Future Beasts of the NL East
Looking around Major League Baseball, the NL East has some of today’s most talented young stars. In this article, we will look at Mike Stanton, who hit 22 home runs in his debut season, along with some more powerful players. Driven by these players, the NL east will become the most powerful division in Major League Baseball in the coming years.
Ike Davis, New York Mets – Though Davis showed us some of his potential last season, I believe there is more to be reached in his near future. The power is there (19 home runs in 2010), but his decisiveness to swing the bat and his consistency still needs to be worked on. But just as any 24 year old MLB player, both those things are common to come later on in his career, lets just hope not TOO late. Davis will end up finishing the season with the Mets hitting .280 with 25+ HRs.
Mike Stanton, Florida Marlins – Much like Ike Davis, Stanton’s power was surely on display his debut year hitting 22 bombs and 21 doubles in his first 100 games played. But with every top prospect comes high expectations and unwanted attention, both of which seem to be hurting Stanton early on in 2011. He is currently hitting just .216 and just hit his first home run of the season on Thursday. There is no need to panic, especially because we are just 4 weeks into the season. Stanton will fit perfectly into the Florida Marlins fourth spot. A well-rounded, possibly 5-tool Stanton will be seen soon and he will be finishing the season batting .275 with 30+ HRs.
Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves – High expectations and unwanted attention were also drawn to the Atlanta Braves top prospect Jason Heyward, but they do not seem to be hurting Heyward as much as Stanton early on in 2011. Heyward has speed, agility, power, consistency and a fabulous glove; all of which were displayed in 2010. In his debut season (142 games played), he hit a very decent .277, with 18 home runs, 5 triples, and stole 11 bases. He also had a great .976 fielding percentage. Remember, that was only his debut year. What’s to come in the future? Well we will soon find out. Heyward will hit .290 with 20+ HRs this season.
Stephen Strasburg/Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals – Most of the talk about both Strasburg and Harper has been press-hype, but from what I have seen from both of these young players have made me a believer. Strasburg, if healthy when he comes back from Tommy John surgery in 2012, will be the ace of the Washington Nationals and a feared pitcher throughout the MLB. Not just because there has been talk about him reaching 103 MPH, but because of his astounding 92 Ks in only 68 IP in the MLB. Harper is a different story. There has been no major league debut yet, but from watching him at Single A games this season, Harper looks to be very promising as a clean-up hitter. With a clean swing and a bunch of power, it’s a matter of time before this 18 year old goes on a tear in single A and starts turning heads even more.
Other Notable Players – Matt Dominguez of the Florida Marlins (currently in Triple-A ball), Domonic Brown of the Philadelpia Phillies (currently on the DL but will be on the Phillies), and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves (currently with the Atlanta Braves).