Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Five

11 MLB Players Primed for Bounce-Back Seasons in 2017

2016 was one of the best seasons in the baseball's rich history, from the Cubs ending their 108-year drought to David Ortiz's farewell tour to Bartolo Colon rounding the bases. But some players didn't feel that way, as they failed to live up to expectations and disappointed fans. With the 2017 season around the corner, here are 11 players ready to bounce back. 

11. AJ Pollock

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks

While rumors are surrounding the young centerfielder about potential trades, baseball fans throughout the country are looking forward to Pollock getting back on the field after his time on the disabled list. A Gold Glove winner who bats .300 when not plagued by injuries, Pollock has the potential to become a superstar this year.

10. Travis Wood

World Series - Cleveland Indians v Chicago Cubs - Game Four

Wood started out strong as one of Joe Maddon's favorite arms to call upon out of the bullpen, but clearly yearned for the increased role he used to have. Having just signed a two-year deal with Kansas City, Wood has an opportunity to fight for a spot in the Royals rotation and get back to where he once was.

9. Brock Holt

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles

Although his status is uncertain as we enter spring training, Holt is a multi-position talent who can find a home at any spot on the field. If he doesn't beat out Pablo Sandoval for the starting third base role, Holt should still be able to find plenty of playing time as a utility man. And he'll out-hit his .255 mark from last year for sure.

8. Carlos Gomez

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Three

After being traded to the Rangers from the Houston Astros midway through the 2016 season, Gomez's play greatly improved. His average shot up, from not even batting his weight at .210 to posting a much more respectable .284. With a full season in Arlington, Gomez can return to being his All-Star self. 

7. Jason Heyward

World Series - Cleveland Indians v Chicago Cubs - Game Five

Heyward didn't just not live up to high expectations last year; he was downright awful. The Cubs actually succeeded in the playoffs despite him. But he's been working on his swing throughout the offseason, so hopefully he'll be as good at the plate this year as he is in the field and when delivering motivational speeches.

6. Justin Upton

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

After bouncing around the league for a few years, it Justin Upton may have finally found a home in Detroit. And while he didn't have the best season last year, he's expected to return to the number two slot  in the lineup this time around. Batting in front of the great Miguel Caebrera, he will undoubtedly get pitches to hit. 

5. Zack Greinke

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks

Greinke didn't have a bad season in his first year with the Diamondbacks, but he certainly didn't live up to his massive $206.5-million contract (plus an $18 million signing bonus, of course). But players often take time to settle in with new teams, especially with such high expectations. Now that he's used to Arizona, Greinke should shine. 

4. Yasiel Puig

NLCS - Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five

Yasiel Puig fizzled out after his exciting MLB debut and it doesn't help the Dodgers' outfield won't ever really have room for him. Despite the two years remaining on his contract, Puig is likely to be on the trading block, ready to excel in a new environment with more playing time.

3. Matt Harvey

Miami Marlins v New York Mets

Following his surgery, Harvey is finally ready to return and save Gotham. He has his manager's support, and while Noah Syndergaard is the Mets' ace, Harvey is humbly entering this season and should benefit from a lighter workload due to their stacked rotation. 

2. Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals

It seems like it was just yesterday that McCutchen was hoisting the MVP trophy. He's continued to put up great numbers in the years that followed, but 2016 saw a serious drop-off. As trade rumors swirl around, McCutchen could to return to his MVP self with new scenery.  

1. Bryce Harper

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Five

Another former MVP, Harper had one of the worst seasons after winning the award in recent memory. His average dropped from .330 to .243 and he only hit 24 home runs. But he's just too good of a talent to continue with those numbers. If he isn't distracted by the constant trade rumors and contract negotiations, it's hard to imagine Harper not returning to form.

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