Alright, so I (regrettably) owe it to all of you to analyze the predictions I made before the season started. Some of these I feel pretty good about, but overall, not my best work. I did win my Fantasy Baseball league, however, so at least my guesswork there was pretty solid. Without further ado, let's dig in:
1. Oswaldo Arcia is the AL Home Run leader (wrong. 0/1)
Not even close. Arcia hit two early on, then succumbed to a lengthy injury. He returned and went down to AAA, where he only managed to hit 12 home runs, with a .199 BA. It is hard to tell what his future is with the Twins, and in Major League Baseball. Chris Davis was the leader with 47, only 45 more than Arcia.
2. Nelson Cruz hits less than 30 home runs (wrong. 0/2)
I'm not upset I got this one wrong. I worked for the Mariners this summer and got to see a lot of Nelson's blasts up close and personal, and it was a very fun experience! Cruz hit .302 with 44 bombs, second only to Davis.
3. Kris Bryant hits over 25 home runs after getting called up (Yes! 1/3)
Bryant had a tremendous rookie campaign, hitting 26 home runs with 99 RBI's and a .275 BA. He was an All-Star, the NL Rookie of the Year, and finished 11th in MVP Voting. Look for big things for him in the future with the Cubbies.
4. Jose Iglesias wins the AL SS Gold Glove award (wrong. 1/4)
Alcides Escobar took the award this year, and though I think Iglesias was the mret exciting defensive SS to watch, Escobar had a great year defensively, and Iglesias struggled a bit more than expected. He's still young, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a few come his way in the future.
5. James Paxton wins 15 games, records over 180 strikeouts (wrong. 1/5)
Injuries once again derailed what looked to be a promising season for Paxton, and we have yet to see what he can do with a full season under his belt. He finished 2015 with a 3-4 record, 3.90 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 56 K's in 67 innings. He still has some work to do to get the K numbers where they could be, but until we see a full season of him, it will be hard to know what kind of skill level he possesses at the big league level.
6. Albert Pujols passes Mike Schmidt (548) on the all-time home run list this season (Yes! 2/6)
This was the first goal I officially got to put in the books as correct, as Albert mashed his way to 28 home runs at the All-Star break, finishing with 40 overall - his most since 2010 with St. Louis. It was great to see Albert back to "Machine" form, and I hope he passes a few more people next year.
7. The San Diego Padres finish below .500. (Yes! 3/7)
My buddy who is a Padres fan blamed me all year for their woes, saying my prediction is what caused their disappointing season. Troy, here's to hoping you find a new infield (except Gyorko) and make me predict that they win 100 games and make the WS next year.
8. Mike Trout joins the 40-40 club. (wrong. 3/8)
I acknowledged right off the bat that this was a bold prediction, so I'm not surprised I didn't get this one. Trout did have his first 40 HR season, but the home run output by Pujols meant Trouty didn't have to run as much, hence the 11 steals he finished with last year. Trout certainly has the skillset for a 40-40 season, however, so don't be surprised if he chases that type of performance in the near future.
9. Drew Smyly finishes in the top 10 for the AL Cy Young award. (wrong. 3/9)
A 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 10.4 K/9 over a full season would almost certainly put you into the conversation as a top 10 Cy Young candidate. Those are the numbers Smyly put up last year - only problem is that they were over 66 innings as Smyly battled a very serious shoulder injury that derailed most of his season. A full, healthy season of Smyly could easily be one of the top ten starters in the American League.
10. Brian Dozier hits more HR than every other second baseman in the league. (Yes! 4/10)
Dozier Bulldozed his way to 28 home runs last year, seven more than second place two bagger Robinson Cano. Dozier didn't hit particularly well outside of all the dingers, however, and will need to improve upon that to become one of the top tier second baseman in the game.
11. George Springer hits 35+ home runs. (wrong. 4/11)
Not quite. Springer struggled with injuries (the theme of my predictions so far) and wasn't able to find the power stroke that he used to swat 20 home runs in 78 games in 2014. He managed 16 last year in 102 games, a clear step backward. Hopefully he can have a healthy offseason and display some more of that power next year.
12. AL play-off teams: Mariners, Royals, Red Sox, Angels, Tigers. (1/5) (5/16)
Yikes. I'm a big AL fan, and only mustered 1/5 play-off teams. In fact, only the Angels came close to making the Play-offs, the Mariners, Red Sox, and Tigers all finished near or at the bottom of their divisions. Just goes to show how unpredictable a full season of baseball can really be.
13. NL play-off teams: Dodgers, Pirates, Nationals, Cardinals, Brewers (3/5) (8/21)
"The NL Central is a power division, and the Cubs are just on the outside
looking in while their prospects continue to develop together."
^ That is what I wrote for my prediction last year, and it is mostly true, with the exception of course being that the Cubs prospect development happened much sooner than anticipated. Also, 4/5 were very solid predictions, but man the Brewers were bad.
14. Red Sox and Cardinals play for the World Series. (0/2 - 8/23)
"I hate, hate, hate myself for this prediction. God I hate myself for this prediction."
I still hate that I made this prediction - but I'm glad neither team made the World Series.
15. Red Sox in 7. (0/1) (8/24)
33% correct. Not as bad as I thought, and I am proud of the ones that I did get right, but hopefully some room for improvement for next year! I need a team doctor on hand when I make my predictions, otherwise I'll continue to predict big season for players who end up missing large chunks of time due to injuries.