Although Major League Baseball shortened its season this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the excitement for this sport is at an all-time high. With troves of exceptional talent rising from around the world and through the big leagues, the sport has enough firepower to satiate any fan.
Some of the greatest MLB teams that we know and love today started their success due to one transcendent player. Here are some of the best young players you need to be aware of in the MBL for next year and many years to come.
Soto can pretty much do anything on the baseball field. After being called up to the majors at just 19 years old, Soto has been a sensation ever since his rookie campaign.
When he turned 20, he led the Washington Nationals to their first-ever World Series championship, racking up crucial hit after devastatingly-crucial hit through the postseason and beyond.
Recently completing his third season in the major leagues, it appears as though Soto is going to be one of the household names for years to come.
Fans like big home runs and Soto delivers. In a game at Citi Field in New York City last season, Soto jacked a 463-foot dinger.
The 23-year old May, affectionately known as ‘Carrot Top’ with his electric orange hair, has a fastball that spits the same kind of fire – a two-seamer with upward and sideways movement that frequently touches 100 miles per hour on the gun.
Match it with May’s wicked curveball that drops the bottom out as it nears the plate, and you get the makings of an elite pitcher for years to come. A mid-90s cutter complements May’s top two pitchers.
After helping the Dodgers win their first World Series championship for the first time in 32 years in October, May seems to be an essential part of the Dodgers’ future.
May wasn’t even on the initial opening day roster to start the season. But within days, he was elevated to opening day starter as future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw was injured.
We can only expect more of the same in 2021.
Take a bow, rookie of the year. The 25-year-old right-handed right fielder out of Mercer University is doing damage on the west coast. He was briefly called up in 2019 and succinctly smashed three home runs in his first three games.
Seattle brought him back for the 2020 campaign, and Lewis paid immediate dividends. At one point in the early stages of the season, Lewis was fourth in the AL batting race with a .338 average. He ended with a humbling .262 but still took home rookie of the year award.
He joins a shortlist of unanimous rookie of the year winners, amongst the all-time greats such as Carlton Fisk, Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, and Aaron Judge.
The 20-year-old Toronto shortstop might as well be the next Mr. Consistency.
In the abbreviated 2020 campaign, Bichette batted .301 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 29 games.
Bichette got off to a scalding-hot beginning to his career and broke many franchise and league-wide records while doing it. What did he do?
- He became the first player to hit ten extra-base hits in his first nine games.
- Tied Derrek Lee and Yadier Molina as the only players to record a double in eight straight games.
- Broke Carlos Delgado’s franchise record with eight consecutive games with a double.
- Broke the MLB record with a double in nine consecutive games.
- Set a new MLB record with 13 extra-base hits in his first 11 games.
- Became the first rookie with extra-base hits in nine-straight games since Ted Williams in 1939.
Need we say more?
Fernando Tatis, Jr.
Tatis is easily one of the most intriguing players to watch in MLB. Tatis, Jr is fun, fast, and has power – he’s an all-around electric player.
The 21-year-old Dominican Republic native is the first player in history with 30 home runs and 20 steals in his first 100 games.
Tatis is unlike any other player in the league. He is brash and walks the line of disrespect. His bat flips, stare downs, salutes, and slow rounding of the bases show that he does not play in your grandpa’s MLB. Making this is the new MLB, and Tatis, Jr. is the show.
He makes every single Padres game a must-see TV show.
Introducing Luis Robert, the player that came so close.
Robert finished second to Lewis in AL rookie of the year voting but scored an impressive Gold Glove in his first full season in the big leagues. The 23-year-old Cuban outfielder has the complete package, at the plate, on the bases, and in the field.
It’s just what a frustrated franchise like the White Sox needed to find. Just check out Robert’s stats:
- Robert’s first career hit was a 115 mph single, the hardest first hit ever.
- He jacks homers.
- He glides around the bases.
- He has a cannon for an arm.
No wonder he is being compared to Mike Trout.
Finally, we have to mention Ronald Acuna, Jr.
Ronald Acuna, Jr.
In an excellent MLB player’s career, achieving a stat line of 41 home runs and 37 steals in a single season would likely be the best of their life.
That’s what Acuna did in his 2019 campaign at 22 years old. Being able to hit and steal at that kind of pace makes Acuna a rare double threat.
The Venezuelan born has the star power to challenge Trout as the league’s best player.
All of the young MLB players we’ve listed are very talented. Their talent has left us questioning if the change of the old guard is coming soon?