Veteran leadership is a necessity in the Major Leagues. But the young guys make up some of the best talent in the game today. Here’s our list for the best players under the age of 25:
C – Christian Bethancourt
Bethancourt has potential, but mostly gets the nod because there are no other choices.
1B – Kris Bryant
Kris Bryant has played 26.1 innings at first base this season. That means he’s eligible for my team and that’s a good thing, because without him the pickings are slim. But after winning the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2015 Kris Bryant has picked up where he left off. He’s currently hitting in the heart of the lineup for the best team in baseball and has hit 21 home runs so far. He’s also driven in 57 runs, which leads the Cubs.
2B – Jonathan Schoop
There really isn’t much separating Schoop and Rougned Odor. Schoop gets the nod for me, mostly because Odor has a dirty reputation.
SS – Xander Bogaerts
Bogaerts has been playing out of his mind so far this season. He leads all of baseball in fWAR with 4.1. He’s playing great defense and leads the American League in batting with a .347 average. He also has 46 RBIs and 55 runs scored for the Red Sox.
3B – Manny Machado
We’re still including him at third, even though he’s been spending time at shortstop with JJ Hardy on the DL. Nonetheless, Machado continues to play elite defense, but is also showing his ability with the bat. He’s currently slashing .325/.384/.609.
OF – Mike Trout
He still doesn’t turn 25 until August 7, yet seems like he’s been around forever. He’s already won one MVP and we can make a strong argument that he should have won a couple others. This season has been no different. He has a .987 OPS and is the best player in baseball.
OF – Mookie Betts
Betts is currently slashing .289/.330/.506. He also leads all of baseball with 66 runs. The Red Sox have a complete player and with him and Bogaerts at the core, they have a promising future.
OF – Bryce Harper
Even with Harper’s struggles at the plate this season he still has an fWAR of 2.7. He’s still walking 19% of the time and his BABIP indicates that he may be a bit unlucky this season. He belongs here.
P – Jose Fernandez/Noah Syndergaard
It was too close to decide between these two. They both have electric stuff. They both keep the home runs to a minimum. And they both strike out a lot of guys.
-Francisco Lindor (SS)
-Christian Yelich (OF)
-Gregory Polanco (OF)
-Corey Seager (SS)
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs.