We've previously covered the "ossified fossil" set in this space, and now it's time to turn our attentions to the kids with their baggy pants and their rock and/or roll music.
By "kids," we mean those players age 25 or younger. As for more exacting criteria, we're looking to rank those apple-cheeked youth who have a bright future and have been contributing at the highest level for most or all of the current season. Consider it, oh, 50 percent future upside and 50 percent 2012 impact. So this won't be a prospects list, and it also won't include any names who have been recently called up.
Know that this list entailed some difficult decisions. At the present time, MLB is enjoying an embarrassment of riches in terms of young talent, particularly among position players. A number of those names left off the list to follow will surely go on to great careers. In 2012, however, the competition for "best young players" is uncommonly stiff. For us fans, that's a great thing. For commenters prepared to be outraged, that's a convenient thing!
Spoiler alert: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout will make appearances ...