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Tag:MLB
Posted on: August 4, 2009 10:51 am
 

Top 25 MLB Pitchers 25 Years Old or Younger

You can call this part two of “The Future of Baseball” series.  If you haven’t seen the “Top 25 MLB Position Players 25 Years Old or Younger” I recommend you check it out.

I have come up with a list of the top 25 MLB pitchers 25 years old or younger.  There are a few requirements to be eligible for the rankings.

First, obviously, the player must be no older than 25 by July 31 of this year.  Only players currently in the MLB are eligible, so minor league prospects are a no-go.  A starting pitcher must have accumulated at least 80 innings to be eligible for the top 25, but they are still eligible for the honorable mentions section if not.

While a pitcher’s record is important, I tend to look more at a pitcher’s ERA and WHIP, as those are areas that they can control.  For instance, Zack Greinke’s record might not be eye-popping because he plays on a terrible team, but his ERA and WHIP are phenomenal.

Next to the ranking will be the player’s position, team, and regular season stats leading up through August 2.  Here is the stats key:

SP=Starting Pitcher

RP=Relief Pitcher

ip=Innings Pitched

wl=Won-Loss

era=Earned Run Average

k=Strikeout

bb=Walk

whip=Walks and Hits Allowed per Inning Pitched

The spots 20-25 were difficult to rank, and there are a few deserving pitchers that just missed the top 25.  An argument could be made for any of those spots, so let me know what you think.

  • 1. SP, Tim Lincecum - San Francisco Giants: 156.2ip, 12-3wl, 2.18era, 191k, 41bb, 1.05whip, Age: 25

The reigning NL Cy Young winner hasn’t slacked off one bit.  Lincecum is ranked in the NL’s top three in wins, strikeouts, WHIP, complete games, innings pitched, ERA, and win percentage.  Lincecum has thrown two shutouts this season.  That’s one heck of a resume right there folks.

  • 2. SP, Zack Greinke - Kansas City Royals: 147.1ip, 10-6wl, 2.08era, 153k, 28bb, 1.09whip, Age: 25

I think all baseball fans pity Greinke.  So much talent, so little run support playing for the Royals.  Greinke has an impressive resume as well, ranking in the AL’s top three in strikeouts, WHIP, ERA, and complete games.  Greinke has also thrown two shutouts this season.

  • 3. SP, Matt Cain - San Francisco Giants: 140.0ip, 12-2wl, 2.12era, 112k, 54bb, 1.17whip, Age: 24

Looking amongst Giants pitchers, you barely have enough time to recollect yourself after seeing Lincecum’s stats before you are hit yet again, this time by Matt Cain.  Cain ranks in the NL’s top three in wins, ERA, win percentage, and complete games.

It’s hard to believe King Felix is only 23, as it seems like he’s been around for much longer.  Hernandez ranks in the AL’s top five in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, ERA, and win percentage.

  • 5. SP, Cole Hamels - Philadelphia Phillies: 123.0ip, 7-6wl, 4.68era, 107k, 23bb, 1.32whip, Age: 25

After a World Series championship and MVP award, Hamels has struggled with injury throughout the season which has led to his inconsistency on the mound. 

  • 6. SP, Josh Johnson - Florida Marlins: 141.0ip, 10-2wl, 2.87era, 114k, 36bb, 1.12whip, Age: 25

Johnson has been spectacular in his first career All-Star season, rankings in the NL’s top ten in wins, ERA, win percentage, innings pitched, WHIP, and complete games.

Gallardo can be inconsistent at times, but when he’s on, he’s dangerous.  An interesting tidbit: Gallardo is the only pitcher to ever hit a home run off of Randy Johnson, which he did in his first start of the season in April.  He ranks third in the NL in strikeouts.

The first reliever to make the list, Broxton is excellent in nearly every category.  Broxton ranks fourth in the NL in saves, converting 24 out of 27 chances. 

  • 9. SP, Edwin Jackson - Detroit Tigers: 139.2ip, 7-5wl, 2.64era, 109k, 45bb, 1.15whip, Age: 25

Jackson has pitched well this season after being acquired from the Rays in the offseason.  Jackson ranks fourth in the AL in WHIP and third in the AL in ERA.

