From the desk of Drew Brown:
During the offseason, I always make sure I put together some sort of article for realistic, but at the same time unrealistic predictions that could happen in the upcoming season. Last year, my predictions were pretty inaccurate, and hopefully that changes. The predictions are usually a little bit of a far cry, and I enjoy thinking about these wild scenarios. So without further adieu, here are my bold predictions for each team heading into the 2013 season.
Trevor Cahill will continue his rise to being one of the best pitchers in the league, while Paul Goldschmidt is a National League All-Star and MVP candidate.
Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and B.J. Upton will make up the best outfield in baseball and will combine for close to 80 home runs.
Last season was not a fluke, and the Orioles will find themselves in the playoffs again behind AL MVP candidate Adam Jones.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox will be a disappointment again, but Felix Doubront will be the best starter in the rotation, and will post better numbers than Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Ryan Dempster.
Anthony Rizzo will be a National League All-Star and Alfonso Soriano will finally be traded out of the Windy City after years of being a trade candidate.
Chicago White Sox
Chris Sale will make a serious case for the American League Cy Young and Addison Reed will be one of the best young relievers in the MLB.
Short and sweet, but behind Cy Young candidate, Johnny Cueto, and a powerful lineup, the Reds will win the World Series in 2013.
After loading up in the offseason, the Indians will play the Tigers tight through July in the American League Central and eventually fall off. Trevor Bauer will develop into the ace of the team, while Scott Kazmir makes a case for Comeback Player of the Year.
Troy Tulowitzki will stay healthy all season long and be discussed for the National League MVP, while his team finishes last in the National League West.
22-year old closer, Bruce Rondon, will make a name for himself in the baseball world and saves 35+ games for the American League Central winners.
A historically bad season is on it’s way from the Houston Astros, and expect over 110 losses from the newest American League ball club.
Kansas City Royals
James Shields continues his success away from the Rays, and is runner up to Chris Sale in the American League Cy Young voting.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
A typical answer for baseball fans, but the Angels will live up to their hype in 2013 and have the best four hitter tandem that some baseball fans have ever seen, in Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Mark Trumbo.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The team will realize Zach Greinke was not deserving of a $147 million dollar contract, and will not live up to the hype that the LA Angels do. A playoff berth is possible, but don’t expect a run out of the Dodgers in the 2013 postseason.
After being viewed as a future powerhouse by fans in 2012, the Marlins will finish with the worst record in the National League. Being surrounded by a poor team, Giancarlo Stanton will see less pitches to hit and not show the power numbers he has in recent years.
Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura will each have breakout years and post solid numbers in their sophomore seasons. Kyle Lohse will turn out to be a disappointment and not worth the $33 million dollars invested into him earlier this week.
While the Astros occupy the spot for the worst team in the American League, the Twins fall right behind them. When it comes to making an optimistic prediction though, look for Mike Pelfrey to bounce back and have a half-decent season.
New York Mets
While Johan Santana stays on the decline, Matt Harvey will emerge into a bright young pitcher, and win close to 15 games on a weak Mets team.
New York Yankees
With the injuries of Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and the unpredictability of Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees will finish the season in the basement of the American League East for the first time since 1990.
Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, and a mix between Coco Crisp and Chris Young will become one of the best outfields in the American League.
Crazy to say, but whether it’s with Michael Young or Dominic Brown, Ryan Howard will settle into a platoon role at some point in the year and will no longer be the everyday starting first basemen.
Is a winning season on its way? Sure, we’ll say it is, but look for A.J. Burnett to take a steady decline from the season we saw in 2012, while Travis Snider emerges into the first round pick talent we heard about seven years ago.
San Diego Padres
A little off the charts, but a no-hitter will finally be thrown after over forty years of waiting. Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard are two candidates who can possibly give the Padres their first ever no-no.
San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner will be the best starter in their rotation and make a case for the National League Cy Young.
Jesus Montero will develop into a top catcher in the American League, and despite a disappointing 2012 season, Dustin Ackley will get back on track and reemerge into a stud at second base.
St. Louis Cardinals
Allen Craig will be the best offensive player in their lineup and baseball fans will finally hear about the most unsung hero in the MLB over the past couple years.
Tampa Bay Rays
With Evan Longoria and David Price on the team, anything is possible, but the Rays will not be making the playoffs in 2013. Also, at some point in the season, Fernando Rodney will pitch with his hat on sideways.
Between Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, and Yu Darvish, a no-hitter will be thrown by the Texas Rangers in 2013.
Toronto Blue Jays
J.A. Happ, with the mentorship of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A. Dickey, will turn back into the stud we watched years ago when he pitched with the Philadelphia Phillies. While some are predicting the Blue Jays to be reflective of the 2011 Boston Red Sox and 2012 Miami Marlins, for teams that didn’t live up to their hype, expect a playoff berth from one of the newest powerhouses in the MLB.
The National League surprise team from a season ago will fall short of making the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, but will beat out the Atlanta Braves for the division. Rafael Soriano will be one of the Cy Yucks of the National League and the Nats will realize that making him the second highest paid reliever of all time was a huge mistake.
There you have it, my bold predictions for 2013. As I mentioned in the opening, some of these predictions are farfetched, but fun to think about. With the season less than a week away, we’ll start to see if the players and teams mentioned on this list make me look like a genius, or like a baseball fan who is out of his mind.