2020 MLB Preview: 5 Potential Breakout Candidates

Tim Kelly
February 19, 2020 - 9:42 am

In 2019, Jack Flaherty took the ball for the St. Louis Cardinals in their second game of the regular season. His first start of the season proved to be rather disastrous, as he gave up seven hits and four earned runs over just 4.1 innings.

That didn't end up being indicative of what was to come from Flaherty in his age-23 season. Far from it, really.

Flaherty, a former first-round pick, developed into one of baseball's best pitchers in the second half of the season, going 7-2 with an 0.91 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star Break.

The Cardinals rode a breakout season from Flaherty to 91 wins and a National League Central title in 2019. They dispatched of the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS before eventually being eliminated in the NLCS by the eventual World Series Champion Washington Nationals.

It's perhaps unfair to expect any young player to put together the type of stretch that Flaherty did after the midsummer classic last year, but pennant races are often decided by players who come of age quicker than expected. With that in mind, here's a look at five potential breakout candidates for the 2020 MLB season:

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