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
99. Drew Pomeranz-SP-Boston Red Sox
98. Tommy Kahnle-RP-New York Yankees
97. Jean Segura-SS-Seattle Mariners
96. Jason Kipnis-2B-Cleveland Indians
95. Alex Colome-CP-Tampa Bay Rays
94. Trea Turner-SS-Washington Nationals
93. Michael Fulmer-SP-Detroit Tigers
92. Kyle Seager-3B-Seattle Mariners
91. Edwin Encarnacion-1B/DH-Cleveland Indians
90. DJ LeMahieu-2B-Colorado Rockies
89. Eddie Rosario-LF-Minnesota Twins
88. Carlos Martinez-SP-St. Louis Cardinals
87. Yasmani Grandal-C-Los Angeles Dodgers
86. Yadier Molina-C-St. Louis Cardinals
85. Gio Gonzalez-SP-Washington Nationals
84. Raisel Iglesias-CP-Cincinnati Reds
83. Brett Gardner-LF-New York Yankees
82. Ender Inciarte-CF-Atlanta Braves
81. Aaron Nola-SP-Philadelphia Phillies
80. Andrew McCutchen-CF-Pittsburgh Pirates
79. Ryan Zimmerman-1B-Washington Nationals
78. Justin Verlander-SP-Houston Astros
77. Chad Green-RP-New York Yankees
76. Jacob deGrom-SP-New York Mets
75. Ken Giles-CP-Houston Astros
74. Zack Cozart-SS-Cincinnati Reds
73. Avisail Garcia-RF-Chicago White Sox
72. Pat Neshek-RP-Colorado Rockies
71. Elvis Andrus-SS-Texas Rangers
70. Eric Hosmer-1B-Kansas City Royals
69. Travis Shaw-3B-Milwaukee Brewers
68. Brian Dozier-2B-Minnesota Twins
67. Chris Archer-SP-Tampa Bay Rays
66. Josh Reddick-RF-Houston Astros
65. JT Realmuto-C-Miami Marlins
64. Carlos Carrasco-SP-Cleveland Indians
63. Corey Knebel-CP-Milwaukee Brewers
62. Byron Buxton-CF-Minnesota Twins
61. Chris Taylor-LF-Los Angeles Dodgers
60. Jimmy Nelson-SP-Milwaukee Brewers
59. Andrew Benintendi-LF-Boston Red Sox
58. Wade Davis-CP-Chicago Cubs
57. Javy Baez-2B-Chicago Cubs
56. Willson Contreras-C-Chicago Cubs
55. Jonathan Schoop-2B-Baltimore Orioles
54. Lorenzo Cain-CF-Kansas City Royals
53. Archie Bradley-RP-Arizona Diamondbacks
52. Marcus Stroman-SP-Toronto Blue Jays
51. Dustin Pedroia-2B-Boston Red Sox
50. Jose Abreu-1B-Chicago White Sox
49. Robinson Cano-2B-Seattle Mariners
48.Xander Bogaerts-SS-Boston Red Sox
47. Roberto Osuna-CP-Toronto Blue Jays
46. Tommy Pham-LF-St. Louis Cardinals
45. Michael Conforto-LF-New York Mets
44. Manny Machado-3B-Baltimore Orioles
43. Didi Gregorius-SS-New York Yankees
42. Salvador Perez-C-Kansas City Royals
41. Cody Bellinger-1B-Los Angeles Dodgers
40. Daniel Murphy-2B-Washington Nationals
39. Christian Yelich-CF-Miami Marlins
38. Robbie Ray-SP-Arizona Diamondbacks
37. Justin Turner-3B-Los Angeles Dodgers
36. Justin Upton-LF-Anaheim Angels
35. Andrew Miller-RP-Cleveland Indians
34. JD Martinez-RF-Arizona Diamondbacks
33. Gary Sanchez-C-New York Yankees
32. Luis Severino-SP-New York Yankees
31. Andrelton Simmons-SS-Anaheim Angels
30. Marcell Ozuna-LF-Miami Marlins
29. Anthony Rizzo-1B-Chicago Cubs
28. Buster Posey-C-San Francisco Giants
27. Zack Greinke-SP-Arizona Diamondbacks
26. Craig Kimbrel-CP-Boston Red Sox
25. Anthony Rendon-3B-Washington Nationals
24. Mookie Betts-RF-Boston Red Sox
23. Kenley Jansen-CP-Los Angeles Dodgers
22. Stephen Strasburg-SP-Washington Nationals
21. Jose Ramirez-3B-Cleveland Indians
20. Corey Seager-SS-Los Angeles Dodgers
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.