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MLB: Ranking the Top 10 Rookies to Watch on Opening Day

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Ranking the Top 10 Rookies to Watch on Opening Day

Xander Bogaerts
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With Yasiel Puig, Jose Fernandez and Wil Meyers, last year’s rookie class was stacked with talent. While it would be unfair to expect this season's rookies to be as good, there are a number of exciting rookies on major league rosters to watch. Here are the top 10.

10. James Paxton

James Paxton
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10. James Paxton

James Paxton
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Paxton has been extremely impressive of late for Seattle. He dominated during September, and he has been fabulous during Spring Training. Paxton is a hard-throwing lefty, and he also throws an excellent breaking pitch. Expect Paxton to be a surprising, yet solid piece in the Mariners' rotation.

9. Kolten Wong

Kolten Wong
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9. Kolten Wong

Kolten Wong
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While Wong is never going to hit for a lot of power, he profiles as a solid player. He has great bat speed and has a sound approach at the plate. He also is solid defender at second base.

8. Chris Owings

Chris Owings
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8. Chris Owings

Chris Owings
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Ownings was fabulous last year in triple-A, and he appears poised to succeed as the Diamondbacks' starting shortstop. Owings is solid defensively, and he is also skilled at the plate. He has a nice combination of extra-base power and speed, which gives him the potential to be an excellent producer from shortstop.

7. Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud
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7. Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud
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At 25-years-old, it is a make or break year for d’Araund. Several injuries have slowed his progress down, and he struggled for the Mets at the end of last season. However, he still offers a lot of upside as a catcher, and is an excellent prospect.

6. Billy Hamilton

Billy Hamilton
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6. Billy Hamilton

Billy Hamilton
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While there are concerns over Hamilton’s bat, he possesses game-changing speed. He stole 155 bases in the minors during the 2012 season, and will be able to cover a lot of ground in center field for the Reds. He is a dynamic player, and should excel in the leadoff spot for Cincinnati in 2014.

5. Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos
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5. Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos
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Castellanos is the best pure hitter on this list. He as great bat speed, and has hit .300 in his career in the minor leagues. He is hitting over .400 in Spring Training, and he should have an excellent rookie season as the Tigers' starting third baseman.

4. Yordano Ventura

Yordano Ventura
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

4. Yordano Ventura

Yordano Ventura
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With a blazing fastball that can reach triple digits, Ventura can overpower the opposition. He also has excellent off-speed pitches, so he has the ability to develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter.

3. Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts
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3. Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts
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Bogaerts is an excellent athlete, and he has a lot of upside at the plate. He has plus power potential, and is a disciplined hitter. He is still only 21-years old, and he can provide tremendous production from shortstop.

2. Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu
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2. Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu
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Armed with incredible power potential, Abreu can easily hit 30 home runs. While there are concerns that he won’t be a good contact hitter, he has the potential to develop into one of the game's most feared hitters.

1. Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka
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1. Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka
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Tanaka was one of the most intriguing signings of the offseason, and he should succeed in his first major league season. Tanaka was one of the best pitchers in Japan, and he is an intelligent and potentially dominating pitcher. He has a strong fastball, and he can also change speeds very effectively.