Clayton Kershaw will be a top 10 starting pitch… (wait, that’s not how this works? But I put my prediction in bold... Oh, OH! You mean that kind of bold! Hmm, let me think on that..... Here we go!)
Trea Turner will be the #1 player in fantasy baseball for the 2017 season. 13HR & 33SB in 73 games played last season is a ridiculous pace for Turner to keep up. He regresses a bit, but is mostly legit. 20HR 50SB 120R 90RBI with a .300AVG is my bold prediction for the Nationals rising star this season.
Xander Bogaerts will be the #2 SS in fantasy this season behind Turner. He hit .329/.388/.475 with 10HR & 11SB in the first half of 2016. If he keeps that up for a full year, that’s a 20/20 player hitting .300. In that lineup, expect 100R and 100RBI as well.
All 3 Red Sox OF (Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi) will be top 20 in 2017. We all know about Betts, but Benintendi will be top 10 at the outfield position and Bradley won’t be far behind inside the top 20. That’s the last of the Red Sox’s love, I promise.
Freddie Freeman will not be a top 10 first baseman and will be outside the top 100 overall players in 2017. As I mentioned in my NL busts column, his fly ball and HR/FB percentages were career highs in 2016. I’m calling them outliers.
Jacob deGrom will finish a top 5 SP in 2017. A career 2.74ERA 1.095WHIP and 9.2K/9 pitcher who has look phenomenal this spring. Sign me up for as much deGrom as possible.
Eric Hosmer puts in all together and is finally a top 5 first baseman and top 50 overall player. He’s hit .300 before. He’s stolen 10+ bases before. He hit 25HR 104RBI last season. I say he puts in all together and does all those things in one season.
Jose Bautista and Albert Pujols fall off this season and finish outside the top 300 players in fantasy. Here’s a two for one bold prediction. Whether it is injury or poor performance, I’m avoiding these aging sluggers in 2017.
Javier Baez finds playing time for 150+ games and finishes a top 100 player in fantasy. He can play pretty much any position and is only an injury or poor performance away from being an everyday player. A 20/20 season with a .275AVG and 150 combined runs and RBI should do it for him.
Both Craig Kimbrel and Jeurys Familia lose their closing jobs and essentially all their value for fantasy leagues in 2017. I said Red Sox love, this is not love for Kimbrel. Both are in huge media markets on teams with incredible expectations. Both have better pitchers in their own bullpen.
Yulieski Gurriel, Max Kepler, and Josh Harrison all finish as top 200 players in fantasy. I’m just getting a few late round sleepers in here. They are all going at the end of drafts, if at all. They all should be drafted. They all can contribute in multiple categories and will help your fantasy teams in 2017.
That’s it for my bold predictions of 2017. Stay tuned later this week for more bold predictions from other Fake Teams writers.
As always, thanks for the read!