Young Eyes on Young Studs

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bryant

 * 3B Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is a name to keep an eye on as the 2015 season progresses. ….

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By Zach Swanson
One of the greatest excitements of the baseball season is watching the young guns of the league light it up in their first seasons.

In 2001, it was Albert Pujols, who won the National League rookie of the year honor thanks to a .329/.403/.610.

In 2007, Troy Tulowitzki had 24 HRs, 99 RBIs, and the rookie of the year for the Colorado Rockies.

And, just in 2012, Mike Trout started off his short but already spectacular career with a .326/.399/.564 to go along with 49 SBs.

With so many great rookies this year like Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson and Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas, who will be this year’s breakout rookie?

Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs

There is lots of debate about the sending down of this all-star, but the Cubs would benefit incredibly from a kid who hit .325 with 43 HRs and 110 RBIs in the minors last year. He finished his spring training with 9 HRs and 15 RBIs to go along with a .425. Nine HOME RUNS. IN 14 GAMES.

The doubters about the strikeout numbers need to see this. It’s not some kind of fluke. This kid is a potential superstar in the heart of a lineup and a team that could make a run for October.

Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
After the departure of Matt Kemp, there was no doubt that Pederson would then start on opening day for the Dodgers. After proving himself by hitting 55 HRs in 2013 and 2014 combined in the minors, he got the call up during September of 2014 but had a 4:11 Hits/Ks ratio. Although he struggled in the majors, he did have a perfect fielding percentage in those 12 games in late 2014. He should fit well in the Dodgers lineup.

Yasmany Tomas, OF/3B, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Cuban kid is an asset that I believe could propel the D-Backs to a chance for October. If he turns out to be anything that Jose Abreu was last year, the D-Backs could very well be in the wild card hunt. There are definitely some doubts about his fielding, but he hit a decent .273 with 12 RBIs in the spring, which could quite easily make up for that lack of fielding.

Rusney Castillo, OF, Boston Red Sox
Castillo is another young Cuban that could make an immediate impact on a team that’s in the middle of an odd division. He’s just a small 5’9”, 195 lbs, but had 3 stolen bases in 10 games last year for the Red Sox, and has hit .310 so far in spring. Pretty solid, no doubt. He will start the year in triple-A, but don’t be surprised to see him called up sometime before the All-Star Game.

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