MLB Rank Top 25: Who is the No. 1 player in baseball entering 2021?
Who will be the most valuable player in the Major League Baseball season of 2021? With Opening Day rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at how the game’s top players compare. The next year, we provided our panel of ESPN baseball experts with a number of different pairings of the greatest names in the game and asked them simply, “Which player will be better in 2021?” The result was our annual MLB Rank ranking of the top 100 players in the sport. Among the Cy Young Award winners and MVPs on our last section of the list – the top 25 – you’ll find veterans who are already establishing themselves as future Hall of Famers, as well as breakout megastars who are poised to dominate the sport for years to come.
Alongside each player on the list below, you’ll discover a relevant statistic or backstory that will help you put his or her place on the list into perspective.
100-51, which include emerging talents such as the reigning National League Rookie of the Year and a trio of young hitters in Chicago who have helped to elevate the White Sox to one of the most intriguing teams in the American League.
50-26, which included seven shortstops in what is unquestionably a golden era for the position of shortstop.
against one another and helping to settle – or add more fire to – positional discussions such as who is the best starting pitcher in the Major League Baseball.
ET on ESPN2, will have an MLB Rank special.
25.Bryce Harper, OF,Philadelphia Phillies
Rank #25 in 2020 He’s here for a reason: In his third season with the Phillies, Harper is coming off a productive season in which he hit.268/.420/.542 with 13 home runs. In spite of the fact that he is still only 28 years old, which seems nearly impossible given how long he has been on baseball fans’ minds, he has yet to win his first postseason series as a major leaguer, something Philadelphia undoubtedly envisioned when it signed him to a 13-year, $330 million contract. Joon Lee is a Korean actor and director.
24.Aaron Judge, OF,New York Yankees
2020: 15th place in the rankings He’s here for a reason: This will be a pivotal season for Judge, who will be 29 years old at the end of April. A season like Judge’s historic 52-homer Rookie of the Year effort in 2017 has been anticipated by fans for three years. Judge, on the other hand, has only appeared in 242 games out of the 384 games that have been planned since the start of the 2018 season. – Marly Rivera is a writer and actress.
23.Trevor Story, SS,Colorado Rockies
Rank: 30 in the year 2020 He’s here for a reason: Following the transfer of Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals in the summer, Story has effectively become the Rockies’ lone star. And with the two-way star shortstop entering his walk year, it’s possible that Story’s act may be a one-time only spectacle. If Colorado struggles, as the forecasts indicate, Story will be a highly sought-after asset on the offseason trade market, as well.
The only other shortstops who have accumulated more fWAR over the previous three years have been Francisco Lindor and Xander Bogaerts, and Story may be a greater all-around player than any of them. Bradford Doolittle is a fictional character created by author Bradford Doolittle.
22.Corey Seager, SS,Los Angeles Dodgers
78th position in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Allowing Seager to have a full season to recuperate from hip surgery – and to build a strong enough base to ensure that his mechanics didn’t waver during the rigors of the season – Seager returned to the superstar form that he displayed in his early years, slapping a.307/.358/.585 slash line with 28 extra-base hits in 52 games over the course of the regular season.
He subsequently went on to win the NLCS MVP award as well as the World Series MVP award.
Alden Gonzalez is a writer and poet.
21.Max Scherzer, SP,Washington Nationals
Rank #7 in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Seven years have passed in a blink of an eye, and Scherzer will be approaching the final season of his deal with the Washington Nationals in 2021. After years of ERAs in the 2.00s, his ERA soared to 3.74 in 2020, hardly a reason for alarm, but still a significant dip from his previous levels. Is Scherzer entering the “just good” stage of his career, or is he still considered one of the best in the world? Jesse Rogers is a writer who lives in the United States.
20.Manny Machado, 3B,San Diego Padres
2020: 50th place He’s here for a reason: Machado had a fantastic season in 2020 after a shaky start to his San Diego career. He hit.304/.370/.580 with 16 home runs, played solid defense (although it’s hard to win a Gold Glove in a league with Nolan Arenado), and finished third in the National League MVP vote, which was a first for him in his career. It has changed with his hitting averages, which have gone from.294 to.259 to.297 to.256 and to.304 in the last five seasons. If he hits around.300, he’ll be a top-20 player without a doubt.
David Schoenfield is the author of this piece.
19.DJ LeMahieu, 2B, New York Yankees
57th position in 2020 He’s here for a reason: The decision to re-sign LeMahieu was perhaps the finest decision taken by the American League this summer. In his first two seasons with the Yankees, LeMahieu has twice placed in the top five of the MVP vote and will lead the majors in hitting average in the next season. While some players may see a dip in performance at the age of 32, LeMahieu’s flexibility in the field and discipline at the plate continue to set the gold standard. Rivera is a Spanish word that means “river.”
18.Walker Buehler, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Rank #19 for the year 2020 He’s here for a reason: Having taken some time off when the 2020 season was first suspended, Buehler struggled to get back into shape when the season resumed in mid-summer. In the postseason, though, Buehler was at his best, allowing only five runs and striking out 39 hitters in 25 innings while pitching to a perfect record. Only 26 years old, he has quickly established himself as one of the game’s top big-game pitchers – and it appears that the best is yet to come for this young man.
