Originally written on Hall of Very Good  |  Last updated 9/29/13

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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Polian: I'd have my scouts looking awfully hard at RGIII

Report: Patrick Kane generating significant trade interest

Why Alabama will and won't win the National Championship

Tom Brady: ‘It’s been such an enjoyable offseason’

Andrew Luck: Reggie Wayne is not a traitor

LeBron: You don’t have to win championship to be great team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

‘Concussion’ director: No compromises made for NFL

Kevin Sumlin: Texas A&M players have 'chip on their shoulder'

WATCH: Elvis Andrus steals home against Padres

Seahawks went on Hawaiian vacation to ease SB tension

Robert Kraft: Deflategate 'most overblown story' in NFL

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker