Just because the next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper might not show up for another 10-20 years doesn't mean that Major League Baseball is devoid of young players with superstar potential who are ready to take the stage as the "next big thing."
But what is it that qualifies a player for this list? It's quite simple, actually, but I still implore you to read though it:
- The player cannot have completed a "full season" in MLB (classified by 400 or more at-bats or 150 innings for starting pitchers).
- Each player must be under the age of 25 as of Opening Day 2014.
- He must be expected to play at the MLB level during the 2014 season (whether all year long or as an in-season call-up).
Other than that, it comes down to my own projections and expectations for each player—based on minor league performance, early MLB returns and roster depth/needs at the MLB level.
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig were among those who took the step into MLB stardom in 2013.
Here are six players, one from each division, who could do the same in 2014.