Kicking Rocks: 10 Bold Predictions Re-Visited

With the season winding down, I thought now is as good a time as any to ‘fess up and have a little it of accountability.  I usually do a full article at the end of the season that includes all of my picks and pans for the season, which will come at the conclusion of the season, but this year we all did a piece in a series called 10 Bold Predictions.  It was “go big or go home” for many of us and we wanted to be as bold and as brazen as possible while still maintaining certain bounds of sensibility.  In looking back at mine, perhaps I was a bit overzealous…

Adam Jones will go 30/30 — Through the first half of the season, this one was looking pretty darn good as Jones reached 20 home runs by the All Star break and had 11 stolen bases as well.  He started off the year like a house of fire and I was looking pretty good, really, until the steals tapered off by the middle of June.  I had a feeling I would be asking for partial credit by year and lo and behold, here we are three home runs away from 30 but with just 13 steals on the year.  Like I said back when I first wrote them, 30-30 had a much better ring to it than 30-20 or 30-15.  In any event, it looks like I hit with the power and missed with the speed.

Prince Fielder will hit fewer than 30 HR — Well, well well, this one still has legs now, doesn’t it?  I cited the ballpark and the switch to the AL as part of my concerns and right now Fielder is sitting on 24 home runs with about three weeks to go in the season.  He hit seven in August so I’m certainly not counting my chickens here just yet, but with about three weeks to go in the season, this one is still alive.

Nick Hundley will hit a minimum of 15 HR — His final two months in 2011 gave me hope that he A. was finally healthy and B. had finally figured it out.  Neither turned out to be the case as he struggled mightily at the plate, was demoted, and later we found out that he had been having knee issues all along and finally elected for surgery in August. Huge swing and a miss here with a big thanks to Nick for trying to play through the pain.  In case you didn’t get it, there was a heap of sarcasm dripping from that last line.

Brad Boxberger notches at least 10 saves for San Diego — The concept was right on as Huston Street did, again, miss time due to injury.  But Boxberger didn’t develop as fast as I thought or even the Padres hoped he would when they picked him up from Cincinnati during the offseason.  I could say that I just misspelled Dale Thayer’s name here, but you probably wouldn’t believe me and he only notched seven anyway.

Bryan LaHair hits at least 30 HR — All fired up out of the gate but no stamina to maintain.  And by “no stamina” I mean a complete and utter failure against left-handed pitching.  April and May were fun for me at least as he had 10 home runs by the end of the first two months and , truth be told, I traded him in two of the three leagues I owned him and turned a hefty profit.  But for the sake of these predictions, Lahair has done me wrong.

Trevor Cahill wins 15 games and notches 175 Ks — Wins, as we all know, can be a very arbitrary category, so the fact hat he only notched two in the first two months of the season while still maintaining an ERA below 4.00 left me a little down for this piece, but still satisfied with his performance for my own fantasy teams.  The fact that he had such a crappy August though cinched it up for me that I would miss on yet another bold prediction.  I also thought the strikeout total would spike a little with the move to the NL, but without the wins total here, the strikeouts are just a sad, moot point.

Jesus Montero finishes the season as a top three catcher — A lousy first half that saw him hit .245 with eight home runs helped kill this one, but at least there’s still hope for him in the future.  That is, if you believe that this .295-7-26 second half batting line is more indicative of his talents.  Personally, I do and will happily draft him again next season where we’ll all learn that I was just a year too soon on this call.

Cameron Maybin will hit 15 HR and steal 50 bases — With just six home runs and 25 stolen bases to his credit, I can officially say that Maybin failed me on this one.  Hell, he failed a number of owners as he was incapable of building off his 2011 success.  The batting average and OBP in the first half were absolutely disgusting and he also missed some time in July with a wrist injury.  His post-All Star break numbers are looking pretty good, but not enough to even remotely save me on this one.

Jon Rauch saves more games for the Mets than Frank Francisco— OK, full disclosure.  I put this one in here mostly to play with Eno as I know he’s a huge Mets fan and lover of Franky Frank.  But I also lacked faith in Francisco to make it the whole season as the Mets closer.  Not entirely off-base, but with 23 saves for Francisco to just three for Rauch, we have another swing and a miss here.

Matt Cain wins the 2012 NL Cy Young Award — Stupid R.A. Dickey!  You ruin everything! And Kershaw. And Gio.  And Strasburg.  And Cueto.  But, damned if I wasn’t looking good when Matty tossed a perfect game in the first half, right?  A solid season for the Giants right-hander for sure, but he certainly pales in comparison to some of the aforementioned NL starters.

Oh well.  What can you do?  I tried to be bold, went a little too far, and now I’m sitting here clinging to the shred of hope I have that Fielder doesn’t suddenly bust out the whupping stick and make me 0-for-10.  For some of these, it was a fun ride.  For others, not so much.  But look at the bright side, readers of RotoGraphs, you’ve got a whole comments section below to tear me down even more…

 




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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


6 Responses to “Kicking Rocks: 10 Bold Predictions Re-Visited”

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  1. Adam says:

    These pieces are still awesome and well worth clicking on for the great battles in the comments after they are posted.

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  2. Bob says:

    At least you had the nerve to fess up. This is still an entertaining series, and hopefully your lack of success won’t dissuade you from being bold in future installments. The lamest of the 10 Bold Predictions series tended to be the most obvious predictions.

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  3. Bip says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    Matt Cain has had the best year of his career depending on how you look at it, and for the first half of the season, the NL Cy looked like a two man race between Dickey and Cain. It’s also interesting that despite the fact that his run prevention has always been better than FIP would predict, his record has always been worse than his run prevention would predict. So at the very least, his record should end up as a career best, so it was a good fantasy prediction.

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  4. piratesbreak500 says:

    Props for fessing up.

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    • piratesbreak500 says:

      And by that, I mean that the nature of these predictions is that you should go 1 for 10 or so. They’re a ton of fun to read, and one of my favorite reads of the pre-season.

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  5. marlins12 says:

    I remember saying you were silly about the whole Adam Jones thing but, to be fair, you were more right than I thought you’d be.

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