This post is part of a series allowing the LGT community to weigh in with their predictions for projected starters and key bench players for the 2016 season. As usual, there will be two separate contests, one for hitters and one for pitchers. Following last year's scoring model, the 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 3rd, 2015.
If walks are the final hurdle remaining for Danny Salazar, then walks are a K2 sized monolith in the path of Trevor Bauer. I might be one of LGT's strongest supporters of Trevor Bauer and I thought there was no way he'd end up walking more than 4 batters per 9 innings. Yet, that's just what he did. The strikeouts and groundballs went in directions you'd like to see for Trevor, but there wasn't a lot else that followed. That he won 2 more games than Corey Kluber might be the biggest indictment of the pitching win stat that you could ever make. That isn't to say he doesn't have value, but Trevor needs to finally make that step forward that we've all been hoping for or he risks being overtaken by some of the upcoming arms for Indians.
I say all that to remind everybody of this: of all the starting pitchers and those in the mix for a starting pitching job with the Indians, Trevor Bauer is still the youngest of them all. In fact, when you look at the entirety of the pitching staff, only Kyle "Whisper Kitten" Crockett is younger. And, frankly, I'd be appalled if he wasn't.
Courtesy of FanGraphs
Matt Schlichting's Prediction
During a game in Chicago last season, Bauer called time to pick up a trash that had blown on to the infield. Twice. I wonder if a pitcher who gets flustered at fluttering hot dog wrappers will ever have the focus to meet his potential. I'd love to see him snap into it this season and turn into Greg Maddux with a killer fastball. In reality, I expect 2016 to look a lot like 2015. He will have some starts where he looks poised, confident, and in control, mowing through hitters deep into the 8th inning; he will have others where he's thrown 113 pitches and walked six through four innings. With a guy like Bauer, I'm not sure that there's anything the Indians can really fix. He's got the stuff, he's got the heat, and he's got the control...when it's working. The tool between the ears will always be the question when it's not. Again, I'm hopeful, and I think he will become an ace someday. It's just not going to be this season.
Bonus prediction: Imitates the batting stances of Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper in August against the Nationals, flips his bat after hitting a double.
To submit your entry, simply copy and paste the text below into a new comment and fill in your predictions!