This is one of our favorite sections. It is unlikely there is any aspect of fantasy baseball more enjoyable than the unexpected emergence of a player who you touted preseason.
Deep League Roto Tip: Don’t let anyone dissuade you from getting your guy
Every year, preseason chatter is littered with suggestions about the next breakout or sleeper. By the time the draft arrives, that player might have seen his ADP reduce by 100 picks. Sometimes, the fantasy baseball ‘experts’ get it right, but very frequently, they get it wrong.
If you have seen something in an unheralded player, don’t be discouraged if no one else has.
Last season, no one talked about Frank Schwindel, but Andrew Vaughn and Ke’Bryan Hayes had almost been inducted to Cooperstown.
Breakout No.1: Thairo Estrada
Versatile infielder/outfielder posted .813 OPS in 52 games with the Giants last season. He is still only 25 years old, and as he is out-of-options, he will stay on the 25-man roster (or get DFA’d/traded). In Triple-A last year, he hit .333 with .937 OPS, including 20 walks to 35 strikeouts. Maybe he is the next San Francisco reclamation success.
Photo by Ezra Shaw
Breakout No.2: Jorge Mateo
I have no shame in regurgitating my potential breakouts year after year. Another versatile player, and another former Yankees prospect, Mateo, has an ideal opportunity to thrive in Baltimore. He possesses a speed/power combo to make fantasy baseball players salivate. Although he only played 32 games for the Orioles, his production equated to 10 homers and 25 stolen bases with .280 AVG.
Photo by Rich Schultz
Breakout No.3: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo
Pittsburgh seems like the place fantasy baseball dies, but it is also the place where diamonds can be unearthed. Did you know that Tsutsugo had 136 OPS+ during his stint with the Pirates? No, you didn’t! He was on 30-homer pace! Not bad from the 30-year-old that you can get with pick 453.
Photo by Joe Sargent
Featured image photo by Sam Greenwood