Meet The MLB Breakout Pitcher Of 2020

Image credit: (Photo by Cliff Welch/Getty Images)

This is one of 10 burning questions in our 2020 MLB season preview. To see all of our bold predictions, click here. All answers to the question are from Baseball America’s editorial team.

Ben Badler: Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays. Pearson should quickly find himself at the front of Toronto’s rotation. There are still durability questions, but throws strikes with an elite fastball, a swing-and-miss slider and a solid-average changeup that should translate to immediate success against major league hitters.

Carlos Collazo: Aaron Civale, RHP, Indians. Civale’s fastball isn’t overwhelming, but he has a long track record of excellent control and gets tons of whiffs on each of his four secondary offerings. Among starters with at least 50 innings pitcher last season, Civale was No. 20 in FIP (3.40).

JJ Cooper: Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers. As scary as shoulder injuries can be, Urias showed last year that his stuff has made a full comeback. If he can handle a larger workload, he will fit nicely in the Dodgers rotation as yet another playoff-caliber starter.

Matt Eddy: Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels. Assuming he is recovered from the elbow inflammation that shut him down early in his major league debut season, Canning has the type of overpowering stuff and wide repertoire to dominate. He wasn’t the first pitcher from the 2017 draft to reach the majors, but he was the first to return value. (Editor’s note: This pick was made in mid-February, before Canning’s spring MRI.)

Kyle Glaser: Dinelson Lamet, RHP, Padres. Now in his second year removed from Tommy John surgery, Lamet’s electric arsenal and improving control have him poised to become one of baseball’s premier strikeout pitchers. 

Joe Healy: Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers. Soon, MLB fans will see what college baseball fans have known for some time – that Mize is an elite strike-thrower who also happens to have plus stuff. 

Josh Norris: Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox. Kopech showed his gifts in his major league debut in 2018 before having Tommy John surgery. Once he returns to Chicago, he should remind everyone why the White Sox made him a high-priority return in the Chris Sale trade.

Chris Trenkle: Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics. Plagued by injuries that forced him to miss much of the season, Luzardo pitched effectively in relief during the stretch run of 2019. This season, the 21-year-old will compete for Rookie of the Year honors and help deliver Oakland its first AL West crown since 2013.

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