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Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG
The phenoms of 2013 2013's rookies and first-year players full of phenoms making a crop that is the best in years, including Yasiel Puig, Evan Gattis, Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole and Hyun-Jin Ryu. /mlb/lists/2013-rookies-first-year-players-phenoms-best-in-years-yasiel-puig-evan-gattis-wil-myers-gerrit-cole-hyun-jin-ryu-061713 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/07/060613-MLB-Yasiel-Puig-PI-AA_20130607011200341_136_102.JPG
MLB playoff team Power Rankings Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playoff teams 1 through 10. /mlb/lists/playoff-team-mlb-power-rankings-red-sox-cardinals-braves-dodgers-oakland-as-100113 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/27/092713-MLB-RED-SOX-ORTIZ-PEDROIA-BRADLEY-JR-CELEBRATE-DC-PI_201309272311548_136_102.JPG
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MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22592132 Down on the farm Down+on+the+farm MLB

The good part about prospects and the related subset of rookies is that every team — no matter how lousy otherwise — has someone down on the farm who inspires hope for the future. So as we cast our longing, plaintive gaze toward the 2011 season, let's talk rookies — impact rookies, to be precise.

The criteria for inclusion? It's mix of potential and the likelihood of producing at the major-league level in 2011. Here, then, are the rookies that will make a difference next season.

— Dayn Perry

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/intro_20101130141127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/intro_20101130141127_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22592131 Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Reds Aroldis+Chapman%2C+LHP%2C+Reds MLB

For all the hype surrounding Chapman and his 105-mph "fastball of God," it's easy to forget that he's logged just 13.1 innings at the highest level. It remains to be seen what his role will be in 2011 — starter or reliever — but his fastball-slider combo will serve him well regardless. Simply put, Chapman has the highest upside of any pitching prospect in baseball.

Joe Robbins - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/1_20101130141127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/1_20101130141127_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22592133 Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays Jeremy+Hellickson%2C+RHP%2C+Rays MLB

The Rays keep churning out the high-ceiling arms. Hellickson has a full repertoire, including a “plus” fastball and a change with good late movement. He keeps the ball down and will throw any pitch in any situation. Tampa Bay has a deep rotation, but Hellickson should be a part of it when the ball drops on the 2011 season. Will they trade one of their arbitration-eligible starters to make room for him? The budget-conscious Rays are always looking to get cheaper, and Hellickson allows them to do just that.

Al Messerschmidt - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/2_20101130141127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/2_20101130141127_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22601114 Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies Domonic+Brown%2C+OF%2C+Phillies MLB

Since Jayson Werth is likely bound elsewhere, the Phillies' right-field job will almost certainly go to Brown. Expect him to justify the decision. Brown boasts exceptional power from the left side, solid defensive skills and speed on the bases that belies his large frame. Across two minor-league levels last season, Brown put up a stellar batting line of .327 AVG/.391 OBP/.589 SLG, so he's ready for the next challenge. A 20/15 rookie campaign is a distinct possibility.

Harry How - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/3_20101130141127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/3_20101130141127_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22593088 Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves Freddie+Freeman%2C+1B%2C+Braves MLB

So long as Freeman's injured thumb heals as expected, he'll open the 2011 season as the Braves' starting first baseman. Freeman enjoyed a breakout campaign this year as he batted .319 and smacked 35 doubles for Triple-A Gwinnett, and he did so despite being much younger than his peer group. He hits to all fields, projects as a .300 hitter in the bigs and has exceptional defensive skills at first base. Freeman's a strong Rookie of the Year candidate in the NL.

Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/4_20101130141127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/4_20101130141127_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22593089 Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays Desmond+Jennings%2C+OF%2C+Rays MLB

Jennings' power isn't yet fully developed, but he's already an on-base threat who, given enough playing time, will challenge for the league lead in steals. While his homer totals won't be gaudy, he does have pop to the gaps. Given Carl Crawford's imminent departure, Jennings will probably be a regular in the Tampa Bay outfield next season. Expect him to do well in a table-setting role and flash Gold Glove-caliber skills in the field.

