So let me entertain you. Let me pull back the curtain on the machine, and peer into my fearless ball while you take a heavy swig of the grog as you prepare to hear the hilarity, the grinding of the neurons firing in my head, and the ridiculousness that my audacious predictions will force you to wrap your head around. And when we are done, you can thank me, laugh at me, or say, "Hey, this dude might just be on to something!"
With no further ado, here are my Top 10 prognostications for the 2014 baseball season:
1. Javier Baez will end up with more HR in 2014 than Troy Tulowitski. And right now, Baez can be picked up in most mixed leagues with nothing more than a waiver claim.
2. Yasiel Puig is currently being selected, on average, inside the top 24 picks. Don't pay for the hype. Instead, draft Holliday or Bautista in the 3rd round-4th round. As the season draws closer, Mattingly is indicating Puig will bat leadoff to start the season, which also lessens his impact.
3. Xander Bogaerts will change his name to XXX Bogaerts after ending April with 8 HR and 22 RBI, which forces his way into the 5 hole in the lineup and results in fantasy owners jumping for joy, yelling "XXX, I love you!" This will result in their wives giving them a good cuff upside the head.
4. Billy Hamilton will steal 103 bases and will make every team who bypassed him puke-in-their-mouth and make Hamilton a 2nd round pick next year.
5. Giancarlo Stanton will end up with less than 30 HR and 90 RBI. And walk 200 times in 2014. OBP leagues ALERT!
6. Last year there was one 20 game winner, Max Scherzer. This year, there will be 4: Kershaw, Verlander, Wainwright, and Chris Archer.
7. Masahiro Tanaka will have a very good season, if his name was Jason Vargas. 14 Wins, 3.95 era, and a 1.31 whip. Don't say I didn't warn you!
8. Mark Trumbo will lead the NL in homers with 48. And will add 112 RBI as well, just for hoots and hahas.
9. Kyle Seager will continue to evolve, and will turn in a 25HR/15SB season to go along with a .299 average, putting a 4th round value on him
And now, on to the grand finale, the piece de resistance, the cherry on top:
10. Justin Smoak will end up as Top 10 first baseman in 2014, posting a .277/29 HR/85 RBI line, almost a E5-Lite campaign.
I hope you have enjoyed my ten audacious predictions for 2014, and good luck with your draft!