2015 Seattle Mariners: 5 Bold Predictions

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Jul 5, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller (5) hits an RBI double during the fourteenth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Seattle won 3-2 in 14 innings. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Batting Averages Will Jump Across The Board

I’ll do this one in groups by how many points I predict their average will increase , and explain rationales individually.

The +50 Group

Brad Miller: Miller has done nothing but hit ever since joining the Mariners organization. In AAA Tacoma, he hit .356 with an OPS of 1.022! He then hit .265 while starting just under half the season for the Mariners in 2013. He hit .214 this season. However, since the Mariners called up Chris Taylor to split time with Miller, he hit .291. Appears that this ongoing competition will be good for him. This year was an anomaly that won’t happen again.

Predicted average: .270 (+.051)

Austin Jackson: Jackson hit .256 for the season, but I’ll go off his numbers as a Mariner. Jackson hit .293 in his rookie season, and has a .274 career average. This season, in 54 games with Seattle, Jackson hit .229. But here’s the worst part. His slugging % was .260! That is the worst in baseball among qualified players by a wide margin (second worst is .300). This was easily the worst 54 games of Jackson’s career and you can expect to not see him play like that ever again.

Predicted average: .280 (+.051)

The +30 Group

Dustin Ackley: Ackley finally became the player we’d all been expecting in the second half of the season. It just didn’t compute that a guy that hit well over .400 in his collegiate career, and was named the Rivals.com college hitter of the decade, would suddenly forget how to hit. In July and August, the Ack-Attack hit .318 with 7 home runs (a 22 home run pace for 162 games). Ackley is officially through the adjusting phase, and into the exponential growth phase.

Predicted average: .280 (+.035)

James Jones: Your perspective on this depends on which James Jones you think is the real James Jones. Is he the guy who hit .462 through his first 10 games and was still at a solid .295 more than two months into his rookie season? Or is he the guy that hit .196 in July, .200 in September, and went 0-6 in August? The answer is somewhere in the middle, but I think it’s closer to first-half James Jones.

Predicted Average: .280 (+.030)

Mike Zunino: Here is a not-so-bold prediction. Mike Zunino will never hit below .200 again. The guy is too talented and smart to not be able to turn his average around. Your sophomore year is when pitchers make adjustments to you. Your third year is when you make adjustments back.

Predicted average: .235 (+.036)

The +20 Group

Robinson Cano: This goes hand-in-hand with my previous bold prediction. When the Mariners add the legitimate-power cleanup hitter they desperately need, the affects will be for Cano, what Cano was for the rest of the lineup this year. Pitchers will no longer be able to nibble off the corners with Cano and risk walking him when the Mariners add another big hitter behind him. He will see a lot of good pitches to hit and it a lot of them.

Predicted average: .335 (+.021)

The plus +500 Group

Felix Hernandez: Felix went 0-2 this year for a batting average of .000. Next year he will go 2-4. I told you these predictions were bold!