Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Young Hitters Set To Break Out in 2019


The hunt for the next breakout player is a never-ending quest for fantasy players. Identifying and acquiring even one of those players can pay huge dividends throughout the course of a single-season league and even more so in dynasty and keeper leagues. Unfortunately, this quest is shared by all fantasy players, so the window of opportunity to get these players on your fantasy teams is small.

That being said, there are always methods to get an edge. Some players who are primed to break out are easier to spot than others. The easiest are those who follow a steady path of performing well in the minors, then get a few seasons of big league experience, and finally put it all together as they hit their prime years. These are the biggest breakout targets for fantasy players. However, if you dig a little deeper, you can find potential breakouts that fly under the radar.

In this article, we will take a look at three hitters (who all happen to be outfielders) who are set to break out earlier than their prime, giving you the jump on them over your fantasy competitors. These hitters are all between 23 and 25 years old and either do not yet have a full season of big league experience under their belts or have had little big league experience. These are some bats that your opponents may not be targeting as breakouts that you can take advantage of.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN)

Age 25

The first player on this list is one that has a similar hit tool and plate discipline to his teammate and fantasy great, Joey Votto. Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker has shown flashes of greatness over his two seasons in the Majors but has yet to put together a full season, getting a late call-up in 2017, suffering a shoulder injury in 2018, and constantly battling for playing time. He may have been on people’s radar at the beginning of 2018 but slipped away after his injury. Now fully healthy for the first time in a while — Winker has stated that he had been playing with a shoulder injury long before he had surgery — and set to get regular at-bats per manager David Bell, Winker is set to dazzle in what will hopefully be his first full major league season.

Let’s first dissect Winker’s hit tool. His 2018 was limited to 334 plate appearances, but in those, he hit .299 with a 14.7% walk rate (17th-highest among hitters with at least 300 PA) and a 1.07 walk-to-strikeout ratio (tied for fourth-best with Joey Votto among hitters with at least 300 PA). These stellar stats check out across Winker’s short track record; he has a .299 batting average, a 13.6% BB%, and a 0.91 BB/K ratio over his 471 career PA. These numbers, coupled with similar minor-league numbers, suggest that Winker has a great eye and an elite ability to get on base.

Let’s now take a look at Winker’s batted-ball profile. The one worry about him from a fantasy perspective was that Winker would get on base but not provide any power. However, 2017 and 2018 have quelled those worries; Winker has been able to hit the ball hard (average exit velocity 89.5 MPH) in the air (average launch angle 11.5 degrees) during his time in the major leagues and has 14 home runs to show for it. Plus, with his shoulder at full health, Winker has the potential to generate even more power.

Overall, Winker presents a very exciting profile from both a real-life and fantasy perspective. He has the abilities to hit for power and average and to get on base at an elite clip while batting in a potent offense. With regular playing time, Winker has the potential to help roto players in four categories and be a fixture in points lineups. This season is the time to get shares of Winker because he will be a universally-known fantasy name come 2020.

 

Ramon Laureano (OF, OAK)

Age 24

The next player is one that potentially could have already been a bigger fantasy name if he had started out with a different team. Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano has been a noteworthy prospect for some time now but did not have a chance to show what he could do at the big-league level until now. The 24-year-old started out as a prospect in the Astros’ farm system but was not able to get enough visibility given their abundance of young talent. The trade to Oakland offered him a clearer path to the big leagues, and his performance in 2018 should be enough to excite any fantasy owner.

In his 48 games with the A’s, Laureano boasted a solid .288/.358/.474 slash line with five HR, 19 RBI, and seven steals (not to mention a great arm in the outfield). Given his base-stealing prowess, his 9.1% walk rate was an encouraging sign that Laureano can get on base in a variety of ways. What’s more, his .388 BABIP was likely bolstered by his speed, so while his BABIP may not be quite that high over the course of a full season, there is no reason to think that he won’t carry a relatively high mark. The most glaring flaw in Laureano’s season was his strikeout rate; 28.4% is not ideal for any player, especially one who benefits from putting the ball in play. That being said, his 28.9% chase rate and his 11.6% swinging-strike rate were middle-of-the-pack amongst hitters with at least 150 PA, so there is a reasonable hope that he can improve given more big league experience.

