Predictions Post-Mortem: Craig’s 11 Bold Predictions
I’m all about originality when it comes to ideas.
Like Justice Potter Stewart and pornography, I know it when I see it. And I saw it last week when TDG’s very own Ben Carsley revisited the preseason prediction he got wrong in an act of self-deprecation the world has seen neither before nor since.
With this in mind, and noting that imitation is world renowned as the sincerest form of flattery – and knowing how much Ben needs to be flattered, I’ve taken it upon myself to revisit my own preseason predictions. I won’t steal Ben’s format for such an article though, instead borrowing from Buzzfeed’s classic and utterly imitable style, I will just place a GIF* after each one that describes how I feel about said prediction.
This may not provide the keen, insightful analysis you’ve come to know and love but do you really want that? Or do you want to see some GIFs???
*It is my sincere hope that you’re pronouncing GIF with a hard G. If not, you and me are going to have some problems
Wil Myers gets called up in April despite concerns that he’d be held out past the super-two deadline. He won’t set the world on fire, but a .265/.340/.470 slash line will help the Rays in a hotly contested division race with Toronto, before ultimately settling for a wild card spot.
So I hit and missed a little bit here. Maybe I don’t win an award but hey, I got invited, right? Myers didn’t come up til June, and he slashed .293/.354/.478 in that time. I was way off on batting average, but given the amount I missed on the batting average, I was pretty good on OBP and damn close on slugging. I’ll take it.
Despite a dominant Spring Training, Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s mere 61 games at Double-A show through and he struggles before being sent to the minor leagues following David Ortiz’s return to health.
In retrospect this may not have been bold enough, but written on March 28, Bradley had taken Spring Training by storm and was generally considered advanced in aspects such as plate discipline, plus he had an extended time to audition for a role. Either way, I’ll gladly take it as a win.
Jurickson Profar will receive fewer than 300 at-bats this season – Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler have missed a total of 28 games over the last two years, and if that trend continues, I don’t see Profar getting enough time up in the big leagues to accrue a major number of at-bats.
Profar certainly spent enough time on the roster to prove me wrong, but Texas’ potentially questionable handling of the rookie allowed my prediction to hold true.
Anthony Rendon will receive more than 300 at-bats this season – Unlike Andrus and Kinsler, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa aren’t exactly paragon’s of health. Rendon is major league ready, and can fill in at multiple positions where players who have suffered serious or lingering injuries currently play.
I’m predictions Jesus! The one from The Big Lebowski. Don’t eff with me.
Turns out it was less LaRoche and Zimmerman (who I thought would miss the most time), and more Danny Espinosa’s lethal combination of ineffectiveness and injury that allowed Rendon to reach the majors and stay there. Rendon proved to be streaky, starting off poorly before a demotion, only to be recalled and dominate for a short stretch before cooling off again.
Jason Heyward puts up a .300/.400/.500 season- This one might be my biggest stretch. Heyward has come close(ish) on the OBP and SLG in separate seasons, but the batting average would need to take a big jump. He hasn’t suffered poor BABIP luck or anything either, but hey, these ARE bold predictions. I believe he has the talent and am hoping for a jump in production at age 23. Stranger things have happened.
I not only screwed that one up royally, but I’m going to blame my stupid tool (the column) for how badly I missed instead of myself. You see, it is a bold predictions column after all. I had to shoot for the stars somewhere. Heyward did come back to life a bit when he was placed atop the Braves potent lineup, but it was never going to be close to the dream I laid out for him in late March.
My colleague Ben Carsley, and our Benevolent Dictator will come to their respective senses regarding Tyler Thornburg and Clayton Blackburn – I’ll admit, this is just hoping against hope.
This one never had a prayer.
I will finally accept that Carlos Santana will merely be an above-average catcher and not a superstar – I’ve been working on this for a while, and though my public front is to expound this exact sentiment of this bold prediction, secretly I believe he’ll be a star. I’m hoping that by mid-season I can accept his fate and begin the healing process.
I wanted to. I wanted to so hard. I did not. There’s something there that says he has another level. Oh yeah, it’s my heart. My heart says he’ll be a star. Don’t listen to my heart.
Jarrod Parker becomes the pitcher we all thought Brett Anderson would be – I guess I should say “is” instead of “would be” for Anderson, it’s just that he can’t stay healthy. Parker was a top prospect coming up and seems to have recovered from TJ surgery just fine. Parker is a high groundball guy, but he has the stuff to put hitters away (k/9 of 9 in AAA last year – SSS aside). I always saw Anderson as an above-average K/9 guy with a low ERA, and as a #2 starter. That seems within reach for Parker.
Thanks Brent Rambo! Aside from an extremely rough start, Parker was phenomenal all year long and can be counted on to do the same heading into next year. This is probably the prediction I’m most proud of getting right, as the at-bat related ones were predicated on the whims of a manager and/or injuries. Performance related predictions hold more weight for me, and I’m happy I went all in on Parker.
Kenley Jansen saves less than 7 games in 2013 – I think he’s the best pitcher in the Dodgers bullpen when he’s right. I also think his heart arrhythmia won’t be an issue going forward. That said, Brandon League while not being particularly good, also isn’t awful. I’m also holding out hope that Mattingly or Kasten or SOMEone realizes the value of having your best reliever available outside of only the 9th inning. The short story is, I think League can pitch adequately enough to hold onto the job.
I really went for it, you guys. I went for it and it couldn’t have come back to bite me any faster or harder than that watermelon. Brandon League couldn’t even be below average, and Kenley Jansen, long one of the best relievers in baseball ascended to one of the best closers in baseball. My hope for Mattingly realizing things as described above is as broken as that watermelon as well.
Michael Saunders cashes in on his sleeper hype, posting a 25/25 season – I’m not sure how many people realize that Saunders went 19/21 in only 139 games last year. If they did, this wouldn’t feel like such a bold prediction. A full slate of playing time and some minor development should put this within reach. The walls coming in at Safeco and more games against the woeful Astros won’t hurt either.
“Hey! Hey look! I made this bold prediction! I did it, I think it looks pretty good! Hey, you’re not loo-AGH”
That’s me, irl. Not the actual GIF, of course, but emotionally. I really felt quite good about this prediction. Not that it would actually come true, but that it would be close enough that I’d get credit for my boldness. Instead, Saunders had a turd of a season.*
*Not really, his underlying stats are pretty OK, especially compared with 2012 numbers (big jump in BB%) but still
The flaming wreckage that has been Colby Rasmus’ career the last 18 months will smolder on, ushering in the Anthony Gose era. Gose will rise from Rasmus’ ashes, and while still raw, will produce more for fantasy owners in a partial season than Rasmus has in any full season since 2010.
That’s everyone watching my prediction become a flaming wreckage of it’s own. Rasmus was legitimately good this season and while Gose did see solid playing time, and the overall result wasn’t that bad (Ok, average, brutal OBP, solid SLG for what Gose is) – he didn’t come through where you thought he might, stealing four bases in 147 at-bats. Despite a brutal K/BB ratio, I still hold out hope for Gose, but he’s running out of time to make adjustments, and the positive play of Rasmus only increases the pressure that Gose perform with his bat.
So…there you have it. A few moderate successes, one quite good (Parker), several unconditional failures and a bunch of GIFs. More than you could ever hope for from a recap of bold predictions, really. I’m already looking forward to next year, when I can be far more timid and hopefully more accurate.