Breakout seasons in Major League Baseball are beautiful to watch. The sport is so difficult, with so many talented players failing to establish a firm foothold in MLB, that it feels rare and exciting to see a lightbulb moment for a young player in real-time.

The real issue, though, is that baseball is also a game of streaks. Plenty of guys can put together a good week or even a month, but can they sustain it over the course of 162 games? Can they do it when teams start to gameplan around them instead of their better-known teammates? No one really knows, but it makes for riveting television.

That's why today, we'll look at five players showing real flashes of breakout potential and point out what it is that's helping them succeed. We'll keep it to position players only, because part of the fun of a breakout is watching that player on a nightly basis. And of course, we'll look at some reasons they may or may not keep this up, but we'll also highlight reasons to watch them play in the here and now.

Jo Adell, Angels OF

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell (7) and Los Angeles Angels shortstop Zach Neto (9) celebrate after scoring during the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Jo Adell has been one of the most tantalizing will-they or won't-they prospects of the past few seasons, first appearing with the Los Angeles Angels as a 21-year-old in 2020 but constantly bouncing up and down from AAA to the majors while also dealing with injuries. But finally, just when a few Angels fans were starting to give up on him, Adell has been fantastic in 2024.

Through 40 games, Adell has an .862 OPS/139 OPS+, with nine home runs and eight stolen bases. Sure, he's also been caught stealing five times, but at the minimum, he's been the most exciting Angels player to watch ever since Mike Trout went down with a knee injury. He hit another homer Monday night to help the Angels erase a 6-1 deficit against the Houston Astros and then robbed a homer from Yainer Díaz in the ninth inning that helped preserve a 9-7 win.

Basically, everything Adell is doing now has been what the Angels have hoped he could do at the MLB level all along. And although his chase and whiff rates are still a little concerning, he hits the ball so hard and so consistently that there's lots of reason to hope he can keep this type of production up moving forward. If the Angels are on TV, consider tuning in just to watch Jo Adell.

Dylan Moore, Mariners UTIL

While it's great to watch former top prospects like Adell blossom after dealing with adversity, it's equally fun to see players like Dylan Moore find success when no one was counting on them to do so. A seventh-round pick of the Texas Rangers back in 2015, Moore has spent his entire six-year big league career with the Seattle Mariners, yet he'd never really found sustained success. Until, perhaps, right here and now.

Moore has been playing shortstop just about every game for Seattle, though that is likely to change now that J.P. Crawford has returned from injury. He's been the heartbeat of the Mariners offensively, posting a .780 OPS/128 OPS+ primarily from the leadoff spot. And he's doing all this at the age of 31, having never quite established himself as a full-time starter in any other season of his MLB career.

Mariners fans know how enjoyable it's been to watch Moore play early in this season, but the real question is how he responds to whatever his new role will be with Crawford back in the fold. He has had extended run at both corner outfield spots before and with the offensive struggles of Mitch Haniger, he's now in a battle with Luke Raley and Dominic Canzone for those two lineup slots. He could even potentially handle some second-base duties as well. But it all hinges on him continuing to swing the bat.

Jarren Duran, Red Sox OF

Boston Red Sox fans, many of whom wanted to send Jarren Duran on a rocket to Mars in the summer of 2022, are now legitimately pondering whether Duran is the best player on the 2024 roster. And frankly, most of the statistics are backing that up.

Duran leads the Sox and is sixth in all of baseball with 2.8 bWAR, right behind Bobby Witt Jr. and three slots ahead of Aaron Judge. He's got a rock-solid 119 OPS+ and leads the majors with an astounding eight triples, including one that would have been a routine pop-up to third base if not for the sun and some incredible hustle. And after his defense was a huge question mark early in his career, he's been the third-best outfield defender in MLB, behind only Daulton Varsho and Michael Siani.

The question isn't so much whether Duran can keep this up, but to what extent. He played well enough in 2023 that his season thus far confirms that he's a bona fide MLB starter long-term. But the Red Sox have a ton of outfield talent in the organization, so Duran has to continue proving he's a true impact player to stay in the plans for Boston moving forward. And so far, it appears that's precisely what he's going to do.

Masyn Winn, Cardinals SS

Masyn Winn made errors on back-to-back plays at shortstop on Monday night and it felt like seeing a total solar eclipse. Because as St. Louis Cardinals fans are well aware at this point, watching Winn play shortstop on a regular basis has become one of the more mesmerizing viewing experiences you can have as a baseball enthusiast.

His Statcast metrics don't yet fully support Winn as a great MLB defender, but his arm strength is incredible to watch. The ball shoots out of his hand like a cannon blast and turns sure hits into outs with regularity. The range and hands aren't a finished product, but he flashes moments of brilliance, like his two diving plays against the Red Sox Saturday night. Oh, and by the way, he's hitting .288 with a 113 OPS+.

The youngest player by far on this list, Winn only turned 22 a week prior to MLB Opening Day. He was expected to be a work in progress on both sides of the ball in 2024 but he looks ahead of schedule right now. If he continues on his current course, we could be looking at a multi-time All-Star in the years ahead.

Brice Turang, Brewers 2B

Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Brice Turang (2) runs to first base on a single during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, we're going to be talking about one of the most valuable players in baseball so far this MLB season, and one no one saw coming. Brice Turang, after having one of the worst offensive seasons among all position players a year ago, has become a four-tool player for the Milwaukee Brewers in his sophomore season. He's hitting, stealing bases, and playing tremendous defense leaving us all wondering just how high his ceiling can go.

The son of a former big-leaguer and a former MLB first-round pick, there was no doubt Turang had the athleticism to become at least a role player in Milwaukee. But his offense was so poor in 2023 that it wasn't apparent he had the pure hitting ability to become a franchise cornerstone. Now, it almost seems laughable that he might not be the Brewers' second baseman for years to come because he's hitting .314 with an .800 OPS.

Though his expected batting average is just .270, indicating that some regression could be on the way for Turang, the improvements in his game are evident and sustainable. He's cut down drastically on his strikeouts, is hitting a ton of doubles against high-velo fastballs, and isn't hitting any pop-ups at all, which were a bit of a bugaboo in 2023. Again, this is a potential All-Star stalwart at second base if the breakout continues.