#7: citizen kane (orson welles, 1941)
what i watched last week

stuff i said

I was doing a Google search and came across a page with 19 pieces I wrote for Baseball Prospectus between 1997 and 2000. That was long enough ago that any predictions I might have made will have come true or been proven wrong. I’m writing this without knowing how good/bad my predictions were. Here’s a look at a few entries from the off-season between 1997 and 1998:

December 1997: “Julian Tavarez is unlikely to have a long career.” My logic was that Tavarez was coming off a season where he struck out only 3.9 batters per 9 innings. Tavarez pitched for 12 more seasons. Oops.

February 1998: I wrote a piece about prospects in the AL East. I said Roy Halladay looked good for 1999 and beyond (he had “a terrific upside, but is only 21 years old and should spend more time in the minors”). Hurray for me! He didn’t make the majors to stay until 2002, when he also made the All-Star team, and he now has two Cy Young awards to his name.

March 1998: The idea was that we picked three players likely to crash in 1998, and three likely to have a breakthrough season. I went off on Andrés Galarraga as the ultimate Will Crash … Andrés hit 44 HR in 1998. Oops. (In my defense, Rany Jazayerli and Christina Kahrl also had Andrés on their Crash List.) My other Likely Crashes were J.T. Snow and Darryl Kile. Snow hit only .248, but he drew walks, managed a 102 OPS+, and won a Gold Glove. Kile led the league in losses, with an ERA of 5.20, which looks like my only good selection, although his ERA+ was 100. My breakout candidates were Shawn Green, Manny Ramirez, and Scott Sanders. The first two might seem like obvious choices, but Green was only 25 and Manny was 26. Green hit .278 with 35 HR, 100 RBI, and a 116 OPS+; Manny, who already had some fine seasons but was mostly unnoticed outside of Cleveland, hit .294 with 45 HR, 145 RBI, a 146 OPS+, made the All-Star team, and finished 6th in the MVP voting. Sanders, on the other hand, was 0-2 17.69 in three games for Detroit … they traded him to San Diego, where he spent the season staying out of trouble in the bullpen. By 2000 he was out of the majors for good (outside of one appearance that wasn’t an appearance … look it up).

(One more. This doesn’t have many predictions, but it’s (gasp) quite nostalgic. It was published three days after the opening game of the Giants’ new stadium, then called Pacific Bell Park.)



Great prediction about triples alley.

Charlie Bertsch

I loved reading the Pac Bell Park write-up!


The Pac Bell piece was nicely done.

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