Collette Calls: NL Central Bold Predictions
Collette Calls: NL Central Bold Predictions

This article is part of our Collette Calls series.

Welcome to the NL Central round of 2018 Bold Predictions. Last week, I made the bold calls on five pitchers and hitters in the NL East, and you will get ten more by the end of this column. The goal here is to give you 30 pitchers and 30 hitters by the end of the month. Without further adieu, let's get into the Cubs!

Chicago Cubs

Javier Baez finishes outside of the Top 150. His NFBC ADP is 102, which is what I am basing this prediction off, rather than his 72nd ranking in our projections. My overall point is that I think he disappoints, but I am not going way out on the limb and saying he will fall that far down the line because better bold predictions are reality based.

The StatCast database tells us that 183 batters had at least 400 at-bats in 2017, and of those 183 players Baez had the 11th largest negative differential between his actual wOBA and his expected (xwOBA) weighted on-base average. There was a 53-point difference between his actual .339 wOBA and his .286 xwOBA. The StatCast primer explains xwOBA, but in a shorter format, it uses the data from exit velocity and launch angle while removing defense from the equation. Batters, and pitchers, can influence exit velocity and launch angle but lose complete control of the equation once the bat makes contact with the ball.

Baez's average exit velocity in 2017 was in the bottom 50 percent of

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Collette
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at theprocessreport.net. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Sleeper and the Bust podcast on iTunes. An eight-time FSWA finalist, Jason won the FSWA's Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year award in 2013 and the Baseball Series of the Year award in 2018 for Collette Calls.
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