We also looked at all the Marlins regular players and the projections from the Marlin Maniac staff and other projections. Just a bit earlier, I posted some predictions from analysts around baseball, including ESPN, Fangraphs, and our own Call to the Pen.
Right now, I want to make some bold predictions for the 2012 Miami Marlins season as well as some general baseball predictions. I will start with my bold predictions for the Marlins first.
Starting off with my boldest statement. I think Hanley Ramirez is going to have a revival in 2012 in a big way. Hanley will bring his batting average up to .300 and post an OBP of over .400. He will also see some of the power that he has been the missing the past few seasons emerge again. With a healthy shoulder, Ramirez will break out in a big way. At the end of the season, he will fall short of the MVP, but will add a trophy regardless. Hanley will be the NL Comeback player of the Year.
As for Stanton, I see him posting a traditional MVP type of season. With Ramirez, Reyes, and Bonifacio hitting in front of him, Stanton will drive in a bunch of runs. He will also, as we all know, hit a bunch of home runs. In the end, his batting average is what is going to hold him back from getting enough votes to secure an MVP.
In my projections, I have both Ramirez and Stanton posting a 5.7 WAR to lead the team.
Josh Johnson will throw 195 innings and make 30 starts
This would be an amazing scenario for the Marlins. JJ would make 30 starts and come close to the 200 innings mark. The Marlins are legitimate contenders if they can get this type of production from Johnson. In my projection, I had Josh Johnson pitching a total of 150 innings. That is what I feel more safe with saying JJ will do. But in my heart, I believe Johnson can put up this type of production in 2012 and put the Marlins on his back.
Emilio Bonifacio‘s struggles at the plate will lead to a trade for a center fielder
By the trade deadline, the Marlins will realize that Emilio Bonifacio is not getting it done as an every day player. Everyone will know that Bonifacio’s 2011 season was a fluke. The Marlins fortunately have a top prospect they have the luxury of being able to trade in a deal for a center fielder. That prospect is Matt Dominguez. I cannot predict right now which center fielder will become available and what else the Marlins might need to include, but my prediction is that the Marlins will make some sort of move for a center fielder. Maybe Peter Bourjos from the Los Angeles Angels makes sense to the Marlins. If Mark Trumbo does not work out at third, maybe the Angels would want to add Dominguez to play third. The Marlins would have to give up a bit more to make a fair deal.
Ricky Nolasco has a breakout season
I know Nolasco has made many people look stupid over the past few seasons when the pick him as a breakout candidate, but I truly believe that 2012 can be that season for him. Nolasco has come into camp this season lighter and is throwing the ball better then he has in the past. He also has a lot less stress on him this season. Last year was his first year of a new contract and he was projected to be the Marlins second best pitcher. This season, many analysts would pick Nolasco as potentially the Marlins fourth best starter. Maybe with less pressure on him, Nolasco can finally turn it around for the Fish.
The Marlins will challenge the Philadelphia Phillies all season long for the division
But they will ultimately fall short and clinch one of the two wild card spots. The Phillies can no longer be seen as runaway favorites for the NL East title. The Marlins, Washington Nationals, and Atlanta Braves will all stick around for most of the season. The Nationals will fade away in September when Stephen Strasburg is starting to reach his innings limit. The Braves and the Marlins will be in the race with the Phillies until the final day of the season. The Phillies will end up winning the division and the Marlins and Braves will play a one-game playoff. The Marlins will win that and advance to regular playoffs.
That is all we will have on here in terms of Miami Marlins 2012 season preview items. The Marlins 2012 season is set to kick off in just a couple of hours!
Here are my predictions for what will happen in baseball in 2012:
AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL West: Texas Rangers
AL Wild Cards: Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels
AL Champs: Texas Rangers
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks
NL Wild Cards: Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves
NL Champs: Philadelphia Phillies
World Champs: Texas Rangers
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
NL MVP: Justin Upton
AL CY Young: Felix Hernandez
NL CY Young: Cole Hamels
AL ROY: Matt Moore
NL ROY: Shelby Miller
Let me know what you guys think and make some of your own predictions in the comments. It will be a lot of fun to come back to these when the season ends.