17.Jose Ramirez, 3B,Cleveland
Rank: 47 in the year 2020 For what reason he’s here: Despite his little stature and limited offensive capabilities, this guy just hits and hits for power, as well as steals some bases. With a mediocre (at least for him) 2019 season wedged between three consecutive third-place finishes in the MVP vote, he has finished third, third, and second in the last four years.
For the years 2017 and 2018, he was a player with 7 WAR, and he was on track for 6.4 WAR in 2020. – Schoenfield’s etymology
16.Trevor Bauer, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
88th position in 2020 He’s here for a reason: After a stellar shortened season with the Reds, Bauer turned it into what amounts to a three-year, $102 million deal with the National League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner. While all eyes will be on how well he fits in with a team that is already loaded with proven talents, Bauer’s desire to duplicate his award-winning performance for Cincinnati will be of more practical interest. Following a season in which he had a 1.73 earned run average, it would appear that he has nowhere to go but down.
” – Dr.
15.Anthony Rendon, 3B,Los Angeles Angels
Rank:13 in the year 2020 He’s here for a reason: Making contact has never been more difficult for hitters than it is right now, yet Rendon has struck out only 24 more times than he has walked over the previous four years. During that span, he batted.307/.399/.550 while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense and accruing 22.6 FanGraphs WAR, which placed him third on the all-time list behind only Trout and Betts. – Gonzalez et al.
14.Shane Bieber, SP, Cleveland
2020 – 40th place He’s here for a reason: Over the past two seasons, Bieber has established himself as one of the finest pitchers in the game, and he is poised to have a breakout season in 2020. In 12 starts, he had a 1.63 earned run average and a 0.87 earned run average (WHIP). He was in the running for the American League MVP title for much of the season, in addition to the Cy Young award, which he finally won. – Lee & Associates, Inc.
13.Alex Bregman, 3B,Houston Astros
2020: 12th place in the rankings He’s here for a reason: After a disappointing 2020 season in which, perhaps more than any other fallen Astro, his on-field confidence appeared to diminish under the torrent of scorn that descended on Houston, Bregman is looking to rebound in the new year. The revealing measure was that Bregman was only credited with five barrels on 128 hit balls during the previous season, according to Statcast. In his prime seasons, Bregman will seek to return to his rocket-hitting ways, and if he succeeds in doing so, he’ll remind everyone why he finished second in the American League MVP vote during our previous complete season.
12.Cody Bellinger, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Rank 6 in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Bellinger is a naturally excellent fielder who possesses a good arm, top speed, and magnificent power to go along with his innate talent. The majority of his MVP season in 2019 demonstrated that he is one of the best players in the game when he executes his precise load and swing at the proper time. On occasion, though, as was seen over the truncated 2020 season, his mechanics fail, demanding extensive repair. If you consider the postseason, Bellinger had a hitting line of.233/.329/.455 last season, which was below average.
11.Nolan Arenado, 3B,St. Louis Cardinals
Rank #9 in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Arenado struggled with shoulder soreness (AC joint) for the whole of the season in 2020, leading to a career-worst performance. Over 48 games, he went 253/.303/.434 (.253/.303/.434). Many worry if his stats would translate outside of Denver’s high altitude, but the 29-year-old insists he is “ripping” the ball with no issues this spring, which is excellent news for the Cardinals’ offensive line. Arenado was a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner during his stint in Colorado, when he twice led the league in both home runs and RBIs.
Arenado’s eight Gold Gloves will also serve as an improvement at the hot corner of an already outstanding defensive infield, which will benefit from his presence. Rivera is a Spanish word that means “river.”
10.Francisco Lindor, SS,New York Mets
tenth place in 2020 He’s here for a reason: This will be a pivotal year for the two-time Gold Glove shortstop and four-time All-Star, who has a lot riding on his shoulders. “Mr. Smile” is coming off a dismal season in Cleveland, in which he set a new career low in points scored and points allowed. 258 with eight home runs in the game. His focus will now shift to keeping his contract discussions from becoming a distraction when he dons the Mets uniform and takes center stage in the Big Apple this season.
9.Christian Yelich, OF,Milwaukee Brewers
2020: 4th place in the rankings He’s here for a reason: Yelich may have offered the fewest excuses out of all of the players that underperformed in 2020, according to some reports. He’s now playing with a chip on his shoulder, and Brewers manager Craig Counsell is certain that he’ll be back to his old self soon. Prior to earning an OPS of.786 last season, he had led the National League in OPS in each of his first two seasons with the Brewers. Rogers is a slang term for a slang term for a slang term.
8.Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
2020: 41st place in the rankings He’s here for a reason: He has only played a full season’s worth of big league games, yet he has already signed a 14-year, $340 million contract with the New York Yankees, and he is widely regarded as the new face of baseball. Why? After all, in that one-season sample (143 games, 629 plate appearances), he had a slash line of.301/.374/.582 as well as 39 home runs, 27 stolen bases, eight triples, and a Baseball-Reference WAR of 7.0 – all before turning 22. In the history of baseball, no player has ever amassed more WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in his first 150 games.
