Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nestordamus Predictions: Booms and Busts of 2012

Yes, many of you must know the famous French apothecary and reputed seer Nostradamus who made many predictions of the future than may or may not have been true, depending on your interpretation (or misinterpretation) of his writings.

Well, I have taken his place as the prominate seer of futures that can easily be misinterpretated. Yes, I: Nestordamus will amaze you all with my flawless predictions that will all come true... except the ones that don't.*

So let's turn our eye to the 2012 Baseball season and make some Boom or Bust predictions. We'll flip back and forth.

BOOM: Cole Hamels

Yeah, not exactly a stretch. However in his walk year before his first chance at free agency I think we'll see a rise in the game of this young hotshot who will figure to break the bak in 2013. Unlikely to remain with the Phillies due to the incredible salaries already being paid to Halliday, Lee, Utley, Rollins, Papelbon and Howard, Hamels will be looking for a simular contract to C.C. Sabathia or C.J. Wilson, if not more. 2012 will be a season that Hamels looks to show he's not as injury prone as he's been labeled in the past, and he'll look to elevate himself to the level of his two high-profile rotation-mates in Halliday and Lee.

BUST: Hiroki Kuroda

Every Yankee fan I know has pointed to the trade of Jesus Monatro to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and the (same night) signing of the right-handed Kuroda as the proof the Yankees now have the best rotation in the AL. I think this is quite premature to claim this, and in fact think the signing of Kuroda wasn't the windfall they seem to think it is. His 3.07 ERA was excellent last year and throughout his four year MLB career his ERA has been pretty good. However remember he did lose 16 games last year, has only has one season in his career with a winning record (8-7 in 2009), has never pitched in the American League and he'll be 37 years old. Add in that short porch in right field and I have a bad feeling about him. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he'll be Kevin Brown bad... but I'm not expecting more than say a 13-9 4.30 ERA type season. Not too bad, but not the 17-6 3.65 ERA type season I'm hearing thrown about.

BOOM: Brandon Belt

The Giants don't have a lot of offense to go along with that wonderful pitching, but the youngster is someone who will add a hell of a bat to the lineup in support of the power arms that highlight the Giants chances of the playoffs. Belt's 2001 season was supposed to be his coming out party but he stumbled batting .225 in 63 games while shuffeling back and forth between the Giants and AAA. I think Belt learned a lot from last year though and the experiance will help make him mentally tougher and overall a stronger player. In support of my way of thinking, his spring was fantastic. He hit for both power and average and drew a decent amount of walks as well.

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