Prior to the start of the 2017 season I looked into my crystal ball and chose my Kings Of The Plate and Kings Of The Hill for the upcoming season. Simply put, these were my picks for the leader in each of the hitting and pitching traditional Roto fantasy baseball categories. Many fantasy baseball owners, correctly so, back then and right now will look at these picks as amongst the group of players that should be considered as someone plausible to take home the honors. So, I also made a bold prediction for each category as well.
Well, the regular season is over with and it is time to see how correct I was in my picks and bold predictions while also crowning the MLB 2017 Kings Of The Plate and the Kings Of The Hill!
Home Run King:
The Pick: Giancarlo Stanton
It was a foregone certainty for quite awhile that Mr. Stanton would be the 2017 Home Run King. In the end he finished with 59 on the season. The next closest was rookie sensation Aaron Judge with his 52 long balls on the season. No one saw that coming!
The Bold Prediction: Gary Sanchez
I must say, as bold predictions go, I am pretty darn happy with Mr. Sanchez’s performance of 33 home runs. That from a catcher is very nice to see, especially in fantasy baseball leagues! This was good enough to tie him for the 22nd most home runs in 2017. The second-highest home run total from the catcher position was Salvador Perez with his 27 long balls.
The Pick: Nolan Arenado
Mr. Stanton hit so many home runs that he long-balled his way to the RBI King of 2017! He had 132 RBI’s on the season. Mr. Arenado “only” hit 37 home runs and wound up a close second to Mr. Stanton with 130 RBI.
The Bold Prediction: Miguel Sano
Well, Mr. Sano only played in 114 games this season and had 483 plate appearances. That certainly hurt his chances and he finished with 77 RBI. That had him tied for the 73rd most in MLB.
The Pick: Mike Trout
Mr. Trout only played in 114 games (507 plate appearances) but still managed to have 93 runs scored, which was tied for 30th most in MLB this season.
The Bold Prediction: Andrew Benintendi
Mr. Benintendi played in 151 games (658 plate appearances) and managed to score 84 runs. That had him tied for 55th most in MLB.
Stolen Base King:
The Pick: Billy Hamilton
Just like with the RBI King, my Stolen Base King pick came up just short of being the correct selection. Mr. Hamilton finished with 59 stolen bases but Dee Gordon had 60 on the season.
The Bold Prediction: Manuel Margot:
This prediction was very bold, and in typical very bold fashion…it fell on its face. Mr. Margot only had 17 stolen bases. That number had him tied for the 33rd most stolen bases in 2017.
Batting Average King:
The Pick: Daniel Murphy
Remember, a player needs to have 502 plate appearances to qualify for a batting title. So, I used that as the minimum cutoff for this award. Mr. Murphy was tied for 4th place with Justin Turner with a .322 batting average. Shockingly, Avisail Garcia finished ahead of him with a .330 batting average. Charlie Blackmon (.331) and 2017 Batting Average King Jose Altuve (.346) finished ahead of him as well.
The Bold Prediction: Ender Inciarte
I can’t be unhappy with my bold prediction, but I am not exactly thrilled either. He ended up finishing tied for 19th in MLB batting average at .304.
The Pick: Chris Sale
Four pitchers finished with 18 wins this season (Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Clayton Kershaw and Jason Vargas). Four pitchers (Zack Greinke, Trevor Bauer, Drew Pomeranz and Zach Davies) along with Mr. Sale finished with 17 wins. He was close to capturing a share of the Wins King crown.
The Bold Prediction: Lance McCullers
Mr. McCullers once again didn’t log enough innings to have a reasonable shot at being the Wins King. He finished the season with only 7 wins.
The Pick: Kenley Jansen
Mr. Jansen tied with Greg Holland with the second-most saves this season (41). The Saves King ended up being Alex Colome, who finished with 47 on the season.
The Bold Prediction: Cam Bedrosian
Mr. Bedrosian had almost as many blown saves (5) in 2017 than he had saves (6). This bold prediction failed in epic fashion!
The Pick: Clayton Kershaw
Only pitching 175 innings this season really torpedoed Mr. Kershaw’s chances at being the Strikeouts King of 2017. He ended up with the 16th most strikeouts (202). The Strikeouts King of 2017 is Mr. Sale, who finished with 308 strikeouts this season! The next closest was Max Scherzer with 268.
The Bold Prediction: Michael Pineda
Mr. Pineda only pitched 96.1 innings this season and finished with 92 strikeouts. Unfortunately injuries are part of all sports, and he had to undergo Tommy John surgery this season.
The Pick: Clayton Kershaw
To qualify for this I believe that on Fangraphs.com (where all these great statistics come from) the pitcher needs to be listed when the minimum innings pitched of “Qualified” is selected. I also only considered starting pitchers. Mr. Kershaw came in second in this competition. Obviously, I want to get all of these picks correct (yes, I am highly competitive…and yes, I realize getting all of them correct is highly unrealistic), but having my pick come in second gives me at least some satisfaction. Corey Kluber finished the season with a 2.25 ERA. Both pitchers were dominant once again.
The Bold Prediction: James Paxton
Mr. Paxton only had 136 innings pitched, so he didn’t qualify to be considered for this award. He finished with a 2.98 ERA.
The Pick: Clayton Kershaw
To qualify for this I believe that on Fangraphs.com the pitcher needs to be listed when the minimum innings pitched of “Qualified” is selected. I also only considered starting pitchers. Mr. Kershaw came in third place with a 0.95 WHIP. He was behind two other great starting pitchers: Max Scherzer (0.90 WHIP) and Corey Kluber (0.87 WHIP).
The Bold Prediction: Tanner Roark
Among the qualified starting pitchers (58 starting pitchers in all) Mr. Roark tied for the 38th best WHIP with a 1.33 WHIP.