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Prepare for the electrifying rundown of MLB players set to break out and dominate the MLB in 2024.

Breakout Stats Projections Per Player

  • Oneil Cruz – 518 at bats | .275 avg | 32 homers | 32 stolen bags | 90 RBIs | OPS .801
  • Jackson Holliday – 480 at bats | .278 avg. | 36 homers | 16 stolen bases | 80 RBIs | .808 OPS
  • Elle De La Cruz – 505 at bats | .250 avg. | 22 homers | 33 sb | 69 RBIs | .798 OPS
  • Jordan Walker – 530 at bats | .289 avg. | 36 homers | 15 sb | 106 RBIs | .840 OPS
  • Grayson Rodriguez – 170 IP | 200 k’s | 3.25 ERA | 1.10 WHIP

Notes: Grayson has an outside chance at the CY Young in the AL. Jordan Walker and Oneil Cruz have an outside chance at the NL MVP.

We’re talking about the crème de la crème. These future legends made noise in 2023 and are primed to explode onto the scene. From Oneil Cruz at the Pirates to Bryson Stott at the Phillies, each talent here looks ripe for a breakout season this year.

Also Read: Maximizing Your Returns on Sports Card Investments

Read on to witness the rise of baseball’s next superstars!

1. Oneil Cruz

Key Card: 2016 Oneil Cruz 1st Bowman Chrome

Oneil Cruz breakout season in 20204

Oneil Cruz, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ dynamo, has been on the radar with a career .751 OPS, slamming 19 homers and swiping 13 bases over 98 major-league games. This 6-foot-7 shortstop combines a rare blend of power and speed, making him a standout talent in the MLB landscape.

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In 2023, however, Cruz’s journey hit a roadblock. Expectations were sky-high after being picked as a top-80 selection in fantasy drafts. But fate had other plans. An early April surgery to repair a fractured left fibula sidelined him, limiting his season to just nine games. It was undoubtedly a setback but also a pause, not a full stop.

Now, looking ahead to 2024, Cruz is poised for a significant breakout. With his recovery period behind him, he’s laser-focused on achieving full health and unleashing his full potential. After all, this is the same guy who broke the MLB exit velocity record by near enough smacking the soul out of the ball! He’s got all the tools in his locker to take games by the scruff of their neck and guide his team to win after win.

Cruz is set to be a game-changer for the Pirates with his towering presence and explosive abilities. If he maintains his health and taps into his raw power, we could see a breakout year that solidifies his status as one of the most exciting MLB young players. Please keep your eyes peeled because Oneil Cruz is ready to redefine his career and make 2024 his year.

2. Elly De La Cruz

Key Card: 2024 Elly De La Cruz Topps Series 1

Elly De La Cruz topps rookie

Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds is nothing short of spectacular. At just 22, he’s one of the youngest players in the National League and one of the tallest and fastest shortstops in MLB history!

Last season, after stepping up for the injured Nick Senzel, De La Cruz made his presence felt instantly. Let’s talk about his first home run in the majors, the one against the Dodgers, that sailed a good 458 ft! If anyone didn’t sit up and take notice in that moment, they certainly would have later that same month. On June 23, the Dominican phenom hit for the cycle against the Braves, becoming the youngest since 1972.

But wait, there’s more! On July 8, De La Cruz became the first Reds player since 1919 to steal second, third, and home in the same inning. I mean, this kid is fast on a historic level! And his arm? Strongest in the league, with throws reaching up to 97.9 miles per hour.

Before the All-Star Game, despite playing only 30 games, his stats were off the charts: top percentile in exit velocity, tied for fastest sprint speed at 30.4 ft/sec, and that cannon of an arm averaging 95.6 mph on throws.

So, looking ahead to 2024, expect this five-tool talent to be more than just a name on the roster. We’re talking about a player ready to dominate, to take the Reds and the MLB by storm. With speed, power, and an arm like a rocket launcher, De La Cruz is set to light up the league. Watch out, because this kid is going places fast!

Also Watch: One Break Out Player For Every MLB Team in 2o24

3. Jordan Walker

Key Card: 2023 Jordan Walker Topps Chrome Rookie Auto

2023 Jordan Walker Topps Chrome Rookie Auto

Standing at a towering 6’6 and weighing 250 lbs, Jordan Walker is one massive slugger. If we are going to talk about the best MLB young players, we can’t ignore him. After all, he has the best-hitting profile in the St. Louis Cardinals organization and will undoubtedly be pivotal to their success.

