Baseball is a game reluctant to change. Nine innings. Nine players. Three outs. Four balls. It all works, and the rest of the sport falls into place.
But baseball is also a game that’s changing in more subtle ways, and that’s because it has to. Major League Baseball’s fans have the highest median age of any other sports league in the United States. The game’s old guard has also, for the most part, retired. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are still highly recognizable names and faces, but the former owns the struggling Miami Marlins and the latter is a broadcaster.
David Ortiz is gone and Albert Pujols hasn’t been an All-Star in going on three seasons now. The game is changing, and the faces people associate with baseball are disappearing. Thankfully, a young crop of talent is taking the game over in a big way. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are full of home-grown youths who can hit the hell out of the baseball. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim still have a ridiculous name but an even more ridiculous young talent.
There are a lot of different ways to look at “young” in baseball because players are drafted early and some reach the majors before others, so let’s go with three established young stars and three players to watch on the rise in the Majors in the coming years.