The 2012 MLB season is fast approaching.
So who will be this year's Jeremy Hellickson or Craig Kimbrel?
There's at least one player on each team who has the potential to have a big-league breakout in 2012. Whether it's the Seattle Mariners' Jesus Montero or the New York Yankees' Manny Banuelos, we're guaranteed to see some rookie talent this season.
Let's get into it.
Trevor Bauer has a rigorous workout regimen and a delivery like "The Freak" Tim Lincecum.
Listed as 6'1", 185 lbs., the former UCLA Bruin was the No. 3 overall pick in last summer's amateur draft.
He made his major league debut this spring against the Colorado Rockies, throwing two scoreless innings that included two strikeouts and four ground-ball outs.
Bauer went 38-4 with a 2.36 ERA for UCLA last season while winning the Golden Spikes Award for the top college player.
5'11" Tyler Pastornicky possesses the contact-hitting and base-stealing ability to succeed in the National League.
Last season, Pastornicky hit a combined .314/.359/.414 between Triple-A and Double-A, collecting 144 hits in 117 innings of play.
While he has some work to do in the field—he committed 26 errors in 117 games last season—he is believed to be Atlanta's starting shortstop coming into 2012.
Wei-Yin Chen pitched for the Japan Central League's Chunichi Dragons for four seasons before being signed by the Baltimore Orioles.
During those four seasons, Chen went 36-30 with a 2.48 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He also posted a 7.1 K/9 and a 2.2 BB/9.
He's known as more of a pitch-to-contact guy rather than a strikeout pitcher, as evidenced by the drop in his fastball velocity and strikeout rate, which was noted by ESPN in its fantasy projection.
Chen is currently listed as the No. 4 starter in the Orioles rotation for 2012.
Though currently listed as No. 3 on the Boston Red Sox's catching depth chart, Ryan Lavarnway has the potential to see extensive time in the MLB in 2012.
Lavarnway saw some limited time with the Sox last season, hitting .231 and belting two home runs and eight RBIs in 39 at-bats.
Between Double-A and Triple-A, he sported .290/.376/.563 averages to go with 32 home runs and 93 RBIs in 116 games in 2011.
His glove needs some work, but his bat is major league ready. Expect to see him in Fenway this season.
Anthony Rizzo did not impress many playing for the San Diego Padres in 2011.
His dismal .141 average, one home run and nine RBIs in 128 ABs probably factored into him being traded to the Chicago Cubs during the offseason.
But that may have been a mistake for the Padres.
Rizzo posted some great numbers in Triple-A in 2011, including .331/404/.652 averages to go along with 26 HR and 101 RBIs in 93 games.
As a lefty power threat, Rizzo should receive some playing time for the Cubs in 2012.
Addison Reed was drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago White Sox.
He appeared in six games for Chicago in 2011, tossing 7.1 innings, posting a 3.68 ERA and striking out 12.
In four different leagues spanning from Single-A to Triple-A in 2011, Reed had a 1.26 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and a 12.8 K/9 in 78.1 innings of work.
Reed is a former teammate of Stephen Strasburg at San Diego State. We should consistently see both in the MLB this season.
Drafted in 2007 as the team's top pick, Devin Mesoraco is highly regarded as the Reds' top prospect.
It's reported that Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker will have both Mesoraco and 31-year-old Ryan Hanigan split time behind the plate in 2012.
Mesoraco made his major league debut on Sept. 3 last season, appearing in 18 games.
He posted a .180 average with two home runs and six RBIs in 50 ABs.
26-year-old Nick Hagadone was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the second round of the 2007 draft.
He appeared in nine September games last season for the Cleveland Indians, posting a 4.09 ERA in 11 IP, while striking out 11 and walking six.
Hagadone put together a solid 2011 campaign. Splitting time between Triple-A and Double-A, Hagadone sported a 2.79 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 9.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 71 IP.
Hagadone should add some needed depth to the Indians bullpen in 2012.
The Colorado Rockies acquired 6'5", 230-lb. Drew Pomeranz in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal with the Cleveland Indians last July.
He made four starts for the Rockies, earning a 2-1 record while surrendering 19 hits in 18.1 innings and posting a 5.40 ERA.
Previously, he was 3-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 15 starts at Class-A Kinston before being traded by the Indians.
Pomeranz is aware that he didn't pitch to his ability in Colorado last season and hopes to find a spot in the Rockies' rotation in 2012.
The Detroit Tigers' No. 1 draft choice in 2009 has his sights set on becoming the team's No. 5 starter in 2012.
Turner made his MLB debut last July against the Los Angeles Angels, going 5.1 innings, surrendering two earned runs on three hits while striking out six and earning a loss.
