From Matt Wieters to Marcell Ozuna to Carlos Rodon, a number of MLB players could break out in 2016. Here are five such guys.
1. Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles
His ongoing recovery from Tommy John surgery cost him the first two months of 2015 and probably negatively impacted his performance thereafter, but he rebounded with an encouraging .305/.408/.508 September slash line. And don't forget, Wieters was batting .308 with five homers in 26 games in 2014 before his surgery.
2. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers
He won't have anywhere near the fanfare of the five Tigers who will bat ahead of him, but if his late power surge in 2015 was legit, he'll benefit from the lumber preceding him in the lineup. Castellanos hit nine homers and slugged .478 in 69 games after the All-Star break last season.
3. Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins
A miserable June and July and monthlong detour through Triple-A, all coupled with winter trade rumors, have severely weakened Ozuna's stock. Still, he recovered after his recall with a .469 slugging percentage, and the Marlins' decision to move in their outfield fences might help him more than any of their other potential power sources.
4. Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox
The adjustment curve for a rookie pitcher is often lengthy, but Rodon seemed to be figuring it out in late 2015, as evidenced by his 1.81 ERA and 2.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his final eight starts. He possesses a filthy slider that could be instrumental in increasing his strikeout total from 139 to perhaps more than 180.
5. Carter Capps, RP, Miami Marlins
His injury history is more than a little disconcerting, but considering how fickle the closer position in baseball is, the risks are worth it for a pitcher with Capps' elite skills. His 49 percent strikeout rate was the third highest in history among pitchers who faced at least 100 batters.