Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 predictions: Breakout POY


Today represents the sixth post in our 8-day series featuring predictions for the season. In this one we identify the player who we feel is most poised to have a "breakout" season, or at least a season far better than they've experienced before in the majors. Without further adieu here are our selections:

@RedlegsWriter's pick: Aroldis Chapman
-This is the year Chapman “breaks out” as a starting pitcher in the big leagues. It may not become a reality until around May, but Chapman will prove to be a useful starter, thus securing his place and finding a niche on the team for the remaining years of his contract. Chapman has lots of experience as a starting pitcher, from his days in Cuba, and his early days with the Louisville Bats where he started 13 games in 2010. He’ll presumably start 2011 in Louisville as he tries to improve on his command, and to hone his secondary pitches like his slider and changeup. It won’t take more than a month though, and as soon as a spot opens in the rotation due to injury or poor performance, look for Chapman to grab the reins and not let go.


@Redlegs_Review's pick: Chris Heisey
-Heisey made the most of his limited opportunities in 2011 smashing 28 extra base-hits and driving in 50 runs in just 279 at-bats. And now that the outfield depth has been slashed by offseason attrition, he’ll likely see an increased role for himself in 2012. But a few questions remain. Most notably: Will more at-bats translate into greater offensive production from him? Or will more playing time decrease the 27-year old’s effectiveness? I’m going to say the former is more probable to be true. The right-handed Heisey looks easily capable of posting a .260BA/25HR/90RBI line this season -- even if he does share the left field duties with newcomer Ryan Ludwick.


Honorable mentions go to: Homer Bailey & Drew Stubbs

And in case you want to look back on a prior post, or just want to look ahead...

2012 season predictions schedule:
Monday: Offensive MVP
Today: Defensive MVP
Wednesday: Pitching MVP
Thursday: Most Improved
Friday: Top Newcomer
Saturday: Player Poised for Breakout Year
Sunday: Top Rookie

Monday: Potential All-Stars

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