Ranking the Top 10 Hitters to Watch on Opening Day 2014

Ranking the Top 10 Hitters to Watch on Opening Day 2014

Top 10 Hitters Opening Day 2014
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 MLB Opening Day just under two weeks away, the buzz is already starting to build among baseball’s loyal fan base. Whether it’s aces striking out batters or hitters crushing home runs, there’s sure to be plenty of excitement during the first day of the season. This list isn’t necessarily a ranking of the 10 best hitters in baseball, but rather, the top 10 hitters fans should want to watch on opening day.

10. Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran - Copy
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10. Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Beltran’s batting average hasn’t been ideal, but he has has been knocking in the runs in spring training. The New York Yankees are hoping that his run production continues on opening day. It should be exciting to see what Beltran brings to the Yankees this year as he was one of several big-named acquisitions for the team this past offseason.

9. Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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9. Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Bryce Harper has beefed up and the buzz surrounding him has never been bigger. His knee is 100 percent and he feels ready to take the next step to becoming one of the best players in the league. All eyes will be on him to see how he plans to open the season on a high note.

8. Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury
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8. Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury
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Jacoby Ellsbury’s jaw-dropping seven-year, 3 million contract with the Yankees shocked the baseball world. Many believe there’s no way he will be able to live up to the massive deal, but New York is hopeful that he will be the right addition to get them over the hump in 2014. If Ellsbury’s tweaked calf allows him to suit up on opening day, he will be one of the top players to keep an eye simply due to the sheer size of his contract.

7. Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo
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7. Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo
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The struggles for Shin-Soo Choo continue as he’s currently batting .152 in spring training. The Texas Rangers expect big things from him and there’s a good chance he will deliver once the regular season gets underway. It will be interesting to see how he handles the high expectations that the team has for him right out of the gate. Either way, opening day should be fun in Arlington, as fans will get to see Choo and Prince Fielder in action.

6. Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder
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6. Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder
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Speaking of Fielder, the slugger is with his third MLB team in four years and the hope is that this one will get him a ring. The Rangers traded for Fielder because they knew they needed another power threat in the middle of their batting order. The combination of Fielder and Adrian Beltre could be lethal for pitchers, and hopefully, fans will get to see that immediately on the first day of the season.

5. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano
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5. Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

All eyes will be on Robinson Cano on opening day. That’s just what happens when the biggest free agent of the offseason signs with a new team. With the Yankees, there were several players to take the heat when the team didn’t perform. However, it will all fall on Cano’s shoulders with the Seattle Mariners. Cano is hopeful that Corey Hart and he can inject some quality play into a starved franchise. Only time will tell if it’s possible.

4. Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun
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4. Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Thankfully, Ryan Braun will be playing at home on opening day, which means he shouldn’t have to suffer the brunt of too many boo birds. Either way, there might not be anyone more scrutinized than him on the first day of the season. Braun can’t even comprehend the pressure he will be under in 2014 as the fans expect a MVP-caliber performance from him after what he put them through the past two years.

3. Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen
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3. Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen
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It won’t be easy for the reigning National League MVP to repeat his outstanding performance last season. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates will be grateful for whatever they can get from the man they hope will take the organization to the next level. Andrew McCutchen should get a warm welcome from the fan base when the Pirates kick off opening day against the Chicago Cubs.

2. Mike Trout

Mike Trout
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2. Mike Trout

Mike Trout
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout is lighting it up in spring training, which is a good sign of great things to come. After failing to win the AL MVP the past two seasons, Trout is ready to take his game to new heights in 2014. The fact is he’s one of the most exciting players to watch because of his consistency at the plate and his athleticism in the field, and opening day will be no different.

1. Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera
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1. Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera
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Miguel Cabrera continues to impress year after year as the most dangerous hitter in baseball. For anyone who is a fan of the game, he’s someone who can’t be ignored on opening day simply because of his overflowing talent. Cabrera has been unstoppable in spring training, which is a theme that will continue right into the regular season. It will be interesting to see if Cabrera can make history as the first to win three straight AL MVP awards.

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