Some of these players you know, some of them, I'd venture to say, you don't really know.
But regardless of what class they are in with you, they're poised to break out and have big seasons in 2017.
For some, that means establishing themselves as viable, everyday Major League players.
For others, who might already be fairly well known, it's about moving up into the next class and becoming an All-Star.
And for a few, it means becoming an MVP or Cy Young Award contender.
Here are 20 MLB players poised to break out in 2017:
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Tim Anderson - SS - White Sox
When Anderson hits it, he squares it up — more than 80 percent of the balls he put in play in the second half of the 2016 season were medium or hard-hit, a big part of his high batting average on balls in play.
The question about Anderson is if he can put the ball in play more often. He can field and steal bases, but his MLB career hinges on the ability to cut down on strikeouts and get on base more often.
A 3 percent walk rate to a 27 percent strikeout rate won't cut it at the big-league level, and while it's unlikely that Anderson will ever be a high OBP player, if he can turn some of those strikeouts into ground balls, he has a chance to hit above .300 this season and steal 30 bases.
Not bad for a guy who started playing baseball his junior year of high school.
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Mike Foltynewicz - SP - Braves
Foltynewicz's stuff is as nasty as his name is hard to spell.
He has a plus-fastball with some sink that averaged 95 miles per hour last year, a breaking ball that showed promise, and a changeup that showed signs of developing into a reliable third pitch late in the season.
If those pitches have progressed further in the offseason, hitters won't be able to square up Foltynewicz's fastball as easily, which should decrease his homer and hard-hit balls rate.
And if those rates drop down to league average, Foltynewicz has a chance to post a sub-4 FIP and close to 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
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Adam Ottavino - RP - Rockies
Two seasons ago was supposed to be Ottavino's breakout campaign, but Tommy John surgery in 2015 postponed it until now.
Ottavino has been back to 100 percent for a bit, but this is the year he finally assumes his rightful role as the Rockies closer.
It's gearing up to be spectacular.
Ottavino has a strong fastball that should be back to a 95 miles per hour average this year, but you can slot him for 30-plus saves this year because of his slider, which is a preposterous pitch.
It's a multipurpose slider — it drops vertically, horizontally, and across both the x and y axes — and Ottavino leaves hitters dumbfounded with it.
Last year, in 27 innings, he struck out 11.67 per 9 and walked only 2.33 over the same frame, posting a 2.36 xFIP.
Sorry, Greg Holland, you're going to have to wait to close for your new team.
Chris HumphreysChris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Gausman - SP - Orioles
You could argue that Gausman broke out last season — after all, he had a 3.61 ERA in 179.2 innings last year.
But that's nowhere near Gausman's ceiling, and if he can continue his second-half form from 2016 in 2017, then he stands a chance of being one of the best pitchers in the American League East this year.
In the second half, Gausman decreased his velocity and was clearly pitching more than throwing
As a pitcher who averaged 95 miles per hour on his fastball before the deceleration, Gausman had plenty of room to work.
If Gausman can translate his control (and it is control, even if walks increased) to his full-fledged arsenal, then the former No. 4 overall pick can thrive in 2017.
Rick OsentoskiRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jerad Eickhoff - SP - Phillies
Eickhoff was a really good pitcher for the Phillies last year, throwing nearly 200 innings with a 3.65 ERA.
But he could be an All-Star this year.
Simply put, Eickhoff doesn't have great stuff, but he doesn't walk guys — in the second half of last season, he struck out 5.61 batters for every walk he allowed.
Do you like Jose Quintana? Eickhoff could become the righthanded version this year.
Eric HartlineEric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Nola - SP - Phillies
Back to back Phils.
Waiting for Nola to break out is an annual tradition, so here we are again.
But here's why he'll actually break out in 2017: He already did, in a way.
Last year, in his first 12 starts, Nola posted a 0.99 WHIP and had a 27.2 percent strikeout rate — those are All-Star numbers.
A UCL strain ended his season in August and it was likely the saboteur of the poor outings that followed the hot start.
We've seen how good Nola can be when healthy — 12 starts isn't a small sample size for a starting pitcher, it's a third of the season — if he is back to 100 percent to start the season, expect big things.
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Edwin Diaz - RP - Mariners
Speaking of K/9, if you don't already know Edwin Diaz, you're about to meet him.
And trust me, the American League West is already fully acquainted with the soon-to-be 23-year-old.
He might be a late-inning guy, but you don't forget facing a pitcher who posted a 15.33 K/9 rate and averaged 97 miles per hour on his fastball.
Diaz pitched in 49 games for the M's last year — with the team eyeing a playoff berth this year, you can expect to see plenty of him, and in turn, plenty of strikeouts.
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Sean Manaea - SP - A's
Last season, Manaea posted a 1.19 WHIP in 144 innings. Did you notice?
