A further look at rookies hoping to make a mark in 2011. These players are worth keeping an eye on in the minors as they could have potential openings in the big leagues this year.
Dustin Ackley - He may not have as a high of a ceiling as other top prospects but he's closer to his ceiling than most. He's a jack-of-all-trades but doesn't stand out in one area. For 2011 he'll probably play well once called up but it's doubtful he'll provide a lot of value. He looks like a 15-15 player with possibly a 20-20 season in him who'll give you a good AVG and a few extra runs thanks to a nice walk ratio. Give him time as he could develop into a nice piece of the puzzle in the future.
Chris Archer - After a rocky start to his professional career he is finally delivering the statistics that a 97 MPH heater and above average slider hint at. He made his way to AA last year and could see time with the Rays in 2011 although extended playing time is unlikely in a crowded rotation. His walk totals jumped in AA but that was the only thing keeping his unreal numbers from looking even more amazing. He doesn't give up many hits or HR while striking out above average numbers of batters. The walks will keep him from going deep into games and could cap his fantasy value but if he ever adds some control to his arsenal he could be a nice find for the Rays. Tampa may choose to use him out of the bullpen which is a good chance where he'll end up staying. If the Rays still like him as a starter he could be used to fill in for a departing starter in 2012 the way Hellickson will fill in for Garza this year.
Grant Green - In all likelihood Green will start the year in AA where Oakland will be looking for him to improve his BB/K ratio and show them he can handle the fielding responsibilities of a major league shortstop. Cliff Pennington is keeping the starting role warm for Green who could be up at some point in 2011. Green likely won't have the outright starting role until 2012 but he should provide plus power at SS with a .270ish AVG and some SB thrown in. As he matures those numbers could rise and he may be a cornerstone of a championship team for you down the line.
Lonnie Chisenhall - The Indians are going to give some of their youngsters a shot this year and Chisenhall should see some time as a result. He won't be a fantasy standout when he first arrives with only some power and a bit of batting average but as he develops into his large frame he could add some power. He put up some nice numbers in AA last year after struggling mightily during his 24 game stint there in 2009. He doesn't stand out in any one area but he has few holes as well. I could see him producing similar to Casey Blake with a chance for more HR depending how his body develops. He's worth keeping an eye on as he's among the top 3B prospects and he has a job waiting for him once he's ready. Scouts like him but his ceiling looks limited.
Yonder Alonso - Alonso got a taste of the big leagues last year but his path to the majors remains blocked by some guy named Joey Votto. Turning 24 shortly after opening day he should start in AAA and if he hits well there he could be trade bait at some point otherwise he won't see many at bats in the majors this year. He has an above average eye at the plate with modest power so he should be a serviceable bat but unlikely to standout. His peak will probably look similar to Lyle Overbay circa 2005.