If you don’t think Major League Baseball is set with stars for the next 10 years or so with its currently talented young players then you must not know the league very well. Top prospects are making their way to the big leagues quicker and quicker these days, as guys like Trout, Harper, and Machado, along with many others are already making a household name for themselves at very young ages. But where exactly do each of these players currently rank? That’s what we are here to find out, as Sports Unbiased presents a top-10 ranking of players that are 25 years old or younger.
Follow along! Vote for each player on whether they should have been higher on the list, lower on the list, or if the spot is just right.
Just Missed the Cut: Giancarlo Stanton OF Miami Marlins
What clearly makes Stanton great is his power. He already has 109 career home runs in four seasons to go along with an average just a little under .270. He has 16 HR in 84 games this season, but has slightly regressed due to a weakened Marlins lineup compared to last season. If Stanton can be surrounded by more table setters and talented hitters, in Miami or somewhere else, then expect his production to return to where it should be. Expect Stanton to hit around 50 HR in a season in the upcoming years.
10. Bryce Harper OF Washington Nationals
Harper is a player that has both heart and talent. He gives you everything he’s got when he steps onto the field. His first two seasons haven’t been too bad considering he is only 20 years old, hitting .270 last year with 22 HR and 59 RBI, which was good for Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season Harper has cut down on the bad plays caused by being a bit too aggressive. This year it looks like the growing pains are starting to go away for the young outfielder. Harper has all the potential in the world and if he can put it all together, he could be a potential MVP candidate for years to come.
9. Manny Machado 3B Baltimore Orioles
Machado has really come into his own this season. With a little over a month left in the season, he is batting .294 with 11 HR, 58 RBI, and an outstanding 44 doubles. What he might do even better is play defense. He came up as a SS, but has played 3B since he got to the big leagues, and he hasn’t missed a beat. It seems like almost every night he makes a spectacular play at the hot corner. Machado is arguably the best defensive 3B in the league, which is remarkable considering it isn’t even his natural position. He still has room to grow offensively, but defensively Machado seems set with multiple Gold Glove awards in his future.
8. Yasiel Puig OF Los Angeles Dodgers
When Yasiel Puig was called up in early June, the Dodgers season wouldn’t be the same. It seemed like every night Puig was doing something impressive. He showed off the great arm in one of his first games where he turned a double-play in the outfield to end a game. He also recorded hit after hit, with his average still sitting at .346 at this point in the season. He has quickly become a household name not only in LA, but in all of baseball. He does tend to be a little too aggressive at times, but he is only 22, so he should cut down on that sometime in the future like Harper has done during his second season.
7. Freddie Freeman 1B Atlanta Braves
With the Braves lineup consisting of mostly all-or-nothing power hitters, Freeman has been the most consistent, and even the best, hitter on the Braves. He is on pace to have the best season of his career, hitting .316 with 16 HR and 85 RBI. In past seasons he has had issues with his contact lenses and vision, but that seems like an afterthought as the numbers Freeman has put up earned him an All-Star vote this year, even though he didn’t get a chance to play. Considering both offense and defense, Freeman is probably the most valuable player on this team. He is irreplaceable and one of the main reasons the Braves have the big lead they have in the National League East.
6. Stephen Strasburg SP Washington Nationals
Strasburg is having another great season this year. His 6-9 record is deceiving, as he has an ERA of 3.00 and is on pace for over 200 strikeouts. The Nationals just haven’t done a good job of getting him run support. Tommy John surgery has stripped him of his 99 MPH fastball but he still throws around 95 MPH with a great curveball, which is his out pitch. A good sign this year was seeing Strasburg throw his first complete game shutout of his career against the Phillies. This should become a trend for Strasburg, who still has great stuff and has potential to win multiple Cy Young awards in his career.
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