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With spring training around the corner, I wanted to take a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016. We’ll start with the American League and move to the National at the end of the week.
Manny Machado, SS – How does a guy who collected 102 runs, 181 hits, 30 doubles, 35 homers, and 86 RBI make more of an impact? Simple, the kid is currently just 23 and I think he’ll continue having better plate discipline where he can build on his career .281 batting average (.286 in 2016).
This is based on a jump in walk ratio as he went from a career high 5.7% in 2014 to 9.3% in 2015. Some sites are predicting a large drop in power, however again,
I think because of age, he’s just developing his gap power as there was a huge boost to in his career percentage (9%) of extra base hits in 2016 (9.3%), yet the home runs jumped from a career high of 14 in 2013 to 35 last season.