One player from every MLB team who is most critical to his team’s success

Posted 12 hours ago  |  By Justin Mears

Spring training is currently in full swing, and believe it or not we are just three weeks from the start of the 2021 baseball season. As we begin to think about which clubs will be contenders this year — and which will be pretenders — let’s take a peek at the player on each team who is most important to its chances.

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New York Yankees: Corey Kluber

New York Yankees: Corey Kluber
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The Bombers are going to be good. But just how good they’ll be will in large part depend on if Corey Kluber can reestablish himself as an upper-echelon starter. The two-time Cy Young winner was arguably the top pitcher in the American League for a half-decade while he was in Cleveland, but injuries have prevented him from being that level of hurler since 2018. The Yankees took a potentially worthwhile gamble by bringing him in this winter. What exactly they get from him, in a rotation that is not deep behind Gerrit Cole, will arguably be the most important thing to keep an eye on with this team in ’21. 

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Boston Red Sox: Hunter Renfroe

Boston Red Sox: Hunter Renfroe
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Boston has a really strong offensive core with Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Christian Vazquez, but they’ll need contributions from other places if they’re going to bounce back from a disappointing 24-36 record in 2020. They signed right-handed hitting corner outfielder Hunter Renfroe in December, and while the veteran slashed an abysmal .156/.252/.393 as a Ray a year ago, that wasn’t what attracted the Red Sox attention. Between ’17-’19 Renfroe blasted 85 home runs, and even if he isn’t hitting for a high average that power can be game-changing. 

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