A lot of writers over at Fangraphs have been launching their “10 Bold predictions for 2012” and I have enjoyed it and like the idea so I thought I would put together my own bold predictions for this upcoming season. I felt like throwing in a bonus prediction though so I give you 11 bold predictions. The predictions come in no particular order. Let me know what you think. And remember these are BOLD predictions.
1. Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton will finish top 5 in NL MVP voting:
First off, if you did not know, Mike Stanton now wants to go by his birth name, Giancarlo.Stantonshowed off big time power numbers in his first full season last year, and he was only 21. He now heads into the 2012 season as a 22 year old, already with 56 homeruns. I think that we will see him lead the league in homeruns this year as well as hit the 100 mark for career homeruns. Anyone that leads the league in homeruns will get MVP votes. To help his case more, I also thinkStantonwill surprise people with his average this year, batting around .280.
2. Shin-Soo Choo will have a 25-25 season:
Earlier I took a look at Choo as a candidate for the Come Back Player of the Year Award. He disappointed last year hitting .259 with only 8 homeruns and 12 stolen bases. He missed a good amount of time due to injury as well. Well this year, entering his 8th season and still only 29, I think Choo will get back to the 25 homerun mark as well as steal 25 bases. On a side note, I also think that he will hit above .300 as well. He will be a key part to an Indians roster that has some potential to surprise people this year.
3. Justin Morneau will get more than 400 plate appearances:
Morneau has really been struggling the last couple years with injuries, most specifically a concussion problem. In 2010 he got only 348 plate appearances and in 2011 he got 288. Morneau has kind of talked about the idea of retirement if this concussion continues to affect him the way that hit has, but I think that it will be behind him this year and he will finally have a healthy season again. It’s crazy to think that it was only 5 years ago when he won the MVP
4. Edwin Jackson will not be traded this year:
Jackson is only 28 and has 9 seasons under his belt but he has already played for 6 teams in his career. In both 2010 and 2011, Jackson was dealt at the trade deadline. He was also on a seventh team but he never played a game. At the 2011 deadline,Jackson was traded from the White Sox to the Blue Jays and the Blue Jays then flipped him to the Cardinals. Well Jackson now has a home in DC after signing a one year deal with the Nationals. I think that the Nationals will be in the hunt for the division this year at the deadline giving them no desire to trade Jackson.
5. Blake Beavan will throw more than 180 innings this year:
Ever since Beavan started to get looks up with the Mariners, I saw him as a back of the rotation workhorse and I think that we will finally get to see that this year. The Mariners rotation will be an interesting subject this year with all the young prospects getting closer to the bigs but I think Beavan will find a spot in the rotation this year and stick there.
6. Josh Thole will rank top 5 amongst catchers in OBP:
I have been a fan of Thole in terms of his average and OBP, especially at catcher. I think Thole will get the bulk of the Mets catching duties this year getting about 400-500 plate appearances. He has a career OBP of .350 and if he keeps that up this year, he should rank in the top 5. I see Thole as a bright spot in a not so good looking season for the Mets. He could be a nice sleeper on fantasy teams as well.
Making this prediction as a Mariners fan doesn’t feel too good as both of these guys were once in the Mariners system and I saw both of these guys countless amounts of time at AAA Tacoma. Morse last year at the age of 29, figured something out and broke out in a big way batting .300 and hitting 31 homeruns. Well Lahair has been impressive over the last year, posting monster numbers at AAA and having a huge winter, earning him the title of 2012 Winter Player of the Year by Baseball America. He is heading into the season at the age of 29 and he should be the Cubs opening day first baseman.
8. Adam Dunn will hit over 30 homeruns:
Adam Dunn is another guy that I looked at to bounce back in 2012. After the way his season went last year, the only way he can go is up. I think he will be out there to prove himself this year and regain his presence as a homerun hitting force in the middle of the lineup.
9. Chris Davis will hit over 25 homeruns:
Davis was such a highly touted prospect and everyone saw a bright future ahead of him but the slugger just has not been able to figure it out yet at the big league level. The Orioles really having nothing to lose this year and as a result, Chris Davis should be the opening day first baseman. I think we will finally see him breakout and hit some homeruns. The average and K% will still be scary but I think the power will come this year. It will be like having two Mark Reynolds in the same lineup.
10. Huston Street will finish top 5 in the NL in saves:
A lot of people have somewhat wrote Huston Street off this year, most likely due to the fact that he has not been able to stay healthy but I think this will be a big year for him. The closer job is his to lose in San Diego with Andrew Cashner as a guy that could steal it from him if Street struggles. I just think that moving from one of the worst pitchers parks (Coors Field) into one of the best (Petco Park) that his numbers will improve.
11. Brian Matusz posts a sub 4 ERA
It seems that pretty much everything went wrong for Matusz last year after showing so much promise in 2010. Matusz had a 10.69 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched at the big league level. At AAA he had a 3.46 ERA in 54.2 innings pitched. Matusz had never had an ERA below 4 over the course of the season but I have a feeling that it will happen this year. He’ll need to work on getting his K/9 back up, and lowering his BB/9 some. I think this is a big year for Matusz and it will say a lot about which way his career will be heading.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Fantasy Tagged: | Adam Dunn, Andrew Cashner, Blake Beavan, Brian Matusz, Bryan LaHair, Chris Davis, Edwin Jackson, Fantasy, Giancarlo Stanton, Huston Street, Josh Thole, Justin Morneau, Mark Reynolds, Mike Stanton, Shin-Soo Choo