The future is here: the MLB's youth movement, part I
The 2018 MLB season has gotten off to an eventful start to say the least. There have been multiple “no hitters”, a milestone 3,000th hit from a legend, and the occasional bench-clearing brawl. The most exciting part of the young season? The influx of fresh talent entering the majors.
Some of these players have given their teams an added jolt during the early parts of the marathon season. Other prospects haven't made it to The Show just yet, but they've given fans a feeling of optimism for the future from down in the Minors. Those players will be examined further in a future piece, but for now here are some names that are already on big-league rosters that you should get familiar with.
Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves)
Atlanta’s top prospect made his debut on April 25th in Cincinnati, and he's already amassed 4 home runs one month in. The 20-year-old Venezuelan outfielder is said to have “5-tool” talent, meaning he can hit for power and contact, possesses speed, a strong arm and he plays good defense. With Acuna Jr. joining fellow prized prospect Ozzie Albies, the Braves have become one of the more fun teams to watch in the league so far.
Gleyber Torres (Yankees)
Torres is the prized prospect the Yankees got back in the Aroldis Chapman deal that sent the Cuban flamethrower to the Cubs. Torres lost a good portion of his 2017 season to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his non-throwing elbow. The 21-year-old Venezuelan second baseman has made up for lost time, drilling six homers and batting .323 on the season. The rich get richer as Torres is just another bat in a loaded New York lineup.
Juan Soto (Nationals)
Juan Soto, a 19-year-old from the Dominican Republic, homered in his first Major League at-bat on Monday. It's a familiar feeling for Nats fans; Soto became the first teenager to homer in the Majors since Bryce Harper did it in 2012.
Willy Adames (Rays)
Willy Adames had the unenviable position of facing Red Sox ace Chris Sale in his Major League debut. He responded to a strikeout in his first at-bat by going yard off Sale in his next appearance. Adames has been pretty consistent at the plate throughout his minor league career and he is also a solid defender. On and off the field, the 22-year-old Dominican shortstop shows long-term potential as a face of a Tampa Bay franchise that badly needs one.