I’ve thought about a lot of things that I’ve wanted to blog about lately, but haven’t had the time. Here are a few predictions for 2006. I have my reasons, and I may reveal them in time.
— Oscar Villarreal will pitch less than 30 innings.
— Horacio Ramirez is going to have his worst season yet.
— Lance Cormier will be the most-reliable middle-reliever in the pen.
— Chris Reitsma will be a solid set-up man or closer.
— Andruw Jones will make 2005 look mediocre.
— Chipper Jones will continue his excellent play. If he stays healthy, he is an MVP candidate.
— Marcus Giles will have an OPS of less than .800.
— Adam LaRoche will have an OPS greater than .800 (does not apply if he isn’t platooned).
— Kelly Johnson will out-hit Jeff Francoeur (assuming KJ stays healthy and isn’t sent to AAA).
— Andy Marte will out-hit Jeff Francoeur (the Indians will find room for him).
— Brian McCann will out-hit Jeff Francoeur.
— Johnny Estrada will have an OPS greater than .750.
— The O’s ERA will drop and the Braves ERA will rise. Their ERAs will be within 0.25 runs.
Addendum: Looks like Dave Pinto has called me out on my Jeff Francoeur prediction—rightly so—so I’ll at least answer why for this one. Here are the PrOPS for the Braves. Though Francoeur predicts quite well, when I published the numbers back in December I wrote the following:
Francoeur’s projection is higher than what I think he will do. Since I happened to watch most of his at-bats, I think much of his good contact was the product of terrible scouting. I’ll never forget the 0-2 change-up that dropped into the zone Odalis Perez threw him, which Jeff deposited in the bleachers. I was thinking, “how dumb can you be?” That won’t happen again this year, but he will prove his worth as a pro by his adjustments. I can’t say how he’ll do, and neither can PrOPS. The same should be said for ALL of the rookies.
I didn’t see as many problems with the other rookies. Johnson and McCann showed much better patience at the plate, and Johnson was extremely PrOPS unlucky. He was hitting line-drives right at people when he started his big-league career 0-30 (or something like that). The only question about Kelly is his arm health.