MLB Top 100 Players

This is the finale of my MLB Postseason series. I did say that i would do a post where I attempt to measure luck, but I think that would go better as its own standalone post. The rules for this list are simple: be good at baseball. Like with my top 10 lists, players who missed a large portion of the season due to injury were not considered. So guys like Noah Syndergaard, Michael Brantley, and Yoenis Cespedes will not appear on this list despite the fact that they would rank very highly when healthy. I will only be providing explanations for the top 20, as doing it for all 100 players would just be insanity. So without further ado, here are my top 100 players.

100. Justin Smoak-1B-Toronto Blue Jays

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photo credit: Sporting News

99. Drew Pomeranz-SP-Boston Red Sox

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photo credit: MassLive.com

98. Tommy Kahnle-RP-New York Yankees

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photo credit: Times Union

97. Jean Segura-SS-Seattle Mariners

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photo credit: ESPN

96. Jason Kipnis-2B-Cleveland Indians

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photo credit: Cleveland.com

95. Alex Colome-CP-Tampa Bay Rays

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photo credit: Gammons Daily

94. Trea Turner-SS-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: MLB.com

93. Michael Fulmer-SP-Detroit Tigers

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

92. Kyle Seager-3B-Seattle Mariners

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photo credit: Seattle Times

91. Edwin Encarnacion-1B/DH-Cleveland Indians

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photo credit: Cleveland.com

90. DJ LeMahieu-2B-Colorado Rockies

San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies

photo credit: Denver Post

89. Eddie Rosario-LF-Minnesota Twins

Eddie Rosario

photo credit: Pioneer Press

88. Carlos Martinez-SP-St. Louis Cardinals

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photo credit: Sporting News

87. Yasmani Grandal-C-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

86. Yadier Molina-C-St. Louis Cardinals

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

photo credit: CBS Sports

85. Gio Gonzalez-SP-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: A DC Sports Podcast

84. Raisel Iglesias-CP-Cincinnati Reds

Raisel Iglesias

photo credit: Da Cubs Project

83. Brett Gardner-LF-New York Yankees

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photo credit: Sporting News

82. Ender Inciarte-CF-Atlanta Braves

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photo credit: Tomahawk Take

81. Aaron Nola-SP-Philadelphia Phillies

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photo credit: MLB.com

80. Andrew McCutchen-CF-Pittsburgh Pirates

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photo credit: Sporting News

79. Ryan Zimmerman-1B-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: Washington Post

78. Justin Verlander-SP-Houston Astros

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photo credit: USA Today

77. Chad Green-RP-New York Yankees

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photo credit: MLB.com

76. Jacob deGrom-SP-New York Mets

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photo credit: New York Post

75. Ken Giles-CP-Houston Astros

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photo credit: ESPN

74. Zack Cozart-SS-Cincinnati Reds

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photo credit: ESPN

73. Avisail Garcia-RF-Chicago White Sox

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photo credit: Roto Professor

72. Pat Neshek-RP-Colorado Rockies

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photo credit: Zimbio.com

71. Elvis Andrus-SS-Texas Rangers

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photo credit: ESPN

70. Eric Hosmer-1B-Kansas City Royals

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photo credit: The Big Lead

69. Travis Shaw-3B-Milwaukee Brewers

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

68. Brian Dozier-2B-Minnesota Twins

MLB: AUG 25 Tigers at Twins

photo credit: Fan Rag Sports

67. Chris Archer-SP-Tampa Bay Rays

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photo credit: Stack.com

66. Josh Reddick-RF-Houston Astros

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photo credit: NBC Sports

65. JT Realmuto-C-Miami Marlins

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photo credit: NewsOK

64. Carlos Carrasco-SP-Cleveland Indians

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photo credit: MLB.com

63. Corey Knebel-CP-Milwaukee Brewers

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photo credit: MLB.com

62. Byron Buxton-CF-Minnesota Twins

Byron Buxton

photo credit: Pioneer Press

61. Chris Taylor-LF-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: Fan Rag Sports

60. Jimmy Nelson-SP-Milwaukee Brewers

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photo credit: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

