Aug 18, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (right) greets shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) at home plate after Simmons hit a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Here are my positive bold predictions. Some are bolder than others. The negative bold predictions are up next.
C – The trio of 2014 A’s catchers all have very good years in 2015 with more at-bats each and a DH role for John Jaso. Stephen Vogt will also pick up catcher eligibility within two weeks. All three of them are top 10 catchers by season’s end.
1B – Even losing some at-bats to lefties, Lucas Duda repeats 2014 even though he went outside the top 100 picks. He is the best bargain at a loaded position.
1B – Freddie Freeman actually has more runs and RBI’s than he did in 2014 despite a lineup of nobodies surrounding him. You may have forgotten that the Braves had one of baseball’s worst offenses last year. There is not much room to go down.
2B – Neil Walker again leads the 2B position in power production. He stays healthy and collects RBI’s daily hitting behind Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen. Walker’s line in 150+ games is approximately 80/25/90/5/.270.
2B – Devon Travis wins the 2B job in Toronto, steals 25 bases, and hits .300.
3B – Nolan Arenado is a fringe first-rounder by 2016. Road struggles? That is cute. Call me when he gets traded. Arenado is very receptive to coaching and will continue to improve his already great game. Remember when he was a bad fielder as a prospect? No? Now, he is a Gold Glove caliber defender. He flirts with 30/100/.300.
OF – Rajai Davis leads the AL in stolen bases.
OF – Drew Stubbs finds 400 plate appearances and goes 20/20 with 80% of the production in Coors. Even with these very impressive numbers, he is still the fourth best fantasy OF in Colorado this year.
OF – Chris Young hits 7 bombs in April, and then he only hits 4 more for the rest of the season.
SP – Arrieta is legit. Not sure why there are any doubters after watching him last year.
SP – Matt Shoemaker laughs in the face of projected regression and posts a 3.25 ERA. He has great control and knows how to keep the ball down. I really do not understand the poor projections for him.
RP – Steve Cishek performs like an elite closer with an 11 K/9, 40 saves, and a 2.00 ERA.
RP – Adam Ottovino attends the (metaphorical) funeral of old man Hawkins in May, grabs the ball from his cold, dead hand, and does not look back. He records 25 saves for savvy owners who play the waiver wire early on.