Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fantasy Focus: All Breakout Team

Breakouts are the Holy Grail of fantasy baseball.  Every fantasy baseball manager wants to have that player on his team who gets taken late in a draft or for single digit $ in an auction, yet breaks out with an elite season.  Here is my 2013 All Breakout Team with some comments:

C   Salvador Perez, Royals.  I've had Matt Wieters the last 2 years, so this is probably the year HE breaks out.  Jesus Montero is also a candidate, but I'm going with Perez.  He was considered kind of a sleeper last year when the Royals signed him to a long term contract.  Perez then tore the ACL in his knee and missed half the season.  When he came back, though, he put up excellent numbers, .301/.328/.471 with 11 HR in 305 PA.  Few people noticed because it was midseason and the Royals were out of contention.  Give this guy a full season of PA's and you have one of the elite hitting catchers in baseball.

1B  Brandon Belt, Giants.  Eric Hosmer might be a more obvious candidate and Anthony Rizzo has a lot of supporters, but I'm going to go with The Belter here.  Does anyone remember his magical 2010 season when he tore through 3 minor league levels and was the toast of the prospect watching community?  That was awhile ago, but Belt found some confidence at the plate late last year, hitting .349 in August and .310 in September, and it appears to be carrying over into the spring.

2B  Neil Walker, Pirates.  Walker has been kind of the definition of boring since breaking into MLB in late 2009 after a touted minor league career.  He's been a very reliable .270-.280 hitter with solid BB and K rates with double digit HR power.  He's a switch-hitter and those guys sometimes take a bit longer to develop.  He's also big for a 2B at 6'3', 210 lbs and you have to think there is a lot more power lurking in there somewhere. He is also entering his age 27 season even though it seems like he's been around forever.

3B  Pablo Sandoval, Giants.  Some people may say he's already broken out, but I'm thinking The Panda has only started to scratch the surface.  He performed poorly in 2010 due to lack of conditioning.  He lost significant parts of the last 2 seasons to broken hamate bones, both of which have been surgically removed.  With no hamate bones to break and a seeming understanding with Bochy that he has to keep himself in some semblance of shape, I'm thinking we could be in line for a .330 BA with 30+ HR's in 2013.

SS  Jed Lowrie, A's.  Oh, I want to put Brandon Crawford here real bad, but I think Brandon's improvement will come more incrementally than in breakout form.  I'm going with Lowrie to finally stay healthy  and reward Billy Beane with a 25 HR season.

OF  Bryce Harper, Nationals.  This one might be too obvious and is it really possible for a ROY to have a true breakout season?  We'll see, but the sky is the limit for Bryce Harper.  We're talking along the lines of what Mike Trout did last season.  Possibly more HR's and fewer SB's but Harper is going to be a monster when he is fully developed.

OF  Yeonis Cespedes, A's.  Another guy who maybe did a bit too well last year to considered a breakout candidate, but it is very possible that last year was just the tip of the iceberg.  Think 30/30 as a starting point.

OF  Starling Marte, Pirates.  Go look up Marte's minor league numbers.  He was a beast!  I've got Marte down for an easy 10/30 season with a whole lot more possible.

P    Homer Bailey, Reds.  It seems like Bailey has been around forever, but he's just entering his age 27 season.  The projection systems are not impressed, but what the projections don't see is that he was an absolute beast coming down the stretch last year and into the postseason.  He had an ERA of 3.21 in the second half with 92 K's against 24 BB in 103.2 IP including a 1.85 ERA and a no-hitter in September.  Classic post-hype sleeper.  Actually he might be a post-post-hype sleeper!

P  Matt Harvey, Mets.  Harvey made his MLB debut last year and pitched very well.  He was highly regarded out of HS and again out of college and North Carolina.  His pedigree, numbers from last year and stuff make me think he is going to be a horse and he's underrated and undervalued right now.

P   Brett Anderson, A's.  Anderson has already shown he can be very good, but injuries have gotten in the way.  He appears to be healthy this year, despite a collision on the field in a spring game.  He's always had the stuff and moxie to be a good one.  This could be the year he puts it all together.


  1. i think that kid trout will have a breakout year

    how about craw? with the changes in how the gold glove is evaluated, he should be winning his first


    1. ...er, I think Trout's breakout year was last year. Man if he breaks out any more, he will break every offensive baseball record that has ever been set! I saw Trout play for Rancho Cucamonga against SJ in the Cal League playoffs a few years ago. It was quite obvious he was going to be something special. Heck, he already was!