MLB: 2018 Breakout Candidates

The Major League Baseball season is under way as spring training has started. Who will be this year’s breakout player like Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger last season?  Here are a few players that could have that chance this season.

Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox is one candidate. Last year, Devers became the first player to hit eight home runs in his first 20 Major League games. Rafael is projected to have a .280 average, 27 home runs, and 81 RBIs for the 2018 season.

Shohel Ohtani is one of this season’s acquisitions from Japan by the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani is a true one-of-kind player. He batted .286 and had a 2.69 ERA as a two way player in Japan. Ohtani is projected for 15-7 record, 3.14 ERA, and 195 strikeouts this upcoming season. For the offensive side, we will have what see how many at bats he gets.

Ronald Acuna of the Atlanta Braves is also a candidate for a breakout season. Last year, he played at all three minor league levels resulting in a combined 21 homers and 82 RBIs. Acuna will look to make an impact in 2018 for the Braves, projecting to have a .275 batting average, 20 home runs, and 61 RBIs in his first season in the Major Leagues.

Rhys Hoskins of the Philadelphia Phillies is also another candidate to take into consideration for this season. In 170 at bats last season, Hoskins hit 18 home runs at a rate of one per 9.4 at bats. So with those numbers, Hoskins could be in for a big year in Philadelphia this season, projecting a .258 average, 37 home runs, and 85 RBIs in 2018.

Jameson Taillon could be poised for a breakout season. Pirates pitcher Taillon will now take over as the ace of the staff with Gerrit Cole being traded to Houston. Taillon last season had 1,43 point ERA lower on the road than at home: 3.60 road ERA and 5.03 home ERA. He will look to balance that out for this projecting a 14-10 record, 3.48 ERA, and 167 strikeouts for the 2018 season.

Ian Desmond  averaged 22 home runs and 78 RBIs for five years before slumping to seven homers and 40 runs batted in in 2017. He will look for a breakout season and hopefully get back on track. He is projected to have a .277 average, 29 home runs, and 84 RBIs for the 2018 season as Desmond hopes to help the Rockies get back to the postseason.

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