Looking at the best young players in the MLB

The MLB season is in full swing and we have already witnessed some thrilling games and performances. Not least the Tampa Bay Rays start to the season which saw them win their first 13 games in 2023, equalling the record for the longest winning streak to begin a season in the Modern Era. They became only the fourth team in MLB history to start 13-0 or better, with the Brewers the last team to achieve it back in 1987. 

But while we enjoy watching the established stars of the game, such as Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Jacob deGrom, Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani, there have been plenty of stand-out performances from several rising talents. Here’s our round-up of the best prospects in the MLB right now.

Wander Franco

Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Position: Shortstop 

Age: 22

Wander Franco has long been regarded as the best prospect in baseball and for good reason. The 22-year-old Dominican has a rare combination of hitting ability, power, speed and defense that makes him a potential superstar. He dominated the minor leagues after signing with the Rays in 2017, and was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in baseball by 2019, before finally making his MLB debut in 2021.

This season, however, he looks to be delivering on his undoubted talent and was a key part of the Rays historic unbeaten run and a big reason they find themselves among the favorite’s for the World Series according to the latest MLB odds. Franco is showing incredible maturity with the bat and has a wonderful ability to make contact while not swinging at everything that comes his way, but his qualities aren’t all about his hitting. He’s also one of the most exciting shortstops to watch in the field with his skills often getting the fans off their seats.

Gunnar Henderson

Team: Baltimore Orioles 

Position: Third Baseman, Shortstop

Age: 21

Henderson was a second-round pick in the 2019 draft and began last season in Double-A but ended it in the majors. The number one pick back in January on the MLB Pipeline’s 2023 Top 100 Prospects, he has started to show what the hype is all about.

Orioles’ Henderson hit his fourth home run of the season in a victory against the Pirates on May 13th, backing up a two-run homer against the Royals on May 4th. Henderson has had a tough campaign so far with a .175 batting average over 129 plate appearances, but he’s still managed a respectable .341 on-base percentage thanks to a 19.4 percent walk rate. However, his recent upswing in form suggests the man from Alabama is starting to come to terms with the MLB and is ready to showcase his undoubted abilities.

Corbin Carroll 

Team: Arizona Diamondbacks 

Position: OF

Age: 22

Corbin Carroll was the 16th overall pick by the Diamondbacks in the 2019 draft, and has since emerged as one of the most dynamic prospects in baseball. The 5-foot-10 outfielder has blazing speed, elite bat-to-ball skills, surprising pop and excellent instincts on both sides of the ball. Carroll hit .318/.435/.542 with 14 homers and 39 steals in 99 games across three levels in 2022, reaching Triple-A at age 21. He also played stellar defense in center field, earning a Gold Glove nomination. 

In March this year, Carroll and the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed on an eight-year, $111 million contract extension, tying one of baseball’s best young prospects to the team for the foreseeable future. The deal also includes a ninth-year club option that would bring the total to $134 million.

The 22-year-old has been a consistent contributor for the Diamondbacks this season, with a .285 batting average and 10 stolen bases through 38 games played. With 11 RBI and five home runs to his name, Carroll remains a hugely talented individual with the ability to dominate the league in the coming years.

Jackson Chourio

Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Position: OF

Age: 19

Back in 2022, Jackson Chourio was the undoubted breakout star of the minor-league season. Aged 18 years of age, he hit .288/.342/.538 with 20 home runs and 16 stolen bases split across three levels. Chourio is an all-around athlete with dynamic power and speed.

The Venezuelan is capable of playing everywhere on the park but is still developing the necessary plate discipline and zone coverage required for the big leagues. Currently playing minor league for the Biloxi Shuckers, Chourio looks a strong candidate to finish the season ranked as the best prospect in the game, but don’t be surprised if the Brewers bring him to the majors earlier than that.

Jordan Walker

Team:  St. Louis Cardinals

Position: OF, Third Baseman

Age: 20

Standing in at 6-foot-5, Jordan Walker is a huge prospect with averages above .300 and slugging rates above .500 in each of his first two full seasons. The rookie doesn’t turn 21 until May 22, but made history with a 12-game hitting streak that tied Eddie Murphy of the 1912 Philadelphia Athletics for the longest streak to start a season by a player 21-years-old or younger.

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