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MLB Prospect Rankings: Reviewing My Bold Prospect Predictions, Part 1

Jason Hunt takes a look back at four of the bold prospect predictions he made during the preseason, to see how each of them turned out and just how far off he was on them.

I thought this man would steal 40 bases this season....
I thought this man would steal 40 bases this season....

With the end of the minor league season coming today, now is a great time to look back at some of the things we wrote during the season (and preseason), and specifically with regard to predictions. Andrew Ball started this process by reviewing his own bold predictions as a part of last week's episode of the Fake Teams podcast, and while I will be looking at each of my own bold prospect predictions, this will happen over three posts, as I actually made 13 different prospect predictions myself. With that, here is a look back at the first four predictions I made, along with how I thought they graded out and what actually happened.

Christian Bethancourt, C, Atlanta Braves


Christian Bethancourt finally figures out what he is doing at the plate, hitting .275/.350/.470 with 15 home runs at AA this year, and ends up as a top 50 prospect after the season - Jason Hunt


I wrote about Bethancourt during the preseason, noting that his defense would continue to carry him farther than his offensive potential could. That said, I think we got a glimpse of what Bethancourt's upside could be for fantasy owners. Bethancourt hit .279/.306/.439 with 12 home runs at AA in just 89 games played, so he actually came close to matching most of the numbers I predicted. He could potentially get a shot to make the Braves' opening day roster in 2014 if the team decides to let Brian McCann leave via free agency. That said, I don't know if I could contemplate putting him into even a top 100 list of fantasy prospects right now, as there is still so much risk involved with him.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals


3B prospect Anthony Rendon is traded at the deadline to acquire additional starting pitching for the stretch run, and is promoted to the Majors immediately upon the trade. - Jason Hunt


While there had been rumors that Rendon could see time at second base during spring training, there really wasn't any reason to believe that a) Danny Espinosa would fall so completely and thoroughly off a cliff as he has, and b) that the Nationals would give Rendon the every day second base job despite playing there very little. Rendon came up in early April when Ryan Zimmerman went down with an injury and spent 8 games with the team before returning to the minors, but was up for good in early June. So far, he has hit .260/.324/.392 with 6 home runs while playing second base primarily. I still wonder at this point if they decide to go with him there long-term, or try to shuffle their team up some so that he goes back to the hot corner.

Javier Baez (SS) and Jorge Soler (OF), Chicago Cubs


Javier Baez and Jorge Soler torch any and all pitching put in front of them, each hitting over 25 home runs this year. Both reach AAA before the end of the season - Jason Hunt


Soler appeared in just 55 games this year before breaking his left fibula, so he didn't reach AAA or hit 25 home runs. He did finish the season at High-A with a .281/.343/.467 slash line, with 8 home runs and 5 stolen bases, and will play in the Arizona Fall League. He'll be joined there by his teammate, who almost made up the difference himself. Baez finished with AA Tennessee, and has 36 home runs and 20 stolen bases to go with his .283/.343/.576 line. I do wonder if he would have made it to AAA Iowa had they made the playoffs, and can see him starting next year there.

Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks


Adam Eaton leads the National League in runs scored with 110, hits .305 with 12 home runs and 40 stolen bases, running away with the NL Rookie of the Year award - Jason Hunt


It's hard to account for injuries when you're looking back on what you thought could happen, and Eaton definitely gets dinged for missing almost half the season. However, a quick look at his pace numbers would give you the following full season line right now: 102 runs, a .269 batting average, 8 home runs, and 8 stolen bases. Not really all that in line with what I had hoped he might do. He could still improve his numbers and start running more in the last month of the year, but that seems a bit unlikely at this point.