Players to Watch for in the 2017 Baseball Season
By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
There sometimes comes a time when you can just feel a certain player is due to explode in form in a particular season. The timing is created by any number of factors, but you can often times see the stars lining up well for a certain player. They served their time in the minors or they perhaps showed a glimpse of what they can do in the majors. A player can come out of nowhere—that much is true. But a lot of times, you need to see at least a little of what they do on the big stage. These players have done that. And in doing so, they've established themselves as MLB players to watch in 2017.
We are listing five players who could make a major impact in the 2017 baseball season. Not that they necessarily will. Maybe they need another year. Perhaps after a hot 2016, pitchers or hitters will have come around in knowing how to deal with them. In any event, if these players end up stringing together a big season, it should take no one by surprise. These guys are primed to become players who shine in 2017. Here are five top candidates we have identified as guys who could establish some star-power in 2017.
Jon Gray (Colorado Rockies): After a 10-10 season where he has an ERA of 4.61, we can understand if those want to hold out until they actually see the results on the field, but we decided to be early to the dance. Gray could see a significant bump in form in 2017. After his first full season, the big Oklahoman showed tremendous stuff, with his shortcomings falling into the category of things that can be taught. Pitching half your outings in Denver doesn't do wonders for any pitcher's stats, but this could still be the season where we see a new face in Gray join the ranks of all-star National League hurlers.
Hunter Renfroe (San Diego Padres): On a San Diego Padres team starving for star-power, Renfroe will be given time to showcase his wares, as well as time to grow should he struggle in his first full MLB season. After thriving in the minors, the former first-round pick shined in limited time with the big club last season with 4 homers and 14 RBI in just 11 games. The void is there to be filled and we'll see if the young outfielder can rise to the occasion in 2017. The Padres are certainly banking on having Renfroe as a cornerstone of that outfield for years to come.
Jose Peraza (Cincinnati Reds): About to be 23, it was hard not to get excited at what we saw from Peraza last season in a 71-game span. In addition to showing he can play a variety of positions, Peraza also showed himself to be adept at the plate, batting a robust .324 in 241 at-bats. He has very little power and could stand to yield more walks at the plate, but he can hit and with 21 steals in less than half a season, he gives the Reds some speed. Sure, reality could set in and opposing pitchers could come up to speed, but Peraza could find himself a constant presence on the batting average leaders list for seasons to come.
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Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees): At 24, Yankees backstop Gary Sanchez is an exciting up-and-comer, as he showed in extended time last season. A solid prospect before last season, Sanchez hit 20 home runs in just 201 at-bats, offering a possible glimpse into big things that lie ahead for the 6'2" 230 pound product of the Dominican Republic. And when he gets weary of being behind the plate, he could catch some at-bats in the designated-hitter role. It's due for there to be a new big star in the Bronx and maybe Sanchez fits the bill.
Trea Turner (Washington Nationals): Granted, we're not going too far off-the-grid in picking Turner as a future star. Even casual observers of the sport know Turner is a can't-miss prospect. While his work over 73 games may have painted too optimistic of a picture, it would be a major unforeseen development if Turner didn't at least graduate to the level of star this season. In just 307 at-bats in 2016, he batted a fat .342 and showed he could be the best base-stealer in the National League with 33 steals in less than half a season. With 13 homers, he showed the potential to be a 30-30 guy and with some dangerous hitters around him, he should see some good pitches and put together a big year. Bet on baseball for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!