- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
Armed with sunscreen, sunglasses and a long list of prospects and players to watch, I’m all ready for spring training. For sure, 2012 will be an interesting year after such an exciting offseason. Though there will be many players who could excel, here are seven who I think are poised to really open some eyes this year and take their game to new heights. All of them have the talent, maturity and ability to make a name for themselves in 2012 and be pleasant surprises for their respective major league clubs. I'll be watching them all very closely this spring.
1. Brennan Boesch, RF
Boesch is poised for a breakout year after two solid seasons at the plate for the Tigers. Last year, Boesch hit .283/.341/.458 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs and 54 RBIs. He’s projected to hit second in the Tigers’ lineup, ahead of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. That should mean a steady diet of fastballs and pitches to hit. As the 26-year-old learns to become more disciplined at the plate and waits for the one pitch he can drive, don’t be surprised if he hits 25-30 home runs. The raw power has always been there, it’s just his inconsistency and occasional long swing that has kept him from more sweet-spot contact and more usable power. His defense is improving, and he's adequate in right field.