Major League Baseball provides a platform for the best players in the sport. While the game is played to a certain extent in other countries around the world, this is the division that all young pitchers, sluggers and more will aspire to.
Experience can go a long way in the pressure cooker atmosphere of MLB, but there is always room for young talent to come through.
Looking to make a Difference
Interest in Major League baseball is more obvious in the United States where some 12 million viewers tune in to watch the world series finals on live TV. It has a smaller, but no less loyal following in other parts of the globe, where broadcasters have paid big money for screening rights.
Other industries scramble to join in the fun. TV advertising costs rise significantly during games, while the sports betting industry has offered a host of mlb lines since the practice began to open up across the USA.
As the new season approaches, the league gets ready to welcome back some familiar faces, but who are the youngsters aiming to make a big baseball breakthrough in 2023?
Francisco Alvarez: New York Mets
The focus, as always, will be on the sluggers who are looking to land the home runs that will tip tight games. The man widely considered to be the best young prospect in this key position is Francisco Alvarez who made his debut in September 2022 for the New York Mets.
The Venezuelan born player made just one home run last year, but his stats in A League baseball suggest that he’s set to make a big splash in 2023. The 21-year-old hit 24 homers in A Ball in 21, before following that up with 27 more last season.
He may not be a first choice starter but, if he is given his chance, Francisco Alvarez will be a pivotal player for the Mets this term.
Andrew Painter: Philadelphia Phillies
Of the many young right handed pitchers looking to break through in 2023, there is a lot of attention focused on Andrew Painter. He was picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies as the 13th choice in the first round of the 2021 draft and has since been working through the back up ranks.
After success at junior level, which included a gold medal with the USA team that won the 2018 Under-15 World Cup, Painter looks set for an MLB debut this season. With a ton of variations and a fast ball that can hit 100mph, he will be a real asset to the Phillies camp moving forward.
Juan Soto: San Diego Padres
Left fielder Juan Soto was tipped as one of the men to watch in 2022 and he didn’t disappoint. The Padres man ended 2021 in the MLB All Star team on the back of 145 walks to 93 strikeouts – the best stats of their kind in the entire league.
Soto was back in the All Star set up last season and he just keeps improving. At the age of 24, he already has 125 home runs with a batting average of .287.
Gunnar Henderson: Baltimore Orioles
Fantasy baseball managers are being urged to include Gunnar Henderson in their teams for 2023. The 21-year-old is a versatile player who can switch between shortstop and third base and he’s ready to become a regular starter in the Orioles’ line up.
Henderson had a brief taste of Major League Baseball in 2022 and there was some early promise. He recorded four home runs with an average of .259 and there will definitely be more to come next season.
Anthony Volpe: New York Yankees
Vanderbilt University graduate Anthony Volpe has commanded that most demanding of defensive fielding positions. The shortstop joined up with the New York Yankees as a first round draft pick in 2019 after success at junior World Cups with the US team.
He’s since been assigned to the Somerset Patriots to pick up more experience, and the 21-year-old now seems ready for the big league. During the 2022 campaign, Volpe became the first player to hit 20 home runs and claim 50 steals for 27 years. He’s set for a jump to MLB this season and Anthony Volpe won’t disappoint.
Jordan Walker: St Louis Cardinals
The youngest player on this list, 20-year-old Jordan Walker will be expecting his first taste of Major League Baseball next season. He was claimed by the Cardinals in the 2020 draft and has been justifying their faith in Minor League competition since that point.
Walker is a powerful hitter who landed 19 home runs for the Springfield Cardinals in 2022. He’ll add yet another splash of youth among the old heads and, those who are looking ahead to another great MLB season, should monitor the progress of all the rising stars on this list.