While opening day remains in doubt, there’s no reason not to continue the MLB breakout series for 2020. Without further ado, here are my three MLB outfielders who are candidates to have breakout years once the season begins.
3. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox
2019: 122 games, .315/.513/.828 OBP/SLG/OPS, 31 Home Runs, 79 RBIs
As one of the White Sox’ top prospects, Eloy Jimenez was promoted to the major leagues at the start of 2019. While the team struggled, Jimenez had a solid rookie campaign with 31 home runs and finishing fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year race. However, Jimenez struggled greatly in the field, as his -11 defensive runs saved rating was the worst in the MLB.
While Jimenez was able to put himself on the map last season, he has a chance to become even better once the 2020 season begins. For one, the White Sox will be much improved after making a splash in free agency. Jimenez projects to be the everyday left fielder and will play a key role in getting Chicago back to the playoffs. If he can continue to provide power at the plate and improve in the field, it will go a long way for this team.
2. Victor Robles, Washington Nationals
2019: 155 games, .255/.326/.745 OBP/SLG/OPS, 17 Home Runs, 65 RBIs, 28 steals
Coming into 2019, Victor Robles and Fernando Tatis Jr. of the Padres were viewed as the favorites to win NL Rookie of the Year. While Pete Alonso ultimately won the award, Robles had an excellent season. His play helped the Nationals win their first World Series. Robles first broke into the bigs back in 2017 but didn’t become the everyday guy until last year.
Robles’ best ability is his speed, as he stole 28 bases last season, ranking fifth in the NL. Where he needs the most improvement is at the plate with his power, and inability to get on base. For someone so quick around the bases, only having a .255 OBP and 30 walks is too low. If he can find a way to walk more and hit more home runs, he could be in line for a massive breakout year in 2020.
1. Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019: 134 games, .377/.503/.880 OBP/SLG/OPS, 16 Home Runs, 68 RBIs
For a Pirates’ team that had next to nothing to cheer for in 2019, Reynolds was arguably their one bright spot. Finally getting called up to the MLB in April, Reynolds hit .314, played solid in the field. Reynolds finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Despite the great rookie campaign, Reynolds is still largely unknown around the league by fans.
If Reynolds can improve his power, and hit for more home runs, he could be in line for a massive breakout season in 2020. The Pirates likely won’t be anywhere close to a playoff team, but Reynolds should be able to give the organization some hope for the future. Not to mention, he can do from both sides of the plate.
Thanks for reading about the three MLB Outfielders who will breakout in 2020. Stay tuned for the final edition coming soon, featuring the pitchers.
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