- FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy -

10 Bold Predictions Re-visited

The word “re-visited” can have two very different connotations depending on what it is you are re-visiting. Re-visiting a place or a time you loved – your childhood home perhaps, or your college campus – can be filled with nostalgia, happy memories and joy. Of course you can also re-visit something that makes you depressed, something that brings back horrible memories or terrible feelings.

Unfortunately, this article is likely to be more of the latter than the former. Prior to the start of the season, I laid out ten bold predictions and not only did most of them not come to fruition (which is to be expected as they were, after all, bold predictions), but many of them failed spectacularly. But, accountability matters, and so today I present to you a retrospective on ten bold predictions gone wrong.

1) Prince Fielder will hit 30 or fewer HR. On March 1, I wrote, “Most projections I see have Prince smacking 33-38 HR, but I say he ends up with 30 and no more.” On October 2, Prince has 30 HR. Two games, he probably does not play them both…this is looking good. A boost in August and September (14 HR after only 16 in the previous three months) has put this in jeopardy, but if Prince ends up at 31, I am still feeling good about this. Got one in the win column to start things off.

2) Ryan Raburn will be a top 10 2B. The sad thing is this won’t even by my worst prediction. Raburn played on 66 games and was not good in any of them (well, he was good in some of them…but not enough). He not only wasn’t a top 10 2B, he wasn’t remotely playable in any format, even if you were in an AL Central only league.

3) C.J. Wilson will be the Angels’ ace. Wilson will end up behind Jered Weaver in WAR (currently they sit at 3.0 and 2.5). He actually has a higher K/9 and a lower HR/9 than Weaver, and is suffering from a higher (although not exactly high) BABIP. Wilson has had a solid year, but not nearly what I expected and certainly not better than Weaver. That puts me at 1-for-3 so far.

4) Albert Pujols will post a wRC+ north of 170. In June, July and August, Pujols was at 164, 188 and 175. In April, May and September, he was at 51, 120, 111. Man, that 51 is ugly. Minus that pitiful April, Pujols did in fact bounce back and stem what was looking like a slow decline from his 184 wRC+ in 2008…but I don’t think we are allowed to simply discount April. I actually don’t feel bad about this prediction, but can’t count it as a win either.

5) Mike Carp will be the most valuable Mariner. After starting 1-for-4 with an argument to be made that #4 wasn’t sooooo bad…now things get ugly. Carp actually hasn’t been terrible this year – he has struck out a bit less and walked a lot more than he did last year, but his power has really fallen off and injuries have taken their toll. Now, I did caveat this by saying he would be the most valuable OFFENSIVE Mariner. But even by that low, low standard, he failed to deliver. I almost made this proclamation about Kyle Seager, and I wish I had. But I didn’t.

6) Gio Gonzalez will get cut in your fantasy league. Technically, I may have gotten this right! Maybe someone in your league did in fact cut Gio. Maybe that same person declared that they didn’t want to win and that they hated good pitchers! A couple years ago, I was sure that leaving the AL East would help Matt Garza more than moving to Wrigley would hurt him. And that paid off well in the leagues I bought Garza. So why did I change my mind with Gonzalez? What a mistake…

7) Ubaldo Jimenez will strike out 200 and post a sub-3.50 ERA. Want to know something really sad? If I claimed that was a typo and that I swapped the “3” and the “5” and meant to say he would have a sub-5.30 ERA…I would still be wrong. If I said I meant to type 5.50 instead of 3.50, I would STILL be wrong. I called this my “shameless homer pick” at the time, and as both an Indians fan and a fantasy writer, I am absolutely ashamed of what Ubaldo did this year. Drops me to 1-for-7 so far, and some of these are some pretty ugly plate appearances.

8) Ike Davis will finish in the top five for NL HR. Davis is actually tied for sixth heading into the final couple games, so this is a) still in play and b) hard to call a total loss regardless. Regardless of what he does between now and October 3, Davis did not disappoint me in the power department. Maybe this shouldn’t count yet, but I am hopeful that he hits another and moves up to top-five status.

9) Justin Morneau will win AL Comeback Player of the Year. The real projection here was that Morneau would not be “the MVP candidate he once was” but that “he’ll produce.” His .773 OPS with 19 HR isn’t half bad. His power has diminished in September, but his second half was special and Morneau was again a solid fantasy play this year. In ottoneu, his total points place him 12th among players with only 1B or DH eligibility in ottoneu and in the second half he has been even better. I am pretty happy with this one. Brings me to 2-for-9 (maybe 3-for-9 if Davis comes through).

10) Wilin Rosario will lead a stellar class of rookie catchers. Some of the other guys I expected to be near the top of this class didn’t do much. Devin Mesoraco was worth .1 WAR and Travis D’Arnaud didn’t play in an MLB game. Rosario was number one among rookie catchers in ottoneu points (teammate Jordan Pacheco was second, followed by Jesus Montero, Yasmani Grandal and Josh Donaldson). You could make an argument that Grandal has been better (he put up 310 points in 57 games vs. 583 in 114 for Rosario), but the per-game gap is not huge and the volume definitely matters, so I am calling this a win.

All in all, that puts me at two predictions that I am 100% happy with (Morneau and Rosario) and two more that I am counting as wins but are admittedly up in the air (Fielder and Davis). The problem here is that the other six…man, the other six. Yikes. Then again, these were supposed to be bold, right?