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MLB players ready to make ‘the leap’ in 2020

MLB players ready to make ‘the leap’ in 2020

While the 2020 MLB season is scheduled for only 60 games, that’s still enough of an opportunity for players to make a name for themselves. These 30 have a chance to take a huge leap forward in 2020.


MLB players ready to make ‘the leap’ in 2020

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Acquired from Miami last season, Gallen posted an impressive 2.81 ERA in 15 starts during his rookie campaign. He could step up to be Arizona’s ace this year and give the team a real chance of being competitive in the NL West.


Atlanta Braves: Austin Riley, 3B

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Riley went on a power tear when he was promoted by the Braves last year, but the hot streak soon came to an end. He spent the end of the year on the bench, though the Braves are counting on Riley after the departure of Josh Donaldson. He has the power to make a difference in the team’s lineup.


Baltimore Orioles: Hunter Harvey, RP

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Harvey was once a top prospect, but he has struggled to stay healthy during his pro career. He created some buzz last season in relief and could compete for the closer role this year in another rebuilding season for Baltimore.


Boston Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi, LF

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Benintendi is coming off a poor 2019 season, but he posted a solid .830 OPS the previous year. Boston is counting on him following the trade of Mookie Betts, and Benintendi has been working hard in the offseason to get back on track.


Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ, OF

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Happ was demoted after spring training last year but made up for lost time when he was called up late in the year, with an .898 OPS in 156 plate appearances. He’s set for regular at-bats this season with the addition of the DH.


Chicago White Sox: Luis Robert, CF

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Robert was the talk of early spring training and is likely to be Chicago’s Opening Day center fielder. The toolsy Cuban has clear 30/30 upside that he could flash in his MLB debut.


Cincinnati Reds: Nick Senzel, CF

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Injuries have continued to ruin Senzel’s early career, but the ability he showed while on the field was good, with 12 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 104 games. Cincinnati is excited about the former first-round pick’s upside if he can stay on the field.


Cleveland Indians: James Karinchak, RP

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Karinchak has incredible swing-and-miss stuff, posting 74 strikeouts in only 30.1 innings in the minors last season. He was similarly dominant in five MLB appearances and should slot in as Cleveland’s setup man this season.


Colorado Rockies: Sam Hilliard, RF

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Hilliard showed great power late last season with seven home runs in only 87 plate appearances, and he has a good chance of at-bats going into 2020. With the help of Coors Field, he could be a major contributor quickly.


Detroit Tigers: Christin Stewart, OF

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Stewart disappointed in his official rookie season with only 10 home runs in 416 plate appearances, but his minor league track record suggests 30 home run power. He’s one of the few building blocks in the Tigers lineup and hopes to get off to a better start this year.


Houston Astros: Kyle Tucker, OF

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Tucker remains a top MLB prospect but has been left without a place to play in Houston’s loaded lineup. This could be the year he finally unseats Josh Reddick to get playing time and shows his 30/30 upside.


Kansas City Royals: Maikel Franco, 3B

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Franco quickly fell out of favor in Philadelphia for his mediocre defense and disappointing bat, but he has a clean slate with the Royals. The three-time 20-plus home run hitter hopes to get on a hot streak early this season.


Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani, DH/SP

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Ohtani is an accomplished hitter in his first two MLB seasons but has made only 10 appearances as a pitcher due to Tommy John surgery. His arm should be healthy for the start of the season, and he has a chance to reach his full potential as an outstanding two-way star.


Los Angeles Dodgers: Dustin May, SP

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L.A.’s top pitching prospect was excellent in his MLB debut last season, posting a 3.63 ERA in 34.2 innings. After David Price opted out of the 2020 season, May has a better chance for a spot in the Dodgers rotation and make a bigger impact this year.


Miami Marlins: Pablo Lopez, SP

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Lopez had a disappointing 2019 season that included injury, with an ERA above 5.00. However, his control remained outstanding, and his ability to throw strikes should be an asset for the Marlins rotation this year.


Milwaukee Brewers: Freddy Peralta, P

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Peralta misses bats on command, but his inconsistent control has made him difficult to rely on in his first two MLB seasons. He did create some buzz during spring training, and Milwaukee is counting on Peralta as a high upside arm this year.


Minnesota Twins: Luis Arraez, 2B

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Arraez’s pure hitting ability could lead to a batting title in the future, as he showed last season by hitting .334. With Jonathan Schoop out of the way, Arraez is set to be Minnesota’s starting second baseman.


New York Mets: Amed Rosario, SS

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Rosario has made nice progress in three MLB seasons, posting a career-high .755 OPS last year. Still just entering his age 24 season there is more room for growth, as his bat could push him into the middle of the batting order.


New York Yankees: Jordan Montgomery, SP

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Montgomery was an effective starter early in his career before undergoing Tommy John surgery, and he’s competing for a rotation spot again this summer. With a career 3.91 ERA, Montgomery shows excellent upside.


Oakland Athletics: Jesus Luzardo, SP

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Luzardo is one of the best pitching prospects Oakland has produced in years, but he missed most of last season due to arm trouble. Now healthy, Luzardo could not only compete for a rotation spot but also for becoming the team’s ace in 2020.


Philadelphia Phillies: Spencer Howard, SP

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Pitching is seen as Philadelphia’s biggest weakness entering the season, but Howard could rescue the team. The top pitching prospect is coming off a great Arizona Fall League, as he tries to win the fifth starter spot.


Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco, RF

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Polanco had trouble overcoming a shoulder injury last season after hitting a career-high 23 home runs in 2018. Now healthy, he has a chance to hit in the middle of Pittsburgh’s batting order and put up the numbers expected of him as a former top prospect.


San Diego Padres: Francisco Mejia, C

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Mejia’s bat pushed him to the majors, and he finally showed it off during the second half of last season by hitting .305-6-16 in 141 plate appearances. He could put up an elite offensive performance during the shortened season.


San Francisco Giants: Logan Webb, SP

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Webb struggled in eight starts last season but has a strong minor league track record and opportunity to win the fifth starter job. As an extreme groundball pitcher, he provides strong upside for San Francisco.


Seattle Mariners: Shed Long, 2B

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Long is likely to be Seattle’s leadoff hitter and starting second baseman this season. With regular at-bats for the first time, he could prove himself a building block in Seattle’s lineup.


St. Louis Cardinals: Tyler O'Neill, OF

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O’Neill has yet to find regular at-bats in the majors, but there’s no questioning his power potential with 14 home runs in 293 plate appearances. With the addition of the DH, he could finally see an everyday opportunity.


Tampa Bay Rays: Tyler Glasnow, SP

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Glasnow was dominant early last season before suffering an injury, finishing the regular season with a 1.78 ERA in 12 starts. He has a chance to bounce back at the top of Tampa’s rotation this year.


Texas Rangers: Willie Calhoun, LF

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Calhoun had a scare in spring training when he took a pitch to the head, but he’s had enough time to heal. He had 21 home runs in only 83 games last year and could continue that momentum.


Toronto Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B

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Arguably the top hitting prospect in baseball entering last season, Guerrero didn’t quite match the hype owith only 15 home runs in 514 plate appearances. He smakes consistent hard contact though and could reach his potential this year.


Washington Nationals: Austin Voth, SP

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Voth is the favorite to win Washington’s fifth starter job after improving his velocity last season. He had a 3.30 ERA in 43.2 innings for the Nats last season.

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