Walker burst onto the scene last year like a man on a mission. Announced as part of the Opening Day roster by Cardinals’ president John Mozeliak, he didn’t waste any time making his mark.

On March 30, he started in right field and smashed his first major league hit and RBI, setting the tone for what was to come. By April 5, Walker was sending balls over the fence, hitting his first major league homer off Michael Tonkin of the Atlanta Braves. 

But he didn’t stop there, oh no! Against the Colorado Rockies, Walker extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying the record for the longest hitting streak for a rookie under 21 since 1900. 

When you make such historic strides in your rookie season, you set expectations for yourself sky-high. Thankfully, for Walker, he is as calm and cool as they come, unfazed by the attention!

After a brief option to Triple-A, he was back in the majors by June 2, proving that his early-season heroics were no fluke. Walker’s 2023 campaign showcased consistency and resilience, which are hallmarks of a future star.

With his mix of power and precision and a record-setting start to his career, Walker is eyeing a breakout year. We’re talking about a player with the potential to dominate games and become a cornerstone for the Cardinals. So watch out, because Jordan Walker could make 2024 a year to remember.

4. Grayson Rodriguez

Key Card: 2023 Grayson Rodriguez Topps Chrome Update Auto

2024 breakout season Grayson Rodriguez

Now brace yourselves for the lowdown on Grayson Rodriguez, the Baltimore Orioles’ pitching prodigy. At 6-foot-5, this right-handed hurler is a phenomenon, with a fastball that screams and a slider that bewilders.

Rodriguez made his much-anticipated MLB debut last year, showcasing a repertoire that left batters swinging at ghosts. His arsenal? A fastball touching 99 mph, a knee-buckling slider, and a changeup that falls off the table.

Starting the year in Norfolk might seem like a setback, but the No.7 prospect quickly turned it into a setup for his grand entrance. In his MLB debut against the Rangers, G-Rod pitched five solid innings, allowing just two earned runs and striking out five. Now, that’s how you tell the world that you deserve your spot among the best MLB young players!

But let me highlight a particular gem: on September 16, Rodriguez dominated the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching eight innings without issuing a single walk, leading to an 8-0 victory. Exploits like these prove a pitcher’s mastery on the mound and elevate him to invaluable status.

Rodriguez proved he belongs with the big boys with a season record of 7-4 and an ERA of 4.35. True, he didn’t have the best start to life in the MLB. However, once he figured out his best pitch, his second-half form was red-hot, highlighted by his 2.26 ERA and 1.05 WHIP across his last 12 starts.

Now, in big 2024, this fireballer is ready to take the Orioles’ pitching to new heights. His mix of speed, control, and raw power places him in the conversation of breakout players this year. Plus, just look at the supporting cast around him, including the likes of Rutschman and Henderson. The O’s have an exciting bunch of young talent hungry for glory, and G-Rod’s curveballs will surely help them get there. In fact, I expect him to be a top-10 fantasy starter.

5. Anthony Volpe

Volpe’s major league debut in 2023 made him the youngest Yankee to start an opener since the legendary Derek Jeter in 1996. In his second game, he smashed his first major league hit and continued to showcase his lightning-fast speed.

By April 14, Volpe had launched his first big-league homer, setting records and drawing comparisons to Yankee greats. His prowess on the bases was unmatched; he stole 13 straight bases without a hitch. Whose streak did he break? That’s right, yet another legend in Joe DiMaggio!

Fast-forward to June 21, and Volpe joined the elite ranks yet again by hitting over 10 home runs and swiping more than 15 bases. Of course, he followed that up with his 20th homer on September 1 to join the exclusive 20-20 club as a rookie!

Finishing the season with 60 RBIs, 24 stolen bases, and an AL Gold Glove to boot, Volpe made a statement on both offense and defense. In a year that most Yankees fans would like to forget quickly, Volpe gave them reason to be hopeful for next season.

So, looking ahead to 2024, expect Anthony Volpe to leap into superstardom. With his blend of speed, power, and golden glovework, Volpe is ready to become the face of the Yankees and a beacon in the MLB!

6. Eurey Perez

If you ask Miami Marlins fans what their expectations are for this season, expect some cautious replies. After all, few amongst them expected the team to make the playoffs last year. With a below-average offense and 2022 Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara struggling big-time, the Marlins were supposed to be a mess. But adversity brings new heroes forward, and this is where Eurey Perez comes in.

The towering six-foot-eight sensation stepped up and stood tall, striking out 108 batters over just 91.1 innings. He finished the season with a sparkling 3.15 ERA and an impressive 142 ERA+. With his blazing fastball, Perez was sitting comfortably above the 90th percentile in fastball velocity and whiff percentage. And let me tell you, his rookie season was no accident or fluke. It was a showcase of raw, untapped potential that’s set to explode!

