Continuing on with our weekly Wild Prediction tradition, this week I focus on a pair of hitters. Remember, these are things that I don’t fully expect to happen, but I do believe there is a chance. I’m going to start to put what I feel the chances of occurring are, to give you an idea of just how strongly I feel about these.
If you’ve missed any of the prior predictions, I’ve listed them at the bottom. So, without further adieu, let’s get to it.
Ichiro fails to score 90 runs
I was going to say he failed to score 100 runs, but that’s not really unrealistic is it? Last year he scored just 103 runs, only crossing the plate 20 times in one month (June).
No, that type of prediction would not be far-fetched enough for this column. Still, I’m not sure that him crossing the plate fewer then 90 times is too bad either. He’s hitting atop a line-up with little to no firepower, outside of maybe Adrian Beltre and he’s a complete mystery. Yes, I’m expecting him to have a typical Ichiro season, but falling short here is not completely unrealistic.
His OBP and BABIP has fluctuated throughout his career. Let’s take a look:
- 2004: .401 BABIP, .414 OBP
- 2005: .319 BABIP, .350 OBP
- 2006: .350 BABIP, .370 OBP
- 2007: .390 BABIP, .396 OBP
- 2008: .337 BABIP, .361 OBP
If he were to have another down year (similar to 2005) combined with the weak line-up, things could get ugly.
Chances of happening: 15%
Rickie Weeks will hit .290 or better
The past two seasons, when he has batted .235 and .234, he’s posted BABIP of .289 and .280. That .280 number put him among the 20 worst in all of baseball.
Yes, a little bit of extra luck would certainly go a long ways into helping him out, but is that really what the problem is? Just bad luck? For two consecutive years? It really is tough to argue that. In fact, in a full season at Double A in 2004 (479 AB), he posted an average of just .259. It’s beginning to look like his .279 average in 2006 may have been the anomaly.
So what exactly am I hanging my hat on? Is it just wishful thinking? The fact that he turns 27-years old in September would be enough for some people. It certainly doesn’t hurt matters, that’s for sure, but then again given his track record and career .245 average, how much worse can it get?
This prediction isn’t based on the numbers and it certainly isn’t based on my gut feelings, because he’s a player that I have no desire to have on my roster this season. No, this long shot (and it’s a huge long shot) is based on the talent, talent that everyone has seen glimpses of over the past few seasons. He’s been much heralded for years, and that’s what this prediction is based on. Maybe this year is the year he finally does it!
Chances of happening: 5% (Is that being a little too optimistic?)
Do you think either of these predictions are realistic? Which do you think is more far-fetched?
In case you’ve missed them, here are the predictions I’ve made previously:
January 13 (click here to read)
- Derek Jeter will hit below .280
- Frank Francisco will pick up at least 40 saves while holding the closer’s job all season
January 20 (click here to read)
- Brad Lidge will save 30 games or less
- Edwin Encarnacion will hit at least 35 HR
January 27 (click here to read)
- Erik Bedard will win at least 18 games
- Willy Taveras will hit 5 HR
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.