A bunch of us wrote up our bold predictions for 2013 back in March, and it is always a fun exercise to go out on a limb on a player. Being right about a bold prediction makes you feel pretty good. Being wrong about a bold prediction leads to ridicule and taking a long look in the mirror wondering what you were thinking on that given day.
Anyway, here is a look at my National League bold predictions for 2013, a review of how my bold predictions fared.
National League East
What is a bold prediction piece without a bold prediction for Bryce Harper. Bryce Harper will hit 36 home runs, scores 125 runs, steals 32 bases, drives in 105 runs, and hits .290.
Harper was hurt, or played hurt, for most of the season, finishing with 20 HRs, 78 runs, 58 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He has the potential to put up this kind of season in his prime, but obviously, I was a bit too early. 0-1
Justin Upton disappoints fantasy owners again in 2013, hitting just .258 with 16 home runs, 76 runs, 70 RBI, and 13 stolen bases.
Upton had a hot April and a hot September, but was pretty bad in between. He finished the season hitting .263-.354-.464 with 27 HRs, 94 runs, 70 RBI and 8 stolen bases. I was close in three of the five hitting categories, so I will count this as a win. 1-1
Ryan Howard surprises all fantasy owners by hitting .280, with 44 home runs, 128 RBI and 90 runs scored.
Yeah, we know how this ended. 1-2
Matt Harvey wins 14 games for the fourth place Mets, and leads the National League in strikeouts with 255, 10 ahead of Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.
Harvey was one of the best pitchers in the game, even though he won just nine games. He was shut down at the end of August, finishing with 191 strikeouts in 26 starts. Had he made 6-7 more starts, he had a decent shot at leading the National League in strikeouts. 2-2
In the midst of a dismal season where the Marlins lose 102 games, and owner Jeffrey Loria decides to sell the team after attendance drops 50% in 2013, Giancarlo Stanton wins the MLB home run title with 50 home runs.
Stanton, again, missed time due to injuries this season, and finished with "just" 24 home runs in 116 games. 2-3
National League Central
Joey Votto leads the National League in hitting with a .342 batting average, but hits just 15 home runs while doing so, disappointing fantasy owners who drafted him in the first round of their 2013 drafts.
Votto didn't lead the NL in hitting, and he hit more than 15 home runs this season (24), but he only drove in 73 runs, while scoring 101 runs. 2-4
After watching Jason Motte blow 5 saves in the month of April, manager Mike Matheny turns to young flame thrower Trevor Rosenthal, who becomes the second coming of Craig Kimbrel, saving 38 games and striking out 106 batters in 70 innings of work.
Well, I got the Motte part right....well, sorta. He was injured in spring training, so he didn't get a chance to blow five saves, but the Cardinals did struggle finding a closer as Rosenthal and Mitchell Boggs both failed early on. The Cardinals then turned to Edward Mujica, who saved 37 games before tiring in September, and THEN the Cardinals turned to Rosenthal yet again, and he saved three games in three chances. 2-5, even though the new Cardinals closer (Mujica) did save 37 games (I predicted 38).
Marco Estrada strikes out 210 batters with a 3.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while winning 14 games for the Brewers, and has a better season the teammate Yovani Gallardo.
Estrada did not strike out 210 batters, as he missed a good part of the season due to injury, but he did pitch well in his 21 starts, going 7-4 with a 3.87 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. 2-6
Pedro Alvarez surprises many fantasy owners by hitting .265 with 39 home runs and driving in 103 runs, finishing third behind Giancarlo Stanton and Ryan Howard for the National League home run title.
Alvarez had a terrific season in the power department, finishing tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the National League lead in home runs with 36 and drove in 100 runs. 3-6
Despite everyone predicting him to be traded, or to losing his closer job, Carlos Marmol keeps his job, saving 38 games with a 3.20 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 75 innings.
The Cubs did use him in the closer role for a bit, but that didn't last too long. 3-7
National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hanley Ramirez puts up a 2010-like season, hitting .300 with 31 HRs, 100 RBI and 26 stolen bases.
Hanley was the Dodgers MVP when he was healthy, and did put up a 2010-like season, hitting .345-.402-.638 with 20 HRs, 62 runs, 57 RBI and 10 stolen bases in just 86 games. 4-7
After Sergio Romo blows 4 straight saves vs the Dodgers and Phillies in early May, the Giants move ineffective starterTim Lincecum to the closer role, where he saves 32 games in 36 chances.
Lincecum never closed a game for the Giants. 4-8
Aaron Hill puts up a clunker season at the plate, hitting just .230 with 10 HRs, 55 runs, 50 RBI and 11 stolen bases. The Diamondbacks begin to regret signing him to a 3 year, $35 million extension this offseason.
Hill had a decent showing in 2013, although he played in just 87 games, he hit .291-.356-.462 with 11 HRs, 45 runs and 41 RBI. 4-9
Cameron Maybin puts up a breakout season, hitting 20 home runs, with 80 runs, 80 RBI and 45 stolen bases, while hitting .282. Teammate Chase Headley disappoints fantasy owners by hitting just 13 home runs and driving in 75 runs.
Maybin didn't come close to a breakout season. 4-10
Second baseman Josh Rutledge is the second coming of Troy Tulowitzki, hitting .290 with 28 HRs, 80 runs, 90 RBI and 23 stolen bases. Despite his low walk totals, Rutledge takes advantage of Coors Field by hitting .360 at home, with 19 of his home runs coming at high altitude.
Rutledge was shipped back and forth between Colorado Springs and Coors Field, and was nothing close to the second coming of Troy Tulowitzki. 4-11