Every year in Major League Baseball, players seem to come out of nowhere to have breakout seasons. Here are 10 potential breakout players for 2009:
1. Jay Bruce/Cincinnati Reds- Bruce played a good portion of the season for the Reds and started out as hot as anyone. However, he did cool down considerably late in the season. In 2009, look for Jay Bruce to have a monster year for Cincinnati.
2. Jair Jurjens/Atlanta Braves- Although he played an entire season and had a pretty good one, Jair Jurjens is a talented young pitcher who is about to blossom into an All Star.
3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia/Texas Rangers - "Salty" has been disappointing thus far for the Rangers. However, look for him to take a big step forward in 2009.
4. Matt Joyce/Tampa Bay Rays- In his first taste of the big leagues with the Tigers last year, Joyce looked like a player ready to contribute on a regular basis. The Rays have a void in right field. If Joyce has a good spring training, he could be the everyday right fielder for the defending AL champs.
5. Delmon Young/Minnesota Twins- Young has already had productive season in the Major Leagues. He has not had that breakout season everyone expected since he broke into the majors at age 20. Now that he has had a full year in Minnesota, look for Young's productivity to go way up.
6. Chase Headley/San Diego Padres- Headley got a good taste of the Major Leagues in 2008. With the Padres overhaul completed, some new players need to step up. Headley will get a chance to do just that in 2009.
7. Yovani Gallardo/Milwaukee Brewers- After losing CC Sabathia in the offseason, the Brewers are looking for pitchers to step up this year. Gallardo looks like a pitcher ready to help the cause. He a young, talented pitcher who is only getting better.
8. Elijah Dukes/Washington Nationals- Although he has made some poor choices off the field, Dukes has enormous talent. If he can focus on the game, look for him to have his best season yet.
9. Max Scherzer/Arizona Diamondbacks- Scherzer never got a win in his first taste of the big leagues in 2008. Look for that to change in 2009. Scherzer showed great potential during his brief stay in Arizona.
10. Dana Eveland/Oakland A's- Eveland had a solid 2008 season. The A's will have a better offense with the addition of Matt Holiday and Jason Giambi. Look for Eveland to have a breakout 2009 season in the A's rotation.
There are many more I could mention. It will be interesting to see how many of these players on this list have the breakout seasons I am predicting. Only time will tell.