Originally written September 27, 2013 on Hall of Very Good:
There's been a lot of talk about all the young stars taking over baseball, and with Mike Trout looking like one of the best players in the league in just his second season...it's a pretty easy discussion to get wrapped up in. So along those lines, here's a look at seven young Major Leaguers who already look to have a shot at Cooperstown. 7. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman is the wildcard in this group, but if you take a look at baseball-reference.com, it's pretty clear that he's a promising young player. The Atlanta first baseman has raised this season's average to .315 (with 106 RBI) while cutting his strikeout rate. He's a solid defensive defender, he's only 24...and he's still improving. Not to mention he's on a franchise that will give him many opportunities to shine in the postseason. 6. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals It's tough to include Stephen Strasburg on this list given that he's under 25 and he's already had Tommy John surgery. But Strasburg is still so good when healthy, you have to give him a shot. Plus, he can get it done with the curveball, meaning he won't rely on declining velocity as much as some pitchers. 5. Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs Statistically, Starlin Castro is behind Hall of Fame pace, so this is a bit of a reach. But here's the deal...Derek Jeter will be out of the game soon, and the Yankees will want a long-term solution at shortstop. The Cubs just showed a willingness to deal with New York in the Alfonso Soriano trade, so it's conceivable that the Yanks offer a haul for Castro and bring him into a situation where he can truly excel for the next 10-plus years. 4. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers Pitchers are tough to project, but Clayton Kershaw is so good and so consistent, that he's got a great shot at Cooperstown. Just take a look at the betting.betfair.com sports betting guide, where the Dodgers are considered heavy World Series favorites and know that it's in very large part thanks to Kershaw! 3. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles Somehow Manny Machado keeps flying under the radar. He's a physical beast, a fantastic fielder and a very promising hitter with some power. He's only 21, but Machado, should he bounce back from his recent injury, will be very good for a long time. 2. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig may have cooled off a bit from his scorching start, but he is still a big reason the Dodgers are looking like the best team in the MLB. And the idea that a 22-year-old hitting over .325 with a .546 slugging pct. can still get better is frightening. 1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels No one tops Mike Trout. He's been a legitimate MVP candidate in each of his first two seasons. Plus, he has that intangible quality that makes for a truly special baseball player...he looks to be insanely competitive and fun-loving all at the same time. Trout could be the face of the coming generation of baseball.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

Adam Dunn to retire after 14-year MLB career

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

Tiger Woods to open restaurant in Florida next year

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Grading each NFL's team's play at quarter-season mark

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.