  • 10. SP, Chad Billingsley - Los Angeles Dodgers: 143.2ip, 11-6wl, 3.82era, 140k, 63bb, 1.28whip, Age:24

While Billingsley can be shaky, he has proven himself as a reliable option for the best team in baseball.  Billingsley ranks fifth in the NL in strikeouts, although he also ranks fourth in walks.

  • 11. SP, Jon Lester - Boston Red Sox: 134.0ip, 9-7wl, 3.90era, 148k, 44bb, 1.31whip, Age: 25

Lester has been shaky this season, but he is 5-2 in his last ten starts.  Lester ranks third in the AL in strikeouts and has thrown two complete games.

  • 12. SP, Jair Jurrjens - Atlanta Braves: 139.0ip, 9-8wl, 2.85era, 98k, 50bb, 1.24whip, Age: 23

Through all the Tommy Hanson hype, Jurrjens is sometimes overlooked.  He has been solid and steady all year for the Braves, and ranks ninth in the NL in ERA.

We all know what Joba is capable of, and he has started to consistently show his true potential.  He has struggled with his control, and ranks sixth in the AL i walks even though he’s only pitched 110 innings.  He does, however, rank third in the AL in win percentage.

  • 14. RP, Joakim Soria - Kansas City Royals: 31.2ip, 2-0wl, 18s, 1.71era, 40k, 8bb, 0.95whip, Age: 25

Soria often goes unnoticed, reason being he plays for the Royals.  Soria ranks ninth in the AL in saves, it’s a shame he doesn’t get more opportunities. 

  • 15. SP, Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers: 120.2ip, 8-5wl, 2.76era, 117k, 65bb, 1.23whip, Age: 21

The young lefty often struggles with his control, as he ranked second in the NL in walks, but he is still 5-1 in his last ten starts.  Kershaw is ranked sixth in the NL in ERA.

  • 16. SP, Matt Garza - Tampa Bay Rays: 136.2ip, 7-8wl, 3.69era, 121k, 53bb, 1.22whip, Age: 25

Garza’s got great stuff, but he struggles with inconsistency and control.  He ranks third in the AL in walks, although he does rank eighth in strikeouts.

Ubaldo has been off and on this season, although he is 2-0 in his last four starts.  Jimenez ranks seventh in the NL in strikeouts and sixth in the NL in innings pitched.

  • 18. SP, John Danks - Chicago White Sox: 119.1ip, 9-7wl, 4.00era, 100k, 46bb, 1.31whip, Age: 24

Danks has been good of late, with a 4-1 record over his last six starts.  He’s always had upside, and it appears now he’s beginning to hit his stride.

The rookie closer has just about been the most productive player for the struggling Athletics.   He has a great ERA and WHIP, especially for a rookie.

A leading rookie of the year candidate, Romero has been on tear as of late.  Romero is 7-1 over his last ten starts, and is ranked ninth in the AL in wins and seventh in win percentage.

  • 21. SP, Kevin Slowey - Minnesota Twins: 90.2ip, 10-3wl, 4.86era, 75k, 15bb, 1.41whip, Age: 25

Slowey hasn’t pitched for a month, and is most likely out for the rest of the year after having surgery on his right wrist.  It’s a shame, as Slowey already reached double digits in the win column.

  • 22. SP, Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati Reds: 126.1ip, 8-8wl, 4.06era, 95k, 43bb, 1.34whip, Age:23

Cueto has struggled of late, losing four of his last five starts.  Cueto struggles with inconsistency like many other young pitcher, but he’s got good stuff.

While Bergesen is not a strikeout pitcher, he makes up for it in other ways.  Bergesen doesn’t get much attention, or run support for that matter, playing on the Orioles, but he’s definitely a young talent.

  • 24. SP, Brett Anderson - Oakland Athletics: 108.0ip, 6-8wl, 4.33era, 85k, 31bb, 1.31whip, Age: 21

Anderson has made the most out of his rookie season, showing that he’s got good stuff and also has good control.  Anderson is 3-1 over his last six starts, in which he tossed a shutout against the Red Sox.

  • 25. SP, Rick Porcello - Detroit Tigers: 105.1ip, 9-7wl, 4.36era, 55k, 35bb, 1.41whip, Age: 20

The 20-year-old rookie has been up and down all season.  Porcello has gone 1-3 over his last six starts, but the talent and upside is undoubtedly there. 

