Bold Prediction Review
BOS: Sizemore has highest WAR on the team - Maybe this was a little too much to ask for Grady Sizemore. He actually got released by the Red Sox midseason and produced -0.6 fWAR in his tenure. A very disappointing comeback season for someone we all hoped would return to his former glory.
NYY: Yankees really regret not having A-Rod once playoff race gets tight - Now this is something nobody is talking about. The Yankees eventually moved to trade for Chase Headley from the Padres, but 3B was a real question mark for most of the season. It was only announced recently that Joe Girardi expects Alex Rodriguez to be the team's starting 3B in 2015. Read more about the possible reasons why here.
TBR: Zobrist, Longoria, and Myers combine for 100 home runs, 300 RBI - This one fell far short of what could've been. Wil Myers missed about half the season on the DL and Zobrist's power days seem gone. Evan Longoria underperformed for his standards and only hit 22 HRs the whole season. In total, they combined for 38 HR and 178 RBI.
TOR: Blue Jays will have most potent lineup in the AL - This prediction wasn't too far off. The Blue Jays were fifth in the MLB with 105 WRC+, meaning that they produced runs at 5% above the league average rate. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion put together excellent seasons, and unexpected contributions from Adam Lind and Melky Cabrera made this team's offense scary.
CLE: Corey Kluber leads AL in wins - I know this a dumb statistic to judge performance by but it is still somewhat predictable as to who will rack up the most wins. In this case, Kluber was tied for first in the AL with 18 wins. I predicted 20 but 18 is good enough for me.
CWS: Erik Johnson becomes the staff ace - Not at all what happened. Erik Johnson regressed a ton this year, even after being sent down to AAA, Johnson still put up subpar lines. Something needs to be fixed with him. Once a top prospect, Johnson has lost all of his luster.
DET: Tigers left field platoon combines for 65 stolen bases - Originally, this referred to Rajai Davis and Andy Dirks. Dirks didn't actually play in the majors at all this season with an injury. Davis was quickly ousted by the miraculous appearance of J.D. Martinez. Combined, the LF split for Detroit racked up 33 SB. Not bad but not nearly the 65 I had predicted.
KCR: Mike Moustakas is replaced at trade deadline - Moose obviously didn't get replaced. He's in the playoffs right now fighting for a WS victory. I'll give myself some points because he should have been replaced, the Royals just chose not to. He put together an even worse season than 2013 and only produced 0.9 fWAR over 500 plate appearances. His power numbers are decent but the Royals need to address this position in the offseason as Moustakas is entering his first year of arbitration.
MIN: Twins stay in playoff hunt until late September - A bit too early on this one. Top prospect Miguel Sano had Tommy John surgery before the season began and missed it entirely. No help from below came for the Twins besides Danny Santana and Eduardo Escobar (both had decent seasons).
HOU: Young talent keeps Astros at .500 - Also a bit too hopeful for the Astros. They went 70-92, better than only three other teams. Domingo Santana's 0-17 14K debut didn't exactly inspire. Jon Singleton needs drastic work on his .168 batting average. George Springer had a good first few months but collapsed down the stretch for the Astros.
LAA: Frieri leads MLB in saves - This one hurt. Ernesto Frieri appeared in 34 games for the Angels before being traded to Pittsburgh for Jason Grilli. This exchange of broken closers didn't help Frieri at all. After LA, he compiled a 10.13 ERA for the Pirates, and only amassed 11 saves in all.
OAK: Donaldson is 2014's "Chase Headley" candidate - I guess you could say Josh Donaldson regressed - from 7.7 to 6.4 fWAR. I was really wrong on this one and am sorry I ever doubted him.
SEA: Seattle's status doesn't budge because of miserable outfield - Another one I was kind of right on. They did not make the playoffs even with the addition of Cano because their outfield was so bad. Even multiple trades for Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia, as well as call-ups of James Jones and Stefen Romero did nothing to the outfield here. They need a star player to play alongside Michael Saundera and Dustin Ackley. Seattle's entire outfield combined for 1.0 fWAR.
TEX: Darvish has a 20 K game - On three occasions, Yu Darvish punched out 12 batters. That's all. I still think this is doable for him when he is healthy.
MIA: Stanton finally sees the field enough to hit 45 home runs - Not as bold as others but still viable. Giancarlo Stanton missed about two months worth of games in each of 2013 and 2012. He conjured up 37 home runs this season, but a pitch to the face ended his season pre-maturely. Given a full slate of playing time, I think he could have pulled it off.
