Tag Archives: Homer Bailey

Corey Seager sets milestone in the Queen City

Ah, damn. If my son wasn’t due any moment now I would have probably been at this series. Next year, for sure.

Anyways, today’s Businessman’s Special down in Cincy was a good ol’ ambush by the Bums on getaway day. Adrian Gonzalez hit three bombs, and Homer Bailey was out of the game before completing three frames. The Dodgers won the game 18-9.

And tomorrow night, things return to magical Chavez Ravine where the Giants and Dodgers do battle with first place on the line. Madison Bumgarner vs. Kenta Maeda. Vin Scully on the call. Are we lucky or what?

The Bull Ride is over.

Really sad news today coming out of the Queen City. Homer Bailey will have Tommy John surgery, ending his 2015 season and adding questions to when he will be back in 2016, and what kind of pitcher will come back when it happens.

Bailey has always been one of our favorite starting pitchers in the big leagues. We remember the 2004 day that Homer Bailey was drafted; the reports that came out were that he didn’t really care for baseball. He just did it because he could make a lot of money at it and threw hard. That’s proven to be false; there has always been an immense tiger in this guy’s tank.

Then there were reports that Bailey wouldn’t listen to coaching and suggestions about his pitch repertoire. Again, Bailey seemed to adapt and adjust as a soulful member of the Reds clubhouse. He may have never been in contention for a Cy Young, but when this guy was on; he was absolutely unhittable. He did learn to pitch, and he definitely took instruction.

We point to obviously the two no-hitters and game three of the 2012 NLDS – a game that Bailey should have won at home in Cincinnati to send the Reds to the NLCS and possibly on to a title. Those were the moments where you saw Bailey at his absolute best. There were parts of two seasons earlier in his career where down the stretch, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. You saw flashes, you just never got it for the entire year.

Unfortunately, this seems to be another domino falling in what we knew was going to be an inevitable end to a window for the current nucleus.

The Reds will come to task from the media for handing Bailey that huge contract extension; but they did it for their fans. This guy threw two no hitters. Scouts saw the same thing we all did: a guy who could blow people away with 97 late in the game after 100 pitches. That said, everyone remarked on the high stress delivery Bailey had. Every time we joked with some friends about who we wanted in the ‘who is next for Tommy John’ pool, Bailey was the only name we wanted in the draft. Now it’s no longer a joke. It’s very possible that Homer Bailey never regains his dominant form.

It’s been a helluva ride, and we’re rooting for the guy. He’s definitely in our top 10 favorite starting pitchers of all time. We don’t want to sound like this is an obituary for the guy’s career; we’re rooting for you Homer and hope to see you take the ball again every fifth day and end your career in Cincinnati on a high note. Teaching that next youngster how to grab the bull rope when the lights go on.

Mat Latos slams Reds Organization


My thoughts on Mat Latos’ comments on the Reds are; 1) you can never trust a ‘Matt’ with only one ‘t’; I maintain. And 2) the Reds are in rough shape as-is, they don’t need a guy with the make-up and propensity to slam a team after he’s gone anyways.

After all, he’s the guy who gave up the grand slam to Buster Posey that this current core will never recover from. We all remember it, it was the death blow. He served that one up. That’s his place in Reds history in my book.

Now for his comments:

When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.

After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that . . . it turns into a circus.

I thought the Reds mostly responded in a professional manner, taking some underhanded shots at Latos in the process without crossing too many lines.

That said, I think Latos’ tirade has some shreds of truth in it. I do think the Reds clubhouse lacks a true leader, and they have some guys who probably spent the game screwing off on their iPad and social media. I have no issue with Chapman sleeping until the 7th inning; he’s an odd bird and he throws 103 MPH. He can do whatever the Hell he wants.

But the Reds’ lack of a backbone showed last season as their sheep of a manager led them to slaughter. Votto and Bruce have never shown the ability to lead or to really want to be that type of persona in the locker room. I think they’re in desperate need of a veteran who can be a leader – it’s not going to be Marlon Byrd.

It all points towards a season ahead in which you’re probably looking at around a .500 team if everything goes right. And everything hardly ever goes right.

The Reds disappointed and failed to win a playoff series with Mat Latos; good as he thinks he is. They can do the same without him. There is probably a fair degree of hard feelings here as Latos pointed out that the Reds chose to try to re-sign Johnny Cueto rather than him. I doubt a Cueto deal ever comes to fruition, but the choice is easy.

I liked what Homer Bailey said best about it – which is telling without saying much:

“If this was a court of law,” said Reds starter Homer Bailey, “the cross examination would go after the credibility of the witness.”

