As we roll into Week 7, we are reaching uncharted territory.
Like Christopher Columbus discovering America (minus the massacre parts), we’ve found our diamonds in the rough on the waiver wire/late round draft picks and we’ve been overjoyed with their production.
It being a month and a half into the season, we’re starting to separate ourselves from the dreaded small sample size and we’re looking at potential must-start players and their potential 2016 breakouts.
It can definitely be nerve racking rostering, let alone starting a guy that that doesn’t have the track record like a stud, but hey, sometimes you’ve got to play the hot hand. Especially if that hot hand turns into a breakout season.
So, let’s take a look at five offensive players and their surprisingly great starts in 2016!
Five Players Surprising Great Starts
Wil Myers, 1B/OF, San Diego Padres
I’ve been a huge Myers supporter since his early days with Kansas City. There’s nothing I love more in a player than a guy who has as much power potential as their stolen base ability. Unfortunately for Myers, he’s had his past few seasons derailed by odd injuries, but not 2016 (knock on wood). As of right now he’s hitting a respectable .269 with seven bombs and four stolen bases.
We’re 40 games into the season and if you extrapolate those numbers (again, permitted he stays healthy) we’re looking at 28 HRs and 16 steals, not to mention a player who sits atop the Padres lineup. This is a very nice bargain given you likely picked him up late in your draft or off the waiver wire.
Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles
Trumbo has always profiled as a heavy home run hitter with too many swinging strikeouts. It seems so far in 2016 that something has clicked for Trumbo. With 11 home runs and 28 RBIs, clearly the power is there. It’s the .299 average and the .929 OPS that show that he’s been more selective at the plate this year.
What is very intriguing with Trumbo this season is he’s slotted in the middle of a team full of sluggers, so not only will he get his fair share of ABs, but he’ll always have his RBI and run opportunities as long as he continues to hit as he has.
Ian Desmond, SS/OF, Texas Rangers
Well, Desmond has really paid off for the Rangers so far.
It seemed as if Fantasy players, let alone MLB teams, had given up on the swing-friendly Desmond. After a horrendous 2015 season in his final year in his Washington Nationals contract, Desmond found himself without a team until just prior to Spring Training. He then signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Rangers, who wanted him to play center field.
As of right now the hot hitting Desmond is making the Rangers front office look like geniuses as he sits on six home runs with seven stolen bases and batting a .268. Now Desmond isn’t know for his average, so that may dip as the season goes on, but with numbers like his you can’t complain.
Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers
Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos.
Of all those names (mostly highly paid), who would you think has the most RBIs for the Detroit Tigers? Well, more than likely you’re wrong. Well, Castellanos has 30 ribbies and surprisingly leadoff hitter Kinsler is behind him with 22 RBIs, as well as V-Mart.
Castellanos, who was considered a highly touted prospect in the Detroit farm system just a few years ago, seems to be coming into his own in his third full season in the majors. Hitting a robust .346 with eight homers and the aforementioned 30 RBIs, all while hitting in the heart of the ever-threatening Tigers lineup makes Castellanos a very intriguing play in 2016.
Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Boston Red Sox
Jackie. Bradley. Jr..
He’s been sitting behind the mass amount of quality outfielders that Boston has rostered in past seasons. However, finally playing a full-time gig and not having to look over his shoulder, he’s flourishing.
Being ostracized in Fantasy, much like he was in Beantown, anyone who has jumped on Bradley Jr. is enjoying a very nice season as he sits on six homers, 31 RBIs and a healthy .333 AVG and .978 OPS. The only knock on him is he currently hits in the bottom half of the lineup, but with a team as good as the BoSox, he’ll see his ABs.
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