1. Despite having never done this in a season at any level, Greg Bird hits over 30 Home Runs this season.
Background: Ok to be fair he's only played over 100 games once, at Yankees (A) in 2013 and there he hit 20 home runs over 130 games. I think his ISO of .268 in 2015 was a bit inflated but on par with a .225+ ISO that we can expect from him this year.
2. Jameson Taillon finishes in the top 3 in National League Cy Young votes.
Background: This one is bold. Very bold. I think Jameson can be a star, quickly. I think he has potential for a 18+ win and sub 3 ERA this year if he can keep his command in order and his walk rate down.
3. Mark Trumbo hit 47 home runs last year, leading all of MLB for the 2016 season. This year, he hits less than 25.
Background: I know there are stats behind his contact rate last year but given his fall from 2013 - 2014 and the decent fluctuations in his BABIP over the years, I'm not sold on his ability to duplicate even 60% of this success this year.
4. Jose Peraza is in the top 3 in the league in steals this year.
Background: This isn't bold and yet is. In 72 games last year he stole 21 bases. If you double it then he's nearly in the top 3 in steals but that's assuming he continues to chase at the current rate, which isn't easy. Add in threats from Jose Altuve, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Jonathan Villar, Trea Turner, Keon Broxton and Travis Jankowski and it's not easy.
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.
Background: He has a few things going against him, for starters the park he's pitching in and the potential for a sophomore slide. The fact that teams have now spent an entire offseason studying his pitches. I think he can pass all of this and increase his K's by 70 putting him in 3rdplace this year.
6. Mike Zunino finishes not only above the Mendoza line but above .250 batting average.
Background: We have heard of his attempt at disciplined hitting and his patience with pitches. I think it's a whole new Mike this year, well beyond what the basic expectations are.
7. AJ Reed comes up to replace Yulieski Gurriel and proceeds to hit 20 home runs.
Background: I'm not sold on Gurriel and I think the last few years have shown that International prospects aren't a guaranteed hit. In addition I think AJ learned from his struggles in MLB last year and will work to overcome that.
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.
Background: No one thinks of the Padres, specifically Petco Park as a run producing situation. They have some young bats that I think could surprise some people over the course of a full year including: Ryan Schimpf, Luis Sardinas and Hunter Renfroe.
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.
Background: I mentioned this in our mock draft - I'm not bullish on Ace pitchers going to Fenway. I feel like they regress in their ERA and WHIP (which is partially traded off in additional Wins). If this elbow situation keeps up, scrap the wins and stick with the poor ERA and WHIP.
10. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff had one pitcher with double digit wins last year: Zach Greinke. This year they will have 3.
Background: Zack Greinke makes one, the other two will come from some deviation of: Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin and Taijuan Walker.
Best of luck!
Let the season begin.