Let’s look at how I did with my 10 bold predictions back in March.
1) Trea Turner will be the #1 overall player in fantasy baseball for the 2017 season.
Injuries hurt me here. Turner still finished #33 on the year despite playing in just 98 games. It’s not too farfetched to assume Turner could have a real shot at #1 overall had he played 162 or even 150+ games. If we look at Turner’s last two seasons we get 24 HR 85 RBI 128 R 79 SB and a .309 average in 171 games. Turner has a real shot at being the most valuable player in fantasy in 2018 and I will certainly view him as such on draft day.
Verdict: Wrong because of injuries!
2) Xander Bogaerts will be the #2 SS in fantasy behind Trea Turner.
This was a miss. Bogaerts finished 2017 as the #16 SS a year after finishing the #5 SS in 2016. In a year that saw the most home runs ever, the Red Sox SS had his power decline. He went from 21 HR in 2016 to only 10 HR in 2017. His 2017 was derailed by a horrible July and August. He hit just .198 with 3 HR over 47 games during those 2 months. Look for a bounce back 2018 campaign from Bogaerts but temper expectations he will return to being a top 5 SS.
3) All 3 Red Sox outfielders will finish inside the top 20 at the position.
Mookie Betts finished as the #9 OF. ✓
Andrew Benintendi was just outside the top 20 at OF #24. –
Jackie Bradley Jr. finished at OF #92. X
4) Freddie Freeman will NOT be a top 10 1B and will be outside the top 100 overall.
Injuries make this look closer than it is. Freeman did finish the year as the #10 1B in roto and the #70 overall player. This was a big miss. Freeman hit 28 HR in just 117 games. He also had career highs in both batting average and slugging percentage. He was well on his way to a career year. Heck, he even had a career high 8 SB! I cited the reason for being down on him as his huge increase in fly ball rate and HR/FB ratio. Well it looks like those numbers are here to stay. Consider Freeman no less than a top 20 overall player heading into 2018.
5) Jacob deGrom will finish as a top 5 SP in 2017.
Well top 5 was certainly bold. deGrom finished 2017 as the #14 SP in fantasy. If you look back at the preseason rankings you will see I had deGrom around SP #11 going around #40 overall. In fairness, deGrom was in most top 15 SP and certainly top 20 SP in ECR, but he was going more around 55 overall. deGrom did finish the year as the #40 overall player on the nose. If you took my rankings into the draft with you, you most likely ended up with deGrom and I’m thinking you aren’t too upset about it today. I’ll call this one a win!
Verdict: Technically wrong but it still helped you!
6) Eric Hosmer will finish top 5 at 1B and top 50 overall.
Half way through my bold predictions and I now have 1 I 100% got correct! Hosmer finished 2017 with 25 HR 94 RBI 98 R 6 SB and a .318 average. This made him the #3 first baseman and the #29 overall player. Score! His overall consistency helps a ton here, plus the fact he played all 162 games! Hosmer started slow with just 1 HR and a .225 average through April. After that, he never saw a monthly batting average under .297. He was incredibly solid over the last 5 months of the season. His free agency status means his true 2018 value will have to wait until he finds a place to play. I imagine I will be among the highest on Hosmer again in 2018 and you should be too.
Verdict: A big ole check mark!
7) Jose Bautista and Albert Pujols will both finish outside the top 300 in fantasy.
Pujols barely squeaked in at #267 but Bautista fell all the way to #401! I’m going to consider this a win. If you followed my rankings heading into the season there is no way you landed either of these players. I ranked Pujols over 40 spots lower compared to ECR and Bautista was over 50 spots behind ECR. It still baffles me that some experts had Bautista as a top 100 player weeks into the season! On May 12 of this season I updated my top 250 and Bautista was no longer in it. He never returned. Here’s what I had to say back then:
As a fan of the Texas Rangers, and just a fan of baseball in general, I find it easy to wish ill on Jose Bautista. I don’t think I need to spell out my reasons, but I’ve been low on him since Spring Training. I know he just hit a homer the other day, but I’m calling it quits on his bounce back. He falls over 100 spots in my rankings and is outside my top 250 going forward. I know he used to go through slumps, but he was still a guy who walked more than he stuck out. This season, not so much. His walks are down and his strikeouts are up. This is what a power hitter looks like when he’s finished. Sorry, not sorry. Bye, Bautista.
8) Javier Baez plays 150+ games and is a top 100 overall player.
Baez finishes 2017 as the #129 overall player. He did manage to find the field in 145 games and rack up just over 500 PAs. To be honest, had Baez’s season started in May I think I would have been singing a different tune here. Baez hit just .203 over 20 games in April. After that, .283 with 22 HR 10 SB and a .500 SLG over the final 5 months. If he can put those numbers up over the course of a full season, even if he is only playing 140-145 games rather than 150+, Baez could still end up a top 100 play in 2018.
Verdict: Wrong, but not like detrimental
9) Both Craig Kimbrel and Jeurys Familia lose their jobs and essentially all their value for 2017.
Even though I can cop out on this and say I was right about Familia I’m not going to. I WAS WRONG ABOUT KIMBREL! I am like so sorry! I was banging the drum for a Kimbrel breakdown in 2017. I was convinced the increased walk rate coupled with the bright lights of Boston would crimple him like it kind of did in 2016. Nope! He just put up the best K/9 since his 2012 season and the lowest walk rate of his career! Not to mention a ridiculously low 1.43 ERA and 0.68 WHIP! Kimbrel finished the season as the #2 RP and I finish the season being completely wrong about him.
Verdict: Sooo wrong!
10) Yuli Gurriel, Max Kepler, and Josh Harrison all finish inside the top 200 overall.
Well, Gurriel didn’t let me down! He finished as the #144 overall player. He hit .299 on the year with 18 HR and 75 RBI. Harrison was just outside the top 200 finishing at #211. In fairness, he did miss the final month of the year. Despite this, Harrison still put up a career high 16 HR and would have finished top 200 easily had he played in September. Kepler failed me the most here. He also was the most risk/reward pick here. He finished the year at #295 after hitting 19 HR with 69 RBI and 6 SB. His downfall was mostly his .243 batting average. Meanwhile Kepler’s teammates Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton stole the show in Minnesota. Don’t sleep on Kepler though. He did slightly improve his numbers compared to 2016. Maybe 2018 will be the year of Kepler?
Verdict: Mostly right
So there you have it! 2 slam dunks, 5 so-so calls, and 3 very wrong picks! Join me next year as I try to redeem myself, or at least try not to write off the #2 closer in baseball. Thanks for the read!