Let’s take a look at some of Major League Baseball’s young talent. Here are ten of the best hitters in the game that are 25 years old or younger. We’ll also explore what they have done to earn this honor and one big moment each of them has had.
10. Miguel Sano
Sano is the Minnesota Twins third baseman. Last season, the 24-year old had a .264 batting average, 28 home runs, and drove in 77 RBIs for the Twins. Sano, since 2015, has had 71 home runs and 195 RBIs, which ranks him second for the Twins. One big play Sano had in 2017 came on April 28, 2017 against the Kansas City Royals is when the Twins trailed 3-0 and he hit an opposite field home run in the fourth inning to close the gap to 3-2.
9. Corey Seager
In 2017, the 23-year old shortstop had a .295 batting average, 22 home runs, and scored 85 runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers. One big performance for Seager came on June 21, 2017 when he hit three home runs in one game against the New York Mets, giving the Dodgers a 12-0 victory. Seager has had over 150 hits in two seasons. Unfortunately, his bright career will be put on hold as he will have Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
8. Joey Gallo
Gallo hit 41 home runs for the Texas Rangers while also having 80 RBIs. The 24-year old infielder had four multi-home run games and hit one home run in 15 different ballparks in 2017. A key moment in 2017 for Gallo came on August 15, 2017 against the Houston Astros when he hit a two-run home run off of Astros pitcher Justin Verlander to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
7. Gary Sanchez
He is one of eight catchers to have multiple 20 home run seasons before the age of 25. At age 24, Sanchez had a .278 batting average, 33 home runs, and 90 RBIs for the New York Yankees. He also ranked tenth among Major League hitters in 2017 with a home run distance average of 413.5 feet. A clutch moment in 2017 for Sanchez came in game five of the 2017 American League Championship Series against the Astros. Sanchez singled down the left field line off of pitcher Dallas Keuchel to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
6. Francisco Lindor
In 2017, Lindor hit the most home runs ever for a Cleveland Indians‘ midfielder with 33. The 24-year old also had a .273 batting average, with 89 RBIs, and 178 hits in 2017. A clutch moment for Lindor came on October 6, 2017 during Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees when Lindor hit a grand slam home run off of Chad Green in the bottom of the seventh inning, reducing the score to 8-7.
5. Carlos Correa
He is the only shortstop in MLB history to reach the 20 home run mark in each of his first three seasons with the Astros, all before the age of 23. In 2017, Correa had a .315 batting average, 24 home runs, and drove in 84 RBIs. A clutch moment for Correa came on October 29, 2017 in Game 5 World Series against the Dodgers. Correa hit a two-run homer against reliever Brandon Morrow in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Astros an 11-8 lead.
4. Mookie Betts
This 25-year old Boston Red Sox outfielder has ranked first in the major in doubles (130), third in hits (554), and fifth in runs (315) from 2015-2017. In 2017, Betts had a .264 batting average, 24 home runs, and had 102 RBIs with Boston. A moment in 2017 where Betts came up big for the Red Sox came on June 16, 2017 against the Astros. Betts hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning off of Will Harris, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
3. Cody Bellinger
Another Dodgers player on this list. Bellinger ranked sixth in home runs and tenth in slugging percentage during his rookie season at 22. In 2017, Bellinger had a .267 batting average, 39 home runs, and 97 RBIs as he went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award unanimously. A big moment in 2017 for Bellinger came in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series against Houston when he hit a three-run homer against Collin McHugh.
2. Manny Machado
Machado has had three consecutive seasons with at least 30 homers and 30 doubles, making him one of the league’s most consistent producers at the age of 25. The Baltimore Orioles shortstop, in 2017, had a .259 batting average, 33 home runs, and 95 RBIs. Machado’s big moment in 2017 came on August 7, 2017 against the Los Angeles Angels. He hit a grand slam home run off of Angels pitcher J.C. Ramirez in the top of the seventh inning breaking a 2-2 tie and giving the Orioles a 6-2 lead.
1. Bryce Harper
Harper of the Washington Nationals takes the top spot as the best hitter in the majors age 25 or younger. At 25, Harper had 14 of his 29 home runs come with two strikes in 2017. Harper hit a .319 batting average and drove in 87 RBIs for the Nationals. A big moment for Harper came on October 7, 2017 against the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Harper hit a two-run home run off of Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. to tie the game at 3-3.
All ten of these Major League baseball players have proven why they deserve to be on this list. They all have been able to put up solid numbers for their respective teams and coming up with big hits when their teams need them the most. With consistent play, they can turn into future Hall of Famers and help their teams to a pennant or two.