The term "superstar" gets thrown around way too liberally these days. It should be reserved for a select few players who not only impact the game in multiple ways, but also have something extra—an immeasurable trait that sets them apart from their peers.
Some might call it arrogance or swagger, but that's not it. There's just something different with these players, something special that executives, fans, pundits and teammates can't quite put their fingers on.
Were we compiling a list of players who could blossom into superstars, there would be far more leeway to include a fairly large number of candidates: 10 at least, maybe more. But we're not interested in could. We're interested in will—players who will become big league superstars between Opening Day and the end of the regular season.
To be considered for this exercise, a player:
- Must have a realistic chance to become a full-blown Cy Young Award/MVP candidate in 2015. In other words, we're looking for a player who's a complete package, not just a one-trick pony like an all-or-nothing hitter or a pitcher who throws heat and nothing else.
- Must never have placed in the top 10 in Cy Young or MVP voting.
- Must never have won one of the major individual awards (Cy Young, MVP or Rookie of the Year).
- Must not have more than five years of MLB service time.
Got it? Good.
With that out of the way, let's take a look at five players destined for the highest level of stardom an active player can attain.