As the 2020 MLB season finally gets underway, fantasy baseball players will be eager to return to checking stats and updating their lineups.
Although the pandemic has shifted the baseball landscape, it's still worth looking for potential breakout stars for the 60-game regular season. While the shortened season makes projections more difficult, here are four breakout stars that could change your fantasy season in 2020.
Fantasy Baseball Breakouts 2020
1. Kyle Tucker — OF/DH, Houston Astros
The Houston Astros have a wealth of resources when it comes to position players, and top prospect Kyle Tucker should have his shot in 2020. For those not keeping up with the news, Yordan Alvarez has not reported to camp with an unspecified issue, and there's no timetable for a return. While Josh Reddick is set to man the outfield for now, that leaves a DH spot open for Tucker. While Tucker has only had 144 major league plate appearances, his 4 homers in 22 games last season showed that his power potential is for real. Tucker has the opportunity to be a breakout star in 2020.
2. Ross Stripling — SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The back of the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation has always been a tough place to find value as manager Dave Roberts often shuffles arms, but Ross Stripling has consistently excelled. His ERA and FIP last season were both excellent at 3.47, and he has shown great control throughout his career. Importantly, David Price has opted out of the 2020 season, which means Stripling is going to be a fixture of the rotation barring any injury.
3. Ryan Yarbrough — SP/RP, Tampa Bay Rays
Ryan Yarbrough showed some impressive signs in the second half of last season. After a pedestrian first half, he posted a 7.78 strike-to-walk (K/BB) ratio, 3.79 ERA, and 3.42 FIP over 78.1 innings. He didn't seem to suffer from his increased usage as an opener and now seems to be slotted in for a rotation spot in 2020. While Yarbrough won't have great length as a starter, the shortened season should reduce the need to trim his workload.
4. Alex Verdugo — OF, Boston Red Sox
In a case where the delayed start to the season actually helped a player, Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo would've missed the first half of the season with a stress fracture in his back. Now Verdugo is fully recovered and should play the full season in the Red Sox outfield, but his draft stock is still suffering from the earlier injury scare. Verdugo, the main major-league piece in the much-maligned Mookie Betts trade, hit .294/.342/.475 for the Dodgers last year despite not playing every day. A full-time role should set him up for big things in 2020.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.