Hughes' Minor League numbers are ridiculous and, 20 years old or not, if the bottom of Joe Torre's rotation -- Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano -- shows cracks, he's in.3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres: When you give up an established young second baseman (Josh Barfield) for a 25-year-old who has been idling in the Minors for five years, there's built-in intrigue. Kouzmanoff's a high-average guy who can still develop acceptable corner power, and may be a revelation who has only been awaiting a chance. Or, GM Kevin Towers may simply have been wrong. You'll be able to judge for yourself. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox: We don't make up the rules, just follow them. He's a Major League rookie, and who will be more closely watched this season than Dice-K, whose every appearance will be an international event. Matsuzaka's spring show won't disappoint; if pitchers are traditionally considered to be weeks ahead of hitters, his offseason work ethic will have him months ahead. Check out the mysterious gyroball in action. C Miguel Montero, D-backs: Chris Snyder is also on hand, but this 23-year-old's talent persuaded Arizona to deal Johnny Estrada to Milwaukee. With Montero's ability to quarterback a game from behind the mask, Bob Melvin was impressed by him during a brief stint in September. Said the manager: "He's low to the ground, he's great blocking balls and moving around back there." Montero is a good contact hitter who lost much of his power once he got out of Class A, but he will be an effective offensive tool at the bottom of the order. OF Felix Pie, Cubs: A 21-year-old outfielder wouldn't seem to have a role on a big-ticket team rigged out for a World Series title run, but Pie will still glow like neon in the Cactus League. Pie has to learn to harness both his speed and his bat, but this is already his fourth big-league camp, and, as long as Jacque Jones seems to dangle one foot out of Chicago, he'll be in the picture. 3B Brandon Wood, Angels: He's a shortstop by trade, but the Halos already have Orlando Cabrera stationed there. A few years ago, similar circumstances didn't stop Troy Glaus, who simply moved to the hot corner. Wood, who will turn 22 on March 2, is still learning the strike zone and could swing and miss his way out of the picture. But the Angels, who'd much rather keep moving Chone Figgins around the diamond, do have an opening for him. OF Delmon Young, Devil Rays: Young came up four at-bats under the rookie bar last season, when he backed up his prior lip about deserving a promotion by hitting .317 in his first 126 big-league at-bats. No one knows how long the outfield of Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli and Young will remain intact, so take a good look, and marvel while you can.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.