By: Chandler Ragsdale
Baseball is almost ready to start back everyone! The 2017 season is already full of exciting story lines, and one of the main ones is the fact that there is so much good, young talent in baseball right now. This has been proven by the Chicago Cubs, that building a team by acquiring a lot of young talent is successful and will pay off. Now with many other teams trying to model themselves after the Cubs, we are seeing more talk about prospects than every before! Here are five players that I feel like will have major breakout seasons in 2017:
1. Andrew Benintendi (Boston Red Sox)– The newest addition to the Red Sox up and coming edition of players to have their last name start with a B (Betts, Bradley, Bogaerts, & now Benintendi), Andrew Benintendi, is showing the potential to have a very successful MLB career. He’s had success before, like winning the Golden Spikes award in 2015 while attending the University of Arkansas. He also came on at the end of last season, hitting .295 by the end of the regular season, which isn’t bad for a rookie, and making arguably one of the best catches of the year against the Tampa Bay Rays. Benintendi’s potential is now so highly regarded that he’s been deemed the new #1 overall prospect in baseball, a title that he took from a player who now plays in Chicago instead of Boston.
2. Yoan Moncada (Chicago White Sox)- Second baseman Yoan Moncada is now a part of the Chicago White Sox organization after being traded from Boston this winter. He already has the talent, but he now probably feels that he has something to prove. Not only because he was traded, but also due to the fact that he was removed from his title of the #1 overall prospect in baseball. He only dropped to #2, but either way, Moncada is ready and eager to prove himself. I have a feeling now that Moncada’s stint in the minors is over, and the White Sox are tired of being mediocre, so they are very anxious to get Moncada on the field.
3. Dansby Swanson (Atlanta Braves)– The coming up of Dansby Swanson has brought excitement all throughout Atlanta Braves country recently. He hit .302 in 129 at-bats last season from mid-August until the end of the season. Now that he’s seen some big league pitching, we should expect a full dose of Mr. Swanson next season. To go along with a brand new ball park, the motivation for Dansby Swanson and expectations for Braves fans are about to be through the roof. Hopefully, we will get to see Dansby Swanson take the next step towards solidifying himself as an MLB superstar in 2017.
4. Odubel Herrera (Philadelphia Phillies)– Odubel Herrera can still fall into this category due to the fact that he’s still only 25 years old and I feel that he still has yet to reach his full potential. He has great talent, and has been producing consistently in the majors. He did only hit .286 with 15 homers last season, but, I think some of this can be contributed to the fact that the Phillies haven’t been very good as a team as of late. It can be discouraging playing for a below average team. The Phillies are getting better however, and I feel like as they improve, so will Odubel Herrera, and he will be a big part of their success in 2017.
5. Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees)– Gary Sanchez really hit it big with the Yankees in 2016, literally. He hit 20 home runs in just 201 at-bats. That’s a pretty good ratio if you ask me. He’s 24, and the upside he brings is very high. He not only hits for power, but can hit for average. He hit .299 last season. Having this being coupled with the fact that he’s also a catcher brings a great value to him. Catchers don’t typically put up these good of hitting numbers, so if this trend continues for Gary Sanchez, then he will break onto the Major League scene fully as one of the best catchers in baseball.