In what has become an annual tradition, today I will review how my preseason bold predictions fared. The bold predictions articles are a fun diversion from profiling and ranking players all season long.
I have copied and pasted my preseason bold predictions (in italics) for the American League teams below, and tomorrow I will review how my National League predictions performed.
Grady Sizemore goes all 2008 on fantasy owners, hitting .275 with 30 home runs, scores 90 runs, drives in 80 runs and steal 25 bases, making the All Star team as well. But, the Red Sox disappoint their fans, finishing in third place behind the Yankees and Rays.
The Red Sox waived Sizemore at midseason and the Phillies picked him up. He hit just .233 with an 83 wRC+ in 381 plate appearances. I doubt he sees that many plate appearances in 2015.
Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings finally breaks out, hitting 25 home runs, stealing 43 bases and scoring 103 runs in 159 games. The Rays make the playoffs as a wild card, as Chris Archer wins 17 games with a 2.61 ERA and is the best pitcher on the Rays staff in 2014.
Desmond Jennings did not breakout, and was....well....the same guy we have seen over the last few seasons, hitting .244 with 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 542 plate appearances. Not good.
Archer won just 10 games for a disappointing Rays team, with a 3.33 ERA. Not bad.
In his first season in MLB, Masahiro Tanaka is the best pitcher in the American League, winning 19 games with a 2.33 ERA, 225 strikeouts and a 1.01 WHIP, leading the Yankees to the AL East division title.
Tanaka was one of the best pitchers in the American League before going down with an elbow injury. On the season, Tanaka went 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 20 starts. He may end up having Tommy John surgery at some point, but he did return late in the season to make a few starts.
Grade: 0-4. Tanaka was on his way to 19 wins before the injury.
Tommy Hunter loses the closer job on April 20th, and is replaced by Kevin Gausman who keeps the job all year, saving 45 games and striking out 110 batters in 72 innings.
Gausman never closed for the Orioles but did make 20 starts, going 7-7 with a 3.57 ERA.
Brett Lawrie stays healthy all season. That is all.
Staying healthy all season, Lawrie finally breaks out hitting .304 with 28 home runs, 90 runs scored, 85 RBI and 20 stolen bases.
Lawrie did not stay healthy all season. Enough said
Third baseman Nick Castellanos finally finds his power stroke, and boy does he ever, as he hits a team leading 31 home runs, but the Tigers fail to make the playoffs for the first time in several years. After turning down the Tigers lucrative offer in spring training, Max Scherzer struggles in 2014, winning just 12 games with a 4.50 ERA and sees his strikeout rate plummet to below eight strikeouts per nine innings.
Castellanos did not hit for much power, and Tigers fans probably wished they didn't make the playoffs after their early exit in the ALDS. Scherzer did not struggle and is on his way to a big pay day this offseason.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas figurest things out at the plate, hitting .285 with 37 home runs, 80 runs and 107 RBI, helping the Royals win the AL Central division title for the first time in many years. Teammate Alex Gordon thrives after being moved down in the Royals lineup, hitting .310 with 33 home runs and 95 RBI. Pitching prospect Yordano Venturais the Royals best starter, winning 15 games, striking out ten batters per nine innings with a 3.10 ERA.
The Royals came close to winning the AL Central, finishing just a game behind the Tigers, and are currently two wins away from making the World Series. The WORLD SERIES!!!! Moustakas did not figure things out at the plate, and Gordon didn't come close to hitting like the next Mike Trout, but Ventura did win 14 games with a 3.20 ERA, but didn't come close to striking out ten batters per nine innings.
Grade: 1-11. I am a soft grader.
Now that he is no longer catching every day, Carlos Santana shows that the team made the right call in moving him into a full time DH role, hitting .297 with 33 home runs and 101 RBI, leading the Indians to the playoffs as a wild card team.
Santana hit 27 home runs and drove in 85 runs, but didn't come close to hitting .297, and probably never will.
Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia has a break out season, hitting .270 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI, but the power breakout comes with 170 strikeouts.
While he did hit 20 home runs and drove in 57 runs, Arcia hit just .231 and struck out at a 31% clip.
The White Sox continue their rebuild and make a blockbuster trade on July 31st, dealing ace starter Chris Sale to the Pirates for Austin Meadows, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell and Harold Ramirez. Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu leads the American League in home runs with 42 and RBI with 122.
The White Sox did not deal Sale, how smart of them, but Abreu did challenge for the home run title, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 107.
Yet another injury to shortstop Jed Lowrie leads Billy Beane to call up top prospect Addison Russell on April 23rd. Russell proceeds to hit .317 with 17 home runs, 70 runs and 75 RBI in 135 games.
Well, Lowrie did get hurt, but the A's didn't call up Russell because he was hurt for part of the season, then Beane dealt him for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in an effort to go all in on the season.
The Rangers disappoint all season, losing 90 games and finishing in fourth place. First baseman Prince Fielder has the worst season of his career, hitting .250 with 21 home runs and 78 RBI.
The Rangers did disappoint all season, losing 95 games, but didn't finish in fourth place. They finished in LAST. Behind the Astros!! And Fielder did endure his worst season as a big leaguer, but it was due to injury.
Mike Trout is human, as he suffers a down year, for him, hitting just .275 with 17 home runs, 70 runs, 70 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Reports surface that he turned down a 10 year, $350 million contract right before the season started, and ask what happened to Mike Trout, the easy #1 pick in fantasy drafts before the season started.
Trout will win the MVP award in a few weeks, as he put up his best power season in his three year career.
The pressure of his new 10 year contract, and the move from Yankee Stadium, depress Robinson Cano's stats in 2014. Cano hits just .255 with 16 home runs, 70 runs and 75 RBI in his debut season in Safeco Park. General Manager Jack Zdurencik is fired hours after the Mariners fail to make the playoffs.
Cano hit .316, but his counting stats dropped, as he hit 14 home runs, scored 77 runs and drove in 82 runs. GM Jack Zdurencik did not get fired as the Mariners came within a few wins of making the wild card.
Outfield prospect George Springer is called up on May 1st and proceeds to win the American League Rookie of the Year award, hitting .295 with 29 home runs and stealing 31 bases. The Astros sign him to a 5 year, $60 million deal after the season ends.
Springer won't win the AL Rookie of the Year award as White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will win that in a landslide. Springer did hit 20 home runs, but didn't come close to hitting .295 or stealing 31 bases.
I am happy to say I got 3 of the 25 predictions correct. Not bad for a bold predictions article.
I will review my Natonal League bold predictions on Wednesday.