Baseball's top young stars age 25 and under.
If you were trying to win a championship this season, would you rather have youthful talent? Or seasoned experience? Consider a roster of players age 25 and younger vs. a roster of veterans age 35 and older. Hereâs my 25-man roster of players who were age 25 or younger on Opening Day (April 4). Next week, Iâll showcase the veterans.
Buster Posey, San Francisco
The former Rookie of the Year is hitting .361 and has allowed just three stolen bases in 80 innings behind the plate.
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City
Hosmer is the cornerstone of the Royalsâ future offense. Although heâs struggling so far this season, Hosmer hit .293 with 19 homers after arriving in early May last season.
Jemile Weeks, Oakland
The rising star for the Aâs hit better than .300 and stole 22 bases in less than 100 games as a rookie last season. He should be the offensive catalyst for the Aâs for years to come.
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco
Records show that Kung Fu Panda wonât turn 26 until August, so he qualifies by a few months. Once he proved he could keep his weight down, heâs kept his batting average up.
Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
The Cubsâ rising star may look lackadaisical at times, but he led the National League in hits last season, and he covers a lot of ground at short.
J.D. Martinez, Houston
Astros fans can look forward to Martinez hitting in the No. 3 hole for several more seasons. He was Houstonâs Minor League Player of the Year in 2010 while at Double-A, and hasnât been overmatched in the bigs.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
It seems like heâs been patrolling center field for the Bucs forever, but he wonât be 26 until October.
Justin Upton, Arizona
A thumb injury has derailed Upton this season. The right fielder missed just three games last season, hitting 31 bombs and stealing 21 bags.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Thereâs no surprise that the reigning National League Cy Young winner would lead this rotation.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington
It appears that he has completely recovered from Tommy John surgery. Now if the Nationals will just turn him loose, we could see just how good the flamethrower can be.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle
King Felix turned 26 just after this season started, although it seems like heâs been Seattleâs ace since Ken Griffeyâs first tour with the Mariners.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco
After the first three spots in our rotation, the choices get much tougher. Bumgarner pitched through tough luck last season, with just three runs or less of support in 16 of his 33 starts.
Jaime Garcia, St. Louis
In a razor-thin close call, Garcia is chosen over Yu Darvish of Texas and Ivan Nova of the Yankees. Garcia went 26-15 over 60 starts in 2010-11 and has postseason experience.
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay
Weâre going with a traditional 10-man pitching staff and we like having a lefthander who can eat innings and miss bats.
Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay
Mooreâs teammate is the right-handed version of our long man.
Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati
Officially, Chapman is only 24. He also throws 100-mph gas for multiple innings from the left side. Valuable asset.
Neftali Feliz, Texas
Developed as a starter in the minors, then converted to one of the best closers in the game, Feliz has returned to the rotation this season.
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
Kimbrel was lights out last year until he ran out of gas late in the season. Manager Fredi Gonzalez plans to take it easy on Kimbrel this season.
Matt Wieters, Baltimore
We wonât lose much when one of the best catchers in the game subs for Posey.
Elvis Andrus, Texas
Due to his experience, Andrus gets the bench spot over Dee Gordon of the Dodgers.
Carlos Santana, Cleveland
With the same birthday as Hernandez, Santana barely makes it eligible. The switch-hitter can hit and gives us a third emergency catcher.
Billy Butler, Kansas City
The hitting machine really doesnât have a position, but he can rake.
Austin Jackson, Detroit
Jackson is proving what a complete player he can be. We love his speed and defense off the bench.
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami
A quick glance at his split stats shows that he has much more power going by Mike than Giancarlo.
Brett Lawrie, Toronto
We need another infielder and Lawrie plays the game with the kind of gusto and confidence we like.
âBy Charlie Miller, follow him on Twitter @AthlonCharlie.