1 breakout player on each Yankees AL East rival
Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays
The 2023 season should be a breakout campaign for 22-year-old shortstop Wander Franco, as long as he can stay healthy. After a great start to the 2022 season, Franco suffered a quad injury which limited him to only 83 games played. Somehow, the budding superstar hasn't had a longer stretch of dominance yet.
By all accounts, Franco is healthy and ready to go to start this campaign, so he should be primed for a big season. The left-handed hitter is someone who can hit for average, but could be also be a 30/30 type of player if he hits his ceiling. That type of production should be very exciting for any Rays fan out there.
Franco is entering his third season in the majors and has been highly touted throughout his entire journey, finishing third in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2021. As previously mentioned, we've yet to see a full 162-game sample size from Franco, but if it happens this year, it could be a very special season for the youngster.
Although the Rays are projected to finish third in the AL East, a big campaign from Franco could push them into a Wild Card spot or, optimistically, they could win the division. The Rays have always been great at drafting, signing and developing young talent, and Franco is no different. It's tough for someone who's already been so vaunted to break out again, but the full-season version of Franco could be an entirely different type of beast.