I also remember an incident where Latos and Bruce got into it in the dugout pretty good. Bruce and Bailey are two guys who get along with pretty much everyone and by all signs are well-liked in the Cincinnati clubhouse. For there to be no love-loss with Latos means Latos probably wasnt the best ingredient in the clubhouse himself.

Most surprising is Latos’ admission that the MILF Hunter himself, Bunny Arroyo was a key clubhouse cog! I know Arroyo was an awesome guy but never knew he was a leader – even though he reportedly took his job very seriously and notoriously pitched through an entire season with mononucleosis.

Homer Bailey Riled up Cuban Yasiel Puig the other night – then Puig homered


Yasiel Puig is doing his best to turn this into the comprehensive Yasiel Puig Blog.

The other night in the 6th inning in Los Angeles he did something else that caught my attention, and I liked it. Homer Bailey had his ‘A-game’ and was dealing high 90’s fastballs. The Dodgers trailed 3-1 and he buzzed an 0-1 pitch up and in at 96 MPH on Puig. Puig seemed to scowl back at Bailey; he didn’t like it one bit.

I said to myself that this was either going to do one of two things – it would serve to rile up the big fucker and take him mentally out of the rest of the at-bat; or it was going to do just enough to get him angry and summon some focus.

What followed on the next pitch was some type of 87 MPH pitch right down the middle, and Puig hit it a ton and out to right-center. Bat-flip, and another kill. It was Puig’s 11th home run on the season. The Reds would win the game, hanging on to defeat Clayton Kershaw 3-2; but Puig again provided anyone watching with the game’s signature moment.

You have to love Homer Bailey’s expression after the homer stops flying. He’s like ‘aw shit, he got me’. On this same evening I read about Puig’s historic start over at Fangraphs.

I Went to the Reds Game LastFriday Night


[Box Score]

[Game Highlights]

My bank has a box on the Owner’s club level at Great American Ball Park. Friday night was my first game of the season and it unfolded pretty perfectly. Here are some notes on it:

  • I honestly, legitimately knew the Reds would win this game. I didn’t look at the MLB Betting Odds on the way to the game but I did put money on the Reds without even caring if they were underdog or heavy favorite. I looked after I won. Of course they were a 150-plus favorite.
  • It was Jay Bruce’s first game back. He had a smoke double to right center off Shelby Miller. That was his only wow moment of the game. Man it’s just good to have
  • I think the moment everyone will remember from this game is the Brayan Pena play at first base (complete with Broxton cover – look at big fella get over there).
  • Devin Mesoraco is going to be a star, at least offensively. He hit an upper deck home run.
  • We played Makatewah Golf Course – a private course since 1910 – earlier in the afternoon. It’s a beautiful course, and we had a perfect day. If you ever get the chance to see it and you love golf, don’t think twice about it. I am told that Marty, Paul O’ Neill, Chris Sabo and a bunch of others who are famed in Reds-lore play there.


  • I got to see save number 81 in the career of Aroldis Chapman. Which, it’s really quite amazing. I mean, look at a few of the Reds players on the roster and the number of home runs they have in their career. I’ve been to a lot of Reds games over the years that Chapman has been on the team, sure. But I would guess this is probably the fifth or sixth career save I’ve seen him notch in person and he has less than 100 in his career. He was pumping 102, 101, 100 pretty consecutively.
  • Todd Frazier went deep this game to put the Reds out 3-0, and he’s got nine now on the season. I told you all Mesoraco and Frazier would hit more than people thought this year;  and Ludwick and Cozart would struggle.
  • We had Skyline in our box. Amazing. Also this was the first time I’ve had Larosa’s Pizza in quite a while – it puts Donatos to shame.

After the game I headed out to Horseshoe Casino, and learned how to play craps. All it did was cost me $300 in a matter of minutes.

A great night at the park, a big Reds win, and a great way to kick off a holiday weekend.

Jay Bruce got one yesterday


The Reds dropped another heartbreaker to the Cardinals yesterday afternoon, 7-6. The game featured a rain delay that took the start time from 12:35 PM ET to around 4:35 PM ET.

Jay Bruce hit a towering two-run home run off Lance Lynn in the first inning to put the Reds up 2-0 for his first home run of the season. Todd Frazier followed with a towering bomb to left field and the Reds were out front and running 3-0. Frazier would later add another home run later in the game off Pat Neshek that cut the Cardinals lead to the one-run deficit they would win by.

