So yeah, I promised a time and place where I would eat crow on my 11 Bold Predictions for 2013 (you can refresh your memory here with Part I and Part II), and this is where we landed. Right smack dab in the off-season where hopefully none of you will read this. Obviously that means my predictions were a smashing success, right? Totally. That’s exactly what it means. I’m lying. But hey, these weren’t rational predictions, so there’s that. Follow me after the jump for the official tally…
1. Bryce Harper will hit 40+ home runs and steal 25+ bases.
Result — Bryce Harper hit 20 home runs and stole 11 bases.
Err, oops? Perhaps a sign of things to come for the rest of this post… I should state that no one can forsee injury. Furthermore, even if you can foresee injury to a certain extent, I refuse the notion that anyone can ever know when bursitis is going to happen. I mean, the root word is ‘burst’. You know what I think of when I think of burst? This. Do you think any of them saw that coming? The answer is no. No they did not. I rest my case.
2. Robinson Cano will not have a batting average higher than .275 and will not reach 20 home runs.
Result — Robinson Cano’s batting average was .302 and he finished the year with 27 home runs.
So we’re getting warmer here. Maybe. Or colder, I guess it depends where you are geographically located. I had expected some regression, as there were signs in his numbers pointing in that direction, along with a majority of the keystone club nosediving post-age 30. But alas, ’twas not to be.
3. Yu Darvish will win the AL Pitching Triple Crown (ERA, W, K’s).
Result — Finished with a 2.83 ERA (4), 13 Wins (15), and 277 K’s (1).
So, I got the K’s part right. At this point, 1-out-of-3 ain’t bad. And while we can chalk this up to another prediction that bit the dust, I do find solace in the fact that Darvish was a fantasy beast in 2013 and solidified himself as a top-5 pitcher moving forward.
4. Everth Cabrera will steal 70+ bases.
Result — Stole 37 (aka 36+) bases.
Okay, so apparently my inability of predicting injuries wasn’t the only handicap I had to deal with this last season. I now have realized that when players are doping, I am none the wiser. Maybe if he were Mark McGwire ala 1998, with thighs bigger than my head, well, there would have been some tell-tell signs to base assumptions on. But no. We’re talking about a 5-10, 190-pound toothpick, so I’m going to give myself a pass here. Especially since if Cabrera were not suspended, 70+ stolen bases were in reach. Couple that with the fact that he hit .283/.355/.381 with 54 runs and 31 RBI’s in only 95 games, we can come to the conclusion that being a homer works all the time, only some of the time. Exactly.
5. Ivan Nova will outproduce Dan Haren in Wins, IP, and K’s.
Result — Ivan Nova finished with 9 Wins, 139.1 IP, and 116 K’s. Dan Haren finished with 10 Wins, 169.2 IP, and 151 K’s.
The health aspect bit me again! I now have a Gorbachev sized hickey on my face at this point. The worst part is, Ivan Nova was the better pitcher in 2013, but in all the wrong thresholds. I’ll take this as a moral victory, but the official scorer scoffs at my attempt to find any semblance of victory.
6. Jered Weaver will have an ERA over 4.50.
Result — Jared Weaver finished with an ERA of 3.27.
Yet another season where he outperformed his FIP (3.82) by an egregious amount. I just don’t… sigh.
7. Matt Wieters will hit 30+ home runs.
Result — Matt Wieters finished with 22 homeruns.
So, at what point do we establish that he’s not better than sliced bread? Oh, you’re telling me that point was two years ago? Uh. Oops.
8. Will Venable will have a 20/40 season.
Result — Will Venable finished with a 22/22 season.
So let me just establish that I was the first one on the Will Venable bandwagon. You cannot argue this. Why? Because I watched every single one of you climb on. I would provide you the evidence of my profound love, but that would just lead to me hyper-linking every other post I ever wrote here on Razzy. And yet, for everything that went right this year for Will Venable, I still got this prediction wrong. Them’s the way it goes.
This was actually really close the entire season, but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of both pitchers playing each other up, it was more a battle of which one could disappoint the most based on our expectations. But hey, they just didn’t screw over my prediction, they most likely messed up your teams as well. Not that I take joy in that fact, but misery loves company. Or so they say.
So, the real question here is whether or not this injury bug will haunt next year’s prediction list. Yet again, and yes, keep in mind that Yonder Alonso is up next as well, but here, two-thirds of my prediction, integral components mind you, went down before the season ended. Can an argument be made that 22 home runs could have been hit by both E5 and JoeyBats if they didn’t go down for the year? Most certainly. Does it ultimately matter? Only to me. Which in most cases, counts for everything. But here? With this post? It counts for nothing. Thanks Obama.
Well, look, I feel like the injury-bug has been done to death here, so I’ll just say this was really close. For about a month.
So, what’s the takeaway here? What can I do better for next season’s prediction list? Well, that seems readily apparent. I will have to create a time machine and/or use magic to remove all injuries from baseball. Actually, no, scratch that. Something, something, Jennifer Lawrence. There we go. Much better.
Jason Longfellow, aka Jay Long, aka JayWrong, aka Jay, aka JW-1, is a 31-year old Korean/Irish writer who finds solace using Makers Mark as a vehicle to impress women, and also has an affinity for making Jennifer Lawrence GIFs. You can follow him @jaywrong, read his blog Desultory Thoughts of a Longfellow, or, you can find his GIFs at his tumblr, named Siuijeonseo.