Before the start of the MLB season, I listed out 19 Predictions for the 2019 season. So with the season over and the offseason heating up, we look now at the results of those predictions.
#1: 10 Players Will Hit 40+ Home Runs & 3 Players Hit 50+: Yes & No
There is no doubt that in MLB 2019, it was the year of the Home Run. 6,776 home runs were hit in 2019, shattering the record set just two seasons ago of 6,105. And while ten players hit 40+ home runs, only one hit 50.
The preseason list of 40+ homer players is
- Aaron Judge (See Prediction #12)
- Giancarlo Stanton (56)
- Bryce Harper (51)
- Khris Davis (48)
- JD Martinez (45)
- Nolan Arenado (43)
- Rhys Hoskins (42)
- Joey Gallo (42)
- Gary Sanchez (41)
- Mike Trout (41)
The actual list of 40+ home run hitters is
- Pete Alonso (53)
- Eugeñio Suarez (49)
- Jorge Soler (48)
- Cody Bellinger (47)
- Mike Trout (45)
- Christian Yelich (44)
- Ronald Acuña Jr (41)
- Nolan Arenado (41)
- Alex Bregman (41)
- Nelson Cruz (41)
#2: Whit Merrifield Will Steal 50 Bases: No
The simple answer is no; Whit Merrifield would steal 20 bases in 2019. Merrifield would steal 45 bases io n 2018 and is a candidate to get over 40 steals again in 2020. Mallex Smith was the closest to achieving 50 steals, ending up with 46.
#3: Madison Bumgarner Traded: No
In a surprising MLB trade deadline, non-move, the San Francisco Giants held onto Madison Bumgarner. But that point in the season, the Giants were unlikely to make the postseason. But trading away a franchise star like Bumgarner would be cause for an uprising by the Bay.
#4: Mike Trout Goes 40/40: No
An injury-shortened season would not factor into Mike Trout falling short of the 40/40 mark. Trout would steal only 11 bases but would hit 45 home runs. The player who went the closest to 40/40 was Ronald Acuña Jr, who had 41 home run and 37 steals.
#5: Two-Way Player: Michael Lorenzen Hits 10+ Home Runs: No
Michael Lorenzen is a unique talent. However, being a two-way player is extremely difficult. Lorenzen would hit one homer.
#6: Manny Machado Struggles to Keep San Diego Relevant After July: Yes
Plain and Simple, Yes. The Padres have spent a lot of money on Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer. But that money may preclude the Padres from signing an ace like Stephen Strasburg to anchor their rotation
#7: Trade Magic: Yes
The 2019 MLB trading deadline nearly passed without a big name moving. But in the closing moments of the 4 pm deadline, Zack Greinke was acquired by the Houston Astros.
#8: Joey Votto’s OBP over .500: No
This was as wild a prediction as could be made. But if it were possible by anyone, it would have been Joey Votto. Votto would struggle this season and have an OBP of .357 the lowest of his career.
#9: 5 Pitchers with 300+ Strikeouts: No
Strikeouts in MLB are running wild like Hulk Hogan in the ’80s. And with players and organizations devaluing the former stigma of strikeouts, that trend will likely continue. However, our preseason estimate would guess five pitchers would notch 300 K’s; that was not the case. Only two pitchers Gerrit Cole (326) & Justin Verlander (300), would reach the 300 strikeout plateau.
Preseason pitchers list with 300+ Strikeouts in 2019
- Max Scherzer (312)
- Justin Verlander (309)
- Aaron Nola (305)
- Gerrit Cole (304)
- Jacob deGrom (302)
#10: 7 Pitchers with 20 Wins: No
Wins aren’t the greatest measure of a pitcher’s success. But to win 20 games is still an impressive feat in today’s game. And while seven pitchers we’re predicted only two, Justin Verlander (21) and Gerrit Cole (20), would accomplish that mark.
Preseason 20 game winners list
- Aaron Nola (27)
- Jose Berrios (25)
- Max Scherzer (24)
- Justin Verlander (24)
- Gerrit Cole (23)
- Jacob deGrom (22)
- Trevor Bauer (20)
#11: The Yankees Shatter the MLB Team Home Run Record by Hitting 300: Yes
The New York Yankees set the single-season team record just two years ago with 267 home runs. This season that record would be shattered, twice over. Two teams the New York Yankees would hit 306 team homers. But the Minnesota Twins would pass them with 307 home runs.
#12: Aaron Judge Smashes Single-Season Home Run Record: No
Home runs and strikeouts are the way the game is played now. And with the immense power that Aaron Judge possess, it’s easy to think that Judge can shatter the single-season player record. The preseason number that we predicted Aaron Judge would hit 82. Now injuries plagued Judge for the middle part of the season and would limit him to only 102 games played. And in those 102 games, Judge would hit 27 home runs. So the single-season record remains in tack…at least for now.
#13: The Miami Marlins Average Game Attendance less than 5000 Fans: No
When it comes to attendance, the sentiment in MLB is staying out of Florida. With that, I speculated that the Marlins average game attendance would be less than 5,000 a game and for the entire season for a total of 400,000 at seasons end. The season end for the Marlins was 811,302, and the average attendance was 10,016. Now, the real question is whether or not those numbers are real or fabricated totals by the Marlins.
#14: The Yankees Bullpen has an ERA Under 2.00: No
According to FanGraphs, the Yankees Bullpen ERA was 4.08 in 2019. Now that number can be a bit skewed as any callup and starter that came out of the pen would count against such a number. If you boil down to the group everyone thinks about as the Bronx Bullpen, the ERA is 2.74. But still not under 2.00
#15: Bruce Bochy Goes Out Winningest San Francisco Giants Manager: Yes (But Also No)
The Giants of Major League Baseball are a historic franchise. And there are two versions of the franchise to speak of, the San Francisco version and the New York Giants. When looking strictly at the San Francisco iteration, Yes, Bochy is the winningest manager. But as an overall franchise, John McGraw holds that distinction with 2,583 victories to Bochy’s 1,052.
#16: Washington Nationals Win a “Playoff Series” Without Bryce Harper (NL Wildcard): YES and More
The Washington Nationals franchise have been a good team for the last several years. However, they were unable to get that crucial victory and win a playoff series. This year that all changed. The Nationals would not just win the NL Wildcard game but the NLCS and the World Series.
#17: Boston Red Sox Get Swept in the AL Division Series: No
So the simply answer is this prediction was wrong. The Boston Red Sox did not get swept in the Division Series because they did not make the playoffs.
#18: Bryce Harper Carries Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series: No
As a Bryce Harper fan, I believed bug in Bryce and his ability. And while he did not carry to Phillies to the World Series, he put up an incredible season (minus the batting average) in 2019. And I fully expect an even more significant impact in 2019 under Joe Girardi’s tutelage.
#19: New York Yankees Win the World Series: Sadly, No
This one pains me the most to script because, as a Yankee fan, I was hoping to see a World Series banner being raised in the Bronx. But the New York Yankees would not win the 2019 World Series.