Before the season started, I made 5 bold predictions that I believed could very well come true. With only 3 games to go I want to go ahead and see how I fared. I’ll revisit each prediction and see how wrong, or possibly, how right I was.
My first prediction had Greg Holland being named the full time closer and notching 30 saves. Well, it took Jonathan Broxton getting traded to Cincinnati, but Greg Holland is the team’s full time closer and has racked up 15 saves as we head into the final series against the Tigers. My prediction was a little high, but for the most part, my prediction was on point.
September 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first basemanPrince Fielder
(28) runs the bases after hitting a home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcherLuke Hochevar
(44) during the second inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
I’m not sure what I was drinking when I made my next prediction about Luke Hochevar. I stated he will have an ERA under 4 for the first time in his major league career and he will win 15 games. Boy, was I wrong! Hochevar has collected 8 wins and is putting together one of the 25 worst pitching seasons ever for players who have thrown 185 innings or more, with his 5.73 ERA. Needless to say, I was still very optimistic that Hochevar could somehow turn the corner and perform to the level of a first round pick, number one overall at that. I think we can all agree that Hochevar will never live up to that pick and the Royals should not have him around for 2013.
I predicted that we would see more power from Mike Moustakas, but he will still also struggle at the plate this year. I think it can be agreed upon that we saw just that. Moose is second on the team in home runs, with 20, which is the most home run production we have seen from a Royals third baseman since 1998. I stated Moose will hover around the .260 mark, which is a little high as he currently is hitting at a .242 clip.
With my next prediction, I had Lorenzo Cain one stolen base shy of a 20/20 campaign. An injury early in the season kept Cain on the shelf for most of the first half of the season. When healthy, Cain has shown he can be a very productive outfielder. The question remains though, if Cain can truly ever be a reliable option based on his injury history. All that being said, in limited action this season, Cain did put together a respectable line of 7 homers, 31 RBI, and a .266 average.
My final prediction was the one I was really hoping would come true. I claimed Billy Butler would turn some of his infamous doubles into more home runs and that he would take 3rd in the American League batting title race. I said he would end up with a .331 average and he is currently hitting .312 which is good for 6th in the league. While I might have been a little off on the average, I am glad to see Butler swing it so well this year. He has 107 RBI and is one home run shy of 30 on the season.
I believe 3 out of my 5 predictions were fairly accurate and those 3 predictions could lead to this team becoming a more solid bunch and possibly a contender as we head into next season. However, the two that I swung and missed at were two reasons as to why this team did struggle as much as they did this year. Inconsistent starting pitching and injuries were the achilles heel to this 2012 Royals season. Let’s just hope we can find some answers in the off season to these problems.