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|Written by John Toner|
|Tuesday, 16 June 2009 14:03|
I took a look back at my 2009 projections and predictions going into 2009 and compared them to the actual numbers so far this year. The hits are the players that I was able to foresee there success or failure for 2009. The misses are my prognostications that did not work out so well. I humbly include the misses here but I am personally enjoying a good fantasy 2009 in large part due to the labors of Ibanez, Cruz and Hill.
Raul Ibanez - Philadelphia Phillies – I am amazed to see so many people asking themselves whether they should sell high on Ibanez. Realistically, it would be hard for Ibanez to keep up this pace for a full season but two months in is a good enough sample to suggest that he is a legitimate MVP candidate and maybe, at this point, the NL favorite. I can realistically see 42 HR’s, 125 RBI and 110 R by years end.
Nelson Cruz - Texas Rangers - Many pundits dismissed Cruz as a breakout candidate because he was to old. My thinking was that I saw enough quality over the second half of 2008 that led me to believe he was for real. I am no genius, though, because I thought the same for Chris Davis. The part about Cruz that worries me, though, is that he tends to go through hot and cold stretches and is not as consistent as you like. A part of his game that was evident in the minors but was not showcased in the ML last year was Cruz’s speed. 10 SB has exceeded all expectation and if he has 20 by years end along with the power numbers that he is producing, then the fantasy world has found a new stud.
Denard Span - Minnesota Twins - I liked Span early on when I noticed him scoring runs at an accelerated pace in 2008 and that has not stopped in 2009. There is a problem currently with some dizziness symptoms associated with an inner ear infection and a DL stint is probable so all is not rosy. When he is healthy, I believe he has enough skills to consistently hit .280 with a little pop thrown in. The speed will always be there and combined that with his good base running sense and what you have is an excellent run scorer.
Khalil Greene - St. Louis Cardinals - Greene’s recent batting average history indicated to me that his troubles went beyond the tribulations of Petco. Greene never hit for a high average but .213 in 389 at bats in 2008 was not up to ML standards and I did not see that miraculously changing with the switch to St. Louis. 105 at bats into 2009 and we are looking at the Mendoza line. Greene is said to be coming off the DL soon after a stint due to anxiety disorder but he is no longer the Cardinals #1 at SS. There is talk now that he could see some time at 3B but I don’t see that as viable long term option.
Aaron Hill - Toronto Blue Jays - Hill has certainly cooled off as of late but his YTD totals are still impressive. He was my number #1 sleeper going into 2009 but I still was somewhat conservative with my projections. I might even categorize Hill as both a hit and a miss as I was expecting him to revert back to his 2007 form but I did not foresee the exceptional numbers we are seeing in 2009.
Adrian Gonzalez - San Diego Padres - Probably the most helpful information I got from watching the WBC was noticing how good Gonzalez was swinging the bat for Mexico. He had such a fluid stroke going so early that I felt that even Petco would not be able to contain him this year. Imagine what numbers he could be produce if he was playing in Texas with a good supporting cast.
Robinson Cano - NY Yankees - I was not high on Cano going into this year and my value of him was lower than most prognosticators. I prematurely changed my tune when he got off to a hot start and was reaping the benefits of the new Yankee stadium. At this point I view Cano as a good fantasy 2B that is a step below the elite.
Miguel Tejada - Houston Astros - For whatever reason, I still thought Tejada had something left. He certainly had something to prove and I believed he still had skills and I viewed that combination as springboard to a bounce back 2009. He also tends to get hot and he is hot right now. His power is not there like it used to be but he always had the ability to score runs and he is currently hitting at a career high clip of .344.
David Ortiz - Boston Red Sox - I got sold that David’s lackluster 2008 was due to his wrist injury and that everything would be hunky dory going into 2009. Oops. Could not have been more wrong.
Lance Berkman - Houston Astros - Here is a guy I never seem to figure out. He is very inconsistent from year to year and I always seem to own him when he is down like 2009 and 2007. Berkman was suffering form an aching wrist but his last two games has produced two HR’s so that might not be a worry anymore
David Wright - NY Mets - Raise your hand if you predicted Wright’s power loss. I am not the only one who did not see this coming. I knew Citi Field was a pitchers park but I did not know it was going to be a HR graveyard. That aside, David’s power struggles go beyond just the new ballpark. Fortunately his speed and AVG have been excellent but David is not a top five fantasy player without the 25 plus HR’s.
Chris Dickerson - Cincinnati Reds - My ROY pick has been a bust but so has the consensus ROY favorite in Maybin. A horrible start has landed him on the bench more often than not and his lack of speed has been troubling.
Magglio Ordonez - Detroit Tigers - I have to admit that I have always been a fan of Ordonez from a fantasy point of view. He was always able to score and produce runs in a way that left him under the radar. A career .311 hitter but I see no signs of that skill at the moment. 2 HR in 210 at bats is the most alarming stat.
Bobby Abreu - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Abreu has always been a five category fantasy player but this year the power has gone south. His AVG and SB are still quite good (.299 and 15 SB) but his HR, RBI and R are all well below his historic stat line. I thought I could always count on Abreu for 20 HR, 100 RBI and 100 R. Those numbers are not going to happen this year unless something drastic happens.
Todd Helton - Colorado Rockies - Count me as someone who thought Helton was done as a good fantasy player. Back problems going into 2009 also lessened my expectations of him. 217 at bats later, you have is a .318 AVG with 7 HR and 45 RBI. Certainly not the numbers you were accustomed to when Helton was in his prime but they are a real nice bounce back.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 05:16|