Honorable Mentions (In no particular order):

SP, John Lannan - Washington Nationals

SP, Dallas Braden - Oakland Athletics

SP, Max Scherzer - Arizona Diamondbacks

SP, Chris Volstad - Florida Marlins

SP, Luke Hochevar - Kansas City Royals

SP, Scott Kazmir - Tampa Bay Rays

SP, David Price - Tampa Bay Rays

SP, Jordan Zimmermann - Washington Nationals

SP, Phil Hughes - New York Yankees

SP, Tommy Hanson - Atlanta Braves

SP, Mike Pelfrey - New York Mets

SP, Trevor Cahill - Oakland Athletics

SP, Clayton Richard - San Diego Padres

RP, Matt Capps - Pittsburgh Pirates



Also on OnlineSportsFanatic.com.

Category: MLB
Tags: MLB
 
Posted on: August 1, 2009 6:17 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2009 11:22 am
 

Top 25 MLB Position Players 25 Years or Younger

I have come up with a list of the top 25 MLB position players 25 years old or younger.  There are a few requirements to be eligible for the rankings.

First, obviously, the player must  be no older than 25 years old by July 31st of this year.  Only players currently in the MLB are eligible, so minor league prospects are a no go.  Also, a player must have a minimum of 200 at-bats this season.

Next to the ranking will be the player’s position, team, and regular season stats leading up through July 31st.  Here is the stats key:

ab=At-Bat

hr=Home Run

rbi=Runs Batted In

ba=Batting Average

r=Runs

sb=Stolen Bases

Let me know what you think of the rankings.

I wanted to put Han-Ram first, I really did.  But there is no denying that Prince Fielder has turned into one of baseball’s most elite players at one of its most elite positions.  He is second in the MLB in RBI behind Albert Pujols, while hitting a substantial amount of homers and keeping his average above .300, not to mention he won the Home Run  Derby. 

As it stands, Ramirez is the reason Albert Pujols won’t be winning the Triple Crown this year.  The former Red Sox prospect acquired in the Josh Beckett trade, Ramirez is one of the most dangerous players in baseball, with the combination of speed, average, and power.

  • 3. 3B, Evan Longoria - Tampa Bay Rays: 362ab, 21hr, 78rbi, .273ba, 57r, 2sb, Age:23

After winning the AL Rookie of the Year award last season, it was only a matter of time until Longoria became one of the league’s premier players.  He is already an MVP candidate in his first full season.

  • 4. OF, Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers: 389ab, 21hr, 70rbi, .314ba, 74r, 9sb, Age: 25

The 2007 National League Rookie of the Year, Braun is already one of the best outfielders in the MLB.  He ranks in the top ten in the NL in batting average, RBI, home runs, runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. 

  • 5. 2B, Dustin Pedroia - Boston Red Sox: 403ab, 5hr, 44rbi, .300ba, 72r, 14sb, Age: 25

The reigning American League MVP, Pedroia is a Gold Glove shortstop who hits for average and runs the base paths well.  Although Pedroia is having a down year as compared to last season, he is nonetheless producing at a solid level for the Red Sox.

  • 6. OF, Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles: 379ab, 17hr, 59rbi, .296ba, 65r, 8sb, Age: 24

Arrived in Baltimore as part of the Erik Bedard trade. Jones is your classic five-tool outfielder, as he has speed, hits for average,  hits for power, has a great throwing arm, and is great defensively.

Honestly, Zimmerman might be the only bright spot on the National’s roster.  He still has managed to drive in 67 runs and score 71 runs in the National’s “not-so-deep-and-talented” lineup. 

Kung Fu Panda may not look like a formidable foe on the outside, but opponents only make that mistake once.  He did not make the All-Star game, which has been a controversial topic.

Although it seems like he has been around forever, yes, Brian McCann is only 25.  Arguably the best all-around catcher in the MLB, McCann has gotten his dues in making four consecutive All-Star games.

Barely missing this year’s All-Star game, Reynolds nonetheless continues to pound the ball, ranking second in the MLB in home runs.  Reynolds also ranks in the top ten of the NL in runs, stolen bases, and RBI.

  • 11. OF, Justin Upton - Arizona Diamondbacks: 369ab, 19hr, 63rbi, .298ba, 64r, 15sb, Age: 21

The younger brother of B. J. Upton, one could make the argument that Justin Upton has already surpassed his older brother.  Upton was the first overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft by the Diamondbacks.

