It’s revisionist history time at Rotographs, where we go back and look at the buffoonery that was and is our bold predictions for the 2013 baseball season.
Here are mine:
1. Chris Parmelee leads the Twins in home runs.
Brian Dozier ended up leading this M*A*S*H* ward with 18, as Parmelee could never get going this season. Sadly, Parmelee finished ninth on the Twins with 8 round-trippers, right behind Pedro Florimon (9 HR, .273 wOBA).
2. The Cleveland Indians will make the playoffs.
Holy crap. Holy crap. This actually happened, and in fact the Indians clinched right before my eyes at Target Field. Even now I can’t believe I predicted this. I think my thought process was that the Indians would be just good enough across the board — offense, defense, pitching — to make this happen, and that’s what occurred.
3. The Seattle Mariners finish ahead of one of the Rangers/Angels/A’s.
Nope. The Mariners finished seven games behind the Angels, and in fourth place. On the plus side, Justin Smoak started to look like a guy, Kyle Seager continued to be pretty solid at third base, and Brad Miller and Nick Franklin made it look like something might be cooking up the middle. But in the end, guys like Henry Blanco, Humberto Quintero, Endy Chavez, and Jason Bay got all too much playing time. There’s still plenty of work to be done here.
4. The best fantasy starter in the AL East will be….Jason Hammel?
Hammel tanked. In fact, Hammel might have only been the fifth- or sixth-best starter on his own team. Pretty much everything one wouldn’t want to see out of a pitcher like Hammel happened: groundball rate fell flat, strikeouts flatlined, home run rate more than doubled. Of course, that would be bad for any and all starters, but I think it’s even more worrisome for a guy with Hammel’s skill set.
6. Scott Kazmir begins and ends the season in the Indians rotation.
So he didn’t make a start until Apr. 20, but I’m taking credit for this one because he still made 29 starts and pitched over 150 innings. His impending free agency will be interesting.
7. Marco Estrada will be every bit as good as Yovani Gallardo.
I’m taking credit for this one on a technicality; Estrada was only worth +1.5 WAR this season while Gallardo checked in at +1.7. However, Gallardo did so in 180.2 innings; Estrada in 128. Estrada had a better whiff rate, walk rate, and was better than Gallardo across the board in ERA, FIP, and xFIP.
8. Francisco Liriano outpitches James McDonald.
Oh hell yeah. Liriano pitched in the Pirates first playoff game in 21 years; McDonald was designated for assignment in early September. Liriano’s re-birth — 16-8, 3.02/2.92/3.12 — comes at a good time for both parties, and the Pirates hold a rather cheap, escalating option for the left-hander in 2013. And any time a player reinvents himself, it’s good for him, too.
9. Dexter Fowler pulls an Austin Jackson and sustains an overly-high BABIP.
I don’t think it’s too nit-picky to say a .347 BABIP qualifies, especially in light of the NL average mark of .297 and Fowler’s career mark of .349. Fowler’s line-drive rate went down, but he mostly made up for it by not letting too many go up in the air, and in a lot of ways he hit as would be expected given his BABIP still taking a relatively healthy tumble. Fowler is a good, useful player who should help hasten the move of Michael Cuddyer to first base in the wake of Todd Helton’s retirement. (Writer’s note: I read his wOBA as his BABIP. h/t to commenter Jake on that one. I’m only taking 1/2 a point on it, as his .323 BABIP is still high, but not THAT high.)
10. Kevin Slowey will be the most fantasy relevant starter in Miami.
Two words: Jose. Fernandez. Slowey did pitch rather well in his 20 appearances (14 starts) despite a 3-6 record (4.11/3.81/4.01).
All told, I would have to say 45(ish) percent is pretty solid. What say you?