Every team has someone they look at and envision lifting The Commissioner's Trophy. Stop it! There is not a single player in the minor leagues today who will "lead your team to a title" immediately.
That being said, there are some guys to be excited about. These are talented young players who, if handled correctly, could develop in to the next face of your organization.
He might make the big league roster right out of camp, but regardless, Belt is the next big thing in San Francisco and the first high profile bat in a while.
He batted .352 moving from A to AAA ball. He hit 23 HR with 112 RBI and 22 SB. If he makes the team right away, they move Aubrey Huff to the outfield and let Belt play first. He is a capable fielder and has "Buster Posey a la 2009" written all over him.
Kelly was part of the vaunted Adrian Gonzalez trade. He struggled in AA last season, ending with a 5.31 ERA in 21 starts, but they love his raw talent.
In 2009, Kelly posted a WHIP of .853 and a K/BB ratio of 4.63. He has immaculate control and should develop into an excellent No. 2 starter, if not a useful staff ace.
Kelly will likely spend most of 2011 in AA or AAA.
The 20-year-old was impressive in his first minor league stretch for the Rockies in A ball. He went 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA and 8.9 K/9 in 18 starts.
He was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft. He struggled a bit with control, walking 6.2 batters per nine. But he has the stuff to develop into an ace, and pitchers are always hard to come by in Colorado, so he should bolster the rotation when he arrives, most likely mid to late 2012.
The Dodgers' shortstop of the future is at least a year away, most likely getting the call up sometime in the summer of 2012. He batted .277 at AA last year, with 53 steals.
Gordon doesn't have much power, but he is solid defensively and should become an avid base stealer and run scorer. But be patient, Dodger fans; he has some growing to do.
The Diamondbacks are watching Parker carefully as he returns from Tommy John Surgery.
Before going under the knife and missing all of 2010, Parker had a 3.31 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 over 44 starts and 215 innings. He has ace potential, but he will likely not be in the majors until 2012, or perhaps 2013 if the arm takes longer to heal than expected.
The D-Backs have an interesting collection of starters as is, and adding Parker in 2012 would certainly put them back on the map in the division.
Aroldis Chapman is now a major leaguer, and the spotlight can move to one of the better pure hitters in the minors.
Alonso was an unexpected draft choice for the Reds, considering Joey Votto is entrenched at first, but in 831 at bats, he has a .291 batting average, and an .826 OPS.
There is a ton of power here, and he could force Cincy to think about moving Votto to the outfield, or dealing Alonso sooner than later.
Miller has made 26 appearances for the Cardinals A ball affiliate with mixed results.
He has an ERA of 3.69 but an outstanding 11.9 K/9 and strikeout to walk ratio over four. He probably won't slide into the Cardinals rotation until 2013 at the earliest, but then, he could ascend all the way to the No. 2 spot behind Adam Wainwright almost immediately.
Scouts rave about his control. And pitching coach Dave Duncan is known to be a genius and taking talent and making it flourish.
The Brewers don't have a prototypical top prospect. Salome was a fifth-round pick in 2004 and has been steadily working his way up. In seven seasons, he's a .312 hitter with an .839 OPS.
He is a catcher, so that might explain the time it has taken him to ascend, but it is possible we could see him in the majors this season. The Brewers could certainly use an upgrade behind the plate, and he is a very good defensive catcher.
...is not a superstar. He won't replace Roy Oswalt.
That being said, he will likely be up sometime this season and is ready to throw a ton of innings after 144.2 and 158.2 the last two seasons.
Over three minor league seasons, Lyles is 17-26 with a 3.54 ERA and 9.3 K/9. Just keep realistic expectations, and you won't be disappointed. He's more Chad Billingsley than Clayton Kershaw.
Josh Vitters should arrive just in time to replace the aging Aramis Ramirez. Vitters finished 2010 in AA and played well, but the Cubs can take their time with the third baseman.
He was the third overall pick in 2007 and struggled early on, but has been inconsistent throughout his minor league career, batting .247 last season after hitting .284 in 2009.
Be patient with him, and he could eventually be a solid power hitter in the middle of the Chicago lineup. Just don't expect to see him until September 2011.
If there's one thing the Pirates do have, it's prospects. And at the top of the pack is Jameson Taillon.
He was the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, behind the kid in Washington, and has yet to throw a minor league pitch. But the 19-year-old is already being drooled over.
Be very patient, Bucs fans. This kid will take time, but he could develop into the ace you haven't had in a while. That is, if your organization doesn't deal him.
Brown will likely start the season in the minors after recovering from a broken hand.
But he is a special talent and will be truly great someday. He has drawn comparisons to Darryl Strawberry. Brown struggled in his 2010 cup of coffee in the big leagues, but don't let that dampen your spirits, Philly fans, he will be great someday.
Patience is the order of the day.
Julio Teheran might be the single best starting pitcher in the minor leagues this season, and he most likely won't be in the majors this season.
The Braves will likely have the best rotation in baseball in two years if they can keep this group together. In 2010, Teheran threw 142.2 innings with an ERA of 2.59 and WHIP of 1.037. He also had a K/9 of 10.0.
That 2013 rotation could be Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Tim Hudson, Teheran and Jair Jurrjens.
Matt Dominguez was the 12th overall pick in 2007.
In four minor league seasons, he has a batting average of .247 with 18, 13, and 14 home runs the last three years.
After ascending to AA last year, he is likely to move between AA and AAA in 2011, probably not seeing the majors until 2012. There is power potential here, with some batting average risk.
