We’re continuing to review the Pitcher List Staff Bold Predictions this week, with Nic Gardiner next up as he looks back at his predictions from March.
1. Gregory Polanco ends the year a top 15 hitter
I thought his 2nd half slump in 2016 was going to be an anomaly and he would improve upon his first half numbers in which he hit .287/.361/.506/.867 through the first 92 games. He instead regressed and hit .251/.305/.391/.695 in 2017 with 11 HRs and 8 SB in 108 games. He was nowhere near the top 15 as his production and injuries kept him from contributing any value. He could be a good buy-low candidate in 2018 but only if he falls to me in the late rounds.
WRONG – 0 for 1
2. Matt Moore ends the year in the top 15 for Starting Pitchers
Matt Moore had his 2nd straight season of 30+ starts. He did finish the season leading the NL in a category, unfortunately, that was earned runs. His 107 earned runs is the third most allowed in the National League since 2013. Over the past three seasons Matt Moore has made 76 starts and his an ERA of 4.85. Forget about him folks.
WRONG – 0 for 2
3. Matt Bush is a top 10 RP
Matt Bush quickly took over the closer role after Sam Dyson allowed 14 earned runs in 7.1 IP, 17.18 ERA in a disastrous April. Bush looked the part of a top 10 closer with a 1.37 ERA, six saves, 21 strikeouts in 19.2 IP. Then came June. Matt Bush allowed 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings while blowing four saves and was promptly removed from the closer role. I still like Bush as a setup man and could get the closer role again in 2018, however I believe Keone Kela or Alex Claudio are the guys going forward.
WRONG – 0 for 3
4. Miguel Sano leads the league in Homeruns in 2017
WRONG – 0 for 4
5. Cameron Rupp out performs Gary Sanchez and Wilson Contreras
I didn’t think this would happen. I was thinking the Phillies were really bad and Rupp could be a middle of the lineup guy that hits 20+ HRs to go with 65+ RBIs. Even then, it would take a long slump or injuries for this prediction to occur. It was bold prediction. It was not close.
WRONG – 0 for 5
6. JT Realmuto is the fantasy #1 catcher
Coming out of spring training, there was talk that JT Realmuto could see some additional appearances at 1B which would up his at bats to a level beyond the normal catcher. He did lead catchers in at bats with 532 but he only made nine appearances at first base. He was 2nd in Hits, 2nd in runs, T-11th in HRs, 6th in RBIs and 2nd in SB. Not bad for the 5th catcher off the board. Overall he was the 4th best catcher in 2017. He was the #1 catcher in one of my leagues that includes triples, he had five. I really like JT in 2018. He could anchor the lineup should the Marlins have a fire sale. I’d take him happily in the mid rounds.
WRONG – 0 for 6
7. Brendan Rodgers is traded mid-season
My thought was the Rockies could compete in 2017, but would need starting pitching after allowing 860 runs in 2016. Clubs would ask for Rodgers and maybe something could occur. I didn’t think it was likely, however top 10 prospects do get dealt, see Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, and Michael Kopech. The Rockies finished 3rd in the NL West with an 87-75 record which was good enough for the 2nd wild card spot. They lost the matchup versus the Diamondbacks but their pitching did improve with internal help from prospects.
WRONG – 0 for 7
8. Jurickson Profar ends the year the #1 player for the Texas Rangers
As a Rangers fan, I didn’t have a lot of confidence coming into the year. I expected us to regress from our 95 win season in 2016 as we only had a run difference of 8 runs. Profar gave me some hope when he unloaded on the world in the WBC. He went 13 for 28 with 6 extra base hits, 4 RBIS, and 6 runs in 7 games. A slash line of .464/.516/.750/1.266 looked pretty damn good and so I felt optimistic. He did not carry the hot bat into the season when he hit .135 in April and was optioned to AAA. He spent the majority of the year in AAA and only made 7 starts after he was initially optioned.
WRONG – 0 for 8
9. Luken Baker, TCU, wins Golden Spikes Award
I am a huge TCU baseball fan, go Horned Frogs. If you like baseball, I recommend checking out your local college team, season tickets are quite cheap and it’s a lot of fun. Anyways, Luken Baker is a top MLB prospect for the 2018 draft. He has 65/70 grade Power and a 65 grade Arm. He controls the strike zone well 85 walks to 75 strikeouts in his NCAA career. I was hoping he’d build on his freshman year where he hit .379/483/.577 with 11 HRs and 62 RBIs in 67 games. Injuries limited him to 47 games, and snagged him all year. He didn’t make the final list for the Golden Spikes. He should be a First Rounder in 2018, and could be a cornerstone first baseman for an MLB team near you. If you have a dynasty league, draft him.
WRONG – 0 for 9
10. The Colorado Rockies become the 2nd team in 15 years with 1800 runs
My thought process was the Rockies had a stacked line up top to bottom. Injuries to Ian Desmond and Tom Murphy a long with bad years from Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez didn’t help the Rockies offense. They did score 824 runs on offense, but I was hoping for a bit more. Their pitching allowed 860 runs in 2016 and I didn’t expect it to be much better in 2017 but they did improve by only allowing 757 runs in 2017. Quite an impressive swing of 103 runs by a rotation whose veteran is only 27 years old.
WRONG – 0 for 10