Wow, what a season it has been so far. I’m not sure baseball has seen a such an influx of youth in some time.
The youth movement baseball is experiencing this season. Not only have teams been calling up their top prospects, but they have been performing well. In the NL alone, there is; Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Duffy, Joc Pederson , Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Noah Syndegaard, Addison Russel, and the list goes on. I have been keeping an eye on this all season long, prospects no matter the team excite me because of the potential of the game.
From a Cardinals’ perspective, the way Grichuk and Piscotty have performed is something else. We have grown somewhat accustomed to the pitchers coming in and performing, but it has been some time since we have had more than one rookie come in and perform like these two on the offensive side.
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I’ll admit that before the season I wasn’t sold on Grichuk and Piscotty being able to perform at the major league level, but they have both surpassed the expectations of not only me but everyone around the league. Their performance is going to make the outfield pretty interesting for next year and beyond.
Not only do we have all of these rookies doing well, but think of all the players with under three years of major league experience, doing well right now. There is Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Kolten Wong, Matt Harvey, Jacob De Grom, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, DiDi Gregorius, Sonny Gray, etc.
The great thing about this is that MLB is embracing this head on. Take one look at their social media accounts and you see the emojis, gifs, and all the Kris Bryant swoon (especially this past weekend). While I may not agree with all of the Bryant nonsense. I love what MLB is doing. They must market their game towards the younger generation and use their younger players to do so. NASCAR has been doing this for years with their Gillette Young Guns.
As a youth pastor, I am always seeking relevancy in everything I do. For years baseball in general has been struggling with this and struggling to get young people interested in the game. In this day and age, there is so much out there for young people that baseball has seemingly fallen through the cracks. It has taken some but MLB has finally started to do whatever it takes to entice younger fans. Hopefully they continue to find new ways to become more attractive and relevant in the eyes of all generations.
What are your thoughts on the youth movement baseball is experiencing right now?