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Recapping Mark’s Bold MLB picks

Turns out I was too bullish on Taillon

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

On the tail of Punk is Dead giving a report card on his Bold Predictions back in March, I’m looking through how I did, spoiler alert I pretty much nailed the pick or fell short by a mile, there were few that landed in between.

1. Despite having never done this in a season at any level, Greg Bird hits over 30 Home Runs this season.

Talk about a tough pill to swallow, this was a failure (especially through the first half of the season). I naively held on to him in my league well into July before discarding him until he came back in late August hitting a respectable .253 over the second half of the season with his K% down from 30.6% to 20.4% hitting 8 home runs over those 29 games (which, extrapolated over a full season would have put him over 30 home runs). I AM bullish on him to do well next season.

Verdict: Wrong, maybe due to that lingering foot injury but definitely wrong.

2. Jameson Taillon finishes in the top 3 in National League Cy Young votes.

At 160 IP he falls just short of most qualifiers to accurately research his relatability in this category against his fellow starting pitchers. He finished the season with 8 wins and 7 loses with an ERA of 4.44 and a WHIP of 1.48, hardly competitive with Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, all who had sub 2.55 ERA’s, all had sub 1.05 WHIPs and all had 15+ wins. Part of his longevity was derailed as he underwent surgery for his testicular cancaer in May of the season, there is no denying his grit and fight to work through a very real mid-season scare.

Verdict: Wrong, partially injuries but still wrong.

3. Mark Trumbo hit 47 home runs last year, leading all of MLB for the 2016 season. This year, he hits less than 25.

Mark finished with 23 home runs, I don’t trust the consistency in him as a player. He hit less than HALF of his 2016 home runs despite playing only 13 fewer games. His career has shown trends of this which is what makes 2018 frustrating as I could see him eclipsing 30-35 home runs next year (maybe a pocketed bold prediction for next year?).

Verdict: Correct.

4. Jose Peraza is in the top 3 in the league in steals this year.

Well it was a respectable season for Jose Peraza’s steals as he came up with 23, good enough for 17th in MLB; however he landed exactly half way to 46, the number that 3rd in the league - Trea Turner had with his 46 steals (Billy Hamilton was 2nd with 59 and Dee Gordon was first with 60).

Verdict: Wrong.

5. Jon Gray finished 19th last year in total strikeouts with 185 K's across 168 innings pitched. This year he finishes in the top 5.

I knew the minute he went down for over a month with an injury in his foot earlier this year that this prognostication was in trouble. He ended up pitching just 110 innings, he did post an impressive 112 k’s over those innings. Had he been able to pitch 200+ innings at that pace, he would have landed in the top 20 but given his limitations he feel dramatically short.

Verdict: Wrong, injuries.

6. Mike Zunino finishes not only above the Mendoza line but above .250 batting average.

This was overtly aggressive, but Mike, who led all catchers in strikeouts with 160, finished the season with an average of .251. For those bad at math, I’ll break it down, he finished .01 above my prediction. This came down to the wire and he drastically improved his career line for batting average.

Verdict: Man do I feel good about this one, I might break my arm patting myself on the back.

https://youtu.be/5NL8ERXtM18

7. AJ Reed comes up to replace Yulieski Gurriel and proceeds to hit 20 home runs.

He did NOT come up to replace Yulieski Gurriel who was quite adept and held his own during the year (batting 2.99 with 18 home runs and 75 RBIs). AJ Reed came up for just 2 games (6 total plate appearances) and not only had 0 Home Runs but 0 hits on the season. Instead some guy named Rhys Hoskins came up for the Philadelphia Phillies hitting 18 home runs and stole all the “First Base Prospect” thunder doing exactly what I had been expecting AJ Reed to do.

Verdict: Dead wrong.

8. The San Diego Padres scored 686 runs last year, good enough for 20th in the league. This year, they are in the top 10 in Runs Scored.

I knew this was a bit too much, I fear that by this point I felt I had not gone bold enough with a pick and decided to take a hard right turn and take the ‘bold prediction’ car right into the only tree in a lone prairie full of open land. Honestly, what was I thinking with this, of course the Padres with all of their young talent would not go the way logic would dictate. They didn’t finish 20th, they finished 30th, REGRESSING by 82 runs scoring just 604 runs, much worse than last year.

Verdict: As far wrong as one can be.

9. David Price. He finished 2016 with 17 wins, 3.99 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. In 2017 -€” he finishes with 20 wins, 4.30 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Those pesky injuries, David really took a hit pitching just 74 innings this year, the fewest of his career. Some elbow discomfort landed him on the DL multiple times this year. He finished the season with just 6 wins, a 3.38 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. I think he stopped before the elbow issue plagued him and the length of a season can take their toll on a pitchers numbers, due to the shortened season he was allowed to keep his numbers low.

Verdict: Wrong, I’m blaming this on injuries.

10. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff had one pitcher with double digit wins last year: Zach Greinke. This year they will have 3.

The Diamondbacks were a pleasant surprise to many this season going from 69 wins last year to 93 wins this year and now playing in the first round of the playoffs in the NL against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only did Zach Greinke finish with 17 wins, Robbie Ray with 15 wins and Patrick Corbin with 14 wins but they came close to two more with Taijuan Walker with 9 wins and Zack Godley with 8 wins.

Verdict: Correct.

Final tally on Bold Predictions:

Correct – 3

Wrong due to Injuries – 3

Wrong – 5

I would have liked to have some of the “really wrongs” be closer to true, but such is the way with Bold Predictions, I will look to improve next year.