I’m going to open with a caveat: I chose my 10 Bold Predictions towards the very end of prediction season (i.e. last in the group). The issue with that is that I was trying to make bold predictions and avoid duplicating the predictions of others.
Now, that’s not an excuse, because I actually thought all of these things would be true, believe it or not. Let’s reflect, gloat and laugh in self-deprecating embarrassment, shall we?
Jedd Gyorko is the real deal
Stat Line: 125 GP, 525 PA, 6.3 BB%, 23.4 K%, .249/.301/.444, 110 wRC+, 23 HR, 63 RBI
Gyorko was a bit of a mixed bag this season. His mid-season injury limited his counting stats and his batting average wasn’t much help, but his 23 homers ranked second among second basemen. All things considered, Gyorko ranked 16th among third basemen and 15th among second basemen, making him useful if not a set-and-forget type.
There’s also the matter of his split season: Gyorko was .284/.341/.461 with eight home runs in 60 games before his injury, .111/.147/.194 with two homers in his first 19 games back, and .258/.308/.522 with 13 homers in his final 46 games. If we’re willing to forgive his post-injury re-acclimation, the rookie had a heck of a season.
Danny Espinosa outperforms Ian Desmond
Stat Line: Espinosa .158/.193/.272, 3 HR, 1 SB; Desmond .280/.331/.453, 20 HR, 21 SB
Jonny Gomes hits 20 HR and 25 doubles
Stat Line: 116 GP, 366 PA, .247/.344/.426, 13 HR, 52 RBI, 109 wRC+, 17 doubles
Gomes didn’t quite reach the level of ownability I had anticipated, but he certainly didn’t turn in a bad season. I thought the lefty-masher would benefit a bit more from hitting in Fenway but he instead became less of a pull-hitter than he had previously shown. I’m sure the Sox will take it, though, as will owners who had the luxury of a few bench spots for platoons.
Sergio Santos leads the Jays in saves
Stat Line: 29 GP, 25.2 IP, 1.75 ERA, 1.84 FIP, 31.1 K%, 4.4 BB%, 1 save
The skills analysis was just fine but an early-season injury to Santos allowed Casey Janssen (2.56 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 34 saves) to run with the job. I’ll gladly double-down on this prediction next year.
Cory Luebke is a top-100 starting pitcher
Stat Line: N/A
Luebke never ended up returning from injury in time to pitch in 2013. This wasn’t too bold, however, as Will Smith, Ross Ohlendorf, Brandon Cumpton, Tim Stauffer and Yusmeiro Petit all sat around the top-100 marker with fewer than 70 innings (some relief, innings some injury/minors-related). The worst part is that Luebke is still having issues with the arm.
David Hernandez leads the Diamondbacks in saves
Stat Line: 4.48 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 2 saves, 25.1 K%
Once again the reasoning was on in that Heath Bell and J.J Putz traded the role around with Brad Siegler swooping in for 13 saves. Unfortunately, Hernandez had his worst season since 2010 when the opportunity was finally present, seeing a dip in strikeout rate and a huge jump in HR/FB rate.
Wilin Rosario hits 30 home runs, making him a top-five fantasy catcher
Stat Line: 121 GP, 466 PA, .292/.315/.486, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 107 wRC+
Even though he came up short of the homer total, I’m calling this one a win since he ranked third in catcher value (and because I really need a win).
Max Scherzer outperforms Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson on a per-IP basis
Stat Line: Scherzer 2.90 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 21 wins, 2nd in value; Morrow 5.63 ERA, 5.42 FIP, 2 wins, outside top-200; Johnson 6.20 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 2 wins, outside top-200
I got ripped a bit for this not being bold, but their ADPs were all extremely close before the season. Obviously, this was an easy victory, both on a per-IP basis and cumulatively.
Matt Moore figures it out and becomes a fantasy ace.
Stat Line: 3.29 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 17 wins, 22.3 K%, 11.8 BB%
This wasn’t a bad call, but Moore finishing 35th in starter value makes it a loss. Part of that is due to about 50 innings being lost to injury and the rest is due to a terrible June that saw him post an 8.39 ERA. Overall, though, Moore remains good but not excellent, unable to consistently throw strikes and thus making him an SP2 at best.
Billy Butler hits fewer than 20 home runs and is outside the top-10 first basemen
Stat Line: 162 GP, 668 PA, .289/.374/.412, 116 wRC+, 15 HR, 82 RBI
People really didn’t like this call coming off Butler’s 29-home run 2012 breakout but it probably ended up being my best prediction of the bunch. Butler was still a valuable baseball player for the Royals but finished as just the 21st most valuable first basemen for fantasy purposes.
Chris Davis hits 53 home runs
Stat Line: 53 HR
I swear I made this prediction. Someone must have edited it out.
Overall it wasn’t a very successful set of predictions, but with bold predictions you’re not really trying to hit for a high percentage, you just want the ones you hit to have a big impact (think of these sets of 10 like little Joe Carters). None of these were likely to hurt you except maybe the Espinosa recommendation, while the Rosario, Scherzer and Butler nods could have helped.
Next year, I’ll call dibs on an early date though, so I’ll have no excuses when I go 0-for-10.
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