Reviewing My 2010 Preseason Atlanta Braves Predictions

Tom RossiterContributor IOctober 4, 2010

Reviewing My 2010 Preseason Atlanta Braves Predictions

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    Pool/Getty Images

    In February I wrote my preseason predictions for the Atlanta Braves' 2010 season. They can be found here.

    Preseason predictions can be very difficult. Some of my predictions were spot-on; some were way off.

    Let's recap.

Preseason Prediction No. 1: Jason Heyward Wins Rookie of the Year

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    What I said in February: 

    "I believe Heyward will come into spring training, take hold of the RF position, and not let it go. He will start the season in Atlanta and be up to stay.

    "I expect a line of 80 R 25 HR 85 RBI .290 AVG 15 SB."

     

    What happened:

    Heyward came into spring training, took hold of the RF position, and never let it go. He is in Atlanta to stay.

    He had a line of 83 R 18 HR 72 RBI .277 AVG 11 SB.

    Now, this slideshow is all about me and my predictions, and this is not too bad of a prediction if I may say so. *Brush off shoulder*

    He will either win or come in second in the NL ROY voting depending on what the writers say with him and Buster Posey.

Preseason Prediction No. 2: Yunel Escobar Will Be an All-Star

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Ya win some, ya lose some.

    What I said:

    "I believe this is the year that Yunel shines—his fourth year in the majors. He showed signs of brilliance last year, while he also showed some mental lapses.

    "I believe this year Yunel matures into the kind of player we have known he could be since he came up. He showed us last year he was a clutch performer and can win games with his glove and his bat.

    "His power numbers will increase this year. I fully expect 20 to 25 HRs out of Yunel.

    "He will have a tough time getting to the All-Star team seeing that he is in the same league as Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, and Jimmy Rollins, but I believe he gets there."

     

    W-w-what happened was:

    Yunel did not mature. His mental lapses cost him his stay in Atlanta. He had a terrible first half, did not make the All-Star team, and was soon on his way to America's Hat in a trade.

    Boy, did Yunel make me look dumb on this one.

Preseason Prediction No. 3: Kenshin Kawakami Will Be the Braves' No. 3 Starter

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Well...again...I lost one.

    What I said:

    "I believe Kawakami gets a lot of tough, unnecessary criticism. Yes, his record last year (7-12) was not good, but anyone that pays attention to starting pitchers' records is misguided.

    "He had a very tough first month in the majors, with an ERA over seven. If you look at his month to month statistics, he was fairly solid. Only two months did he have an ERA over 3.38, which is more than acceptable.

    "He admittedly had a hard time adjusting to MLB, the difference in the mound, the ball, the hitters, etc.

    "With how wonderful our pitching staff is, I fully expect Kenshin Kawakami to be our No. 3 starter by season's end."

     

    What happened:

    Again...this was probably an Epic Fail by me...

    KK sucked this year, lost his spot in the rotation altogether, was sent to the bullpen, then to the minors, and will in all likelihood be out of Atlanta this offseason. Clearly didn't put up the No. 3 starter statistics that I thought he would.

Preseason Prediction No. 4: Billy Wagner Will Have a Sub-2.50 ERA.

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Yay!!

    What I said then:

    "If the Braves are to compete for a playoff spot this year, they need Billy Wagner to be the Billy Wagner they brought him to Atlanta to be. I fully expect him to be that man.

    "He showed nothing but dynamite stuff when he came back from TJ surgery last year. He is the proven, reliable closer the Braves have missed since Smoltzy left the pen.

    "He won't be able to pitch in as many games as Mike Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano did last year, but he will be just as if not more important than both of them were last year."

    I won one!!! Last two made me feel pretty ignorant.

     

    What happened:

    The Braves called on Billy to be Billy...he was everything and more that Atlanta brought him in to be.

    I remember debating whether to say he would have a sub-2.00 ERA while making my predictions. Ends up I should have said he would have a sub-1.50 ERA.

    Billy MANned up for a 1.48 ERA in 71 games. Not as many as Soriano or Gonzalez last year, with 77 and 80 respectively, but more than even I gave him preseason hope for.

    So glad Billy came to Atlanta. I wish he would come back next season, but he deserves to retire and be with his family if that's what he wants to do.

    BTW...I am pretty awesome...

Preseason Prediction No. 5: Tim Hudson Wins Comeback Player of the Year

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    What I said then:

    "Coming off Tommy John surgery, I expect Timmy Boy to be at full strength and to pitch like the ace he has been for years.

    "He showed some good stuff at the end of last year, and the Braves were confident enough in him to give him a three-year extension and trade away last year's Cy Young candidate Javier Vazquez in favor of him.

    "If Bobby Cox has that kind of faith in him, so do I. Timmy wins Comeback Player of the Year."

     

    What happened:

    If Tim Hudson does not win Comeback Player of the Year, he will be absolutely robbed.

    He came back from Tommy John to post 228.2 innings and an incredible 2.83 ERA.

    He was the No. 1 ace and more that the Braves expected him to be coming back after they re-signed him.

    His best season as a Brave comes after Tommy John surgery. Congrats Timmy! (And me for calling it.) (So what if I am giving myself props for another man's accomplishments—this is all about me baby...)

