It’s more than typical for a player to trend upwards, have a few strong seasons, and then trend downwards through the back end of their career. Here are a few current players who are on the rise, heading towards their peak and others who ate taking steps down on their skills in the big leagues.
Trending Up (Buy):
Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees
The face of the New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres, has proven he can be an All-Star caliber player for many years to come. The energetic shortstop in the Bronx brings the passion and energy to the World Series favorite Yankees team. Many project the current two-time All-Star to have a future full of MVP and Silver Slugger awards. Quite frankly, this could be more than true for Torres.
The 23-year old has a career Slugging Percentage north of .300, which is never an easy feat to fulfill. Torres’ power often gets overshadowed by his tremendous defensive skills and athleticism on the diamond. The cleanup hitter in the Bronx clobbered 38 home runs last season and many believe he could reach 50 sooner than later. Hands down, the Venezuelan native certainly has a bright career in the future.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Since the 2018 trade from Pittsburgh, Tyler Glasnow has transitioned into a potential Cy Young arm in Tampa Bay. The 6-foot-8 right hander pounds the zone with his aggressive windup and speedy fastball. Glasnow also features a lethal 12-6 curveball that memorizes opposing hitters.
Tossing a dazzling 1.78 ERA in the 2019 season, Glasnow is looking to repeat that dominance. Tampa Bay’s lethal 1-2 punch in the starting rotation with former Cy Young winner Blake Snell, is every hitters worst nightmare. If Glasnow can keep up his strong production on the rubber, fans could expect one or even multiple Cy Young awards from the Tampa Bay arm. Tampa Bay fans should definitely keep a keen eye out for Glasnow as his career is trending upwards.
Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves
In only a small sample size, Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka showed a lot of promise in his rookie showcase. In just 29 games, Soroka tossed a 2.68 ERA, 142 strikeouts and an outstanding 13-4 record in 174 innings. As a result of these well-rounded numbers, Soroka was voted into the 2019 All-Star game and finished top-10 in National League Cy Young Voting. Soroka was also runner-up in the National League Rookie of the Year race last season, finishing behind Mets first-baseman, Pete Alonso.
Heading into his sophomore campaign, many anticipate Soroka to replicate his strong performance from last season. More likely than not, Soroka will be able to do so. Soroka will surely be Atlanta’s ace for the foreseeable future. The young Canadian will certainly be a name to watch in the coming years.
Honorable Mentions: Fernando Tatis Jr., Luis Robert, Pete Alonso, Bo Bichette
Trending Down (Sell):
Chris Archer, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
The 2-time All-Star and a top-5 voted Cy Young, Chris Archer, has his better days behind him. From the dominant ace in Tampa Bay, to now being shipped to Pittsburgh (In return, Tampa Bay received Tyler Glasnow and others), the future for Archer looks very choppy. Not having a winning season since 2014, the right hander’s career trajectory is certainly downwards.
Archer hasn’t had an ERA under 4.00 since 2015 and finished the 2019 season with an ERA of 5.19 (yikes). The North Carolina native has allowed more hits than strikeouts twice in his eight year career in Tampa and Pittsburgh. Safe to say, the prime of Archer’s time in the big leagues is behind him.
Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Recently signing a five-year, $80 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, the organization had high hopes for this signing. Many expected Cain to be an All-Star type player in his first year of the new contract, but this wasn’t the case as he was the total opposite this mark. The highlight of Cain’s career was a World Series championship and ALCS MVP in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals. Ever since then, Cain has been trending downwards.
His batting average and OBP dropped significantly last season. At 34-years old, there isn’t much juice left in the tank for the Brewers outfielder. Besides his solid defense and athleticism, Milwaukee has very little to work with. All in all, Cain’s career has been solid. A career .388 Batting Average, 2 All-Star appearances and a Gold Glove, but unfortunately there won’t be much left for Cain to accomplish.
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Colorado Rockies
Once a perennial Cy Young award candidate, Freeland is now an inning eater on a non-contending Colorado Rockies ball club. This season, the odds are stacked up against Freeland to replicate his 2018 top-5 Cy young voted season. Coming off of a strong performance in 2018, his 2019 season was looking to be the same. But in the end, Freeland missed the mark. The Colorado Rockies arm finished the 2019 season, 3-11 with 6.73 ERA in 22 starts.
The probability of this horrific season coming into reality for the 2020 season is very likely. Freeland and his once Cy Young arm is not headed in the right direction.
Honorable Mentions: Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, Edwin Encarnacion, Kyle Schwarber
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