Look. I’m not one to toot my own horn exactly, though I’m not averse to it when it’s earned. More so, though, I hate admitting I’m wrong, so when our benevolent overlord Bret Sayre suggested we look back at our own predictions, I immediately began digging for something, anything I did right. Three weeks and two playoff spotlights later, I found it.
Just prior to the start of the season I wrote about five NL Post-Prospects to watch, and I’ll be damaged if I didn’t
light that country music award on fire knock this one out of the park. Let’s ignore the fact that I rarely make firm predictions because I’m a big wuss (and did I mention I hate being wrong), but rather endorsed or advised against players more generally. Still, let’s see how that worked.
- What I said: Grab a chair before reading this next sentence but… it was vague. Basically I talked about what he did in 2013 and said “slider usage should allow him to miss more bats, and subsequently take a step forward as a fantasy asset.”
- What happened: He kept his slider usage just south of 30 percent, as he did in the second half of 2013, and voila, the strikeouts stuck around. he upped his strikeout rate by two percentage points and lowered his walk rate by the same token. His ground-ball rate went up by two percentage points as well; as did his HR/FB percentage. His FIP was still north of 4.00, but his 3.53 ERA was a dynamic improvement. He was well worth owning even in shallower leagues for much of the season.
- Grade: B+ (lost points for generality)
- What I said: He could be a positive contributor in batting average as soon as 2014, with power coming down the line.
- What happened: A .287 average was a huge positive as the league-average offense continued it’s precipitous decline. The power came sooner than expected as well, as Arenado pushed his .405 slugging from 2013 to .500 in 2014. With 18 home runs in only 11 games, 25 home runs seem well within reach come 2015, if he can stay healthy.
- Grade: A
- What I said: He’s not a) slated to be out for the year or b) Freddy Garcia. He gets good results despite ugly mechanics, and his injury risk isn’t such a big deal in redraft leagues.
- What happened: He continued to not be Freddy Garcia, so that was an easy win. He posted career-best strikeout and walk rates over 171 2/3 innings. There’s almost no chance he didn’t outperform wherever you drafted him at, and while injury concerns will always be present, the payoff is massive when he’s healthy.
- Grade: A
- What I said: He’d continue to give up a bunch of home runs in an environment that didn’t suit his skills, as long as he started.
- What happened: Delgado trimmed his home-run rate by a healthy margin and posted a 25 percent strikeout rate (!). Most of that damage was done in relief, though. Still, his awful surface stats aren’t supported by his solid peripherals, and as long as he’s in relief he should be able to hide his relatively straight fastball with plus velocity.
- Grade: C-
- What I said: While his slugging percentage was unsustainable, he didn’t need to repeat it to be useful. Still, in the end his overall profile was better as a OF3 or OF4 in fantasy, thanks to a lack of speed and batting average.
- What happened: He only hit .244, but thanks to a terrible league-average line that actually wasn’t so bad. His 22 home runs were great, and while his slugging did drop to .457, that was more than useful to fantasy owners. OF4 was an underestimation of Davis’ quality, but OF3 seems about right thanks to his limited overall impact. The power would seemingly push him higher, but an utter lack of speed (four stolen bases) and the weak average/on-base numbers tamp down his overall value.
- Grade: B