Last season, my inaugural Bold Predictions didn’t click, as I went just one-for-nine (I like to think my one was pretty impressive). The season, and my time at FanGraphs, has come to an end, so let’s take a look at home I fared in round two.
Ketel Marte will be a top-10 SS
Marte is ranked 13th by ESPN, but just 17th by Yahoo…It doesn’t take a whole lot of sexy to be a top-10 fantasy shortstop, and Marte will be one this season.
Ha, no. A big fat NO. Not only was Marte plagued by injuries, but he was also generally ineffective, maintaining none of the pleasently surprising output he showed in 2015. Marte ended the year with a .259 average, sub-.290 OBP, and 11 steals.
Indians starters will average better than a strikeout an inning
It hasn’t happened since before the turn of the 20th century…this will be the season they make history.
The Indians finished fourth in starter K/9, but both the Dodgers and the Nationals broke the mark. I blame injuries.
Jerad Eickhoff will be a top-50 starter…
I am far and away the most optimistic about Eickhoff, as no other ranker had him better than 84.
…as will Mike Leake
Leake may not be a sexy pick, but he’ll give you wins and decent rate stats, and is one of the more dependable starters out there. It won’t be “fun”, but he’ll climb his way into the top 50.
While I have yet to run any rankings from the year, Yahoo says Eicky was a top-50 starter, so I’m calling that a win. Leake was nowhere close.
Domingo Santana will be more valuable than Khris Davis
In our outfield rankings, Santana ranked 68th and Davis ranked 48th, and both those numbers generally reflected my personal thinking…sometimes you have to play the upside game.
Nope. Santana was injured, and even when healthy his power output wasn’t what I was expecting.
Giancarlo Stanton leads the NL in homers, but isn’t a top-12 outfielder
My primary gripe with Giancarlo is his health…yet, I think he can miss a stretch and still lead the league in homers. That’d be a feat.
Stanton wasn’t even top-30 in homers, so huzzah for a big whiff.
Blake Swihart sneaks his way into being a top-12 catcher
He was an above-average hitter against righties last year, and the return of Christian Vazquez in a few weeks should help keep Swihart on the bench against southpaws.
Swihart was demoted early, got injured, and ended the year with less than 75 plate appearances.
Brett Lawrie goes .270-20-7
He clearly has the talent for it, but can he stay healthy all year, and can he start to put it together offensively once again?
.248, 12, and 7. Not the boost I was hoping The Cell would provide.
The Phillies bullpen will set the record for worst FIP- of this decade
The 2013 Astros currently hold the mark with a FIP- of 126, but Philadelphia will post one even higher this season.
We almost had a record set this year, with the Reds coming in at 125. The Phillies were tied for second worst at 108.
Matt Bush records at least 20 strikeouts in the majors this year while recording at least one save.
Bush was touching 100 this spring, and the Rangers bullpen isn’t exactly loaded.
A big win on this one. Only the one save, but 61 Ks in 61.2 IP.
Final Score: 2.5/11
As you saw in the intro, this is my last piece for FanGraphs. After seven lovely years I am stepping away and not planning to do any fantasy baseball writing over the next year. A big thanks to the following people I’ve worked with along the way, in no particular order: Eno Sarris, David Wiers, Carson Cistulli, Robert Sanchez, David Appelman, Marc Hulet, Blake Murphy, Dan Schwartz, Justin Mason, Paul Sporer and you, the readers, for not leading an open revolt. You can still find me on twitter (@zvsanders) and I’ll be talking about the Mariners at Lookout Landing, but it’s time to close this chapter.