With Alcantara sidelined for 2024, there’s no one better to fill those boots than Perez with his electric right arm. However, as fans will tell you, managing his minutes will be crucial. Last year, he threw the most innings of his pro career, leading Miami to dial back mid-season to save his arm for the stretch run. However, the workload eventually caught up with the Dominican, whose season ended in September due to an SI joint inflammation.

So, how will things shape up for Perez this season? Again, it all comes down to his fitness, as he is currently nursing an elbow injury. Thankfully for the Marlins, surgery has not been recommended yet, and he will be on the 15-day IL. Therefore, he will likely start pitching at some point before the All-Star break as long as his condition doesn’t worsen. If he can stay fit, you best believe he will be key to any playoff push the Marlins hope to mount this time.

7. Jackson Holliday

Key Card: 2022 Jackson Holliday Bowman Chrome Draft

jackson holliday 2024 breakout

Like I said, the O’s have many exciting MLB young players in their organization. Jackson Holliday, the son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holiday, is keen to make his mark this year despite starting in the minors.

Standing at 6’0 and weighing 185lbs, baseball’s No.1 prospect will come good. After all, he was practically owning the minors last season. From the low-class A Carolina League to high–class A Aberdeen, Holliday proved that he was truly his father’s son. Hitting .314 with a .940 OPS in 57 games was an incredible feat in itself, made better by the fact that he had the third-highest OPS in the South Atlantic League!

Therefore, while being the No.1 draft pick does come with insane expectations, it’s fair to say Holliday has been meeting it. Given the opportunity this season, the 20-year-old could bag the AL Rookie of the Year award. And that would be a statement for the Orioles since Gunnar Henderson won the same award last year!

8. Evan Carter

Speaking of MLB young players who are Top 5 prospects, we can’t forget about a certain sensational outfielder from Elizabethton, Tennessee. Unlike Holliday, however, Evan Carter already knows what playing in the majors is like – heck, he won the whole thing with the Rangers!

In just 23 games in 2023, this young phenom batted a scorching .306, with a .413 on-base percentage. With an OPS of 1.058, Carter added 5 home runs, 12 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases to his resume, but he wasn’t done yet. The post-season is where he stepped it up a notch, taking charge of games to guide the Rangers to glory. He was simply sailing as the team’s starting left fielder, with a homer, 6 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Plus, he set a new record for doubles in a single postseason. So, it’s safe to say he was pivotal to the Rangers’ historic achievement!

Could the Rangers become the second team since the Yankees to become champions twice in a row? We’ll have to see how the rotation holds up, but the offense looks as solid as ever. Carter will undoubtedly be at the heart of an incredible repeat title charge, making him a strong AL ROY contender.

9. Bryson Stott

Key Card:

Is this the year Bryson Stott wins his first-ever Gold Glove Award? I certainly think so, plus I think he will give us some absolute box-office moments in the playoffs, should the Phillies get there. Yes, I’m thinking about his grand slam against the Marlins last season!

Overall, 2023 was a testament to Stott’s growth and potential. The 6’3, 200lbs second baseman went from strength to strength, seeing notable improvements in his batting average. With 15 HRs, 62 RBIs and a .747 OPS in 2023, Stott showed us all what he is capable of as an offensive machine. He looks eager to continue his impressive form this year, and maybe even cross the magical 0.300 mark with his hitting. As one of the most exciting MLB young players out there, I expect him to have a breakout year and nail that All-Star spot!

10. Victor Scott

Key Card:

Rounding up our list of the top MLB young players to keep an eye on is 23-year-old Victor Scott. Now that he’s made the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster, I expect him to seize his moment with both hands. In fact, he is currently in action against the Dodgers as of the time of writing!

I’m super excited to watch this kid because he simply oozes confidence and is as competitive as they come. Additionally, he proved his base stealing prowess in the minors, with 94 steals across two levels, all while hitting .303/.369/.425. Even though he is making a huge jump after just 66 Double-A games (none at Triple-A), the stars have aligned for him. By the end of this season, we could be having proper ROY conversations about him, so keep an eye on him!

If you enjoyed reading about the best MLB young players in 2024, you’ll love reading about Bobby Witt Jr and his rookie cards!

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Cardboard Vice

I'm always buying: 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update, Ty Cobb T206, and 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck Star Rookie. PSA 10 only. I also enjoy no limit poker and horse racing.

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