Young stars: all 25 and under

April 02, 1993

Pitchers

Mike Mussina, 24, Orioles: The last AL sophomore to win as many as 18 games with an ERA as low as his 2.54 was Ron Guidry in 1978.

Jim Abbott, 25, Yankees: Forget his 7-15 record last year. His run-support with the Angels was the lowest in AL history in the designated-hitter era.

Steve Avery, 22, Braves: Has made a major-league record eight postseason starts before his 23rd birthday.

NB Cal Eldred, 25, Brewers: 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA is a good start.

Catcher

Ivan Rodriguez, 21, Rangers: Sure, he committed more errors (15) than any other AL catcher since Andy Allanson in 1986, but he also threw out a major-league best 49 percent of runners trying to steal.

First basemen

Frank Thomas, 24, White Sox: His career on-base percentage of .447 is the third highest in major-league history among all players after their third season.

Jeff Bagwell, 24, Astros: His career average of .385 in late-inning pressure situations is the highest since 1975 (minimum: 50 hits in those situations).

Gregg Jefferies, 25, Cardinals: He's great for someone who has yet to find a position or a team. Had two separate hitting streaks of 15 or more games last year.

Eric Karros, 25, Dodgers: Led the NL with 55 RBI after the All-Star break, doing so with little protection in the batting order.

Second basemen

Roberto Alomar, 25, Blue Jays: Started his postseason career with an 11-game hitting streak, second best in history.

Carlos Baerga, 24, Indians: Became the first AL second baseman and second major-league second baseman (Rogers Hornsby was the first) to hit .300 with 200 hits, 20 home runs and 100 RBI.

Delino DeShields, 24, Expos: He's only 24 and already he's played more games at second base than anyone else in Montreal's history.

Chuck Knoblauch, 24, Twins: Won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1991, then raised his totals in games, at-bats, runs, hits, homers, RBI, walks, steals, batting average, slugging average and on-base average.

Shortstops

Travis Fryman, 24, Tigers: If Cal Ripken gets pushed out of the All-Star Game starting lineup, this is probably the man who will do it. In fact, he could be a Cal clone: powerful arm, powerful bat and ironman tendencies (he led the majors in at-bats last season).

Pat Listach, 25, Brewers: Led major-league rookies in batting average and hits.

Third basemen

Gary Sheffield, 24, Padres: The last player to hit as many as 33 homers with 40 or fewer strikeouts was Ted Kluszewski in 1953 to 1956.

Robin Ventura, 25, White Sox: Has batted .300 or better with runners in scoring position in each of his first seasons.

Outfielders

Juan Gonzalez, 23, Rangers: The fifth-youngest player to hit 40 home runs in a season.

Ken Griffey, 23, Mariners: Gonzalez and Griffey both drove in 100 runs twice before their 23rd birthdays. Only eight other players in major-league history have done that, and all but one (Hal Trosky) is a Hall of Famer.

Ray Lankford, 25, Cardinals: Stole 42 bases with 20 homers and 40 doubles.

Deion Sanders, 25, Braves: Had 14 triples in just 303 at-bats. That's the lowest at-bat total by a league leader in any extra-base hit category this century.

Kenny Lofton, 25, Indians: Stole 66 bases. Threw out 14 runners. Hit .369 against left-handers -- and he bats left-handed.

Marquis Grissom, 25, Expos: One of only eight players since 1900 with 75 steals in each of two consecutive seasons.

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