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bobrob2004

2019 Preseason Predictions

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I did this over at the old MLB forums and they seemed to be popular, so I'm continuing them here.  For the whole month of March, I'll be doing predictions on the starting nine position players and the projected five starting pitchers, about 3 each week to spread them out.  There's no particular order here; I'll do them in whatever order I feel like it.  Normally I don't do bench players and relievers.  I'm starting earlier this year since opening day is the earliest that it's ever been this year.  These predictions are not to be taken too seriously and it gives something to talk about right before opening day on what everyone's expectations are for these players.  I'll also give some experts' predictions/projects for that player.  If the player was here last year, I'll also show what my prediction was as well as how he actually performed.  

Bobrob’s 2019 Preseason Prediction #1 – Nicholas Alexander Castellanos

Nicholas easily had the best season on the Tigers in 2018.  He led the team in home runs (23), RBI (89), and among qualifying players, in batting average (.298), OBP (.354), and SLG (.500).  His 130 OPS was 10 points better than his previous high in 2016.  His 3 WAR is also a career high, despite moving to a lower valued position with still below average defense.

It could be argued that Castellanos went backwards regarding power.  His 23 home runs were 3 fewer than his career high of 26 in 2017. His ISO (.202) was also lower than his previous two seasons (.212 and .218).  After leading the league in triples in 2017, he only hit 5 in 2018.  However, his 46 doubles were a career high and 4th most in the AL.  Usually when looking at a prospect who hits a ton of doubles, the prediction would be that those will eventually turn into home runs.  With Castellanos, his home runs and triples turned into doubles in 2018.  Is it regression?  Bad luck? 

Nick Castellanos is entering his age 27 season.  An age that most would consider entering their “prime years.”  If he can get his home run rate back up as well as maintain his career high walk rate (7.2%), he will have his best season to date, and that’s without a possible improvement in strikeout rate (22.3%). 

His .361 BABIP probably won’t be sustained, but even with a little regression back to .340, he should still be able to hit around the .275-.280 range. Castellanos has always had very good batted ball numbers.  His LD rate (28.8%) and hard hit rate (47.9%) were career bests in 2018.  According to Baseball Savant, his xWOBA was .368, which is lower than his actual wOBA of .363, which actually suggests a bit of bad luck.

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 570 AB | .276/.335/.479 | 23 HR | 86 RBI | 3 SB | 47 BB | 139 K

ZiPS – 596 AB | .277/.330/.497 | 27 HR | 91 RBI | 2 SB | 45 BB | 151 K

THE BAT – 568 AB | .277/.337/.485 | 24 HR | 83 RBI | 3 SB | 49 BB | 137 K

RotoChamp – 601 AB | .288/.340/.498 | 24 HR | 90 RBI | 3 SB | 45 BB | 146 K

CBS Sports – 552 AB | .293/.354/.527 | 25 HR | 87 RBI | 3 SB | 47 BB | 143 K

ESPN – 625 AB | .288/.340/.496 | 25 HR | 89 RBI | 2 SB | 46 BB | 151 K

FanGraphs’ Fans (6) – 600 AB | .283/.347/.508 | 27 HR | 99 RBI | 5 SB | 56 BB | 137 K

My Prediction:

2018 Prediction – 603 AB | .292/.340/.544 | 32 HR | 96 RBI | 2 SB | 42 BB | 121 K

2018 Actual – 620 AB | .298/.354/.500 | 23 HR | 89 RBI | 2 SB | 49 BB | 151 K

 

2019 Prediction – 608 AB | .293/.351/.516 | 27 HR | 87 RBI | 2 SB | 52 BB | 147 K

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I think his home run power will increase, but his batting average will drop a bit.  I am predicting a .275/.335/.515 with 32 homers.  

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4 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think his home run power will increase, but his batting average will drop a bit.  I am predicting a .275/.335/.515 with 32 homers.  

Will you and Bob be setting this up so we can wager on your predictions?

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10 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think his home run power will increase, but his batting average will drop a bit.  I am predicting a .275/.335/.515 with 32 homers.  

Nick hit to the pull field more last year than he had in the past. I think the swing variable will be how much teams choose to shift against him. If he faces more shifts he may go back to going the other way more. That could affect his HR/BA.

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Just now, Gehringer_2 said:

Nick hit to the pull field more last year than he had in the past. I think the swing variable will be if teams start to shift on him. If they do he may try to go the other way more since he can.

Are people still talking about trying to ban shifting? I seem to recall that that was a thing.

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1 minute ago, Blue Square Thing said:

Are people still talking about trying to ban shifting? I seem to recall that that was a thing.

They talk about adding the DH in the NL also. That discussion has gone on for 45 yrs. It's hard to ever know what TPTB are serious about and what is background noise.

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Ah, castellanos. My nemesis. 

