Revisiting Bold Predictions: National League West
Back in March, I penned some bold predictions about every Major League team. I’m revisiting them division by division to see how I did.
ARI – Archie Bradley will have more wins than any other Diamondbacks starter.
The Diamondbacks starting rotation has been a mishmash of ineffectiveness and injury, but because of injury, Bradley hasn’t made his MLB debut yet. A right elbow strain sideline Bradley for close to 2 months. He has scattered 11 starts this year between rookie ball, AA and AAA. He’s obviously still working his way back from injury, but in his most recent AA outing, he struck out 10 over 7 innings of work.
COL – Gold glove third baseman Nolan Arenado finds his Coors Field stroke and wins the NL batting crown.
Arenado’s .289 first half batting average will certainly not win him the NL batting title, but it is better than his .244 average in the first half of his rookie campaign last year. He followed that up with a .298 average after the break in 2013. I expect his batting average climbs above .300 for the season, and will fall short of my lofty projections.
LAD – Yasiel Puig will spend more than a month at AAA.
Despite himself sometimes, Yasiel Puig has remained an electric force in baseball. I thought he would self-destruct and need some time to mature at the AAA level. I underestimated Puig and the Dodgers ability to keep him just enough in line. His .309/.393/.522 first half slash line with 12 HR and 7 SB ensured that he was going to be spending no time in AAA. I’m glad to be wrong about him. He definitely adds a lot to the game.
SD – Everth Cabrera is pissed. Billy Hamilton my ass, Cabrera steals 60 bases and doesn’t get suspended for steroids.
Cabrera landed on the DL with a hamstring issue in early July. Up to that point he’d only stolen 13 bases. The problem is that he’s getting thrown out about 2/3 of the time. His 65% success rate this season is way down from a career 79.7% success rate heading into this season. On top of that, Billy Hamilton is the fastest man in MLB. He stole 38 bases in the first half. He also was thrown out a lot (71.7%) but that kind of weapon is still very useful.
SF – The Giants will have 2 of the top 5 Cy Young candidates. Matt Cain will bounce back and 24 year old Madison Bumgarner completes his ascent to the elite ace category.
I’m not sure either will get any Cy Young love this awards season. Bumgarner will deserve some attention with a 3.47 ERA and 1.252 WHIP in the first half, but quite frankly there have been too many other NL starters worthy of Cy Young accolades. And Matt Cain, woof. I think it’s safe to say his Cy Young sniffing days are over.