Man what a quiet weekend!  I didn’t post this weekend for lack of things to talk about.  So I think the best thing to do is throw a contest.  This one is for the Drabek ITG Hits card.  In order to enter this contest you need to do one thing.  Tell me who is going to be the biggest surprise of the year both for pitching and hitting.  Contest ends on Saturday night.  Good luck!

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35 responses »

  1. Ryan G says:

    At te plate, Albert Pujols will hit .400 and 60 homeruns to piss off Cardinal fans even more when he leaves at the end of the year. And on the mound, Jair Jurrjens will lead the braves to the world series. What am I basing this on? Absolutely nothing! Ha! Take that, statistics and insight!

  2. Hitting: Jerry Sands (if given enough playing time)

    Pitching: Mike Minor

  3. Sam says:

    Hitting: Pujols, but in the other direction, I think the pressure of the contract gets in his head and he struggles throughout the season. (I’m an Astros fan, this is the only way I can have some semblance of hope, don’t judge me!) haha.

    Pitching: Jordan Lyles – makes the Astros rotation out of Spring Break and becomes their best starter.

  4. dave h says:

    Hitting: Pedro Alvarez

    Pitching: Jeremy Hellickson

    Both will be positive surprises in my opinion!

  5. HP says:

    Biggest surprise: Brad Bergesen of the Orioles for pitching.

    Surprise in hitting will be Starlin Castro, I think he could lead the league in b.avg.

  6. Locode says:

    Batting surprise will be Albert Pujols, as he becomes mortal, hitting .260 with 23 HR and 87 RBI in 150 games.

    The pitching surprise will be when Roger Clemens comes out of retirement, again, and signs with the Yankees. He goes 5-2 down the stretch, and wins 4 games in the post season as the Yankees win the title.

  7. Nathan says:

    My pitching surprise is Brett Anderson from Oakland. I realize that he’s been a good pitcher for a while now, but I think this is the year that he stays healthy and competes for the CY.

    With the bat I’ll say J.P. Arencibia from the Jays. He’s pretty hyped as well, so I suppose it won’t be a huge surprise, but I do believe he’s gonna hit in the majors.

  8. Biggest surprise hitter: Jesus Montero
    Biggest surprise pitcher: Shawn Marcum

    Thanks for the contest!

  9. Mike D says:

    Biggest hitting surprise of the year on the plus side could be Neil Walker of the Pirates. I don’t see Ruthian numbers, but he could be a Pedroia-type of hitter, .330 20 HR 100 RBI guy if the stars all align just right. On the minus side, I think this year people will expect the world from Jason Heyward and be sorely disappointed. He might still get 20HR/80 RBI, but that isn’t close to what I have heard from the “experts” this spring.
    Biggest pitching surprise for the eyebrows could be Shawn Marcum for Milwaukee. I don’t know why, but his name emerged a couple times while thinking about this.
    On the down side, I would not be surprised to see Felix Hernandez come back to earth a little bit.

  10. Michael Reuben says:

    Lance Berkman is remembered to exist in the league in the Cards line-up. As is Brandon Webb wherever he ends up pitching.

    They aren’t going to have stellar seasons, but people will be surprised they still play baseball.

  11. Nickcee says:

    Jake peavy will have a big come back year and win 20 games. Brett gardner will make his first all star team steal 100 bases and bat in the 300’s

  12. Dennis says:

    Whoa…great contest.

    Biggest surprise pitcher: Brian Matusz
    Biggest surprise hitter: Desmond Jennings

    both these guys were / are highly touted prospects but I think they both start putting it together in the big leagues.

  13. cubsfan731 says:

    Casey Coleman & Starlin Castro. Hey, I can dream.

  14. Shane.K says:

    Biggest surprise hitter: Edwin Encarnacion
    Biggest surprise pitcher: JA Happ

  15. Teddy Dziuba says:

    Cliff Lee will be the biggest surprise this year, but not in a good way. Playing a full slate in Philly, I bet his ERA baloons over 4.00 and he drops down to 3-4 in the rotation behind Halladay and Oswalt.

    Brett Gardner will be my surprise hitter. As a leadoff hitter in the Yankees lineup, he could easily score 120+ runs and steal 50+ bags.

