It’s been 3 long months since the end of the World Series. Spring Training starts in a couple of weeks, and before reality sets in, I’m interested in any bold predictions that fans have for their favorite players. As a baseball fan, Tell me something I should be looking for in 2014.
Right now, every veteran is claiming to be “in the shape of their lives,” every prospect is the next Ozzie Smith or Ken Griffey Jr. or Tom Seaver. Players coming off poor years have corrected their mechanics in the off-season and are sure bets to rebound, and players coming off career years are guaranteed to build on their success.
A couple of guidelines: 1) Be bold, but try not to be ridiculous. No one is going to win 30 games this year, although Mike Trout could hit .400. 2) I’d suggest making individual player predictions, since we won’t know the 25-man rosters for each team until they break camp 8 weeks from this Sunday.
My 3 predictions:
Xander Bogaerts will win the 2014 AL ROY. Not that bold of a prediction, since he’s the #1 prospect that will be starting the season in MLB. But, raw talent aside, it’s rare to see a 21 year old with such a perfect makeup to withstand the slings and arrows of a 162 game season under a microscope.
Jon Lester will win the 2014 AL Cy Young. 5 years ago, and for the 2 successive years, I made this same prediction. But it became apparent that Lester was unable to put together a consistent enough season, start to finish, to nail down a Cy. But coming off his 2013 post-season, I think this is the year.
Dustin Pedroia will hit 25 HRs in 2014. A hand injury, in the first week of 2013, took away most of his power last year. Pedroia is fiercely competitive, who always has to prove something. In 2007, as ROY, it was mentioned his only drawback was his lack of speed, so he spent the off-season becoming faster, and since he’s been a 20+ SB threat. This year, I think he tries to lead the Sox in homers.