7.Freddie Freeman, 1B,Atlanta Braves
2020 rank:17 He’s here for a reason: It’s going to be almost impossible for Freeman to match the.341/.462/.640 line that won him MVP honors in 2020, but maybe hecando it again. He had more walks than strikeouts in 2020, with career-best rates in both categories. Having fewer strikeouts leads to a higher average and OBP, and he didn’t sacrifice any power in cutting down the K’s. – Schoenfield’s etymology
6.Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets
3rd place in 2020 He’s here for a reason: In 2020, he came within striking distance of winning his third straight Cy Young Award, finishing third behind Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish. After seeing his velocity increase in spring and an upgraded lineup surrounding him, Mets fans should anticipate even more deGrom dominance – and most likely even more run support in 2021 – from their team. Rogers is a slang term for a slang term for a slang term.
5.Gerrit Cole, SP, New York Yankees
Rank 2 in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Baseball’s finest pitcher acknowledged that the stop-and-start aspect of last year’s pandemic-shortened season had an impact on his performance. With a record of 7-3 and a 2.84 earned run average in 12 regular-season starts in 2020, Cole stood up to his ace billing, striking out 94 batters in 73 innings while posting a 2.84 ERA.
In order to improve his overall performance, the Yankees’ $324 million right-hander must reduce his proclivity to allow home runs, as his 14 home runs allowed ranked second among big league pitchers. Rivera is a Spanish word that means “river.”
4.Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves
8th place in 2020 He’s here for a reason: When you consider how rapidly Acua has established himself as one of the game’s most fearsome hitters, it’s easy to forget that he is only 23 years old. In 46 games last season, he hit 14 home runs and had a line of.250/.406/.581, putting him in the top ten of all-time. Given the outrageous 14-year, $340 million contract signed by Fernando Tatis Jr., Braves fans should consider themselves fortunate that the team has signed the great outfielder to an eight-year, $100 million contract with the organization.
3.Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals
2020: 11th place in the rankings He’s here for a reason: No, it is not illogical to draw comparisons between Soto and Ted Williams. As a 21-year-old, Williams had a.344/.442/.594 slash line. Soto had a.351/.490/.695 batting average. While it’s true that Soto accomplished this feat in only 47 games and that Williams did so at the age of 22, the point is that Soto possesses the same superstar potential and plate discipline as Williams. If you’re looking for the guy who is most likely to be the top hitter in the game in 2021, you should look no farther than Soto.
2.Mookie Betts, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Rank 5 in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Betts was well-known among Dodgers players and coaches prior to his signing with the team last year. They just weren’t aware of how wonderful they had it. It was amazing to see how sharp he was defensively, how effectively he worked counts, what force the ball leaped off his bat, and how well he raced the bases after just one season of wearing the same jersey as him! To put it another way, Betts is a true five-tool player in every definition of the term.
– Gonzalez et al.
1.Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
1st place in 2020 He’s here for a reason: Trout’s poorest season since his cup-of-coffee start a decade ago was his most recent. In every category, his batting percentages were in the negative. He only stole one base and had horrible defensive numbers to show for it. In addition, he earned a spot in the top five of the American League MVP vote for the eighth consecutive season. Trout’s greatest seasons are his most memorable, and if you look at his career highlights, you can see why he is in a race with the likes of Babe Ruth and Willie Mays for historical supremacy as he is with Mookie Betts, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Top 10 Best Baseball Players of All Time [2022 Update]
Baseball is the oldest sport in America, and it is played in all four major leagues. MLB has bestowed onto its fans some of the most illustrious names in the athletic world. For the same reasons as other sports, baseball does not escape the discussion about who is the best player to ever play the game.
Using player statistics and careers to determine the greatest player of all time, we compiled a top 10 list of the finest players in history. Only teammates will be included on our list. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were two of baseball’s greatest players.
10. Roger Clemens
- Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros
- Two World Series appearances and one National League MVP award
The tenth slot on our list is held by “Rocket”Roger Clemens, who was named American League MVP in 1986. Despite the fact that his career has been marred by controversy, ranging from receiving special treatment to steroid usage, one thing cannot be denied: Clemens is one of the finest pitchers the Major League Baseball has ever seen. Roger Clemens is a baseball player from the United States. Clemens has won the Cy Young Award seven times in a row, which is given to the greatest pitcher in the league.
Clemens is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to have 350 victories and 4,500 strikeouts in a season.
Likewise, his career WAR of 139.2 ranks him second among pitchers and eighth all-time in terms of wins above replacement.
Over the course of his professional career, he posted an ERA of 3.12 in 24 seasons.
9. Stan Musial
- The St. Louis Cardinals are three-time World Series champions and three-time National League MVPs.
Stan Musial is widely considered as one of the most consistent and prolific hitters in the history of the Major League Baseball. Musial played 22 seasons for the Cardinals, winning three World Series titles and three National League MVP honors during his time there. He also has the second-highest combined total of 24 All-Star appearances. Stan Musial is a musician and composer from the United States (Source: Redbirdrants.com) In addition, he has seven National League hitting championships and two National League RBI leader honors to his credit.
Musial’s career totals of 3,630 hits and 724 doubles place him second in the majors in each of the individual categories.
Nine Major League Baseball players have come out as gay.
8. Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson, one of the all-time great pitchers, is the next name on our list to be discussed. No other pitcher during his time period was as dominant as he was. Walter Jhonson is an American actor and director. Over the course of his 20-year professional career, Johnson was named to the All-Star team 12 times for his strikeout total. Furthermore, his record of 110 career shutouts is still undefeated and remains unbroken. In the same way, his strikeout total of 3,058 was unbroken for 56 years.
