Which rookies will have the biggest impact in 2010? Start with these 12
The Rising Stars game a couple weeks ago in the Arizona Fall League featured plenty of young talent, but it wasn't the prospect showcase that it could have been. Several of the truly elite players in the AFL this fall didn't play, including Nationals right-hander
The Arizona Fall League, and its new showcase Rising Stars game, still is a good place to see top prospects, and it's a place to look for 2010 potential impact rookies. It's so early in the offseason that the opportunities for these players aren't necessarily clear, but they should have the right combination of opportunity and talent to at least contribute in 2010. (Note:
Strasburg is a natural choice, but so is Storen, if Washington keeps him in the bullpen. He helped pitch Stanford to the College World Series in 2008 as a freshman closer and reached Double-A in 2009, showing a mid-90s fastball and power breaking ball. He sneaks in a solid changeup as well, stoking the possibility that he could wind up as a starter.
No organization is better at developing toolsy outfielders than the Rays, who have produced the likes of
Davis impressed in six late starts for Tampa after spending most of the last two seasons in Triple-A. He has polished the command of his power repertoire, which includes a 90-94 mph fastball and a pair of hard breaking balls. The Rays' starting-pitching depth is impressive, but Davis has proven himself ready, and injuries and trades are likely to open a spot for him in the rotation.
Acquired in the 2008
No rookie has a clearer opportunity than Escobar, who is one at-bat on the right side of qualifying as a rookie. The Brewers are hoping to be better up the middle defensively, and Escobar and
Texas is letting
Alvarez is already on the 40-man roster, and the Pirates are looking to get a return on the $6.33 million investment that they made on him as the No. 2 overall pick in 2008. Alvarez also can still handle third base at this stage of his career, making him more valuable now than he will be later when he has to move to first. The Pirates could use his left-handed power and lineup presence, and already have made noise about moving
Pittsburgh's got lots of problems to address and starting pitching is certainly one of them. They've got capable left-handers in
Baltimore has some pieces in place in its rebuilding but needs offense at the infield corners. Snyder, a 2005 first-round pick and son of a big leaguer (pitcher
Like Alvarez, Wallace is a 2008 first-round pick (by St. Louis, which dealt him in the
The Indians traded a switch-hitting catcher with power in 2009 when they sent