MLB's best up-and-coming players for 2018
Let's get right to the point: You want to know the future. Some of you might have different reasons for wanting to know, but the ability to see a slice of the future would be empowering. That's why you're here. You want to know some baseball players who are about to improve. Imagine what you could do with that knowledge! I find this all rather intoxicating. It's an annual pursuit -- the search for players on the verge of something special. You might not need me to say this, but telling the future is hard. All you can do is try in good faith. What you'll find are 10 young players poised to reach the next level. Don't read too much into the order; it's alphabetical. These players are "up-and-comers" instead of "breakouts." The difference between the two is blurry. Last season, the Yankees' Aaron Judge was a breakout; the Cardinals' Tommy Pham and Dodgers' Chris Taylor were breakouts. Someone like Houston's Alex Bregman didn't exactly break out, but he could have been considered an up-and-comer who simply established himself over a full season. All young breakouts are up-and-comers, but not all up-and-comers are breakouts, if you know what I mean. These are guys I think could become quality regulars in 2018. In points leagues, when you check out the end-of-season scoring leaders, there are likely to be more starting pitchers in the top 50 than players from any other position on the field. For 2018, 40 hitters are projected to have 400-plus fantasy points in ESPN default scoring, and that's spread out all over the diamond. By comparison, 22 starting pitchers are projected for the same 400-plus total. It's for this reason that, especially http://www.authenticnetstore.com/Rondae_Hollisjefferson_Jerseyin terms of the elite arms, Clayton Kershaw and his fellow Cy Young candidate brethren tend to get a big bump in points league rankings, as compared to in category-based leagues, in which even the best of the best starting hurlers are destined to have a goose egg in the saves category, putting a ceiling on their maximum overall value compared to hitters. No such handicap exists in points leagues, which is why I often lean toward the No. 1 starting pitcher as the No. 1 overall selection. However, in 2018, that isn't the case. Mike Trout, even though he missed http://www.authenticclippersstore.com/Patrick_Beverley_Jerseyclose to 50 games last season with a thumb injury, was one of only nine members of 20-20 club -- and his 33 HRs were far and away the most of this group, despite his having only 507 PA on the season. Assuming a healthy 2018, there's little reason not to expect a final stat line in the neighborhood of 40 HRs, 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 20 steals. Throw into the mix that Trout has seen his BB/K rate rise for four consecutive seasons, Zach LaVine Jersey to the point that in 2017 he had more walks than strikeouts for the first time in his career, and we're looking at a points-league player to which there are few rivals. While it's true that you can never predict injuries, and I tend to shy away from trying to bake the risk of a player getting hurt into my overall rankings, it's hard to ignore the chance that Clayton Kershaw's back won't allow him to get through 2018 without his missing any starts. With that in mind, I'm going to have to take last year's No. 1 and drop Kershaw a few pegs. If I get the No. 1 overall pick in my points league draft, I'll be sure to land Trout and take it from there. -- AJ Mass Trout has been a joy to roster in a fantasy league since his breakout season of 2012, and few have questioned his place atop the fantasy rankings hierarchy. However, a funny thing has happened while the Los Angeles Angels' star has earned (mostly) unquestioned status as the No. 1 guy for most every format: The diminutive second baseman for the Houston Astros has been valuable for fantasy purposes each and every http://lionsshopsnflofficial.com/nevin-lawson-jersey_c-385.htmlseason since 2014. Jose Altuve has topped Trout in value in four consecutive seasons! As a result, it seems only fair that Altuve ever so gently brushes Trout to the No. 2 spot, which by the way is still really, really good. It is not that anyone is dumping Trout to Luis Valbuena territory. Trout is Authentic Karlos Dansby Jersey awesome. Altuve has just been a bit more awesome, as he has compiled a .334 batting average -- with three AL batting titles! -- over four years with an average of 18 home runs, 76 RBIs, 39 steals and 98 runs in 156 games per season. Altuve deserves this honor, and there's no hint of pending statistical drop-off, either. In a basic roto league, one should be looking for all kinds of things, with balance chief among them, but most of the Wayne Gretzky Jersey time, it comes down to taking the best player available, at least in the early rounds. Trout does everything well. He hits for average, offers power and speed, and scores many runs. Let us not hold the 2017 injury and missed games against him. Altuve, however, hits for more average -- a lot more, really -- and steals more bases. These are important factors. It is certainly not solely about the power, and position Authentic Brandon Shell Jersey scarcity plays no role here, either, but Altuve is great. Trout is great. Just be objective and willing to think outside the proverbial roto box: One of them finishes ahead of the other on the ESPN Player Rater each season. It seems time to acknowledge this with the top spot in the rankings as well, so please, Jose Altuve, do not disappoint. -- Eric Karabellhttp://123-club.com/oxwall/forum/topic/8584
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