I personally enjoy looking back on some early season predictions, even when they didn’t turn out as well as you might’ve hoped. I think things can be learned from the processes that hopefully make you sharper when going forward. Not every incorrect prediction came because of a poor process, nor does every successful prediction validate your process.
Let’s take a look back at a set of predictions I made this past spring. We’ll look at the results from a deep-dive into some substitute players who impressed enough to suggest that they might be big fantasy assets with a full-time role.
Davis’ 2013 line extrapolated to a huge .279-106-43-106-12 effort over 600 PA, but I was a bit more modest suggesting that “a 25-homer season with handful of stolen bases (he had full season of 17 and 10 in the minors) is well within reach.”
Result: He rewarded spring patience with a huge early summer before eventually sputtering to the finish line with a .186 AVG, .567 OPS, and two homers in his final 30 games. All in all, the outlook wasn’t too far off the mark as he delivered 22 HRs and four stolen bases. A handful in my estimation is something north of about eight, so that’s a miss, but the power plays and made him a top-50 outfielder in the end.
Speaking of power, that was Asche’s only real appeal, and even that was muted as he paced to 17 HRs if you extrapolated his 50-game sample from 2013. Alas, the power-starved era we’re in makes a mid-teens home run hitting third baseman quite useful.
Result: Only six surpassed that figure in 2014 with none reaching 30 (Donaldson and Frazier, 29). Asche wasn’t one of them, mustering just 10 despite nearly 2.5 times the playing time. A month missed to a bum hamstring didn’t help, but even giving home those games only raises him to 12 given his pace.
Garcia got some legitimate sleeper buzz heading into the season, as the 23-year-old appeared to have a full-time role in hand and the skills to turn that into something very meaningful. He showed an impressive mix of skills, netting seven homers and three steals in limited work with the Tigers and White Sox. A full season of work should see him easily double both figures.
Result: A torn left labrum suffered on April 10th essentially ended his season before it started. He returned ahead of schedule on August 16th and ended up logging a useful 156 PA before season’s end. His numbers weren’t excellent upon his return, but it was nice to see him return and show plenty of power even in a limited sample. Despite 66 fewer PA than last year, he matched homer total, fell just two shy of his 31 RBI from last year, and tacked on a stolen base with a far better success rate (4-for-5 after 3-for-6). He’ll make the sub-200 PA range for the 2015 run of this exercise.
Forsythe was someone who just needed a run of health to show what he could do around the diamond. He is one of those super-utilty guys who doesn’t excel in any one category, but instead contributes something worthwhile in all of them. He was included here as a member of the Padres, but had I known he was going to get traded out of Petco Park, I’d have been even higher on him.
Result: Turns out I should’ve been lower on him. A lot, lot, lot lower. He finally stayed healthy, but logged just 336 PA despite a career-high 110 games played due to poor performance. The Rays don’t seem to have located their next Ben Zobrist. Forsythe matched his six homers from both 2012 and 2013 while his 26 RBI matched 2012’s career-high, and he dropped his stolen bases for the second straight season down to just two. With 2B being the only position he logged more than six games, he lost some of the flexibility that at least gave him a modicum of value in only leagues.
When you pop 14 homers in fewer than 100 games as a 22-year old, you get noticed. Arcia did just that with the Twins in 2013 as part of the first run of prospects headed to the Twin Cities. Despite some heavy swing-and-miss in his game, the budding youngster was a very intriguing power target for the outfield, especially if you could build your team in a way that hid his batting average.
Result: He beat Garcia to the DL (April 9-10), and though he didn’t have as gloomy an outlook, he still missed 43 games, which left with barely enough time to eclipse his 2013 workload, let alone register full-time work. He continues to impress with the power, notching six extra homers (20) despite just 32 extra plate appearances. While 400 PA is the cutoff for this particular exercise, Arcia deserves heavy consideration again in 2015.
Miller did a bit of everything in 335 PA showcase in 2013. He showed extra-base power (8 HR, 6 3B), some speed (5 SB), and looked like he could develop into something closer to a .295 hitter as opposed to the .265 he had as a rookie.
Result: Nope. He was positively nightmarish for three of the six months this season which tanked his season. He hit .310 in Apr-May… if you add his batting averages from those months together. He actually hit .158 in 152 AB. He exploded in June with a .298 AVG and five homers as he seemed poised to pull out of his slump only to slink back down to .172 AVG and 0 HRs in July. He got back in a groove in August despite losing his full-time role, and he ended up closing with a .301 AVG and .894 OPS in Aug-Sep (although it was just 34 games since he played so sporadically in August).
With 411 PA, he also misses the chance to re-appear in the list, but I’m not writing him off. You have to be careful doing this kind of stuff, but I think there’s use in splitting his good and his bad. In April, May, and July he hit .162 with a .474 OPS and just three homers in 234 PA. In June, August, and September he hit .299 with an .873 OPS and seven homers in 177 PA.
Thank you for reading
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