Sports NYC's 10 best athletes 25 and younger By SCOTT FONTANA Updated July 22, 2014 2:36 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony, Henrik Lundqvist, Eli Manning. They're just a few of the biggest sports stars the Big Apple has seen in the past decade. They're also at least 30 -- and Jeter is 40. Other than the soon-to-be-retired Jeter, these leading men in metropolitan sports still have at least a few good years left, in theory. But like so many before them, they'll eventually be usurped by younger, better stars. Some of them are already household names, while others are on the cusp of breaking out. Here's a look at the top 10 athletes currently playing for Big Apple teams who are poised to be the toast of the town for years to come. John Tavares, Islanders: 23 Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac Although he'll toil at Nassau Coliseum for one more season, Tavares will turn 25 just before the Islanders make their Brooklyn debut in 2015. In 350 career games, the captain has racked up 136 goals -- including 23 game-winners -- and 179 assists. As a 22-year-old, Tavares was one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy during the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Although a knee injury in the Olympics cut the center's 2013-14 campaign short, he is expected to be 100% by training camp. Matt Harvey, Mets: 25 Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke He's already a bona fide star in the Big Apple thanks to the talent that earned him the All-Star Game start last season and his notorious proclivity for dating models. In 36 career starts, Harvey boasts a 2.39 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 261 strikeouts and just 57 walks and 12 home runs allowed. The Mets are hoping he can pitch like his old self when he returns from Tommy John surgery. Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees: 25 Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke In the four months since his big-league debut, the Japanese import took the town by storm. If not for a partially torn ligament, he might have started this year's Midsummer Classic given his stat line: 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA, 135 strikeouts and three complete games in just 18 starts. It's way too early to tell, but Tanaka could someday become the next great Yankee. Sheldon Richardson, Jets: 23 Photo Credit: Getty Images Richardson made an immediate impact on the Jets' defense as a rookie last year when he was in on 78 tackles -- fourth-most among NFL defensive linemen -- and tallied 2.5 sacks en route to earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He even ran for a pair of touchdowns, William "Refrigerator" Perry style. The versatile D-lineman has the potential to be an All-Pro for years to come. Ryan McDonagh, Rangers: 25 Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke McDonagh, who turned 25 last month, was named his team's most valuable player prior to the Blueshirts' run to the Stanley Cup Final. This past season, the Minnesota native posted career highs in goals (14) and assists (29) as he became more active in creating scoring opportunities. He's one of the top defensemen in the NHL and is signed to play at the Garden through his 20s. Tina Charles, Liberty: 25 Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow The only native of the five boroughs on this list, Charles just played in her second WNBA All-Star Game -- her first since coming over in a trade before this season. She's also the only player listed who has won a league MVP award, as she did two years ago at age 23. Among active players, the center's career averages in rebounds, blocks and points rank first, fifth and eighth, respectively. Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets: 24 Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac Wilkerson, who turns 25 in October, was voted the seventh-best D-lineman in football on NFL.com, and all but one of the players ranked ahead of him are older. The 2011 first-round pick finally realized his pass-rushing potential last year by notching a team-leading 10.5 sacks and forcing two fumbles while earning second-team All-Pro honors for the first time in his three-year career. Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants: 25 Photo Credit: Mike Stobe For a few years, everyone was down with JPP. He was named first-team All-Pro in 2011 when he tallied 16.5 sacks and 86 tackles (65 solo), tops among D-lineman leaguewide. While still an athletic specimen, the defensive end's career has cooled some due in part to nagging injuries. The two-time Pro Bowl selection is young enough to turn things around and become a leader on the Giants' defense. Zack Wheeler, Mets: 25 Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac The righthander pales in comparison to pre-injury Harvey, but still has the upside to be a front-line starter in Queens for a long time. Through 37 career starts, Wheeler has posted a 3.61 ERA and 196 strikeouts. He has been inconsistent in 2014 but looks to be finding his groove of late, allowing just one run in each of his last four outings. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants: 21 Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke Beckham is the only player on this list who has yet to play in a game for his team, but the expectations for the 2014 first-round pick are high. If he hits the ground running, the wide receiver might help form one of the better 1-2 receiving punches in the NFL alongside Victor Cruz. Fun fact: Beckham is an alumnus of the same high school as the Manning brothers. By SCOTT FONTANA Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.