Young Stars Rising in the MLB

Danny Devine@Devine4809Correspondent IApril 14, 2008

There is a plethora of young stars in today's MLB that not many casual fans know about. Here is a list of some of those players.

The first rising player is Howie Kendrick, two bagger for the Anaheim Angels. Howie showed everyone he was a good hitter last year hitting .322 in over 300 AB’s.

This season, Howie is showcasing a whole new skill set as he has begun stealing bases. He entered today hitting .500 and has "Future Batting Champ" written all over him. Kendrick is a solid five-tool player that no one talks about nearly enough.

Overshadowed by great players on his team like Vlad the Impaler and Torii Hunter, Howie could be an emerging superstar who shines bright in 2008.            

A first round pick has a ton of pressure, unless you’re an Upton brother.

Like his older brother, BJ, Justin Upton has lived up to the hype surrounding him when the Diamondbacks drafted him 1st overall in 2005. He is your prototypical five-tool guy who flashes unbelievable talent.

Entering today, Upton is tearing the cover off the ball hitting over .400, with five touch 'em alls and 11 runs batted in. He is also a techinician with the glove. This guy is going to be good. Some have alluded to Upton as the second coming of Ken Griffey, Jr.  - before the injuries.

On the West Coast, starting at first base for the Dodgers is a kid named James Loney. Loney is a Todd Helton-type player. He hits from the left and hits it hard.

Loney hit .331 over 300 at bats last season. If that isn't impressive for a rookie than take a look at his 15 homeruns. Young players normally learn power with age, so hitting 15 as a rookie is very impressive.

Loney is a future 40 homer, 100 RBI guy and NL West teams better be on the look out.           

Last, is arguably the best shortstop in baseball, Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins.

There is nothing you can say bad about this guy. He is the all around beast that every team dreams about getting.

I think this guy is the second coming of A-Rod. Only Hanley is much faster and only 24 years young.

On a bad Marlins team last year, he finished the season with HUGE numbers, hitting .332 with 51 stolen bases, 29 homeruns, and 212 hits. Hanley is already a player pitchers fear in the batter box. 

He's a nightmare for catchers on the basepaths as well.

Look for Hanley to keep accelerating his skill set, gaining popularity, and maybe even being mentioned as an MVP canidate for years to come.          

Just remember that youth is not a given and we should relish in watching these kids play every day.