Archive for Monday, September 18, 2006

Plenty of hits and misses from a year of fantasy forecasts

September 18, 2006

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Here's a sure path to low self-esteem: Make sports prognostications in the internet age.

What could possibly go wrong?

On the Web, words are forever, that's what.

With another fantasy baseball season in the books, here's a look at some highlights in my season of "educated" fantasy baseball guesses. Sure, I missed a few; but I got a few too.

Turns out I was about half right this year as a prognosticator. Here's hoping you only half-listened to my suggestions.

I just hope it was the right half.

Greatest Hits

April 6, Re: Nick Markakis, OF, Orioles

I said: "Markakis is raw, having skipped Triple-A, but he as an uncanny eye and the skills of Jeremy Hermida ... .280-15-70 is not out of the question."

Result: Turns out Markakis dwarfed Hermida, and in fact has exceeded my expectations (.305-14-57). Not a bad pick for the first week of the season.

April 6, Re: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Padres

I said: "The first baseman can flat-out hit, and easily could hit 20 home runs if given an extended chance to play. Looks like he has it."

Result: Make that 21 through Sept. 13. Love to say I told you so.

April 13, Re: Wilson Betemit, INF, Braves

I said: "We're enamored with Betemit's potential. ... (he) can hit enough to be a star in his own right. ... Stash him on your bench in case fragile Chipper goes down again."

Result: Those who listened got one of the NL's best surprises, as Betemit blossomed before and after a trade to the Dodgers. He has 17 homers in 328 at-bats and a .271 average.

July 22, Re: Ryan Shealy, 1B, Rockies

I said: "Blocked by Todd Helton at first base, he's certain to be traded for bullpen help, and is ready to contribute as a middle-of-the-order guy for many teams. Pick him up now and enjoy it if and when he gets a new job in the next week or so."

Result: Nine days later, he was traded to the Royals (for bullpen help). He's hit .306 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 41 games since then. Bingo.

Now for the fun stuff.

Catastrophic Misses

July 29, Re: Clint Barmes, SS, Rockies

I said: "It's time to get back on board ... ."

Result: Eek. Barmes hit .174 with three RBIs in August and lost his job. Not a good board to get back on.

July 13, Re: Dan Johnson, 1B, Athletics

I said: "There's no reason to think he'll morph into Jim Thome the rest of the way. But his 16 June RBIs after a total of eight through May showed what he's capable of doing ... his second-half numbers could modestly help your team."

Result: He was sent to the minor leagues later that day.

June 17, Re: Geoff Jenkins, OF, Brewers

I said: "He's currently batting .252-7-39. Nothing special, but last year he hit .258-9-33 before the All-Star break, and .332-16-53 after. ... He's perhaps the one available guy who has the ability to carry your team in the second half."

Result: I neglected to mention where he'd carry your team to. He was officially benched in August.

June 14, Re: Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers

I said: "This guy is for real. If he's available, stop reading this now and pick him up. Then come back and finish reading. ... the Dodgers have played lots of rookies so far and had great success. Kemp and Joel Guzman are the ones to pay attention to."

Result: Not only did I end a sentence with a preposition, but Kemp was sent down to the minors in July. Guzman was sent down later the same day I wrote the column and later was shipped to Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, Andre Ethier is a rookie of the year candidate. Hard to be more wrong than that.

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