Overall, Homer Bailey was not sharp. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4 and 1/3 innings. The two-run homer he allowed to Jhonny Peralta proved costly because it nearly erased a three run lead and was foreshadowing for the tough outing that Bailey had ahead of him.

Cincinnati Reds 2014 Team Preview

One of the fastest to ever play the game.
One of the fastest to ever play the game.

Since that 2012 season ended and the Reds lost to the Giants in game five of the NLDS in Cincinnati after being up two games to zero on the eventual World Champion Giants, I have really been in a deep and dark depression as a Reds fan.

Some people might get really down on me for saying that – they’ll point to when the Reds were running out Jose Acevedo or Jimmy Haynes or Brandon Claussen as starting pitchers and were a losing team and tell me how good we have it now. How we’ve ‘made the playoffs’ three out of the last four years.

But there’s something that kills you about watching a team evolve from the abyss into what you know is a core’s window – and make no mistake – the last two seasons were the peak of this current group’s window. It didn’t ever hurt like that (like this) back when we were so horrible. It has taken me the entire offseason just to get some feeling back in me after the way we went out. To be fully honest, I’m still not over that 2012 afternoon that Buster Posey hit the grandslam off Mat Latos. I’ve never felt anything like that in a lifetime of watching sports. I don’t know if I’ll ever really get over it. It was like dealing with a death.

It’s made it increasingly tough to write about the Reds. Their passive offseason this year really did nothing to dispel that. If anything, it just made me a little bit apathetic towards their upcoming season. You look at their lineup, and there’s still some thunder. There are things you can find a positive in. If their pitching staff doesn’t have any injury, it features some phenomenal arms.

But this is largely the same group that couldn’t get it done the last few seasons. Something is missing. If I could tell you what that something was I would be doing a lot more than just writing about the Reds; it’s like the million-dollar question. I think the Reds needed Aroldis Chapman to develop into a top of the rotation starter that they could roll out in a must win game in the playoffs. A Randy Johnson type figure who the opposition knows is simply going to always beat them. Someone to get Mike Leake out of there. A lot of guys could close for this team. Few guys in the league strike fear into a lineup like Chapman could as a starter. But that’s never going to happen now.

Maybe that something is a real heart and soul leader. Someone who keeps Brandon Phillips in line. As much as I like Phililps, I’m starting to wonder if he’s not a little bit of a cancer in the locker room. I wouldn’t have cared if the Reds decided to part with him – but almost sheepishly they made the choice to bring him back. And along with that, they brought back the entire group that has failed to win the big one year after year. That’s concerning. You keep banging your head against the same wall long enough, all you’re going to get is a headache. The only thing different is the manager, and Bryan Price isn’t even a new voice. It’s not a shake-up. Everyone else got better, and at best the Reds stayed the same.

Continue reading Cincinnati Reds 2014 Team Preview

What does $105 Million Buy You Cincinnati? Six more years of Fuckin’, that’s what

Homer Bailey

Did you hear that paw?

Six more years and $105 million dollars. That buys a man a lot of steel-tipped arrows, paw. But the most important steel-tip arrow that’s going to hit it’s mark is the one that resides in these here drawers. That’s right.

[Loads .20 gauge with buckshots, Fires it in the air, twice like Yosemite Sam]

The only thing worthwhile that little bald-headed puke Jocketty has done for this team all season is securing my services. You’re telling me in all this time the guy couldn’t have found one hitter who could help us? You’re rolling into the season with Skip Schumaker as our big free-agent? Schumaker? You a queer, Jocketty? You sure ain’t much of a hunter.

But I’ve had me a big off-season full of huntin’. There was that little Mexican Senorita down in San Antonio, the Mama San at that Asian Masseuse Parlor they just opened in my hometown, and the blonde 35 year-old tennis instructor I bagged just days ago here in Arizona. One by one, the little Bailey Muzzle Loader was on it’s mark and when I took aim at their appendages, I didn’t miss.

[Loads entire tin of dip into his mouth]

I guess there’s a lot of folk back in Cincinnati who will be surprised that I’m still here. Things looked bleak at points. That nutless wonder Price tossed around the idea of making me a bullpen pitcher. There was times when my ERA was near 8. There’s been good times, and bad times. There’s been times when I was up to my elbows in split-tail. There’s been a lot of those times.

I even remember the time this team was talking about trading me. Man did I get sick of that shit.

All the while, I never lost confidence in the Homer Bailey Express Fastball. When I wind up and throw that fucker by another hitter, it’s like tragedy has never found this world. I’ve got an arm that will put asses in seats and more asses in my king size bed.

