Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fantasy Focus: 2017 All-Breakout Team

We've scaled back our fantasy baseball coverage a bit here at When the Giants Come to Town.  I don't think anyone really wants to see one more list of positional rankings.  Lots of people, not just fantasy baseball players, are interested in what players may "break out" next year.  The rules for this are it has to be a player not yet widely recognized as a star and who has "graduated" by BA's standards of at least 130 AB's or 50 IP in MLB.

CATCHER:  Wilson Contreras., Cubs.

2016 AAA:  .353/.442/.593, 16 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 11.1 BB%, 13.3 K%, 240 PA.
2016 MLB:  .282/.357/.488, 14 2B, 3B, 12 HR, 9.2 BB%, 23.7 K%, 283 PA.

We all know Wilson Contreras from the Cubs World Series run.  As if the Cubbies need another young star in their lineup!  You see that K/BB from AAA?  That's right about his minor league average. You can expect his MLB numbers to migrate in that direction as he gains experience.  Barring injury, he is going to be a big, big star in MLB for a long time!

FIRST BASE:  Ryon Healy, A's.

2016 AA:  .338/.469/.628, 12 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 11.0 BB%, 21.3 K%, 164 PA.
2016 AAA:  .318/.362/.505, 16 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 6.2 BB%, 19 K%, 210 PA.
2016 MLB:  .305/.337/.524, 20 2B, 13 HR, 4.2 BB%, 21.2 K%, 283 PA.

I still remember how a guy named John Klima who ran a scouting website loved Ryon Healy.  Healy had a pretty good college career at Oregon and got off to a slow pro start in his draft year of 2013, but has done nothing but hit the ball and hit it hard since.  I mean, just look at the numbers he put up over 3 levels last year!

SECOND BASE:  Kolton Wong, Cardinals.

2016 MLB:  .240/.327/.355, 7 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 7 SB, 9.4 BB%, 14.4 K%, 361 PA.  

2B was the hardest position to find a potential breakout player.  Wong was plagued by a shoulder injury and a .268 BABIP.  Both should improve in 2017 and the result could be a big breakout.  

THIRD BASE:  Alex Bregman, Astros.

2016 AA:  .297/.415/.559, 16 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 5 SB, 14.7 BB%, 9.1 K%, 285 PA.
2016 AAA:  .333/.373/.641, 6 2B, 6 HR, 2 SB, 6.0 BB%, 14.5 K%, 83 PA.
2016 MLB:  .264/.313/.478/.13 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 6.9 BB%, 24.0 K%, 217 PA.

Long a fave of Shankbone who sometimes comments here and has his own blog, Bregman's MILB numbers were so stupendous, everyone just assumed he would hit the ground running in the majors.  He got off to a slow start and some people stopped paying attention.  He then went on a tear in September hitting .323.  This guy is not going to look back.  He's just too good of a hitter!

SHORTSTOP:  Addison Russell, Cubs.

2016 MLB:  .238/.321/.417, 25 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 9.2 BB%, 22.6 K%, 598 PA.  

It almost seems like Russell broke out last year as 21 HR's out of the SS position is pretty darn impressive for any player.  Unfortunately for the rest of the league, Russell probably only scratched the surface of his talent while BABIP'ing .277.  This kid is going to be an absolute monster at the position!

CENTERFIELD:  Byron Buxton, Twins.

2016 AAA:  .305/.359/.568, 11 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 7 SB, 6.7 BB%, 27.8 K%, 209 PA.
2016 MLB:  .225/.284/.430, 19 2B, 6 3B, 10 HR, 10 SB, 6.9 BB%, 35.6 K%, 331 PA.

The Twins have had such huge problems getting their prospects graduated to the majors over the years, you have to be wary of Buxton, especially with those K numbers.  He's just too good of an athlete and he did hit .287 in September.  Look for 2017 to be the year he finally breaks through.

LEFTFIELD:  David Dahl, Rockies.

2016 AA:  .278/.367/.500, 21 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 16 SB, 11.7 BB%, 25.6 K%, 332 PA.
2016 AAA:  .484/.529/.887, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 1 SB, 8.8 BB%, 16.2 K%, 68 PA.
2016 MLB:  .315/.359/.500, 12 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 5 SB, 6.3 BB%, 24.9 K%, 237 PA.

Size, power, speed.  Dahl does it all and he has Coor's Field to help him.  Watch out for the Rockies next year despite their curious decision to sign Ian Desmond to a big contract.

