Most people like to brag about their successes, but few stand accountable when they screw things up. I’m not one of those people. More times than not I’d like to think I’m right, but there are also times where I clearly miss the mark.
In the section of my website titled PLAYER PROFILES, you can find all the 2011 Player Reviews I wrote. In the piece today I’ll review my recommendations. While you can review the whole reports if you click on the link above, I’ll truncate things today by quoting only a section of my reviews (in italics), before giving my thoughts on how things turned out.
Today, I will look at the hitters I reviewed. Tomorrow I’ll take a look at the pitchers.
NOTE: I will grade myself on the scale of single, double, triple, home run.
Jose Bautista – .302-43-103-105-9
“Can he keep up his current pace? I can say with 100 percent certainty that he cannot… There is no way he hits .370, .350, or even .330… why is everyone so willing to throw out logic and common sense when it comes to Jose Bautista?”
Bautista had a phenomenal season, better than I thought he would as he posted a second straight 40-100-100 season while leading baseball with a 1.056 OPS. So I was wrong. Period. Still he did score less runs, knock in fewer runs and have fewer RBI than he did in 2010. At the same time, I was totally right about his production slowing. Bautista hit only 12 homers with a .257 batting average over his final 65 games.
Justin Smoak: .234-15-55-38-0
“Smoak appears likely to be a mixed league asset this year at the corner infield position. At the same time he doesn’t appear likely to break out this season.”
Injuries killed Smoak this season, and he seemed to have forgotten how to hit in the second half as he had three homers and 12 RBI, with a .661 OPS, over his final 39 games.
Brett Wallace: .259-5-29-37-1
“A valuable NL-only option, be careful not to overestimate his value in mixed leagues because of his hot start.” He was hitting 367 over 23 games at the time the piece was written.
I knew he would regress, but even I ‘m surprised by how much he did. Shocked actually. He barely ended up having any value even as a corner infield option in NL-only leagues.
Willie Bloomquist: .266-4-26-44-20
“…he is not a league average performer in batting average, OBP or SLG… Even with his amazing start, which I give him full props for, there is no way that I’m counting on a difference making season from Bloomquist.” He was leading baseball in steals at the time the article was written
Come on. Did anyone other than Kay Adams really think I was gonna be wrong here?
Ryan Raburn: .256-14-49-53-1
“Ryan Raburn is an end game grab in mixed leagues as an outfielder. If he happens to qualify at second base he becomes a mid round grab. Either way he figures to produce solid numbers, but I would hold off in expecting him to blow it up in 2011.”
His average dipped a bit, it was in the .280′s in 2009-10, but he was basically the exact same guy he had been the previous two seasons. Of course, it was a season of two halves for Raburn as he had a .213 average an a .609 OPS in the first half and a .341 average and .967 OPS after the All-Star break.
David DeJesus: .240-10-46-60-4
“Is DeJesus a starter in mixed leagues with five outfielders? Possibly, but only barely. Is DeJesus a starter in AL-only leagues with three outfielders? You bet your rear he is. It’s all about putting players in position to succeed…”
I was right about DeJesus having value in AL-only leagues, but I was shocked at how poorly he performed. Still, do you know how many AL outfielders hit 10 homers with 45 RBI and 60 runs scored? The answer is only 21.
Nick Swisher: .260-23-85-81-2
“I’d look for him to return to his career level in batting average while continuing the trend that has seen him hit 24 homers in four of five seasons. He’s also knocked in 80-runs each of the past two years while scoring more than 80 in 5-straight, so with that you have your baseline of what to expect in 2011.”
After hitting .288 in 2011 Swisher hit .260 this season, six points clear of his career .254 mark. He fell just short of 24 homers, but one, though he did hit 80 RBI and runs scored. You can’t get more dead on with a prediction that I did here.
Adrian Gonzalez: .338-27-117-108-1
“…Fenway really doesn’t boost the power numbers of left-handed batters at all… I have him at 9th at the position. Is that too low? I’ll freely admit that it might be, by a lot. Still, I’d take Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Mark Teixeira and Ryan Howard ahead of him with no problem. I think you have to also toss Prince Fielder into that mix…”
Can you be right while also being totally wrong at the same time? Gonzalez hit only 27 homers, a 5-year low, but that was all I was right about. Gonzalez killed it all year in a fantastic season for the BoSox. I was wrong. Still, I would caution expecting a repeat in 2012 in the batting average category. He hit .045 points above his career mark despite a normal 21.2 percent line drive rate (career 21.0) as his BABIP skyrocketed by .058 points.
By Ray Flowers