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10 More Bold Predictions: Another Review

On Thursday, I reviewed my official 10 bold predictions. This pre-season, I took it one step further and decided to throw out 10 more bold predictions. Let’s see if these fare any better than the first set.

1. Lorenzo Cain goes 15/30

Groin, hip and hamstring injuries limited Cain to just 222 at-bats, so obviously this prediction had no chance of coming true. However, he did perform quite well in his time on the field, and a 550 at-bat season would have yielded 17 home runs and 25 steals on a prorated basis. It was a pleasant surprise that he was able to steal 10 bases without even being caught given the injuries he returned from. He’ll be a trendy sleeper against next season. 0 for 1

2. Dustin Ackley hits 20 bombs

He barely reached 50% of that 20 home run goal, swatting just 12 out of the park. As usual, SAFECO completely destroyed his power, as he just just 2 homers there, compared with 10 in away games. His batting average should obviously rise next season as his .265 BABIP rebounds so he still has the upside to contribute across the board and could be undervalued. 0 for 2

3. Neil Walker earns top 5 value at second base

Darn back injury. After a scorching July, this prediction didn’t seem so crazy and actually reachable. But then he cooled in August and only received 26 at-bats in September and his final season counting stats weren’t all that different to last year’s. I had predicted a power spike and although his HR/FB ratio did increase, his ISO barely moved, so his overall power didn’t truly spike. At age 27, he still has time to have that true breakout season. 0 for 3

4. Jesus Montero fails to reach 15 home runs

He hit exactly 15! While technically this prediction was wrong, none of the projections systems on FanGraphs projected fewer than 21 homers. So if this caused you to steer clear of him in fantasy drafts, then this was a success. SAFECO didn’t kill Montero’s power as much as it did Ackley’s, as he hit 6 homers there, but it obviously did hurt him. And the lineup did him no favors in helping out his run and RBI totals. With catcher eligibility from the start now, he may be undervalued next year. 0 for 4

5. Mat Gamel is a top 8 third baseman

Ughh, I am great at picking out the injured, huh? A torn ACL at the start of May knocked Gamel out for the year, leading to just 69 at-bats all season. With such a small sample size, there wasn’t even a way of knowing if this prediction had any shot of being correct. With Corey Hart possibly moving to first base full time next year, Gamel might be out of a starting job. 0 for 5

6. Billy Butler finally has that monstrous breakout to the tune of .300-30-100

Seriously? One home run away! Like the Montero prediction, at least this may have helped fantasy owners in their drafts as they could have targeted him. In fact, I bought Butler myself in my home league auction draft. Butler nearly doubled his HR/FB ratio and a 19.9% mark is almost certainly not repeatable. But, his FB% should rebound as it dipped below 30% for the first time after sitting between 34% and 36% ever year since 2008. I hate calling this a loss. 0 for 6

7. Danny Duffy posts a sub-4.00 ERA and strikes out 180

I am apparently the master jinxer. Duffy pitched just 27.2 innings before going down with a torn UCL that required season-ending Tommy John surgery. That likely explained the poor control, as he walked 18 batters in those innings. The strikeout rate and increased velocity was intriguing though, so he’s a name to tuck away when he eventually returns. 0 for 7

8. Brian Matusz outearns Ervin Santana

Hahaha, hilarious how this one turned out. I guess I could take solace in knowing that I was right about Santana being overvalued and in for regression. But, I completely struck out in predicting that Matusz would actually be pretty good. The extra strikeouts and wins, plus the fact that somehow Santana still managed a respectable 1.27 WHIP meant that even with his worse 5.16 ERA, he was worth more. Or, better stated, he was worth less negative value. 0 for 8

9. Ubaldo Jimenez is worthless in mixed leagues

Woohoo, I got one right! Although it didn’t seem so bold to some given his disappointing 2011 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, his SIERA was actually right in line with his two previous seasons, so some were predicting a rebound and considered him a sleeper. Well, he was even worse this year as his control took a nosedive, strikeout rate fell and fastball velocity down another mile per hour. It would take a miracle for Jimenez to get back to being the pitcher he once was. 1 for 9

10. Justin Verlander ends the season outside the top 10 fantasy starting pitchers

Oops. My main arguments were that Verlander wouldn’t be able to hold onto 2011’s control gains and the weak Tigers defense would result in an inflated BABIP. Well, his walk rate barely increased, and although the Tigers defense was poor as expected, he helped himself by inducing a couple more more pop-ups than usual. While his BABIP did jump, it still remained well below the league average despite a high line drive rate. 1 for 10

1 for 10 is not good, so clearly my first set of boldies turned out better. Just like the poor souls who drafted Troy Tulowitzki, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and/or Lance Berkman, I was killed by injuries. Well that wraps it up for the bold predictions, coming soon will be more prediction recaps like the bold league leaders.