Considering his skill set, Laureano has a chance to be a huge fantasy talent, offering both power and speed. He is slated to start in an exciting young lineup, setting him up to make an impact in his first full season in the big leagues.

 

Franmil Reyes (OF, SD)

Age 23

Our final outfielder needs a bit of help in terms of playing time, but has the pure power to be awarded enough at-bats to break out. San Diego Padres outfielder Franmil Reyes made a splash in his first experience in The Show, posting a .280/.340/.498 slash line with 16 HR in just 285 PA. The 23-year-old will have to earn playing time in a crowded outfield with Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, and Hunter Renfroe. However, based on recent reporting, Reyes is likely to be a lineup regular in right field. If so, he will be a must-own in fantasy leagues.

Reyes presents all the makings of a pure power hitter. His 92.3 MPH average exit velocity was 14th-highest amongst hitters, and his 29.6% HR/FB ratio was third-highest amongst hitters with at least 250 PA. His 28.1% strikeout rate is high but forgivable for a power hitter, especially given his respectable 8.4% walk rate. Reyes has posted strong power numbers with lower strikeout rates throughout his minor league career, so based on his past experience combined with his initial major league production, it seems that Reyes is primed to break out as a fantasy powerhouse in 2019. The Padres have revamped their lineup and Reyes could play a huge part of their success batting in the middle of it. 

More 2019 MLB Breakouts




More Recent Articles

 

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 12

Rotoballers, if you're not active on the waiver wire this time of year, there are only two reasonable explanations: 1) You're sitting at 3-8 (or worse) and don't find it enjoyable to play spoiler to your league mates, or 2) You're 8-3 (or better) and have nothing but matchup-proof studs on your starting lineup and... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals... Read More


Week 12 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Almost out of time to make that last push for the playoffs--no time like the present to squeak out a win because you picked the right defense. Below are RotoBaller's Week 12 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 12 of the NFL and... Read More


Week 12 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 12, and the fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner. Teams are jostling for playoff position both in the real world and the fantasy world. You gotta have the right kicker at the right time in the right matchup, and it matters now more than ever. The margin for error in these... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 12. Some of you are concentrating on building lineups that will commandeer a spot in the fantasy playoffs, while others are making slight adjustments to teams that have already secured their place in the postseason.... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Week 11 is behind us and we're getting closer and closer to the end of the fantasy regular season. For some of us, Week 12 represents the final chance to get into the postseason, while for others we have another week or two left. Here, to help you get ready for the playoffs, is a... Read More


Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end. Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 12

We saw some monster weeks at the quarterbacks position, with four quarterbacks topping 37 points, and ten scoring over 25 points. These weren't all big names putting up these points either, as low-owned quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and even Jeff Driskel had some big numbers in Week 11. That means we've got plenty... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 12 Lightning Round

We're onto Week 12, which means the last of the bye weeks approaches. The Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings hit the hammocks as we can finally start to look at players without worrying about future offweeks. To help you look towards those precious playoff weeks, here is the waiver wire lightning round heading into Week... Read More


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2019... RotoBaller has brought back for the NFL season our Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also try our other lineup tools below. Using your phone? Be sure to also download our free app which includes news, notifications, injury alerts & articles.   Rankings WizardWeekly... Read More


Week 11 Surprises? We Must Overreact - Jeff Driskel, Bo Scarbrough, Ryan Griffin

In Week 11, Josh Allen scorched the Dolphins Defense for three touchdowns through the air and one touchdown on the ground, finishing as the No. 1 quarterback on the week. As expected, Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott finished as top-five quarterbacks, while Sam Darnold rebounded in a "get well" matchup against the Redskins. Kyle Allen... Read More


Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 12)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 11 Marlon Mack has been diagnosed with a broken hand and may be out several weeks. Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)... Read More