As part of our preview for the upcoming 2012 season, we’ll be doing a 10 Bold Predictions for 2013 series that will be featured between now and Opening Day. Our fifth prediction: these guys will be monsters in 2013.
This is a tough post to actually structure. I want to just bullet all these guys and let it ride, but I feel you’re owed more than that. These guys are going to have really good to absolutely monstrous 2013 seasons. Sure it’s mostly on a gut feeling, and no I haven’t reviewed their fly ball rate or their poor BABIP from last season that’s sure to rise.
You’re just going to have to take my word for it on these guys. And feel free to bookmark it and come back to it when the season is over. These guys are either going to become household names or have a spike like Ian Desmond did last season before tapering off slowly, or this season will be the one anomaly on the back of their baseball card. And we’re not going to use any guys who are already studs either, because that’s just low-rent.
Bank on the following players to have the best season of their careers in 2013:
Ike Davis: Over the Valley Fever, time to ride. The last time an ‘Ike’ was this good at hitting something, Tina Turner was topping the Billboard Top 100 charts.
Eric Hosmer: Every once in a while, there’s guys who are just too damn good to be down for long. He had a great spring, and reminded us of Joey Votto in his rookie year. He’s going to look a lot like Votto before Votto won an MVP this year which is pretty strong.
Homer Bailey: Bailey will be the best starting pitcher statistically in the Reds rotation this year now that they’ve put Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen. Pencil him in for 18 wins and an ERA around what he did last year. Somehow he’ll scrape 200 innings out of his arm that experts told us would break down years ago. Bailey will never have a season like this again, falling short of being the top of rotation stud many though he would be for a decade.
Adam Eaton: He’s going to miss some time to begin the season, but when he hits the lineup he’ll be an immediate impact in Arizona. Eaton is the real deal and a throwback version of yesteryear’s ballplayer. They just don’t make them like this guy anymore. He’ll hit .300, and if you extrapolate the numbers he puts up to 162 games, he’ll make your eyes bulge.
Josh Rutledge: Everyone is so excited about the return of King Tulo that they forget about the nice little player that developed right in front of their eyes last year. I say Rutledge puts up better offensive numbers than Tulo does in 2013.
Brandon Belt: Belt hasn’t really done what he was expected to do yet. This is the year you can count on a nice average, 23 to 25 home runs, and 80 to 85 RBI.
Starling Marte: Dread Pirate McCutchen finally gets a real first mate in Pittsburgh. Marte has the ability to do 25 homers and 40 steals as early as this season. Even if he misses, how does something like 18 long ones and 38 steals sound?
Anthony Rizzo: Here’s one of the safest bets in baseball to do .270 and 35 home runs.
Derek Holland: Someone that NO ONE is talking about is going to go out and contend for a Cy Young this year. It happens every damn year. Some relative, decent pitcher comes out and all of the sudden ‘finds it’ and they go 18-3 with a shiny ERA. Holland will have Kyle Lohse numbers from last year or something closer to it.
Max Scherzer: I’m honestly 99% certain that Scherzer will have better numbers than Verlander will in 2013. People now know why I pick the Tigers to be a World Series contender so easily, and it’s not Miggy and Fielder.
Chris Tillman: I think in a down year for the Orioles, it will be Tillman and not a Chris Davis who impresses the most. Tillman is a lottery ticket type guy, but I think he shows a little bit of magic in 2012.
Yonder Alonso: Laugh at the lack of power last season all you want. Go ahead, talk about Yasmani Grandal being the young breakout star on the Padres. Yonder from The U is going to make all you doubters look foolish in 2013. Look for .285, 25, and 100 RBI from the forgotten man in San Diego.
If we go for any more than that, we’re going to start predicting guys that everyone is all over. And that’s no fun. Look for these guys to climb in 2013. We’ve just got a feeling about them. Write it down, in permanent marker, on your grandmother’s antique dinner table in fact.