With the All-Star Game now history and an extra day without baseball, now is the perfect time to review exactly how my prognostication skills are. Before the 2016 season began, I declared that the New York Yankees would win 84 games, finish in third place and fight for a Wild Card spot until the last week of the season. Click here if you would like to read the preview in its entirety. I also made predictions on five Yankees’ players and how they would fare in the upcoming campaign. In preparation for this post, I patted myself on the back for one of them and cringed while looking at another. Which means I am no better or worse than any expert who actually does this for a living.
1-Didi Gregorius will be even better in Year Two.
Is he ever. A career .250 hitter coming into the season, the 26-year old Gregorius is batting .298 and is playing his usual All-Star caliber defense at shortstop. He already has set a career-high in home runs with 11 and with the short right field in Yankee Stadium, 20 is not out of the question. He was one of the team’s hottest hitters coming into the break with ten hits in his previous 29 at-bats and hitting .350 in his previous 30 games. It wasn’t easy replacing Derek Jeter but Gregorius is making a mark of his own in New York.
2-There will be no repeat performance from Alex Rodriguez.
This was kind of an easy one to make considering how much Rodriguez cooled down in the second half of 2015. Despite hitting only .220, he does have eight home runs in 186 at-bats, putting him on pace for 15 or 16 by season’s end, not terrible for a 40-year old player. He is now even taking ground balls at first base in attempt at getting him more playing time and, hopefully, more production. I think his average will rise slightly in the second half to about .230 with 14 home runs. Not the numbers of a $25 million dollar player but not the worst player in baseball, either.
3-Masahiro Tanaka will win 16 or more games.
With a record of 6-2 and 18 starts under his belt, Tanaka would have to go about 10-2 in order for this to happen. That appears unlikely but it is not out of the realm of possibility. He has pitched well this year, sporting a 3.23 ERA and a solid 1.11 WHIP (Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched) in 117 innings pitched. Of course, the concern with him is can he hold up and actually make 30 starts? He hasn’t during his first two campaigns in New York though that number had risen from 20 in 2014 to 24 last year. 16 is a lot to ask for at this point but as the old Lottery slogan states, “Hey, you never know”.
4-Carlos Beltran will not play in more than 105 games.
Not only has he on pace to play more than 105 games (83 so far), he is the Yanks’ MVP. The All-Star leads the Bombers in just about every major offensive category including home runs with 19 and RBI’s with 56. When the talk begins to turn of the Yankees selling parts if they fall out of the race, Beltran’s name is one of the first to come up. At 39, he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and could probably play at least one more season. Even if he finishes 2016 in New York, we probably won’t see Betran in a Yankee uniform in 2017. His three-year deal signed prior to the 2014 season was a good one for the organization.
5-Mark Teixeira will be the Yankees’ Most Valuable Player.
Oh boy. I don’t there is much more to write other than I was hopelessly wrong. Maybe I meant he would be the team’s MVP in the second half? Ugh. There are still 74 games left in the season to make me a genius. Come on, Tex!
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