There is a buzz going around Major League Baseball that has not been felt in a long long time. Let us take a look at some of the up and coming stars that have fans everywhere coming to the ballpark in record numbers.
Jay Bruce & Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds: Ok, so I am a little biased by starting this article with my favorite team, but with the tear Jay Bruce is on right now, is there anyone more exciting in the game today?! This kid has been nothing short of amazing since coming up last week. Hitting a homerun in three straight games during his first week in the majors. Hopefully he will be roaming the OF in Cincinnati for many years to come. Joey Votto is your typical sweet-swinging lefty that has taken over the 1B position for the Reds and doesn't show any signs of letting go anytime soon. Hitting .288 his first year as a starter and showing the ability to spray line-drives all over the field, the future looks bright for the young Reds team.
Jose Reyes New York Mets: I am not sure there is a player in MLB that has more fun than this guy does. Tabbed by many as "the most exciting player in the Majors", Jose gives the aging Mets the spark they need to compete in a very tough NL East. Paring Reyes with the young superstar at 3B (David Wright), the Mets should have a very solid and exciting left-side of the infield for a long, long time.
Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers: After being traded Detroit and signing a monster contract extension in the offseason, Cabrera is expected to put up HUGE numbers over the next few years. Following years of producing in obscurity (Florida) Cabrera now must show that he can do it on a much bigger stage.
Hanley Ramirez Florida Marlins: Coming to the Marlins as part of a major trade in 2005 that sent Josh Beckett to the Boston Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez has quickly become one of the best SS in the game of baseball. After winning Rookie of the Year in 2006, Hanley returns this season to a decimated Marlins team with very high expectations.
Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals: A "Can't Miss" prospect coming from the University of Nebraska Alex Gordon swiftly made his way through the minor leagues and begins the year with the struggling Royals. This hard hitting youngster should find his way to many an All-Star game over the course of his promising career.
Prince Fielder; Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers: Son of former MLB HR hitter Cecil Fielder, Prince has certainly filled his dad's shoes quite well. The starting 1B for the 2007 National League All-Star team comes into 2008 with very high expectations. Many bloggers have discussed his decision to become a Vegetarian and how that would effect his power and thus far, after a slow start, Prince has started to find that homerun swing that he most certainly obtained from pops. Paring Fielder with the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun gives the Brewers a lot of hope for the future. Braun was asked to move from 3B to the OF this season and did it with no questions asked. To show their appreciation and admiration of Braun the Brewers inked him to an eight year contact extension.
Josh Hamilton Texas Rangers: Not quite the "youngster" the rest of these guys are, but how can people not be excited about the Josh Hamilton story?! Once the brightest prospect in baseball, Hamilton's career was seemingly derailed when he developed a drug addiction that pushed him right out of the game. After beating his addiction, Josh was selected by the Cincinnati Reds as a part of the 2007 Rule 5 Draft from the Chicago Cubs. His coming out party began with the Reds last year before a number of nagging injuries slowed him down towards the end of the season. During the offseason, Josh was traded from the Reds to the Texas Rangers for Edison Volquez and has been nothing short of amazing since. A legitimate MVP candidate, Josh has blistered the ball to a .328 average with 15 homers and 63 RBIs. A "feel good" story that you can't help but get behind and root for this kid.
These young sluggers are certainly giving fans a reason to fill the seats in 2008 and the foreseeable future. Hopefully these guys will do their part to make everyone forget about the HGH and steroid scandals that have seemingly placed a large black cloud over the game. It will take a while for people to forget those days, but we are certainly moving forward. Later this evening I will give you a few pitchers that you may want to see in person before too long!
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