Revisiting Brandon Warne’s 10 (Horrible) Bold Predictions

Folks, if you want to do something else we can totally forget about this. Right?

Sigh. The whole reason people like making predictions is that they garner a ton of traffic — power rankings, anyone? — and almost nobody ever holds them to reviewing them because the damn season is so long. It’s like a dog returning to its vomit or whatever, I think.

But anyway, here’s my a review of my word vomit from back in March:

1. Kyle Gibson holds top-50 value in leagues this season.

Welp. It was a disastrous season for Gibson, who saw a drop in groundball rate and strikeout rate and a jump in walk rate, leading to an ERA in excess of 5.00. Basically speaking, all the strides he appeared to be making late last year lapsed, despite his slider and changeup becoming even better pitches this year than last. Inexplicably, he threw both of them a lot less than in 2015. (0/1)

2. Zach Britton is the No. 1 closer in fantasy this year.

Fantasy Pros has Kenley Jansen as No. 1, but I’m going to take credit for this as Britton is right there and frankly is somehow in the AL Cy Young discussion based on a historically ridiculous season. The dude allowed four earned runs all season — FOUR. He’s still warming in the Rogers Centre bullpen, too. (1/2)

3. Jeremy Jeffress is a top-half closer.

Fantasy Pros has him 40th among relievers, which includes a lot of swingmen like Dylan Bundy and Danny Duffy and non-closer types as well, but I don’t think I can take credit for this one. He did have a nice season before his late-year suspension, however: 2.33 ERA, 27 saves. Not sure where the strikeouts (6.5 K/9) went, though. (1/3)

4. Aaron Hicks becomes Carlos Gomez, 2.o.

Hicks, a non-obese man, barely hit his weight (.217, 205 lbs.). Then again, Hicks had a .270 wOBA this year and Gomez was at .260 when the Astros cut him loose. That counts, right? (1/4)

5. Alexei Ramirez bounces back/is at least two wins more valuable than in 2015.

He was nearly two wins LESS valuable (minus-2.3 fWAR) than last year (minus-0.4). He was so bad the Padres gave up on him. Don’t do the same to me, please. (1/5)

6. Jose Quintana outproduces Chris Sale.

So close one can almost taste it, but no dice. Quintana had a fantastic season — and to the delight of himself and fantasy owners, FINALLY won more than nine games — but finished 12th on Fantasy Pros’ list of starter. Sale, on the other hand, finished third — behind Max Scherzer and Madison Bumgarner. (1/6)

7. Raisel Iglesias finishes top-five in the NL Cy Young balloting.

Once he got his health together he was a fantastic reliever, but he was just that — a reliever. He made just five starts this year and couldn’t hold up. He’s awesome out of the pen, though: 2.53 ERA, 9.5 K/9. Not sure where the grounders went. (1/7)

8. Each of Joe Mauer’s triple-slash numbers exceeds the following: .300/.360/.400

Mauer’s OBP finished at .363, but both others fell short as he faded hard down the stretch with a quad injury suffered in Atlanta. For the sake of breaking it down, here are the final days of the season where he was at each of those marks:

Average at/over .300 – May 11
OBP over .360 – end of season
SLG at/over .400 – Sept. 10 (he only played five more games after this)

It wasn’t the best or worst of times for Mauer this year, but if Paul Molitor learned anything about him, it’s that Joe would probably be best used as a part-time player moving forward. That’s not to say a bench guy, but maybe more like 4-5 games per week instead of 6-7. That can be done with Kennys Vargas, Miguel Sano and Byungho Park on your team. (1/8)

9. Hector Olivera wins NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Gross, though in my defense he was arrested well after this. Still. Ick. (1/9)

10. Miguel Sano finishes top-five in the AL MVP race.

It wasn’t Sano’s fault that he was shoehorned into a position he couldn’t handle to start the season — that executive has since been fired — but the big fella came into camp heavier than the team would have liked, and things never really clicked for him all season. It was pretty much the quintessential sophomore slump, as Sano struck out far too much than his production would merit. He’ll be a lot better next year, and might be a value pick in a lot of leagues. (1/10)

Blech. 1-of-10.

In addition to Rotographs, Warne writes about the Minnesota Twins for The Athletic and is a sportswriter for Sportradar U.S. in downtown Minneapolis. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Warne, or feel free to email him to do podcasts or for any old reason at brandon.r.warne@gmail-dot-com

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6 years ago

I like it. The “spirit” of your Joe Mauer, Zach Britton, Quintana and Jeffress predictions were right on. E.g. if you got those guys at their draft day price, you were happy enough.