This post is part of a series allowing the LGT community to weigh in with their predictions for the 2015 season. Bragging rights are at stake! There will be two separate contests, one for hitters and one for pitchers. Last year's contest was scored against the field, however, this year's points system will work relative to the stats - the closer to final number in each category, the more points you can earn, despite what other participants predict. You need not submit predictions for every single player in order to win, but doing so will increase your chances to win.
For position players, you'll be asked to predict each player's plate appearances (PA), home runs (HR), stolen bases (SB), batting average (AVG), on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage (SLG).
Comments for each post will remain active until the night of Sunday, April 5th, 2015.
I think it's fair to say that we're all more than a little interested in what happens next for Kipnis. Don't believe me? Check out the plethora of digital ink we've spilled on the topic so far this year! By any estimation, Kipnis totally failed to live up to the hype of 2013 and the contract that was signed, which is still team friendly. Whether that drop off was due to pressure, injury or simply having bloated 2013 numbers - that is for you to decide.
Courtesy of FanGraphs
The bad news of 2013 doesn't get much better here. ZiPS and Steamer are showing improvement but nothing close to 2013 levels. Basically, they see a 2012 Jason Kipnis as the expectation. That isn't terrible, but we all know that isn't what the Indians signed up for. Both projections still have him nabbing 20 or more bags again, but not a huge jump considering that both have him getting on base at an increased rate.
What I Think
Kip is coming back. Not to 2013 levels, but also better than 2012. His walk rate will be better than that year, his power will be better than that year now that he's healthy and his BABIP will certainly be higher than that year. His 2014 .366 was an outlier, but his minor league numbers tell us he would typically normalize out to around .320 in the big leagues and at this point he needs some good luck to swing back to that line. I expect that to happen.
Feel free to make numbers up if you'd like but, if you'd rather be more scientifically accurate, you can use these calculators to help you get there:
To submit your entry, simply copy and paste the text below into a new comment and fill in your predictions!