here is my initial Bold Predictions article along with my midseason review where a few of my colleagues and myself were so impatient, we had to see where we stood. My goal was to bat .300, so let’s see if I was able to hit my mark. Then laugh at all the ones I was terribly wrong on.
1.) Chris Carter will break 100 R.B.I.
This was the prediction I felt most confident about going into the midseason review and I came very close to nailing this one as Carter ended up with 94 RBI Coming into the season, I really felt strong about Carter having a strong season because of opportunity and how he closed out the 2015 season. He hit 41 HRs and had a wRC+ of 114, so I’d say his season was a success and the spirit of this prediction was pretty spot on. I didn’t account for the Brewers trading away Jonathan Lucroy, which maybe could’ve accounted for another 6 RBI? To be fair, I also didn’t think Jonathan Villar would have the type of season he did and that certainly gave Carter more RBI opportunities than anticipated.
Since I am going to be struggling to find hits with these other predictions, I am going to give myself the every-so-common half a hit. Trust me, it will not help my batting average too much.
0.5 for 1
2.) Joc Pederson will be a top 3 CF according to WAR
At the time of the midseason review, Pederson was 1.9 fWAR back of 3rd place. At the end of the year, he closed the gap by 0.7 fWAR and ended up 1.2 fWAR back of third place winner Jackie Bradley Jr. (3.7 vs. 4,9). Pederson ended up 7th amongst CFs and broke even my optimistic midseason adjustment of being top 10. His defense improved in the 2nd half and he hit almost a .100 OPS points higher in the second half (.804 vs .900) to make this race closer than I thought at the midseason review.
I was happy to see Pederson have a better second-half and if he can stay consistent with this performance, he could make my prediction look good a year later. Either way, I lost on this one.
0.5 for 2
3.) Wilmer Flores will have over 550 PAs
This looks like a big miss has Flores only had 335 PAs. The opportunity was certainly there for Flores as David Wright, Neil Walker, and Lucas Duda missed significant time this season, not to mention Asdrubal Cabrera spent time on the DL as well. A small part of Flores not getting to the PA number was the addition of Jose Reyes who took an everyday job from Flores, but the main reason Flores didn’t hit the target was because of his own injuries, as he missed significant time twice this season. I had also mentioned in my initial piece that 20 home runs were not out of the question and I missed on that as well since Flores matched last year’s number of 16. Again, the spirit of the prediction was pretty good and barring these injuries he probably would have hit those 20. Still, I was over 200 PAs off from my main prediction so no half-hits here. Another swing and a miss.
0.5 for 3
4.) Johnny Cueto will post an ERA higher than 4
Cueto finished with a 2.79 ERA. Whoops! I was hoping xFIP would be substantially higher to give me some redemption here, but even that ended up at 3.42. His ERA did jump to 3.26 in the second half from 2.47 in the first half, so there’s that. Either way, missed pretty badly on this one.
0.5 for 4
5.) Lucas Duda will be a top 5 fantasy 1B
The Met injury bug struck again as there is no way to truly say if this would’ve came true or not as he only had 172 PAs. Something to note that really has nothing to do with this prediction, but Duda managed to amass 0.2 fWAR versus his replacement James Loney who earned -0.3 fWAR. That’s just a shoutout to all those Met fans who think Loney is better than Duda. Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.
0.5 for 5
6.) Marcus Semien will be a 20/20 guy this year.
Ok, here’s a prediction that wasn’t too bad. Semien hit the power number with 25 HRs and did get half the stolen bases I called for. At midseason, I altered the prediction to say 30/10, so I missed on that as well. The power we all knew was there was nice to see and Semien was a guy a lot of FG writers seemed to like. I probably would’ve been a little less optimistic with the steals if I hadn’t seen his name in other Bold Predictions. Either way, can’t give myself another a half-hit for this one. Chalk it up as an out.
0.5 for 6
7.) Jake McGee will have 40 saves.
Yeah, trying to project saves in the most variable position was a really good move. McGee started off strong with 15 saves and then of course he got hurt. McGee wasn’t lights out anyway, so there was no reason to give him the job back over Carlos Estevez or Adam Ottavino. The part that hurts most with this was the rationale behind using McGee in my predictions. I thought his pitch repertoire would be perfect for Colorado. So what happens? He ends up with his highest career ERA (4.73), lowest K/9 (7.49), and highest H/9 (1.77). Awesome.
0.5 for 7
Here’s one I may still be able to get. At the midseason review, I wasn’t too sure. Verlander had an excellent second half posting a 1.96 ERA dropping his full-season ERA to 3.04, placing him 2nd amongst qualified starters. He is also tied with Rick Porcello and Chris Sale for the most fWAR (5.2) amongst qualified pitchers as well. I still think Porcello will get it because of the higher win total (22 vs. 16), but this is going to be a close race for sure. Since we don’t who it is and Verlander is all so close, I am going to throw myself a bone and give myself this one because we all know I need something to keep my confidence afloat.
1.5 for 8
9.) George Springer will go 30/30
Springer went 29/9, but he did also have 10 caught stealings, so at least he was running. Still would not have been enough if he had a 100% success rate and I missed on the homers anyway. I still feel he hasn’t reached his full potential just yet and he will end up being a monster fantasy play this next season. Either way, another prediction, another miss.
1.5 for 9
10.) Trea Turner will lead the Nationals in stolen bases.
Coming into midseason, I definitely thought this was a lost cause since he wasn’t, um, playing. Then something happened. He played! At midseason, he had zero stolen bases. By the end of the season? 33! He led the Nationals in stolen bases by far beating the next in line, Bryce Harper, by 12 stolen bases. I had thought he could maybe get into the top 10 on his team at midseason and to be perfectly honest, just tossed this out there as my last bold prediction because I really had no more. Yet somehow, this ends up being the only one that was 100% correct without giving myself any minor boosts to make it work. Ah, baseball.
2.5 for 10
So I batted .250 (sort of). I tend to be hard on myself for these Bold Predictions, but they are supposed to be hard and if I had hit on most of them, they probably weren’t bold enough. Either way, I can’t wait to come up with more for next season where I obviously expect to bat 1.000.