1 breakout player on each Yankees AL East rival

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Elsa/GettyImages
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The Yankees should lead the pack in the AL East this year, but they should still keep their eyes on these four breakout players spread throughout the division.

Players projected to have breakout seasons don't always pan out. The added pressure can make it tough for that individual to live up to expectations, but sometimes it magically all goes right. Although it feels like forever ago, as trade rumors linger his name, it wasn't that long ago that Gleyber Torres broke out in a major way in 2019.

Although he's now rumored to be traded to upgrade the position with younger talent, he did live up to expectations with his two All-Star nods. As for this year's club, there's nobody in the organization more hyped than Anthony Volpe. It doesn't look like he'll make the Opening Day roster, but if all things go as planned, he could be a breakout player for the Yankees this season.

As for the rest of the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox are in a rebuilding phase, while the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays will be competitive with the Yankees. Despite it being a lopsided division, there is still a candidate from each organization that is primed for a breakout campaign this year.

1 Breakout player for each Yankees rival

Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles

With a name like Gunnar Henderson, there's no doubt that he's going to have a fantastic season and long career in MLB. Ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball, Henderson should be a very fun player to watch this year and should compete for the AL Rookie of the Year award.

Henderson actually made his debut last season, but only appeared in 34 games, finishing the 2022 season with a .259 BA, .348 OBP, .440 SLG, 4 HR and 18 RBI. It was a very promising chunk of games for Henderson and should give him a ton of confidence this season.

His offensive ability should make Orioles fans very excited, but his athleticism could be something that's even stronger. Henderson's speed is very noticeable, but his arm could be his best attribute and it will be tested right away, as it looks like Henderson will be Baltimore's starting third baseman. He'll be able to rotate between third and shortstop, but whichever position he sticks to, he could turn into a Gold Glove defender sooner rather than later.

Henderson is a great chip to build around for an Orioles team that might be making the leap in 2023.