Brennen Gorman’s 2018 Bold Predictions in Review

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

In March I made my top-10 Bold Predictions for the 2018 season, let’s see how I did.

1. Taijuan Walker Finishes a Top-20 Starter

Thirteen innings into the season Taijuan Walker tore his UCL and had Tommy John surgery. Not enough of a humidor-filled season to even begin to project how Walker’s season would have played out. He is expected back in April/May in 2019, but expectations are much lower next year. 0/1

2. Jake Arrieta is not a Top-40 Starter

Jake Arrieta fell hard this year, ending not only outside the top-40, but outside the top-70 starters. Arrieta’s splits were once again the tale of two seasons with a 3.23/5.03 split culminating in a 3.96 ERA. Nearly everything went wrong for Arrieta with his fastball, sinker, and curve all bottoming out – Arrieta finished with only 138 strikeouts, continuing his four-year decline. The day’s of Jake Arrieta’s fantasy relevance seems to have finally come to a close. 1/2

3. Christian Yelich is a Top-5 Outfielder…

Christian Yelich finished as the number two outfielder behind Mookie Betts and a pair of RBIs away from the NL Triple Crown. His final stat line was .323/118/36/109/21 — not bad for his first year in Milwaukee. I missed out on my 30/30 sub-prediction, but I’m going to call this a win as Yelich jumped 21 spots from the year prior. 2/3

4. Ronald Acuna wins the NL Rookie of the Year

As it stands now, the emergence of Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna spending a month on the disabled list has all signs pointing to a miss on this prediction. I will count it thusly. In retrospect this was not much of a bold prediction despite the miss – I will do better next year in that regard. 2/4

5. The Detroit Tigers Will Fail to Win 50 Games

Well, only the Baltimore Orioles finished below 50 wins (47) and Detroit ended up with 64 wins – enough for the fifth worst team in the league. As in 2017, Detroit tanked hard in the second half ending with the fifth fewest runs (630) and the eighth most runs allowed (796). Miguel Cabera missed most of the season and Nick Castellanos was the team’s only bright spot and the only reason the team did not finish lower. 2/5

6. Amed Rosario is a Top-5 Shortstop

Easily my biggest swing and a miss, Amed Rosario finished as the 18th best shortstop this season. Rosario was the sixth best shortstop in the final month of play, but on a poor New York offense does not have as many prospects heading into 2019. Rosario came close to my 10/30 prediction going 9/24, but it was his other counting stats (76 runs & 51 RBI) and batting average (.256) that sunk his value. He should go undrafted in 2019, but will make an interesting post-hype sleeper come spring training. 2/6

7. Lance McCullers is Healthy and Finishes a Top-15 Starting Pitcher

So, Lance McCullers was not healthy (missed two months) and did not end the season as a top-15 starter (fell outside the top-100). I stand by this prediction if he were healthy, McCullers dominated in the first half with 119 strikeouts and 21 of the 51 runs he let up in that span came over three games – he had 13 quality starts. McCullers, when healthy, is a (generally) consistent strikeout machine that could be a top-15 starter if he could stay healthy and limit his blowups. Maybe next year. 2/7

8. Bo Bichette Wins the 2018 MiLBY Top Offensive Player

Bo Bichette had a quality season indicative of a budding star, but Vlad Guerrero Jr. stole the show in 2018. Guerrero Jr. slashed .381/.437/.636 with 20 home runs and a 38/37 K/BB in only 357 at-bats. While the MiLBY Top Offensive Player won’t be named for some time yet, I feel comfortable chalking this one up as a miss. 2/8

9. Ozzie Albies is a Top-5 Second Baseman

Is it too late to make it the top-7 second baseman? After peaking in July, Ozzie Albies went off the tracks spiraling into a disastrous August and September – driven largely by a .281/.226 batting average split between his first and second half. The future is still incredibly bright for Albies and he should be drafted as one of the top second basemen in 2019. He’s 21 and on one of the league’s budding offenses, this may be a loss, but I count it as a win for having him on most of my teams for most of the season. 2/9

10. Jonathan Villar Finishes the Season with 50+ Stolen Bases

Had Jonathan Villar played on Baltimore all season, this absolutely would have been a win as Villar stole 21 bases in just 209 at-bats after getting traded in July. Villar has two years left of arbitration and although Baltimore may be a terrible team in 2019, I plan on investing heavily in him especially with a 15+ round value. What’s greener than green (even without Buck Showalter)? Villar in 2019. 2/10

All in all I stand by my predictions. Although nearly all of them did not hit, many of them came close or were trending in the right direction at various points in the season. See you all next year.

Brennen Gorman

A lifetime Tigers fan (oh boy) getting ready to watch some good minor league baseball for the next few years. Liquor lawyer by trade, consumed by baseball statistics for pleasure? Yep. Seems about right.

sdf

Comments


Derek

I agree, Acuna is definitely the favorite for ROY. Similar stats for both of them, but Acuna has more homers, steals, big moments, and is on a playoff team.

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