America’s past time.
Arguably the greatest sport in the history of sports.
Nothing is better than watching your team break a 108 year old curse in extra innings, game seven of the world series. However, with that said, as seasons end, players grow old, and then they retire. Within the last couple of years baseball has lost Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, David Ortiz, David Ross, and is on the verge of losing Ichiro and Bartolo Colon pretty soon as well.
With that being said, there is always someone to step in and fill the void. The youth in the MLB is what helps baseball thrive, and shows that youth with the drive and will to work can do great things. (Just look at the 2016 Chicago Cubs.) Here are some names to watch for to really help baseball not just survive, but thrive and grow.
Noah Syndergaard- New York Mets
(24-17 2.80 ERA)
Noah Syndergaard is a 24 year old hard throwing righty for the Mets. He is off to a pretty decent start to his career, and looks to be a future ace for anyone who can snag him if the Mets can not manage to foot his future bill. He has a phenomenal fastball, and above average breaking balls, so I see nothing but major upside from Noah, if he stays healthy.
Marcus Stroman- Toronto Blue Jays
(25-18 3.91 ERA)
I get it, the numbers seem bad, but the 25 year old Stroman has recently hit his groove on the international stage, so it is about time he hits it in the MLB. Stroman pitched a gem in the championship game vs Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, in which he helped the US drastically. He has phenomenal stuff, and with some better run support, could easily become one of the top pitchers in the AL East, if not the whole MLB.
Kris Bryant- Chicago Cubs 3B
(.281 BA, 67 HR’s 210 RBI’s)
Kris Bryant is a superb player. He is one of the center pieces of the Chicago Cubs organization, and is a pivotal reason the Cubs ended the drought. He went from NL Rookie of the Year, to NL MVP the next year. In his third season now, the 24 year old seems to be a lock for a solid offensive player, with some good defense. I hope to see the core of young Cubs stay together for the long run.
Gary Sanchez- New York Yankees C
(One Half Season. .283 BA, 21 HR’s 44 RBI’s)
Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Gary Sanchez? Gary Sanchez seems to be the real deal in New York. Sanchez and Bird seem to be the leaders of this Yankees Organization now. I feel like with the short time we have seen Sanchez, that he has major upside and limitless potential. I feel like he will be one of the top catchers in the game easily, and can really cement a legacy of the next great Yankee.
Dansby Swanson- Atlanta Braves SS (Rookie)
Dansby Swanson was a standout at Vanderbilt. He is a pretty good defensive shortstop, with some major offensive potential. In his rookie year, he seems to be the favorite for many experts to win NL Rookie of the Year, and I am a major fan of him. I see nothing but good things coming for Swanson and the rebuilding Braves. Swanson could be the centerpiece of the future of that organization.
Francisco Lindor- Cleveland Indians SS
( .306 BA, 31 HR’s, 32 SB)
Lindor seems to be the face of the Cleveland Indians. He was a major factor in the Drought vs Bigger Drought World Series. He is a speedy shortstop, with above average offensive and defensive skill sets. He was also the man who was responsible for the free taco from Taco Bell after stealing a base in the World Series. I feel like one day he could be up in the ranks and thought as highly as a Ripken or Jeter. If the Indians play their cards right, they have a very bright future and one that may have a certain ring to it.
Javier Baez- Chicago Cubs Utility Player
( .242 BA, 25 HR’s, 87 RBI’s )
Javy Baez may just be on this list because of his defense. A streaky offensive player who struggles to let the bad ones go by, but his defense more than makes up for it. He might just be my favorite player to watch defensively. He looks like he is having fun out there all the time, enjoying the game. He mastered the quick tags, and his tags in general are a thing of beauty. He has some serious potential, if only he gets better and allows himself to watch the bad ones go by.
Andrew Benintendi- Boston Red Sox
(Rookie One Month plus this season) (.316 BA, 3 HR’s, 25 RBI’s.)
Andrew Benintendi may round out that core of Red Sox youth. After the loss of David Ortiz, Boston needs a new face of the team. Pedroia is on his way out, and the new young core of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr may just have found their fourth horseman. Benintendi seems to be a frontrunner for AL Rookie of the Year, and he has all the tools for it. Lacking power, but a phenomenal contact hitter and defensive left fielder, the Red Sox seem to be in good shape.
Albert Almora Jr- Chicago Cubs CF (Rookie 2 months plus this season) (.280 BA, 4 HR’s, 21 RBI)
Almora is a huge part of the Cubs future, or so it seems. With the loss of Dexter Fowler, and the resilience shown by not trading Almora, he seems to be in Chicago for the long run. With the small glimpses seen of Almora, he seems to be a defensive outfielder. Albert has the potential to be the face of the outfield in Chicago, and if he can get his offensive consistency up while learning from Jason Heyward on defense, and he will be a pretty solid guy for years to come.
Bryce Harper- Washington Nationals RF
(.282 BA, 128 HR’s, 354 RBI’s)
Bryce Harper might just be the best player in baseball. You could argue for him or Mike Trout being the best outfielder in the game today. However, Bryce Harper is a stud, and there is no other way to describe it. He is just now turning 24. 24. He is a Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, 4x All-Star and a Silver Slugger. That’s just it, he has all these accolades and is still so young. Harper has nothing but potential, and potential to be one of the best to ever play.
Kyle Schwarber- Chicago Cubs LF/C
(.240 BA, 19 HR’s, 51 RBI’s)
Schwarber would be on the list, but then I would have half of the Chicago Cubs young guns on here. However, Schwarber is a stud. Who else do you know that completely tear ligaments in their knee, then rehab and be cleared just in time for the World Series, and then play a huge role to help the Cubs end the drought? HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE THIS MAN.
Corey Seager- Los Angeles Dodgers SS
(.311 BA, 33 HR’s, 103 RBI’s.) 22.
That is how old Seager is. However, he is way before his prime, and yet is a huge part of the Dodgers franchise, and is a potential centerpiece. Baseball is in his blood, and it shows when he is out there. He is a Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger, and is not even in his prime yet. WATCH OUT FOR THIS MAN.
Jose Fernandez- Miami Marlins SP
(38-17 2.58 ERA)
Jose Fernandez was one of the best young pitchers in baseball, and was so much fun to watch. However, Jose was taken away from us way too soon. Before his death, he was almost a sure win for the Marlins when he was on the mound. He was always one to look like he was enjoying the chance to pitch.
RIP Jose Fernandez.