In this day and age everybody likes to make predictions in sports and I’m no different. At the beginning of the baseball season I predicted everything. I predicted where the teams would finish, who would win all the awards and who would lead the league in each stat. I predicted everything except for how many minor league pitchers would pretend like the rosen bag is a grenade and throw it at the umpire.
So now it’s time for me to brag. Here are my ten best predictions in the 2007 season:
10. Gil Meche
I wrote an article specifically about Gil Meche and said that the Kansas City Royals decision to pay him 11 million year was a good decision. I’m sure some people still disagree with the amount they paid him but I was right that the move would pay off. Gil Meche had a great season and while he’s not worth 11 million the Kansas City Royals have to offer that much to get a player to choose to go there over another team.
9. Jose Reyes
In my article about who would lead the Majors in stolen bases I chose Jose Reyes. I know what you’re thinking. “Well duh! Who else would it be? That was an easy prediction to make.” You’re absolutely right but I didn’t get many predictions right so I had to include the obvious ones just to be able to make a list of ten predictions that I got right.
8. Top Ten Baseball Stories
I was wrong about Ichiro being a big story this year. I thought in Ichiro’s contract year he would put up record-breaking numbers but he didn’t. Other than that most of my top stories were right though, Bonds homerun chase, Biggio’s 3,000th hit, Alex Rodriguez/Yankees, New York’s pitching, Roger Clemens’ return.
7. Alex Rodriguez
Maybe predicting that Alex Rodriguez would lead the league in homeruns, win the MVP and Silver Slugger Award weren’t very tough predictions but I did specifically say that Alex Rodriguez would have more than 120 runs, 120 RBI, 40 HR, 20 steals and a .300 average so at least that’s something.
6. Scott Kazmir
When predicting what third year starters were going to have the best season I picked Scott Kazmir as number one and I think it turned out to be a good prediction. I’m sure some will point out that Chris Young had a 3.16 ERA but Kazmir’s 3.48 is pretty good too. Not to mention Scott Kazmir had the better winning percentage, more wins and even though nobody is talking about him he actually led the American League in strikeouts and finished one strikeout shy of Jake Peavy for the Major League lead.
5. Hunter Pence
Back in spring training I said that Hunter Pence looked liked the best rookie in the National League. I know Hunter Pence isn’t going to win the Rookie of the Year over Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki but that’s mainly due to an injury. Before Hunter Pence got injured he had just as good a chance as the other two.
4. National League Manager of the Year
When I predicted this year’s National League Manager of the Year I said that my third and second place finishers Clint Hurdle and Bob Melvin deserved to win but that Lou Pinella would probably win it just because he is Lou Pinella, he manages the Cubs and they are going to win their division. The Manager of the Year has not been decided yet but I could still see that happening and I’m pretty sure the three of them will be the top three in some order.
3. Chicago Cubs
Some people liked the Chicago Cubs after the addition of Alfonso Soriano but there were definitely some haters out there too that thought the Soriano project would be another failed attempt for the Cubs. I picked the Cubs to win the National League Central though and now here they are in the playoffs.
2. Brad Hawpe
Quick! Name the only team in the National League with two players in the top 6 in RBI. Nope it’s not the Phillies or Mets or Braves, it’s the Colorado Rockies. Some people believe that the age of 27 is when a baseball player really starts to break out so I picked some 27 year olds that were going to do just that. One of the guys I picked was Brad Hawpe. Brad Hawpe improved this season in runs, hits, homeruns, RBI, walks, on base percentage, slugging and OPS and finished sixth in the league in RBI with 116.
1. National League West
What a crazy season for the National League West. Four teams were in the race almost the entire year. The Dodgers hung around forever and then just suddenly collapsed. The Padres had a very good season but just couldn’t outlast the Rockies. The Rockies came out of nowhere to win the Wild Card and the Diamondbacks won the division despite giving up more runs than they scored. Who could have guessed that would happen? Nobody thought the Diamondbacks would win the division. Nobody thought the Rockies would finish second. Nobody except for me. Way back in my National League West preview I picked the National League West to end in this order. 1. Arizona 2. Colorado 3. San Diego 4. Los Angeles 5. San Francisco