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My Picks. Players Who Will Up Their Games


RZNJ

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1.  Gunnar.  I’m not going out on a limb here.  He looks primed to take it to the next level.   I’m talking a top ten or top five MVP candidate.   
 

2. Westburg.  I’m going out on a short limb here because I wasn’t encouraged by what I saw in ST but I still think we see 20+ homers and a player who cements himself as a nugget moving forward.

3. Mike Baumann.  He was throwing 97-98 this spring and he seemed looser in doing it.  I love his curve but I think they have him throwing a splitter too.  It’s mostly about throwing more strikes but I think he becomes a trusted 7-8 inning guy.

4. Jorge Mateo.  Going out on a big limb here because I know almost everyone wants him gone.  He’ll never be a good hitter but he’s showing signs again of being a threat at the plate.  One of,if not the worst offensive players in baseball after May last year.  His talent and ability to impact the ball intrigues me.   He did it last April.  He’s done it again this spring.   Can he keep the approach all season long?   Not talking about results but the approach.   I think he’s going to be a lot better than people think.

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1. Gunnar Henderson - I am fully on board the hype train. He had a really good spring and I think he's going to come out on fire. He'll be in the MVP conversation, 7-8 WAR.

2. Colton Cowser - He's still RoY eligible so maybe he's not a fit for this thread. He's going to put the naysayers to bed and be a part of the RoY discussion all year.

3. Adley Rutschman - He had the most PA on the team last year and I think that impacted him a little bit. If he rests a little bit more this year, he's going to be better.

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8 minutes ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Cowser, Mountcastle, Irvin. 

Cowser - i think he’ll pretty much be a de facto starter. 

Mountcastle - .900 OPS post vertigo. I think he’s also used to the wall now. 

Irvin - He’s made for OPACY with the wall. 

Who is losing ABs to make room for Cowser? Mounty? Hays? O'Hearn is starting vs RHP unless he falls on his face for a few weeks. 

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4 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

Lots of Gunnar MVP talk going around Os social media.

I think Adley is more likely to win it and he is actually my pick to win it.

Gunnar was 8th in the MVP voting last year iirc, so all the talk on social media isn't like he's coming out of nowhere. I think Adley has a better chance as well this year.

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1 minute ago, Malike said:

Gunnar was 8th in the MVP voting last year iirc, so all the talk on social media isn't like he's coming out of nowhere. I think Adley has a better chance as well this year.

Not saying it’s out of nowhere. Just saying I think Adley is the better pick for 2024.

 

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Just now, Sports Guy said:

Not saying it’s out of nowhere. Just saying I think Adley is the better pick for 2024.

 

I agree and wasn't referencing you, but the experts on social media.

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I'm gonna take a flyer on Santander to have an even bigger year than usual. 

Westburg last year was so-so and is due to show more of his potential power.

Ready for Dillon Tate to be resurrected as a force in the late innings.

Wild Card: Gonna give Mateo a shot here too. That April/May dropoff of 1.062 to .316 OPS has to be historic. But he did recover with a .653 in September (and don't forget the playoffs, when he led the team with 4-for-5 and two doubles).

 

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Kjerstad.

Cowser, because Hyde won't give him regular PT as well as his off speed issues, will struggle and get sent down. HK will come up hot and his bat will cement his position in the regular lineup. One of O'Hearn, Santa, or Mounty will stumble and free up the ABs.

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