Build a Franchise: 5-under-25
Pop-Pop, welcome in ballboys and ballgirls. Today, I want to know which star you would take to build your team around from these five 25-and-under stars. The selection is yummy, much like Dan-o's seasoning. The last and ONLY seasoning you will EVER need. You can get yours today with code "Ballboy" to let them know I sent you; click here.
That's enough of the business; let's jump into our playoff race power rankings!
Ronald Acuna Jr.
Despite the ACL tear Acuna Jr. is a legit 30/30+ threat on the field. We have seen the impact he has had since the injury as the Braves had to bring in Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, and Adam Duvall to fill the void. When your impact on the team is 2-4 players, you know you are essential. He can play all 3 OF positions with ease. Career to date, he owns 14.9WAR, 426H, 105HR, 245RBI, 78SB, and a career slash of .281/.376/.549 over 1516AB. He owns a Rookie of the Year award, 2x All-Star appearances, and 2x Silver Slugger awards. However, the early playoff numbers haven't been there for Acuna Jr. as he owns just a .263/.372/.500 slash line over 94PA. In those playoff appearances, he has 3HR, 9RBI, 3SB, 12BB, and 27K. I am sure Acuna Jr. will simplify his game in the playoffs and not take an all-or-nothing approach as he matures. Career-wise, on defense, he owns a .987Fld% and 14Drs. Would you take Acuna Jr. to build your franchise around?
The running joke after the trade deadline this season was that he became Juan Solo in Washington. To date, for the young OF, he owns a 15.8WAR, 450H, 92HR, 292RBI, 31SB, and a career slash line of .297/.424/.546 slash over 1514AB. Soto has a World Series Ring, a Silver Slugger, Batting Title, and 1 All-Star appearance. The postseason has been kind to Soto as he owns a .277/.373/.554 slash over 75PA. In those 75PA in the playoffs, he has 5HR, 14RBI, 1 SB, 9BB, and 21K. Again, he has some maturing to do in the postseason and doesn't always need to be a hero. Soto has spent a little too much time in LF, which has killed his defensive metrics. However, he has found a home in RF. Career-wise he owns a .990Fld% and -6Drs. He has been much better in RF with a .984Fld% and 4Drs. Would you take Soto to start your franchise and build around?
Vlad Guerrero Jr.
The move from 3B over to 1B for Vlad Jr. could not have worked out any better as he is in serious consideration for the AL MVP award this season after being called a bust coming into the season. Vlad Jr. owns a career 8.0WAR, 336H, 63HR, 198RBI, 5SB, and a career slash line of .287/.365/.508 over 1172AB. The accolades haven't accumulated yet for the 3rd year pro as he only has 1 All-Star appearance and 1 All-Star MVP award. Vlad Jr. has only appeared in the playoffs once, and that was 2020 in the expanded playoffs in 2 games. He went 1/7 in 8PA with 4K and ended up with a .143/.250/.143 slash line. The glove is improving at 1B for Vlad Jr as he gets more comfortable going from -4Drs in 2020 to -2Drs in 2021. The Fld% also improved from .990 to .993 as well this season. The improvement has been immense for Vlad Jr., going from Bust to MVP candidate. Based on this most successful season, would you take Vlad Jr. to build your franchise around?
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Now RF Tatis Jr, better known as El Nino, earned himself a mega extension upwards of $330 million and locked himself in as the cornerstone of the SD Padres. As the games approached 162 this season, we realized he was setting a record in nearly EVERY offensive category known. El Nino finds himself in the thick of the NL MVP race and the true x-factor of the SD Padres as they push to earn the 2nd Wildcard over the Reds. Thus far in Tatis Jr career, he owns a 12.4WAR, 274H, 75HR, 179RBI, 24SB, and a slash of .293/.370/.605 in 934AB. The hardware hasn't come yet for Tatis Jr, as he has just 1 All-Star appearance and 1 Silver Slugger award. The short postseason work has shown great returns for Tatis Jr. In 27PA; he has a .318/.444/.682 slash with 2HR, 5RBI, 1SB, 5BB to 7K. The stat line is where the above three are behind Tatis Jr, the plate discipline is next level, and the pitch selection is excellent, as we see in his career slugging%. If you didn't know, Tatis Jr. isn't a great defender at SS as his career .950Fld% and -11Drs. However, in the OF, he owns a 1.000Fld% with -1Drs. The move to the OF will benefit Tatis Jr for years to come as well as the Padres. Now, the tricky question. Would you take Tatis Jr. to start your MLB franchise?
The Boston Red Sox not so underrated start INF has been nothing short of brilliant thus far in his MLB career. Devers owns an 11.0WAR, 568H, 106HR, 351RBI, 20SB, and a .278/.336/.510 slash line in 2041AB. Devers is overshadowed at one of the most loaded positions in the AL and MLB in general by many others. He owns 1 All-Star appearance and 1 World Series ring from 2018. Devers was a big part of the Red Sox run to the 2018 ring as his career playoff numbers of .311/.373/.511 over 51PA speak volumes to the kind of player he is in big moments. In the postseason, he has 14H, 3HR, 14RBI, 1SB, 5BB, and 17K. The K's are excusable for all of these players, each around age 20-21 when the bulk of their playoff experience was happening. A possible move for Devers may help his career WAR long-term as his .934Fld%, -29DRS have shown a lackluster glove at 3B. Maybe a Vlad Jr move to 1B for Dever could only improve the trajectory of his career. Raffy Big Stick is on his way to being the next big thing in Boston since Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia. Would you start your franchise with Devers?
As always, thank you for reading. I seriously want to know. Who would you take? Let me know down in the comments. I am dying to know. Again, don't forget to check out all the codes, discounts, and deals I have for you. The sponsors keep the blog free for you guys to enjoy and keep me going! You support them, are supporting this independent blog. Linktr.ee/ballboyblog