In 1923, he became the first person to reach the milestone of 3,000 strikeouts.
In the end, Johnson had two MVP honors, one World Series championship, and three Triple Crown championships to his credit. Among the first class of players to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, he also earned a position on our ranking of the “100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.”
7. Lou Gehrig
Because of his consistency and expertise as a batter, Lou Gehrig was given the moniker “The Iron Horse” by his teammates. Gherig is the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to have his jersey number retired by the organization. His number 4 was retired by the New York Yankees in 1939. He concluded his career with a 340 batting average, 493 home runs, and 1995 runs batted in, as well as a 340 batting average. Lou Gehrig was a baseball player who passed away in 2004. (Source: Latimes.com) Greig earned six World Series championships throughout his professional career.
Between 1925 and 1939, he appeared in 2,130 straight games for the New York Yankees.
Greig had the opportunity to continue his streak, but he was forced to retire due to illness.
Later that year, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
6. Ty Cobb
- Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics
- One-time American League MVP
Several historians and members of the media have also referred to Ty Cobb as one of the finest baseball players of the dead-ball era. During his playing career, he is well-known for breaking a number of world records. Furthermore, several of his records have remained unbroken to this day. Ty Cobb is a baseball player that was born in the state of Georgia. Cobb now holds the record for the greatest lifetime batting average in baseball history with a 366. In addition, he owns the record for the most batting champions with 12, as well as the most stolen bases with 54.
Later in his career, he concluded with 4,191 hits and 2245 runs, placing him in second place on the all-time list in each of the aforementioned categories.
Cobb has also won the MVP award and the Triple Crown on one occasion.
5. Ted Williams
Due to his military duty during World War II and the Korean War, Ted Williams was unable to play in three seasons during his prime. Nonetheless, his professional achievements are sufficient to position him in the top five. He is frequently referred to as the “purest hitter” in the history of baseball. Ted Williams is a baseball player who was born in the United States (Source: Military.com) Furthermore, his career on-base percentage of.482 ranks him first all-time in the major leagues. He is also the last player to bat above.400 in a single season, which he accomplished in 1995.
In his professional career, Williams has won three championships and two MVP awards.
In a same vein, he was named to the All-Star team every season during his 19-year professional career. Later, in 1966, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Top 10 All-Time NBA Players, according to ESPN.
4. Hank Aaron
- Baseball players with the Indianapolis Clowns, Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers
- One World Series appearance, one National League MVP.
Hank Aaron, widely regarded as one of baseball’s all-time great power hitters, is the next name on our list. He is most known for breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. Aaron’s 755 career home runs place him in second place on the all-time home run list. Likewise, he is the all-time leader in RBI with 2,297 runs, total bases with 6,856, and extra-base hits with 1,477. He is also the all-time leader in runs scored with 2,297 runs. Aaron’s remarkable strength is demonstrated by the records themselves.
In addition, he was named National League MVP and World Series MVP in 1957.
The Baseball Hall of Fame inductee was inducted into the organization the following year.
3. Barry Bonds
- Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants
- 7-time National League MVP
The 14-time All-Star is the next player on our list. Barry Bonds is a baseball player from the United States. He is a well-known personality in baseball, both for his playing career and for the drugs crisis that engulfed the sport. Unfortunately, despite being eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013, he did not obtain the necessary number of votes to be inducted. The usage of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) was cited as the cause by BBWAA voters. However, we must not lose sight of the impact Bonds had on the game of baseball.
Barry Bonds is a baseball player from the United States (Source: Instagram) He is well recognized as a spectacular hitter.
In addition, he has garnered eight golden glove trophies for his defensive play.
Despite the fact that Bonds does not have a World Series championship to his credit, he is a highly sought-after 7-time National League MVP.
2. Willie Mays
- The New York/San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets have won one World Series and two National League MVP awards, respectively.
When it comes to excellent all-around baseball players, Wille Mays is the perfect illustration of what I mean. Despite the fact that Mays’ offensive numbers are not as impressive as those of other players, his overall performance places him second on our ranking of the “Best Baseball Players” of all time. Willie Mays is a baseball player who plays in the Major Leagues (Source: The Newyork Times) With 660 home runs, he is the sixth most prolific home run hitter in baseball history. He was the National League’s home run leader four times.
In a similar vein, he was the driving force behind three stolen bases.
Likewise, it is tied for second place in terms of All-Star appearances.
In a same vein, he won his lone World Series championship in 1954. MLB changed the World Series MVP award in 2017 to the Willie Mays World Series MVP award in honor of the legendary baseball player. A year after his death, Mays was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
1. Babe Ruth
- Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Boston Braves
- 7-time World Series champion, one-time American League MVP, and member of the MLB All-Time Team
Babe Ruth maintains the highest place in baseball history, if not the highest position among the best baseball players of all time. Furthermore, he is well-known even among people who do not follow baseball. Ruth transitioned from being a pitcher to being one of the greatest hitters in baseball history despite beginning his career as a pitcher. Babe Ruth was a baseball player who played in the Major Leagues. Over the course of his career, he was the American League’s leading home run hitter on 12 occasions.
