2011 NL Rookie of the year Preseason Prediction
The National League Rookie of the Years could come from a variety of young standouts that are due to hit the league in 2011. In order to find some of the best up and coming talent in the league it is best to start with a team that has had great success grooming young talent.
That team would be the Atlanta Braves. No Triple-A affiliate has been more consistent in producing great players than the Gwinnett Braves and now they have added to that list with Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran and Mike Minor. One of them very well could be named the Rookie of the Year.
Freeman is a strong defender at first base and a consistent, productive hitter in the minors, Freeman has all the right moves to bolster the Braves to possibly second place in the division. Heyward and Freeman will anchor the middle of the lineup and Freeman will be successful in gaining voters’ attention with a potential season of 20 or more home runs and and 15 stolen bases this season.
Teheran will begin this season in the minors, but is just one phone call away. He has established himself as one of the best prospects out there. Even though the depth of the starting rotation is strong with Hudson at No. 1 and Minor at 5th (possibly) it is hard to believe that an opportunity will not open for Teheran. He brings to the table a wicked fastball, and a very above average changeup.
Mike Minor has most likely sealed up the 5th spot in the rotation and he brings with him a strong left hand. He needs to settle it down and get a bit more control. As he develops his ERA (5.98 last season… ouch) will go down and his K's (43 last season…WOW) will go up.
Most Major League Baseball pundits are high on Aroldis Chapman of Cincinnati or Domonic Brown of the Phillies. Anybody (Chapman) who can throw a 105.1 mph fastball has GOT to be looked at for future awards. Question is do the Reds keep him as a killer relief pitcher that is relentless on hitters late in the game, or do they develop him as a starter. Either way this 23 year old phenom will go places and he will take the Reds with him. However rookie of the year is not in the picture for him this season if he stays in the bullpen. Perhaps next year he may be a contender for Cy Young.
As far as Brown, well yeah he has potential, but can he fill the shoes of now departed Jayson Werth? Probably not just yet, he will share time with Ben Francisco at right field.