2011 Major League Baseball Rookies: Where Are They From?

Brandon Belt, San Fransisco Giants First Baseman

It’s that time of year again, when the sun comes out (OK, not in New York) and you can ditch school, grab your glove and head out to a baseball game. Each year, there’s an exciting class of rookies coming in from the college ranks, ready to make an impact. Here’s a few to watch out for:

Brandon Belt, San Fransisco Giants First Baseman

The Giants’ top prospect, Belt played his college ball at the University of Texas, and hit .320 over his final two seasons. He showed an ability to take a walk as well, posting a .416 on-base percentage his last year in Austin. Even better, it doesn’t look like San Fransisco is going to go all Buster Posey on Belt and stash him in the minors for two months. He went 1-for-3 with a walk on opening day, and is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year.

Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher

Minor came out of Vanderbilt, and has a big time power arm. He struck out 114 hitters in 110 innings in his final season there. That success has continued throughout his stint in the minors, where he has struck out 163 batters in only 134 innings. Currently, Minor is pitching in the Braves’ AAA farm team, but he may make a start this weekend if injuries in the Atlanta staff persist.

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox relief pitcher

Sale was the White Sox first round draft pick in 2010, and while he actually debuted last season, he’s still technically a rookie. Sale, from Florida Gulf Coast, will compete to be the Sox’s closer this season, although right now he doesn’t have the job. Last season, he had four saves and an ERA of 1.93, striking out 32 hitters in 23 1/3 innings pitched.

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