- Aside from that, Ruth’s slugging percentage of.690 is the greatest of all time.
- Ruth was also a superb pitcher, concluding his career with an ERA of 2.28, good for third among starters, and 17 shutouts, placing him third among all-time greats.
- Ruth only earned the MVP award once in his career.
- However, the regulations at the time stipulated that the player could only receive the prize once.
- Ruth’s notoriety as the “Major League Baseball goat” extends beyond his playing career, though.
- Ruth was also the first athlete to ever sign an endorsement agreement, which made her even more notable.
The athletes on this list were chosen based on their statistical records and overall accomplishments during their careers. Our ranking of the greatest baseball players of all time does not include any players who are currently active or from the contemporary age. It’s interesting to note that more than half of the athletes had previously served in the United States military. Let’s take a brief glance at the executive summary.
- Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Stan Musial, and Roger Clemens are among the baseball greats.
10 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time
- Photograph courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock The crack of the bat, how I love it. The fragrance of freshly cut grass. You’re munching on Cracker Jack while trying to avoid getting splattered by the big drink that the intoxicated fan sitting behind you is barely holding on to. Nothing exactly captures the essence of summer quite like baseball, the national pastime of the United States. In part, baseball’s prominence in the American psyche stems from the game’s lengthy history and the overall constancy of the game across time
- It’s highly possible that your great-great-grandfather would be able to readily follow a current game if he were miraculously transported to the stands. Because of this history and consistency, it is a little simpler to compare players from vastly different eras than it is to do so in other sports, which is exactly what I will be aiming to do in this article. Let’s see how things turn out.
- Roger Clemens is a baseball player from the United States. Roger Clemens, published in 2007. Photograph courtesy of D. Silva/Shutterstock.com Over the course of his remarkable 24-year career,Roger Clemensamassed a record seven Cy Young Awards as the greatest pitcher of the year in either theAmericanorNational Leagueand threw 4,672 strikeouts, the third most of all time. In 1986 he became one of the few starting pitchers to win a league MVP award when he had a 24–4 record with a 2.48 earned run average (ERA) and 238 strikeouts for theBoston Red Sox. Moreover, he achieved all this when a number of opposing hitters were taking steroids, which resulted in offensive numbers shooting through the roof at the time. So why isn’t he higher? Well, it’s very likely that Clemens himself took steroids, so his accomplishments aren’t quite as stunning for the era as they appear. Plus he’s quite possibly the player I’ve hated the most during my baseball fandom, so he gets a deserved place here but can’t go any higher lest I render this list incomplete by tossing my keyboard out a window in a tizzy. Hurrah for subjectivity
- Honus Wagner is a German composer. Honus Wagner is a composer from Germany. Culver Pictures is a production company based in Los Angeles, California. A large majority of current baseball fans are perhaps most familiar with Honus Wagner as the subject of the most valuable baseball card in history, the T206 Wagner card from the American Tobacco Company, which was issued in 1909–11. The fact that the card is so rare is a major factor in its ability to garner upwards of $2 million in a sale, but it wouldn’t be nearly as valuable if the person shown on it was simply another average player, rather than one of the greatest players to ever tread on a diamond. In his career, “The Flying Dutchman” (gosh, they came up with such catchy titles back in the day) led the National League in batting average eight times and retired with a stellar.328 mark, despite playing during the offense-sapping “dead-ball period” that plagued the game. At the time of his retirement in 1917, he had amassed the second-highest totals in major-league history in terms of hits (3,420), doubles (643), triples (252), and runs batted in (1,732), all of which are currently in the top 25 all-time totals. In the 1936 balloting for the first class of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Wagner was one of five players picked for that distinction from among the hundreds of players who had competed in the game up to that time
- This was a mark of his excellence.
- Stan Musial is a musician and composer from the United States. Stan Musial in 1964, courtesy of AP Images “Stan the Man,” who was very probably the best individual on our list, was a historically outstanding athlete who also happened to be a model citizen. In addition to having spent his entire 22-season professional baseball career with the city’sCardinals organization, the belovedSt. Louisicon has become as closely associated with his hometown as any athlete has ever been. Stan Musial led the Cardinals to three World Series championships (1942, 1944, and 1946), while also winning three MVP honors (1943, 1946, and 1948) and compiling a lifetime batting average of.331 in his career with the team. It is worth noting that Musial’s greatest single-season strikeout total was a meager 46 in 505 plate appearances when he was 41 years old and starting in the Cardinals’ outfield as proof of his good eye for the ball. (He still had a.330 batting average that year.) “I’ve had very good luck with Stan by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third,” pitcher Carl Erskine said of Stan’s hitting, which was so steady that opponents frequently accepted their destiny.
