As you've hopefully noticed we've started running our 2012 previews - the other divisions last week, the AL East this week, with the Jays to follow next week. I used this as an opportunity to look back at some of the predictions we made at the start of the 2011 season, and thought that this would be a good opportunity for self mockery. We here at the Box are nothing if not humble.
You can find our predictions here, here and here.
On Jose Bautista
"I think Bautista will be just fine. He might hit 37 home runs instead of 54, but I suspect that overall, his average rises a bit, his slugging falls, and he is 5-10% worse overall with the bat." - Anders
"I am with Anders on this one." - Gerry
"He wonít even come close to coming close...I predict he wonít clear 30 home runs." - Matthew E.
"Iím betting on 40 HR - but I am a known optimist. †I also suspect his average will climb a bit." John Northey
"He may not be as locked in as he was in 2010, but Iíll still pencil him in for at least 40 homers, assuming good health." - Alex Obal
Bautista hit .302/.447/.608, leading the Majors with 43 home runs, after posting a .260/.378/.617 line with 54 home runs the year before.
"Expect a slow start with a few bombs with better performance as the year goes along but as of today I would take a .230 ba with 20 home runs, assuming average defense." - Gerry
"He is as ready as heíll ever be... I expect a solid year with around 20 HR and a 250 average." - John Northey
"I think JPAís ready and will not be a disaster, his 2010 cup of coffee notwithstanding." - Dave Rutt
Arencibia hit .219 with 23 home runs.
Will Rajai Davis steal more than 47.5 bases?
Yes: Anders, Dave, John
No: Alex, Gerry (35 steals), Matthew
Davis stole 34 bases in 338 PA
How many runs will the Jays score (755 in 2010)?
730 (Mike Green), 740 (Matthew, Gerry), 755 (Anders), 756 (Dave), 800 (John), 830 (bpoz), 870 (earlweaverfan).
The Jays scored 743 runs, though scoring decreased significantly across baseball, even after a very low scoring 2010.
On Brandon Morrow
"Iím optimistic about Morrow. I think heís for real. He might even get better." - Matthew E
"If he stays healthy, he could be Mark Prior. And if he gets hurt, well..." - Alex Obal
"I will pile onto the bus, good Morrow will show up guided by Jose Molina." - Gerry
"I'm expecting a guy with around 175 IP and a 100-110 ERA+ plus 170-180 K's" - John Northey
"The success of multiple of my fantasy teams depends, at least in part, on Brandon Morrowís second-half emergence. Iím a believer." - Thomas
"Fun to watch at times, frustrating others, 95 ERA+" - John Northey
"I am insanely optimistic about Morrow. I guarantee heís for real. He will get much, much better." - Magpie
Iím bullish on Morrow† - he was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year, and if he can keep his walks down, watch out." - Anders
"He'll walk more and strike out fewer" - Craig B
"Matt Cain-ish, if you will" - mathesond
Morrow posted a 4.72 ERA (3.64 FIP), both significant declines from his 2010 - 4.49 (3.16) - though he did throw more 33 more innings and decrease his walk and strikeout rates.
On Kyle Drabek
"I think he will have his ups and downs... I think he might start strong but then be forced into some adjustments during the season." - Gerry
"Iím optimistic about DrabekÖ in the long run. In the short run he might not look so impressive, and may very well be sent down to Vegas for seasoning." - Matthew E
"I have no idea." - Alex
"Great rookie. In that he makes it through the year intact." - Anders
"I think heíll be good this year, probably based on completely misguided ideas." - Dave
"Drabek will have good and bad moments. Thereíll be nights when everything of his is working and he looks like quite good and heíll mix in starts where he struggles to throw pitches for strikes and last 5 innings." - Thomas
"Adequate, but not overwelming.† 4 era, decent SO" - Lylemcr
"A couple of rough patches will have him with 9 wins and an ERA around 4.50, WHIP in the 1.30s. 6.5 K/9? Sure, why not?" - mathesond
I don't really need to post his numbers, do I?
How many runs will the Jays allow in 2011 (728 in 2010)?
700 (John Northey), 715 (earlweaverfan), ~728 (Lylemcr), 728 + a bit (Dave, Alex), 735 (bpoz),† 740 (Anders), 743 (Matthew), 747 (Thomas), 750 (Gerry), 750ish (mathesond), 770 (Craig B), 775 (Mike Green), 789 (Magpie)
Scoring was down significantly, but the Jays still managed to allow 762 runs.
Surprises and Disappointments
"If Yunel Escobar doesnít add some power he could be disappointing... JP Arencibia could disappoint in the first half of the season as he gets used to playing at the major league level... †I believe Travis Snider will do well, that might not be a surprise." - Gerry
"This has to be Sniderís year, and I expect Rzepczynski to establish himself as well... I could also see Encarnacion taking a big step forward with the bat." - Alex
"Iím going to guess that Cecil will have a really rough year, and that Morrow and Snider will take big steps forward." - Matthew E
'I could see Davis being better than people expect. In fact, with good defense, he could out-WAR Vernon in 2011." - Dave Rutt
"I think Ricky Romero has a nice year and pitches strong throughout... Travis Snider would be my pick for breakout hitter, while Iím worried about Cecilís velocity drop and Drabek struggling heavily... I donít think Morrow counts as a breakout player, but if he does, then I choose him. I expect Cy Young votes if he pitches enough innings." - Anders
"Encarnacion is my bet for the surprise of the year. †As I said above, 30 HR and a 120 OPS+" - John Northey
Should the Jays try to lock anyone up longterm?
"I lock up Morrow if I can, and wait and see with Cecil and Snider." - Anders
"Probably nothing till mid-season, then signing whoever is off to a solid start among Cecil, Snider, and Morrow." - John Northey
"Iím a proponent of waiting almost as long as possible before locking up young players. Iíd rather have to pay extra later than commit myself to mediocrity now." - Matthew E
"I wouldnít until after the season." - Gerry
Morrow signed an extension in the off-season.
How many games do the Jays win?
80 (Gerry), 81 (Matthew E), 82 (Anders), 86 (Mick Doherty) 93 (John)
The Jays went 81-81.
Well, if there's one takeaway from all this it would have to be - Gerry, do you have any stock tips?