5 Major League Baseball Players to Watch in 2012
#71 SP New York Yankees
Birth DateMarch 23, 1988 (Age: 24)
Birth Place New York, NY
Ht/Wt 6-8, 260 lbs.
Betances made his long-awaited major-league debut in 2011, pitching 2.2 innings and giving up two earned runs. Betances only has 21 innings under his belt in Triple-A and could use more seasoning before making the jump to the Bronx. The 6-foot-8 right hander has struck out 491 batters in 426 innings. Betances does has trouble with command, walking five batters per nine innings in 2011
#8 LF Tampa Bay Rays
Birth Date October 30, 1986 (Age: 25)
Birth Place Birmingham, AL
Experience 2 years
Ht/Wt 6-2, 200 lbs
Will he increase last season’s production: a .259 batting average, 10 home runs and 25 RBI. He just homered three times, including a grand slam, in a recent spring training game. And he has the speed. As a scout once said about the 25-year-old: “Desmond Jennings can fly – he could be Rickey Henderson.”
#15 CF Philadelphia Phillies
Birth Date December 21, 1983 (Age: 28)
Birth PlaceKansas City, MO
Experience 3 years
Ht/Wt 6-6, 225 lbs.
John Mayberry batted fifth or sixth in 33 games last season. Long an intriguing power prospect, Phillies’ John Mayberry produced a .576 slugging percentage and .931 OPS in the second half last season, perhaps a sign of things to come.
#27 SP Atlanta Braves
Birth Date January 27, 1991 (Age: 21)
Birth Place Cartagena
Ht/Wt 6-2, 175 lbs.
Teheran had a monster year in Triple-A in 2011, compiling a 15-3 record with a 2.55 ERA in 144.2 innings pitched. Teheran has good command of his fastball, curve and change up. His tall, slender frame has drawn comparisons to a young Pedro Martinez.
Birth DateOctober 18, 1985 (Age: 26)
Birth Place Campechuela, Cuba
Ht/Wt 5-10, 210 lbs.
The hype surrounding was capped off when he signed a four-year, $36 million contract in February. The Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes is warranted when you look at his lofty numbers in the Cuban National Series. In 2011, Cespedes batted .333 with 33 home runs and 99 RBIs in 354 at-bats with a .424 OBP. His home run total was a new record for the Cuban league. His lifetime .403 OBP makes him a perfect fit in Oakland.
He is labeled a five-tool player and “arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation,” according to Baseball Prospectus.
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