With expectations of superstardom, top MLB prospects Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg, and Aroldis Chapman look to make a huge impact for their respective ballclubs in 2010.
Heyward, the Atlanta Braves' promising outfield prospect, will be given every chance possible to succeed since it is legendary skipper Bobby Cox's final season.
The USA Today Minor League Player of the Year has already drawn comparisons to Ken Griffey Jr. and is a force to be reckoned with, both physically and mentally.
At 6'5", and 245 pounds, Heyward's ability to crank the ball out of the ballpark, even during batting practice, has turned many heads.
"His physical abilities—let's just say he passes the eye test," Braves veteran Chipper Jones told USA Today. "But the more impressive thing is his mental makeup. You can tell he was brought up with a good head on his shoulders. He's very modest."
Gun to my head, if I had to describe Heyward in one word, without a doubt I'd say "talented." Watch out for Heyward in 2010; he's without a doubt my preseason pick to run away with the NL Rookie of the Year award.
The Washington Nationals hardly ever have much to look forward to in the offseason. Enter pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg. Already having drawn comparisons to legends such as Tom Seaver and Pedro Martinez, the expectations could not be higher.
The Nats haven't yet decided if Strasburg will start in the big leagues at the beginning of the 2010 season, but, if he does, watch out!
Strasburg's fastball has been clocked at over 100 mph and his two-seamer has reportedly been showing significant movement lately. In two appearances this spring, he has given up only four hits and zero earned runs with four strikeouts.
Chapman signed with the Cincinnati Reds this offseason. The Cuban defect just left behind his entire family for his shot to become a superstar in the MLB. Can you think of anyone more motivated to meet their high expectations? Because I most certainly cannot.
The Reds hope to have found their "Southpaw Strasburg" in Chapman, who also has been clocked at throwing 100-plus mph.
With perhaps the most intriguing story in the league this year, coupled with the enormous amount of talent he possesses, the hype surrounding this guy in insurmountable.
This spring, Chapman is 1-0 with seven innings pitched, only one earned run, two walks, and a whopping 10 strikeouts already! America loves a feel-good story, and if Chapman reaches his expectations, we will get just that.