At the onset of the 2016 MLB season, when it comes to the youngest and hottest pitching future stars in the game, the New York Mets have the proverbial market cornered. Of the 12 ‘Young Guns’ featured on this list, 4 of them belong to the ‘Amazin’s’. When it comes to World Series Championships great starting pitching is paramount. Therefore it would seem that the Mets are on the rise in a very big way. Each generation of MLB player(s) has it’s crop of excellent young arm talent and it is always a pleasure to behold as a fan and analyst. The Idiots Guide presents a look at 12 of the hottest young pitching prospects under the age of 30 in the Major Leagues today. That white hot smoke you see coming off that baseball is called ‘gas’….
Tim Lincecum: Starring member of the ‘Old Regime’…
The ‘New Regime’…..
#12. Steven Matz / New York Mets / Age: 24
Steven Matz is a hometown favorite in the Big Apple, as he hails from Stony Brook, NY. He is also one horse in a stable of ridiculous arm talent horses the New York Mets are currently holding on deck to the dismay of the rest of the National League. The 6’2 left hander has serious stuff and takes a 7-1 record with a 2.86 earned run average into the 2016 season. Matz is ready to roar, the question is will the rest of the league hear him.
#11. Carlos Martinez / St. Louis Cardinals / Age: 24
Carlos Martinez is filthy. In all the best possible baseball terms. The 24 year old Dominican has incredible arm talent and is poised to make a nice MLB splash in 2016. He takes a 22-12 record with a 3.38 earned run average into his 4th full season (5th overall) with the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s got ‘break out the popcorn’ talent. Let’s see what happens.
#10. Garrett Richards / Anaheim Angels / Age: 27
Garrett Richards is a 6’3 right hander from Riverside, California with notable arm talent. At the start of the 2016 season Richards seems poised to move into the ranks of ‘top of the rotation’ talent. He’s not there yet, but at 27 his time coming soon, if not right now.
#9. Carlos Carrasco / Cleveland Indians / Age: 29
Venezuelan born Carlos Carrasco has amazing stuff on the mound. At 29 he falls just under the under 30 criteria of this list, but it’s deserved. His numbers haven’t exactly borne out star material, but his ability is respected throughout the MLB universe. Wether or not he fills into the ‘Ace’ potential he possess is something we’ll have to wait and see. So…please, let’s wait and see.
#8. Stephen Strasburg / Washington Nationals / Age: 27
When Stephen Strasburg hit the MLB show, he came up with as much ballyhoo as a prospect can have, or really want. So far there’s been more smoke than fire, but there’s still time. Early dances with the injury bug have not made it possible to see what kind of numbers a full season of a healthy Strasburg can produce. The assumption is amazing. The reality has yet to be flushed out. We’ll see. For now (2016) the 6’4 right hander takes a 58-37 record with a 3.06 earned run average into the season. Watch this space.
#7. Sonny Gray / Oakland Athletics / Age: 26
I have to be honest, when I hear a name like ‘Sonny Gray’ I think about criminal underground mob associate before filthy stuff right hander in Oakland. But I digress. Sonny Gray is an up and coming, who is more up than coming MLB starting pitcher. The 26 year old Nashville, TN native is off to a great career start, posting numbers like his 36-22 record with a 2.93 earned run average and a WHIP of 1.15. Watch this kid. Seriously.
#6. Chris Sale / Chicago White Sox / Age: 27
Chris Sale is as dominate a left hand starter you will find in MLB in 2016, perhaps maybe ever if he continues his torrid pace of success. They call him ‘The Condor’ in no small part to his unusual 6’6 180 pound frame of wiry muscle. Sale is well on his way to greatness with a 62–40 record combined with a tiny 2.86 earned run average and over 1,000 strikeouts in just 900 innings going into the 2016 season. He’s arrived at the show with a pocket full of talent, how long he stays and how much he achieves are questions being answered every summer. He sure looks good.
#5. Noah Syndergaard / New York Mets / Age: 23
With a name like Noah Syndergaard, you would expect that he was destined for greatness. It would seem that expectation is justified early on in his career. Did you see that? Missed it? Yeah, that was a Syndergaard fastball. It’s been clocked at near 100 Mph with an average speed of 97 Mph. That’s heat people. HEAT. The kind of heat that a 6’6 240 pound frame can produce. He’s just getting started but 205 strikeouts in his first 175 innings is saying something…’Grab some bench’ in most cases.
#4. Jacob deGrom / New York Mets / Age: 27
In the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, Jacob deGrom faced three batters and proceeded to strike them out one after another, swinging. He performance was dominant and it put MLB on notice that his stuff is as electric as advertised. As of 2016, the 6’4 right hander has a sweet 24-14 record out of the gate, with a stellar 2.59 earned run average. His WHIP? A microscopic 1.03. Hold on to your hats fans, Jacob is coming to a MLB town near you.
#3. Matt Harvey / New York Mets / Age: 27
Enthusiastic New York Mets fans call him the ‘Dark Knight’, his parents call him Matt Harvey. Opposing hitters usually want to call out sick when it’s his turn in the rotation. The reason for this is that Harvey is widely respected as one of the most imposing and dominant young pitchers in the game today. The future looks bright for Matt, if he can put all of the pieces together in a single season, including staying healthy. He has a 27-21 record coming out of the gate with a sparkling 2.67 earned run average, a minuscule 1.03 WHIP and a staggering 470 strikeouts. MLB has been put on notice.
#2. José Fernández / Miami Marlins / Age: 23
José Fernández is coming for you. This 6’2 right hander with filthy stuff is tough as nails. He had to be as a Cuban defector from Santa Clara, Cuba. At the start of the 2016 season he has a record of 23 -11 with a 2.54 earned run average to go with a 1.03 WHIP. This man is the real deal, watch this space.
#1. Clayton Kershaw / Los Angeles Dodgers / Age: 28
As of 2016 Clayton Kershaw is the best young pitcher in MLB, hands down. This beast has a career ERA that is the lowest among starting pitchers in the ‘live-ball era’ after a minimum of 1,000 innings pitched (2.43). Kershaw is also a 3-Time Cy Young Award Winner and in 2014, he won the NL Most Valuable Player Award. These exploits helped him get handsomely rewarded with a $30 million dollar contract from the L.A. Dodgers. Any questions? Well, maybe one…How long until we get that World Series Championship?