The 2016 Major League Baseball season is just around the corners as spring training is officially underway. This gives fantasy baseball owners a short window to prepare for their upcoming MLB Fantasy Drafts as well as a game plan for the first week of daily fantasy baseball on sites like Fantasy Aces, FanPicks and DraftKings.
Over the next couple weeks we will be turning some of our attention to fantasy baseball to get everyone prepared for the upcoming season. We will take a look at a large variety of angles including top MLB rookies to consider, potential cheap fantasy options to build your daily fantasy lineup around week 1 as well as just a deeper look at each of the positions to fill out an entire lineup.
The first area we have elected to start looking at first is which players around the game are set to have a breakout season. At the top of our list is the Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop. While Schoop has hit at least 15 home runs in each of the past two seasons we still expect more out of the 23 year old second baseman.
We expect more from Schoop this season after his production last season despite only appearing in 86 games. Schoop picked up 85 hits, 17 doubles, 16 home runs and 39 runs batted in over just 305 at bats while posting a .279 batting average. If that success continues this season, Schoop would be on pace to hit 28 home runs while driving in 73 runs.
Here are five other players we expect to have a break out season for fantasy owners in 2016.
Luis Severino, New York Yankees: Severino will be entering his first full season in the Majors this season after making 11 starts last season. The Yankees starter went 5-3 over those 11 starts last season while striking out nearly one hitter per inning. If he stays healthy Severino could become the key to the Yankees rotation while putting together a big season for fantasy owners.
Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers: The Rangers second baseman is slowly emerging as one of the top fantasy second baseman in the game. Since being called up in 2014, Odor has seen his hits, runs scored, doubles, triples, home runs and runs driven up all increase. Add 20 additional games to those numbers this season and hitting at a hitter friendly park Odor could see 20/25 home runs with 75/85 runs batted in.
Steven Matz, New York Mets: Looking at potential young starters that we expect to have a big season Matz lands atop that list. The 24 year old starter performed brilliantly down the stretch for the Mets going 4-0 over six starts while posting a 2.27 earned run average and 34 strikeouts. Our only concern would be for full season owners as we expect the Mets to watch his innings in his first full season in the bigs.
David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks: Peralta will be slotted to start everyday for the Diamondbacks this season in the outfield. Once a starting pitcher, Peralta has officially turned into a solid fantasy option after posting a .312 batting average with 17 home runs and 78 last season. Much like Schoop and Odor, Peralta has seen improvements in nearly every major offensive category including career highs in doubles, triples, home runs and runs batted in while providing fantasy owners a little speed on the base path.
Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox: The once prized prospect is slowly emerging as one of the top young outfielders in the game. Last season Betts managed to post a .291 batting average with 18 home runs and 77 runs batted in. Outside a rough four game stretch in October, Betts showed major promise in September posting a crazy .446 on base percentage to go with a .389 batting average. Those numbers should make every fantasy baseball owner exciting for Betts potential this season.