Discover more from Real Man Sports
Grading My Bold MLB Predictions
Now that the season’s over, it’s time to revisit these and give them a grade.
1. 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?
Verdict: False. He returned in late May and got his first save on June 6, so I had a chance, but then he tore his elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery. (0-1)
2. 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.
Verdict: False. He went 25-29, but never really got into a massive groove. Not the worst prediction, but still an L. (0-2)
3. 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.
Verdict: False. Franco’s season got cut short due to accusations he had a relationship with a 14-year old in the Dominican Republic. Given how the Trevor Bauer story shook out, we probably shouldn’t jump to any conclusions, and I’m definitely guilty of making the joke that I didn’t price in “molestation risk” when I drafted him in three of four leagues! But I probably shouldn’t contribute to the pile-on before the allegations are proven.
(This didn’t have nearly the pile-on that Bauer’s did, but even so, the Bauer episode should be a lesson in the importance of due process and journalistic integrity, though I doubt it’ll be learned.)
In any event Franco had a 17-58-65-30 season going and was hitting .281 three quarters of the way through. Tack on another 25 percent, he has something like 23 HR, 77 RBI, 85 runs and 40 SB with a .281 average. Probably not Round 2, but maybe Round 3 worthy. So even in the non-molestation-accusation universe, he still fell short. (0-3)
4. 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.
Verdict: False. I drafted Lynn to all four of my NFBC teams, and he detroyed my ERA and WHIP. Had I taken, say, Sonny Gray instead, I’d have won the Main Event league and cashed in two other BCLs. Burnes won three fewer games and had only nine more Ks than Lynn, but his ERA (3.39) and WHIP (1.07) destroyed him. (0-4)
5. 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.
Verdict: True. This is a resounding W, given Olson was three rounds cheaper, and destroyed him so thoroughly, going 54-139-127-.283. Guerrero (.264) couldn’t even beat him in batting average and did regress in steals too, despite the friendlier running environment. (1-4)
6. Chris Bassitt will outperform Shane Bieber
I had a premonition about Bassitt who’s a good pitcher, but nothing more than that. This is mostly a Bieber fade as his velocity and K-rates were down last year.
Verdict: True. The premonition was real. Bassitt had 16 wins, 186 Ks and helped a small amount in ERA and WHIP. Bieber was worse in every category and missed roughly 10 starts with an injury. (2-4)
7. Jesus Luzardo will return top-five round value
He and Reid Detmers strike me as the obvious breakout candidates among pitchers, but I hope it’s Luzardo because I got two shares of him and none of Detmers. Luzardo was an elite propsect who started to put it together last year. If healthy, he takes the leap.
Verdict: False. It was actually close, but Luzardo’s 10 wins and 1.22 WHIP put him a little short of fifth-round-worthy. He struck out 208 batters, though, more than Burnes, and had a 3.63 ERA. (2-5)
8. Josh Jung wins AL Rookie of the Year
I got him in two leagues, so maybe this is the endowment effect, but he’s a former top prospect who got a late start due to injuries. He raked at Triple-A in 2021 and in spring training this year. Being older gives him less long-term ceiling, but a better chance for a good floor in 2023.
Verdict: False. He had a decent shot halfway through the year, but got hurt and was surpassed by Gunnar Henderson. (2-6)
9. Miguel Vargas wins NL Rookie of the Year
I only got one share of him, but thankfully it was in my Main Event, and he’s a top hitting prospect in an elite lineup. I don’t love him trying to play second base in the majors right away, but he did play seven games there in the minors last year and 17 in 2021.
Verdict: LOL. He was terrible and got sent down. (2-7)
10. Some of these predictions will be wrong
Making this prediction means I’ll never get 10 out of 10, but it’s worth it to avoid going 0-for-10.
Verdict: True. Definitely nailed this one. (3-7)