One of the things that continues to make baseball great is the fact that young stars emerge every season.
Those rising stars show promise early in their careers, often becoming All-Stars multiple times.
But they have to patiently wait their turns.
Here is a list of 10 youngsters who are already on the verge of becoming All-Stars. The list will be confined to players who have yet to earn an All-Star selection. Prospects who have yet to star at the big-league stage will not be included.
Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis very nearly made the American League All-Star team in his first full season.
He likely paved the way for future All-Star selections, however.
Kipnis ended last year with a .257 average, 14 HR and 76 RBI. At just 25 years of age, Kipnis could well see a bevy of All-Star selections before his career is said and done.
Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman backed up an impressive rookie year with a solid sophomore campaign.
After hitting 21 HR with 76 RBI, Freeman slugged 23 HR with a team-leading 94 RBI last season and became a solid fixture in the middle of the Braves' lineup.
Together with Jason Heyward, the two will no doubt find themselves selected to several All-Star teams. At just 23 years of age, Freeman is already making a name for himself.
Making his major-league debut at the age of 20 last year, Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado briefly showed the skills that had him ranked as a top-10 prospect in Major League Baseball.
Even playing a position not natural to him didn't dissuade Machado—he committed just five errors in 51 games at third base while hitting .262 with seven home runs and 26 RBI.
Machado will get a chance to show what he can do over a full season in 2013. There's no reason to think he wouldn't be worthy of the All-Star team based on his showing last year.
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo put up pretty lofty numbers despite only playing in 87 games last season.
The 23-year-old collected 15 HR with 48 RBI while hitting .285 following his call-up from Triple-A in late June. The Cubs are counting on Rizzo to be a focal point of their offense for the foreseeable future.
All-Star selections could become almost automatic if Rizzo continues to impress.
In just his third full season, Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson blossomed in the leadoff spot. Jackson hit .300 while leading the American League in triples for the second consecutive season.
He added some punch as well, contributing 16 HR with 66 RBI.
Jackson turned 26 years of age on Friday, and it's very likely his best years are still ahead of him.
The Los Angeles Angels bullpen was buoyed last year with the acquisition of Ernesto Frieri. He contributed 23 saves and held the opposition scoreless in 26 straight appearances from his arrival on May 5 until the All-Star break.
Frieri will likely be the setup man for closer Ryan Madson when the 2013 starts for the Angels. If he can maintain his 13.3 K/9 rate from last season and his overall dominance, it will be difficult to keep him off future All-Star teams for sure.
Even with just 115 major-league games under his belt, it's not hard to see why the Kansas City Royals gave catcher Salvador Perez a five-year deal with three club option years.
Perez hit .301 with 11 HR and 39 RBI last year, missing over three months with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Still, Perez returned strong and established himself as a defensive presence, throwing out 42 percent of runners attempting to steal.
In a position considered weak offensively, Perez has a clear chance to represent his Royals at the All-Star Game on multiple occasions.
The Pittsburgh Pirates may have finally found another outfield offensive weapon.
Making his major-league debut on July 26, Starling Marte showed flashes of greatness in 47 games for the Pirates. He hit .257 with five homers and 17 RBI with 12 stolen bases.
Marte will likely get a shot to play every day in left field for the Pirates next season. Playing alongside Andrew McCutchen, it could become an outfield tandem worth watching for years to come.
Ben Revere's speed and ability to hit close to .300 are what prompted the Philadelphia Phillies to acquire him from the Minnesota Twins over the offseason.
That ability could garner Revere multiple All-Star selections along the way as well.
Revere hit .294 with 40 stolen bases in 124 games for the Twins last season. a 60-stolen base season with a .300 average playing half his games at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park is not out of the question for the 24-year-old speedster.
Allen Craig took over as the primary first baseman following the knee injuries suffered last year by Lance Berkman.
The St. Louis Cardinals offense didn't miss a beat.
Craig responded by hitting .307 with 22 HR and 92 RBI, garnering enough votes to place him 19th overall in the end-of-year balloting for the NL MVP Award.
Craig's potent bat was on display in limited action the previous year as well, hitting .315 with a .917 OPS in 2011.
No question that Craig will be counted on to continue contributing in the middle of the batting order for the Cardinals. Considering the numbers he's produced thus far, All-Star selections will certainly be in his future as well.