With pitchers and catchers already reporting across Major League Baseball and spring training games soon to begin, it is a great time to look some of the top second-year hitters who could break out in fantasy baseball this season.
In last season’s 60-game sprint, we saw a few rookies emerge as competent hitters at the plate in Alec Bohm, Jake Cronenworth, and Kyle Lewis. Both finished second and third in the N.L. Rookie of the Year voting. Meanwhile, Lewis won the A.L. Rookie of Year award.
Below we will take a look some players, who were in the running for those awards and who should be on your respective draft board. We will also point out some players, who were not in the running for Rookie of the Year, but deserves attention heading into this season.
Alec Bohm, Third Baseman, Philadelphia Phillies
It is only right that we begin this list with Alec Bohm, who interjected life into the Phillies’ offense and gave a consistent bat towards the bottom of the lineup. The 24-year-old slashed .338/.400/.481 with four home runs and 23 RBI. Bohm only had 36 strikeouts with 16 walks in 180 plate appearances.
For his efforts, the former first-round pick finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year Award race. Bohm comes into spring training with his teammates high on him and should be in position to stick in the lineup based off his offense. Baseball Reference projects the second-year third base to hit .288/.363/.449 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI.
Jake Cronenworth, Second Baseman, San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres super utility infielder looks to be another great young player to build with their young core. Last season as a rookie, Jake Cronenworth slashed .285/.354/.477 with four home runs and 20 RBI. Just like Bohm, Cronenworth showed solid plate discipline recording only 30 strikeouts and 18 walks in 192 plate appearances.
The 27-year-old finished third in the National Rookie of Year Award voting behind Bohm. This season, he should be penciled in as the everyday at second base, playing alongside Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Eric Hosmer. Baseball Reference projects Cronenworth to slug .262/.338/.441 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI this season.
Luis Robert, Centerfielder, Chicago White Sox
There is a lot of hype surrounding the Chicago White Sox and 23-year-old outfielder Luis Robert. Robert is apart of a White Sox squad that has talent scattered across the diamond. Last season as a rookie, he slugged a pedestrian .233/.302/.436, but still managed to hit 11 home runs and 31 RBI. That’s the thing with Robert, he might not hit for average (.250), but he has tremendous power, which is tantalizing.
Robert finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year Award race behind Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners. According to Baseball Reference, Robert is projected to hit .243/.320/.439 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI.