Who Will Follow Their Lead in 2011?

By Moonlight Graham

It was a banner year for rookies in Major League Baseball as more than a few newcomers not only burst onto the scene in a big way, but turned their teams into contenders. The American League Rookie of the Year, Rangers’ RP Neftali Feliz, set a rookie record for saves and firmed up the Texas bullpen to the tune of a World Series appearance.   He wasn’t the AL’s only impact newbie, as Minnesota’s Danny Valencia filled a void at third base for the champions of the AL Central.   In the National League, Travis Wood performed so well for Cincinnati that even Dusty Baker, notorious for his disdain of rookies, couldn’t keep him out of the rotation. Then there was NL Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey, who was not just the most important player in the lineup for the World Champion Giants, but impacted the Rangers’ championship run by making then San Francisco catcher Bengie Molina Aavilable.  Now, That’s a game changer.

In the Fantasy Baseball world, owners are always trying to uncover these hidden gems.   There isn’t a Fantasy league champion among us that doesn’t have a story about the rookie sleeper that took advantage of both talent and opportunity and  carried him to a Yoo-Hoo shower.  Who might some of these players be in 2011? Let’s take a look.

Jeremy Hellickson- Rays’ fans can talk about David Price all they want.  He may very well be in possession of his first CY Young Award by the time you read this but Hellickson may be the ace of the future.  His Minor League command statistics are incredible; better than Price’s, and he performed very well in a late season call-up.

Domonic Brown- If the Phillies decide to part ways with Jayson Werth, Philadelphia fans may forget all about him when Brown takes over.  He hit a combined .327 in two Minor League stops with 20 HR and 68 RBI in just 343 AB.  Throw in 17 SB and you can see why worth or Raul Ibanez are expendable.

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