At the beginning of spring training, the rumor mill starts churning about the reasons why certain players are about to have a breakout season. This pitcher is tinkering with a cutter. This player lost 15 pounds using P90X. So-and-so is working with Dr. Phil to improve the mental side of his game. Most of that stuff can be thrown out of the window as it won’t carry any merit into the season.
Most of the time, the true breakout players will never give any indication that they will burst onto the scene. In some cases, they defy any logic as to their sudden improvement. Here are the top five starting pitchers that have fared much better than what was expected of them during the 2011 MLB season.