4 MLB breakout candidates 2024

4 MLB Breakout Candidates For 2024: Watch For Beeter

Spring is full of hope, which means it's the perfect time to look at MLB breakout candidates.

From rookies to players yet to find their baseball footing, here are my four MLB breakout picks for the 2024 season:

OF Wyatt Langford, Rangers

Remember Evan Carter? The guy who came out of nowhere to help bash the Texas Rangers to a World Series title last year. Well, they've got another one.

In his first season of pro ball, Langford posed an OPS over 1.000 at every single minor league level he played at, climbing from rookie league up to Triple-A. This guys got 30-homer power, .280+ contact potential, and walked more than he struck out in the minors last year. He's doing everything he can to make the Rangers out of spring camp this year, hitting four homers and posting a 1.243 OPS in 32 at-bats, so far.

Adding Langford to the Rangers lineup may be the final infinity stone Texas needs to repeat as World Series champs. Langford currently sits third in AL Rookie of the Year odds, at +450.

SP Clayton Beeter, Yankees

Right now, Beeter is known as 'the guy they got back for Joey Gallo.' He might soon change that to 'the guy that saved the Yankees season.' With Gerrit Cole missing at least a few months, the Yankees are going to need someone to step up in the rotation (unless they actually sign Montgomery or Snell). Beeter is my best bet to be that guy.

The 25-year-old posted a 3.62 ERA across double- and triple-a last year, striking out 165 batters in 131 innings. There are some control concerns (5.1 BB/9 last year), but he's been electric so far this spring. The young pitcher has 11 strikeouts to just three walks in nine innings of work.

Impressing in the minors with his fastball/slider combo, Beeter nearly got a taste of the big leagues last season and will clearly get his shot this year. It may not come in the Opening Day rotation, but I expect he’ll soon earn a starting spot with Cole’s injury. If he pitches anything like he has in spring so far, Beeter may never give that rotation spot up.

SP Graham Aschcraft, Reds

Graham Ashcraft had a tale of two seasons last year.

In the first half, he was batting practice: 6.28 ERA, .290 batting average against. After the All-Star break, Ashcraft was lights out. The Reds righty posted a 2.81 ERA in his final 10 starts, striking out 50 batters to just 17 walks before his season ended due to injury.

He made a few pitch tweaks midway through 2023, turning mainly to his cutter and slider. He’s reportedly working a better changeup back into the mix in Spring Training, and if Ashcraft can add that pitch to keep lefties off his fastball — watch out.

The Ashcraft breakout has already come in small stretches over the last few years, now it’s time to put together an entire breakout season. He's currently +20,000 to win the NL Cy Young and I honestly don't hate that longest of long-shot wagers.

SP DL Hall, Brewers

Hall has the potential, he just has to put it together. The young Brewer hasn't gotten a real run as a starter in the big leagues, but he posted a 3.26 ERA in 19.1 MLB innings last year, striking out five-times as many batters as he walked.

I really trust Milwaukee's pitching development (see: Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta. etc.), so I think Hall is in the best place for his future. If the lefty can win a spot in the Brewers' rotation, log anywhere close to 150 innings, and keep those strikeout rates high, I think he'll be one of the big breakout stories of baseball this year.

For all those reasons, Hall is currently one of my deep sleepers to win NL Rookie of the Year, as he's +9000 in the odds.

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