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2023 AL East Breakout Stars

AL East
(Elsa/Getty Images)

2023 AL East Breakout Stars

Baseball is almost here! The most unpredictable sport in the world continues to surprise us year after year. Every year we have breakout stars that change the outcome of pennant races. Some we some coming. Others we don’t. Who will those breakout stars be in 2023 for the AL East? Let’s have a look.

We’re going to hit all of the divisions for this series and will pick on breakout star per team.

Baltimore Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez

This one shouldn’t really be a surprise. Adley Rutschman burst onto the scene for Baltimore a year ago. I believe 2023 is the year for Grayson Rodriguez to do the same. Rodriguez is a highly touted prospect that’s worth paying attention to this year. Rodriguez was supposed to get a September call up last year but a lat strain derailed that.

6-foot-5 righty that should become a premier starter for years to come. If he’s not on the Opening Day roster, he will be on the big league team shortly after. Baltimore is getting better and better. Rodriguez is going to be asked to make important starts on a young team on the rise.

Boston Red Sox: Brayan Bello

If Pedro Martinez likes him, then I do too. The raw numbers wouldn’t suggest that Bello killed it last year. A 4.71 ERA in 13 outings isn’t exactly great. However, Boston’s young starting pitcher had some strong underlying numbers to where you have to think 2023 is a turning point. His FIP number was actually 2.94 as a rookie in 2022.

Bello has a five pitch mix and is really good at creating ground ball contact. A 55.4% ground ball rate is damn good. Keep in mind, Bello probably wasn’t really to pitch at the major league level either last year. 2023 will likely be Bello’s first strong season in what should be a really promising career.

New York Yankees: Ron Marinaccio

Yes, we’re going reliever for the Yankees. The days of the game being over in the 7th inning when Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman were at their A game are over. Marinaccio was really strong in his first big league action in 2022. How does a 2.05 ERA in 44 innings sound as a rookie?

It’s just a three pitch mix for Marinaccio, but he’s effective. The fastball velocity is good and he’s missing bats. A 11.5 K per 9 rate as a rookie should be a strong indicator that Marinaccio should be a reliable pen arm for the Yankees for a number of years. He’s a perfect 6th / 7th inning right hander for them moving forward.

Tampa Bay Rays: Taj Bradley

Tampa always has an arm that pops. Taj Bradley could very well be that guy in 2023. He’s a consensus top 100 prospect with really good minor league results a year ago. Bradley isn’t a lock to make that Opening Day roster but he’s someone that should be there by July making strong starts when Tampa Bay is fighting to make the playoffs again.

Toronto Blue Jays: Otto Lopez

It feels like the Blue Jays are one infielder away. One middle infielder that has some pop to really round out that lineup. Santiago Espinal is really underrated in his own right but is that enough? Orelvis Martinez is more hyped but can he hit? Otto Lopez may be the guy that has some extra with the bat. Maybe not overwhelming power but someone who will make contact and steal bags. That bolt of energy Toronto needs to get over the hump. Lopez is a huge X-Factor to monitor.

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