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Breakout Hitters Watch for Fantasy Baseball - Bo Naylor, Davis Schneider, Gabriel Moreno

Bo Naylor - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Prospects

Welcome RotoBallers to our fantasy baseball breakout hitters article for Week 26. As always, we are here to bring you a few MLB hitters whose advanced metrics are popping out.

My name is Joshua Costello, and I will be giving you 3-4 hitter names that seem to have sustainable improved production this season. Most of these names will be young hitters because that is the nature of a breakout. There will be exceptions from time to time as well as I give you more well-known and well-established names that seem to have made a change to their profile this year. As the season approaches its final week, this will be the last batch of breakouts for the year.

For full transparency, I also track the picks every week, so you can go back and see who I picked. There will be some misses, but hopefully, we'll have enough hits to make this a worthwhile endeavor. I'll give you the tracker first, and then we'll get into the three names we're picking for this week.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

2023 Breakout Picks Tracker

Week Date Breakout Picks
Week 3 4/12 Logan O'Hoppe, Miguel Vargas, Nolan Gorman, Josh Lowe, Brandon Marsh
Week 4 4/19 Jarred Kelenic, Ian Happ, Luis Garcia, Kerry Carpenter, Brent Rooker
Week 5 4/26 Jack Suwinski, James Outman, Nico Hoerner, LaMonte Wade Jr., Cody Bellinger
Week 6 5/2 Masataka Yoshida, Jarren Duran, Jonah Heim, Edward Olivares, Jorge Mateo
Week 7 5/9 Ezequiel Duran, Triston Casas, Joey Gallo, Zach McKinstry, Ke'Bryan Hayes
Week 8 5/16 Alex Kirilloff, Matt McLain, Zach Neto, Taylor Walls
Week 9 5/23 Josh Jung, Brett Baty, Ryan Noda, Esteury Ruiz
Week 10 5/30 Riley Greene, Leody Taveras, Seiya Suzuki
Week 11 6/8 Luke Raley, Keibert Ruiz, Lane Thomas, Jake Burger
Week 12 6/15 Evan Longoria, Tommy Pham, Anthony Rendon, Miguel Rojas
Week 13 6/22 Max Kepler, Gunnar Henderson, Jeimer Candelario, Andy Ibanez
Week 14 6/29 Jordan Walker, Patrick Bailey, Mike Tauchman
Week 15 7/6 Bobby Witt Jr., Jesus Sanchez, David Peralta, Yainer Diaz
Week 17 7/20 Sean Murphy, Edouard Julien, Will Brennan
Week 18 7/27 Adolis Garcia, Yandy Diaz, Corbin Carroll, Bryson Stott
Week 19 8/3 Corey Seager, Josh Naylor, Lars Nootbaar, Adam Frazier
Week 20 8/10 Gleyber Torres, Zack Gelof, Wilmer Flores
Week 21 8/17 Matt Olson, Ha-Seong Kim, Omar Narvaez
Week 22 8/24 Ryan Mountcastle, Spencer Torkelson, Michael Massey, James McCann
Week 23 8/31 William Contreras, DJ Stewart, Dominic Canzone
Week 24 9/7 MJ Melendez, J.P. Crawford, Mauricio Dubon
Week 25 9/14 Royce Lewis, Mitch Garver, Nolan Jones

Let's get to the picks for Week 26!

 

Bo Naylor, Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians catcher Bo Naylor has made his presence felt this season. As the younger brother of Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor, Bo Naylor must have thought he needed to prove himself because he has become a precious asset to the Guardians organization. Naylor provides excellent offensive and defensive production from the catcher position, an advantage many teams do not possess.

Naylor made his major league debut in 2022 but only played five games and did not get a hit in the eight plate appearances he was granted. Naylor began 2023 back in Triple-A, where he slashed .253/.393/.498 with 13 home runs, 45 runs, and 48 RBI in 60 games. His offensive production and Cleveland's need for a catcher provoked a promotion, and Naylor has not looked back. In the majors, Naylor is slashing .238/.340/.449 with nine home runs, 28 runs, and 27 RBI.

Naylor's production at the major league level this season is a step down from his Triple-A production, but that is to be expected for a rookie. That being said, Naylor has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the past 30 days. Naylor had the fifth-highest wRC+ and slashed .313/.438/.625. Naylor also had a higher walk rate than strikeout rate, which was 17.5% and 16.3%, respectively. The 23-year-old appears to be only scratching the surface of what he can accomplish.

 

Davis Schneider, Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Davis Schneider burst onto the scene in 2023, and he may have the ability to remain a solid contributor. The 24-year-old rookie has been a spark plug for the Blue Jays lineup since he was thrust into it. While slumping now, Schneider has flashed the talent to be a lineup mainstay.

Over the past 32 games, Schneider was off to a red-hot start with a nearly .800 wOBA in his first few games. Eventually, his production leveled off, and his wOBA hovered between .500 and .600 before crashing. Schneider's recent slump has tanked his wOBA in the graph, but there are reasons to believe this slump is more about the ups and downs of baseball and less an indication of what kind of player Schneider is.

The Blue Jays rookie has been hitting the ball hard about 38.8% of the time, right in the Ozzie Albies and Tommy Edman range if he qualified. Schneider has also been barreling balls up at a fantastic rate; a 17.9% barrel rate would rank fourth among qualified hitters. While his 30.8% strikeout is undesirable, Schneider's minor league track record suggests that number should go down, and he possesses other skills that can make him successful regardless of his strikeout rate.

 

Gabriel Moreno, Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno has quietly been one of the most productive hitters in baseball from the catcher position this season and should only continue to improve as his career goes on. The second-year major leaguer has built upon the progress of his rookie season and has been one of the best hitters over the last 30 days.

The 23-year-old is slashing .292/.392/.419 with seven home runs, 31 runs, 46 RBI, and six stolen bases. While those numbers are great, Moreno has been even more impressive over the last 30 days. In those last 30 days, Moreno had the highest batting average among qualified hitters. In that span, Moreno slashed .368/.443/.559 with two home runs, 11 runs, and 11 RBI. The Diamondbacks catcher has been hot, and while his Baseball Savant numbers may not jump off the page, Moreno has been extraordinary.

If there is one area of Moreno's game I find impressive, it is his ability to make contact. Moreno's 20% Whiff% ranks in the 79th percentile, and his chase rate of 26% ranks in the 69th percentile. A strikeout rate right around 20%, paired with the level of production he has had lately, is a recipe for success. While his offensive contributions are the most important for fantasy, Moreno's defense is also great. The catcher's blocking, arm, and pop time are among the best in the league.



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