They're young, they're sparkly and they bring fans to the ballpark in droves. But which rookies will have a legitimate impact on their major league teams this season?
There are the obvious candidates, Belt, Hellickson, Freeman... and they are touched on. But there are also many youngsters still at Triple-A, who will be household names by season's end.
This is not, by any means a comprehensive list, but these are the names that stand out right now.
Angels' manager Mike Scioscia was a catcher, so he will always emphasize defense from his catchers. That is why Mike Napoli never got enough at bats, and was benched in favor of the career .200 average of Jeff Mathis.
Hank Conger was a .297 hitter in five minor league seasons, with an .825 OPS, and he was pretty nifty with the glove too. The Angels have brought him up slow, making sure his glove was polished for major league work.
Now he still sits behind Mathis on the depth chart, but look for Conger to get increased playing time as the season wears on.
One of the most talked about prospects in the minor leagues, Montero has a bat that is major league ready, but his glove is somewhat lagging.
He's a career .314 hitter in the minors, but reports this offseason are his glove is coming around and he has looked good behind the plate. There are two questions here, when will Montero get called up this season, and will it be with the Yankees?
There is the distinct possibility Montero will be dealt for a starting pitcher at some point, with his name being in conversations for Francisco Liriano and even the brief Felix Hernandez inquiry. But regardless, he will be up this season and he will hit when he comes.
There will be ups and downs as Belt adjusts to major league pitching, but his glove is excellent, which will provide the at bats for that adjustment period.
Giants fans should not expect an immediate breakout in Belt, but a well above average rookie season. As his stroke develops, he may fly under the radar as a quietly productive .270 hitter, with 15-20 HR and 70-80 RBI by time the season is over.
Belt isn't flashy, but he is a good hitter, with good plate discipline, and that's always a plus in a young hitter.
Freddie Freeman is the other side of the Freeman/Heyward dynamic duo expected to usher in the next generation of Braves dominance.
For this season, there will be ups and downs, but he doesn't have the pure hitting talent of Heyward, so don't expect the same rookie numbers. Hoping for .275 and 15 HR is fair. He does have the upside to hit a little higher or a few more bombs, but he will have to balance average and power.
This is just the beginning for Atlanta. They need to be patient with the youngsters, and Freeman should turn into a fine hitter who routinely could be in the .290/25 ballpark.
It is a little surprising that Ackley isn't up and starting for the Mariners already, but he will at some point this season.
In time, Ackley will become a high-average hitter, with decent speed and a little pop. His glove isn't great, but is not a liability, and he would make a very nice No. 2 hitter for an organization with a legitimate No. 3.
Expect Ackley to get the call, at the latest, in June around the arbitration deadline, and expect him to hit well.
Lonnie Chisenhall was in the competition for the Indians' Opening Day Roster, but eventually was sent down to the minors for a little more polishing.
He is spectacularly unspectacular. To explain, he is solid across the board, but doesn't have the 40 HR power of a Mike Stanton, or 40 steal speed of Desmond Jennings. He will do everything well, and will help the Indians win.
He should get the Strasburg-Call, as its being labeled, around the arbitration deadline in June, and he should produce quality numbers for Cleveland, in a lineup that will need a run-producer.
It looked like the Phillies were going to hand their right field job to Domonic Brown, then he broke his hand and that was gone.
When he is healthy, and likely after a long "rehab" stint in the minors, Brown will jump into a platoon with Ben Francisco in right field. I promise there will be ups and downs, but expect to see Brown getting two-thirds of the at bats by the end of the season.
Brown is a specimen of athleticism. He has megastar potential, with mammoth raw power, and enough speed to swipe 20 bases regularly. He could be a perennial 25/25 threat, with a good average and might push 30/30 in his prime.
This guy is good. This guy is fast. This guy is NOT Carl Crawford.
Jennings will run a lot. He has the speed and contact to steal 50 bases someday. But he won't hit for the power that Crawford did. Jennings might push 10 home runs in a full season, but temper expectations.
That being said, the Rays offense looks horrendous so far this season and they might be forced to call him up earlier than intended. Look for Jennings to be called up during the summer, and play between 50-100 games for the Rays.
Expect an average around .260, with 15-20 steals and some exciting plays on defense.
Yes, there are better pitching prospects in the minors, but Cashner (excluding his current stay on the 15-day DL) is in the Cubs rotation NOW.
Cashner was very impressive in his 5.1 inning start yesterday, before being pulled with shoulder tightness. He has a power fastball, and might become a 200 strikeout guy in the near future. Monitor the injury, and expect an innings limit around 140.
That being said, if he makes 15-20 starts for the Cubs this season, he could win 10 with a very respectable ERA and WHIP. In that division, a young breakout starter could put the Cubs in the race.
Hellboy's first start was exactly what should be expected from his this season, until the Rays shut him down around 180 innings.
He threw 5.2 innings, with 10 K, three earned runs, and he lost a game he should earned a win for. Mixed in were six hits and two walks, but that's the kind of outing he should produce on a regular basis.
Don't be surprised to see him around 180 strikeouts, 3.50 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, with only nine wins. The Rays offense is not good, and the bullpen is not good, so he will lose a few he deserves to win. But the kid is going to give them a chance most of the days he takes the hill.
And there is a Cy Young contender inside of him, perhaps two seasons away from showing itself.
This was the keystone piece in the Blue Jays agreeing to trade Roy Halladay. Let that sink in...
Drabek is one of the more polished rookie pitchers and he should acquit himself well in the Jays rotation. His first start was excellent, striking out seven in seven innings, allowing one earned run in the win.
Unlike the Rays, the Blue Jays will score enough runs on most nights to give him a chance to win. Drabek threw 179 innings between the minors and majors last year, so there shouldn't be an innings cap. If healthy, he could make 30 starts, and has a legitimate chance to win 15.
If I had to pick a starting pitcher to win the American League Rookie of the Year for 2011, it would be Drabek.
Have you watched him pitch? This is one of the five best relievers in the game right now, in my opinion. There is more raw talent here than most All-Stars could dream of.
He had 242 strikeouts in 151 minor league innings over three seasons. Yes, that's 14.4 K/9.
He has five strikeouts in two innings for two saves so far this season. That's 22.5 K/9. Watch out, this kid is going to be an elite closer to years to come, and he might start by closing 40-plus saves this season.
In 2009, Andrew Bailey won the AL Rookie of the Year with 26 saves, 1.84 ERA, .876 WHIP and 9.8 K/9 in 83.1 innings. Other than perhaps the WHIP, Kimbrel could make Swiss cheese of those numbers.
The Royals will welcome a train of elite prospects in the coming months.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, widely considered the top third base prospect in baseball, is racing his friend, first baseman Eric Hosmer, widely considered the best first base prospect, for the first 2011 call-up.
Pitchers Daneil Duffy, Mike Montgomery and John Lamb are close to being ready for the big leagues, and are all considered elite pitching prospects.
Catcher Wil Myers is ready with the bat, but might have to move to outfield because they can't wait any longer for his awesome productivity.
Jeremy Jeffress is already in the big leagues, and is the closer of the future with dominating stuff, and Jake Odorizzi is just another top arm in waiting.
If you're looking for a shortstop, the team already has 24-year-old Alcides Escobar plugged in, who could be a .280/40 SB/100 run leadoff guy for the next decade.
Neither Bryce Harper nor Mike Trout have any business being in the majors this year. It would do them more harm than good. Hopefully, their respective organizations agree.