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Athletes who will dominate in 2020

2019 was a great year of athletic performances, but 2020 has a chance to be even bigger. These 25 athletes are set to dominate the sports world in the coming year.

 
Ronald Acuna Jr.
Brett Davis / USA Today Sports Images

Acuna's flare caused some controversy during the 2019 MLB playoffs, but he's already established himself as an elite player at age 21. He came just three stolen bases short of going 40/40 during the 2019 season and is looking to capitalize on that success for a Braves team that will be one of the favorites to win the World Series in 2020.

 
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Benny Sieu / USA Today Sports Images

The reigning NBA MVP, Antetokounmpo is the favorite to win the award again in 2019-20. The Bucks star is also likely to play for Greece if it qualifies for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

 
3 of 25

Simone Biles

Simone Biles
Denny Medley / USA Today Sports Images

One of the greatest Olympic gymnasts ever, Biles has four gold medals and one bronze to her name already. She's looking to add to that total in Tokyo, coming off a 2019 season in which she won five gold medals at the World Championships.

 
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Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole
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Cole is likely to earn a contract worth well over $200 million this offseason after a spectacular 2019 season in Houston, going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts in 212.1 innings. The former No. 1 overall draft choice has had back-to-back spectacular seasons and seems to be just getting started.

 
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Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry
Cary Edmondson / USA Today Sports Images

A hand injury has seriously hindered Curry's 2019-20 NBA season, but he should return late in the year. His bigger impact could come leading Team USA in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

 
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Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis
Kevin Jairaj / USA Today Sports Images

Davis is making a huge impact on the Lakers early in 2019-20 season. Paired with LeBron James, he's helping make L.A. a contender again and giving the Lakers real championship aspirations.

 
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Caeleb Dressel

Caeleb Dressel
Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

With Michael Phelps gone, Dressel looks like the heir to the throne in Olympic swimming for Team USA. He won a gold medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay in 2016, but his bar is set much higher for 2020 after winning six gold medals and two silver medals in the 2019 World Championships.

 
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Justin Fields

Justin Fields
Joseph Maiorana / USA Today Sports Images

Fields has been a dominant starting quarterback for Ohio State this season and gives the team a great shot to win the national championship. Just a sophomore, the Buckeyes are hopeful the multi-dimensional quarterback can make just as big of an impact in 2020.

 
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James Harden

James Harden
Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images

Just one year removed from winning MVP, Harden now leads a Rockets team that has a great shot to win a championship in 2020. Harden has led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons and is off to a similar start this year.

 
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Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson
Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports Images

Jackson has exceeded most expectations already, quieting the critics who thought the Heisman Trophy winner from Louisville would need to transition to wideout. The Ravens are real contenders in the NFL due in large part to Jackson's play.

 
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LeBron James

LeBron James
Kevin Jairaj / USA Today Sports Images

A four-time NBA MVP, James is rebounding from an injury-plagued and disappointing first season with the Lakers. The start of his 2019-20 season has gone much better, alongside Anthony Davis, and there's a possibility that he could play for Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

 
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Nikita Kucherov

Nikita Kucherov
Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images

Kucherov won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 128 points, and he's hoping to repeat for the Lightning in his follow-up performance. The gifted right winger is one of the league's premier talents at age 26.

 
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Katie Ledecky

Katie Ledecky
Kelvin Kuo / USA Today Sports Images

Ledecky took the Olympic world by storm when she won gold in the 800-meter freestyle in 2012 at age 15. She followed up that performance with four gold medals and one silver at the 2016 Games and will try to top that performance in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

 
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Noah Lyles

Noah Lyles
Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images

Lyles is set to become a household name in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and the track and field star has already predicted that he will win three gold medals. He won two golds at the 2019 World Championships and plans to run the 100-meter and 200-meter events.

 
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Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka
Adam Hagy / USA Today Sports Images

The top-ranked golfer in the world, Koepka won the PGA Championship and finished second place in the Masters in 2019. At age 29, he's still ascending and hoping to have an even better 2020.

 
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Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes
Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports Images

Mahomes is unlikely to win NFL MVP for the second year in a row after missing time with a knee injury, but the Chiefs offense remains elite. The team still has hope to win the Super Bowl in early 2020 with a defense that's rounding into shape, and Mahomes' elite weapons should remain intact for the 2020 season.

 
Christian McCaffrey
Jeremy Brevard / USA Today Sports Images

Now in his third season, McCaffrey has clearly established himself as the top running back in the NFL. Through eight games in the 2019 season, he has the yards from scrimmage record in sight as the centerpiece of the Panthers offense. With Cam Newton's future with the organization in doubt, McCaffrey is the new face of the franchise for 2019 and beyond.

 
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Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid
Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports Images

Edmonton's budding 22-year-old star is perhaps the best young player the organization has had since Wayne Gretzky and stands as the favorite to be the league MVP in 2019-20. He's tallied 100 points in three consecutive seasons and looks well on his way to accomplishing that feat again.

 
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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
NurPhoto / Getty Images

Messi will turn 33 in 2020, but he's still the top soccer player in the world. The Argentine star has won a record six FIFA Ballon d'Or Awards, given to the best player in the world, and doesn't seem to be slowing down.

 
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Mike Trout

Mike Trout
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today Sports Images

Only nine years into his MLB career, Trout already has a claim as one of the best players baseball has ever seen. The Angels star has led the AL in on-base percentage in four straight years and OPS in three straight campaigns. Incredibly, he's just entering his prime years after turning 28 in August.

 
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Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson
Steve Flynn / USA Today Sports Images

Watson continues to be one of the NFL's top quarterbacks, leading a Texans team that has Super Bowl aspirations in 2019-20. After going 11-5 in 2018, Houston has a chance to have even bigger seasons this year and into the next.

 
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Cassius Winston

Cassius Winston
Brad Penner / USA Today Sports Images

Michigan State was the preseason No. 1 team in the country due in large part to Winston. The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year is a rare college star who stayed all four years and has a chance to give head coach Tom Izzo his second national title.

 
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James Wiseman

James Wiseman
Dale Zanine / USA Today Sports Images

The No. 1 freshman in the country, Wiseman is set to dominate for a young and exciting Memphis roster. The 7-foot-1 center is a load in the paint and on the boards.

 
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Christian Yelich

Christian Yelich
Benny Sieu / USA Today Sports Images

Yelich won the 2018 NL MVP and proved his big numbers weren't a fluke, winning his second straight NL batting title, in 2019, while also hitting a career-high 44 home runs with 30 stolen bases. He's entering his age 28 season and gives the Brewers a chance to make more noise in 2020.

 
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Chase Young

Chase Young
Thomas J. Russo / USA Today Sports Images

Likely to be the top non-quarterback taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young is a generational pass-rush prospect for Ohio State. He had 13.5 sacks through only eight games in his junior season and could help the Buckeyes to a national championship before he leaves school, although he is facing a suspension that will hold him out of a couple of games.

Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.



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