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5 MLB players who could bounce back in 2020

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

February 17th, 2020

These five players underachieved last year. Some took a step back because of injury, while others just struggled, but they could bounce back for their clubs in 2020.

Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

Stanton's second season in pinstripes could not have gone much worse. He played just 18 regular-season games and five playoff games, but he's only one year removed from a fine first season for the Yankees, when he hit 38 home runs drove in 100 runs.

Rushing back from rehab may have been the cause of Stanton's problems, but he's had plenty of time to rest and recuperate during the offseason.

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Votto had a career-low .768 OPS in 2019 (142 games). He's hoping to turn things around in 2020, and he started by changing his routine. According to Cincinnati.com, Votto "showed up more than a week early to camp," something he has never done before. 

The slugging first baseman should get more pitches to hit this year, after the Reds acquired Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, and Shogo Akiyama to beef up their batting order.

Corey Kluber, Texas Rangers

Kluber started just seven games in 2019 (2-3, 5.80 ERA), before he went down for the year with a broken forearm and a subsequent oblique strain during rehab.

Injuries and poor performances have been few and far between for the two-time Cy Young winner over his nine years in Cleveland, so it was surprising to see the Indians cut bait with him this winter (Emmanuel Clase and Delino DeShields from Texas was hardly an inspiring return).

Joining the Rangers offers Kluber a chance at a fresh start. The 33-year-old should still have plenty in the tank.

Andrew McCutchen, Philadelphia Phillies

McCutchen hasn't been in the running for MVP since 2015, but he seemed to find a niche in Philadelphia in 2019, when he recorded a .879 OPS in May. Sadly, an ACL injury cut his season short June 3. The Phillies, who were 33-27 with a healthy McCutchen, went 48-54 the rest of the way. 

Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies

Injuries dogged Murphy in 2018, as he played just 91 games, and they continued to nag him in Colorado last season. He suited up for only 132 games in 2019, and his .780 OPS wasn't inspiring, considering he was playing in Coors Field half the time. 

Murphy developed into one of the more dangerous second basemen in the game in Washington, where he recorded a .930 OPS over three years. He'll play first base primarily in 2020, but as long as he has his health, Murphy should bounce back. 

Honorable mentions 

Dellin Betances (Mets), Mitch Haniger (Mariners), Gregory Polanco (Pirates), Johan Camargo (Braves), Alex Cobb (Orioles)


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