Billy’s Bold Predictions for Dynasty Baseball in 2017
I was going to start this off by saying, “It’s prediction season.” Really, when isn’t it? These days, people predict everything. In that regard, I’m going to be a follower. I’ll be making some fantasy baseball predictions with your dynasty league in mind; some will be more statistical, and others focus more on prospects with helium. Since it’s impossible for me to know your standing in your particular league, you have to take action based on my predictions. If you’re rebuilding and I predict a guy to be the top prospect next year, go get him. If you’re contending and I predict an old hitter to have a good year, maybe you go acquire them. Dynasty league valuations are more about circumstances than any other league, so read these outlandish paragraphs to come and do what you need to do.
1) Jharel Cotton will be a top-40 pitcher this year and break into the top-25 next year
It seems like everyone who writes about baseball on the Internet has a crush on Jharel Cotton; I’m not exception. His changeup could be called a Bugs-Bunny changeup only if Bugs put some steroids in his carrots. It’s remarkable. He gets about 12 miles per hour difference between his fastball and change, and each changeup he threw last year is still dropping. Cotton is going 66th among starting pitchers in NFBC drafts, which might not factor in everything that your dynasty league does but still is a strong representation of his expected value. The O.Co Coliseum is massive, which should limit some homer problems Cotton has exhibited. He strikes out over a batter an inning, and doesn’t walk many.
The recipe for success is all right there for Cotton. He just has to live up to his ability. There are a lot of young pitchers trying to break into prominence, but I believe Cotton’s strikeout ability, solid control, and big ballpark give him an advantage over just about any other.
2) Giancarlo Stanton will never again lead the National League in home runs.
He did it once, in 2014, with 37. If I had to place a bet on one man winning the next ten Home Run Derbies, it’d be this guy. I just can’t see the consistent contact or health necessary to lead his league in home runs. He’s a physical freak in a lot of ways, but his ability to withstand injury is not freakish. If anything, Stanton’s odds of injury are raised because of how freakishly quick some of his body is able to move. Even when he is healthy, he struggles to make contact. Giancarlo’s career contact percentage is 67.9%, and last year it was lower. Both of the last two seasons, notorious whiffer Mark Reynolds has had a higher contact percentage than Stanton. I’ll recognize that Chris Carter had a lower contact percentage than Stanton last year and won the NL home run crown. But there’ll always be Bryce Harper, Corey Seager, someone in Coors, and plenty of others who pop-up with prodigious power and go on a good run for a season or two.
This prediction could make me look like a total idiot when he hits 60 homers this year, but I just don’t see it. One 500-foot home run is all it takes to woo more fantasy owners in; just beware of his health and his whiffs. You’re better off selling him to one of the 75% of your league that has a man-crush on him. You’ll win that deal.
3) Amed Rosario will win 2018 National League Rookie of the Year, and be an All Star in 2019.
This is all about me having huge expectations for Amed Rosario. He can do everything. He’ll always be a shortstop for you, as his glove is too good to move off that spot. He’ll always hit, as his hands are quick and strong. He’s growing into more power, and has the body type to eventually hit 20+ homers. I questioned to myself whether this was bold enough. It might be more likely that this is thrown off by Rosario coming up this year and exhausting his rookie eligibility. For a top-ten prospect, his shine doesn’t seem quite as bright as other shortstops coming up as of late.
He’s exactly the guy that a rebuilding team looking to contend sooner rather than later should be able to acquire in the hopes of being strong as soon as next season. Some owners don’t like prospects that won’t be up very soon. If they think Rosario is in that bucket, gladly take him off their hands.
4) Jose Bautista will never again exceed 20 home runs.
He’s old. He likes getting injured. I could write that for plenty of guys. More than anything, I just don’t see a long season left in Bautista’s swing. Joey Bats swings with a serious ferocity, both in his leg kick and his bat whip. By the end of last season, it was obvious that his swing was seriously dragging. He’s looked good this spring and in the WBC. I stand by this prediction, though.
He might go out and hit ten home runs in April, and I’d still feel okay about this. He just doesn’t have the health or stamina to carry on late into the season with the swing necessary to keep hitting homers. He’ll still hit a couple very long ones, but more often than not, he’ll just whiff.
5) Ryan Schimpf will lead the National League in home runs in 2018, not 2017.
Here’s another culprit working against Giancarlo. You can go and read what Jack Cecil wrote about The Holy Powers of Ryan Schimpf.
Now that you’ve read that, listen to me. He might split playing time in the early going with Cory Spangenberg, making it tough to win the title this year. I bet he proves he’s legit by midseason, though. By 2018, he’ll have the full-time second base job for the Padres and he’ll hit over forty homers. He might bat .220, but you already knew that. The forty homers are why you’re here. Go acquire him, it’ll be a fun ride.