Scouts believe that Turner has MLB-quality pitches in his fastball, curve and changeup.
Per the Tigers' official site, Turner is projected to anchor the last spot of Detroit's rotation in 2012.
According to baseball-reference.com, 26-year-old Juan Abreu spent eight years in the minors before making his MLB debut for the Houston Astros in August 2011.
Appearing in seven games for the Astros, Abreu pitched 6.2 innings, striking out 12 while sporting a 2.70 ERA.
Abreu's 2011 minor league campaign consisted of a 2.18 ERA and 77 Ks in 57.2 IP. His 12.0 K/9 isn't too shabby either.
Though veteran Brett Myers has the job for now, Abreu might just be the future closer of the Astros.
6'4", 200-lb. Mike Montgomery was the Kansas City Royals' first pick in 2008.
For his four-year minor league career, Montgomery sports a 20-21 record to go along with a 3.43 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.
Despite his average statistics, Montgomery could find himself pitching for the Royals by the All-Star break.
Montgomery delivers a plus-fastball that tops out in the 95-mph range and has the potential to be a front-line starter.
While there are no assurances that the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout will see an extended amount of playing time in 2012, he's regarded as one of the top prospects to watch for 2012.
Trout is fighting for a starting spot in the Angels outfield with veterans like Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu.
He's not your average 20-year-old, as he made his MLB debut last July. He played in 40 games for Los Angeles, hitting .220 and collecting five home runs and 16 RBIs in 123 at-bats.
Trout may not start the season with the Angels, but don't be surprised to see him finish the season in the big leagues.
Had Rubby De La Rosa not gone down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery last season, he would be the Los Angeles Dodgers' rookie to watch in 2012.
Instead it's Nathan Eovaldi, who, like De La Rosa, has a lot of upside.
Eovaldi was drafted in the 11th round of the 2008 draft by the Dodgers.
He appeared in 10 total games both as a starter and reliever, going 1-2, tossing 34.2 innings and posting a 3.63 ERA.
His 2011 minor league season in Double-A consisted of a 6-5 record with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 103 IP.
It's extremely unlikely that a rookie makes the Miami Marlins' roster in 2012, but Christian Yelich seems like the best option.
He was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Marlins, and played his first complete season in the minors in 2011.
Playing Single-A ball last season, Yelich hit .312/.388/.484 with 15 homers, 77 RBIs and 32 stolen bases.
He has huge upside, so expect to see him in the majors within the next few years.
Taylor Jungmann was taken in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
His junior year at Texas University saw him post a 13-0 record—not to mention five complete games and three shutouts—as well as a 0.95 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 122.2 IP.
For a list of his collegiate accolades, visit this article from B/R's own Nicholas Pugliese.
Rotoworld.com is speculating that Jungmann may end up in the majors before the 2012 season concludes.
Drafted 20th overall in 2006 by the Minnesota Twins, Chris Parmelee has a decent chance of seeing substantial playing time in 2012 given the status of the injury-prone Justin Morneau.
Parmelee got the chance to play for the Twins last season and took advantage, posting a .355 average with four home runs and 14 RBIs in 76 at-bats.
Prior to being called up, Parmelee was playing Double-A ball, hitting .287/.366/.436 along with 13 HRs and 83 RBIs in 530 ABs.
Don't be surprised to see him playing for Minnesota at some point this season.
Zack Wheeler was the San Francisco Giants' first pick of the 2009 draft.
Playing in Single-A-plus in 2011, Wheeler had a 9-7 record with a 3.52 ERA. More impressive were his 10.1 K/9 in 115 innings pitched.
Mike Grofsick of B/R details six reasons why the Mets could promote Wheeler to the bigs this season in this article.
Given the Mets rotation, we could be see Wheeler breeze through the farm system and make a MLB appearance this season.
Signed as an international free agent in 2008, Manny Banuelos is one of the most promising new faces for the New York Yankees in 2012.
At just 20 years old, Banuelos is already playing in Triple-A and should see some time in the bigs in 2012. He posted a K/9 of 8.7 last season between Double-A and Triple-A.
If there is anything negative to say about Banuelos, it comes in the form of his control, as he sported a 5.0 BB/9 last season in Triple-A.
As far as a compliment for the young lefty, Yankee great Mariano Rivera called him the greatest pitching prospect he's ever seen.
Cuban defector and $36 million man Yoennis Cespedes will be in the outfield for the Oakland Athletics in 2012.
The 26-year-old was the most sought-after Cuban prospect until the Athletics signed him to a four-year deal.
Cespedes spent eight seasons in Cuba's top league and was a member of the Cuban national team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic where he hit .458 with two home runs and five RBIs in six games.
