Revisiting Bold Yankee Predictions On Offense
By Scott Alfano
Major League Baseball may be about to start the ALCS and NLCS, but the Yankees season is long over. With that, it’s time to go over my pre-season bold predictions. First, let’s look at the 5 offensive predictions.
- Brian McCann will break 30 home runs.
Brian McCann had an awful start to the season, making him face an uphill battle all year long. He had trouble adjusting to the shift, and his averaged suffered. At his worst, he hit .198 in June with an OBP of .266. Coming into September, McCann had just 15 home runs. Clearly he had no chance at getting to 30. However, he made it respectable. McCann blasted 8 home runs in the final month of the season. Unfortunately, he still batted .222 with a .281 OBP. McCann finished the season hitting .232 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI. In my opinion, his home runs and RBI look a little deceiving because of the strong September, but McCann should have a stronger 2015 season.
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- Jacoby Ellsbury will go .310/30/100 with 120 runs scored.
I’d like to take a mulligan on this one. Ellsbury finished at .271/16/70 with 71 runs scored. There were some positives. His 16 home runs and 70 RBI were the second most in his career in a single season. His 70 RBI was second on the team to previously mentioned McCann, and he was second in runs scored to Brett Gardner. While he came close to team highs, we all know the entire team was below par. I overshot on this one.
- Derek Jeter will have over 200 hits, again.
I wrote these predictions on February 11th and they were published February 12th – the same day Derek Jeter announced his retirement after the 2014 season. In case you forgot, Jeter led the league with 216 hits in 2012, but played in just 17 games in 2013 because of his foot/ankle injury. Had I known that 2014 was going to be Jeter’s final season, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Unfortunately, Jeter’s season wasn’t his strongest. He finished with 149 hits on his way to a .256 average. This was actually second on the team to Ellsbury’s 156 hits.
Again, while Jeter did well compared to the rest of the team, that wasn’t very difficult to do in 2014. The average was the worst of his career when he has played at least 20 games in the season. He played in 145 games, but only had 634 plate appearances because of the lack of offense of the entire team. While a .256 average won’t get you to 200 hits, he would have gotten a lot closer if he had the extra 70-100 at bats that he is accustomed to.
- Mark Teixeira will hit less than 15 home runs, play in fewer than 50 games, or both.
Swing and a miss. However, with his .216 batting average he probably should have only played 50 games. Teixeira ended the season with 22 home runs, but just 5 came after the All-Star break. Along with those 5 home runs came a .179 batting average in the second half. He battled injuries all season, but there comes a time when you just shut it down. Tex’s play hurt the Yankees down the stretch.
- The Yankees will score 850 runs as a team this season.
Man was I amped up about the team’s new signings in February. For the second year in a row, the Yankees gave up more runs than the team scored. After scoring 650 runs in 2013, the team dropped to 633 runs scored in 2014. That is good for a -31 run differential on the season. The team averaged 3.91 runs per game. That is the lowest R/game average for the Yankees since the DH was introduced. Yes, adding Ellsbury, McCann, and Carlos Beltran gave the team 17 fewer runs than it already had in 2013. Of course, the team lost Robinson Cano and everybody else was a year older, but 2014 was just a fully unacceptable season.
Overall, I technically went 0/5 on the bold predictions, but McCann’s home runs should get an honorable mention. In a season where the offense failed and Alfonso Soriano wasn’t even on the team by the All-Star break after expecting near-100 RBI from the man in spring training, I doubt anyone’s predictions for the Yankees offense came true this season. I’m sure a lot of readers will say, “of course that was going to happen!” At least I came back to my predictions and owned up to thinking too highly of what the Yankees could do both individually, and as a group, in 2014.