3 surprise breakout candidates in 2021 MLB season

Boston Red Sox Franchy Cordeo Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have a nice combination of veterans and young players entering the 2021 MLB season.

Any of those players are capable of having a big season as the Red Sox look to surprise some folks and challenge for the AL East crown.

With some of the obvious breakout candidates such as Bobby Dalbec, Alex Verdugo and pitcher Tanner Houck landing on just about everyone’s list, here are three names you may not think of, including a player recently acquire who not many Red Sox fans are too excited about.

Boston Red Sox newcomer Franchy Cordero has the raw power to be special

Based on raw power alone, newly acquired Boston Red Sox slugger Franchy Cordero is actually MLB.com’s choice for hitters poised to have a breakout season in 2021.

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If you are a Red Sox fan, you say bring it on.  Especially since Cordero was acquired as a main part of the Andrew Benintendi deal.  Also, given the fact that Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn’t look like he’s returning as the center fielder, the Sox are counting on Cordero to breakout both offensively and defensively.

In all, Cordero hasn’t had much MLB experience, but Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com highlights his 12.4 percent barrel rate as a main reason to watch out for that guy named Franchy:

“The 26-year-old has recorded 22 barrels (batted balls with the optimal combination of exit velocity and launch angle) as a big leaguer, with a 12.4 percent barrel rate. To put that in perspective, only 30 qualified hitters had a barrel rate of 12.4 percent or better in 2020. Cordero has shown a tendency to swing and miss, but after recording a 38.4 percent whiff rate and a 38.8 percent strikeout rate in his first three seasons, he lowered those marks to 20.2 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively, in 2020. It’s unclear how much playing time Cordero will get after being traded from the Royals to the Red Sox last week, but it will be fun to watch him take aim at Fenway Park’s famous red seats in the right-field bleachers this season.”

Whew, that’s a lot of percentages and stats to digest so let’s just simplify it.

At 6-foot-3, 226 pounds, Franchy Cordero has the physical makeup along with the raw talent to emerge as something special for the Red Sox in 2021 if he puts it all together.

A combination of Mookie Betts, Benintendi and Bradley Jr.?

That’s the only way Boston Red Sox fans will forgive each of those players no longer doing those fun dances in the outfield following victories.

Oh, that seemed so long ago.

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