Every year, baseball players break out and become stars.
These can be young, highly touted prospects who come into their own or former busts who finally live up to the lofty expectations they once had.
Breakouts can occur because of opportunity, health, change of scenery or a bunch of other reasons that cause playing time in a beneficial environment to go up.
Here is baseball's all-breakout team for 2011.
Alex Avila launched onto the scene this year and became one of baseball’s best catchers.
He was so good this year that he relegated perennial All-Star Victor Martinez to a DH role.
Granted, V-Mart can’t play defense anyway; he still makes a ton of money, and Avila is better suited to catch.
Mark Trumbo seems like the obvious choice here, but Morse’s numbers are superior in just about every way.
He’s even doing it in the unfriendly confines of Nationals Park.
Morse and Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper will make for a scary lineup in 2012.
Since getting called up a couple of months ago, Dustin Ackley has been one of baseball’s best second basemen.
He may be a rookie, but his .296/5/32 line in 65 games would translate to about 15 home runs and 96 RBI.
Those are great numbers at a traditionally weak-hitting position.
Lawrie has been all-world this year since his call-up about a month ago.
In his first 26 games, he’s put up a line of .340/7/20.
If you put that over a full season, he’d have over 50 home runs and 160 RBI.
Granted, that’s an unsustainable rate, but it still goes to show the high level of talent the Blue Jays got in exchange for Shaun Marcum.
Cabrera has long been considered one of the better shortstops in the American League, but 2011 saw him break out as the best shortstop in baseball.
He has hit .277 with 21 home runs, 71 RBI and 78 runs scored with 16 stolen bases.
He's also turned some of the best defensive plays of the year.
The Grandy Man can...
Sorry to go all John Sterling, but Curtis Granderson is playing on a completely other level this year.
Everyone thought he was good, but not great.
A line of .271/38/109/24 proves otherwise.
Granderson also plays sensational defense and is a run-scoring machine.
All in all, he has emerged as the best center fielder in baseball.
We all knew Ellsbury had talent, but it was a matter of him staying healthy that kept him from reaching his potential.
Ellsbury has managed to stay healthy this season and has become one of the game’s best center fielders.
His speed and defense have helped the Red Sox to dominance this season, but what’s really been key is his 20-plus home run power that has developed.
For years, Gordon was touted as the best prospect in baseball, and for years he was considered a huge bust.
Eventually, he was moved to the outfield from third base to help him focus on his hitting.
Gordon has turned it around this season, hitting .304 with 19 home runs, 72 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
Perhaps the move to the outfield was just what the doctor ordered...
Another member of the Royal Reclamation Outfield that emerged as a star in 2011.
The Melk man has an impressive .303/17/79/17 line going with a month of baseball yet to play.
Yankee fans always thought he had talent, but it was in Kansas City that he would break out.
Another Yankee castoff finds stardom in another division.
Ian Kennedy was part of the trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Bronx, making for a mutually beneficial trade.
It remains to be seen if Kennedy is as good as his stats show or the NL West is as bad as I regularly say it is.
It’s probably both...
Kimbrel had a solid 2010 setting up for Billy Wagner, but in 2011 he has really taken a step forward.
He got the closer’s gig upon Wagner’s retirement and never looked back.
Kimbrel has saved 42 games and struck out 113 batters in just under 69 innings.
His ERA is 1.57. Needless to say, the kid is here to stay.