NYM: Granderson and Young combine for 65 home runs - Curtis Granderson continued his downward spiral since 2011 and Young only lasted about half the season on the Mets' roster before being released. They combined for 28 home runs, a far cry from the stated 65.
PHI: Biddle wins NL ROY - Those who know of Jessie Biddle know he didn't grace major league baseball this season, and instead battled a concussion's lasting effects at AA Reading. I'm still a believer in him, but he definitely has major flaws. A boost in his control is needed before he can command the zone and establish himself as a viable MLB starter.
WAS: Starters amass 75 Wins - Another bad way to judge success, but I've grown a lot in terms of statistical knowledge this past year. Anyways, the Nationals starters actually amassed 70 wins, so close to the goal total. Strasburg, Zimmerman, Gonzalez, and Fister were solid as predicted, but Tanner Roark was the true season hero. Roark put together an extraordinary season with a 2.85 ERA over 31 starts.
CHC: Kris Bryant wins starting third base job by July - This case should have happened. The Cubs were just stubborn and refused to call up Bryant despite the prospect's commanding season. Don't be surprised to see Bryant as the Cubs' 3B on the first day of 2015.
CIN: Billy Hamilton proves everyone wrong with OBP - Well, Billy did prove everyone wrong. Not with his OBP though. A perplexing first season in the majors had Hamilton struggle to hit enough and didn't come close to many predicted stolen base estimates. He is said to be working with Juan Pierre this offseason for bunting help. His defense was the key to his success, and as a result, Hamilton could be in line for a gold glove.
MIL: Brewers are actually contenders - This prediction was true for 80% of the season. I had the Brew Crew pegged as massively underrated because of the individual players that made up the roster. Unfortunately, the Brewers fell flat on their face down the stretch run and relinquished their top spot to the Cardinals.
PIT: Pirates sink back into mediocrity - The Brewers' prediction played into this one a lot. The Pirates just didn't seem capable of securing another playoff spot. They just barely proved me wrong in the end.
STL: Top prospects look inexperienced - I had originally pointed to Wong, Wacha, Martinez, and Taveras so let's analyze them. Kolten Wong struggled but got better over time and eventually solidified himself as a league average 2B. Michael Wacha was great when he actually made it onto the field. He only compiled 17 starts over the whole season. Carlos Martinez did better than his 4.03 ERA might suggest. Martinez made a few starts but mostly stayed in the bullpen, amassing a more telling 3.18 FIP. Oscar Taveras did struggle mightily, batting a meager .239 and costing the Cards about one win. Other rookies Sam Freeman, Randal Grichuk, Nick Greenwood, and Kevin Siegrist didn't impress.
ARI: Randall Delgado breaks out - Delgado had his worst season and his best season. He relieved mostly but also started 4 games in haste. He maintained a 4.87 ERA throughout the whole season, but the more important 3.39 FIP may be the basis for an extended look in spring training next year. Let's delay this prediction another season.
COL: Morneau hits 35+ HRs, makes strides towards MVP form - Justin Morneau needed the change of scenery. Perhaps he finally recovered from his concussion. Morneau's 2.5 WAR was his best total since 2010. While he didn't hit over 35 home runs, his 17 HR's and .319 batting average are nothing to be ashamed of.
LAD: 5 outfielders produce at least 2.5 WAR each - The total was met even though the spread was wrong. Yasiel Puig accounted for 5.1 WAR and Scott Van Slyke amounted the next best total of 2.8. Matt Kemp underperformed again and Carl Crawford proved useful when healthy. I hope they get rid of Andre Ethier soon because he only achieved 0.7 WAR over 380 plate appearances. That number won't stay positive for long.
SDP: Padres will have a top 5 rotation - I guess it depends on how you judge them. By ERA, they placed ninth. By WAR, twenty-seventh. Eric Stults was awful as always and I'm honestly shocked they didn't just put a prospect in his spot. Ian Kennedy was a great surprise, as was Odrisamer Despaigne. I'm more bearish on Despaigne because I believe hitters will eventually figure out his release point tricks. Tyson Ross had a good year, and Andrew Cashner only needed to stay healthy the whole season to produce around 4.0 WAR. Jesse Hahn looked good with a nice one-two punch pitch repertoire.
SFG: Gary Brown replaces Morse by midseason, leads Giants to postseason - Is one half good enough? The Giants made the postseason without Gary Brown's help. Michael Morse didn't have a resurgent year but proved worthy of the $6mm contract. Gary Brown is looking more and more like a fourth outfielder type who can fill in for the major league club next season.