MLB Players Primed for Breakout Seasons

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
MLB Players Primed for Breakout Seasons
Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Billy Hamilton is one of the many names that could breakout in 2014.

Yasiel Puig, Gerrit Cole and Michael Wacha were three of many players who busted onto the scene in the MLB in 2013. Their breakout seasons have people looking to find the next breakout star.

There are a few names you may have heard of because of a certain skill, but there are also names you may not have heard of.

Here are a few players you need to keep an eye out for during the 2014 MLB season.

Nathan Eovaldi, SP, MIA

Alan Diaz/Associated Press
The Miami Marlins could have a scary one-two punch in their rotation if Nathan Eovaldi pans out.

There are not many bright spots in Miami, so do not look for 15-plus wins from Nathan Eovaldi. But expect him to be a perfect complement to Jose Fernandez in the Marlins rotation. According to, Eovaldi had the hardest fastball out of any pitcher who had similar innings pitched.

His 96.2 mph is absurd. The Marlins could have a top of the rotation that can throw the ball hard as well as get batters out with an off-speed pitch or two.

Eovaldi went 4-6 in 18 starts for the Marlins, but he had a 3.39 ERA, which is definitely something to be excited about in Miami.

Look for the 24-year-old right-hander to turn some heads during the 2014 season.

James Paxton, SP, SEA

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
The Seattle Mariners are excited for the breakout of their young left-hander.

No, he isn't Felix Hernandez. But he did turn heads in the latter part of the 2013 season for the Seattle Mariners.

James Paxton went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts down the stretch for Seattle. He shows a little deception in his delivery to the plate by creating a three-quarter arm angle.

Placing him in the back of the rotation could be a possibility for the Mariners. Look for Paxton to come out and make a name for himself in 2014.

Anthony Rendon, IF, WAS

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Rendon will break out for the Nationals in 2014.

Anthony Rendon has been on many people's list of breakout players, and that is why he is on this list.

Rendon spent time at second base, shortstop and third base during the course of his 2013 campaign. He looks to have a chance to play every day with the Washington Nationals. The sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft hit .265 with seven home runs and 35 RBI last season.

He will get a chance to open eyes and turn heads with a breakout 2014 season.

Didi Gregorius, SS, ARI

Gregory Bull/Associated Press
Didi Gregorius is looking to become a household name in the MLB this season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks started their young shortstop Didi Gregorius 97 times in 2013. There were a lot of learning curves, especially at the plate.

Gregorius managed to hit .252 in 404 plate appearances, despite striking out 65 times. He did manage to get on base, however, drawing 37 walks and sporting a .332 on-base percentage. Gregorius has a full offseason to work with coaches and will have the opportunity to make Arizona fans excited for the rest of his career.

Christian Yelich, OF, MIA

Alan Diaz/Associated Press
Christian Yelich can swipe a few bags for the Marlins in 2014.

Remember how there were only a few bright spots for the Marlins in 2013? Well, Christian Yelich was one of them. The speedy outfielder came in and impressed during his 62 games with the ballclub.

Yelich stole 31 bases, hit .288 and had a .360 OBP in those games. He has shown promise at the plate, and his defense isn't too shabby either. Yelich can become a complete player with more games and chances to succeed. Look for him to stand out in Miami.

Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL

Gregory Bull/Associated Press/Associated Press
Nolan Arenado is a young player looking to break out and already one of the best defensive players in the National League.

The Colorado Rockies may have one of the best defensive third basemen in the entire league. His name is Nolan Arenado, and he hit .267 last season.

According to, he was the fifth-best defensive player in the majors during the 2013 season.

What stands out about Arenado is that he will be hitting in the same lineup as Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, which means there will be plenty of chances to hit this season. Playing at Coors Field helps out as well.

Arenado is already a great defender, but he could also become a more complete player this season. Keep an eye out for him this season.

Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds may have the next-best base stealer in Billy Hamilton.

Everyone heard of Billy Hamilton at one point last season. Why? His speed.

Hamilton played 13 games for the Cincinnati Reds last season. He hit .368, but only had 19 at bats. He did have a one-steal-per-game pace, stealing 13 bases in the final month of the season.

If Hamilton is placed on the bench and used as a pinch runner, the Reds could have themselves a huge threat in late-game situations. Look for Hamilton to be a top-tier base stealer in the majors during the 2014 season.

Well, now that you have seen the names, it is your job to be attentive and look out for these players. They are on the upward spring, so be prepared for several new names in baseball this season.

Follow B/R on Facebook


Subscribe Now

By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up.