It’s the start of the season, so that means time to make bold predictions that make you look silly at the end of the year! So here we go!
- Jonathon Lucroy will hit more home runs then Gary Sanchez
Sanchez showed ridiculous power in his short 2016 season. He mashed 20 homers in only 212 PA, not to mention hit .299 while doing it. This caused Sanchez to shoot up the draft boards, being take in the 4th or 5th round of most drafts.
The biggest question is, how real is his power? The highest SLG percentage he had in the minors was .542, combined between Rookie and Single A in 2010. The highest home runs totals were 18, recorded in 2012 and 2015. However, could it just simply be him adding power to his repertoire? He is only 24 and has plenty of potential going forward. This year, I think pitchers will adjust more to how Sanchez hits, and it remains to be seen how he will handle it.
On the Lucroy side of things, there is not much to say. He plays in a hitters ballpark in Texas and hit a career high of 24 home runs last season. While he hasn’t been consistent when it comes to home run totals, a full year in Texas should push him just past the 20 HR mark.
- The Marlins trade Ozuna and Dee Gordon.
With 2 heavyweights in the NL East (Nationals and Mets), the Marlins will continue to flounder, stuck between a rebuild and trying to compete. When the All-Star break comes, the Marlins will see no other choice then to unload some of their players.
Predictions: Ozuna – Houston, Gordon – Angels
- Atlanta Braves finish over .500 for the first time since 2013.
Between the puzzling trades the Braves have made the past few years, Markakis, Kemp, Brandon Phillips, and others, Atlanta may sneak into relevancy in 2017. Backed by one of the best hitters and baseball, (Freeman), and an undervalued ace in Teheran, the Braves have the pieces in place now to compete. If the backend options, such as Colon and Dickey stay healthy and throw the way they have the past few years, it could bring magic back in to the Brave Franchise
Prediction – Record 83-79