59. Andrew Benintendi-LF-Boston Red Sox

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photo credit: Boston Globe

58. Wade Davis-CP-Chicago Cubs

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photo credit: Chicago Tribune

57. Javy Baez-2B-Chicago Cubs

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photo credit: CSN Chicago

56. Willson Contreras-C-Chicago Cubs

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photo credit: CSN Chicago

55. Jonathan Schoop-2B-Baltimore Orioles

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photo credit: Baltimore Sun

54. Lorenzo Cain-CF-Kansas City Royals

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photo credit: Kansas City Star

 

53. Archie Bradley-RP-Arizona Diamondbacks

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photo credit: Arizona Sports

52. Marcus Stroman-SP-Toronto Blue Jays

AL Wild Card Game: Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays

photo credit: MLB.com

51. Dustin Pedroia-2B-Boston Red Sox

St. Louis Cardinals vs Boston Red Sox, 2013 World Series

photo credit: WSBM

50. Jose Abreu-1B-Chicago White Sox

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photo credit: MLB.com

49. Robinson Cano-2B-Seattle Mariners

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photo credit: Gammons Daily

 

48.Xander Bogaerts-SS-Boston Red Sox

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photo credit: Boston Herald

47. Roberto Osuna-CP-Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays open a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 5-3 win

photo credit: Toronto Star

46. Tommy Pham-LF-St. Louis Cardinals

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photo credit: USA Today

45. Michael Conforto-LF-New York Mets

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photo credit: NJ.com

44. Manny Machado-3B-Baltimore Orioles

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles

photo credit: The Baltimore Wire

43. Didi Gregorius-SS-New York Yankees

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees

photo credit: Sports on Earth

42. Salvador Perez-C-Kansas City Royals

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

41. Cody Bellinger-1B-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: NY Daily News

40. Daniel Murphy-2B-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: Federal Baseball

39. Christian Yelich-CF-Miami Marlins

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins

photo credit: MLB Trade Rumors

38. Robbie Ray-SP-Arizona Diamondbacks

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photo credit: Sporting News

37. Justin Turner-3B-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: LA Times

36. Justin Upton-LF-Anaheim Angels

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

photo credit: Upstate Sports Zone

35. Andrew Miller-RP-Cleveland Indians

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians

photo credit: CBS Sports

34. JD Martinez-RF-Arizona Diamondbacks

Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks

photo credit: WXYZ.com

33. Gary Sanchez-C-New York Yankees

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photo credit: NY Daily News

32. Luis Severino-SP-New York Yankees

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photo credit: New York Post

31. Andrelton Simmons-SS-Anaheim Angels

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photo credit: MLB.com

30. Marcell Ozuna-LF-Miami Marlins

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photo credit: Yahoo Sports

29. Anthony Rizzo-1B-Chicago Cubs

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

28. Buster Posey-C-San Francisco Giants

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

27. Zack Greinke-SP-Arizona Diamondbacks

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

26. Craig Kimbrel-CP-Boston Red Sox

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photo credit: Over the Monster

25. Anthony Rendon-3B-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: Roto Professor

24. Mookie Betts-RF-Boston Red Sox

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photo credit: isportsweb

23. Kenley Jansen-CP-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: USA Today

22. Stephen Strasburg-SP-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: SportsGlory

21. Jose Ramirez-3B-Cleveland Indians

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photo credit: ESPN

20. Corey Seager-SS-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: Youtube

Corey Seager, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, is only 23 years old yet is widely considered to be the best position player on the winningest team in the majors. He had a slashline of .295/.375/.479 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI and was worth 5.7 WAR on the year. While those numbers are down from his monster 2016 season, they are still stats most players would consider to be a career year.