- Ty Cobb is a baseball player that was born in the state of Georgia. Photographic Parade of Ty Cobb And now, here’s what may be the most dramatic drop-off in humanity in the history of list-items. Ty Cobb was the nasty troll beneath the bridge who threw stones at passing children, but Musial was the fairy-tale prince when it came to manners. While Cobb was an unrepentant racist who routinely sharpened his spikes in order to maximize the potential injury to opponents on hard slides and who once fought a fan in the stands, he was also a supremely talented player who holds the record for the highest lifetime batting average in major-league history. Cobb was born in Georgia and raised in Texas (.366). His batting average in the American League (AL) was absurdly high 12 times during his 24-year career, but he was far more than just an average hitter, as he also led the AL in slugging percentage (a statistic that measures a batter’s power production) on eight separate occasions during his 24-year career. He batted over.400 in three consecutive seasons (1911,.420
- And 1922,.401), and he retired in 1928 as the all-time leader in hits (4,189), runs scored (2,246), and stolen bases (892), all of which were broken only in the late twentieth or early twenty-first centuries
- He also retired as the all-time leader in runs scored (2,246), and stolen bases (892).
- Walter Johnson is an American businessman and philanthropist. Walter Johnson is a fictional character created by author Walter Johnson. UPI/Bettmann Photographic Archive The hurling of flames A generational talent, Walter Johnson set the standard for dominate pitching for several decades. He was so dominant that he consistently led the American League in strikeouts, finishing first in the league 12 times during his 21-year professional career. Pitching for the Washington Senators for his entire professional career, “Big Train” tossed 110 career complete-game shutouts, which is still the most in major-league history and a mark that will never be surpassed by anyone else. (As of this writing, Clayton Kershaw is the current active leader with 15 wins in eight and a half seasons.) As a result of his 36 wins, 1.14 earned run average, and incredible 0.78 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched
- A WHIP of less than 1.00 is regarded exceptional), he was named the Chalmers Award winner, the equivalent of today’s American League MVP. In 1924, he was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player after leading the Senators to their first World Series title. Johnson’s 3,509 career strikeouts set a record that stood for 56 years, and his 417 victories are second only to Cy Young’s 511 in the major leagues.
- Hank Aaron is a baseball player from the United States. Hank Aaron is a baseball player from the United States. Parade of Photographs As the holder of the Home Run King title for more than a generation, Hank Aaron is sometimes seen as little more than a phenomenal power hitter, albeit probably one of the finest ever. Hank Aaron’s 755 career home runs (a record that has stood for 33 years) are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to “Hammerin’ Hank.” The fact that he has an all-time high of 2,297 runs batted in and 6,856 total bases is indicative of his legendary power, but he has also put together a respectable body of work. His batting average was 305, and he was awarded three Gold Gloves for his outfield performance. Aaron was a consistent all-star, having been named to the All-Star Game for 21 consecutive seasons and hitting at least 30 home runs in 15 of those seasons. Beyond his career records, Aaron concluded his playing days with the second-most hits (3,771) and second-highest number of runs scored (2,174) in major-league history at the time of his retirement in 1976.
- Ted Williams has been referred to as “the best pure hitter who ever lived” for a long time. With a lifetime on-base percentage of.482, he ranks among the all-time greats, and despite missing nearly five full seasons of his peak due to military duty, his total runs scored, home runs, runs batted in, and walks rank among the top 20 among active players. His remarkable eye earned him the nickname “The Splendid Splinter” (see what I mean about the nicknames?) and helped him score a.400 hitting average in his final major-league season, which was the best in the league at the time (.406 in 1941). Over the course of his 19-year career, the Boston Red Sox’s batting average was the best in the American League six times, his slugging percentage was the best nine times, and his on-base percentage was the best twelve times. Beyond being the best hitter in history, Williams has also been dubbed the finest fisherman and fighter pilot of all time, among other accolades. His connection with the public was notoriously tense, despite his numerous honors (or possibly because of them). However, as noted by renowned author John Updike after Williams declined to come out for a curtain call after hitting a home run in his final professional at bat: “Gods do not respond to letters.”
- Barry Bonds is a baseball player from the United States. On August 7, 2007, Barry Bonds hit his 756th career home run, breaking the previous record. Photo credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images Yes, I get what you’re saying. He was cantankerous, preening, and probably certainly a steroid user—not exactly the type of man who should be given the benefit of the doubt and win the number three slot on this list, but he did. According to many baseball fans, Barry Bonds is the poster boy for the drug era and the perceived impropriety of the practices that characterized it. The fact is that before being accused of using steroids, he was already an unquestionable Hall of Famer. Steroids, on the other hand, would have had no effect on his unparalleled eye-hand coordination, which resulted in an all-time high 2,558 career walks and a staggering.444 lifetime on-base percentage. You can never be certain of the exact influence that drugs have on a baseball player’s performance, and that is the problem with steroids. As a result, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the incredible numbers Bonds accumulated: an unrivaled 762 home runs (including a single-season record 73 in 2001), a record seven career MVP awards, and 688 intentional walks, which is more than double that of the player with the second-highest total of all time and a striking testament to the unparalleled fear Bonds instilled in opposing pitchers.
- Willie Mays is a baseball player from the United States. UPI/Bettmann Photographic Archive It is not necessary to do any mental gymnastics in order to explain Mays’s inclusion on this list, as is the case with his godson Bonds (whose father, Bobby, was Willie Mays’s teammate from 1968 to 1972). Non-stop production at the plate (including 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 1,903 runs batted in) was matched only by his outstanding outfield play, which earned him 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1957 to 1968 and earned him the title of “the greatest all-around player the game has ever seen,” according to many observers. Rather than on offense, Mays’ most memorable moment in his professional baseball career (and one of the most memorable moments in baseball history) occurred on defense, when he made an over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track in the eighth inning of a tied 1954 World Series game, allowing the New York Giants to win the game and, ultimately, the championship. However, despite the fact that he won only one championship throughout his career, the 20-time All-Star and two-time MVP (1954 and 1965) has maintained his sterling reputation.