RIGHTFIELD:  Domingo Santana, Brewers.

2016:  .256/.345/.447, 14 2B, 11 HR, 11.4 BB%, 32.4 K%, 281 PA.  

At 6'5", 220 lbs, Santana is a huge physical force.  He needs to cut down on his K's or he'll become a Chris Carter/Mark Trumbo type hitter, albeit a better fielder than either.


Matt Moore, Giants.

2016:  13-12, 4.08, 198.1 IP, 3.27 BB/9, 8.08 K/9.  Average FB velocity 92.8.

This may be cheating a bit as Moore put up an all-star level season in 2013 before going down with a UCL tear.  He's been inconsistent since, and you may not see much in his line from last year to be that optimistic about and his splits do not show a second half surge.  His overall second half numbers were hurt by 2 Disaster Starts in September, but 6 of his last 8 starts were Dominant Starts and he had the Cubs beat in Game 4 of the NLDS before the bullpen melted down in the 9'th inning.  There may still be the occasional disaster start, but I think he's going to dominate in 2017.

Kevin Gausman, Orioles.

2016:  9-17, 3.61, 179.2 IP, 2.35 BB/9, 8.72 K/9. Average FB Velocity 94.7.

I predicted a breakout for Gausman last year too and was disappointed.  He's still go premium stuff, though, and I think the breakout is still coming.  He's up against the bashers and bandboxes in the AL East though.

Jon Gray, Rockies.

2016:  10-10, 4.61, 168.0 IP, 3.16 B%, 9.91 K%.  Average FB Velocity 95.0.

It's probably foolish to think any Rockies pitcher will have fantasy value, but Gray is the type of pitcher who I think might flourish in the Coor's Field environment.

Mike Foltynewicz, Braves.

2016:  9-5, 4.31, 123.1 IP, 2.55 BB/9, 8.10 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 95.2.

Folty was inconsistent last year, but when he was on, he was unhittable.  Just ask the Giants!  He's maturing as a pitcher and has the stuff to be an ace.  Will 2017 be the year he finally does it?

Blake Snell, Rays.

2016:  6-8, 3.54, 89 IP, 5.16 BB/9, 9.91 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 93.5.

Snell's walk rates in the minors tended to be high too.  This one might be a bit of a reach, but he has the stuff to breakout.

CLOSER:  Bruce Rondon, Tigers.

2016:  5-2, 2.97, 36.1 IP, 2.97 BB/9, 11.15 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 97.2.

Big things have been predicted for Rondon, seemingly forever.  Last year, he started showing what he is capable of.  He needs to stay healthy.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Trea Turner, SS, Nationals.

2016 AAA:  .302/.370/.471, 22 2B, 8 3B, 6 HR, 25 SB, 10.0 BB%, 19.4 K%, 371 PA.
2016 MLB:  .342/.370/.567, 14 2B, 8 3B, 13 HR, 33 SB, 4.3 BB%, 18.2 K%, 324 PA.

Turner's MLB debut last year was so stupendous it's hard to say he didn't already break out, but it was only for a half a season, so we'll put him as an HM.  Maybe I will do a post on the worst trades of the last 5 years.  Who did the Padres get in that deal again?

BREAKOUT SLEEPER:  Mac Williamson, OF, Giants.

2016 AAA:  .269/.314/.495, 14 2B, 11 HR, 5.3 BB%, 23.5 K%, 226 PA.
2016 MLB:  .223/.315/.411, 3 2B, 6 HR, 10.2 BB%, 27.6 K%, 127 PA.

Memo to rest of MLB:  Don't sleep on Mac Williamson!  Those numbers may not look too impressive, but Mac was just looking comfortable at the plate when he suffered a shoulder strain that essentially ended his season.  In those 127 PA's, though, he had 6 of the 12 bardest hit balls by exit velocity on the Giants roster including the top 3.  Those 6 HR's project to 29 in 600 PA's.  Please Giants!  Just put Mac in LF and leave him there.  If he stays healthy, he'll be a breakout star of 2017!

1 comment:

  1. Related, do have and picks for ROY? Is Mac still eligible. A starter from day one, 25+ dingers, and OPS ~800 would have to put him into the conversation, a la Duffy. IMO, the Giants management loves to chase awards like that since Timmy's Cys. Perhaps that marketing edge gives him a little boost to win the starting position from go.