Monday, June 17, 2013

The Future of Baseball is Bright, Very Bright

With the MLB All-Star game next month, there is going to be a ton of debate on talk radio, podcasts, and blogs about which players deserved their roster spot and which players didn't.  But there is no doubt that the FUTURE of the league is headed in the right direction and loaded with young talented stars.  Taking a look at the top players under the age of 25, and seeing how big of an impact they make on their Big League ballclubs proves this. 

Two catchers that really stand out are Wilin Roasrio (24) of the Colorado Rockies and Salvador Perez (23) of the Kansas City Royals.  These two are completely opposite hitters with Roasario hitting for power and Perez hitting for average but both guys are quality fantasy players and are must owns in all league formats.  The Mariners have two catchers that fall in this category, but Jesus Montero (23) struggled and was sent down to the minors and Mike Zunino (22) was called up.   Let's not forget that Travis d'Arnaud (24) of the New York Mets will be playing in Queens sometime this summer!  For a position that has been so weak for so long and dominated by Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Yadier Molina and now Buster Posey, there is serious depth potential at one of fantasy baseballs weakest positions.

At first base, Paul Goldschmidt (25) is a future perenial All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Anthony Rizzo (23, Chicago Cubs) and Freddie Freeman (23, Atlanta Braves) will be battling each other to be second best in the National League.  Goldschmidt will turn 26 in September so he barely makes this list but he is in the discussion for best 1B in all of baseball not just under an age group!  First base has been a real disappointment in fantasy baseball this season with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez struggling and Mark Teixeira being injured.

Up the middle at second base, there is not much to look forward too, but the Houston Astros have Jose Altuve (23) and Jedd Gyorko (24) of the San Diego Padres is proving to be the next generation's Dustin Pedroia.  Some of the older guys will be around for a while and still dominate the position like Robinson Cano, Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist and newcomer Matt Carpenter, who at 27 got a late start to his career.

The Baltimore Orioles Manny Machado (20) is on pace to break the MLB record for doubles in a season, and he has not even old enough to legally drink a beer!  The Seattle Mariners have a nice third baseman as well in Kyle Seager, whose 28 extra base hits puts him behind only Machado, Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Adrian Beltre.  The Hot Corner is loaded with names we have all coveted for a long time like David Wright, Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Zimmerman but injuries and not meeting expectations have crushed their value.  Miguel Sano, Mike Ott, and Anthony Rendon should also provide a boost to a position that is in desperate need of repair when they finally reach the MLB!

At the Shortstop position, Jean Segura (23, Milwaukee Brewers) has emerged as one of the best in the league.  Guys like Starlin Castro (23, Cubs) who could be one of the best hitters in the game and Elvis Andrus (24, Texas Rangers) allow fantasy players to not reach for injury prone stars like Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki.  This is baseball weakest fantasy postiion and outside of Jurickson Profar who is in the Rangers organization so will obviously not be an MLB shortstop, there is limited talent that is anywhere near ready.

The Outfielders are already some of the best players on their respective squads with guys like Mike Trout (21, Los Angeles Angels) Domonic Brown (25, Philadelphia Phillies) and Justin Upton (25, Braves).  You can add to this list players like Starling Marte (24, Pittsburgh Pirates) who is having a breakout season and Yasiel Puig (22, Los Angeles Dodgers) who has taken the MLB by storm!  There are also these guys in the National League East named Bryce Harper (20, Washington Nationals), Jason Heyward (23, Atlanta Braves) and Giancarlo Stanton (23, Miami Marlins), have you ever heard of them?  Wil Myers (22, Tampa Bay Rays) just got called up to the Bigs and Oscar Tavares (20, St. Louis Cardinals) and Billy Hamilton (22, Cincinnati Reds) are not far behind!

You could make two of baseballs best pitching staffs out of the list of potential Aces 25 and under with names like Clayton Kershaw (25, Dodgers), Matt Harvey (24, Mets), Shelby Miller (22, Cardinals), Patrick Corbin (23, Diamondbacks) and Mat Latos (25, Reds).  That doesn't include Chris Sale (24, White Sox), Alex Cobb (25, Rays), Madison Bumgarner (23, San Francisco Giants), Mike Minor (25, Braves) and Matt Moore (23, Rays)!  Want a third rotation?  How about A.J. Griffin (25, Oakland Athletics), Stephen Strasburg (24, Nationals), Jose Fernandez (20, Marlins), Julio Teheran (22, Braves) and Jeff Locke (25, Pirates)!  Zack Wheeler is set to make his debut for the Mets on Tuesday, Gerrit Cole has looked great in his first couple starts for the Pirates and the unlimited list of potential studs in the minor league systems is unbelievable!  So much quality pitching, makes you wonder how all of the hitters we listed above even have a job!

Did we miss anyone?!

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