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bobrob2004

2021 Preseason Predictions

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1 hour ago, bobrob2004 said:

Bobrob’s 2021 Preseason Prediction #10 – JaCoby Mylon Jones

JaCoby Jones has been with the Tigers for the past 5 years, one of the longest current tenured Tigers – only Miguel Cabrera, Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris, and Buck Farmer have been here longer.  And during that time he has only appeared in over 100 games once, in 2018.  See, durability is not one of JaCoby Jones’ strong suits (even in 2020, he only appeared in slightly over half the games the Tigers played).

2020 was JaCoby Jones’ age 28 season, an age where most players have their best seasons, and this was certainly the case for Jones.  He had career highs in batting average (.268), on-base percentage (.333), slugging percentage (.515), and OPS+ (127).  He only hit 5 home runs due to the small sample size, but he had a 4.6 percent home run rate, and a 13 percent extra base hit rate, both career highs.  Is the power going to be consistent, though?  He has steadily increased his power over the last few years:

2018: .156 ISO

2019: .195 ISO

2020: .247 ISO

I believe that the small sample size of 2020 is inflating his power a bit, but I could see him closer to his 2019 power numbers.

Another thing that could be inflated in 2020 is his batting average.  Going into the 2020, Jones had a .211 career batting average.  Jumping to .268 is a big leap, especially given his .356 BABIP.  His batting average of .350 on fly balls seems to be more luck than talent.  I expect a regression in 2021.

 

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 441 AB | .228/.296/.388 | 14 HR | 51 RBI | 10 SB | 35 BB | 148 K

ZiPS – 392 AB | .235/.299/.416 | 14 HR | 43 RBI | 9 SB | 28 BB | 129 K

THE BAT – 458 AB | .229/.298/.394 | 15 HR | 52 RBI | 10 SB | 38 BB | 149 K

 RotoChamp – 459 AB | .233/.302/.410 | 16 HR | 50 RBI | 10 SB | 35 BB | 152 K

CBS Sports – 439 AB | .255/.324/.431 | 16 HR | 52 RBI | 7 SB | 40 BB | 127 K

ESPN – 275 AB | .236/.304/.418 | 9 HR | 27 RBI | 7 SB | 20 BB | 91 K

My Prediction:

2020 Prediction – 410 AB | .212/.276/.415 | 16 HR | 37 RBI | 14 SB | 32 BB | 140 K

2020 Actual – 97 AB | .268/.333/.515 | 5 HR | 14 RBI | 1 SB | 7 BB | 34 K

 

2021 Prediction – 383 AB | .225/.286/.415 | 13 HR | 32 RBI | 8 SB | 25 BB | 124 K

The thing with JaCoby is that I think it's getting to the point where we should admit that maybe he is just a streaky player and stop imagining that he has turned the corner into becoming Willie Mays each time he goes on a 100 AB hot streak with some batting approach tweak. He seems to always regress back to the high strike out guy he is. Maybe it's in there but it just can't get out because he can't stay on the field, but in the end isn't that a distinction without a difference? I fine with putting him out there this year, maybe he will sustain something in a way he hasn't in the past, but I don't want to bank on it. I certainly would not be averse to moving him if he gets hot again and generates some trade interest.

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Bobrob’s 2021 Preseason Prediction #11 – Jose Miguel Urena Rodriguez

When Spring Training began, it was unclear whether Jose Urena was going to be a starter or a reliever.  But with Turnbull going on the DL and Casey Mize destined for Toledo, room cleared in the starting rotation.

Jose Urena showed promise in his young career in 2017-18 when he pitched over 340 innings with a 3.90 ERA.  In 2019, he was the opening day starter for the Marlins, but struggled with consistency.  After 13 starts and an ERA of 4.70, he suffered a herniated disc injury and was placed on the IL and missed about 2 months.  When he came back, he struggled in 10 relief appearances, allowing 10 earned runs in 11 innings.  In 2020, Urena didn’t appear in any games until September, only making 5 starts with a 5.40 ERA before missing the playoffs with a freak injury after getting hit in the arm by a line drive.

