Over the next two weeks I’m going to be reviewing 12 rookie hitters and 12 rookie pitchers that could make signifiant waves at the Major League level — and aid your fantasy squad, as a result — in 2017. Today, we’re taking a look at six freshmen hitters with another six to come later in the week.
Potential Impact Rookie Hitters for 2017:
Willy Adames, SS, Rays: The Rays have some middle infield depth with the likes of Matt Duffy, Brad Miller and Nick Franklin in house but the emergence of Adames could help the cost-conscious Rays move on from Brad Miller, who is set to make more than $3 million in 2017 and is said to be tired of moving around the diamond. Adames, 21, had a breakout 2016 season despite being aggressively pushed from high-A (where he produced modest numbers in ’15) to double-A. He strikes out a fair bit but the young shortstop produced a .372 on-base percentage thanks to 74 free passes in 132 games and he began to tap into his raw power on a more consistent basis. Adames has 20+ home run potential and could also add double-digit steal totals. He’ll likely open the year in triple-A but it wouldn’t be a shock to see him in The Show as early as June.