6. Trevor May
The 28-year-old pitcher is returning to the Twins after missing all of 2017 with a torn ligament in his right elbow. Before going down with the injury, Trevor May was a popular pick for winning one of the final spots in the starting rotation. This after pitching out of the bullpen for much of the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
In all likelihood, May returns to the bullpen next season, but that could depend on what moves the Twins make in the offseason for starting pitching. Yet, regardless of where he ends up, this could be the year the right-hander finally breaks out. As matter of fact, he may have to after a couple of difficult years in the pros.
In three seasons with the Twins, he has a 13-17 record with a 5.14 ERA. May’s best season came in 2015 when he finished 8-9 with a 4.00 ERA, but he struggled to build on a solid season, finishing 2-2 with a 5.27 ERA in 2016. Additionally, he’s lacked control over his time in Minnesota, allowing almost three walks per nine innings. Altogether, he just hasn’t been the kind of pitcher that many hoped for when he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for center fielder Ben Revere.
That being said, May averages 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings, so he has the type of stuff that makes batters swing and miss. Specifically, he throws four different pitches including a curve, slider, changeup, and fastball, which typically reaches at least 95 mph. Although, time will tell if the velocity on the fastball and other pitches is still there following Tommy John surgery.
Nevertheless, the Twins could use a break out year from the pitcher whether that comes out of the bullpen or rotation. In reality, he has the ability to become an above-average pitcher in this league, but he just has to prove it consistently. Given he has the tools to be a good player in this league, he fits the bill of a breakout candidate in 2018.