Flores is one of the better fielding shortstops in the minors.
His bat came alive last season in A ball, where he batted .289 with 11 home runs, but his glove will get him up faster.
Flores isn't likely to be ready until 2013, maybe snagging a September 2012 cup of coffee, but he will be worth the wait.
Writer is stuck in line behind scouts and GMs waiting to worship the ground Harper walks on.
Scheppers posted a 10.1 K/9 moving between AA and AAA in 2010.
He still has work to do on his control, and many believe Martin Perez is the safer talent in Texas' organization, but Scheppers has shown flashes of brilliance, and it's hard to overlook.
Both Scheppers and Perez are likely to see a cup of coffee in the bigs this year, but will likely start logging legitimate innings in 2012.
The A's took Green with the 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft and were thrilled to see him hit .318 with 20 HR and 87 RBI in high A ball in 2010.
Green is already 23 years old, so the A's are motivated to get him up as soon as possible. He could get to AAA in 2011 and will compete for a roster spot out of Spring Training in 2012, with a midseason call up most likely.
Mike Trout is being ranked ahead of Bryce Harper on most prospect lists. If that doesn't tell you he's special, you're living under a rock.
He is still young, so don't expect to see him in the majors this year, but he will likely compete for a roster spot as early as Spring 2012, with a September 2012 call up likely in the cards.
It remains to be seen if Ackley will make the Mariners 2011 Opening Day roster, but they don't really have much to lose by slotting him in right away. Their offense can't possibly get any WORSE than last year.
Expect to see him start at AAA to push back his arbitration and get the "Strasburg call" in June. He will have ups and downs, but he's a good defender and has some pop.
In four seasons between rookie ball and AA, Revere has a .389 batting average and 146 stolen bases.
He will likely spend most of 2011 between AA and AAA and compete for a job with the Twins in 2012.
With Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel already in Minnesota, it might be a tough road, but Kubel has been on the trading block, perhaps to clear room for Revere and fellow top outfield prospect Aaron Hicks.
Chris Sale appears to be a lock to make the White Sox roster as the setup man, so minor league attention should turn to Brent Morel at third base.
In three seasons, Morel has a .305 batting average and an .818 OPS. In 2009, he stole 25 bases, along with hitting 16 home runs. Morel will probably spend most of 2011 in AAA, with a September call up certainly possible.
The Tigers will have Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in their rotation for years to come, and it should be an excellent group, but Turner could easily slide in the the fourth spot sometime in 2012.
In 24 games, 23 starts of 2010, Turner was 6-5 with a 3.28 ERA and 8 K/9. There doesn't seem to be ace potential here, but he profiles like a solid No. 2. He will likely spend most of 2011 in AA, perhaps with a trip to AAA if he plays well.
Expect to see him in the majors in 2012 with a rotation spot waiting in 2013.
Chisenhall has an outside shot at a roster spot for the Indians to start 2011, but he is better served spending some time in AAA.
Last season in AA, Chisenhall batted .278 and bounded 17 home runs with 84 RBI. He is a powerful presence in the middle of an order and is a solid defender. It wont be long before he is starting at third for the Indians, but the team has time to wait. Nothing will change their 2011 fate.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, WIl Myers, Michael Montgomery, Jeremy Jeffress and Mike Lamb...
Yeah, this team is stacked in the farm system. They have their first baseman, third baseman, catcher (if Myers' defense, grows) and two starting pitchers already set in stone. And they have an emerging closer if Joakim Soria gets traded or injured.
Royals fans just need to pray the team will pony up when the time comes to keep this group together.
He won't replace Carl Crawford. Be real.
Jennings will see time in the majors this year. But Tampa Bay brought in Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez because they don't think Jennings is ready to be the everyday left fielder, and they wanted to give him more time in the minors.
He won't have the power Crawford does, but he will be a solid defensive outfielder and has potential to be an elite leadoff man with 50 stolen bases.
Montero might be the best pure hitter in the minors, but his defense is sub-par at best. It is doubtful he will ever be a full-time catcher in the Bronx. He could slide in as the full-time DH this season, but he will be at the center of a lot of trade discussions for pitching.
I expect him to be dealt for a very good starter at some point this season. Keep an eye on Francisco Liriano in Minnesota.
Iglesias' glove is major league-ready.
Considering he batted .295 between A and AA last year, his bat isn't too far from it. But with Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie capable shortstops already in Boston, they can let him grow slowly.
The 21-year-old will likely spend most of 2011 in AAA and might see a late season call up. Expect to see Lowrie and Iglesias compete for the everyday job in 2012, but Lowrie's versatility means Iglesias will see plenty of time as well.
Anthony Gose is flying way under the radar it seems, but he might be the single fastest player in the minor leagues.
This is a guy who stole 76 bases in 2009 and 45 in 2010 while hitting 13 home runs. He is an elite defender with a huge arm and has more power than he has shown so far. He needs to get smarter on the base paths, as he tends to get thrown out a lot.
Gose is still at least one year away, more likely seeing full time at bats in 2013, but he was THE guy the Blue Jays wanted for Brett Wallace, so they see big things in his future.
The young shortstop, Manny Machado, belongs in this conversation, but he is at least two, and maybe three, years away.
Britton, meanwhile, posted a 2.70 ERA in 153.1 innings last season. He might get a mid-summer call up to the Orioles and would add another exciting young arm to an exciting young team. Don't sleep on the Orioles; they are on their way into relevance.