- Babe Ruth was a baseball player who played in the Major Leagues. Babe Ruth was a baseball player who played in the Major Leagues. UPI/Bettmann Photographic Archive As far as I’m concerned, this is as simple as they come. Yes, he competed in an artificially limited talent pool before Jackie Robinson broke down the color barrier in 1947 and decades before advanced training regimens produced athletes who looked like, well, athletes, but Ruth was such a historically significant talent that he transcends these limitations to become a legendary player. In fact, his entry into the major leagues was so seismic that it heralded the end of the dead-ball era in professional baseball. Upon entering the majors in 1914, the all-time record for home runs in a season was 27 at the time of his arrival. It was only seven years later that he had more than doubled it to 59, and he went on to hit a career-high of 60 dingers in the same year. In total, he led the American League in home runs 12 times. In fact, his astounding.690 lifetime slugging percentage still ranks as the greatest in baseball history, with a difference between it and second place that is higher than the distance between second and ninth place. During his early years, the Babe also excelled as a pitcher, leading the American League with a 1.75 earned run average in 1921 and pitching 29 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings across two World Series —because when you dominate the game to such an extent as the Babe did, you might as well dominate it in all aspects, right? Ruth was also known as the “first transcendent American sports superstar,” earning national attention for both his on-field accomplishments and his off-field popularity, and he was widely regarded as such. It was through his work with the famed New York Yankees teams of the twenties that baseball gained the prominence in the public mind that it continues to enjoy today. Besides being the greatest baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth was also the most important of all.
No. 1 on MLBN’s Top 100? Take a wild guess
Babe Ruth was a baseball player who played in the Major Leagues from 1939 until 1945. Babe Ruth was a baseball player who played for the New York Yankees during the World Series. Archive from the UPI/Bettmann As far as I’m concerned, this is as simple as it gets. While it is true that Ruth competed in an artificially limited talent pool prior to Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947 and decades before advanced training regimens produced athletes who looked like.athletes, Ruth was such a historically significant talent that he transcends these limitations.
He entered the major leagues in 1914 with the all-time record of 27 home runs in a season.
In total, he was the American League’s leading home run hitter on 12 occasions throughout his career.
During his early years, the Babe also excelled as a pitcher, leading the American League with a 1.75 earned run average in 1921 and pitching 29 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings across two World Series —because when you dominate the game to such an extent as the Babe did, you might as well do so in all aspects, right?
Baseball’s rise to popularity in the public awareness during his time with the storiedNew York Yankeesteams of the 1920s was aided by his contributions to those squads. Besides being the greatest baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth was also the most significant of all;
- Gerrit Cole, pitcher for the Yankees (2020 rank: 7)
- Shane Bieber, pitcher for the Indians (2020 rank: 58)
- Nolan Arenado, third baseman for the Cardinals (2020 rank: 9)
- DJ LeMahieu, second baseman for the Yankees (2020 rank: 37)
- Francisco Lindor, shortstop for the Mets (2020 rank: 10)
- Trevor Story, shortstop for the Rockies (2020 rank: 21)
- Alex Bregman, third baseman
Corey Seager, Trea Turner, and Tim Anderson all made significant strides in 2020, joining fellow shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the top 30 of the MLB rankings. And, while we’re on the subject of leaps, both Trevor Bauer, the National League Cy Young Award winner, and Yu Darvish, the runner-up, were unranked a year ago. In fact, they’re now two of the most important reasons why the NL West battle appears to be so exciting. Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper, two outfielders who can smash a pitch with any swing, are just outside the top 20 in this year’s rankings.
- Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (2020 rank: 77)
- Xavier Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (2020 rank: 22)
- Tre Turner, SS, Nationals (2020 rank: 76)
- Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (2020 rank: 95)
- Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals (2020 rank: NR)
- Trevor Bauer, SP, Dodgers (2020 rank: NR)
- Yu Darvish, SP, Padres (2020
When we first published this ranking in 2019, the Dodgers’ rotation contained the Nos. 38-40 on the list. However, the Dodgers’ rotation is currently so stacked with starting pitchers that it is represented even farther in the top 30. Three of the finest free-agent hitters this winter, J.T. Realmuto, Michael Brantley, and Marcell Ozuna, ended up re-signing with their respective teams for the 2020 season, much to the satisfaction of those organizations. The Mets’ outfield combination of Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil, ranked Nos.
67, and Brandon Nimmo, ranked No.
- In 2020, José Abreu (1B, White Sox) is the top-ranked player in the league
- Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Cardinals) is the second-ranked player in the league (2020 rank: 46)
- J.T. Realmuto (C, Phillies) is the top-ranked player in the league (2020 rank: 41)
- Michael Conforto (OF, Mets) is the top-ranked player in the league (2020 rank: 78), Jeff McNeil (OF/
Yasmani Grandal and Will Smith, who combined for a.980 OPS and a home run per 14 at-bats in the shortened 2020 season, round out the top 50. Grandal and Smith are both former and current Dodgers catchers. There’s another another pair of Dodgers players who will contribute to the 2020 World Series champions in Max Muncy and Justin Turner, albeit it’s possible that Turner may not don the Dodger blue this season. Also included are three of the greatest hitters at first base, led by 2020 home run champion Luke Voit, who makes his debut appearance on this list at No.
