One of the readers of the site had sent in a question asking for my biggest, boldest prediction for the 2012 fantasy baseball season. Answering that question is tough to do with so many different story lines playing out this season. Instead, I decided to take a look at each team to see what one big thing I could realistically see happening this season. Here is a look at my bold predictions for the National League East.
Kris Medlen wins 10 games (ATL) – with Tim Hudson out to start the season and both Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson experiencing injury issues in past seasons, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Medlen to grab a rotation spot at some point and collect double-digit wins this season. People may forget what type of season Medlen turned in back in 2010 before he had Tommy John surgery when he posted a 3.68 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
Hanley Ramirez is a top 10 player at season’s end (FLA) – each season 40-60% of the players picked in the first round do not return first round value. Knowing this, we need to look for players that would be able to move into the first round despite not being drafted there. While Ramirez was not healthy in 2011, all signs point to him be back to normal this season and despite early grumblings, he has seem to take to third base. There is no reason not to expect a return back to 2009-210 levels.
Ike Davis hits 30+ home runs for the Mets (NYM) – he close to his type of pace last season before going out with an ankle injury so this may not be too much of a bold prediction, but given what the Mets have to work with on offense, Davis is the hitter that is most likely to exceed expectations this season. The fences being moved in at Citi Field should help all of the Mets hitters in the power department as well.
Vance Worley wins 15 games for the Phillies (PHI) – given the pitchers they team has ahead of him in the rotation, he should be spending every waking minute he has picking their brains for pitching tips. He won 11 games for the team last season in 131 2/3 innings and he is still young and learning with only 578 career innings pitched between the major and minor leagues.
Steve Lombardozzi gets 400 at bats for the Nationals (WAS) – second basemen Danny Espinosa continues to struggle making contact with 24 strikeouts in 67 at bats and has yet to drive in a run in spring training. Espinosa struggled the second half of last season with a .227 average with 82 strikeouts in 247 at bats. If he continues to scuffle into the end of May, the Nationals may be forced to make a change.