10 Under-the-Radar MLB Players Who Will Burst onto the Scene in May

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IMay 1, 2012

10 Under-the-Radar MLB Players Who Will Burst onto the Scene in May

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    During the first month of the season there were a number of players that put up solid production but did not received the attention that they deserve.

    People have a tendency to write off one good month as a player being lucky, but once they show that they can perform consistently, they get much more attention.

    Other players will be shifting roles this month; some mid relievers will become closers and several prospects will be called up. These players could have a major impact in May and really burst onto the scene.

Kenley Jansen

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers closing role went to Javy Guerra to begin the season. He started off strong this year, but he has ran into some problems and now has two blown saves, three losses and a 6.10 ERA.

    Guerra has not lost the closer's role yet, but Kenley Jansen is hot on his heels. Despite saying that Guerra is his closer for now, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly used Jansen to close out a game against the Washington Nationals and he also stated that Guerra had "no swag" in one of his appearances.

    Jansen could take over the closer's role soon and he is a flamethrower that could certainly impress a lot of people in May.

Lucas Duda

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    Lucas Duda has had moments where he has looked good early during the 2012 season, but he has struggled a bit through the first month of the year.

    It seems as if Duda is getting into the swing of things and has been hitting much better over the past two weeks. May could be the month when Duda breaks out and slugs five or six long balls while hitting for a good average.

Will Venable

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    Will Venable seems like the type of player that is always poised for a breakout season, but he has been unable to really burst onto the scene thus far in his career.

    While April wasn't the best month for Venable, he cut down on his strikeout rate and lowered it by more than 10 percent from his career average. Venable's average should rise in May while he also provides some speed and pop to the San Diego Padres lineup.

Stephen Lombardozzi

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    With Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list, Stephen Lombardozzi should get a chance to play every day at third base.

    Lombardozzi is a career .298 hitter in the minor leagues and he stole 30 bases last year. Now that he has the chance to get consistent playing time in the majors, Lombardozzi can put together a month that will have him pushing for more playing time in the middle infield once Zimmerman gets back.

Jeff Samardzija

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    A former two-sport star at the University of Notre Dame, Jeff Samardzija has finally found his way into the Chicago Cubs' starting rotation.

    While his numbers from April may look a bit rough, Samardzija actually pitched fairly well. Samardzija's 2.41 FIP and 2.95 xFIP are amongst the lowest in the majors and they show that he has been getting a bit unlucky. May could be a big month for Samardzija and he could post a sub-3.00 ERA.

Anthony Bass

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    Starting the year off 1-3 is not normally a good sign for a starting pitcher. Even though his record is poor, Anthony Bass has been outstanding this year.

    The San Diego Padres starter has posted a 2.30 ERA through four starts. He is pitching well and if he picks up a few more wins, then he will certainly be a player that more people will keep an eye on.

Felix Doubront

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    One of the pitchers that the Boston Red Sox decided to turn to for the back end of their rotation this year was Felix Doubront.

    He pitched fairly well in April and he could be a breakout candidate in May. Doubront has already put in a strong performance against the New York Yankees this year and he looks like he is gaining more and more confidence every time he steps onto the mound.

Bud Norris

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    Bud Norris currently sports an ugly 5.46 ERA, but he should be able to drop that number much lower in the month of May.

    So far this season, Norris has only left 68.3 percent of runners on base. He should improve on that number, which will lead to a decrease in his ERA. Norris has also been victimized by a high HR/FB rate which also shows that he should be in for a much better month in May.

Patrick Corbin

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    Josh Collmenter lost his spot in the Arizona Diamondbacks' starting rotation following a poor start to the year. Patrick Corbin was brought up to replace him.

    Corbin pitched very well in Double-A, going 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts. The 22-year-old had a decent major league debut and he could surprise a number of people in May. 

Anthony Rizzo

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    Triple-A Iowa and the Pacific Coast League are proving to be no problem for Anthony Rizzo as he has looked absolutely dominant during the first month of the year.

    Rizzo is the type of player that has the ability to go on a tear and put up a fantastic month if the Chicago Cubs call him up in May. After trading away Marlon Byrd, the Cubs have room for both Rizzo and Bryan LaHair in their lineup, but there are no indications that the team is ready to bring up the budding star just yet.