10 breakout player picks for 2014
March, 18, 2014
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
Kevin French/Icon SMITyler Skaggs has his velocity back and is ready to fulfill his promise in Anaheim.I like to try to tab a few young players each year as candidates to break out with a significant improvement in their performances; last year's list had eight names on it, four of whom broke out in a huge way and two of whom saw modest improvements.
This year, I've broken the list into two tiers. The first group of seven is made up of players I expect to truly break out, with a big boost in their value on the field in 2014. The second group has four players in it, guys who had good years in 2013 but who I think have room for smaller improvements in 2014.
Skaggs struggled from day one in 2013, showing up in spring training with a shorter stride that led to an earlier, higher release point, lower velocity and a softer breaking ball. The Diamondbacks never fixed this problem, but the Angels have. Skaggs has been hitting 95 mph again this month with his old curveball back.