Bold Prediction #2
Jimmy Nelson picks up where he left off, wins Comeback Player Of The Year
The longrunning Jimmy Nelson saga is nearing its next stage. With Nelson finally healthy and ready to make his Cactus League debut on Monday, Milwaukee Brewers fans and players alike will get to see Nelson in game action for the first time since September 2017.
Personally, I’m a big believer in Jimmy Nelson and think that he can continue to pitch in the dominant form he was in prior to his injury. The reports from Spring Training are all good and he’s seemingly looking better than ever.
If Nelson truly is better than ever, there’s no reason he can’t pick up where he left off in 2017 and continue his upward trajectory as a starting pitcher. He was on his way to ace status in 2017 and now he has to prove once again that he’s a dominant frontline starter.
I’m predicting a strong season for Jimmy Nelson. The Milwaukee Brewers will watch his innings closely and will likely prevent him from reaching 200 innings this year. But I think he can still reach 175 innings and post a sub-3.50 ERA.
Should Nelson be able to do that, he’ll be in strong contention for the Comeback Player of the Year award, given annually to a player who “re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season”. That description would fit Nelson perfectly after being stuck in the shadows in 2018 while rehabbing. If he re-emerges, finishes ~175 innings with a strong ERA, that award is Nelson’s.
Nelson’s velocity appears to be back where it once was and he might have even added a tick or two to that fastball. The current Brewers rotation doesn’t have many flamethrowers, and Nelson was the resident flamethrower prior to his injury. With the return of Nelson, he and Corbin Burnes will be the two hard-throwing starters in the rotation.
Speaking of Corbin Burnes…