I think 2018 will end up being Nick’s career year. I do think he is a solid hitter and at his age will probably be able to find a multi-year deal in the offseason. I expect Avila to spend all season trying to trade him for “something,” and settling for a return that worse than what we got for leonys martin. In the event he sticks here all year, I do not envision the tigers giving him a QO. 

As for a projection, I think we’ll see a similar iso and eye-so. But I think his batting average drops a decent amount. I don’t see him walking more or striking out less or hitting for more power at this point. 

280/335/480 for an ops of 815, coupled with bad defense in right field and something close to 2 WAR by the end of the season. 

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37 minutes ago, Shelton said:

coupled with bad defense in right field

but how bad? I'd put my money on him improving his Rdrs  by 6-9 runs over last season. Nick's nobody's idea of Kevin Kiermaier, but he does work at it and a year's experience at a new position is worth something.

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27 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

but how bad? I'd put my money on him improving his Rdrs  by 6-9 runs over last season. Nick's nobody's idea of Kevin Kiermaier, but he does work at it and a year's experience at a new position is worth something.

I think Nick's defense will be about the same as last year.  But I also think he'll DH about 30 games, so his overall DRS will probably be better.  

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My prediction?  I signed up for a half marathon on Oct 6 and the Tigers season will be over by then.  No worries about a home playoff game conflict. That's why I waited until now to sign up for one

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59 minutes ago, Oblong said:

My prediction?  I signed up for a half marathon on Oct 6 and the Tigers season will be over by then.  No worries about a home playoff game conflict. That's why I waited until now to sign up for one

One of the advantages of the Tigers being crappy is a I get to hike more without thinking about missing games.  

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Bobrob’s 2019 Preseason Prediction #2 – Jose Miguel Cabrera Torres

At this point in Miggy’s career, the hardest prediction to make will be, how many games will he play?  After having his worst season in 2017, Miggy bounced back and showed us he was still able to hit close to .300.  Unfortunately, it was only in 157 PA.  Looking beyond batting average though, there were still some areas of struggle from 2017 that were still present in 2018.  Mostly in the power department.  His ISO of .149 was identical from his bad 2017 season.  He only hit 3 home runs, which translates into about 13 over al full season’s worth of PA (an even lower rate than his bad 2017 season).

Miggy has always had a high walk rate, but his 14% rate in 2018 was even higher than his career mark of 11.2%.  It may be a conscious thing, to sacrifice power to maintain a high batting average and on-base percentage.  Miggy’s HR/FB ratio (13.6%) was consistent from 2017 (13.4%), however his GB% peaked over 50%.  Miggy cannot do much damage when more than half of his batted balls are hit on the ground.  This is an adjustment he will have to make, which, considering it’s Miggy, will be easy enough to do.

Miggy will never be an MVP threat again.  He simply will never get 650 PA again, either due to injuries or days off.  What we can hope for is a near .300 batting average and a near .400 on-base percentage again with enough power to justify keeping in the 3 spot in the lineup.  Which should be easy enough for Cabrera.  Exactly how much playing time will he get?  Your guess is as good as mine.  

 

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 456 AB | .283/.368/.480 | 20 HR | 72 RBI | 1 SB | 66 BB | 115 K

ZiPS – 389 AB | .275/.361/.447 | 15 HR | 58 RBI | 0 SB | 52 BB | 86 K

THE BAT – 552 AB | .283/.368/.469 | 22 HR | 80 RBI | 2 SB | 73 BB | 121 K

RotoChamp – 502 AB | .283/.366/.464 | 21 HR | 78 RBI | 0 SB | 66 BB | 107 K

CBS Sports – 489 AB | .262/.348/.434 | 18 HR | 72 RBI | 0 SB | 63 BB | 117 K

ESPN – 458 AB | .282/.363/.463 | 19 HR | 74 RBI | 0 SB | 59 BB | 99 K

FanGraphs’ Fans (6) – 461 AB | .299/.390/.488 | 20 HR | 83 RBI | 0 SB | 68 BB | 88 K

My Prediction:

2018 Prediction – 460 AB | .296/.377/.480 | 21 HR | 59 RBI | 0 SB | 58 BB | 89 K

2018 Actual – 134 AB | .299/.395/.448 | 3 HR | 22 RBI | 0 SB | 22 BB | 27 K

 

2019 Prediction – 265 AB | .291/.367/.460 | 9 HR | 41 RBI | 0 SB | 32 BB | 54 K

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3 minutes ago, bobrob2004 said:

Bobrob’s 2019 Preseason Prediction #2 – Jose Miguel Cabrera Torres

  Exactly how much playing time will he get?  Your guess is as good as mine.

2019 Prediction – 265 AB

Well aren't you a ray of sunshine.    😉

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Bobrob’s 2019 Preseason Prediction #3 – Matthew Robert Boyd

Boyd was the second best pitcher on the Tigers’ in 2018 after Mike Fiers.  There’s a good chance that he may become the best pitcher on the Tigers in 2019.  He led the team in wins (9), IP (170 1/3), strikeouts (159) and among Tiger starters with at least 24 starts, led in ERA (4.39), FIP (4.45), and WHIP (1.157) in 2018. 

