2013 Fantasy Baseball Preview: American League West Breakout Candidates

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IMarch 28, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 14:  Jesus Montero #63 of the Seattle Mariners hits a RBI sacrifice fly against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There is something to be said about anchoring your fantasy baseball team with players that have already reached their potential.

That said, there is always a new crop, often made up of younger players, that take their game to the next level. Here’s a look at some American League West fantasy baseball breakout candidates.

Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Houston Astros

Carter hit 16 home runs in 218 at-bats for a .864 OPS. You’ll have to stomach his batting average (.214 lifetime) and his tendency to strike out. He does offer raw power, though.

A.J. Griffin, SP, Oakland A’s

Griffin went 7-1 last year with a 3.06 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 64 strikeouts in 82.1 innings. He was actually slightly better on the road (2.90 ERA vs. 3.21 ERA), which bodes well for Griffin’s prospects considering Overstock.com Coliseum is a pitcher’s park.

Justin Maxwell, OF, Houston Astros

Maxwell hit 18 home runs and stole nine bases last year in 315 at-bats. You’ll also have to live with his batting average (.217 lifetime).

Jesus Montero, C, Seattle Mariners

Montero posted a decent .260-46-15-62-0 line. He’s just 23, and the Mariners shortened the outfield dimensions. Look for a jump in power. He hit .278 with a .716 OPS after the All-Star Break, after posting .245 and .657 marks prior. Montero has been swinging a good bat this spring.

Brandon Moss, 1B, Oakland A’s

Moss hit 21 home runs in 265 at-bats. If he can keep that ratio in 500 at-bats, he’ll approach 40 bombs. I don’t think he’ll reach that territory, but he could reach the 30-HR mark.

Nick Tepesch, SP, Texas Rangers

Tepesch joins a rotation that featured three double-digit win totals last year and five the prior year. His peripherals won’t impress you, but he should add to your win total.

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