League Updates

Breakouts and Outbreaks

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:

  1. The last thing Ron needs is something to remind us all about in his daily updates
  2. He’s already won enough EFL pennants (same for Pittsburgh and Haviland, too) and doesn’t need to win anymore
  3. 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

EFL Standings for 2019
Portland Rosebuds 101 55 .647 987.2 728.2
Flint Hill Tornadoes 101 56 .643 0.6 972.7 721.6
Old Detroit Wolverines 91 66 .580 10.4 910.4 770.6
Peshastin Pears 86 70 .549 15.4 822.1 748.1
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 84 72 .541 16.6 818.0 738.8
Haviland Dragons 81 75 .520 19.8 885.3 843.6
Kaline Drive 78 78 .499 23.2 762.7 765.9
Canberra Kangaroos 78 79 .496 23.5 871.1 881.9
Cottage Cheese 74 83 .469 27.8 883.1 935.1
Bellingham Cascades 65 91 .418 35.8 703.1 839.8
Brookland Outs 63 94 .404 38.1 735.2 890.3
D.C. Balk 62 95 .394 39.7 677.8 844.2

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?


Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2014
AL East
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
Baltimore Orioles 51 106 .325 51
NL East
Atlanta Braves 96 61 .611
Washington Nationals 86 69 .555 9
New York Mets 81 75 .519 14.5
Philadelphia Phillies 79 76 .510 16
Canberra Kangaroos 78 79 .496 18.1
D.C. Balk 62 95 .394 34.2
Miami Marlins 55 101 .353 40.5
AL Central
Minnesota Twins 96 60 .615
Cleveland Indians 92 64 .590 4
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 84 72 .541 11.6
Chicago White Sox 68 87 .439 27.5
Bellingham Cascades 65 91 .418 30.8
Kansas City Royals 57 100 .363 39.5
Detroit Tigers 46 109 .297 49.5
NL Central
St. Louis Cardinals 90 67 .573
Milwaukee Brewers 86 70 .551 3.5
Chicago Cubs 82 74 .526 7.5
Cottage Cheese 74 83 .469 16.3
Cincinnati Reds 73 83 .468 16.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 65 91 .417 24.5
Brookland Outs 63 94 .404 26.6
AL West
Houston Astros 102 54 .654
Oakland A’s 94 62 .603 8
Haviland Dragons 81 75 .520 20.9
Kaline Drive 78 78 .499 24.2
Texas Rangers 75 81 .481 27
Los Angeles Angels 70 86 .449 32
Seattle Mariners 66 90 .423 36
NL West
Portland Rosebuds 101 55 .647
Los Angeles Dodgers 100 56 .641 1
Peshastin Pears 86 70 .549 15.4
Arizona Diamondbacks 80 77 .510 21.5
San Francisco Giants 75 81 .481 26
San Diego Padres 70 86 .449 31
Colorado Rockies 67 89 .429 34





1 Comment

  • I did not mean to cast any aspersions on your motives, Jamie! Don’t be like the student who thinks I am calling her a cheat just because I won’t let her (or anyone else in the room) go to the bathroom after the exam has begun. I am really protecting her, and all her classmates, from being disadvantaged by the student whose bladder was plenty capacious all semester but mysteriously has to go the bathroom twice in a 50-minute period during the exam. I don’t think we have any suddenly incontinent students in our league, but why take chances?

    It’s the principle of the thing. It has been my consistent policy for almost 6 years now to not let people who manage our data win the league championship. I haven’t won in that entire time, and I don’t feel persecuted or defamed by the policy. Dave has never won, and he’s never complained. The even-handed application of policy is designed to protect you, not tarnish you.

    And who says I was even talking about you? I redacted the correspondent’s name! No one can tell it was you … er, or wasn’t you. Whichever! It might be any of a number of people with PhD’s who work at a college and were 0.5 games back on Sunday.

    Oh, and thanks for listing all my breakout players. That was very kind of you. I think Rafael Devers was a bigger breakout than Walker Buehler, but it’s close, and I know how hard it would have been for you to write glowingly about your favorite player when he’s a Wolverine, now and for years to come.

    So let’s put all hurt feelings aside, ok? I mean, you have been kind to me, I have been protecting you with my usual diligence. Or even more than usual: I haven’t tried to capitalize on your weakness for Devers to clean you out of all your other fine prospects. See? I’m looking out for you.