5. Craig Kimbrel RP Atlanta Braves
This guy is amazing to watch every time he is brought on to close out a ballgame. His stuff couldn’t be any better, as he features a fastball around 99 MPH with a filthy slider he mixes in to keep batters off balance. He already has 40 saves this season, which gives him 40+ in his last three seasons. Kimbrel also has a career ERA of 1.36 to go along with 361 strikeouts in 211 2/3 innings, numbers that are just insane to even think about. He is currently the best closer in all of baseball (Sorry, Mo) and it is a very rare occasion if he fails to get the job done.
4. Paul Goldschmidt 1B Arizona Diamondbacks
It’s time for people to realize just who this guy is and what he is all about. He is having an MVP-type year with a .300 average, 31 HR, and 101 RBI and most “casual” fans still don’t know who he is. Well, he is Paul Goldschmidt and he just might be the NL MVP this season. The D-Backs did a great job of locking this guy up last season as Goldschmidt has turned into a star power-hitting first baseman.
3. Matt Harvey SP New York Mets
Harvey burst onto the scene this season even more than last year. Yes, his record is only 9-5, but his ERA is 2.27 with 191 strikeouts in 178 1/3 innings this season. Many believe he is one of the best pitchers in the National League right now, which is certainly saying a lot for a guy who is only in his first full season. His stuff is similar to Strasburg’s but better, throwing his fastball at 99 MPH, his slider at 90 MPH, and his curveball at 80 MPH. Harvey is the definition of a power pitcher and is in line for Cy Young consideration this season.
2. Clayton Kershaw SP Los Angeles Dodgers
Yet again Kershaw has been a machine for the Dodgers. He sits at 13-7 with a 1.72 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 198 1/3 innings, good for second in the National League behind Harvey (191). Kershaw is certainly one of the main reasons why the Dodgers are 46-12 in their last 58 games. This is a guy they want to build around and there have been talks between the Dodgers and Kershaw over the last two years about the 25-year-old lefty becoming the first pitcher ever to sign a contract worth $200 million or more. He would certainly be worth it, as no other starting pitcher has matched Kershaw’s dominance this season. The only player standing in the way of his second career NL Cy Young is Matt Harvey.
1. Mike Trout OF Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout is about as close as it gets to “baseball’s perfect player.” He seems to do everything just right, hitting .328 this season with 22 HR, 80 RBI, 28 SB, and making the occasional rob of a home run from opposing batters in the outfield. And let’s not forget what he did as a rookie last year when he was in a historic MVP race with baseball’s best hitter, Miguel Cabrera, finishing a very close second place. Trout is already a poised player who has all the intangibles and discipline both at the plate and in the outfield. The best part is he is only 22 years old and is already a superstar. Two or three years from now, we could be talking about Mike Trout as the face of Major League Baseball.
Well there you have it, Sports Unbiased’s list of top-10 players 25 years old or younger. These players are the future stars of this league, highlighted by Mike Trout, who could be the face of Major League Baseball in the foreseeable future. Think some players were missed? Would you have a different order? Let your voice be heard in the comments section!