Monday, February 16, 2009

5 Fearless Predictions for 2009

There's not a whole lot of introduction I'm looking to do for this. Some may be controversial and that's fine. Keep in mind that these are gut-based and not stats-based. Throwing stats at me in rebuttal will prove nothing, as these are PREDICTIONS and not facts.

1) Ryan Zimmerman will be the team MVP.
Dukes and Johnson will get hurt and Dunn and Milledge won't be quite as good.

2) The team's best pitcher will not have thrown a single pitch for the Nats organization in 2008.
It actually hurts me to say that. I am a HUGE John Lannan fan, but for some reason I always feel we're hanging on a thread with him. We can't expect Bally-Star or Zimmermann to have breakout rookie years (as nice as it would be). For some reason, I have high hopes for Daniel Cabrera, Scott Olsen and even J.D. Martin.

3) Joel Hanrahan will not be the closer at the end of the year.
Ok, I may not believe in this one completely. It's done more to provoke thought-what if Hanrahan breaks down or is ineffective? Then we turn to Shawn Hill, the subject of a near-future post that I'm working on.

4) Jesus Flores will not have the breakout year with the bat many of us are expecting.
Flores may very well be my favorite National, but there are just too many holes in his swing that need to be corrected if we want him to go nuts. His BB/K numbers are terrible-29 BB to 126 K in his career-and his contact numbers aren't much better either.

5) Anderson Hernandez will make you yearn for the return of F-Lop.
I touched on this in last night's "Inbox" (I refuse to call it that without quotation's the mailbag!): too many of you are basing your opinions on Hernandez on his 81 AB trial last season (and his 236 at bats of Winter League ball). He has a track record: 87 bad ML at bats and a minor league track record of 3508 bad at bats. He is not a good hitter. Expect the worst and maybe you'll be pleasantly suprised...but that chance is 10% or lower.

I'm going to add to this list as time goes along. Feel free to discuss in the comments.


  1. My friend, has no one told you the purpose of the first few days of Spring Training? Do we really have to don the sackcloth and ashes in the middle of February?

    Please! Everything is still possible right now, and it is best to leave the dire predictions until the team has gone 9-23 in Spring Training. Can't we at least enjoy the possibilites of Adam Dunn before we are preemptively disappointed with his underwhelming season?

    We have had 4 seasons in DC so far. Two have gone better than expected, 2 worse. There is no obvious pattern yet.

  2. This wasn't a completely negative post. I gave 2 positives-a good year out of Zimmerman and good new additions. I gave a so-so one (Hill being closer is the best option IMO). And I gave 2 negatives-Flores and Anderson.

  3. "His K/BB numbers are terrible-29 K to 126 BB in his career"

    Huh? Looks pretty good to me. He's a batter, not a pitcher, after all. Or did you mis-type this stat?

  4. Whoops, I mixed that up. Should be 29 BB to 126 K. Thanks for pointing that out.

  5. Mr. Hogan,
    This is the second time I have read a prediction from you referring to JD Martin making the Nat.'s pitching staff. I for one agree with you and have myself predicted the same since JD coming over from the Indians. Minor L. stats aside, I think the National's fans will be pleasing surprised on what this kid can do. He just needs to stay healthy!!! PoPs60

  6. I'm a big fan of J.D. With a combination of decent stuff and consistently decent minor league stats, I don't see why he should be written off in the race for the rotation slots.


Please leave your questions and/or comments here and I'll get back to you ASAP!