What about his strong second half, where he had a 2.67 ERA?
Manaea might not have ace stuff — he's no Jon Gray — but if he continues to do what he did in 2016 in 2017, the former first-round pick will establish himself as a more-than-reliable starter this season.
I wonder what the A's will be able to get for him in a trade this June...
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Alex Bregman - 3B - Astros
The Astros, needing a third baseman in the worst way last year, opted not to move for one of the several proven commodities on the trade market — they called up Bregman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 Draft.
Bregman, in 217 plate appearances, posted a slash line of .264/.313/.478, hinting to his potential at age 21.
What's he going to do at age 22 as the Astros now-everyday third baseman?
A slash line of .265/.330/.445 is the consensus from the projection services — that's along with 20 homers and 80 RBI.
But if Bregman hits like he did in August, 25 homers and 100 RBIs are hardly out of the question.
Yeah, the Astros were smart to wait.
Tommy GilliganTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Robbie Ray - SP - Diamondbacks
Ray was the unluckiest pitcher in recent Major League history last year.
Ray was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year — stay with me here — if you look at his SIERA, xFIP, K-BB rate, and Deserved Run Average (which we'll be using a lot of this season).
But he also had a .352 batting average on balls in play against last year, the second-highest rate in the last 15 years.
Ray isn't blameless in that — he is the one throwing the balls that are being hit — but bad defense and bad luck are the main culprits.
It's highly unlikely that Ray will come anywhere close to being that unlucky again (particularly if he stops throwing his sinker), which leaves you with a pitcher who at age 24 had the 21st best K/9 rate (11.25) among all starting pitchers in baseball history.
Joe CamporealeJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Gregory Polanco - OF - Pirates
Welcome to the tier of established young hot shots who will become household names in 2017.
Let's start with Polanco, the ridiculously talented Pirates outfielder, whose breakout 2016 season was derailed by injuries.
Before knee and shoulder problems limited him, Polanco had a first half where he hit .287 with 12 homers, 50 RBI and nine stolen bases.
Polanco played most of the 2016 season, but he only finished with 22 homers and he hit .220 in the second half.
But fully healthy, Polanco, who has always projected as a 25-25 player is ready to hit that mark and make his first All-Star Game.
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Jon Gray - SP - Rockies
You should already know Jon Gray, but this should be the year he jumps to star status.
Simply put, Gray just needs to keep doing what he did in 2016 and his numbers should be strong enough to move him up a class.
He had a 3.18 FIP in the second half of last season, which, when paired with his strikeout per inning average which, should his ERA stay close to that number (and even at Coors Field, there's no reason to think it shouldn't) would put him in Cy Young contention in the National League.
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Joc Pederson - OF - Dodgers
Pederson has been a three true outcomes All-Star for two seasons now, but this year, he's going to become a real All-Star.
Pederson has always put up strong baseball card stats — he's hit 25 homers in each of his first two seasons — but last year he showed that he's ready to make the leap into sabermetric success as well.
You only have to look at Pederson's contact rates year-over-year to see that he's poised to make the jump.
Last year, his contact percentage jumped 8.3 percent year-over-year — a huge leap — and his contact percentage on pitches in the strike zone went up 7.2 points.
Pederson is becoming a more complete hitter and I'd expect his strikeout rate to decrease in 2017. The tradeoff will be more walks — he's fouling off more pitches now and he's always had a good eye — and a higher average.
Depending on how the Dodgers use him, a .265 average, .380 OBP, and 30 homers are well within sight.
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Julio Urias - SP - Dodgers
The Dodgers are going to have to unleash the now-20-year-old Urias at some point.
It might not be this year, but that might not stop him from having a true breakout season anyway.
Urias is a bonafide prodigy -- in his last 13 starts of the 2016 regular season (while on strict pitch limits) Urias was statistically one of the best pitchers in baseball, posting a 1.26 WHIP and 2.35 FIP while striking out 10.2 per nine and posting a 18.6 K-BB percentage.
He was 19 years old.
That's not fair.
Walks are an issue for the young Mexican, but again, he was 19 years old going up against Major League hitters in a pennant race — of course walks were an issue (he averaged 3.2 walks per nine innings in those last 13 starts, just above league average).
The Dodgers are likely to start Urias' season late to help ease his workload — that young arm needs to be protected — and they might put him on another pitch limit when he finally is summoned back to the show.
Savor the moments, Major League hitters — this might be the only relief you get for a long time.
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James Paxton - SP - Mariners
James Paxton always had good stuff, but after starting the 2016 season in Triple-A, he came back even more electric — his fastball was two miles per hour faster, touching 100 miles per hour from the left side.
