With the fantasy baseball season coming to an end, we can all now sit back, relax and enjoy the MLB playoffs. If you’ve got a dog in this hunt, I wish you nothing but the best. If not, then pick someone you’ll at least enjoy watching should they win the whole thing. This should be a fun October. But in the meantime, it’s my turn to step up and review the 10 Bold Predictions I made back in late March. I felt pretty good about them going in, and here’s how they ended up coming out…
10. The Braves win the NL pennant while Jason Heyward earns NL MVP honors.
While I’d like to accept an incomplete on this one, what with the Braves still able to win the pennant, my call for Heyward to lead them and earn MVP honors immediately puts me at 0-for-1. Between the slow start, the appendectomy, the hamstring and the jaw, the Braves outfielder was a veritable disaster in fantasy circles. There were some flashes of the Heyward we had hoped to see, but it just wasn’t enough to justify his draft position in any league. I suppose I can be taken off the hook because you can’t predict injuries, but the fact remains that he just didn’t deliver the goods.
9. Not only does Evan Longoria stay healthy all year, but he hits 40 HR and leads the AL in RBI.
Well, I got the healthy part right at least. But Longoria’s 31 home runs, as delicious as they may have been for fantasy owners, fall nine short of my prediction and his 88 RBI ranked him 14th in the American League; 13th if you don’t want to count Alfonso Soriano because he was a late addition to the AL. At age-27 with a career ISO north of .230, he seemed like a strong candidate to take his power numbers up a notch, but with a 23.4-percent strikeout rate, his highest since 2008, it just wasn’t in the cards this year. I’ll still happily take him and his numbers for my fantasy third baseman, but he now puts me at 0-for-2.
8. Albert Pujols appears in fewer than 120 games and posts career-worst numbers in the five standard roto categories.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner here. I move to 1-for-3 as injuries get the better of Pujols this season, allowing him to appear in a career-low 99 games. And because of that, he finished with career-lows in all five standard roto categories. Even if you wanted to sub in OBP for batting average, I still win this one. It’s never fun to watch someone so great decline, but given his numbers and array of injuries, I just might have to boldly predict that Pujols’ 2014 ADP sits somewhere around 25 or 30.
7. The only fantasy value Jurickson Profar has this year is found in keeper league trades for people setting up for 2014.
Sticklers who want to hold me to the literal definition of ‘only’ are more than welcome to do so, but I’m still giving myself a win here and moving to 2-for-4. The Rangers did not trade Elvis Andrus and they did not move Ian Kinsler off second base. Profar was called up and saw 324 plate appearances, but his playing time was inconsistent and a .234 average with just six home runs, 26 RBI, 30 runs scored and two stolen bases probably didn’t help very many, if any at all. Even his in-season trade value was super-weak as no one wanted to gamble on him knowing that the Rangers weren’t giving him regular playing time. Keeper league trades were a different story though as numerous people I know dealt for him strictly for future use.
6. Jarrod Dyson leads the AL in stolen bases.
Between Jeff Francoeur‘s ineptitude and Lorenzo Cain‘s frailty, I was almost certain that Dyson would see more playing time than the 213 at-bats he saw. An early-season ankle injury hampered him for a little while, but Ned Yost had him platooning with David Lough for the most part. Still, his 34 stolen bases ranked his sixth in the American League which, considering what he probably cost you, ain’t too shabby, but that puts me at 2-for-5 now.
5. Cameron Maybin goes 20-40 this year.
As I said in the original piece, Maybin has long been my fantasy Achilles heel and this year was no different. I asked for 20-40 and I got 1-4 with a world full of injuries yet again. Nothing left to do but hang my head in shame and promise myself that I will never draft him again. Never. 2-for-6.
4. Kyuji Fujikawa leads the NL in saves.
We all knew that Carlos Marmol wouldn’t last as the closer for the Cubs, but did any of us see the 33-year old Japanese hurler headed for Tommy John surgery? Nope. Fujikawa had the talent and his numbers from Japan looked strong enough to translate on this side of the Pacific, but ultimately, the injury killed it all. Fujikawa’s elbow puts me at 2-for-7.
3. Gordon Beckham finishes with 20 home runs and 75 RBI
Next season I’m just going to pick 10 players and predict that they all get injured. At least then I’d have a shot at going 10-for-10, amiright? A broken hamate bone early in the season and some quad issues later on put the kibosh on this prediction pretty darn quick. A depressing 2-for-8 now.
2. Yoenis Cespedes goes 30-30 this year.
Seriously. After watching something like this, it’s hard to believe how much time this guy loses because of day to day bumps and bruises. Maybe it’s the all-out grit with which he plays. Maybe it’s poor conditioning while away from the watchful eye of the Cuban government. Maybe he’s just frail. Whatever the case may be, he’s just hasn’t been healthy enough or on the field enough to turn in a 30-30 season. The injury bug bites me again, right in the 2-for-9.
1. Brandon Belt bats .280 with 25 home runs and 90 RBI by year end.
So it was overzealous exuberance and not injury that does me in here and puts me at 2-for-10 in my Bold Predictions. Even with the knowledge that PCL power stats are inflated, I really liked the changes in his walk and strikeout rates from 2011 to 2012 and thought that with established, strong plate discipline, he could relax a little and let the power come. It did, but just not as much as I had hoped. Like I said, overzealous exuberance.
Ah well, what can you do? 2-for-10. Injuries turn me into a light-hitting middle infielder from the 80’s; just toeing the Mendoza line. I tried to be both bold and sensible, having good reason for my choices. In the end, it just didn’t happen.
Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes…it rains.
Think about that for a while.
Print This Post