I’ve seen this guy play since he was in AA, and it has been obvious that he can hit. Last year, during the shortened season, he got his shot. In 140 plate appearances, he hit .333 with 5 homers, 23 RBIs, and an OPS+ of 140. You could say he broke out last year, but Mountcastle only played 35 games. He broke onto the scene, but I think he can break out over 162 games. This is a guy who we could be talking about as one of baseball’s best hitters in the coming years. Hopefully, he can help turn around this struggling franchise...
Cole's Projection: .278 AVG, 28 HR, 95 RBI
Image via Camden Chat
Coming up through the minors, Dalbec was known for his power, and he showed that in the shortened season. He slugged eight round-trippers in 23 games and gave Red Sox fans a taste of what he’s best at, and that’s going yard. On the spring, he’s hitting .311 with 7 homers and 16 RBIs in only 51 plate appearances. I usually do not like taking too much stock in spring numbers, but based on last year's small sample, I believe the hype. I think he’s deserving of the starting first base role and in a full season, Bobby can crush 30 homers, especially in Fenway.
Cole's Projection: .255 AVG, 31 HR, 89 RBI
Image via Boston Globe
The 28-year old corner outfielder has displayed special power over the past couple of seasons. The ball just jumps off his bat differently. With the new additions to the lineup and the younger players developing, Hernandez will be in a position to drive in a lot of runs this year. Here are some eye-popping numbers that he produced last season that lead me to think he'll have a great 2021:
- 11.1 Barrels/Plate Appearance % (5th in the MLB)
- 40.3 Sweet Spot % (7th in the MLB)
- 52.7 Hard Hit % (11th in the MLB)
- 93.3 Average Exit Velocity (5th in the MLB)
Cole's Projection: .285 AVG, 32 HR, 112 RBI
Image via Call to the Pen
The simple answer may be that guy named Randy, but I’m going with the 29-year-old left-hander. Over the past few years, he has been one of the more overlooked reliable starting pitchers in the league, partly because he was buried beneath the likes of Glasnow, Snell, and Morton. While his ERA has hovered around 4 in his three years in the bigs, he has induced A LOT of soft contact. Since 2018, Yarbrough has allowed the lowest average exit velocity off at 82.6 MPH. I think he continues what he does best and steps up as the second starter in that rotation.
Cole's Prediction: 9-6, 3.36 ERA, 156 IP
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In 2021, Frazier will finally get his chance as the starting left fielder in the Bronx. He has shown impressive bat speed and power to all fields which adds a lot of excitement to the bottom of the Yankee lineup. Not to mention, his defense improved mightily in 2020. It will be a true test for Frazier to cover all that ground in left field at Yankee Stadium. His discipline at the plate and ability to work deep counts has also improved. Last season, he was among the top 7% with a walk rate of 15.6% (9.1% higher than 2019). I think Clint Frazier will prove his worth and be considered a top 10 left fielder when the 2021 season is all said and done.
Cole's Projection: .273 AVG, 26 HR, 93 RBI
Image via Yanks Go Yard