Was a new pitcher — there was a change in his mechanics (he's dropping his arm slot) and he was using wicked cutter that might be the best in the game.
And then Paxton brought back his plus curve ball late in the season.
Armed with an impressive arsenal, Paxton had a big second half, posting a 2.69 FIP and coming in 7th in the majors in FIP, and he was the best pitcher in the American League in September and October — he finished the season with five starts where his strikeouts per nine innings was above 10 and his FIP was a paltry 2.06 (xFIP of 2.66).
Paxton called his 2016 season a work in progress — and that stands to reason — but it clearly worked.
What's a full season going to look like? Bet on really, really good.
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Kyle Schwarber - OF - Cubs
It's hard to believe, but Kyle Schwarber, hero of the 2016 World Series, has only played 71 regular-season games in the Major Leagues.
He's poised to get a full season this year, and you should expect him to make the absolute most of it.
Schwarber is a truly impressive power hitter — he showed that in the 2015 postseason when he hit five homers is 31 at bats. And this year, with his knee fully healed, the momentum of success behind him, and the burden of catching poised to be a rarity, that power should be on full display.
In 273 plate appearances in 2015, he posted a 132 wRC+, despite a high strikeout rate of 28 percent. That's led every projection system to predict close to 30 bombs this year, but don't count out 40 for Schwarber in the Cubs' lineup, which offers all sorts of protection.
This is a guy who can hit anything — even if that strikeout rate stays high, he's likely to exceed our expectations. That's kind of his thing now.
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Addison Russell - SS - Cubs
You know Addison Russell — he's the Cubs' young shortstop who tied the World Series record for most RBI in a game last fall.
Hell, he was an All-Star last year.
But this year, Russell is poised to really break out this regular season and become a household name that's uttered often. He's going to actually earn that All-Star bid.
Russell has been a negative WAR offensive player for the last two seasons, despite hitting 21 homers and 95 runs last year. This is the year that changes.
Russell is unlikely to be a high average player — he's a .240 hitter in two seasons — but his progression at the plate throughout his professional career signals that he's ready to take another step forward.
The biggest key: diminishing pop-ups. Last year, 15 percent of Russell's balls in play resulted in popups.
That, and bad luck, resulted in a .277 batting average on balls in play last year.
The BABIP should take care of itself — Russell should have been at the league average last year (.300), based on his contact rates — and if he can diminish the pop-up rates by even five percent, the Cubs are looking at a 23-year-old shortstop with a plus glove who can hit 25 homers, drive in 100 runs and hit .265 with a OPS near .850.
This year, Russell should earn that All-Star bid.
Tommy GilliganTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Rodon - SP - White Sox
It all comes down to control for Rodon, who has dominating stuff — when he can find the zone. In the second half of the 2016 season, he showed clear signs that he's ready to be one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2017.
Rodon already boasted one of the best K-BB rates in baseball, striking out batters 15.9 percent more often than walking them, 25th in the big leagues last year — but between Aug. 6 and Sept. 9 last year, he posted a 1.08 WHIP and 2.67 FIP.
Those are elite numbers.
The change that sparked the great run was relying more on his changeup — during that stretch he threw two or three times more changeups compared to his career averages.
Rodon has a plus fastball and an elite slider, but by trading in some sliders, which he has difficulty controlling, for some changeups, Rodon has shown a three-pitch arsenal that has him poised for a career year — one that can put him in a class among the best pitchers in baseball.
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Marcus Stroman - SP - Blue Jays
During the dog days of the 2016 season (June, July, August), Stroman might have been the best pitcher in the American League, striking out 85 in 86 innings of work, walking only 15, and posting a 2.73 xFIP.
He wasn't able to start the season that way, or end it (though he did start the Wild Card Game and turn in a solid outing in a game the Blue Jays would win), so his breakout hasn't happened.
But it is nigh.
That's because this season, Stroman sustains that great form.
There are few pitchers in baseball that can boast Stroman's strikeout ability, or control, or ability to get hitters to put the ball on the ground (60 percent of batted balls against him were grounders last year — which was down from his 2015 mark). Combine the three and you have a pitcher that can only be described as "lights out".
If Stroman does indeed put up a full season like his strong three-month stretch, he'll win the 2017 American League Cy Young award.
Noah K. MurrayNoah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Trea Turner - SS - Nationals
Turner broke out last year, but this season, he's poised to become a bonafide superstar.
If you can get in a wager on Turner to win National League MVP, do so ASAP.
Last season, in half a season, Turner hit .342 with a .937 OPS and 33 stolen bases.
Yes, it's likely he'll regress in his first full Major League season, but what if he doesn't?
Those are MVP numbers, without a question. That doesn't even factor in Turner's defensive ability at shortstop, where he'll play this season.
Yes, Turner is poised to enter the class of baseball's elite in 2017.