19. Carlos Correa-SS-Houston Astros

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photo credit: Sporting News

The closest comparison to Carlos Correa is a young Alex Rodriguez. Both broke in as very young, larger than average shortstops with prolific five-tool skillsets. Correa carried a slashline of .315/.391/.550 this year with 24 home runs and 84 RBI, being worth 5.2 WAR. Amazingly enough, Correa isn’t even the highest rated player on his own team, nor even the second.

18. Freddie Freeman-1B-Atlanta Braves

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photo credit: Tomahawk Take

I noted in yesterday’s Top 10’s blog that Freddie Freeman didn’t hit a single infield fly/popup on the season. Consdering he played in 117 games, that makes the feat all the more absurd. Freeman battled injuries throughout the year but that didn’t stop him from slashing .307/.403/.586 with 28 home runs, 71 RBI, and a 4.5 WAR. He was also doing all of this while learning how to play third base for a little while.

17. Josh Donaldson-3B-Toronto Blue Jays

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photo credit: Baseball Essential

The 2015 AL MVP’s stats have been on the decline over the past couple of years, but they are still fearsome nonetheless. Donaldson hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 78 RBI with a 5.0 WAR all while dealing with injuries.

16. George Springer-CF-Houston Astros

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

George Springer pretty much did it all for the Astros as he hit .283/.367/.522 with 34 home runs and 85 RBI with a 4.5 WAR and playing some exciting defense in the outfield. And the scary thing to think about is that Springer still has yet to unleash his full potential.

15. Francisco Lindor-SS-Cleveland Indians

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

Francisco Lindor had 27 career home runs entering the 2017 season. By the end of the year, he had 60 career bombs. Lindor’s 33 homers led all shortstops this season and he kept up his usual impressive rate stats as well, slashing at .273/.349/.478 and being worth 5.9 WAR.

14. Nolan Arenado-3B-Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenado, Justin Turner

photo credit: Denver Post

Arenado is a prime MVP candidate this year, slashing .309/.373/.586 with 37 home runs and 130 RBI while playing stellar defense at the hot corner. Arenado was worth 5.6 WAR and is a big reason the Rockies are in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

13. Charlie Blackmon-CF-Colorado Rockies

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

I wrote in my Awards blog that I think Charlie Blackmon should be the MVP of the NL and his numbers really back it up. He slashed .331/.399/.601 and hit 37 home runs and 104 RBI while scoring 137 runs, all out of the leadoff spot. His 6.5 WAR was a huge increase over his previous career high of 4.1 in 2016.

12. Kris Bryant-3B-Chicago Cubs

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photo credit: Sports Illustrated

Bryant didn’t have the dominant year he had in 2016 where he won NL MVP but he still put up MVP-caliber numbers. He slashed .295/.409/.537 with 29 home runs and 73 RBI while being worth 6.7 WAR. Bryant’s heroics have the Cubs in the postseason for the third straight year.

11. Paul Goldschmidt-1B-Arizona Diamondbacks

paul-goldschmidt-1400

photo credit: CBS Sports

Goldy slashed .297/.404/.563 and is once again in the thick of the NL MVP race. He hit 36 home runs, knocked in 120 RBI, and stole 18 bases, a high total for a first baseman, though low by his standards. Goldschmidt has been a key cog in the Diamondbacks’ big turnaround season.

10. Chris Sale-SP-Boston Red Sox

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

photo credit: NESN

Chris Sale was one of the biggest offseason acquisitions in franchise history for the Red Sox and he really delivered. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and struck out 308 batters, second most in franchise history next to Pedro Martinez’s 313 in 1999. And Sale was scratched from his start on the regular season’s final day to keep him rested for the ALDS, otherwise he most certainly would have gotten the franchise mark. He finished with a WAR of 7.7, tops among all pitchers.

