There is an obvious changing of the guard when it comes to competitive Major League Baseball franchises. The days of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers domination are officially over. The Chicago Cubs, New York Mets and Houston Astros are built to win now, and with their youth they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Don’t get me wrong, the traditional powerhouse teams will still compete, but they will have to be more frugal and far more intelligent to continue to succeed in a more competitive league. The Cubs, Mets and Astros all have incredible young talent that has grown up in the game with each other. That type of chemistry building is priceless and cannot be bought on the free agent market by these powerhouse teams.
The Chicago Cubs have Addison Russell (21), Javier Baez (22), Jorge Soler (23), Kris Bryant (23), Kyle Schwarber (22) and Anthony Rizzo (25) as their core offensive weapons. It’s ridiculous the amount of talent these six players have and they are all under the age of 25. Only Rizzo and Russell were acquired via trade, the other four were all drafted by the Cubs. The Cubs are a potential dynasty and it has been amazing to see that franchise get back to relevancy.
When you take a glance at the Houston Astros roster, you will see they too have some quality young talent. Carlos Correa (20), Jose Altuve (25), George Springer (25), Lance McCullers (21) have all reached the Major League level. The team still has Mark Appel (23), A.J. Reed (22) and Anthony Kemp (23) in the Minor Leagues, and each should be up before too long. Reed in particular is someone to keep an eye on. The first baseman hit .340 with 34 homers and 127 RBIs between two Minor League stops last season for the Astros.
The New York Mets have the pitching staff that you dream of. Matt Harvey (26), Jacob deGrom (27), Noah Syndergaard (22), Steven Matz (24) and Zack Wheeler (25) are all potential aces in the starting rotation. Michael Conforto (22) and closer Jeurys Familia (25) are also important members of this team that will likely be competitive for years to come. The youth movement in baseball is here.
In order to be a successful Major League franchise you need to have a solid nucleus of young talent. Sure, a team can buy a championship here and there, but the safer way to build a dynasty is through the draft and by scouting correctly. Too many teams just waste their draft picks trying to fill holes instead of just taking the best talent available on the board.
There is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to scouting and developing talent. Some players are very close to that label, but in the end you never really know how a young player will develop. In order to take their games to the next level, a player must have that drive inside of them. This drive can never be recognized or displayed on a stat sheet. The player’s love of the game and passion for it, is a driving factor in whether a said player will blossom or just collect a pay check.
These three franchises are on the verge of advancing in the 2015 playoffs. Each is a surprise. They were all deemed too young and a player or two away from even sniffing the postseason. The Washington Nationals were supposed to run away with the National League, but once again proved that chemistry is most certainly the deciding factor on whether a team competes or not. The game of baseball is a team sport, not a sport of individuals.
Cheers to the Mets, Astros and Cubs. The game of baseball should be ever evolving and should never be taken for granted. Each year teams will come out of nowhere to make a decent run at a World Title. The youth movement is in full swing and teams like these three will compete for years on end.