Ryan Felix Fernandes
This is a companion piece to last week’s bold predictions Roundtable.
I am here to make five bold predictions for the 2022 season. Bold? When I think bold my mind goes right to those Doritos commercials where they have someone eat a couple Doritos and do something crazy while they use the tag line, “for the bold!” So I’m going to shovel as many Doritos I can down my mouth, give you my spicy bold predictions, and just like when I eat too many Doritos I will regret this twenty minutes later.
- The Cool Ranch prediction which means it is my least favorite flavor and prediction. It isn’t bold at all and will make my face cringe predicting that Gerrit Cole will be the best pitcher this season from start to finish and will win the AL Cy Young. Don’t be mad that I went with a guy who most everyone thinks the same about. At least I had the guts to say Cool Ranch Doritos are disgusting. I remember I’d beg friends back in grade school to trade with me if my mom packed a bag of those in my lunch. Like Jed Hoyer type trades just to get rid of them.
- My Salsa Verde prediction which is not really bold, but can sneak up on you, is that Riley Greene will win the AL Rookie of the Year and Hunter Greene will win the NL Rookie of the Year. And yes, verde translates to green in English and yes money is green as well which means you can bank on this prediction. Yeah I’ll stop. Riley is a pure professional hitter who has both a 60 hit and power grade along with a deceptive 50 run grade. He had the hardest hit ball by a Tigers player during the Statcast era. Last year between Double and Triple A ball he had a slash line of .301/.387/.534 with 24 home runs and 16 stolen bases out of 17 attempts. In his final 53 game stretch that he played in Triple-A he compared to guys like Vlad Jr, Tatis, and Soto’s minor league slash line of .332/.411/.622. As for Hunter Greene his fastball is elite, like a fastball that you might not have seen before that ranges between 97 to 103 mph. A slider that is reaching elite status, a very good changeup, and a work-in-progress curve that helps keep hitters guessing with above average command of all his pitches. He looks like he was built out of a lab with a 6’4 frame with well above average athleticism, a clean, simple delivery with a ¾ arm slot. Last year he dominated Double A, but did get a bit hit around in Triple A. He will be given every opportunity to make the Reds rotation and will bring the cheese just like your favorite Doritos.
- Going with an old favorite and one that rarely lets you down. I’m going to say Cody Bellinger will be back to being Cody Bellinger with my Spicy Nacho Doritos prediction. I know Cody isn’t the only one who wishes 2021 didn’t exist, but he might want to forget spring 2022 as well with 14 Ks in 19 ABs. Bellinger is adjusting his swing and changed his hand placement back to where he had it in 2019 because his shoulder feels strong again after having surgery on it in 2020. This should help him with the struggles he has had with pitches up in the zone. Just like how the classic Spicy Nacho Doritos is usually a reliable hit, so will be Bellinger this season at the plate. Yeah, sorry I know I said I’d stop.
- If you are not familiar with the Tapatio flavor of Doritos you are not alone. For years I used this delicious hot sauce on tortilla chips for years and didn’t know this even existed till I looked up Doritos flavors today. Both the bag and hot sauce has a gentleman with a glorious mustache wearing a Mariachi tie and a golden-ish colored sombrero on it. Correlating the sombrero the gentleman is wearing with the golden sombrero term which no baseball player wants. I am giving the dreaded falling off a cliff torpedo Tapatio prediction to Corey Seager. Yeah I lied, I’ll never stop with these horrible jokes. Seager signed a 10 year, $325 million contract this offseason to be the face of the Texas Rangers. He won’t finish in the top 200 overall rankings and below the top ten in SS rankings this season. With the major surgeries he has already had, the pressure of living up to the huge contract, and hitting in a pitcher’s park for home games will lead to a lot of Texas heat on the Rangers’ new face of the franchise this year.
- Finally, my boldest and favorite prediction that will earn the G.O.A.T. flavored Flamin’ Hot Limon Doritos status is that Kyle Schwarber will be a top ten fantasy hitter, have the most home runs in the NL, and will get more NL MVP votes than his new teammate Bryce Harper. Kyle played in only 113 games with 399 AB in 2021 but still had 32 home runs and 71 RBI along with 76 runs with the Nationals and Red Sox. If he didn’t get injured Kyle would have set career marks in almost every category. He will be starting the season in the lead off spot of a pretty loaded Phillies lineup. He will play half his games at another extreme hitter’s park (Citizens Bank Park), in the lineup regularly with the new DH spot to avoid the platoon. The elimination of the shift in 2023, where most hits went to die, will only make Schwarber an even bigger OPS machine. Be bold my friends. And make sure you wipe your orange Doritos colored fingers before you type that I’m crazy in the comments.