9. Corey Kluber-SP-Cleveland Indians

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photo credit: Let’s Go Tribe

After struggling to start the first month of the season, Corey Kluber hit the DL. When he came back, he ran roughshod over the Major Leagues, finishing the year with an 18-4 record with a 2.25 ERA and 265 strikeouts with a WAR of 7.3. He looks primed to lead the Indians to their first championship since 1948.

8. Aaron Judge-RF-New York Yankees

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photo credit: Sport News Magazine

The rookie sensation was unstoppable for most of the season. However a bad July-August has him dropping down this list a little bit, yet he’s still in the top 10, which goes to show just how good a year he had. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs and slashed .284/.422/.627 with 114 RBI and led the majors with a WAR of 8.2. This guy still has a lot of work to do to realize his full potential. That’s a scary thought.

7. Giancarlo Stanton-RF-Miami Marlins

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photo credit: FanRag Sports

After a miserable 2016, Stanton exploded in 2017 with 59 home runs, the most since Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001. Stanton was more than just a home run guy. He slashed .281/.376/.631 and drove in a league-high 132 RBI and had a WAR of 6.9 (nice). Stanton was arguably the most exciting player in the majors this season and it will be interesting to see what kinds of postseason awards he garners.

6. Max Scherzer-SP-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: The Big Lead

Scherzer was up to his usual tricks this season, going 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA with 268 strikeouts and a 6.0 WAR. He is, however, currently dealing with an injury that should have Nats fans concerned about his effectiveness in the postseason. Lucky for Washington, they are loaded at starting pitching this year but will need their ace if they hope to take home the franchise’s first World Series title.

5. Joey Votto-1B-Cincinnati Reds

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photo credit: Cincinnati Enquirer

Joey Votto is insanely good but because he plays for the lowly Reds, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. This year, he slashed .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and a 6.6 WAR all while playing in all 162 games for a team that never had a chance at sniffing the postseason. And of those 162 games he played in, there were only 12 in which he did not reach base. Somehow, in his 10th year, he continues to get better and better.

4. Jose Altuve-2B-Houston Astros

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photo creidt: ESPN

 

Altuve seems to get better every season. This year, he slashed .346/.410/.547, all career highs, with 24 home runs, 81 RBI, and 32 stolen bases, adding up to a 7.5 WAR. Not bad for a guy that’s shorter than my mom.

3. Clayton Kershaw-SP-Los Angeles Dodgers

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photo credit: Chicago Tribune

If you say there’s a pitcher in baseball better than Clayton Kershaw, you have no business talking baseball. He somehow manages to lower his already minuscule ERA every single year. This year, though he was battling injuries, he went 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts, all while missing over a month. This hurt his overall WAR at 4.6 but that still rates as ninth best in the majors.

2. Bryce Harper-RF-Washington Nationals

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photo credit: USA Today

Bryce Harper is probably the most talented ballplayer I have ever seen. He does literally everything well and he showed that with a line of .319/.413/.595 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI with a WAR of 4.8. If not for stepping on a wet bag the wrong way and missing the last month of the season, he’d likely be running away with the NL MVP, which would be his second before his 25th birthday.

1.Mike Trout-CF-Anaheim Angels

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photo credit: MLB.com

All hail Trout. The guy that consistently tops the best player in the game rankings, he has gotten compared to guys like Mickey Mantle, who in my opinion would have been the greatest player of all time had he not had two of the worst knees ever given to a human being. Mike Trout also battled injuries this season but that didn’t stop him from hitting .306/.442/.629 with 33 home runs, 72 RBI, 22 stolen bases, and a 6.9 WAR (nice). Trout likely will fall out of the top-2 in AL MVP voting for the first time in his career (yes, you read that right) due to the prolonged injury in the middle of the season and the rise of Altuve and Judge, but he is still in my mind the greatest player in the game today and it’s going to take a LOT to unseat the 26 year-old.

Those are my rankings. Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments section below or on Facebook or on Twitter @jimwyman10.

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