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July 21, 2017

2017 Breakouts… So Far

by zacbarnhart

Yankee’s Right Fielder Aaron Judge. Credit: Getty Images


Over half of the 2017 season has come and gone, and some players have broken on to the scene. Here at WOYSM we call these guys breakouts. This article is dedicated to three breakout outs of the season. These three players all differ in age and experience, but all three guys have done something to take the majors by storm this season. 


  1. The Rookie

Aaron Judge RF (Yankees)

  • This first breakout choice is pretty obvious for anyone with half a brain. This hulking 25-year-old rookie out California continues to turn heads on a daily basis. Judge’s first season in the majors was very lackluster… actually it was terrible! he struck out 42 times in 95 at bats! Another indication of how bad he was in that limited playing time was that he had an OPS+ of 60 (average major leaguer OPS+=100). Judge somehow figured out how to completely turn the page into the 2017 season as he is hitting at a clip of .312/.434/.642 with 30 bombs and 68 RBI already and we still have about half of a season left. That’s a phenomenal bounce back which maybe enough to win Judge Rookie of the Year and maybe even… MVP. That’s right MVP. Judge has obviously broken on to the scene in a big way earning him a spot among the three midseason breakouts.



  1. The Veteran

Greg Holland CL (Rockies)

  • Some may be surprised to see Greg Holland on a breakouts list. You may remember some of his great days as the closer for the Kansas City Royals. He was elite closer for 4 years, but during the 2015 season Holland hurt his elbow and ended up getting Tommy John surgery. Well, he missed the end of 2015 and all of ’16, and it looked like Holland may never return to his 3 time all star self. The Rockies decided to give him a chance and it has payed dividends! Holland to date has pitched to an ERA of 1.53 in 37 games while racking up 32 saves. He also has gotten 12.2 SO/9. All of this was enough to earn his 4th all star appearance of his career. Holland was able to break out this year despite people’s expectations that he couldn’t be an elite pitcher again.



  1. Wait Who?

Justin Smoak 1B (Blue Jays)

  • Unless you are a Jays fan you probably had not clue who the former 1st round (11th overall) of the Rangers was. If you didn’t that’s perfectly fine, because Smoak hasn’t really ever done anything special. His highest batting average until this year was .23 and that was back in 2013 with the Seattle Mariners. Will he wasn’t a good hitter high ranking executives raved about his defense, but honestly he wasn’t even a good defender. Last season Smoak had a -5 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). This season though, Smoak took the league by storm hitting .298/.372/.588 while adding 26 long shots and 62 RBI in 94 games. That’s potential MVP talk in my Sports Mind. Not to mention Smoak has a 1 DRS, so his defense has even been about average this year. Out of nowhere Smoak is putting together a breakout campaign, and that is why he was one of my midseason breakouts.


That’s what my Sport’s Mind came up with to be midseason breakouts. What do you think?cropped-woysm-logo





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