Pre 2010 Fantasy Baseball Predictions at the Mid-Way Point

Stephen Strasburg Photo by Icon SMI

With the All-Star Break in our rear-view, it becomes a perfect time to evaluate some pre-season predictions and projections…

Division Winners

AL (b)East New York Yankees (1st, 58-33)

AL CentralMinnesota Twins (3rd, 49-43, 1.5 GB)

AL WestTexas Rangers (1st, 53-39)

NL EastPhiladelphia Phillies (3rd, 48-43, 5.5 GB)

NL CentralCincinnati Reds (2nd, 51-42, .5 GB)

NL WestColorado Rockies (2nd, 50-41, 4 GB)

I didn’t document any Wild Card predictions aside from the fact that the AL Wild Card was coming out of the East.  Division predictions have nothing to do with the fantasy aspect of the sport, but they’re fun to look back on anyway.

While my predictions for the division winners look solid right now, the same can not quite be said for my award predictions…


American League – Alex Rodriguez; While his season has been okay, it is far from an MVP caliber season.  This thing looks like its going to Josh Hamilton, Robinson Cano or Miguel Cabrera.

National League – Troy Tulowitzki; Tulo was starting to heat up and playing short stop on a (potential) division winner is a great start when it comes to MVP votes.  His broken wrist has pretty much shut the door on an MVP trophy ending up in his hands in 2010.  Joey Votto, anybody?

Cy Young

American League – Justin Verlander; Thought he would kick off 2010 the way he ended 2009.  Despite missing time, Cliff Lee looks to be leading the pack with the usual suspects in the discussion.

National League – Yovani Gallardo; By no fault of his own, Gallardo will be on the outside looking in come Cy Young time.  His recent stint on the DL (oblique) doesn’t help, but he probably was not going to overtake Ubaldo Jimenez or Josh Johnson anyway.

Rookie of the Year

American League – Sean Rodriguez; How often do the pre-season “favorites” come away with the ROY hardware?  Not often.  I decided to look out of the box and it still looks like a miss for me.  A big second half could give Rodriguez a nice shot, but he’s got his work cut out for him if he’s going to beat out Brennan Boesch.

National League – “Why bother?”; That was literally my answer for my NL ROY prediction.  Stephen Strasburg and Jason Heyward will be neck and neck in the race for ROY honors.  Strasburg may have the more impressive stat line, but Heyward could earn points for playing a significant role in the success of a playoff team.

Award predictions are fun too and certainly have more significance for fantasy managers heading into a season.  Still, though, there is only a small pool of players each year considered in these predictions.  This is where the CWI or Craig Williams Index comes in.  Each year I like to pick out a handful of players and try my hand at projecting their stats for the upcoming season.  Historically (two seasons) the CWI projections tend to be on the aggressive side.  With that said, let’s evaluate….

B.J. Upton

CWI – .275/.360/.500 — 90-30-100-40

2010 – .231/.322/.391 — 52-7-32-25

Wow.  I’m embarrassed to have set my expectations so high for Upton.  I thought a shoulder that was fully healed and strengthened would combine with motivation (younger bro got paid in the offseason) to help him realize his potential.  I was wrong.

Scott Kazmir

CWI – 175 IP 181-58 K/BB 3.40 ERA 1.23 WHIP

2010 – 92.1 IP 60-49 K/BB 6.92 ERA 1.64 WHIP

Even worse than my Upton projection.  After his strong second half last season, it looked like he could get back on track while working with Mike Butcher – his former pitching coach in Tampa Bay.  It sucks being so wrong, but it feels good to liberate myself from my man love of Kazmir.

Francisco Liriano

CWI – 190 IP 211-63 K/BB 3.20 ERA 1.16 WHIP

2010 – 115 IP 125-32 K/BB 3.76 ERA 1.26 WHIP

Finally, here’s a projection that is looking solid.  The ERA and WHIP are a bit off thanks to a couple of starts against the Detroit Tigers that inflated an ERA that stood at 3.11 on June 23.  The WHIP could very easily be whittled down into the sub-1.20 range even if the ERA remains in the mid-high 3’s.

Ian Stewart

CWI – .260/.340/.480 — 75-30-90-10

2010 – .252/.344/.436 — 40-11-44-5

While I can’t be proud of this projection, it isn’t terrible – aside from the slugging and HR numbers.  It’s good to see his BA improve from .228 mark last season, but the lack of power takes away from his fantasy value.

Yovani Gallardo Photo by Icon SMI

Yovani Gallardo

CWI – 220 IP 232-73 K/BB 3.30 ERA 1.19 ERA

2010 – 111.2 IP 122-48 K/BB 2.58 ERA 1.26 ERA

So far, so good.  Projecting Gallardo to post good numbers is not exactly sticking your neck out though.

Stephen Drew

CWI – .280/.350/.480 — 100-20-80-15

2010 – .266/.341/.404 — 43-4-29-6

FAIL.  Next!

Ricky Nolasco

CWI – 218 IP 210-48 K/BB 3.15 ERA 1.15 WHIP

2010 – 116 IP 102-23 K/BB 4.66 ERA 1.30 WHIP

The strikeout and walk numbers aren’t terribly far off, but clearly I was not factoring in a .324 BABIP and 20 HR allowed before August when I projected those tidy ERA and WHIP numbers.

Brett Gardner

CWI – .280/.350/.385 — 85-4-50-50

2010 – .305/.398/.408 — 58-5-31-26

Barring injury, Gardner may make me look smart (or less dumb).  He’ll continue to score a ton of runs considering his on-base abilities and the lineup he plays in and he’ll continue to steal bases since speed is his meal ticket.

Daniel Bard

CWI – 75 IP 100-25 K/BB 2.80 ERA 1.13 WHIP

2010 – 45 IP 46-14 K/BB 1.80 ERA .84 WHIP

The future closer of the Red Sox has not racked up quite as many innings or punch outs as I projected, but after taking one look at the WHIP and ERA I’ll call it even.

Joey Votto

CWI – .310/.400/.540 — 100-32-100-5

2010 – .307/.415/.573 — 60-22-60-7

Again, Votto is another guy that doesn’t take a lot of guts to project a nice season from.  Regardless, it looks like he’s well in range of matching or surpassing each of the stats I projected from him and I will take that.

Considering I only posted these CWI projections on Twitter and facebook, chances are good that not too many people had access to them.  After seeing the projections, chances are better that they are thankful that they didn’t see most of them.  I clearly missed on several of the projections, but that brings up a good point.  You want to take calculated gambles throughout the draft – and even more so afterward.  Don’t go overpaying for a player’s potential when you can pay for another player’s production, but when its time, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on some high upside selections.  Most of the misses that you accumulate during the draft can be rectified as the season moves along and it only takes two or three good hits throughout the draft to set your team apart from the pack.  Just something to keep in the back of your mind when next season rolls around.

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