1. Jason Heyward / OF / Atlanta / High: #1 / Low: #1
Heyward put together a strong rookie campaign. Most impressive of all was his walk rate. Look for his numbers to take a step up across the board next year, making him a No. 1 fantasy outfielder.
2. Mike Stanton / OF / Florida / High: #2 / Low: #15
If his power develops further, even at the rate of a normal hitter, Stanton will be considered, without a doubt, one of the best home run threats in baseball.
3. Carlos Santana / C / Cleveland / High: #2 / Low: #7
Before his injury, Santana displayed a seamless transition into the majors, maintaining his superb plate approach and plus power. It will be interesting to see if the knee injury affects his defense.
4. Madison Bumgarner / SP / San Francisco / High: #4 / Low: #13
Bumgarner posted an impressive half season in the big leagues, especially from a control standpoint. He’s way ahead of the curve for a 21-year-old.
5. Buster Posey / C / San Francisco / High: #5 / Low: #11
Posey burst onto the scene in late May and immediately became a top tier fantasy catcher. There’s no looking back.
11. Brian Matusz / SP / Baltimore / High: #6 / Low: #12
After a rough start to the year, Matusz showed what he is capable of in August and September. It’s tough to judge where he will be ranked universally in 2011, but he is a premium sleeper candidate in 2011, capable of picking up where he left off.
13. Pedro Alvarez / 3B / Pittsburgh / High: #10 / Low: #22
It was good to see Alvarez display home run power and at least a so-so batting average in his first major league season.
15. Starlin Castro / SS / Chicago Cubs / High: #12 / Low: #44
A .300 batting average over 463 at-bats is exciting, and 31 doubles is encouraging. Castro’s stolen base success rate, home run power and walk rate are not so encouraging. Nevertheless, a good major league career appears to be in order.
19. Stephen Strasburg / SP / Washington / High: #2 / Low: #19
Strasburg’s major league debut was as good as it gets. Now his potentially electrifying career hinges on his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
20. Neftali Feliz / SP/RP / Texas / High: #12 / Low: #20
Feliz’s rookie season proved that he can be a long-time all-star closer. It also proved that he might not ever get the chance to start.
21. Jaime Garcia / SP / St. Louis / High: #39 / Low: UR
It’s tough to fathom from a young man recently removed from Tommy John surgery, but in some ways Garcia may have put together a career year. A 2.70 ERA will be tough to maintain and his strikeout rate is topped out, but he proved that he is a fantasy mid-rotation mainstay.
22. Justin Smoak / 1B / Seattle / High: #8 / Low: #23
Smoak has all-star tools, but adjusting to the majors has been challenging. Although, looking beyond the surface, some of his secondary numbers are encouraging.
23. Jhoulys Chacin / SP/RP / Colorado / High: #17 / Low: #24
His walk rate was high, but Chacin had a fantastic rookie season. I’m not sure I believe in it, but he has the capability to be the Ubaldo Jimenez of 2011.
26. Logan Morrison / OF/1B / Florida / High: #18 / Low: #35
We all want more home run power out of Morrison, but he proved that he belonged with the big boys this year.
32. Wade Davis / SP / Tampa Bay / High: #19 / Low: #36
While his command is a work in progress, Davis had a successful rookie campaign. His strikeout rate should improve too if his command comes around.
37. Jenrry Mejia / SP/RP / NY Mets / High: #26 / Low: #37
Mejia needs to be brought up as a starter and was misused by the Mets in 2010. Nevertheless, his season was head-scratching, but I’m not worried.
43. Mike Leake / SP / Cincinnati / High: #24 / Low: #60
Leake’s late-season shoulder injury is concerning going forward, but he put together a solid yet unspectacular debut.
46. Dan Hudson / SP / Arizona / High: #46 / Low: #71
Hudson made the White Sox look absolutely foolish for trading him. He will never be an ace, but he has a bright fantasy future.
54. Michael Saunders / OF / Seattle / High: #16 / Low: #55
His power/speed combo will make Saunders a deep, deep sleeper in 2011, but we are all looking for more proof across the board that he is a major league regular, let alone a relevant fantasy option.
55. Brett Wallace / 1B / Houston / High: #27 / Low: #56
Wallace just missed maintaining his rookie eligibility, which is a shame, because his debut was pretty ugly. Make no mistake, however, he is a key cog in Houston’s rebuilding plans.
59. Alcides Escobar / SS / Milwaukee / High: #31 / Low: #59
For the most part Escobar had a rough year, but, despite his limited upside, better things are ahead. His offensive game is about batting average and steals, and he can’t do worse from that perspective.
61. Ike Davis / 1B / NY Mets / High: #58 / Low: #94
Davis had a nice season and has received quite a bit of New York publicity, but in many respects what you see is what you get.
76. Ian Desmond / SS/2B / Washington / High: #76 / Low: UR
I really didn’t think Desmond had that much offense in him. He doesn’t have any upside left, but he is a useful middle infielder.
82. Austin Jackson / OF / Detroit / High: #82 / Low: UR
Jackson is another rookie who had a better year than I ever imagined. He does have some power potential left, but he’s at his limits otherwise.
83. Reid Brignac / SS/2B / Tampa Bay / High: #52 / Low: #92
We witnessed some power, but more steals were expected. If nothing else, Brignac showed that he deserves a full-time gig in 2011.
88. Jason Castro / C / Houston / High: #49 / Low: #88
Castro looks the part of an average big league catcher. There is some upside, but he will never be anything more than a mildly useful fantasy catcher.
93. Fernando Martinez / OF / NY Mets / High: #57 / Low: #99
Martinez has accumulated more than 45 days on the active 25-man roster, meaning he barely squeaks by as a graduate. Every year that passes, more doubt grows. His potential is still apparent, however.