There are several talented baseball players ready to take the next step toward stardom. From relatively unknown to nationally adored (or loathed I suppose), 2012 will treat certain guys to bigger fame and recognition.
By relatively unknown, I mean guys who are newer to the league. These young guys have begun to make a name for themselves among the diehard, deeply knowledgeable fans. But they don't rank up there with any major players yet.
Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are household names. Your buddies, coworkers and neighbors know of them. Even your kids know who they are.
More recently, guys like Tim Lincecum, Josh Hamilton and Evan Longoria have become well-known players.
2011 gave us a taste of numerous up-and-comers. In 2012, many of the same guys will dive deeper into the public eye.
So who will take advantage of 2012 and make the jump from regionally known to national fan-favorite?
Here's a look at the top candidates who will make themselves known: