Youth Movement In Major League Baseball
Baseball has always been my favorite sport ever since I was a kid. I grew up watching many baseball games and keeping up with players and statistics at a very young age. Over the years, my love for the game has grown. There was a time where the steroids era contaminated the sport for a while and lost a large number of fans. Over the past decade, baseball has become popular again. We have seen a trend of new teams that are playing in the postseason. Baseball has had many new World Series teams and winners that seem to change every year. This makes the excitement of baseball come alive again.
One of the main reasons many Major League teams have been successful has not been because they have opened their checkbook, but because they are trusting more and more on talent scouts and building their farm systems. In the 90's and early 2000's, the big budget teams would load up on top talent and not using their farm system correctly. They would trade top prospects to get big name talent, or sign free agents to huge contracts. That isn't the case anymore. Although there are still a number of large contracts, teams are trusting the process of developing new, young talent.
Lets Play Ball: My All-Star Team
I decided to write this up for fellow baseball fans. Also, to hopefully sway those are not fans of the game to maybe become one some day. As the youth talent piles up, many teams are on the rise of becoming contenders for the big stage in October. With that said, I have made a list of many talented players ages twenty five and under. I have built what I think is an All-Star MLB team with these current young players. I have. I will compile a team by selecting each young player I believe is the best at their position at their young age. I will choose thirteen position players and five starting pitchers. I am going off of current statistics. I am not including any injuries. Again, all these players I have selected with be the ages of twenty five and younger. I hope many fans will enjoy, and who knows, maybe your favorite player will make the list.
The Starting Nine
And now here is your line-up for the young talent that will be batting and what position they will play:
At the leadoff spot from the Boston Red Sox, Right Fielder Mookie Betts.
Mookie Betts became a baseball fans favorite when he busted out last year. At five foot nine and one hundred and eighty pounds, Betts proves you don't have to be big in size to put up good offensive numbers. He was one of the best hitters for the Red Sox and helped lead them all the way to the final game in the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians. Betts, like many players that will be listed is a five tool type player. He excels in offensive production, while also being a defensive threat in the outfield. He was the American League MVP runner up. He is also known for his signature dance moves he does after every Red Sox win. He has won a Silver Slugger award (which is given to players who are the best all around offensive player at their position). He won a Gold Glove (which is rewarded to you when you are the best defensive player at your position).
Batting Second, from the Boston Red Sox, the Shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts, like Betts, was huge factor in the Red Sox successful campaign last season. Ever since making it to the MLB, he has steadily improved in both offense and defense. He continues to hit for high average, and has some good pop every now and then. He is one of the more consistent hitters that plays the position of Short Stop. He has two Silver Slugger awards. It will only be a matter of time until he gets his first Gold Glove award.
Batting Third, From the Los Angeles Angels of Anihiem, Centerfielder Mike Trout.
Its hard to believe that he is still only twenty five years old. Arguably the best player in baseball, Trout has built together an impressive MLB career thus far. He already has two MVP awards, and has been a runner up candidate as well. He is the definition of a five tool player. When you see Mike Trout, you think he might be a football player. At six-foot two, and two hundred and thirty pounds, Trout proves that his size does not slow him down. He has won Rookie of the Year and five Silver Slugger awards. Trout is not even in his prime yet, and he already has passed many players offensively. He came into the Major Leagues at the age of 19, which is a very young and extremely rare to be called up that quick.
Batting Cleanup (Fourth), from the New York Yankees, The Designated Hitter, Aaron Judge.
Busting out on the scene and leading the Major Leagues in Homeruns is the talented Yankees rookie and right fielder, Aaron Judge. I have him hitting in the DH role, because it's my team. Now, if you thought Trout was a big guy, well Judge will put him to shame. At six-foot seven and two hundred and eighty two pounds, Judge is a beast at the plate. He is on pace to break the record for most homeruns by a rookie. This record belongs to Mark McGwire at a total of 49 homeruns. Judge is on pace to hit 56 homeruns. He defines the term, "power hitter". He is a fun and exciting young player to watch and the leading candidate for rookie of the year.
Batting Fifth, from the Washington Nationals, Left Fielder Bryce Harper.
Now, I know Harper normally plays right, but for my team I have him in left field. Many fans of baseball have a love hate relationship with Harper. Arguably one of the top five players in baseball, Harper is also known for his attitude problems where his mouth sometimes gets him in trouble. I for one am not a Harper fan at all. But, bias aside, he is very talented and has one of the sweetest swings from the left side of the plate. Like Trout, Harper has many tools as a player. He hits for average and has some raw power. He also has one of the best outfield throwing arms in the game. He does play the game hard. He, like Trout, was also called up from the minor leagues at the age of 19. He also won rookie of the year in the National League, MVP in the National League and a Silver Slugger award.
Batting Six, from the Baltimore Orioles, Third baseman Manny Machado.
Machado is another young and exciting player to watch. He was called up to the big show at an early age as well. He came up as a short stop, but was moved to third. He has been a All-Star caliber player ever since reaching the MLB. He hits for average and has be increasing his power numbers each year. He has won a Gold Glove and has exceled in his defensive performance which makes him an elite player.
Batting seventh, from the Cleveland Indians, Second Baseman Francisco Lindor.
Before you correct, I know he is a Short Stop. A very talented one I might add. But he is going to play second on my team, because I already have a starting Short Stop. Lindor is one of the most fun players to watch. He is a great hitter and a Gold Glove winner for his incredible and sometimes flashy defense. He is a switch-hitting player with speed and a lot of contact. He is probably one of my favorite players playing in today's game. He has one of the most likeable personalities that is backed up with loads of talent.
Batting eighth, from the New York Yankees, Catcher Gary Sanchez.
It is rare, and highly coveted to high a catcher who is both great at defense and offense. Normally, catchers are known for being great defensive players. All though, sometimes an exception comes along and possess both skill sets to become a successful catcher. That said, Sanchez is exactly that. He hits for power and above average for a catcher. He also is great behind the dish (home plate). Sanchez had a bust out Rookie year last year. Although he did not win Rookie of the year, Sanchez is definitely proving he is one of baseball's elite catchers.
Batting Ninth, from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the First Baseman Cody Bellinger.
Like Judge, Bellinger is a Rookie who is on a tear with homeruns as well. He, like Judge, is also on pace to beat the homerun record for dingers hit by a rookie in their first season. Bellinger was called up and has quickly become a fan favorite for the Dodgers, as well as baseball fans around the world. He is on pace to hit fifty bombs and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
The Starting Five:
The main three stats I look at and normally judge on how good a starting pitcher is, are Earned Run Average, Strikeouts, and Win to Lose (also known as a pitchers record).
Earned Run Average is an average calculated by how many runs a team scores against a pitcher during how many innings are pitched. The lower the ERA, the better that pitcher is from keeping other teams from scoring.
Strikeouts, also know as K's, are the total number of strikeouts accumulate from a players at batter when facing a pitcher. A batter is allowed three strikes and four balls. If the batter does not make contact and three strikes are called or swings and misses three times, that is a strikeout. If they collect four balls, that is called a walk.
A pitchers win total, or win loss ration is another stat I look for in a pitcher. Now granted, and win or loss is sometimes out of the pitchers control. However, the better the pitcher is at keeping the other team from scoring, the better the chances are for a pitcher to put up a W, or a win.
Here is the Starting Rotation for My All-Star Team:
1. From the New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard
Syndergaard, also known as Thor, is the young ace for the Mets. He is a dominating a pitcher and has impacted the Mets starting rotation once he was called up. He helped the Mets to appear in the 2015 World Series against the Kansas City Royals. He has been referred to as one of the elite young arms in todays game.
2. From the Minnesota Twins, Jose Berrios
Berrios was called up briefly last year but didn't last too long at the major league level. However, now he is the Twins better starting pitcher, and at the young age of 22, has already shown signs of being a future ace for his ball club.
3. From the Toronto Blue Jays, Aaron Sanchez
At age twenty four, Sanchez has already proven that he has the stuff be considered a top of the rotation pitcher. He has help the Blue Jays contend ever since making it up to the big leagues. He has great stuff that seems to help when it comes to getting batters out.
4. From the Houston Astros, Lance McCullers, Jr.
McCullers broke out on the MLB scene last year and put up some pretty impressive numbers at an early age. This season, he is one of the more successful and talented young aces that seems to be a huge part in the Astros mega success. The Astros are one of the best teams in baseball this season, and with a young arm like McCullers, it is no surprise they are that good.
5. From the Baltimore Orioles, Dylan Bundy
Bundy was regarded as being one the top pitching prospects at age nineteen. He was called up and pitched a little over one inning at the age of nineteen. Bundy made is rookie debut last year and put up solid numbers is first full year as a starting pitcher. This season, Bundy is excelling as one of the Orioles best starters and is helping his team remain in the race for the post season.
- Rookie Of the Year Candidates In Major League Baseball 2017
Young talent is sweeping the nation in Major League Baseball. Here is just a few of the candidates that could make a case for becoming this years Rookie of the year in each League.
The Bench Or Back Up Players.
I must say, I am worn out from making this list. There is so much young talent in the game of Baseball today that I know I have probably missed a player or two. Or others could argue that this player deserves it instead of that player. Regardless, this is still a pretty elite list of great talent. Here are my five back up players that just made the list as well:
From the Chicago Cubs, Third Baseman Kris Bryant
Rookie of the year winner and last years National League MVP, Bryant is definitely a huge talent that help the Cubs win their first World Series in over a hundred years of professional baseball. Bryant his for a average, but is known more for his right handed power. He, like many other young players listed, is also known for his likeable personality.
From the Houston Astros, Short Stop Carlos Correa
Correa was one of the Astros top prospects before he was called up to the Majors. He is a five tool player, who is getting better each year. He won Rookie of the Year is first year in the Majors. He is a big part of the Astros success this season and part of the turning part to making the Astros a winning team again.
From the Los Angeles Dodgers, Short Stop Corey Seager
While his older brother Kyle Seager is has become a consistent talent for the Seattle Mariners, his younger brother Corey has been making a name for himself with the Dodgers. He won Rookie of the Year last year, and has been mentioned as a possible MVP candidate for this season. He hits for average and power and is also just as good on the defensive side.
From the Miami Marlins, Center Fielder Christian Yelich
Yelich proved at an early age he was a defensive style player. But after a breakout year behind the plate, he proved that he is an all around talented player. With speed, good contact and some pop, Yelich is the top of the order style hitter.
From the Minnesota Twins, Third baseman Miguel Sano
Sano has shown signs of improving ever since he came up to the big leagues. He is definitely a power threat, but has also been proven to hit for average. He is having a career year this year and is still getting better with age.
Are any of these your favorite players
Bottom Of the Ninth
Well I must say again, this was a hard list to compile together. I mean, so much young talent in Baseball and it continues to trend that way. As a fan of Baseball, I am loving every minute of it. These young players are entertaining to watch, and bring a whole new positive energy that makes the game fun. Such a diverse young group of All-Stars. As a Braves fan, I trust the process when it comes to rebuilding the team. So many young prospects about to be called up. I think in a couple of years, this list will definitely change, not because of the ages, but because of the plethora of young talent that many team's prospects have. And in conclusion, there are still many players I could have listed, but for now these are the ones the stand out for me. In the words of any umpire at the end of a game, "That's the ballgame".