While it may not be marketed correctly to the “average fan,” MLB has a plethora of fresh young athletes on the verge of stardom. In this 2-part article, we’ll break down the teams in each league that possess the best “major league ready” young talent in the MLB. Let’s start with the American League:
Chicago White Sox
From mid-season breakout performers in 2019, to fresh new faces on the big league club in 2020, the Sox have many riches at their disposal; from a pitching and hitting perspective. Their hitters start with top OF prospect, Luis Robert, who just signed a 6 year, $50 million contract extension before stepping foot on a major league diamond. He’s an all-around performer with speed and power. He may have his bumps and bruises as he lacks elite plate discipline and contact skills, but there is still plenty of promise there. In addition, they have 2019 breakouts in Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez who totaled a combined 61 HRS in a limited number of at-bats; so the upside is endless.
On the pitching front, it starts with Lucas Giolito. The long-awaited pitching prospect finally put it all together last year, finishing with a 3.41 ERA, 228 SO and 14 wins. He revamped his delivery, and it paid dividends. Now he is considered one of the elite arm talents in the game. Behind him, Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech (elected to sit-out 2020 season) also have elite “stuff.” They lack a bit of command, but if they can put it all together, this will end up being one of the best young pitching staffs in the American League.
Eloy with a long slam. 💪
— MLB (@MLB) July 21, 2020
The future in Oakland is full of young studs who are set to have breakout years with young players such as Jesus Luzardo, A.J. Puk, Ramon Laureano and Matt Olson.
In just a glimpse of last year’s stent from SP prospects, Luzardo (22 years old) and Puk (25 years old), onlookers can visualize an all-star year in 2020. In just 6 appearances on the rubber, Luzardo pitched 12.0 innings-only allowing 5 hits, 2 earned runs and an ERA of 1.50 while giving up only one home run. The promising stat is his opposing hitters’ .119 batting average and 16 strike outs while his counterpart, Puk, pitched 11.1 innings in 10 games-only giving up four earned runs, 13 strike outs and recording 2 wins.
The stud hitting duo of OF Ramon Laureano and 1B Matt Olson, each just 26 years old, have the most experience under their belt. Laureano led the A’s with a .288 batting average, was 3rd in total hits (123), and 5th in RBI’s (67) and home runs (24), whereas Olson led the team with 36 HR in only 127 games. These young players look to have a promising 2020 season that could contribute into a World Series push after their early exit last year.
A’s young stud Ramon Laureano walks it off vs the Tigers for his first big league hit! #RootedInOakland
— Amazin’ A’s Craze (@AmazinAsCraze) July 5, 2020
Toronto Blue Jays
This is one of the more intriguing and fun group of young players to watch in MLB. While most of their promise lies in the lineup, they do have 1 elite pitching prospect that might debut in 2020-Nate Pearson. His fastball can reach triple digits, and his movement on most of his pitches is terrifying. Something tells me he is going to quickly become a fan favorite in TOR.
The young talent in the hitting lineup is where most of the juice comes from with this team; most of which are 2nd generation MLB stars. Vlad Guerrero, Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Danny Jansen are all 25 years or younger. All 4 of these future stars are infielders and 3/4 will bat towards the top of this TOR lineup. In a shortened season where fresh young talent may prevail, watch out for them as contenders in the challenging AL East.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 4, 2018
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