Collette Calls: Scoring 2015 NL Predictions

Collette Calls: Scoring 2015 NL Predictions

This article is part of our Collette Calls series.

Welcome to the fantasy baseball offseason. Personally, it is my favorite time of year because I'm already tied for first in my 2016 leagues. It is also a great time to look back at what went right and what went wrong during the fantasy baseball season. If you've followed my writing for any time, you know that I do like to hold myself accountable for advice I gave the previous offseason to help you prepare for your drafts. This will be the first of a series of several self-reflections as I look back on advice I offered in 2015 to see how well or how poorly I did. Feel free to praise me or chastise me in the comments below. Each of these reflective pieces will be outside the RotoWire firewall so that the court of public opinion can judge me for my efforts.

First up was the review of my 30 AL Predictions I made April 1. Now, let's look at how I did with my bold predictions for the NL.

Freddie Freeman will lead the team in RBI, but will have fewer than 80:
Freeman finished the season with 66 runs driven in. The Braves that occupied the first two spots in the lineup ahead of him combined for a .327 and .300 OBP in front of him which was a little better than expected, but I didn't need to go too far out on a limb to make this prediction.

Jason Grilli leads this team in saves:

Welcome to the fantasy baseball offseason. Personally, it is my favorite time of year because I'm already tied for first in my 2016 leagues. It is also a great time to look back at what went right and what went wrong during the fantasy baseball season. If you've followed my writing for any time, you know that I do like to hold myself accountable for advice I gave the previous offseason to help you prepare for your drafts. This will be the first of a series of several self-reflections as I look back on advice I offered in 2015 to see how well or how poorly I did. Feel free to praise me or chastise me in the comments below. Each of these reflective pieces will be outside the RotoWire firewall so that the court of public opinion can judge me for my efforts.

First up was the review of my 30 AL Predictions I made April 1. Now, let's look at how I did with my bold predictions for the NL.

Freddie Freeman will lead the team in RBI, but will have fewer than 80:
Freeman finished the season with 66 runs driven in. The Braves that occupied the first two spots in the lineup ahead of him combined for a .327 and .300 OBP in front of him which was a little better than expected, but I didn't need to go too far out on a limb to make this prediction.

Jason Grilli leads this team in saves:
Two days after posting this prediction, Craig Kimbrel was traded to the Padres and Grilli did indeed go on to lead Atlanta with 24 saves before his season ended with an Achilles' tendon injury.

Martin Prado finishes with the second-highest RBI total on the team:
This prediction fell four runs driven in shy of becoming true. Justin Bour came out of nowhere to lead the team with 73 runs driven in and Giancarlo Stanton drove in 67 runs despite playing in just 74 games.

Jarred Cosart leads the team in strikeouts:
Not even close as Tom Koehler was the only pitcher to strike out more than 90 on this staff. Cosart only pitched in 14 games as he suffered two different bouts of vertigo, both of which put him on the disabled list.

Travis d'Arnaud is this year's Devin Mesoraco:
D'Arnaud had a .218 ISO and a .485 slugging percentage when he played, but his season was shortened with elbow and hand injuries. When he did play, he was performing like a 2013 Mesoraco.

Matt Harvey pitches fewer than 160 innings and does not exceed his 2013 strikeout total of 191:
I was half right here as Harvey went 189.1 innings but he did fall short of repeating his strikeout total as he struck out 188.

Ben Revere will steal more than 40 bases and score fewer than 60 runs:
Neither of these happened, and the trade to Toronto cannot be blamed. He had 49 runs with the Phillies at the time of the trade, but he only swiped 31 in what was a very down year for steals across the league. The league stole 259 fewer bases in 2015 than they did in 2014.

Ken Giles will save 20 games and strike out 100 batters while doing so:
He didn't get the job in Philly until Ruben Amaro Jr. waited until the last moment, but Giles still got 15 saves on the season and struck out 87 batters in 70 innings. He didn't reach the lofty goals, but 6 wins, 15 saves, and 87 strikeouts with solid ratios helped him produce more roto value than the likes of Glen Perkins, Joakim Soria and Drew Storen.

Denard Span will still score 75-plus runs even though he will miss the first few weeks of the season:
Just like nearly everything else in Washington, this didn't pan out. Span played in only 61 games due to injury and scored 38 runs.

Max Scherzer increases his strikeout total for a fourth consecutive season:
He will strike out 275-plus batters this season: Both of these things happened as he struck out 276 which actually increased his strikeout total for a 5th consecutive season. That final start/no-hitter did the trick.

