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Types Of Breakouts

To me there are four kinds of breakout seasons:

  • Stat-based, where the numbers were screaming breakout and the guy just needed more playing time or the right role.  These are the easiest to identify.  Examples: Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, Heath Bell, Yovani Gallardo.
  • Talented young player makes the leap.  Examples: Adam Jones, Zack Greinke, Justin Upton, Johnny Cueto, Edwin Jackson.  As far as I can tell, most projection systems saw these guys as solid fantasy contributors.  But none predicted monster years.  These types of players come with glowing scouting reports, so it's not out of the blue.  I think you need a few of these scouting-based calls to come through to win a league.
  • Injury bounceback.  Erik Bedard, Victor Martinez, Aaron Hill, and Carl Crawford are examples this year.  They came at a discount due to their 2008 injuries.
  • Out of the blue.  Breakouts no one saw coming: Raul Ibanez this year, Cliff Lee last year.  For these guys we come up with the explanations later - Ibanez moved to the NL, Lee was healthy and starting doing this and that more.  These breakouts are pretty rare - usually a player falls into one of the first three categories.

What do you think - are these the four classifications of a breakout season?

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