With the season fast approaching, now is a good time to take a look around the division. Here's a look five players whose success (or failure) will have the biggest impact on each team.
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Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis
After mashing 53 homers and 138 RBI in 2013, Chris Davis followed that up with a rough season at the plate, hitting "just" 26 home runs while batting .196. Luckily for the Orioles, they were able to get some production out of slugger Nelson Cruz and a breakout year from Steve Pearce. This year? No more Cruz and Pearce could easily decline. They need Chris Davis of 2013 to return to put a little thump into the lineup. Honorable mentions: Manny Machado, Matt Wieters.
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Boston Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts
Xander Bogaerts arrived in Boston with as much hype as any other Red Sox prospect in recent memory. He seemingly had every tool and was given the starting job in 2014. He struggled. In 144 games, he hit just 12 home runs and struck out 138 times. The Sox deemed him untouchable in trades in hopes that he will live up to his potential. If he does just that in 2015, he will fit nicely into the (possibly) strongest lineup in the division. Honorable mentions: Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia.
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New York Yankees: CC Sabathia
The Yankees seemingly have six or seven players in need of bounce-back seasons for them to contend, but nobody can have a bigger impact than CC Sabathia. The rotation needs an ace; Masahiro Tanaka fits that bill, but he might not be ready to lead a team just yet. If CC can rebound and become the workhorse he once was, the Yankees can blossom into contenders in a weak AL East. Honorable mentions: Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann.
Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria
The Tampa Bay Rays boast one of the strongest starting rotations, not only in the division, but in baseball. Their whole roster is retooled and reworked, but for the Rays to be successful, they need Evan Longoria to return to form. He played a career-high 162 games last season, but was not the All-Star of MVP candidate that fans have come to expect. The team will pitch - they just need his bat to have an impact in the lineup. Honorable mentions: Alex Cobb, Kevin Kiermaier.
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Toronto Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey
The Blue Jays lineup is stacked. The additions of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin seemed to give the Jays an embarrassment of riches. Their rotation on the other hand? Not so much. Even before the loss of Marcus Stroman, the rotation had some question marks. R.A. Dickey has been the workhorse they expected, but he's a far cry from his Cy Young days with the New York Mets. Not only can the Jays benefit from his work on the mound, his veteran presence in the locker can help along the young guys. Honorable mentions: Jose Reyes, Aaron Sanchez.