According to D.J. Short of NBC Sports, Cespedes will open the season as the A's starting center fielder.
Given the stacked rotation that the Philadelphia Phillies possess, it's hard to imagine a rookie making a start in 2012.
But 6'5", 215-lb. Trevor May just might make it happen.
May was drafted by Philadelphia in the fourth round of the 2008 draft.
His 2011 Single-A-Advanced campaign saw him post a 10-8 record with a blazing 208 Ks in 151.1 IP.
May has the stuff to be an MLB starter, and has two Cy Young winners to learn from, which is something Joe Iannello mentions in his B/R article.
23-year-old Starling Marte could be joining Andrew McCutchen in the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield in 2012.
His 2011 season in Double-A saw him hit .332/.370/.500 with 91 runs scored in 129 games. Most notably, Marte has never hit below .300 at any minor league level.
He could use some work in the field, as he committed 31 errors (.961) in five seasons in the minors.
If the Pirates are hit with some injuries, or if they simply feel that he's ready, fans may see Marte sooner than later.
The San Diego Padres traded away a very good pitcher in Mat Latos to obtain first baseman Yonder Alonso, a move that pays tribute to the talent that Alonso possesses.
In 117 career at-bats spanning two seasons, Alonso sports .299/.354/.479 averages with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
Patrick Kelly of Bleacher Report lists Alonso on his list of NL Rookie of the Year Candidates in 2012.
San Diego's official website lists Alonso as the No. 1 first baseman on the depth chart, meaning he will be in the starting lineup come opening day.
23-year-old Francisco Peguero has had quite a minor league career at such a young age.
Since 2009—spanning from Single-A to Double-A—Peguero hasn't hit below .300.
In his 2010 Single-A-Advanced season, Peguero hit .329/.358/.488 with 77 RBIs and 40 SBs in 122 games.
The Giants seem to be well off in the outfield, but that doesn't mean Peguero won't make an appearance in 2012.
Highly regarded as one of the best catching prospects in the MLB, Jesus Montero was the future of the New York Yankees.
That is until they dealt him to the Seattle Mariners for rookie phenom Michael Pineda.
In 61 ABs with the Yanks in 2011, Montero hit .328 with four home runs and 12 RBIs while posting a .406 OBP, meaning he'll add offense to a Mariners squad that desperately needs it.
B/R's own Bill Ford predicts Montero to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award this season.
21-year-old Shelby Miller was the St. Louis Cardinals' 19th overall pick in 2009.
Pitching in Double-A last season, Miller posted a 9-3 record to go along with a 2.70 ERA and 9.24 K/9.
Miller isn't currently listed in the Cardinals' pitching rotation on the depth chart, but given his talent versus Jake Westbrook's, we should see Miller at some point during the 2012 season.
Matt Moore's minor league career is enough to make him one of the top five rookies to watch this season.
During his five-year minor league career, he sported a bloated K/9 of 12.7
Moore made his first career start on the big stage—in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers—where he tossed seven scoreless innings accompanied by six strikeouts and two walks.
He's currently listed as Tampa's No. 5 starter in the rotation and is an immediate candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.
Yu Darvish was easily the most sought-after rookie in the MLB offseason.
The Texas Rangers came out on top, spending more than $111 million on the righty (6/$60 million deal plus $51.7 million posting bid).
For his career in Japan, Darvish recorded a 93-38 record with a 1.99 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.
Darvish's repertoire is comprised of two fastballs, a cruel slider, a cutter, a curve and a splitter.
Clearly, he's got the stuff to be great. Now he just needs to transition to the big leagues.
The Philadelphia Phillies are probably sorry that they let go of Anthony Gose.
Drafted in 2008 by Philadelphia, Gose is now in the Toronto Blue Jays' farm system.
His speed alone is what will get him to the majors, as he is coming off of a 70-steal season in Double-A ball.
He also posted his best power numbers last season, hitting 16 home runs and driving in 59 runs while hitting .253/.349/.415.
When he finally does reach the MLB, he'll be one of the most exciting players to watch.
Bryce Harper is the Washington Nationals' second-most prized possession—the first being Stephen Strasburg—and rightfully so.
Harper was the first overall pick of the 2010 draft at the tender age of 17.
In 387 combined at-bats between Single-A and Double-A, Harper hit .297/.392/.501 with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs, as well as 63 runs scored and 26 stolen bases.
Washington manager Davey Johnson has indicated that he's on Harper's side and will give him an opportunity to make the opening-day roster.
While Harper will most likely need to spend some time in Triple-A before making it to the big leagues, he should see a solid amount of playing time for the Nats this season.