Ahead of MLB’s Opening Day on Thursday, the good people at ESPN went over numerous predictions for the upcoming season. They ranged from which players would lead the league in certain statistics to which major milestones certain players will finally eclipse in 2021.
Most notably for Padres fans, MLB analysts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, and Alden Gonzalez took the time to predict what Fernando Tatis’ final stat line would be at the end of the season.
Here’s what they had to say:
Doolittle: First full season? Really? I’m already kind of tired of him. ... It’s a joke! I temper my expectations for him in 2021 by thinking of his 2020 performance as one in which the small sample of games just happened to catch a stretch in which he didn’t experience any prolonged slumps, especially because he does strike out quite a bit. I’ll say .288/.368/.573 with 41 homers, 101 RBIs and 119 runs. Not bad for tempered expectations, I’d say.
Schoenfield: I’ll go exactly with his career line: .301/.374/.582, with 38 home runs, 22 stolen bases, three runs scored on infield popups and a Gold Glove.
Gonzalez: I’ll go better than that because he has already shown a knack for improving year to year — .310/.390/.600, 45 homers, 30 stolen bases and 10 triples. The only stat I really care about: 0 trips to the injured list. If that’s the case, the rest will take care of itself.
So expectations are still very high for El Nino, but it seems like experts are trying to force themselves to temper their own expectations. Like Doolittle said in his paragraph, this will (hopefully) be Tatis’ first full season in the majors, so it’s not surprising that there are still some who wish to see a full year’s body of work before finally stamping him with the “phenom” tag.
What do you all think of the experts’ expectations? Are they low-balling Tatis? Too high? Just right? Let me know what you guys think.