I still hate Pittsburgh, for the record. Those lucky fucks.

[Shoots endangered animal, throws it in the ditch for the Hell of it]

Even now with enough money to be above the law, I’m still gonna be the same old Homer Bailey. I’m still gonna demolish hitters. I’m still gonna amaze scouts by firing fastballs harder in the ninth that I did when I made pitch number one. I’m still gonna drive my monster truck around and go muddin’ down in Kentucky. I’m still gonna eat possum I find alongside the road.

They say $100 million changes a man. The only thing it changes about this man is the amount of condoms I’m going to need.

[Gives his blood hound dog a deer antler to chew on]

For all of you that have been with me since day one; for all of you that have never stopped believing in the Homer Bailey Express, I got a special surprise for you this season. I’m gonna bring that Cy Young trophy back to Cincinnati, and put a little Squirrel head on it. It will look better that way, because Cy Young was an ugly sumbitch.

And you ain’t even gonna believe the amounts of cum I’m gonna bring to the park this year now that I’m set for life.

[Fires six-shooter at neighbor who is cleaning his grill, barely misses]

I can’t wait to put on a pair of assless-chaps and march into Jocketty’s office and tell him I want the ball on Opening Day. If that little bald-headed shit jaw does anything but agree, I’m gonna tie him up to the ceiling chandelier like them pigs we skin out on the ranch.

Yeeee-hawwwww! Find us a power hitter Jocketty you bald bastard! I am fucking crazy!

Jay Bruce hits two home runs off Clayton Kershaw on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

bruce HR 29

[Reds 3, Dodgers 2]

That was it last night – that was the game I have been waiting for out of Jay Bruce since his debut back in May of 2008.

There have been three homer games, home runs in the playoffs, and huge walk-off home runs. But last night was the most dominating showcase of Jay Bruce’s career. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball has been where the entire baseball world pauses and convenes for three hours before starting a new week. There were some folks watching the NFL last night, but the people in the nation who love baseball were watching Jay Bruce hit his 28th and 29th home runs of the season off the closest thing the game has to Sandy Koufax. He did it to seal a sweep for the Reds at home over the Los Angeles Dodgers. When I saw Bruce’s second home run land in the right field moondeck, I knew that Reds season in 2013 had reached it’s zenith.

And there’s this: the home runs that Bruce hit off Kershaw were the first and second homers hit off the left-hander by a left-handed batter all season long.

[Bruce Home Run #28]
[Bruce Home Run #29]

Tell them Jay, tell them that the Reds think they’re the best team in baseball:

The Reds sit a game out of first, Homer Bailey threw pretty close to what I would consider to be a gem, and Bruce had his pair of national TV dingers off Clayton Kershaw. It doesn’t seem real.

And it’s nights like last night I feel bad for ever saying a terse word about Dusty Baker. He isn’t perfect, but we owe some debts of gratitude to Dusty for pulling the Reds out of baseball purgatory and giving the Reds back to back winning seasons for the first time since 1999-2000 (yes, the Reds now have 82 wins and will finish over .500).

The Fire of Homer Bailey


Last night Homer Bailey took the ball and 7 and 1/3 scoreless against the might and feared St. Louis Cardinals lineup. The Reds won the game 1-0 in a series that they have to find a way to win – a series that is arguably the most important the Reds have played all season. That’s two starts in a row that Bailey has taken the ball against St. Louis and shut them out, 14.1 innings in all. He struck out 15 and walked three in those two starts, displaying something no one talks about enough when talking about Bailey; a 5 to 1 K to BB ratio. Bailey can be inconsistent, but when he’s on he’s the best pitcher the Reds can put out there.

Bailey has taken the ball twice recently in “winning time” starts against the Cardinals; games the Reds really had to have, and delivered sparkling performances. His record now sits at 10-10, but this is going to end up the season that stands out at Bailey’s best on the back of his baseball card.

The stuff that Bailey displayed last night is why I roll him out there in a one-game playoff against the same Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Pirates. Any pitcher has the chance they could get lit. But if Bailey’s on, he’s the best option the Reds have. He seems to thrive the most in a big spotlight – think about the two no-hitters, think about the NLDS game three last year against the Giants at home (as much as it hurts), and think about the last two starts against the Cardinals.

Some may argue that Mat Latos is the Reds’ ace. It’s a close call and a good argument can be made for either guy. But in one game that I have to have if I’m the Reds – backs to the wall – I’m handing the ball to the country boy from Texas and seeing if David Dewitt Bailey brings it home.

