10 Bold Predictions
I do this for football, so why not for baseball too? I’ll take the W if I get three out of 10, since these will be bold.
Liam Hendriks gets 30 saves
I drafted him late in two leagues, and I should have gotten him in all four. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in January, and I couldn’t find good information about how long that meant he’d be out. The team said they’d give us an update near Opening Day, and we got one — that he’s not being put on the 60-day DL. I assume that means he’ll be back before May, but if he feels good — and he’s already throwing — why not even in late April?
Fernando Tatis goes 35-35
This might not seem bold, but he’s missing 20 games due to a suspension, and the 35 steals are well beyond his projected totals. I just think he’ll be shot out of a cannon once he finally returns after so much time off. He’s too big a talent to slow down. By year’s end, people will have wished they took him in the top five.
Wander Franco will return second-round value at a minimum
The quad injury isn’t ideal because he had it last year too, but he’s in the Opening Day lineup, so he’s okay for now. Franco just turned 22 — he’s six months younger than Corbin Carroll — and is one of the best prospects of the last decade. He hit .351 in rookie ball at age 17 and .338 at High-A at 18. All he needs is 600 at-bats — the breakout is coming.
Lance Lynn will have a better year than Corbin Burnes
I drafted this before today’s game, I promise. The problem with Burnes was his post-ASB ERA of 3.97 and his dip in K-rate, while Lynn dealt over the season’s final two months. It’s not usually good to cherrypick pieces of a season but given Lynn started off injured and ineffective, and the second half was back to his level, I’m buying it. And Burnes was great in 2020-21 and the first half of 2022, but few pitchers sustain that level for more than a short peak.
Matt Olson will outproduce Vladimir Guerrero
Guerrero’s monster 2021 looks like a ballpark-driven outlier next to the rest of his career, and the nine steals last year might also be anomalous. Olson wasn’t great last year off the big contract and replacing Freddie Freeman, but now he’s settled in and hitting in the middle of a loaded lineup, in a park that’s much better than where he played for most of his career.
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