Reviewing Trey Baughn’s 2016 Bold Predictions

It’s that time of year again where we look ourselves in the mirror and admit defeat.  Some of these predictions are pretty ugly.

Disclaimer: these projections are were bold (at least they’re supposed to be), and most are made in the context of Ottoneu fantasy baseball.

1) Yangervis Solarte will outscore Rougned Odor in 2016.

From a Roto standpoint, Odor was the better player in 2016, breaking out for a .271 AVG with 33 HR and 14 SB’s.  This prediction was made in the context of Ottoneu however, and it’s wOBA-weighted scoring format didn’t love Odor nearly as much.  Looking back, this prediction now just appears to be poorly worded, since Odor (818 points, 150 games) outscored Solarte (570 in 109) by nearly 250 points, almost entirely with the benefit of a healthier season.  Solarte (2.5 WAR, 118 wRC+, .346 wOBA) was the superior player to Odor (2.1 WAR, 106 wRC+, .336 wOBA) in almost every other advanced offensive metric, so this one was kinda close.

Bold Score: 0-1

2) Jose Abreu will win the AL MVP award.

So…this isn’t going to happen.  Abreu had his worst MLB season to date (.293/..353/.468, 25 HR), thanks in part to a HR/FB rate (14.8%) five points below his 2015 rate (and nearly half of his 2014 breakout rate), and an inability to hit with with any real authority outside of his snug home stadium.  A slow start in April and May nearly took Abreu off the radar in many leagues, but a rebound in the 2nd half (.320 wOBA vs. .383) offers a bit of hope for owners in 2017.  

Bold Score: 0-2

3) Troy Tulowitzki will play 145 games and finish as the #2 overall SS.

Like Abreu, Tulo didn’t really wake up until the 2nd half of the 2016 season, and while he did finish with his healthiest season (131 games) since 2011, his fantasy effort was too little too late as he landed just about average (102 wRC+) in a world where HOF-looking shortstops now appear to grow on trees.  You’ll find Tulo near the bottom (22nd overall) of scoring shortstops in Ottoneu this year, which is where this list of predictions seems to headed as well…

Bold Score: 0-3

4) Sean Manaea will win the AL ROY award.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I watched several Manaea starts in spring training last March and was convinced he’d be the exception to the rookie rule and would start his career with only minor big league growing pains.  Unfortunately, like most young pitchers, Manaea had trouble with the long ball and his command, but he actually settled down in the 2nd half for what looks like real progression (8.0 K/9, 1.02 WHIP, 3.78 FIP).  Manaea won’t be winning the AL ROY this year, but I’d still call his 2016 debut a success, and he’ll be a target for me in almost all leagues next year when I predict his Cy Young Award in this space again.

Bold Score: 0-4

5) Jake Arrieta will repeat as the #2 overall SP and NL Cy Young award winner.

I was so confident in this prediction entering 2016 that I almost pulled it from the list for fear I’d catch grief for not being bold enough.  Arrieta was an ace again this year (1,037 points, 5.24 P/IP, $29 value), but he won’t be winning the Cy Young Award again because he wasn’t even the best starting pitcher on his team (Kyle Hendricks, 5.45 P/IP, $31 value).  I’m sure he’ll settle for a World Series trophy…

Bold Score: 0-5

6) Jimmy Rollins will finish 2016 as a Top 12 SS.

This is borderline criminal.  I’ll blame our editors for not catching this train wreck of a prediction before posting.

Bold Score: 0-6

7) Willy Adames will finish 2016 as a Top 10 overall prospect.

Ah, progress.  By just about any measure, Adames had a breakout season as a 20 year old shortstop prospect in AA (.372 wOBA, 13% BB, 21% K), and I wanted to jump aboard the train as early as I could. I’m eager to see how Adames ranks when Eric publishes his rankings this upcoming spring, and though the “Top 10” claim here doesn’t leave me any wiggle room, I’m seeing enough momentum in Adames rankings to think this could turn out to be a win by February.  Adames is only owned in 70% of Ottoneu leagues at the moment, so it’s clear the train still has some space available.  All aboard.

Bold Score: 0-7

8) Adam Conley will be one of the most added players of 2016, finishing with at least 80% ownership.

He won’t be considered the “most added”, but Conley had a solid spring and carried enough of that magic into April (9.33 K/9, 25.5% K%, 3.85 FIP) to keep him in the floating on deep rosters all season long, finishing at 82% owned.  Look, I had a bold prediction that included Jimmy Rollins up there, so I’m going to claim this a win, okay?

Bold Score: 1-8

9) Carlos Gomez will rebound for a Top 12 finish among OF’s.

Gomez was the 11th most productive (7.04 P/G) Ottoneu OF…in the month of September. Everything else about this gets a sad face.

Bold Score: 1-9

10) The Minnesota Twins will make their first World Series appearance since 1991.

The Grand Finale.  Go bold or go home.   

Bold Score: 1-10

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Trey is a 20 year fantasy veteran and a five time Ottoneu champion, including the 2015 winner of the Ottoneu Champions League. He currently administers the Ottoneu community, a network of ~1,000 fantasy baseball and football fans. More resources here: http://community.ottoneu.com

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“I’ve give you the Yangervis Solarte one out of pity. That one wasn’t too bad.”

– Me, July 16, 2016