  16. ig4mer says:

    I am going to be super biased and say for pitching R.A. Dickey. He had a great year last year but no one is expecting him to duplicate it but I am much higher on him. For hitting I’m sticking with the Mets and say Ike Davis who would have a breakout year and be cornerstone for future Mets teams.

  17. dwright says:

    Surprise Hitter: Jason Bay
    Surprise Pitcher: Jon Niese
    I think Bay will bounce back big and Niese will keep improving

  18. Scott says:

    votto wont be anywhere near what he did last year

    roy oswalt will wreck and be another 20 game winner

  19. Drew says:

    My biggest pitching surprise will definitely be Jeremy Hellickson. I’ve seen the guy pitch in A and he can definitely do it!

    My biggest hitting surprise of the year, hopefully, is Jesus Montero. Every Yankees fan’s dream is for that to be true, so knock on wood!

    Thanks!

  20. twang says:

    Pitcher: Jordan Lyles
    Hitter: Pujols

  21. DanMan says:

    Batting: Travis Snider

    Pitching: Jesse Litsch

    Yes two Blue Jays guys but man they can have some killer years if health and get the playing time.

  22. Dipayan says:

    Surprise hitter, good: Hanley Ramirez (.355, 34 HR, 45 SB, 112 RBI, 123 R)
    Surprise hitter, bad: Troy Tulowitzki (.280, 21 HR, 4 SB, 70 RBI, 72 R)

    Surprise hitter, good: Chris Volstad (2.98 ERA, 14-6)
    Surprise pitcher, bad: Cliff Lee (4.44 ERA, 10-11)

  23. Tim H says:

    Thanks for the contest!

    Surprise hitter: Pedro Alvarez

    Surprise Pitcher: Jonathan Neise

  24. Matthew Stone says:

    Surprise Pitcher- Bud Norris P for Astros
    Surprise Hitter- Brett Wallace 1b for Astros
    Astros win NL Central can hope can’t !

  25. lambeauleap87 says:

    Fausto Carmona will be a surprise pitcher this year. He’s already shown multiple times that he has the talent to be a top pitcher in the league, but has fallen off the radar based on poor recent performance. I think he will, once again, break out this season.

    As for a surprise hitter, I believe that will be Peter Bourjos. He’s basically been handed the Angels Center Field job based on his fielding ability. However, I believe he’ll be a surprise at the plate and cement himself in the lineup for several years.

  26. maxj says:

    Hitting Pablo Sandoval I think he will have a bounce back year and show the baseball world 09 was not a fluke and sticking with my Giants theme I think matt cain will finally be recognized on a national level with a cy young type of year.

  27. Ken Dunkin says:

    Biggest surpise for pitching would be Neftali Feliz, people think that he is only a great closer. What they fail to understand is he was a starter in the minors and was only put in the bullpen to get innings at the major league level. The fact that he became one of the best closers in baseball and won ROY is gravy. He is going to be a surpise ace type starter for the Rangers for years to come.
    For hitters it is going to be Alex Gordon. After being a bust for the past four seasons he finally has a league average season which at this point would be a surprise.

  28. Brian says:

    Pitching: Brian Matsuz
    Hitting: Pablo Sandoval

    Thanks for the contest, Mike I really appreciate it and love the blog.

  29. Joe says:

    Hitting: Starlin Castro
    Pitching: Brandon Webb

    Webb will return to form with a sub 3 ERA and lead the league with 18 wins.
    Starlin Castro will win the NL batting title hitting .364. I am not basing this on anyting particular, just a hunch 🙂

  30. Pitching- Jon Niese

    Hitting-Ike Davis

    (hopefully!)

  31. Dustin says:

    Cool contest.

    Pitching: Bartolo Colon
    Hitting: Ryan Raburn

  32. Corey says:

    Its a bit of an enigma as to whom may rise to greatness or fall to the way-side. Look at Pujols and his draft position, at that position none but a few were looking for greatness. Then on the other hand look at Manny, wow how the might have fallen. Saying all that I look to see Lance Berkman to be the biggest surprise of the season. Batting in a heavy bat system will increase his hit count and will show that resurrection do happen!

  33. Larry Brewer says:

    Pitching: Freddy Garcia
    Hitting: Carl Crawford

  34. Larry Brewer says:

    Changing my hitting answer to Colby Rasmus

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