Once again, it’s time for my weekly “Wild Predictions”. If you are new to Rotoprofessor, keep in mind that these are occurrences that I wouldn’t expect to happen more then 20% of the time (in most cases, the chances are a lot less then that). How far-fetched are this week’s predictions? Let’s take a look…
Rafael Furcal steals at least 40 bases
The craziness of this prediction is more along the lines of Furcal’s ability to stay healthy as opposed to his actual talent on the field. He’s already stolen 46 bases in a season (in 2005), as well as following it up with a 37 steal season.
Granted, he stole only 25 bases in 2007, which certainly makes this a little bit more of a stretch. Last season he had stolen 8 bases in 143 AB, which would have put him on pace for about 35 steals if he were to stay healthy the entire year.
Is it that far of a stretch to see him pick up the pace a little bit and return to 40 SB?
I guess I should mention that only 9 players in baseball stole at least 40 bases last season. It’s going to be difficult, but considering that he’s proven capable in the past, I don’t think this is that far of a stretch. Well, at least by Wild Prediction standards.
Chance of Happening: 16%
Scott Kazmir wins 10 games or less
Wait, what? I know, we all know the talent that Kazmir has and I swear, this is not a bitter Mets fan talking.
First of all, you have to be worried about him hitting the DL at some point in 2009. He’s just one of those pitchers that brings that fear every time he takes the mound. Part of it is justified, with three stints on the DL over the past three seasons (two of which came in 2006).
He also is often unable to go deep into games, as I’ve discussed before. Last season he lasted more then 6 innings in just 6 of his 27 starts. I don’t care how good of a bullpen you have, putting that much pressure on them is going to lead to at least a few blown games (if he even has the lead when he’s forced out). It’s inevitable.
The Rays were one of the shocking stories last season and there’s no reason to expect them to suddenly fade into the sunset. They have an extremely talented team and should continue to win plenty of games. Unfortunately, with the two things I mentioned, as well as a potential regression in general (.275 BABIP, 3.49 ERA in ‘08), it’s possible that Kazmir struggles this season.
Chance of Happening: 8%
What do you think? Do either of these have a chance of happening?
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
February 3 (click here to read)
- Ichiro scores less then 90 runs
- Rickie Weeks hits .290 or better
February 10 (click here to read)
- Carlos Beltran hits at least 45 HR
- Jose Ceda saves at least 25 games
February 17 (click here to read)
- Troy Tulowitzki drives in at least 120 RBI
- Zack Greinke strikes out at least 220 batters
February 24 (click here to read)
- Randy Johnson strikes out at least 200 batters
- Adam LaRoche drives in at least 120 RBI
March 3 (click here to read)
- Ryan Doumit hits at least 28 HR
- Ian Snell posts an ERA under 4.00
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.