2012 Pre-Season Predictions

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With the start of the season fast approaching (Yesterday was the last spring training game?  Tomorrow is opening day?  Eep!  Where has the time gone!), it means that the First Ladies are back with their pre-season predictions.  As members of the DC-Internet Baseball Writers of America, we participate in a survey every spring and an awards vote every fall.  We tend to like the predictions best because it’s something we can watch and judge ourselves against.  As a note, most of these predictions were made while the First Ladies were out of town, so if things seem slightly off…we’ll just blame foreign air.  Here’s our thoughts on this spring’s survey (which can be found here).


1) Who will lead the Nats in home runs in 2012?

Ryan Zimmerman

Zim seems to be back and healthy this spring (we’re very thankful for that), so with a full season ahead of him, we’re pretty sure he’ll make a mark.  And with that lovely extension – he’ll want to prove he’s worth every penny and more.


2) Who will lead the Nats in RBI?

Danny Espinosa

This is one that after watching the Nats-Red Sox game we’re beginning to question (Wilson Ramos looked REALLY good).  But now is not the time to go back on guesses.  After a fall that looked more crash-and-burn than rookie of the year, we think Danny will come back to the season with something to prove, and that may manifest itself in pushing guys across the plate.


3) Who will lead the Nats in stolen bases?

Roger Bernadina

This is another hopeful pick.  With the Shark back on the Opening Day roster, we’ve got high hopes that he’ll stick around for a while.  And when you’ve got Bill Ladson trying to force the name “Speed Racer” on twitter…well, he’ll have to live up to that somehow.  If the Shark doesn’t get a chance to munch on bases this year, expect to see Ian Desmond in this spot.


4) Who will lead the staff in wins?

Jordan Zimmermann

This was probably the easiest call we made.  J-Zimm is back and fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.  He has no innings limit (unlike Strasburg), and based on the glowing reviews of his shortened season last year, we can’t wait to see what kind of magic he makes.


5) Who will pitch more innings for the Nats this season? (Wang, Lannan or Detweiler)

Ross Detweiler

This was more strategy than anything else.  By the time we made our guesses, Wang had already been injured, and he has a history of being a delicate flower.  That leaves the choice between Lannan and Detweiler.  Lannan had options left, and considering the shocking fact that the Nats exercised these and are having him start in Syracuse, this pick is looking pretty good so far…


6) Who will get more at bats for the Nats this season? (Ankiel, Bernadina, Harper)

Roger Bernadina

This is another shot in the dark, and here’s the reasoning: Ankiel is injured, and also old (and seems to be a placeholder for Harper).  Harper is starting out in the minors, and while he will likely get to the Majors this season, he’s not going to play every day.  That leaves Bernadina – who is on the opening day roster, and will likely fill in for both Ankiel and the also-injured Morse, before slipping into a more utility-outfielder role.


7) Date of Bryce Harper’s Major League debut?

June 2

Fact: Maggie guessed this without looking at her calendar to see if there was a game being played that day, or even what day of the week that was.  Turns out it wasn’t a terrible guess – it’s a Saturday game at the start of a homestand against the Mets.  It potentially gives the team enough time with Harper in the minors to delay him being a Super-2, and would give the fans a lot of chances to see Harper play.


8) Which minor leaguer are you most interested in keeping tabs on this season (not Harper)?

Anthony Redon (or Matt Purke)

Rendon has a chance to make a splash this year.  He was highly touted and while his position (3B) is fairly locked up at the big leagues, it will be interesting to see him develop starting at Potomac and working his way up.  Other than Rendon, we’re eager to see what Matt Purke can do.  Lefty pitchers can be VERY interesting.


9) How many all-stars will the Nats have? Who?

2: Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg

If Zimmerman bounces back from his shortened season the way we hope he can, he’ll be back at the all-star game.  And what sort of NL manager would be able to resist the name-recognition and electricity of Strasburg on their pitching staff?


10) Total wins and what place in the division?

85, 2nd

This is where Maggie and Ashley had their only real disagreement.  Maggie was more optimistic with 88 wins (probably because she was on vacation when she made her picks), and Ashley was more realistic with 82 (she was traveling for work).  We’ve split the difference at 85 and will keep our fingers crossed that this is enough to get the DC boys of summer into second place.


Essay: What is the single most important development for the Nats this season?

We read this as more of “will the team need to develop over the season to be a winning team”, so here’s that answer:

The team needs to stay healthy.  Physically, this includes trying to avoid silly injuries early in the season that could be avoided, and not overworking injury-prone players.  Mentally, the team needs to keep up camraderie in the clubhouse and not get caught up in the early-season hype until they’ve proven themselves on the field.

So…with all that said – what do you guys think?  Are we totally off base?  Agree with our picks?  Let us know in the comments.

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