200 strikeouts last season and getting better. Yovani Gallardo and the Milwaukee Brewers are poised to improve after the addition of former Cy Young winner Zack Grienke.
Jonathan Sánchez reached the pinnacle of his professional career in 2010: World Series champion? Check. Two-hundred strikeouts? Check. Solid ERA and WHIP? Check again. The Puerto Rican hurler has the potential to be even better in 2011.
They don't call him The Machine for nothing. Albert Pujols is generally considered the best player in baseball, period. The three-time MVP will once again carry the St. Louis Cardinals in the League's Central division. This time, however, he'll do so with an uncertain future: the nine-time All-Star's contract expires at the end of the season, and the two sides are at odds over the slugger's desire to get a deal in the A-Rod, $275 million sphere.
Aroldis Chapman broke in the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and lived up to the hype. In 15 games, the 23-year-old struck out 19 hitters and pitched to a 2.03 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The "Cuban Missile" can throw straight gas: he rocked the radar gun last year, clocking in over 100 miles per hour.
Hanley Ramirez is one of the best hitters and baseball and also gets his fair share of love in fantasy baseball going in the first couple of picks. The former batting champ will have to have his usual dynamic season in the middle of the Marlins order if they hope to make some noise.
Pedro Alvarez is a new breed of Pittsburgh Pirate. The talented slugger may be headed for a monster season along with Andrew McClutchen and José Tabata
Ubaldo Jimenez came in third in the Cy Young voting and he leads a pack of talented Latinos on the Rockies. MVP candidate Carlos Gonzalez is one of them.
Aramis Ramirez is a former All-Star who experienced a down season last year. The Cubs will need him and veterans Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano to have strong seasons if they hope to compete in the NL Central.
Carlos Beltran is on the comeback trail from knee issues. He will start the season in the lineup and bring a smile to Mets fans looking for a reason for hope.
The National League features some flame-throwing, homer-mashing Latinos.