With the regular season just two weeks away, it’s time to partake in the fool’s errands of spring. That includes picking a breakout player for every team. Last year, we nailed calls on Nick Pivetta, Drew Rasmussen, Cal Quantrill, and Tony Kemp, among others. We also had a decent batting average in 2020, hitting on 13 or 14 of our 30 picks, and back in 2019, we hit on nine or 10, including DJ LeMahieu and Ketel Marte.
We’re keeping the difficulty level as high as we can this year by avoiding fashionable picks, save for instances where there were no other options. Otherwise, we tried picking under-the-radar players who were likely to 1) spend ample time on the 26-man roster and 2) outperform expectations.
Obviously this is a subjective exercise — and one that tends to skew younger and toward relievers, since there’s more opportunity there — so bear that in mind as you scroll through the picks.