The Next Jesus Aguilar: Luke Voit, 1B, New York Yankees
We already saw the start of a breakout from Voit last season as he slashed .333/.405/.689 over his 148 plate appearances with the Yankees. Now a lot of people will probably look at those numbers and completely disregard them due to him being a 27-year-old who had little to no hype coming up through the minors. Before you do that it is important to note that among batters with at least 100 batted ball events last season, Voit had the highest xwOBA, hard contact rate and barrels per plate appearance. The most amazing takeaway from all these stats is that they don’t take into account park factors. Boone has already declared Voit the starting first baseman for 2019, so unless they make some moves, I will be buying low on Voit in this year’s upcoming drafts.
The Next Max Muncy: Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Seattle Mariners
It is hard to find another player like Muncy for 2019, but Vogelbach seems to be the closest breakout option we have. They both showed tremendous plate discipline as their swing rates are both below 38.0% and their chase rates only have a 0.4% difference. They both also showcase tremendous raw power which is evident by both their hard contacts rates being well above 40.0%. Unlike many other players with similar hard contact rates, their career contact rates still remain somewhere around league average. Vogelbach is out of options for 2019, so he could be a great buy low candidate come 2019 drafts.
The Next Adalberto Mondesi: Franchy Cordero, OF, San Diego Padres
I ran a poll on Twitter a little while ago and these were the results:
Which player would you rather own in a standard 5x5 Roto League— Joe Gentile (@JoeGentileFT) November 9, 2018
Player A: 65.0% Contact%, 31.8% O-Swing%, 25.3% LD%, 1.58 GB/FB, 49.4% Hard%, 29.2 Sprint Speed
Player B: 67.0% Contact%, 37.1% O-Swing%, 21.2 LD%, 1.10 GB/FB, 36.6% Hard%, 29.9 Sprint Speed
Player A was Franchy Cordero and Player B was Adalberto Mondesi. Now this isn’t me saying Cordero will be better than Mondesi in 2019, but the fact that people would rather have Cordero over Mondesi based on their peripherals is at least note worthy. Both players profile to have a high strikeout rate, low walk rate, and a good combination of power and speed. Due to their speed, raw power, low contact rates and aggressive approach at the plate, both have a wide range of outcomes that is dependent on BABIP and power. Both have the potential to be .260 hitters who can put up a 30/30 season, but it is more likely that Cordero will be a .240-.250 hitter with a complimentary 30 home runs and 20 steals if he gets a full season’s worth of at bats. The downside is that Cordero will likely have to split time in the outfield with Margot, Myers, Renfroe and Reyes all fighting for spots in the starting lineup.
The Next Blake Snell: Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Besides both being former top pitching prospects who first initially struggled after getting called up and are now on the Rays, Glasnow and Snell could actually have more in common. Both made the changes with the Rays that saw them improve their walk rates tremendously which lead to improved second halves from both. They both profile to be high strikeout and high walk rate pitchers who have the ability to maintain low BABIP’s. Out of everyone currently on the Rays’ roster, Galsnow and Snell will likely be the only two allowed to go deep into games. With his potential, we could see a strikeout rate above 30.0% from Glasnow as he embarks on his breakout season.
The Next Trevor Bauer: Corbin Burnes, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Burnes was one of the many reasons the Brewers had such a strong bullpen in 2018, and his peripherals last season resemble those of Trevor Bauer’s during his breakout campaign. They had some of the best contact rates in the majors, both caught batters chasing out of the zone at an above average rate, and both had above-average ground ball rates. Counsell has already talked about using Burnes out of the rotation, so his amount of innings will likely be close to the 175.1 Bauer had in 2018 as well. Now his peripherals will likely regress a little bit due to seeing hitters multiple times through the order, but he still looks like he could be the closest pitcher to replicate Bauer’s 2018 breakout.
The Next Miles Mikolas: Nathan Eovaldi, RHP, Free Agent
Mikolas had an incredible 2018 season that saw him get a couple of Cy Young votes this offseason. Eovaldi came back from injury to become a vital part of the Red Sox push to winning another World Series. I like this comparison not only because their swing rates, zone rates, contact rates and chase rates are all nearly identical, but they both feature pitch arsenals that could see their strikeout rates increase in 2019. With ability to throw a triple digit fastball up in the zone and then compliment that with a quality breaking down and out of the zone, Eovaldi has the potential to become a top 30 pitcher in fantasy this upcoming season.