5 Baseball Players Ready to Breakout in 2011

Everyone who has a love for the game of baseball has done it. It is dreaming of becoming a star in the majors. Of course most of us woke up from those dreams and went on to do other things. A lucky few still have those dreams and just might achieve them in the near future. This is a list of five players that I think become will stars this season in Major League Baseball.

1. Ike Davis: The first baseman for the New York Mets made his MLB debut in 2010. In 147 games he hit 19 home runs and had 71 runs batted in. Those numbers were good enough for Davis to finish seventh in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. Davis is a power hitter with a good enough eye that he can work the count to his favor. In 2011 I expect him to have a batting average around .285 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI. The fact that he is playing in New York can only help him become a household name.

2. Brian Matusz: The left-handed starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles struggled at the beginning of 2010. Matusz seemed to blossom after Buck Showalter became the manager in early August. He finished the year 10-12 with an earned run average of 4.30. Matusz is a pitcher with good control that has the potential to eat up a lot of innings. With a full year under Showalter I see Matusz having about 15 wins with an ERA somewhere around 3.50.

3. Jordan Zimmermann: This year, while Washington Nationals fans wait for phenom Steven Strasburg to come back from injury, a new star will emerge at Nationals Park, Jordan Zimmermann. He made seven starts in 2010, but was then lost for the season because of an elbow injury. He is a starter that can average around a strikeout per inning. The one thing that might hold him back a bit is he might have an innings limit on him this season. I see him with about 12 wins and an ERA in the high threes. Washington fans will being dreaming about 2012 with Strasburg and Zimmermann as their one two pitching punch.

4. Carlos Santana: The Cleveland Indians have found themselves another solid hitting catcher. Carlos Santana had just 150 at bats in 2010, but he hit six home runs and drove in 22 runs. The 24 year old is known for having a good batting eye and good power. Behind the plate he does well and has a pretty good arm. In limited time in 2010 he caught 35% of potential base stealers. In a full season in 2011 I would expect a .270 average with 25 home runs and 90 RBI.

5. Jay Bruce: Although he is only 23 years old it seems like Bruce has been around for a while. He made his debut in 2008 to rave reviews. The only problem is he hasn’t taken the next step in his development. The Cincinnati Reds right fielder will take that step this season. I think he will crack 30 home runs and 100 RBI for the first time in his career. He does need to cut down on his strikeouts, he had 136 in 2010 in just 509 at bats. If he and Joey Votto can drive the Reds offense they might repeat as N.L. Central division champions.

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Sources:

baseball-reference.com