5 MLB Players Who Could Suffer Sophomore Slumps in 2014

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Potential Sophomore Slumps in 2014

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The state of Major League Baseball is certainly in good hands in terms of the young talent that has burst onto the scene the last few seasons. With players like Mike Trout, Manny Machado, and Bryce Harper having tremendous early success, rookies are providing immediate impact across the league. However, in some instances for every breakout rookie year, there is the unfortunate sophomore slump that follows.

Last year saw a very deep rookie class break into the league, but also found impact talent called up as well. Jose Fernandez and Wil Myers were voted as the 2013 Rookies of the Year just ahead of other top talent. Impact rookies were also found on the mound in the playoffs as well with guys like Gerrit Cole, Trevor Rosenthal, and Michael Wacha. Giving the ball to a rookie within a playoff atmosphere just goes to show the type of talent that is on the horizon across the league.

Let us not forget the flashy and flamboyant Yasiel Puig, who had one of the most amazing first week's in the league ever. Puig took the league and the City of Angels by storm and nearly turned it into an All-Star selection as well. He is one player that figures to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump here in 2014.

Rookies and young stars are truly adding an extra element to the game today. These players are creating the need to follow the MLB and Baseball America Top-100 lists to see just who will be the next rising young star to have his name called up to the show. Rookies create buzz within their organization, and give the fan bases hope for the future. But eventually, every rookie turns into a sophomore who needs to get over that pesky second season hump. Here are five players who made their debut a season ago, but could also slide into that sophomore trouble this year.

Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Evan Gattis - C ATL

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Gattis will certainly be an interesting player to follow this season. In terms of fantasy value, his name has been found on sleeper lists, breakout lists, and bust lists, so anything can happen for the Atlanta Braves' second year player. Last year, he played both the outfield and catcher, but will now be behind the plate full-time taking over for Brian McCann. Gattis will slug his share of home runs, but how will the rest of his season be put together?

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4. Nolan Arenado - 3B COL

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Nolan Arenado is slated to be the starting third baseman for the Colorado Rockies. Even in a hitter-friendly park his power numbers were down in his rookie campaign. Arenado will likely be hitting behind four former All-Stars this year, so he should have plenty of RBI chances. But, will he be able to provide consistent production all season long for the Rockies within a tough division?

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3. Danny Salazar - SP CLE

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Danny Salazar made 10 starts in his rookie season for the Cleveland Indians last year. He also got the ball in the Wild Card game to kick-off the playoffs. In his 10 starts, he only averaged five innings pitched, and struggled as well in the playoff start. Salazar is capable of racking up a solid strikeout to walk ratio, but also is vulnerable to giving up the long ball and posting a high ERA.

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2. Jedd Gyorko - 2B SD

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Jedd Gyorko will be the starting second baseman for the under-the-radar San Diego Padres. While he did post a nice 23-home run/63-RBI season last year, his batting average was on the down side. The Padres' lineup is not one full of power, and the ballpark is not the friendliest toward hitters. Also within a strong pitching division, Gyorko could struggle to increase those numbers in year two.

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1. Nick Castellanos - 3B DET

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Of the guys on this list, Nick Castellanos had the fewest amount of games played last season, but he also could be the guy being asked to fill the biggest shoes this year. In the revamped Detroit Tigers' lineup, Castellanos will play third base and indirectly replace Prince Fielder within the order. Most of the attention has been on the Boston Red Sox' young left side of the infield, but the Tigers are also in a similar situation with Castellanos and Jose Iglesias. However, the Tigers' duo has much less power potential, and could become a major trouble spot if it does not pan out.