Game 134, 2013: Reds 10, Cardinals 0


[Box Score]

The Redlegs responded.

After a crushing loss Monday night, and a flat loss last night; the Reds came out with something to prove and hung nine runs on Adam Wainwright in the first two innings. Jay Bruce drove in five of them – with three being on his 26th home run of the season.

The Reds went with the lineup I’ve been crying for all season: Choo, Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Ludwick. Any combination from there doesn’t matter much. The Reds need to go down shooting with that order.

Homer Bailey fired 7 and 1/3 innings of shutout baseball to get the win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bailey go 5-0 in the month of September to finish with a really strong season. Bruce now sits on 85 RBI for the year needing just 15 in the final month to top the century mark.

I just read a recent article on Bruce by John Sickels over at Minor League ball. The article touches on the notion that Bruce has never really taken off and isn’t going to be a superstar; merely a solid big leaguer. I get it. I watch the guy every day and have seen his progression. The stats might not end up showing it but I definitely feel like Bruce is the best he’s ever been in the big leagues. He will be just 27 next season. He’s got a few more seasons to still have that jump-off-the-page, superstar season or two. For right now, he’s been the stability the Reds need in the middle of the order and has made just two errors in right field all season. He’s been the team’s MVP – and it’s the first time you can really say that.

The Reds are now 3 and 1/2 games out of first place behind the Cardinals. They still haven’t really gotten hot. This team has had a ‘meh’ feel to it all season. They have to find a way to go on their best run of the season int he final month, win the division, and avoid a one-game wildcard playoff. I’m not optimistic about it. It’s just been such a weird season.

It’s that time of the year where Jay Bruce says “Hop on my back boys, I’m going to carry you a while.”


[Monday Night Box Score]
[Today’s Tuesday Matinee Box Score]
[Bruce Home Run #23]
[Bruce Home Run #24]

Dan Straily and Bartolo Colon learned the hard way, when Jay Bruce decides he’s hot; it’s best just not to mess with him.

The Reds answered my notion that they were dead with two big wins at home over the Oakland A’s, and today on the radio Marty Brennaman brought up a good point. Maybe in this game of such a long season – you never are quite as good as you seem but things are never quite as bad as they seem either.

Bruce hit a big home run last night to the power alley in left center to get the Reds going in a 3-1 win. He also made a terrific running catch in the fourth inning to get Mat Latos out of trouble. Today he hit a two run homer and drove in three total and threw a runner out at home plate.

Bruce is carrying the Reds right now as he has so often through different points of this long and challenging season.

After a day off tomorrow the Reds welcome the Padres to Great American for the weekend with yet another chance to get hot and put their stamp on this 2013 chapter in the book of Cincinnati.

By the way, this was the second Simpsons match up lifetime. That’s right, today at GABP it was Homer vs. Bart just like six years ago (June 14th, 2007) when Colon and Homer Bailey faced off. In yet another piece of evidence that baseball just repeats its own history, neither pitcher has been very sharp when they’ve faced off, like in today’s game.

Homer Bailey throws his second career no-hitter


[Box Score]

Homer Bailey has done it again, no-hitting the San Francisco Giants two nights ago for the second consecutive no-hitter in baseball, both belonging to Bailey.

I watched the entire game in the Planet Hollywood sports book. I saw from about the third inning on that Bailey had his no-hit type stuff, it was just a matter of the luck was on his side; the luck that is a necessary of any completed no-hitter.

I could care less about the F-bomb that Homer dropped on live television in his post game interview. It made the moment even more memorable.

What this moment and this game was all about was Homer Bailey delivering on all the potential so many people have waited on all along. Bailey became just the 31st player in big league history to throw multiple no-hitters. When a guy has came into the league and thrown multple no-no’s, he’s realized his potential. He’s accomplished greatness in the game. He’s joined elite company.

No one can ever call Homer Bailey a ‘bust’, not that they would have any way; but he’s now reached a territory where he’s respected among the elite.

That’s what I kept saying to myself as I watched Bailey overpower hitters in the ninth inning with a 97 MPH fastball – “what a bulldog” – that’s the only thing I could think about. Here’s a guy who has came up through the Reds system and weathered some tough times but has shown the entire organization and the baseball world that he’s something special.

If Bailey doesn’t do another thing in this game – if the ride ends here – he’s already delivered several times on the grandest of stages for the Cincinnati Reds and provided some memories that last forever amongst the immortals.


And here’s Marty’s call of the historic moment:

And here’s the golden post-game interview:

10 Bold Predictions for 2013: The Guys We Promise to have a HUGE Year


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.