With several teams attempting to get younger and maintaining top prospects to rebuild, we are taking a look at the top 10 players under the age of 25. In order to be elected for the top 10, the player must be under 25 when the season starts in April. So without further ado your top players under the age of 25 for the 2015 MLB season.
Honorable Mentions: Joe Panik, Manny Machado, Salvador Perez
Joe Panik came onto the scene late for Giants hitting .305 in 73 games while becoming their starting second basemen during the championship run. He made several highlight reel plays and seemed very poised. Manny Machado battled a knee injury last season eventually leading to surgery in August. In the 82 games he played he hit .278. However, in 2013 he led the league in doubles with 51. His injury history is a major concern and he will need to be fully healthy if the Orioles want to get back to the playoffs. Salvador Perez had a down season in 2014 hitting only .260, well down from his .292 in 2013. He did hit 17 home runs, and had a thrilling walk-off single in the 2014 Wild-Card game to push the Royals past Oakland.
10. Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates), 24
Entering his third season in the bigs, Cole has become the ace of the Pirates. He comes into camp the leader of the staff. Battling injury last season, Cole posted a 3.65 ERA going 11-5 in 22 starts. The former number one overall draft pick has not been able to pitch a full season in the big leagues so it remains to be seen just how good he can be.
Cole strikes-out a batter an inning and posted a 1.2 WAR for the Pirates. If healthy, Cole is an ace and can lead the Pirates back to the Postseason. Expect a healthy Cole to start 30 games and get his ERA closer to the low three’s rather than what he posted a year ago.
9. Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins), 22
Fernandez made himself known in his first year in the majors winning the NL Rookie of the Year award by going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in 2013. It was a different story in 2014 as Fernandez ended up getting Tommy John Surgery after eight starts. Before the surgery, he went 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA.
We all know Fernandez is the real deal, but it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from Tommy John. The former NL ROY will be a big addition to a Marlins team on the cusp of the postseason.
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