- In the 2020 rankings, Luke Voit, 1B, Yankees (2020 rank: NR)
- Nelson Cruz, DH, Twins (2020 rank: 51)
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs (2020 rank: 39)
- Matt Olson, 1B, Athletics (2020 rank: 38)
- Justin Turner, 3B, free agent (2020 rank: 54)
- Josh Donaldson, 3B, Twins (2020 rank: 26)
- Ketel Marte, 2B/OF/DH, D-backs (2020
Devin Williams and his “Airbender” super-pitch are ranked just ahead of Stephen Strasburg and his all-world change of pace at Nos. 59 and 60, respectively, displaying some stunning changeup symmetrical symmetry. In 2018, Williams and Liam Hendriks, who is now with the Chicago White Sox, were two of the finest relievers in the Major League Baseball, and they are expected to fight for that award again this season. There is a possibility that Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa may form the double-play combination in Houston for the foreseeable future, with Correa expected to join the next free-agent shortstop superclass in the coming winter.
- The following players are ranked in 2020: Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Giants (2020 rank: NR)
- Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies (2020 rank: 81)
- Brandon Lowe, 2B, Rays (2020 rank: NR)
- Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (2020 rank: 97)
- Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (2020 rank: 17)
- Carlos Correa, SS, Astros (2020 rank: 43)
- Bo Bichette,
For former Harvard-Westlake High School classmates Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, and Max Fried to be listed exactly next to one another on this year’s list, it must have been fate (along with some math, of course). Choose those three as the building pieces for a future MLB rotation, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful season. Meanwhile, the Mets have a pair of potential young mashers in Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith at positions 66 and 67, while the Cubs’ star infield duo of Javier Báez and Kris Bryant appears to be staying there (at least for the time being) despite a flurry of trade rumors.
Baez and Bryant will attempt to return the Cubs to the top of the standings in what may be the North Siders’ final season with their present lineup.
- In the 2020 rankings: Javier Báez, shortstop for the Cubs (2020 rank: 23)
- Kris Bryant, third base for the Cubs (2020 rank: 34)
- Eugenio Suárez, third base for the Reds (2020 rank: 35)
- Gleyber Torres, shortstop for the Yankees (2020 rank: 31)
- Rafael Devers, third base for the Red Sox (2020 rank: 40)
- Pete Alonso, first baseman/DH for the Mets (2020 rank: 24
Within the Nos. 71-80, we begin to see the depth of the Blue Jays’ new-and-improved infield, which includes the up-and-coming Josh Donaldson. Cavan Biggio was placed just two positions ahead of Marcus Semien, who was acquired over the summer. In this area, there are numerous fascinating names changing places; the Padres and White Sox are hoping that trade prizes Blake Snell and Lance Lynn will have the same influence on their respective teams as Kenta Maeda had when he joined the Twins last winter.
- The Blue Jays’ Cavan Biggio (2020 rank: NR), the Braves’ Ozzie Albies (2020 rank: 55), the Blue Jays’ Marcus Semien (2020 rank: 30), the Padres’ Dinels Lamet (2020 rank: NR), the White Sox’ Lance Lynn (2020 rank: NR), the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (2020 rank: 85), the Royals’ Whit Merrifield (2020 rank: 56), the Yankees’ Gio Urshela (2020
Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, who would have rated as the aces of practically any other staff last season if they hadn’t shared the mound with National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer, are both grouped together in the Nos. 81-90. It has been reported that Castillo and Gray have both been mentioned in trade speculations this winter, as has the name of Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, who has had an above-average batting line (as measured by OPS+) in all but one of his major league seasons.
- Among those ranked in the top 100 are Willson Contreras, Cubs (2020 rank: 79)
- Salvador Perez, Royals (2020 rank: NR)
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays (2020 rank: NR)
- Kyle Hendricks, Cubs pitcher (2020 rank: NR)
- Luis Castillo, Reds pitcher (2020 rank: 91)
- Sonny Gray (2020 rank: NR)
- Joey Gallo, Rangers outfielder (2020 rank:
In this year’s last ten places, there is a lot of promise to be found. Byron Buxton and Giancarlo Stanton have demonstrated that they are capable of making a difference on their own – if only they can stay healthy long enough to do it. A remarkable playoffs propelled Randy Arozarena from relative unknown to household recognition, and the future seems bright for him heading into the new season with high expectations. And then there are the top two finishers in last year’s American League Rookie of the Year Award ballot, Kyle Lewis and Luis Robert, who will be vying for bragging rights for years to come in their respective leagues.
- In 2020, Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins (2020 rank: NR)
- Austin Meadows, OF, Rays (2020 rank: 45)
- Kyle Lewis, OF, Seattle Mariners (2020 rank: NR)
- Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (2020 rank: NR)
- Josh Hader, RP, Milwaukee Brewers (2020 rank: 74)
- Tyler Glasnow, SP, Rays (2020 rank: 92)
- Giancarlo Stanton, OF/DH, New York