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Fantasy Baseball 2020: Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Top Breakout Hitters

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 10, 2020

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 27: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays at bat during the spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at TD Ballpark on February 27, 2020 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

As MLB teams kick-start 2020 Summer Camp, fantasy stars are slowly beginning their ascension.

Identifying those breakout batters this early in the process can be what eventually helps you clinch a league title.

Luckily, you're in the right place to do just that, as we'll examine three of the top breakout candidates for the abbreviated fantasy season.

                

Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays

Sometimes, the best way to project future stardom is by looking in the rear-view. In Bo Bichette's case, that means allowing yourself to drool over his 46-game stint with the big league club last season.

The 22-year-old batted .311 with a .358 on-base percentage. He launched 11 home runs and clubbed another 18 doubles. He scored 32 runs, knocked in 21 and swiped four bags. For context, his 162-game pace included 39 homers, 14 stolen bases and 187 combined runs and RBI.

That's monstrous production, and yet his price tag remains a relative bargain. His average draft position is only 64th overall and 13th at shortstop, per FantasyPros.

"He's been overshadowed a bit by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna and Fernando Tatis Jr., but he belongs right in that phylum of young stars," Carlos Collazo wrote for Baseball America.

There's a chance Bichette is a consensus first-round pick already next season, which could make him a league-winning addition in this one.

                    

Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox

It's always tricky to bet on an MLB freshman, but Luis Robert looks like the exception.

The White Sox already thought enough of the 22-year-old to give him a six-year, $50 million question, which eliminates the possibility of any service-time manipulation. The contract could also prove a bargain if "La Pantera" taps all the way into his power-speed potential.

His 2019 campaign was, in a word, ridiculous. He opened it in the Carolina League and ended it in AAA, batting .328 with a .624 slugging percentage along the way. He also managed to pair 32 homers with 36 stolen bases, while scoring 108 runs and driving in 92. Oh, and he did all of the above in just 122 games.

"He can do it on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side," Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal told reporters in February. "He'll hit a 400-plus-foot home run one day, and then he'll make a Superman catch in the outfield. It seems like he can do it all. Stealing bases every day. He's definitely the complete package."

Robert has 40-homer, 40-steal potential. His upside might be the best player in fantasy baseball. We're not saying he'll reach that mark this season—we're also not not saying that, either—but he doesn't have to when his ADP is just 91st overall.

                    

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 2B/SS/OF, Toronto Blue Jays

If there's an argument against Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as a breakout candidate, it might be that he's broken out already. The good news for you, though, is that he's only played 149 games at the MLB level over the past two seasons, so his breakout is hidden to those who don't dig beneath the surface.

Essentially, the 26-year-old has one full year of big league work under his belt. In that time, he has belted 31 homers, tallied 85 RBI, scored 82 runs and stolen seven bases. His career slash line so far is a respectable .279/.320/.499.

These aren't projections; that's the actual production. Had he hit those marks in a single season—only 20 players had 30 homers, 80 runs and 80 RBI last season—he'd never make it close to the 147th pick, which is somehow his ADP.

Sometimes, the key to fantasy success is not overthinking it. Just pluck the low-hanging fruit before anyone else sees it, and you'll be feasting on league championships in no time. Getting Gurriel at this price point looks like a no-brainer.

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