Every year in the MLB, there are players who build a reputation in the league by putting together some consistently productive games. An example from 2020 is Randy Arozarena, who provided seven homers for the Rays in the last month of the regular season, and took his hot streak into the playoffs. Here is a player from each team in the NL East who can have a breakout season in 2021.
Atlanta Braves- A.J. Minter (LHP)
A.J. Minter had two solid seasons to start his career. He pitched 76 1/3 innings combined in 2017-2018 with a 3.00 ERA in 2017 and a 3.23 in 2018. Them came 2019, a season where Minter had a 7.06 ERA in 29 1/3 innings. Minter rebounded drastically in 2020, posting a 0.83 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. If Minter can follow up on a strong performance from a shortened 2020, he can be a big factor in an already talented Braves pitching staff.
Miami Marlins- Zach Pop (RHP)
Although Zach Pop has yet to debut, he should get a chance on a Marlins team that doesn’t have many household names. Pop pitched 27 innings in A+ with an ERA of 0.33 and a 0.704 WHIP. He also put up some solid numbers in AA with a 1.97 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. It is also interesting to note that Pop has not allowed a single home run in those 59 innings. If he can carry that into Miami, he can see some solid time on the mound this season.
New York Mets- Miguel Castro (RHP)
Miguel Castro had a shaky start to his career with both the Blue Jays and the Rockies. When he joined Baltimore in 2017, his numbers improved. He posted a single-season best 3.53 ERA in his first season there. Other than a 4.66 ERA in 2019, Castro has hovered near a 4.00 ERA for a couple of seasons. If he can lower his career WHIP of 1.431, he can improve his chances of getting back under a 4.00 ERA and having a solid season.
Philadelphia Phillies- Rhys Hoskins (1B/LF)
Rhys Hoskins has had several consistent seasons, slugging near .500 with a career OPS of .861. However, he has yet to make an All-Star game and be in an MVP race. This is the potential that a lot of Phillies’ fans see in Hoskins. With teammates like Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto, he should get some solid RBI opportunities this season, which can help him have a breakout year.
Washington Nationals- Victor Robles (OF)
While Victor Robles has shown above average speed and fielding, he has yet to put up consistent and notable hitting stats. Although 2020 is a relatively small sample size, Robles struggled in his 52 games played. He had an OPS of .608 from a slash line of .220/.293/.315. If Robles can have a notable increase in his OBP this year, he can combine that with his other skills to breakout in 2021.
Featured Image Courtesy of CBSSports.com.