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ISH95’s Five Big Predictions for 2017

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Alternative title: ISH95’s decent into insantiy

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Ahhhhhh, can you smell it? Warm air, fresh cut grass, hot dogs, and beer (which I can now legally drink!). With those wonderful smells of spring training comes something else, a little more intangible: Hope. Crazy, baseless hope. So with that heady high running through my veins, let me give you my five big predictions for the 2017 season for our beloved Arizona Diamondbacks.

#1: Paul Goldschmidt has an MVP level season.

Of all my predictions, this would probably be the least shocking if it came to pass. Now to be clear, I’m not saying he is going to win the award. I’m suggesting something more along the lines of him finishing in the top three for voting. If this comes to pass, I don’t think anyone in baseball would be surprised. He has shown multiple times in the past he is capable of it, as we all know, and, coming off one and a half down seasons, along with a regime change in the FO, I think he is going to be particularly motivated this season. Just ask Keith Law what happens when he is motivated.

#2: The Diamondbacks will officially announce plans to move to the East Valley

This also would not be particularly shocking. They’ve made it pretty clear that they aren’t satisfied with their current residence, going so far as to bring the matter to the courts. Hall and the rest of the business side of the team want to make this happen for, I think, fairly obvious reasons. There are two “centers” of the Phoenix metro area: the geographical center, which is where they are now, and the wealth center, where they want to go. They have a lot of potential money to make by moving, especially if they can get someone else to pay to build the stadium, so much so that they are going to make this happen. The fact that it’s going to happen isn’t a prediction. That’s a fact, be it at the actual end of the contract for Chase or sooner. My actual prediction is the by the end of the year part.

#3: The Diamondbacks make at least one blockbuster trade

I predict that the team will be quiet active at the trade line this year, especially since they were so quiet this offseason. Now, whether or not that means a fire sale or selling what’s left of the farm for the last piece for a potential title run, I’ll let you decide.

#4 The Diamondbacks will play meaningful baseball in August

I told you guys the alternative title was my decent into insanity! Actually, this isn’t as bold a prediction as it may seem on the surface. The definition of “meaningful” has been diluted in recent years thanks to the second Wild Card. For example, on August 15th last year, you had the three division leaders and then another seven teams within 6.5 games of the second Wild Card. Heck, even being .500 at that same date last year would have put the Dbacks only 7 games out. Therefore, I feel fairly confident that they will play meaningful baseball in August.

#5 Shelby Miller will get Cy Young votes

Hear me out. Shelby Miller is not a bad pitcher. In fact, over his career, he’s been a pretty solid, at times even good, pitcher. Our perception of him is a combination of two things. First is a huge overpay. We paid like he was the second coming of Randy Johnson. He is not that good, and never will be. He followed that massive overpay with one of the worst seasons in recent, and not so recent, history. Jim very helpfully laid out all the reasons to think an improvement is in store for Miller in his article here. I would argue if the things Jim talks about in there happen, he will end up being a very good pitcher, and good enough to warrant some BBWAA voters to give him some love, which of course would be nothing but good news for the Diamondbacks

And there you have it. One or two are pretty out there, but overall I think it’s a fairly reasonable set of predictions for this season. We’ll see how they play out over the rest of this year, and who knows, if I’m right, I may even revisit them next off season :-)