Olney: How these four players have taken their games to the next level

Frankie Montas, who starts for the A's Monday night in Boston, is one player who has turned a corner in the first month of the 2019 season. Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Major league teams spend months and months of intense evaluation and planning for spring training and the season ahead -- from the end of August to the middle of February, holding staff meetings to assess internal talent and acquisitions.

And, for some teams, those long-standing blueprints can be moved into the junk file, because some players and club elements are worse than expected (speaking of the Atlanta Braves bullpen and the Boston Red Sox rotation), and some players are better than expected.

Any analysis of Wade Miley two years ago would've revealed a player dangling off the final ledge of his career, but because of a mechanical change and a much greater reliance on his cutter, he has completely altered the trajectory of what might be considered possible for him.

The same could be said for the players below, a month into the 2019 season: