The Ten Best Athletes Under 25
Arguably the worlds best soccer player, Neymar da Silva Santos had 15 goals for FC Barcelona and added to that with another four goals in the 2014 world cup. Speaking of the world cup, you saw how important he was to that Brazilian national team when he went down with a back injury right before the Germany game. Yeah, the Germany game that saw the world’s top ranked team get thrashed 7-1 on their home pitch. If his play on the field wasn’t enough to warrant a spot on this list, check out some of the women in his life. You won’t be disappointed.
9. Kyrie Irving
The 2013-14 season saw a little bit of drop in production for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top pick in 2011 as the team tended to struggle during the guards junior season. Although, the trend of poor play from the northwest Ohio franchise is sure to end this upcoming season with Lebron James returning to the city where he started his career. One thing that tends to happen when you’re playing side- kick to the worlds best player, you get a lot more open looks so look for Irving to take a major leap in production this season. I hope he is up for the challenge because despite the king’s comments, this team entered “win now” mode the minute Lebron James signed on the dotted line.
8. Bryce Harper
Once known as a baseball protégée, Harper forwent his final year of high school to get his GED and play for the best junior college team in America. He was the top pick in the 2010 MLB Draft at 17 years old and played in his first all- star game before he could legally drink. He has incredible power for his build and is slowly but surely developing a solid glove to go along with that big bat. The huge potential is evident and if one thing is for certain, we are going to be seeing a lot of this kid in the future.
7. Robert Griffin III
Now I know Robert Griffin’s sophomore season didn’t go the way that we all expected but you can’t deny the talent. His rookie season was nothing short of magical and if he hadn’t hurt his knee on that sloppy DC field against the Seahawks in the 2013 playoffs, I have a feeling this past season would have gone a lot differently. Despite the setback, you have to look at the stats, 6,400 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions in his first two NFL seasons. Not too shabby if you ask me. Each year, a team tends to go worst to first in the NFL and I wouldn’t be surprised if RG3, with a full healthy offseason under his belt, and his Redskins keep the trend alive.
6. Giancarlo Stanton
We all saw the kind of power that Stanton possesses at the home run derby, when he crushed balls a near 500 feet into the upper deck at Target Field. The scariest part is, he hits the ball like that in real games as well, take a look on YouTube at some of his best shot because when he gets a hold of a pitch, there is no doubt where it is going. The 24-year-old outfielder has 23 home runs and 65 RBIs at the halfway point of the season and the more we see him, it is looking like he is not taking his foot off the gas. Now all we need is Miami to ship him off to a contender and we’ll really see what this kid is made of.
5. John Wall
So who took a bigger step forward this season than the Washington Wizards point guard? The 23 year old averaged nineteen points and almost nine assists on Washington’s best team since Gilbert Arenas left town and led them to the upset over the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The rest of the league should take note because John Wall is leading the next wave of young superstars and some of these kids are anything but green.
4. Yasiel Puig
Is there a more electrifying player in all of sports than the Cuban Missile? I really don’t think there is and little Bo Jackson is slowly turning into one of baseballs most productive players. He is all out hustle batting .308 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs at 23 years old and once he learns how to channel that aggressiveness and run the bases like a professional, he is going to be a force to be reckon with. As if he already isn’t.
3. Kawhi Leonard
The talent and potential that this kid possesses was put on full display during this year’s NBA Finals, where the San Antonio Spurs beat Lebron James and the Miami Heat in Five games. Ending their bid for three straight titles. In that series, Leonard averaged 17 points and six rebounds including a 29-point outburst in game three to win MVP honors. At 23, he was the third youngest player to win that award in NBA history. I truly believe that this is the kick- start to a dominant future and before I spoke about the next wave of NBA superstars, well Kawhi is most certainly one of them.
2. Andrew Luck
It’s really hard to believe that Andrew Luck is only 24 years old because his play and the way he carries himself remind you of a guy like Peyton Manning who has been in the league for 15 years. He threw for 3,800 yards 23 touchdowns and nine picks last year but that was with his top target, Reggie Wayne, unavailable through most of the season. His roster is getting exponentially better and I thought that the addition of Hakeem Nicks was one of the more underrated ones this offseason. If Nicks can stay healthy look for Luck to develop a pretty good rapport with him and speedster T.Y. Hilton, it’s too early to say for sure but I definitely have Andrew Luck as an MVP dark horse this upcoming season.
1. Mike Trout
There isn’t much to say about the 22-year-old Angel’s outfielder besides that the kid is an absolute stud. He is already making his case as the MLB’s best player and would probably have an MVP under his belt already if it wasn’t for a certain Triple Crown winner out in D- Town. Trout is batting .310 with 23 home runs and 74 RBI’s at the midpoint of the season, which is impressive enough, but when baseball people are referring to you as a “Young Mickey Mantle,” it makes you stand up and pay attention.