Preseason Prediction No. 6: Tommy Hanson Gets Votes for the Cy Young

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    What I said:

    "I am not saying he is going to win it. I am not saying he is going to finish in the top three. I do believe that he will get some votes though.

    "There was not another single thing he could have done last season to impress me more than he did. This year, he dominates the league for the entire season, finishing with a sub-3.00 ERA and 200-plus K's."

     

    What happened:

    Tommy probably won't get any votes for the Cy Young (although I still have hope for my own egotistical needs). He didn't have a sub-3.00 ERA and didn't get 200-plus K's.

    He did, however, have a fine season, going 10-11 with a 3.33 ERA and 173 K's as the Braves' No. 2 starter all season.

    I will, however, say today that Tommy gets Cy Young votes in 2011.

Preseason Prediction No. 7: Derrek Lee Is the Braves' 1B by the Trade Deadline

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Now not to say I am awesome or anything, but again, this is all about me and my predictions, and well, I am awesome...and this is my best proof of how GD amazing I am.

    What I said:

    "I know. I know. I know. The Braves brought Troy Glaus in here to provide a power-hitting first baseman.

    "Honestly, there is nothing I would rather have than just that, but unfortunately, I don't believe it will happen over the course of an entire season.

    "He may be great for the first few months of the season, but can anyone honestly say they expect him to be healthy for an entire 162-game season...anyone? Anyone? I didn't think so.

    "Looking at potential free agent 1B after this season, we may be able to find some potential players who could become available at the trade deadline—most notably Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Adam LaRoche (again), Derrek Lee, and Carlos Pena (not including bigger names that won't be free agents for another two seasons who may be traded, notably Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder).

    "All of whose teams may not be in playoff hunts come the trading deadline.

    "The name that sticks out to me is Derrek Lee. So my Brave Prediction 5B: Derrek Lee is the Braves' 1B by the trade deadline."

     

    What happened:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm awesome.

    "He may be great for the first few months of the season..." 

    —Glaus went off in May and June, carrying the Braves for two months.

    "but can anyone honestly say they expect him to be healthy for an entire 162-game season...anyone? Anyone? I didn't think so."

    —Glaus clearly didn't stay healthy.

    "The name that sticks out to me is Derrek Lee. So my Brave Prediction 5B: Derrek Lee is the Braves' 1B by the trade deadline."

    —OK OK OK...I am an idiot; Derrek Lee wasn't the Braves 1B by the trading deadline. I forgot to say by the waiver trade deadline...god I am so stupid...oh wait...I am so GD amazing.

Preseason Prediction No. 8: Jordan Schafer Makes Melky Cabrera Expendable

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    OK OK OK...I'm not perfect.

    What I said:

    "This year is a HUGE year for Jordan Schafer. He has so much to prove. Combining last year's disappointment marred by injury and his suspension for PEDs in the minors leaves him with lots to prove.

    "I believe he will begin the year in AAA and tear it up. He will allow the Braves to trade Melky (perhaps to the Cubs in the D. Lee trade)

    "By season's end I wouldn't be surprised to see Schafer in CF and Nate McLouth in LF for the Braves."

     

    What happened:

    Schafer sucks. Melky sucks and is expendable (somewhat a victory for me?...maybe...)

    Schafer had so much to prove and proved he is nothing but an overrated, arrogant, overtattooed asshole. I hope he never puts a Braves uniform on again after this season.

Preseason Prediction No. 9: Chipper Jones Retires After the Season

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    This one still has some potential in my opinion.

    What I said:

    "As a Braves fan, there is nothing I would like more than to see Chipper play 162 games a year and hit 30 HRs with 100 RBI, but those days are far behind us.

    "Don't get me wrong; I believe Chipper will be more productive than he was in 2009. I just think the mental and sustained physical challenges that face Chipper in the majors will make him call it quits after this season—going out with the only manager he has ever known, together."

     

    What happened:

    Chipper didn't play in 162 games; he played in 95 and got a season-ending injury. He was no longer a 30 HR, 100 RBI threat. He was in line to be as productive as he was in 2009, but the injury killed those chances.

    It's funny—his injury actually may be what keeps him on the team for another season, because he doesn't want his final image to be getting hurt, which I respect.

    I still think Chipper may call it quits this offseason, and as much as it hurts me, I hope he does. Love ya Chip, but it's time.

Preseason Prediction No. 10: Cox Gets His Team to the Playoffs in His Final Year

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    God, I love seeing Bobby get showered with beer and champagne...although I do hate the amount of wasted alcohol used during baseball celebrations.

    What I said:

    "I think the Braves will do everything in their power to give Bobby one last shot in the playoffs. They have the team built for the future and for today.

    "This is the year Bobby gets his boys into the playoffs for his last hurrah."

     

    What happened:

    POSTSEASON BABY!!!

    I would have been pretty upset to not see Bobby in the playoffs one last time. Good job for pulling it out. Now send him out with a ring.

How Amazing Am I?

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    Now, I am not saying I am Jesus or as amazing as Jesus, but...similarities abound.

    We both can predict the future, and we both made mistakes. He befriended Judas; I made some bad predictions (thank you Kenshin Kawakami).

     

    Look for my 2011 Predictions in February!!!!