The MLB offseason is slowly coming to an end as pitchers and catchers get set to report in less than a month with most teams starting to report on February 13th, 2018. As the offseason is officially almost over and the fireworks of free agency and trades come to an end, much excitement has built around the game as fans anticipate the first pitch of the 2018 MLB Opening Day.
Some of this excitement will come from teams like the New York Yankees who will have two of the biggest home run hitters in the game batting 3-4 in their lineup as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton look to lead the club to a World Series title. Meanwhile in Houston the World Series Champions added another key weapon to the rotation in Gerrit Cole while the San Francisco Giants managed to snag former MVP Andrew McCutchen away as well.
While all of these guys will be exciting to watch, we are keeping our eyes on a few of the younger stars who might not get the same recognition as these top stars. One player we are really looking forward to seeing another year from is the Baltimore Orioles outfielder, Trey Mancini. Mancini surprised many in Spring Training 2017, made the trip North to Baltimore and never looked back.
Mancini who is just 25 years old and a former member of Notre Dame finished his rookie campaign hitting .293 with 24 home runs and 78 runs batted in. If not for the season Judge put together, this was a campaign that could have landed Mancini the first Rookie of the Year honors for an Orioles since Greg Olsen back in 1989.
Now Mancini is just one of a few of the younger stars we are looking forward to watching in 2018. Here are a few of the other young stars who may be in the Majors already or have a chance to make the team out of spring training or get an early call up.
Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
Here is a name that might go under the wind in New York as well as around the country, by Torres has a shot to be a stud infielder at either third base or short stop. Battling injures last season, Torres made most of his short season turning in a .309 batting average at Triple A in just 23 games while picking up seven extra base hits and 16 runs batted in. Torres looks to be a lock on the Yankees opening day roster outside of the team electing to spend some last minute cash.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr – Toronto Blue Jays
Now it looks to be a long shot that the 18 year old will see the Majors in 2018 but a big start to the minor league campaign could change our mind. Yes, he is the son of Vladimir Guerrero who tore up the Majors for most of his career. At just 18 years old last year, Guerrero Jr hit 13 home runs over low and high A ball with 76 runs batted in while batting .323 on the year. If the team elects to move Josh Donaldson at the trade deadline or struggle, he could hear his name called.
Brent Honeywell – Tampa Bay Rays
The last of the third guys we are keeping our eyes on is Brent Honeywell of the Tampa Bay Rays. It seems like every year the Rays seem to find top tier young starting pitchers and this is the case again. Honewell who will be just 23 years old posting a 13-9 record between Double and Triple A last season to go along with a .349 earned run average. We expect to see him start at Triple A but look out for him to get his shot at some point in 2018, maybe even as soon as June.