The Long Game: Potential NL Central Breakouts

The Long Game: Potential NL Central Breakouts

This article is part of our The Long Game series.

We're now past the halfway point in this tour through big-league breakout candidates, and for whatever reason, I found this week's installment to be the most difficult so far, simply due to the fact that most of the clubs are pretty set, or pretty barren in terms of talent on the cusp. It also might have something to do with the fact that the division saw more than its fair share of big breakouts last season, as guys like Bryan Reynolds and Brandon Woodruff made the difference in plenty of 2019 fantasy races.

For prior columns in the series, click here for the AL East, NL East, and AL Central.

Now, let's take a look at the NL Central:

Cubs

Shallow: Nico Hoerner

Had the season started on time as per usual, Hoerner might have begun the season back at Triple-A, a circumstance that kept his cost in check in February and March despite his strong debut in 2019. Now, with a compacted schedule and expanded rosters on the table, he could wind up as the Cubs' starting second baseman for the entire season more or less. The 22-year-old's hit tool is is best selling point right now – in fact, it might be too good, as his reliance on his contact ability led him to offer at too many pitches out of the zone in the majors – but if he can tighten his plate discipline and add a bit more loft to his swing,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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