Baseball currently has some of the most exciting young players fans have seen in a long time. Renaissance men who can hit for average and power, savages who smash and mash like the legends of the steroid age, and hurlers who make it impossible to believe anyone will make contact ever again.
Here are the ten most exciting players 25 and under:
10. Luis Severino
“Sevy,” as he’s known to Yankees fans, has been quietly lethal. The kid still gives up too many home runs, but so did the coach’s son in little league, and he was still considered a shining star. Severino’s ERA may not blow you away right now, but you can’t take your eyes off of him. The kid is throwing triple digit cheese into the latter parts of games and has a slider that breaks off at the end harder than your girlfriend in high school. It’s impossible to say if he has the make-up of a long-time starter, but man, is he fun to watch.
9. Trea Turner
Trea runs the base paths like a Severino fast ball. The Nationals speedster has been clocked at 22.7 miles per hour (36.5 km/h) at least twice during the 2016 season, and more impressively, hit .329 as a rookie with 15 bomb-diggity-ombs. On April 25th, he hit for the cycle and then came a triple short of doing it again the next night. As is said often in Washington these days, Trea’s potential is “huge.” A shortstop who can do it all only comes around so often; ask every team around the league what they would give up for Turner or Corey Seager. Most would say their first born or left nut…
8. Aaron Judge
WOW. I mean, come on. WOW. No way, that’s gonna leave a mark. These are common utterances when watching The Sopranos, and watching Aaron Judge hit a baseball. Both are equally gruesome and arousing. Mainly arousing. In the month of April, Judge broke the record for the hardest hit ball in the Statcast era (119.2 mph), hit nine home runs (including one over 450 feet), and nearly killed a pitcher with a 115 MPH single. Watching judge hit has become a mix of watching beautiful baseball and a trip to the Circus. He’s a freak show…
7. Andrew Benintendi
Benintendi is fun to watch. There are only so many people outside of Dennis Quaid who are naturals, and Benintendi appears to be one of them. With a smooth approach at the plate, he seems like he has been in the majors terrorizing pitchers for decades, not just a month or two. Hopefully for his sake, he can confess his sins and move on to a kinder team like the Twins or the Reds so that people can feel better about his hitting prowess. But for now, we sit and marvel as he continues to rip the seams of off baseballs guiding the Red Sox to a whole slew of W’s. (I’m a Yankees fan, if you couldn’t tell).
6. Julio Urias
20 years old. I can think of like four 20-year-olds who could pass the drug test at Wal-Mart, let alone handle the pressure of the Major Leagues. His stats to date are 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA and 84 strikeouts. Not Cy Young stuff yet, but he’s still mastering shaving and balancing a checking account, so give him time.
5. Mookie Betts
First of all, what a name. It’s too bad the man plays for baseball’s Sith lords, because he’s fun to watch. With a smooth swing and a great approach at the plate, he reeks of a Yankee-killer for years to come. That’s how it is in Beantown: a player has two responsibilities:
1. Win the title
1a. Beat the Yankees.
Mookie Betts makes it possible to achieve both of those goals. He’s more disciplined at the plate than an anorexic at a buffet. The guy went 129 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout. I hate this guy, but I only hate him because I love him…
4. Gary Sanchez
El Gary is a godsend; he’s the baby in the manger, the man of our dreams. He strikes fear into opposing pitchers while still being a friendly face. He will be the godfather to my children even if he doesn’t know it yet. The man almost won the AL Rookie of the Year even though he only played in a third of the games. It was one of the most insane stretches of hitting baseball had ever seen. There’s always the question of whether he can keep it up, but there’s also the question of whether or not your mother truly loves you. In this world, there are just some things we know: Gary Sanchez will hit, and I’m my momma’s beautiful baby boy whom she loves very, very much…
3. Corey Seager
Because of the syllabic breakdown of his name, when chanted “Corey Seager” sounds very similar to “Derek Jeter,” and that is how this young man plays. He hits for average, he hits for power, he hits for fun, he hits on your girl. He dates your girl, he ruins your life, you’re never the same. That is Corey Seager. In Corey’s three years in the Majors, he’s batting .312 with 34 home runs and 104 RBIs. The guy rakes more than a meth-addicted gardener…
2. Noah Syndergaard
THOR. Syndergaard can blow it by you. He can change speeds; he can pitch with finesse. The young man has it all, except for a barber who’ll tell it like it is. As good as his arm is, his hair is equally as bad. Just a personal opinion…
1. Mike Trout
What can you say about Mike Trout? He is the Angel in the Outfield (and the only person of relevance in the entire Anaheim lineup). Some stats for you geeky weirdos (per ESPN):
1) Trout has more hits prior to turning 25 than Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader (4,256), did.
2) He has more home runs prior to turning 25 than Barry Bonds, the all-time HR leader (762), did.
3) He has more runs prior to turning 25 than Rickey Henderson, the all-time runs leader (2,295), did.
4) He has more total bases prior to turning 25 than Hank Aaron, the all-time total bases leader (6,856), did.
5) Trout already has four seasons of at least 25 HRs and 100 runs. That’s as many as Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, George Brett, Reggie Jackson, and Kirby Puckett had combined.
The man is superhuman. He’s a good teammate, he plays hard, and he gets in the MRI machine when a medical professional tells him to do so. He is the real deal and one day the Yankees will throw away their future to have him in pinstripes when he’s well past his prime. That’s how you know he’s a great one…