During his two good years, Urena struggled with wildness, leading the league in hit batsmen both years.  However, he improved on his walk rate, going from 3.4 BB/9 in 2017 to 2.6 BB/9 in 2018.  His strikeout rate is nothing to get excited about, 6.1 K/9 for his career, peaking at 6.7 K/9 in 2018.  Overall, Urena may have been a bit lucky in his two good years:  

2017: 3.82 ERA | 5.20 FIP

2018: 3.98 ERA | 4.17 FIP

2019: 5.21 ERA | 4.74 FIP

2020: 5.40 ERA | 6.06 FIP

While Urena is only entering his age 29 season, the fact that he is injury prone, does not strike out batters, is wild with his pitches, and deliberately throws at hitters who are on a hot streak (Ron Acuna, Jr.) does not leave me with much hope.  Add to the fact that he's switching leagues that now includes a designated hitter...yikes!  

 

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 127 IP | 6-9 W/L | 5.22 ERA | 1.46 WHIP | 94 K | 45 BB

ZiPS – 64 IP | 3-3 W/L | 4.50 ERA | 1.36 WHIP | 51 K | 25 BB

THE BAT – 122 IP | 6-9 W/L | 4.81 ERA | 1.38 WHIP | 87 K | 42 BB

RotoChamp – 113 IP | 5-7 W/L | 4.86 ERA | 1.40 WHIP | 85 K | 41 BB

CBS Sports – N/A

ESPN – 115 IP | 4 W | 5.09 ERA | 1.39 WHIP | 79 K | 42 BB

My Prediction:

2020 Prediction – N/A

2020 Actual – 23 1/3 IP | 0-3 W/L | 5.40 ERA | 1.500 WHIP | 15 K | 13 BB

 

2021 Prediction – 103 1/3 | 4-8 W/L | 5.49 ERA | 1.442 WHIP | 70 K | 41 BB

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Bobrob’s 2021 Preseason Prediction #12 – Nomar Shamir Mazara Jiminian

Nomar Mazara hit 20 home runs in each of his first three Major League seasons.  Mr. Inconsistency only hit 19 home runs in his fourth season before really falling off a cliff with one home run in 2020. He has been a slightly below average player for most of his career with an OPS+ between 90-96 before becoming a very poor, below average hitter with a 63 OPS+ in 2020.

Of course, the 2020 “season” wasn’t much of a season at all, so we can probably throw it out the window.  The Big Chill is only entering his age 26 season, so there’s no reason to talk about a decline when he most likely hasn’t even entered his prime yet.  His power numbers are his biggest asset and they were all trending in the right direction before 2020.

2017: .170 ISO | 8.4% XBH% | 13.6% HR/FB

2018: .178 ISO | 8.6% XBH% | 20.0% HR/FB

2019: .200 ISO | 10.0% XBH% | 17.8% HR/FB

Unfortunately, his ISO was a laughable .066 in 2020 with a 4.7% extra base hit rate.  That’s Isaac Paredes territory.

Nomar’s hard hit rate was also improving every year from 32.6% in 2017 to 37.5% in 2018 to 45.3% in 2019.  And then back down to 32.6% in 2020.  So there may have been a bit of bad luck involved in the small sample size of 2020. 

What was going in the wrong direction, though, were the strikeouts and walks.  His walk rate was an all-time high of 8.9% in 2017 and went down to 6% in 2019.  His strikeout rate also trended in the opposite direction, going from 20.6% in 2017 to 23% in 2019 (and 29.5% in 2020). 

It’s hard to say exactly what to expect from Mazara in 2021.  He’ll likely benefit from a regular Spring Training routine as well as a new team.  But there are also areas that he needs to improve on if he wants to get to the above average 100+ OPS status.

