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No, it's not just about Adam Lind ... today on, the always-excellent Alan Schwarz, a friend of Batter's Box, takes a look around the majors at five rookies who may make a major impact in 2007. That's five (Young, Gordon, Garza, Tulowitzki and Lincecum, FYI) other than Daisuke Matsuzaka, of course -- and there's also a sidebar about the fading promise of Joel Guzman.

So to put the question before you, Bauxites ... forget about "Rookie of the Year" predictions for the moment. What rookies, both in Toronto and elsewhere, will make the biggest impact on MLB in the upcoming season?

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Mike Green - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 11:36 AM EST (#162014) #
Alex Gordon.

He plays for Kansas City, so people will be comparing him to George Brett, but if he develops the way I think he will, his profile will be more in the Santo-Mathews-Schmidt vein. 

The Yankees are not making much noise about Phil Hughes (although their fans sure are).  This means that they are quietly gauging his emotional readiness for prime time.  It's going to happen sometime in the 2007, but whether it is in April (which would be something of a surprise), July or September, I do not know.  Hughes will, in my view, be a better pitcher than either Garza or Lincecum.

Gerry - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 01:17 PM EST (#162018) #

Dustin Pedroia could have a big impact on the RedSox, both positive and neagtive.  I didn't think he looked very good against the Jays at the end of last season but that was just one series.  The Sox are counting on him to handle second base this season, there are a lot of expectations on him. 

As Peter Gammons wrote yesterday the NL West has a lot of young prospects, some of whom are still rookies this season.  The Dodgers have had one of the best farm systems in baseball and it gave them some help last season with more to come this year.  James Loney is in search of a position while Chad Billingsley will look to live up to the hype.  Colorado and Arizona have several young prospects giving the NL West the "up and comer" tag as a division.  Carlos Quention, Conor Jackson, Chris Ianetta, Troy Tulowitski, Miguel Montero will make themselves known this season.

I think Delmon Young will have the biggest impact on MLB in 2007.

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 01:44 PM EST (#162019) #
I hope it's Hughes, but would look for Hayden Penn to have a huge impact in BAL this season ... I guess if awards go to guys on division winners or contenders, he's unlikely to be ROY, but as I said, that's for another dicussion.
Lee - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 02:19 PM EST (#162021) #
My money's on Hughes; based only upon his minor league stats and scouting reports (since I've never seen him myself), I could certainly see him contributing substantially to the Yankees this year, regardless of what role he's given. Obviously, I'm taking for granted that he'll be called up sooner than later. Gordon also seems like a very good young player, but the question was about making an impact in MLB, which I think you'll agree is extremely diffuclty to do while wearing a KC Royals uni.
huckamaniac - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 02:50 PM EST (#162026) #
I think Dice-K will have the biggest impact. I chose him because if he actually does throw a gyroball and is able to use it effectively at the Major League level I expect to see other pitchers try it. I also expect his addition to help the Sox get back to the playoffs.

Also, Keith Law has an excellent article (no subscription required)on Alex Gordon ( mentioned in earlier posts) today  as part of ESPN's Hot Stove series of articles.

rpriske - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 02:59 PM EST (#162028) #

If I was to put money on it, I would say Delmon Young. He is just waiting to explode.

Other than him, I would go with Tulowitski.

Pistol - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 03:04 PM EST (#162030) #
I'll go with David DeWitt Bailey.  His friends call him Homer.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 03:05 PM EST (#162031) #
Law's article is very good.  I particularly agree with his comment (in connection with Jeff Clement) suggesting that drafting for need in the first round is an unwise strategy.  Law suggests that Gordon may develop into a player similar to Mike Sweeney, perhaps with more power.  That sounds a lot like Ron Santo to me.  Any ball player who bench presses 275 and can hit the ball out of sight, and controls the strike zone, has my attention.  I wonder how much Travis Snider can bench press.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 03:50 PM EST (#162034) #

I always have mixed feelings about these type of "What Rookie is gonna tear up the bigs in 1954?" (insert year of your choice).

It seems to me that rarely does a rookie come up in the spring, make the team, and be an instant STAR. Usually, they come up first in September, then for part of a season, then for a full season. Often their third season of big league exposure is their first full season in the bigs. Sort of like Wells and many others. Rios came up early because of injuries. Halladay was eventually sent back to A ball. So much can, and does, happen as a player goes from boy to man.

