After a division winning 2012 season, the A’s have high expectations in 2013. While last season predicting the Athletics to win the division was a bold enough in itself, this season will warrant even bolder predictions.
One prediction alone may be satisfying, but three predictions would be bold. So as follows, here are three predictions for the A’s 2013 season.
Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick will combine for 70 Home Runs
Both players enter 2013 with one full major league season under their belts. While Cespedes has had a year to adjust to life in the United States, Reddick enters this season trying to prove that 2012 was no fluke. And if those arent reasons enough to expect nig things, Reddick and Cespedes are both entering the prime age for hitters (27 years old). If Cespedes can convert more of his flyballs to home runs, and Reddick can cut down on his strikeouts, I expect both players to protect each other in the order and big power years from both.
Tommy Milone will be an All-Star
I know what you are thinking: Milone might be the third best starter in the A’s rotation. And you might be right.
But Milone is know for his insane control, walking under two batters per 9 innings. While the Coliseum has been kind to Tommy, his away splits have been holding him back. An 80 point batting average on balls in play difference between home and away should normalize, and keeping his walk rate down will limit the damage of fly balls (and in kind, home runs). With a year of experience pitching outside of Oakland, expect to see Milone start off the year on a tear and earn himself an All-Star spot.
Brett Anderson will receive Cy Young votes
Upon returning to the A’s rotation following Tommy John surgery, Anderson put up a 2.72 FIP (Fielding Independant Pitching, similar to ERA wherea lower number is better) in six starts.
Over his career, Brett has struck out many and walked few, a key to success as a major league pitcher. While we won’t know how the surgery will affect the velocity of his fastball, an offseason to build strength as well as the sample size from last season (albeit small), shows that Anderson has recovered from his surgery and made the adjustments necessary to continue to be a successful pitcher in the American League.