3 Breakout Shortstops for 2023 by Paul Sporer March 17, 2023 Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports As I did in the 1B piece, I’ll ask that we not get too hung up on the actual phrasing of “breakout” as at least one of these selections has undoubtedly broken out before so it’s almost a re-breakout that I have them doing in 2023. These are guys I like above their market price and have them easily outperforming their draft cost. I understand that a “breakout” is more a first time thing, but they aren’t necessarily “sleepers” (although there is usually at least one guy in each of these pieces that is more deep league-friendly), either, so I chose the better of the two words. Catchers First Basemen Second Basemen Third Basemen Ha-Seong Kim 김하성 | SDP | +3B elig. My Projection: .259/.330/.402, 14 HR, 70 R, 59 RBI, 16 SB in 606 PA Kim took a nice step forward after a modest debut and he doesn’t need to change a ton to take another step forward this year. He will be the starting 2B which will give him triple eligibility shortly into the season. Kim’s solid-everywhere, great-nowhere profile makes him a great candidate to be a strong accumulator if he’s able to eclipse the 600 PA threshold. With a remarkably efficient 86% success rate on the bases since coming to the majors, Kim could be one of the guys who takes full advantage of the new rules that foster more SBs. He’s a sleeper to reach 25 SBs. I’m a sucker for power-speed guys with multi-positional eligibility… Bryson Stott | PHI | +2B elig. My Projection: .269/.341/.409, 15 HR, 69 R, 57 RBI, 21 SB in 608 PA …which is why I also like Stott. He posted a double-double (10 HR/12 SB) in his rookie season, made all the more impressive by the fact that he none of either through May. Like Kim, Stott is more speed than power which could put him in line for a stolen base surge. He displayed more pop in the minors than we saw last year (.124 ISO), but perhaps there is more to his game as evidenced by his .195 ISO in the minors. It can be hard to not anchor a rookie to their debut skills, even on the high end. Stott is the 26th SS off the board in Rotowire Online Championship leagues (ADP) and can easily deliver a Top 20 season with an outside shot at the Top 15. Oswald Peraza | NYY My Projection: .249/.306/.392, 13 HR, 60 R, 44 RBI, 23 SB in 511 PA It wasn’t necessarily by design, but speed is the name of the game with my SS breakouts and Peraza could definitely be the best of the trio in that avenue. He swiped 35 SBs per 500 PA in the minors and I’m eager to see what he can do with a full season in the majors. There is still some question about his spot on the Yankees, but I think he locks it down by the end of Spring Training. I know Anthony Volpe is having a monster spring and yet I’m not sure it will be enough to unseat Peraza who is currently penciled into the starting role. Peraza is already on the 40-man roster (which is full) and there is an infielder logjam on the roster. And while Peraza hasn’t been as hot as Volpe, he’s holding his own just fine in Florida with a .779 OPS, 1 HR, 2 SB, and most importantly, a 1:1 K/BB ratio (4 each). I’m drafting Peraza as though he will get the gig to start, though Peraza and Volpe could be the keystone combo as early as the summer!