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 National League Central fantasy baseball breakout candidates.
Gerrit Cole, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Cole will start the year in the minors, but he is one to keep an eye on when he gets the call.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Frazier hit 19 home runs in 422 at-bats last year. He showed that he could handle both left-handed pitching (.857 OPS) and right-handed pitching (.817 OPS). He struggled down the stretch, hitting .176 in 74 September/October at-bats. He has power and is part of a potent lineup.
Jason Grilli, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Grilli has 21 career wins and five career saves, but he has a chance to make a mark at 36, manning the closer gig for the Pirates. He struck out 90 in 58.2 innings last season, along with a 2.91 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, so he should help in multiple categories.
Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Marte stole 12 bases in 47 games last year. He should be a strong contributor in that category, with potential in the other 5x5 categories.
Shelby Miller, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Miller won a spot in the rotation for the Cardinals. He has excellent stuff, as evidenced by his 16 strikeouts in 13.2 innings for the Cardinals and 160 in 136.2 innings for Triple-A Memphis last year. The Cardinals had four pitchers reach double-digit wins last year and five in 2011.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Rizzo posted a .285 average with 44 runs, 15 doubles, 48 RBI and three stolen bases in 337 at-bats last year. He struggled against left-handed pitching (.599 OPS) but raked against righties (.891 OPS). He posted nearly identical splits at home (.789 OPS) and on the road (.824). He has the potential to be a star and he's just 23.
Jean Segura, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Segura has the speed to produce a decent average and run total, but the biggest upside is his stolen base potential. He swiped seven bases in 45 games last year. He should be able to steal 20-30 bases this year.
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