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 363 AB | .251/.316/.443 | 17 HR | 53 RBI | 2 SB | 31 BB | 96 K

ZiPS – 484 AB | .258/.313/.426 | 17 HR | 67 RBI | 2 SB | 34 BB | 126 K

THE BAT – 392 AB | .244/.313/.400 | 49 RBI | 2 SB | 36 BB | 97 K

 RotoChamp – 386 AB | .249/.309/.412 | 54 RBI | 2 SB | 31 BB | 100 K

CBS Sports – N/A

ESPN – 421 AB | .254/.312/.420 | 61 RBI | 2 SB | 32 BB | 104 K

My Prediction:

2020 Prediction – N/A

2020 Actual – 136 AB | .228/.295/.294 | 1 HR | 15 RBI | 0 SB | 10 BB | 44 K

 

2021 Prediction – 482 AB | .255/.307/.417 | 17 HR | 69 RBI | 2 SB | 33 BB | 116 K

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I think Mazara flames out by mid season. I don't see him getting 482 AB's. Our outfield "jam" will quickly sort itself out. Hope I am wrong.

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Bobrob’s 2021 Preseason Prediction #13 – Julio Alberto Teheran Pinto

From 2013-2019 Julio Teheran was a pretty good pitcher in Atlanta with a 3.64 in 1334 innings pitched.  In those 7 years he was a 2-time all-star and a below 4.00 ERA 5 times.  He was also a workhorse, starting at least 30 games in each of the 7 years.  And then 2020 hit.

Pitching with a new team in a new league, Teheran was winless in 2020 with a 10.05 ERA in over 31 innings pitched.  Unsurprisingly, the Angels did not resign him and he signed a minor league deal with the Tigers.  Despite a 5.52 ERA in Spring Training, Teheran was good enough to make the starting rotation.  Can he go back to a sub 4.00 ERA pitcher like he was in his prime?

Teheran is entering his age 30 season, so it is likely that his best days are behind him.  While he won’t be confused with Max Scherzer, Teheran was able to have a pretty decent strikeout rate, hovering around 8-8.3 K/9 until 2020 when it was 5.7 K/9.  Walks were a bit of an issue his last few years (4.3 BB/9 in 2018 and 2019) and continued in 2020 with a 4.6 BB/9.  Home runs allowed were up and down his whole career, but were really bad in 2020 (3.5 HR/9).  Combine all three terrible rates in 2020, and no wonder his ERA was north of 10. 

Looking at the luck factor, and Teheran has outperformed his FIP for most of his career.

2017: 4.49 ERA | 4.54 FIP

2018: 3.94 ERA | 4.48 FIP

2019: 3.81 ERA | 4.66 FIP

2020: 10.05 ERA | 8.62 FIP

Of course, it’s not all luck.  But given the fact that he’s past his prime, now pitching in a league with a DH, and showed very little in 2020, I don’t have much hope for him other than being an innings eater.  Ladies and gentleman, meet the new Jordan Zimmermann.  Thank god it doesn’t come with a $25 million price tag. 

 

Experts’ Predictions/Projections:

Steamer – 111 IP | 5-9 W/L | 5.95 ERA | 1.58 WHIP | 84 K | 52 BB

ZiPS – 143 2/3 IP | 8-10 W/L | 5.14 ERA | 1.39 WHIP | 125 K | 64 BB

THE BAT – 112 IP | 5-9 W/L | 5.42 ERA | 1.46 WHIP | 81 K | 51 BB

RotoChamp – 109 IP | 5-8 W/L | 5.37 ERA | 1.45 WHIP | 87 K | 49 BB

CBS Sports – N/A

ESPN – 83 IP | 3 W | 4.88 ERA | 1.37 WHIP | 71 K | 38 BB

My Prediction:

2020 Prediction – N/A

2020 Actual – 31 1/3 IP | 0-4 W/L | 10.05 ERA | 1.755 WHIP | 20 K | 16 BB

 

2021 Prediction – 173 1/3 IP | 8-10 W/L | 4.88 ERA | 1.385 WHIP | 135 K | 84 BB

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And that's it for my preseason predictions for 2021.  I could do 2 more, but I don't feel like it.  Even though Mize is in the rotation now, I see him going back to AAA once Turnbull comes back.  I see him going up and down several times during the year but not pitching much to make any sort of impact, unless a major injury happens (and even then, they may pass him by and go with Manning). 

Then there's the issue with the other infielder.  Everyone thought Nunez was going to make the team, but Hinch likes playing musical chairs with 1B, 2B, and 3B.  Goodrum will likely get the majority of the playing time here and I don't feel like writing 500 words on how he will hit .220.  

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