This year has seen an outbreak in terms of batter HRs and pitcher ERAs, with higher numbers in each category than has been seen in a while. While these two things are most likely related, there have still been many different breakouts worth noting this season.
After yesterday’s character defamation by the EFL’s commissioner, I tried hard to find something that would paint him in a light he might find unappealing. But I think I might have done the opposite – which makes me worried for several reasons:
- The last thing Ron needs is something to remind us all about in his daily updates
- He’s already won enough EFL pennants (same for Pittsburgh and Haviland, too) and doesn’t need to win anymore
- His assertions yesterday about my motivations were hurtful (see how petty I am?)
Those things now out in the open, I will continue.
Yesterday MLB.com posted another “year in review” article in which they named one breakout player per team excluding rookies (Dave, here is Jeff McNeil!). Here is how we did:
Brookland: Lourdes Gurriel (2023), Shane Bieber (2023), Cody Bellinger (2022)
Cottage: Jorge Polanco (2019), Yoan Moncada (2021), Jeff McNeil (2023)
Flint Hill: Austin Meadows (2022)
Haviland: Pedro Severino (2019), Kolten Wong (2021)
Kaline: Yuli Gurriel (2021), Max Fried (2022)
Peshastin: Joey Gallo (2020), Juan Soto (2023)
Pittsburgh: Brian Goodwin (2019)
Old Detroit: Rafael Devers (2022), Jorge Soler (2019), Daniel Vogelbach (2020), Kyle Schwarber (2020), Josh Bell (2021)
If your team didn’t have a player make this list, I wouldn’t be too worried. There are many players who I think had a breakout year and didn’t make this list. In fact, some on the list (who will remain nameless) didn’t really breakout in terms of being a star, but rather had a much better year than last year which might have been a pretty low bar, in all honesty.
I think my list will be better because I am going to look at actual growth from last year to this year in a way that significantly contributed to each EFL team. Below I’ll list one breakout player from each team who us under contract for longer than 2019.
N.B. So many EFL teams didn’t play a game yesterday so I am not including stats
|Flint Hill Tornadoes||101||56||.643||0.6||972.7||721.6|
|Old Detroit Wolverines||91||66||.580||10.4||910.4||770.6|
Portland: (DNP, 2-0) Anthony Rendon is your breakout player this year. Yes, I know he had a good season last year, but he has had an MVP season this year. In fact, he could very well win the MVP this year thanks to Yelich’s injury and Bellinger’s second half slide. Rendon’s season slash is .325/.410/.609 with 114 runs scored and 120 RBI. That is an incredible season, and truly a breakout!
Flint Hill: (1-0) Xander Bogaerts is my breakout player of the year. His season slash is .306/.381/.553 with 51 doubles and 32 HRs (thus far). In the draft this past year I remember Ryan saying how much of a steal Bogaerts was for me, and to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure he was a steal. But Ryan was right! And for that I am thankful.
Old Detroit: (DNP, 2-0) Walker Buehler is my choice for breakout player of the year for the Wolverines. He has thrown 177 IP with a 3.25 ERA (2.98 FIP) and has shown flashes of being even better next year. He has 207 Ks for a K/9 over 9.0.
Peshastin: (DNP, 1-5) There are two I want to pick, but my choice is Gio Urshela (Jack Flaherty the other). Urshela slashed .316/.356/.535 out of nowhere, almost single-handedly leading the way for the surging Yankees. He hit 20 HRs this year, and his career high for HRs was 1 – that’s right, in the past two years combined he hit a total of 2 HRs. I’d say that is a breakout!
Pittsburgh: (W(-1), L(1), 0-4) This one was trickier since almost half of the Alleghanys are on expiring contracts (guess he will be busy next year’s draft!), but my choice is Luke Weaver, who threw 64 IP with a 2.98 ERA and 69 Ks.
Haviland:(DNP, 1-1) Amed Rosario is my choice for Dragon breakout this year. His OPS improved by over .100 points, and his defensive improvements were equally impressive. I was very impressed that his BB% (4.9%) is identical from last year to this year. If he can learn to walk a little more (only 31 walks in 590+ ABs) he will take another leap next year.
Kaline: (DNP, 0-2) Danny Santana was the Drive breakout player of the year. Prior to this year his career high in HRs was 7, and he only had 13 career HRs to his name. This year? 26 HRs to go along with an .848 OPS.
Canberra: (DNP, 2-2) Choosing between Mitch Garver and Tim Anderson is not easy, but I think my choice is Tim Anderson. Anderson will most likely win the AL batting crown this season. His one downfall is his inability to walk, with a BB% of 2.6%, which equals 13 BBS in 500 PAs! Everything else for Anderson was very good this year, and I imagine will only improve next year.
Cottage: (“W,” 3-5) Yoan Moncada finally lived into the hype and in doing so became the Cheese breakout of the year. His slashline was .316/.359/.551 and decreased his K% from 33% to 28%. If that number can continue to decrease and his BB% increase, he will be scary next year!
Bellingham: (DNP, 1-1) Even though he is 34 years old, my Cascade breakout of the year is Mike Fiers. He totaled a career high 15 wins this season to go along with a 3.91 ERA. And he also sported the weirdest beard I have ever seen (which is the header picture for this post).
Brookland: (L, 3-8) Cody Bellinger is my pick for Outs Breakout of the year. He raised his average by .042 points while decreasing his BABIP by .014 points. His HR total increased by over 20 and his RBI total by over 30. Even his defensive metrics improved dramatically. Until his mild drop off in the second half, he was running away with the NL MVP award.
DC: (DNP, 0-0) Do you know who is leading the Balk in OPS this year? He’s the breakout player of the year for them – Tom Murphy! His OPS was .874 and he hit a career high 18 HRs in 270 PAs. How about that year for a platoon catcher on our favorite PNW baseball team?
|New York Yankees||102||55||.650||—|
|Flint Hill Tornadoes||101||56||.643||1.1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||93||64||.592||9|
|Old Detroit Wolverines||91||66||.580||10.9|
|Boston Red Sox||81||75||.519||20.5|
|Toronto Blue Jays||63||93||.404||38.5|
|New York Mets||81||75||.519||14.5|
|Chicago White Sox||68||87||.439||27.5|
|Kansas City Royals||57||100||.363||39.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||90||67||.573||—|
|Los Angeles Angels||70||86||.449||32|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||100||56||.641||1|
|San Francisco Giants||75||81||.481||26|
|San Diego Padres||70||86||.449||31|