With the 2020 season currently on hold, now is a great time to take a look at some of the "sleeper" teams entering the 2020 campaign.
The Padres found themselves in the cellar of the NL west after another disappointing season finishing with a 70-92 record. Even though they had a terrible record this team did have a few things to be happy about. Manny Machado had a decent year slashing .256/.334/.796 also hitting 32 long balls and driving in 85 runs.
The Padres also enjoyed a breakout season from their 21 year old top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis Jr’ season was cut short due to injury but in the 84 games he did play he slashed .317/.379/.969 while also launching 22 homers and driving in 53 runs.
OF Tommy Pham had a very solid year with the Rays last year and so did RHP Emilo Pagan. The rotation has always been a question mark for this team but with the signing of veterans such as Garret Richerds and Zach Davies, they hope to be a solid rotation entering the 2020 campaign.
This team is built on youth and they hope prospects such as Makenzie Gore(1), Francisco Mejia (NR), and Michel Baez (7) can help out at some time during the season.
Next up I have the Texas Rangers, coming off a pretty surprising season as they started of the season very strong. But in the offseason they added Ace Corey Kluber and also solid arms in Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles.
Joining them in a very deep rotation will be two veterans who both enjoyed breakout years. First is Mike Minor, an Allstar for the first time in his career who reached the 200 strikeout mark for the first time in his career while also putting up a 3.59 ERA, 1.24 WHIP while also tossing 200 solid innings for the club. Lance Lynn also enjoyed a bounce back year, which saw him toss over 200 inning while having a 3.76 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and having a career high in strikeouts (246), WP (18) and BF (875). He also finished 5th in the AL Cy Young voting.
Also expect star and also Swiss Army knife Joey Gallo to continue to improve off of a great 2019 campaign as well as young star Willie Calhoun who can play multiple positions as well. Expect bounce back years from Odor and Elvis Andurs in the middle infield as those guys perforce will be vital if this team wants to make an impact in a stacked divisions like the Al West.
The final team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. After trading away franchise player Paul Goldschmidt it was obvious that a new era was coming to Arizona. After a surprising 85-77 record led by breakout star Katel Marte. Marte enjoyed himself and MVP caliber season slashing .329/.389/.981 while hitting 32 round trippers and driving in 92 runs.
The consistency of David Peralta, Eduardo Escobar and Robby Ray also played a big part last year and will be huge for this year. The acquisition of OF Starling Marte and LHP Madison Bumgarner sent a message to the rest of the majors that Arizona believes it's time to win is now.
Expect big leaps from C Carson Kelly, RHP Luke Weaver and 1B Christian Walker. Though they have a decent farm system don't expect to see any of their top prospects contributing this season other than RHP Corbin Martin (7).
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