Even the most casual baseball fan can name superstars such as Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Clayton Kershaw. They are all over ESPN, they get all of the big endorsement deals, and are widely considered to be the best players in the game right now. Still other players like Giancarlo Stanton, Jake Arrieta, and Buster Posey are well known and considered to be stars in their own right. But there’s a whole tier of the best young players in baseball that nobody is talking about
Then there are the rising stars that hardly anyone seems to be talking about.
These are guys that will force themselves into the conversation as the best in the game if they continue to produce as they are. It is certainly worth your while to follow these rising stars and give them the credit that they are due, because they certainly deserve every ounce of recognition that comes their way.
Starling Marte – OF Pittsburgh Pirates
Quick, name the player with the highest batting average so far this season for Pittsburgh (hint, it’s not McCutchen). Starling Marte is batting at an impressive .319 clip so far, which is good for not only the best on the Pirates, but also 6th in the National League. Many Pittsburgh faithful believe that he is even more talented than fellow Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen. For years to come, Marte has a very good chance to be a consistent 20-20-.290-80 player, especially if his power continues to develop.
Stephen Piscotty – OF St. Louis Cardinals
While Piscotty has yet to register a full season in the bigs, he is worthy of being in the discussion for being one of the game’s rising stars. He is batting a healthy .317 this year, and has driven in 32 runs to boot. In right field, he has made a number of solid plays in order to help the St. Louis faithful get over the loss of Jason Heyward. Piscotty is still young, but he has a bright future ahead of him, and many believe that he can be one of the most consistent hitters in the majors.
Zach Britton – CP Baltimore Orioles
Britton is the epitome of flying under the radar, and he’s been doing it for a couple of years now. His first few years with the O’s were rocky as he tried to find his place in the rotation. In 2014, however, he turned in an impressive 37 save, 1.65 ERA, .90 WHIP season and has never looked back. His 2015 numbers were just as good, and he’s off to a solid start in the 2016 campaign. Britton boasts a two-seam fastball that averages out at 96.96 MPH according to MLB.com, as well as a nasty curveball. Britton made his first All-Star Game last year, and he has the chance to cement himself as a dominant closer.
Gerrit Cole – SP Pittsburgh Pirates
Gerrit Cole should certainly be considered one of the more dominant starting pitchers in the game right now. While his hit totals and his WHIP are slightly up this season, his 2015 season showcased just how good he could be. In 2015, Cole posted a 19-8 season with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. With numbers like these, Gerrit Cole is quickly solidifying himself as on of the more dominant starters in the game right now.
Francisco Lindor – SS Cleveland Indians
There has been a youth movement in shortstops in recent times, and many have given Boston’s Xander Bogaerts the title as best shortstop in the game. Bogaerts is good, but Lindor deserves to be in the conversation. Lindor is as smooth as any, both with the bat and with the glove. He has batted at a sound .311 clip in his career 611 plate appearances. Lindor has every opportunity to force himself in the conversation of best shortstop in the game, especially if his power continues to develop.
Conclusion: the best young players in baseball aren’t just the ones you hear about every day.