We have taken a look at five potential breakout stars who we think will have an excellent 2023 season in Major League Baseball.
The Baltimore Orioles closer and right-handed pitcher is expected to have a breakout season in 2023. Bautista came through the Orioles’ farm system from 2016 bursting onto the blog leagues in 2022. The 27-year-old posted a 2.19 ERA in 65 appearances and he seemed to thrive after Jorge Lopez was traded to the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline, converting 12 of the 13 save opportunities.
Bautista has a four-seam fastball that can average 99 mph and threw the fourth-hardest in the league last season and has the potential to be a star in 2023.
Steven Kwan had such a stellar year in 2022 that it is hard to really see him having a breakout year this season. Kwan was awarded third in the American League Rookie of the Year award voting but you still expect more from him.
Despite having no major league experience, Kwan was exceptional at the plate and was superb with his glove, showing stellar defence as the Guardians reached the playoffs. There is some potential for more in his hitting, so that may be a side of his game to be improved for Spring Training. We expect Kwan to improve and to excel again with Terry Francona’s young Guardians team. Could they potentially win the World Series?
With Houston losing veteran pitcher Justin Verlander to the New York Mets, Brown could be the player to fill that gap, although that puts a lot of expectation on the 24-year-old. Despite this a lot of pundits are expecting big things from the Astros rotations yet again, which could see Houston defend their World Series title.
Brown was the Astros number one prospect when he made his MLB debut last year, he posted a 0.89 ERA after throwing just over 20 innings in 2022. The Astros selected him in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB draft and he made his debut last year.
Stott was another player that was drafted in the 2019 MLB draft, this time in the first round for the Phillies. The 25-year-old is expected to move to second base with the impending move for shortstop Trea Turner (who left the Los Angeles Dodgers after his contract expired and the Phillies snapped him up). Stott started the season slowly, but gradually got used to the vagaries of Major League Baseball, but only after a stint back at Triple-A.
Stott played so well after coming back he forced the Phillies to designate for assignment Didi Gregorious in early August. Stott hit .278 with 15 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 27 RBIs from July to the end of the regular season.
Stott impressed a lot of people, especially manager Rob Thomson with the quality of his plate appearances and production when required in big spots. The Phillies believe he will be even better in 2023 and he will gain plenty of knowledge from Turner who will start at Shortstop.
Tellez was traded to the Brewers from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021 and impressed towards the end of 2022. Tellez hit 35 home runs although there was still for more production from the pundits. The lefty could help with the change in the shift rule adjustment, he was shifted against 78.4 percent of the time last season according to Statcast and batted .215 on balls in play.
Tellez is expected to be key for the Brewers as they look to improve on a season in 2022 that tailed off immeasurably. Milwaukee will be hoping to be contenders in their division first and foremost and they are to win the National League Central Division.