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

Rich Gannon blasts Raiders personnel: ‘They’re stealing’

Suspended KeiVarae Russell: Notre Dame becoming ridiculous

Antrel Rolle: Amukamara improved after losing virginity

High school football player dies after suffering head injury

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

GALLERY: Derek Jeter tops list of athletes with weird phobias

WATCH: LeBron James makes one special Cavs fan’s night

10 most shocking developments so far in 2014 NFL season

WATCH: Matthew McConaughey gives pep talk to Longhorns

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

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!

GALLERY: Athletes and odd phobias

Amukamara better after lost virginity?

H.S. player dies after suffering head injury

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

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.