Today more than ever in the major leagues elite talent comes from players who are incredibly polished for their ages in terms of mechanics, mature plate discipline, game-changing fielding ability or all of these together in a package that marks ”superstar” everywhere you look.
Aquí presentamos a los 5 mejores jugadores menores de 25 años actualmente y que ya están matando la liga, incluso por encima de los más experimentados.
5.- Bo Bichette – Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays shortstop has been one of the most anticipated prospects in recent years: after brief experiences in the majors during the 2019 and 2020 campaigns (playing 46 and 29 games in each respectively), 2021 was his full showcase year and fitted seamlessly into the Canadian team’s explosive offense.
A .298/.343/.484 line, totaling 30 doubles, 29 homers, 102 RBIs, 121 runs scored and 25 stolen bases: Bichette is a threat in every part of the game offensively and defensively.
At only 23 years of age, he already got his first performance in the All-Star Game,and we are definitely just witnessing the beginning of a career that can reach the highest level in the history of Toronto, an organization in which he has already become one of the best minor league players in its history.
4.- Ronald Acuña Jr. – Atlanta Braves
The Venezuelan may not be liked by many for his passionate and challenging way of playing ball, but no one can deny the enormous talent he possesses in every area of the sport. Acuña was on track to have the best season of his career in 2021, in addition to being one of the favorites to win the National League MVP thanks to a beastly start to the season.
Unfortunately, a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered in July meant that the 24-year-old Venezuelan was unable to continue playing for the remainder of the campaign. Despite his absence, the Braves were able to be crowned champions, giving him the first ring of his career.
El Abusadorcito finished the year with 82 games played, where he averaged .283/.394/.596 with 24 home runs, 19 doubles, 52 RBIs, 72 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. He is expected to return in mid-May for the start of the 2022 season.
3.- Fernando Tatis Jr. – San Diego Padres
Earning his first All-Star Game appearance and second career Silver Slugger award in 2021, the Dominican’s campaign was impressive on every level. Coming in third place in the voting for the National League MVP award, Fernando proved that he is here to stay as one of the world stars of the sport.
Leading his circuit with 42 homers and adding 97 RBIs, 99 runs scored, a .282/.364/.611 batting line and adding 25 stolen bases, all these monstrous numbers at only 22 years of age, it is undeniable that he is among the best players under the age of 25 without a doubt, and from here on out El Niño will be a strong contender for the Most Valuable Player of the Season award for the next decade.
2.- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays
In a world where Shohei Ohtani does not exist, the Dominican would have been unanimously crowned the American League MVP at just 22 years of age. If anyone was able to establish himself as the best hitter in the major leagues’ last campaign, it was Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
MLB-wide leader in the following categories: runs scored (123), total bases (363), home runs (48) and runs created (144). Adding the rest of his numbers, he would finish the season with a .311/.401/.601 line, 111 RBIs, 29 doubles, and an OPS of 1.002.
Counting his first participation in the All-Star Game, his first Silver Slugger award and being the second place in the voting for the MVP of the young circuit, we can no longer refer to Vladdy as ”the son of Vladimir Guerrero”, as he came to make history in elite baseball, his own history that is just beginning. He has the potential to become one of the best hitters in the history of the sport.
1.- Juan Soto – Washington Nationals
After a somewhat inconsistent start to the season due to several absences due to injuries or isolation due to COVID protocols, Soto had one of the most offensively dominant periods in all of baseball.
Although the Nationals’ season would not be nearly as successful as Soto’s campaign, who finished second in the MVP voting. His numbers were .313/.465/.534 with 20 doubles, 29 homers, 111 runs scored, 95 RBIs and leading all of MLB in bases on balls (145), OBP (.465) and intentional bases on balls (23).
Soto had his showcase of talent as a key figure for the future of MLB by winning the championship with Washington in 2019, however, his progress continues to be impressive for his short 23 years, proving to be one of the most complete and mature hitters in all of the majors, in addition to being No. 1 among the best players under the age of 25 in all of baseball.