Lind is a good example, up in September. Likely not back up till July (unless there are injuries or trades) and this MVP type guy (you read it here first) is gonna come into the bigs with a whimper not a roar.

This year I see Alex Gordon making the roar. But I would not be surprised, if at the end of their careers, Lind turned out to be the more significant contributor. Great rookies, Hinske for instance, don't necesarily make great players.

Rob - Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 08:01 PM EST (#162041) #
Too bad Ian Kinsler was a rookie last year, because he will certainly strive for 162-game perfection once he reads this depth chart.

My real bet is on one of the D-Rays' hitters. This is the year they finally finish ahead of Baltimore. Perhaps even 71 wins.
TamRa - Wednesday, January 17 2007 @ 12:50 AM EST (#162062) #

Not sure if he's still a rookie but I'm inclined to think Adam Lowen might make a name for himself.  I also think Gordon will possibly be the bigget impact batter (yes, over Young this year though not on the career).

Tulo is to be watched, Stephen Drew - if he still counts - I think will be huge.


3RunHomer - Wednesday, January 17 2007 @ 04:50 PM EST (#162137) #
I'll take Kevin Kouzmanoff. Opportunity and talent.

Geez ... is 3B now the most talented position in baseball? And a lot of them are kids.
Geoff - Wednesday, January 17 2007 @ 07:08 PM EST (#162152) #
It seems to me that rarely does a rookie come up in the spring, make the team, and be an instant STAR. Usually, they come up first in September, then for part of a season, then for a full season.

I'd counter that last year, I looked forward to such a player in Francisco Liriano. These years there's all kinds of super-talented young players coming up, and usually more than anyone (who doesn't make a profession of tracking such things at least) can ably track. So when a young player bursts out as an instant star, it only encourages the watchers to find out where these phenoms are coming from. And there's been quite a few instant stars if you've not noticed.

I was surprised how Jason Bay and Oliver Perez became instant stars way back when. But a guy like David Wright or Jose Reyes I had followed as their stars glowed brighter. It took both a little while to really turn it on, but Delmon Young looks like a kid who could hit the ground running. Then there's the guy who's the poster child for hitting the ground running, the six-year vet who's yet to finish out of the top five in MVP voting, or out of the top three if you discount the meagre fourth-place finish in his rookie season.

Pittsburgh is almost affable in how they've had troubles with their young budding pitching talent over the years, but that's another story. Then there's all the funny old tales of good young players in Kansas City.

Personally, I'm more inclined to check out east coast players than those on the west coast, so I never attempt to follow the Jon Broxtons or the Sean Burroughses. Every once in a while a Matt Cain -- whom I expect still to break out, this year, last year, maybe even next year I will believe.

So there is talent to follow and reasons to enjoy it. Every year brings its treasures.
SheldonL - Thursday, January 18 2007 @ 11:21 AM EST (#162178) #

I like John Maine...I'm not sure if he qualifies, he might have pitched too many games. He's playing for a team that appears to be head and shoulders above anyone in the NL let alone the league. He consistently produces pitching lines that are not overly electrifying but nevertheless very good - for example, he'll get one K and 2 walks in 6 innings but he'll give up just 3 hits with no runs.

Billingsley looks terribly electrifying. I had him on my fantasy baseball team last season and after some rockey starts, he went on a tear with some Liriano-ish numbers. Of course, I don't expect him to post Liriano-ish numbers all season but he'll have some games where he'll dominate

TheLorax - Thursday, January 18 2007 @ 01:35 PM EST (#162187) #

Just a little off topic, but this seemed the best place to post this. Jon Sickels just posted Adam Linds excerpt on his website today, as well as 2007 projection:

Looks like Sickels is really really high on Lind.

"Lind will challenge Alex Gordon and Delmon Young for AL Rookie of the Year".

Too bad I don't see him getting those 500ABs without serious injury, or absoutely incredible performance.

zeppelinkm - Friday, January 19 2007 @ 09:01 AM EST (#162217) #
Not sure where this should go, but there's an enjoyable video interview with Adam Lind on the Blue Jays site ( It's on the rolling story ticker with the big pictures on the upper lefthand side of the screen. "Lind on his whirlwind through the minors". He says he wants to be a LF'er and not a 1B.
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