Meet The MLB Breakout Hitter Of 2020
This is one of 10 burning questions in our 2020 MLB season preview. To see all of our bold predictions, click here. All answers to the question are from Baseball America’s editorial team.
Ben Badler: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays. After a solid rookie campaign in his age-20 season, Vlad Jr. has all the attributes to be one of the elite hitters in the game. There’s no way to know whether it will all click for him in 2020, but Guerrero has the bat speed, swing, plate coverage, strike-zone discipline and outstanding power to be a high on-base, high-slugging masher.
Carlos Collazo: Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays. Bichette had a strong major league debut in 2019, hitting .311/.358/.571 with 11 home runs and 18 doubles in 46 games. He’s been overshadowed a bit by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña and Fernando Tatis Jr., but he belongs right in that phylum of young stars.
JJ Cooper: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays. Guerrero’s rookie season was okay, but he did have some adjustments to make to the major leagues. With the acclimation period behind him, it’s time for Guerrero to show why scouts have long described him as one of the best pure hitters they have seen in years.
Matt Eddy: Carson Kelly, C, D-backs. Kelly could be on the verge of becoming the next great National League catcher, following Yadier Molina, Buster Posey, J.T. Realmuto and Willson Contreras at the position. At 25 years old, Kelly is just entering the sweet spot for catchers and does many things well. He swings at strikes, hits the ball hard and hits it in the air. Behind the plate, he is a strong pitch framer who throws well.
Kyle Glaser: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF, Blue Jays. Gurriel quietly had an excellent offensive showing in 84 games last year wrapped around two injured list stints. Now about to begin his third MLB season at the prime age of 26, Gurriel is in position to emerge as an offensive force—if he can stay healthy.
Joe Healy: Gavin Lux, 2B, Dodgers. All Lux has done is hit in his career, and after getting just a taste of the big leagues in 2019, he should be poised for a breakout season.
Josh Norris: Luis Robert, OF, White Sox. It might take a little bit of an adjustment period, but La Pantera should prowl his way to Rookie of the Year candidacy.
Chris Trenkle: Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox. Although overshadowed by the play of other dynamic youngsters, Jimenez quietly hit 31 home runs during his rookie season, and his continued development will be key to the White Sox turnaround. Expect Jimenez to deliver and earn the first of many all-star nods this season.