  • 12. 1B, Joey Votto - Cincinnati Reds: 256ab, 16hr, 50rbi, .340ba, 43r, 4sb, Age: 25

Votto continues to impress after his breakout season last year.  He made a trip to the DL, which has limited his at-bats, but still continues to pound the ball while batting for a whopping average.

  • 13. OF, Matt Kemp - Los Angeles Dodgers: 378ab, 13hr, 59rbi, .315ba, 57r, 22sb, Age: 24

Ranking in the top ten in the NL in batting average and stolen bases, it’s obvious Kemp knows how to get on base and what to do once he gets there.  Kemp also has a solid amount of home runs and RBIs.

  • 14. OF, Nick Markakis - Baltimore Orioles: 410ab, 12hr, 70rbi, .298ba, 63r, 3sb, Age: 25

Another guy who seems like he’s been around for forever, Markakis ranks sixth in the AL in RBI total, while hitting for a solid average. 

  • 15. OF, Jacoby Ellsbury - Boston Red Sox: 384ab, 6hr, 35rbi, .302ba, 55r, 47sb, Age: 25

One of the premier speedsters of the MLB rankings second in stolen bases, Ellsbury hits for average and is also excellent in the field.

 Tulo’s arm, range, and instinct at his respective position are highly regarded.  He has a good combination of power and speed, something you don’t see often at the shortstop position.

  •  17. OF, B. J. Upton - Tampa Bay Rays: 394ab, 7hr, 36rbi, .244ba, 63r, 32sb, Age: 24

Nicknamed “B. J.” as in Bossman Junior, Upton has always been regarded as having tremendous upside.  Although he struggles with consistency with his average, Upton is always a threat on the base paths once he gets on.

  • 18. SS, Erick Aybar - Los Angeles Angels: 294ab, 3hr, 39rbi, .313ba, 41r, 8sb. Age: 25

Although Aybar mainly plays shortstop, he is also capable of playing second base and outfield.  Aybar is a great utility guy who hits for average and can hold his own on the base paths.

  • 19. 1B, James Loney - Los Angeles Dodgers: 385ab, 7hr, 63rbi, .286ba, 48r, 6sb, Age: 25

While Loney might not have the explosive power that some first basemen do, he makes up for it with his ability to knock in runs on a consistent basis.  Loney is also a very good fielder, committing only three errors all season.

  • 20. 1B, Billy Butler - Kansas City Royals: 376ab, 11hr, 47rbi, .290ba, 44r, 0sb, Age: 23

Many say that Butler has the potential to be a power and average guy, and he has begun to show that this season, although playing for the Royals doesn’t give him a chance to expose himself fully.

Here is proof that the Pirates are not willing to trade away every valuable player to their team.  Called up after Nate McLouth was traded to the Braves, McCutchen has shown in his rookie season that he can hit for average while being a threat on the base paths.

  • 22. 3B, Ian Stewart - Colorado Rockies: 278ab, 17hr, 48rbi, .223ba, 51r, 7sb, Age: 24

Although struggling with consistency at the plate, Stewart has shown a nice amount of power at third base.  He has showcased his versatality by playing second base and outfield as well for the Rockies.

  • 23. OF, Jay Bruce - Cincinnati Reds: 299ab, 18hr, 41rbi, .207ba, 38r, 3sb, Age: 22

Currently on the DL, Bruce has struggled with his batting average throughout the season.  Bruce has shown he is a dangerous power hitter, and he is also solid in the field.

  • 24. OF, Nolan Reimold - Baltimore Orioles: 213ab, 10hr, 29rbi, .286ba, 29r, 6sb, Age: 25

Reimold has burst onto the scene as a candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.  Provides speed, average, and power as well as a solid glove in the outfield.

Arguably the leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, Rasmus has been a solid contributor all season from the plate and in the field.

Honorable Mentions (In no particular order):

C, Kurt Suzuki - Oakland Athletics

3B, Martin Prado - Atlanta Braves

3B, Andy LaRoche - Pittsburgh Pirates

SS, Elvis Andrus - Texas Rangers

OF, Dexter Fowler - Colorado Rockies

OF, Gerardo Parra - Arizona Diamondbacks

OF, Denard Span - Minnesota Twins


Original article at OnlineSportsFanatic.com.

Category: MLB
Tags: MLB
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com