I know there are plenty of lists out there trying to determine who the real breakouts will be this year! Who's 27, who's coming off injury, who lost weight, etc, etc, etc.! However, what about the stars who may have slightly underperformed but could potentially join the elite this year? Lets take a look.....
Pat Burrell - He is one of my favorites this year. After a horrible 2003 and a not much better 2004, Pat the Bat really came on last year hitting .281 with 32 HR and 117 RBI..... and that was with a bad foot that he couldn't put pressure on all year. If you were in an auction league, I hope you grabbed him for $1. Now that he had surgery to relieve the pain and had a special boot thingy designed, he says he feels great, can put pressure back on that foot and now has the potential to top 35+ HR and 120+ RBI hitting 4th and 5th in the Philly lineup. Assuming his foot stays pain free, Burrell will have a huge year power wise. He doesn't steal and he's probably a .275 - .280 hitter but .295 is not out of the question.. he's a raw and free swinger but his power is nuts! You can usually nab him after the top outfielders are gone but should perform like a 1st or 2nd rounder.
Adam Dunn - Here's another guy with a ton of power but strikes out more than Steve Balboni! He hit 40/101 last year with what he says was a broken hand. Imagine what he could do with a healthy hand! 50 maybe? 120+ maybe??? Possibly, but what makes him more attractive is that he qualifies at 1B, CI, and OF. He will be a monster this year and my guess he will improve his average a bit and decrease his K's just a bit. Remember, he is just 26. Invest while he is still a little cheap and people still worry about his average. He's also a lock for 100+ runs and maybe 5 stolen bases.
Roy Halladay - His last 2 years have been a disaster, but Roy was 12-4 with a 2.41 era and a .96 WHIP in just 19 starts before he broke his leg. He is CY young material and says he feels 100%. Watch out because this guy still has something to prove and he is going to go nuts this year despite having toplay the Yankkes and the Sox. He will have no problem joining my 200 Club! He'll go just after Santana, Peavy and Oswalt and in some cases after 2 or 3 other pitchers. If he slips to you in the 3rd round, snatch him up and don't be scared of the injury risk...he's healthy!
Carlos Zambrano - This guy drop about 15 - 20 pounds in hopes of winning the CY Young! He has awesome stuff, he's 200K material and he is part of a great pitching staff. Unfortunately, he hasn't busted out with the wins. He'll join my 200 club once again but this could be the year he gets atleast 18 wins and a CY Young, if Jake Peavy doesn't beat him to it. He's still only 24! Yikes!
Aramis Ramirez - ARams stock could have been a bit higher if he didn't go down with the quad injury at the end of the year. In 463 ab's he hit .302/31/92. Imagine those numbers with 550 - 600 ab's and the fact that he turns the magical age of 27 this year! He usually goes in the very late 2nd round or 3rd round but if he is sitting there in the 3rd or slips to the 4th, grab him! #B is weak this year and power will finally bust out into the elite this year! If he gets off to a slow start and you dont have him, trade for ARam while his stock is down and reap the benefits the rest of the season.
Good luck! Dont let these guys slip!
Fantasy Man ......OUT!