When people much smarter than myself, e.g. Jeff Zimmerman, get to be self deprecating over going 1-for-10, what does that make me? Time to see how
well poorly I did. As a refresher, here are my 10 Bold Predictions from the preseason. We’ll pretend this is a double-header and I received 10 plate appearances, one for each prediction.
1. Paul Goldschmidt will go 30-20 while being the most valuable first baseman in 5×5
Close, but no cigar. No doubt Goldy posted an excellent season, but 36 home runs and 15 steals still isn’t quite 30-20. Given that Chris Davis out-performed Goldschmidt as the best first baseman, I can’t even call this half a point. We’re 0-1 thus far with a strikeout looking.
2. For the third straight season, Melky Cabrera hits .300 plus going 20-15
Count me among the Melky kool-aid drinkers. A .279/.320/.360 line with three home runs and two steals translates to one word: wellp. Spent nine dollars on Melky? Wellp. Bet big on him playing for a powerful lineup and swing a trade for him? Wellp. I’m 0-2 and counting.
3. Re-discovering his speed, Austin Jackson grabs 30 bases
This one really hurts. I thought I had all the pieces to the puzzle and still whiffed. Even accounting for his previous history of running as well as the Tigers hiring a base running consultant, running on the bases in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder doesn’t make a ton of sense. No need to risk outs on the basepath and the Tigers didn’t. They finished this season with a major league low 35 steals and came in 2nd with just 20 CS. Now I’m 0-3…at least I’m consistent.
4. Joe Blanton will end as a top 50 SP in 5×5
We can probably skip over this, but since I’m a baseball sadist, here are my thoughts. Homer-prone pitcher in a fly-ball friendly park? Check. Outfielders who can cover a ridiculous amount of territory? Check. Strikeout to walk ratio above for three (four including 2013) straight seasons? Check. A pitcher who leaves meatballs over the plate? Yep. Big ol check mark there. 0-4, send help.
5. Jeff Samardzija will finish with the most value of any starter in the NL Central
So the ratios weren’t quite there this year, but the 214 strikeouts in 213.2 innings is a start. Regardless of the K’s, I’m still have a bad day at the plate. I made contact with this one, but it was a rally-killing 6-4-3 GIDP. An 0-5 start isn’t pretty. Let’s see if the back half of the predictions get any better.
6. Once again Jake Peavy will throw over 200 innings
Not even close. The injury bug came back and bit Peavy again this year, limiting him to under 150 major league innings for the fifth time in his past six seasons. Even when healthy, Peavy’s ERA didn’t do fantasy owners much help. His 3.99 2012 xFIP compares well enough to this season’s 4.03 mark, however his SIERA ballooned from 3.63 to 3.95 this year. Let’s call this a popped up bunt. Just bad.
7. Sean Doolittle will lead the Oakland A’s in saves
Another black-and-white “You are way wrong” here. To my credit Doolittle did tie for second on the team in saves…but trailed team leader Grant Balfour by 36 saves. 0-7, with my second infield pop-out.
8. Dexter Fowler will set a career high in games played
A great first half of the season gave way to a terrible post All-Star break performance as Fowler failed to set a career high in games played and didn’t go 15-15 either. His knee injury in late August limited him to 9 games in September and doomed this prediction to fail. His .284/.381/.458 first half line with 10 dingers and 13 bags had my hopes high for Fowler as well as this prediction, but like every other prediction, this too fell short. This was a ball hit on the screws that was robbed of being a home run. I feel robbed on this one. Currently at 0-8 and sinking fast.
9. Jose Reyes will hit a league leading 20+ triples…and will win the AL MVP
If only my explanation for this were as elegant as Rick James’ thoughts on cocaine, as well as the effects of the drug. Clearly 0-9, this being a lineout double play to the first baseman. It hurts to see.
10. Carlos Quentin will play in more games than Nelson Cruz
Even after Cruz was slapped with a 50 game suspension, he still finished the year with 109 games played vs Quentin’s 82. Cruz also posted more than twice as many home runs and 30+ RBIs more than Quentin. Yeesh. Perhaps next year my bold predictions won’t be so bold. Regardless, I finish the day 0-10.