Dexter Fowler sets a career high for runs scored and breaks the 90-run barrier:
Fowler did set a career high for runs with 102, which is 12 more than 90 runs if you aren't good at math.

Jason Hammel breaks the odd-year curse that has plagued his career and puts the Oakland nightmare behind him to get back to where he was earlier in 2014:
He did put the Oakland nightmare behind him, but his overall numbers were right in line with what he did in 2014. He did see a bump in strikeouts, but everything else was nearly identical to what he did in 2014.

Marlon Byrd hits 15 home runs and is traded or released before season's end:
He hit 23 home runs -- 19 for the Reds and 4 for the Giants after he was traded before the deadline. That's now three consecutive 20 homer seasons, but his batting average has fallen from .291 to .264 to .247 in that time.

Homer Bailey picks up where he left off in 2014:
He blew his elbow out on May 1st and was done for the season.

Scooter Gennett will go double-double this year in homers and steals and score 70-plus runs:
0-3 with three strikeouts. He had six homers, one stolen base and 42 runs in 391 plate appearances.

Jimmy Nelson leads the team in strikeouts:
He did indeed, striking out 148 batters -- 40 more than any other pitcher that finished the season with the Brewers.

Starling Marte finishes the year in the top 15 for overall roto value for hitters:
He finished 24th, but ahead of the likes of Prince Fielder, Buster Posey, and Mookie Betts.

A.J. Burnett, on his way out the door, strikes out 175 with a sub 3.50 ERA and a sub-1.25 WHIP:
He only struck out 143 and had a 1.36 WHIP, but he did have a 3.18 ERA.

Matt Adams will drive in 90-plus runs, even though he can't hit lefties well:
His season was limited to 60 games by a major knee injury. Even when he did play, he didn't do well as he drove in just 24 runs in 186 plate appearances.

Lance Lynn becomes a top-20 starting pitcher in mixed leagues:
The power changeup never really materialized for him and he barely made the top 40 list at 39. The 12 wins, 167 strikeouts, and a 3.03 ERA were good, but the 1.37 WHIP hurt his value.

Buy all shares of A.J. Pollock you can. He gets on base, he steals bases, makes good contact and has some pop. This is a $20 NL-Only player waiting to happen:
He earned $41 in NL-Only play and $37 in mixed-league play. He was an absolute fantasy monster this season that came at quite the bargain and likely won many people some money.

Chase Anderson leads the staff in fantasy value by season's end:
This did not materialize as six wins and 111 strikeouts in 152 innings pitched with blah ratios is replacement level production.

Nick Hundley sets a career high for home runs in 2015:
He fell 3 short hitting 10 homers in 389 plate appearances two seasons after hitting 13, in Petco, in 408 plate appearances. Go figure.

Adam Ottavino gets the closer role before the All-Star break and never looks back:
He actually did get the closer role in late April, and then promptly blew out his elbow and was done for the season.

Joc Pederson will finish the season hitting in the top third of the lineup and will tease at 20/20 while batting .280. Invest!:
He hit 26 home runs, but only swiped four bases and finished the season hitting down in lineup and batted just .210 on the season.

Brandon McCarthy will repeat the skills growth in 2015, but just not the innings. I fully believe in his skills, but every inning over 170 should be considered a bonus:
He made four starts before his elbow gave out on him and he was lost for the season.

Will Middlebrooks hits 20 homers:
He hit nine homers and played in only 83 games.

Tyson Ross takes his game to another level:
He improved his K/9 from 9.0 to 9.7, allowed fewer home runs, and lowered his FIP a quarter of a run. His ERA bumped up around half a run while his WHIP took the hurting as he allowed more hits and walks than he did in 2014.

Brandon Belt hits 20-plus homers and drives in 80-plus runs:
He hit 18 home runs and drove in 68, so he came close to this. More importantly, he remained mostly healthy and repeated what he teased in 2013.

Tim Lincecum leads the Giants in ... saves:
He had zero saves, but I still feel this is his career path.

Overall, I appeared to do a better job with my NL predictions than my AL predictions, which immediately gives me regret for not playing in any NL leagues this season.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Collette
Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999, and here at Rotowire since 2011. 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 every Sunday. A ten-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, as esd the 2023 AL LABR champion. Jason manages his social media presence at https://linktr.ee/jasoncollette
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