Chris Schneider/Associated Press
First Base: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
Jose Abreu* just won't stop hitting home runs.
In his first 32 games for the Chicago White Sox, the first baseman has been unreal. The right-handed hitter leads MLB with 12 home runs and owns a .617 slugging percentage.
Second Base: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
Hitting .405 with 10 doubles in his first 26 games, Mookie Betts is making the transition to Double-A look easy. The 21-year-old has already stolen 13 bases in 2014. A season ago, the right-handed hitter recorded 39 steals while splitting time between Low-A and High-A.
Third Base: Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
With a .232 average in 22 games, Nick Castellanos isn't exactly tearing it up as the Detroit Tigers new third baseman. However, considering that he's still just 22 years old and was a .303 hitter in parts of four minor league seasons, it should only be a matter of time before he breaks through.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
As Peter Gammons explains, Xander Bogaerts is just one of those players "whose m.o. is to continually get better." That's scary since the 21-year-old shortstop has already been a key contributor for a team that won the World Series.
On the Bench
Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics
Scout.com's No. 4 overall prospect, Addison Russell is progressing rapidly through the Oakland Athletics' minor league system.
The shortstop is currently on the DL with a torn hamstring, but the 20-year-old has already made it to Double-A. Last year, Russell collected 29 doubles, 17 home runs and 21 steals for the club's High-A affiliate and also took part in the All-Star Futures Game. He could debut for Oakland later this season and should be ready for a full-time job by Opening Day 2015.
Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
The first overall selection in the 2012 draft, Carlos Correa is already creating a ton of buzz.
The shortstop is just 19 years old and currently playing for the Houston Astros' High-A affiliate. However, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, Correa was the "best player" in the Astros' entire spring training camp. One scout told Gammons that the right-handed hitter will be the top prospect in all of baseball by the end of 2014.
Jon Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros
Jon Singleton is another Astros' minor league infielder with an extremely bright future. The 22-year-old first baseman has already clubbed seven doubles and 10 home runs in his first 29 games in Triple-A in 2014.
Just Missed the Cut
- Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs
- Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
- Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins
*Note: I've included Jose Abreu and not Masahiro Tanaka because the Cuban slugger arrived in MLB as a much smaller star than the Japanese right-hander.
As I mentioned in the intro, being a superstar isn't just about success on the field; it's also about a player's profile off it. To underscore this claim, I'd point to their respective contracts. Abreu received a six-year, $68 million deal, but Tanaka landed a seven-year, $155 million contract.