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Top 10 Opening Day Prospects 2011

Listed are the top 10 rookie or near rookie players likely to provide value from opening day. Most of these players should make their team's opening day rosters and could impact fantasy leagues immediately. Thanks to acr for suggesting the article.

Jeremy Hellickson - The dominant minor leaguer is an instant rookie of the year favorite. He's as polished as they come so he shouldn't have too many rookie struggles adjusting to life in the Rays rotation.

Mike Minor - Bad luck masked a solid debut. With a rotation spot all but locked up he should provide plenty of strikeouts to go with a respectable ERA.

Jesus Montero - The Fransisco Cervelli injury may have opened a roster spot on the Yankees for Montero and he would likely be given the starting job to begin the year if that's the case. If on the opening day roster he becomes a favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Danny Espinosa - He has the Nationals starting second base job and should produce at least double digits in both home runs and stolen bases. A solid option in  NL-only leagues and could prove valuable in mixed leagues.

Craig Kimbrel - The Braves may go with a closer by committee to start the year but if Kimbrel can take the role and run with it he could be a real bargain as he has the potential to strike out 12 per 9 innings.

Aroldis Chapman - His fantasy usefulness lies in how Dusty Baker decides to use him. If given the closer role his value would skyrocket. The Reds currently have 35 year old Fransisco Cordero holding the position so it may not be long before we see the Cuban fireballer finishing games in Cincinnati.

Peter Bourjos - Bourjos has the power and speed to be a destructive force but right now he lacks the discipline to be a top of the order hitter. The Angels will give him plenty of time to develop this year and he could be a sneaky source of SB and HR for owners.

Carlos Carrasco - After a shaky 2009 he re-established himself as a solid prospect and should go under the radar in most leagues. Aside from Justin Masterson he is the only Indians starter worth considering.

J.P. Arencibia - The Blue Jays are ready to hand him the key to their catching job and Arencibia should finish among the HR leaders at catcher in 2011 as a result. JP could be a strong fantasy producer at the shallow catcher position.

Freddie Freeman - The Braves starting first baseman should hit for a decent average. However, he might only hit 15 HR making him a NL-only or keeper league pick right now. I still think he can develop 25+ HR power down the line.