Only one game in the books for major league clubs and fantasy managers are already checking the free agent pool looking for this year’s surprise breakout player. Here is a look at some players who swung a hot stick on opening day.
7- A.J. Pollock ARI (OF)– Pollock only had 41 at-bats in an injury shortened 2016 but he started this year off with a bang, hitting a two run home run on opening day. The Arizona Center fielder stuffed the stat sheet going 3-5 with 2 Runs and the two run bomb. If he can stay healthy he will be a top fantasy outfielder in 2017. He also gets a production bump, playing half of his games in the desert at Chase field.
6- Randal Grichuk STL (OF)– Grichuk was the hero for the Cardinals on Sunday night. He delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cubs. Batting eighth in the lineup, Grichuk went 2-4 with 3 RBI and a Run scored. He also clubbed a home run and drew a walk. If you drafted Grichuk, you probably got him pretty late in drafts and he could be a steal. He is a sneaky source of power in a loaded St. Louis lineup this year.
5- Yasmani Grandal LAD (C)- Grandal showed some pop Monday, hitting two home runs with 3 RBI. The two HRs were his only two hits of the day. He finished 2-5 at the dish. Grandal will be boom or bust at times this year but he has some nice power for a thin catcher position.
4- Joc Pederson LAD (OF)– Pederson is one of the most exciting young players in the majors. The center fielder showed off his power, hitting a 2 out grand slam on Monday. He finished 1-3 with 5 RBI after tacking on a sacrifice fly. Pederson is a career .224 hitter but if he can improve that, watch out.
3- Eduardo Nunez SF (3B,SS)– The speedster from San Fransisco had himself a day at the plate on Sunday. He went 3-4 with an RBI and a Run scored. He also showed off his base running skills, swiping two bags. He had a third stolen bag when he took 3rd base but the call was reversed with instant replay and he was ruled out. Nunez will hit for average and steal bases. He hit .288 and had 40 stolen bases in 2016. It shouldn’t take long for him to work his way into the top half of the Giants lineup.
2- Rougned Odor TEX (2B)- Would you take two home runs from your second baseman? Yep. A few days after signing a new six year deal with the Rangers, Odor showed us why he is worth it. He smacked two home runs in his first two at bats and finished the game going 2-4. Odor drove in 4 RBI on the night with 2 Runs scored.
1- Mark Reynolds COL (1B)- What year is this? It’s been a long time since Mark Reynolds has been on the top of any list but this slugger was made for Coors field. He started off the season with a bang, hitting a two run HR in the first inning. His final stat line looked like this: 2-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB. Not bad for an Ian Desmond fill-in who is only 2% owned in fantasy leagues.