Boyd is no all-star player.  It’s likely the Tigers will not have an all-star pitcher at all on their 2019 roster.  But there are some areas to be optimistic about.  He is the only Tigers starting pitcher that can approach a 9 K/9 and I love pitchers that can strike out hitters.  His walk rate also improved from 2017 (8.8-7.2%). 

The most concerning thing about Boyd is the home run ball.  He gave up 27 home runs with a HR/9 of 1.43 (8th most in the majors).  This isn’t the first time Boyd had a home run problem, in 2016 Boyd had a 1.57 HR/9.  Part of the problem is the amount of fly balls he was allowing. Boyd’s FB rate was nearly 50 percent according to FanGraphs (2nd most in all of baseball behind Justin Verlander).  This is a huge increase from a year ago (39.5%) and while Comerica Park is a huge ballpark, Boyd is no Verlander.

Boyd has had patches of good numbers, but he has yet to put it altogether.  For his first 13 starts in 2018, Boyd had a 3.23 ERA with only 6 home runs allowed (0.72 HR/9).  But in his last 18 starts, he had a 5.31 ERA with 21 home runs allowed (1.99 HR/9).  This is also around the same time pitching coach Chris Bosio was replaced by Rick Anderson, but it may just be a coincidence.

 

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 170 IP | 9-11 W/L | 4.82 ERA | 1.35 WHIP | 149 K | 57 BB

ZiPS – 159 IP | 10-10 W/L | 4.47 ERA | 1.32 WHIP | 136 K | 50 BB

THE BAT – 170 IP | 9-11 W/L | 4.03 ERA | 1.21 WHIP | 169 K | 56 BB

RotoChamp – 167 IP | 9-10 W/L | 4.42 ERA | 1.29 WHIP | 149 K | 54 BB

CBS Sports – 171 IP | 8-15 W/L | 4.53 ERA | 1.33 WHIP | 160 K | 59 BB

ESPN – 172 IP | 9 W | 4.29 ERA | 1.20 WHIP | 161 K | 53 BB

FanGraphs’ Fans – N/A

My Prediction:

2018 Prediction – N/A

2018 Actual – 170 1/3 IP | 9-13 W/L | 4.39 ERA | 1.157 WHIP | 159 K | 51 BB

 

2019 Prediction – 177 IP | 11-11 W/L | 4.07 ERA | 1.232 WHIP | 165 K | 53 BB

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I predict that all those light hitting, minor league middle infielders that Avila traded for in the previous few years will continue to be light hitting, minor league middle infielders in 2019 unless the Tigers release them.

I also predict that Avila will trade Castellanos for 2 more light hitting, minor league middle infielder types that will reach their ceiling of being light hitting, minor league middle infielders in the years to come until they are released or not resigned by the Tigers

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I also predict that Cabrera gets injured running out a weak ground ball to second base sometime in the middle of May and will miss the majority of the season.

Daniel Norris will be on the DL at least 50% of the season.

Shane Greene will lose the closer role at the beginning of June.

 

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1 hour ago, gmoney said:

Shane Greene will lose the closer role at the beginning of June.

...to VerHagen.

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8 hours ago, gmoney said:

I also predict that Cabrera gets injured running out a weak ground ball to second base sometime in the middle of May and will miss the majority of the season.

Daniel Norris will be on the DL at least 50% of the season.

Shane Greene will lose the closer role at the beginning of June.

 

Pathetic. Get a new schtick. 

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I don't think we will see many/any of the young guys get shots anytime before the ASB. The roster is full coming out of the gate. Shortstop could be interesting soonest. If Mercer doesn't hit, and he probably won't, then Gardy is going to want a better glove and maybe W Castro gets the 1st tryout.

In the OF, things are set until any of JaCoby, Stewart or Mahtook slump badly enough to lose their jobs, or Nick is traded. Reyes or Cameron likeliest the first OF call-ups.

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10 minutes ago, Tim Mitchell said:

Mikie is the odd man out.

 I figure he's got the 4th outfield gig until he plays himself out of it.  He can put the ball in the seats and he's out of options. For both those reasons I'll predict he will get a fair amount of rope.

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11 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I don't think we will see many/any of the young guys get shots anytime before the ASB. The roster is full coming out of the gate. Shortstop could be interesting soonest. If Mercer doesn't hit, and he probably won't, then Gardy is going to want a better glove and maybe W Castro gets the 1st tryout.

In the OF, things are set until any of JaCoby, Stewart or Mahtook slump badly enough to lose their jobs, or Nick is traded. Reyes or Cameron likeliest the first OF call-ups.

yeah, I think the position players are mostly set for opening day.  I'm not expecting any surprises there.  The bullpen is wide open, but it probably will be all year.      

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