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/5_20101130141127_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/5_20101130141127_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22593090 Jesus Montero, C/DH, Yankees Jesus+Montero%2C+C%2FDH%2C+Yankees MLB

Montero is classified as a catcher, but there's some doubt as to whether he'll be able to stick at the position. What's not in doubt is his bat. Last season, Montero overcame a slow start to tally 58 extra-base hits in the International League. In 2011, he'll likely split time in the Bronx between catcher and DH, but he'll get ABs. With Jorge Posada pushing 40, Montero will see the majority of time behind the plate. He'll hit, but his future role depends on how well he develops defensively.


 

Nick Laham - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/6_20101130141233_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/6_20101130141233_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22589298 Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals Mike+Moustakas%2C+3B%2C+Royals MLB

Moustakas didn't quite play a full season in 2010, but he still managed 36 bombs. As you may have guessed, the power is outstanding. Moustakas boasts once-in-a-lifetime bat speed, and he doesn't strike out much, particularly for someone with his power. He doesn't have great range at the hot corner, but his throwing arm is at the top of the scouting scale. Don't be surprised if he one day leads the league in homers. As for Moustakas's immediate future, the Royals want to delay his arbitration timetable, so expect a "phased roll-out" of sorts. That's the only reason he's not higher on this list. At some point in the first half, he'll be in KC for good.

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/7_20101130141234_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/7_20101130141234_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22592134 Kyle Drabek, RHP, Blue Jays Kyle+Drabek%2C+RHP%2C+Blue+Jays MLB

Last season, Drabek looked strong in almost a full season of Double-A (he ranked third in the Eastern League in ERA and strikeouts), and he continued to fare well after a September call-up. Drabek gets outs with a “plus” fastball and slider, and he's still young enough to develop a strong third offering. He's the favorite to open the season as the Jays' fifth starter.

Matthew Manor - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/8_20101130141234_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/8_20101130141234_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22593092 J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays J.P.+Arencibia%2C+C%2C+Blue+Jays MLB

Arencibia doesn't seem to get much ink, but he possesses rare power for a catcher. Yes, Triple-A Las Vegas is a hitters’ haven, but that doesn't explain away Arencibia's 32 spanks and 36 doubles in 104 games last season. He strikes out too much and doesn't draw enough walks, but his defensive skills and excellent raw power make him a commodity. Now that John Buck is a Marlin, expect Arencibia to be the regular catcher in Toronto.

Brad White - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/9_20101130141235_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/9_20101130141235_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Rookies to watch in 2011 22593091 Chris Sale, LHP, White Sox Chris+Sale%2C+LHP%2C+White+Sox MLB

Sale thrived in Chicago in a late-year relief role, but his rookie status remains intact. If all goes as planned, he'll be in the White Sox rotation for 2011. Sale has command of three pitches, and all show good movement. His max-effort delivery raises some concerns, but Sale has the stuff to thrive as a starter. If his arm doesn't hold up, he can resume his role as a shutdown reliever.

 

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/10_20101130141236_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/11/30/10_20101130141236_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/27/092713-MLB-RED-SOX-ORTIZ-PEDROIA-BRADLEY-JR-CELEBRATE-DC-PI_201309272311548_136_102.JPG MLB playoff team Power Rankings Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playof... Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playoff teams 1 through 10. Boston made quite a turnaround from last season, but can the Sox conclude the year with their third title since 2004? Oct 2, 2013 3:10 AM ET 1 3 /mlb/lists/playoff-team-mlb-power-rankings-red-sox-cardinals-braves-dodgers-oakland-as-100113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/02/wallace2_20121202145912105_136_102.JPG Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Oct 1, 2013 7:23 AM ET 1 3 /boxing/lists/Most_Embarrassing_Sports_Records