Back before the season ended, I posted a series of articles about players I thought were worth watching in each division. Let’s check back in and see if those predictions (AL only in this post) were any better than my predictions for the season, which weren’t all that good.
Clay Buchholz: Before being injured, Clay was having a good season. His peripherals may not be spectacular–1.68 K/BB, 4.25 xFIP–but he’s keeping runs off the board with a 2.45 ERA.
B.J. Upton: His .330 wOBA is not spectacular, but it’s certainly better than his .310 mark from 2009. He’s got his walk rate back above ten percent and his IsoP is up to .164. Still, he’s underperforming what many think he should be doing.
Vernon Wells: Wells got off to a fantastic start and has cooled since, but his wOBA is up to .364 at the point. He’s currently out doing the 2008 wOBA (.357) I thought he could repeat, but it’s a small difference.
Brian Matusz: He’s hit a bit of a bump this year with an ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 4.77/4.29/4.73, but there’s still plenty of promise left in this youngster.
Delmon Young: Delmon’s responded to my “pressure” (I said it was time to put up or shut up) by putting up his best numbers. He’s currently got a career high .353 wOBA and his power (.192 IsoP) may’ve finally showed up.
Austin Jackson: Like Wells, he’s cooled since a hot April, but a .347 wOBA and 5.2 raw UZR mark in centerfield is pretty damn good. It’s more than I expected, honestly, and though he’s been iffy since the start of May, I’m glad he’s playing well.
Jake Peavy: Peavy’s now out for the year after experiencing a shoulder injury, but he was pitching okay during his first full season with the White Sox. His 4.63 ERA does no justice to his 4.05 xFIP and solid 2.74 K/BB. Get healthy soon, Jake.
Grady Sizemore: Also injured. Before being hurt, though, Grady was playing terribly. His wOBA was a measly .254.
Alex Gordon: In the minors, re-tooling himself to come back as an outfielder. I just wrote about him as a possible buy low trade candidate,.
Scott Kazmir: He just gave up 13 runs the other day (not a misprint), but before that, he wasn’t doing very well. He had a 5.98 ERA and a batting line against of .268/.361/.465. Not a good first full year in Anaheim, Scotty.
Nelson Cruz: After missing most of June, Cruz still has a .400 wOBA. Despite the injury, Cruz still has 11 home runs and his IsoP sits at an impressive .287. Looks like I got at least one right!
Franklin Gutierrez: The Death to Flying Things is having a “meh” year. His wOBA is down to .326, but he’s still fielding well. Because of this, he’s up to 2.0 WAR so far this season. He was hitting better at the beginning of the season and if that picks back up, he could cement himself as one of the best all around OFs in baseball.
Ben Sheets: Sheets hasn’t pitched all that well a year after missing all of 2009 with an injury. The risk/reward payment hasn’t paid off for the A’s yet, but Sheets could still be a buy-low-trade candidate for someone looking to contend.
Check back tomorrow for the NL edition that will wrap up my predictions check in.
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