It used to be that rookies were not impactful fantasy players and they were generally avoided. However, with emerging prospects like Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, and even Trevor Story, we’re starting to see how impactful rookies can be across fantasy leagues. This year, you know guys like Corey Seager, Trea Turner, and Alex Bregman. They were on everyone’s radar to start the year and, if you’re in a redraft league, they will almost certainly be drafted very high next season. Rather than focusing on those guys, we’ll be taking a look at some other rookies that are having solid debut seasons and could make an impact for their respective teams and your fantasy squad in 2017.
Impact Players for 2017
Tim Anderson – CWS SS
Anderson made his debut this summer, as the ChiSox called up the talented shortstop a bit earlier than expected. Since his call up, he’s been playing every day, and has done well hitting atop the lineup. In 86 games this season, Anderson has seven home runs to go along with 10 stolen bases and a .282/.302/.408 triple slash line. Projecting those out across a full season (roughly 14 home runs and 20 steals) and you have a very solid middle infielder. Like most young hitters, he needs to work on two things: cutting down the strikeouts and drawing more walks. He has a horrendous 2% walk rate and strikes out over 27% of the time. If he wants to continue to succeed at the Major League level, he’ll need to improve upon those numbers. There’s a ton of promise and a lot of things to like with Anderson, making him an intriguing option next season in deeper leagues.
Keon Broxton – Mil OF
The Milwaukee Brewers once again didn’t compete this year but they have some young pieces such as Jonathan Villar, Scooter Gennett, Hernan Perez, and Orlando Arcia that, if nothing else, will make the Brewers an interesting team to watch. Alongside that group is Keon Broxton, a former third round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Unfortunately for the Brewers, Broxton suffered a fractured wrist over the weekend, ending his season. It’s a tough break as the outfielder has been one of the better overall contributors since the All-Star break. In 46 games since the break, Broxton hit eight home runs, stole 16 bases, and scored 20 times. He also walked 25 times which is great for someone playing in their first full MLB season. Should the wrist rehab go well, Broxton will almost certainly start the 2017 season as the Brewers everyday center fielder.
Brandon Drury – Ari OF
Drury was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves back in 2010 and landed in Arizona as part of the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta for all of two seasons. If Drury’s rookie year is any indication of what to expect, then the Braves are going to regret this trade for years to come. He has made appearances this season at each corner outfield position, along with third base and second base. This kind of versatility is not only valuable for the Diamondbacks, but it will also provide a nice boost in his fantasy value. His overall stat line in 121 games this season is 15 home runs and 48 RBI with a .284/.334/.461 slash line. Those aren’t numbers that really jump out at you but a 15-20 home run bat coupled with his multi-position eligibility will most certainly play in your fantasy league.
Andrew Benintendi – Bos OF
Not many expected Andrew Benintendi to make his debut in 2016 but he was absolutely raking in the minor leagues and the Red Sox front office had no choice but to call him up in August. He avoided a significant knee/ankle injury last month and, after a trip to the DL, returned over the weekend against the Yankees, going 2-6 in two games. Benintendi is, without question, the left fielder of the future for Boston, and the future is bright. Settled at the bottom of the Red Sox batting order this year, he’ll have a chance to work his way up once the 2017 season starts and has an opportunity to score lots of runs, hit for average, and some power as a left handed hitter in Fenway Park. This is someone you’ll want to keep your eye on at the draft table next season.
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