Last year, I hit .300 on my Bold Predictions, which is about what I aim for. That feels like the boldness sweet spot. This year, not so much. It saddens me to report that I was overly bold this year, getting just one Bold Prediction right. However, one other was incredibly close, so I’ll say that I hit .150 this season. Still, I can and will do better next year.
I have failed you, dear readers.
Jorge Soler is a top-ten outfielder.
Well, he was a top-100 outfielder, slotting in at No. 99 on the season. Soler battled his fair share of injuries this year, but even when he was healthy enough to play, he hit just .262/.324/.399, with 10 home runs in 404 plate appearances. For the year, he registered a 0.0 WAR. Here’s hoping he turns it around next season.
Alex Wood is a top-ten starting pitcher.
Unlike Soler, Wood was not even a top-100 player at his position, as he finished the season as the No. 114 SP. Wood saw his ERA (3.84) shoot upwards by more than a run from his 2014 mark (2.78). His strikeouts were cut by over 25 percent — from 8.91 to 6.60 K/9 — and his walk rate climbed by nearly 20 percent — from 2.36 to 2.80 BB/9. The short and sweet of it is that Wood wasn’t locating his fastball as well this year, which made his wipeout knuckle-curve less of a threat.
3. Jay Bruce finishes outside the top 36 outfielders for the second straight year.
Woohoo, I got one! Bruce was 2015’s No. 38 fantasy outfielder. Although he largely rediscovered his power stroke — smacking 26 homers — Bruce failed to improve much on last year’s putrid .217 AVG. Bruce finished this season hitting .226/.294/.434, and I got a Bold Prediction right.
George Springer is a top-ten outfielder.
Largely due to the fact that he missed over two months with a wrist injury, Springer was this year’s No. 50 OF. However, he was the No. 19 OF by per-game average, so he may have had a shot at proving me right, if not for the injury. As is, this was another swing and a miss.
All three of the Marlins’ regular outfielders are top-24 fantasy commodities at the position.
Nope, nope and nope. However, speaking of per-game averages, Giancarlo Stanton was this year’s No. 1 outfielder in that regard, outperforming even Bryce Harper. On the whole, he came in at No. 46. His teammate Christian Yelich came closer, but also missed the top-24 cut, sliding in at No. 40. Marcell Ozuna was demoted after an awful first half, and only a post-All Star resurgence — .283/.321/.478 — enabled him to reach the top 100 (No. 97).
Nolan Arenado is the top third baseman in fantasy (VERY CLOSE!)
If not for that darned Josh Donaldson, I would’ve gotten this one right. Arenado finished 2015 as the No. 2 fantasy 3B, and No. 10 player overall. The 24-year-old hit .287/.322/.576, with 42 homers and 130 RBI, while scoring 96 runs. Arenado will again be in the mix for fantasy’s No. 1 3B in 2016.
You know, the sad part about this prediction is that Mesoraco came just 30 homers short of 30 home runs this year. So close. The 27-year-old had season-ending hip surgery after only 51 PA.
For the fourth consecutive year, Juan Nicasio will make 10+ starts while maintaining an ERA over 5.00.
If the Dodgers would’ve let him start more than one measly game, this might have happened. As a reliever, he finished the year with a 3.86 ERA, but who’s to say he’d have kept that under 5.00 with nine more starts? Good thing for the Dodgers we didn’t have to find out. Last year, he had a 5.92 ERA as a starter, compared to 3.48 out of the pen.
No player will steal more than 50 bases.
Dee Gordon swiped 58 bases this year, hitting an impressive .333/.359/.418 on his way to being the No. 1 second baseman in fantasy. Billy Hamilton was absolutely god-awful — as his .226/.274/.289 slash indicates — but he still managed 57 steals himself.
Fun fact: Hamilton averaged 0.47 stolen bases for each time he reached base this year.
Johan Santana gets back to the majors and earns 1 WAR without hitting 90 mph even one time all year.
Santana’s 2015 comeback bid was cut short by a toe infection. As long as he gives it a try again next season (he’s only 36!), this will continue to be my No. 10 Bold Prediction.
Scott Strandberg started writing for Rotographs in 2013. He works in small business consultation, and he also writes A&E columns for The Norman Transcript newspaper. Scott lives in Seattle, WA.