By Daniel Multz
After a long and grueling offseason, we have finally wrapped up spring training and are ready to begin the 2019 MLB season. Here’s Daniel Multz’s predictions going into 2019, including team records, individual awards, and a Top 100 player ranking.
AL East: Yankees (98-64)
AL Central: Indians (88-74)
AL West: Astros (96-66)
AL Wild Card: Red Sox (95-67) and Twins (86-66)
NL East: Nationals (91-72)
NL Central: Cardinals (92-70)
NL West: Rockies (91-71)
NL Wild Card: Phillies (90-73), Braves (87-75)
AL: Yankees (98-64)
NL: Cardinals (92-70)
AL: Orioles (58-114)
NL: Giants (65-97)
Cy Young: Chris Sale (Red Sox)
MVP: Aaron Judge (Yankees)
Rookie of the Year: Vladimir Guererro Jr. (Blue Jays)
Manager of the Year: Rocco Baldelli (Twins)
Cy Young: Walker Buehler (Dodgers)
MVP: Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
Rookie of the Year: Peter Alonso (Mets)
Manager of the Year: Mike Shildt (Cardinals)
Team with the Most All-Stars: Philadelphia Phillies (7)
Biggest Surprise Team: Cincinnati Reds (83-79)
Biggest Disappointment: New York Mets (78-84)
World Series Winner: Houston Astros over St. Louis Cardinals 4-2
Top 100 Players Heading into the 2019 Season
– What kinds of numbers the player put up in the last four seasons with extra weight put on the last two seasons?
– How durable is the player?
– Has the player had peak and valley seasons or has he been consistent throughout the 4 seasons?
– If he had ups and downs, how good were the ups and how bad were the downs?
– Is the player trending towards more ups or more downs for 2019 and beyond?
100) 2B Ozzie Albies (Braves)
This 21 year old is a future star of the game. In his first full season, Albies hit 24 homers with 40 doubles and made his first all-star team while bringing good speed and defense to the Atlanta infield.
99) SP David Price (Red Sox)
Despite all of his playoff woes and ups and downs in the past, Price pitched to a 3.58 ERA in 30 starts and won comeback player of the year in the AL while pitching heroically in the 2018 ALCS and World Series.
98) OF Nick Markakis (Braves)
Markakis has played 155 or more games in each of the last SIX seasons. Markakis made his first all-star team in 2018, and as a 34 year-old! He’s still got plenty of baseball left.
97) 3B Josh Donaldson (Braves)
When healthy, the man can play gold glove level defense and hit for crazy power, but since winning MVP in 2015, it’s been a downward sloping trend for Donaldson who will now enter his age 33 season.
96) RP Andrew Miller (Cardinals)
From 2014-2017, Miller was the most intimidating lefty reliever, but injuries and decreased velocity gave him a rough 2018 campaign. If he can bounce back in 2019, that slider will eat the NL-Central hitters alive.
95) RP Brad Hand (Indians)
Hand’s great fastball and wipeout slider have produced 2 straight all-star nods and 3 straight 100-strikeout relief seasons. Hand can come in at any point and pitch anywhere from 0.1 to 3 innings and can get anyone out.
94) OF Michael Brantley (Astros)
Brantley has had major health issues in the last few seasons, but when he’s been healthy (2015 and 2018) he’s an all-star who hits to all fields with solid power and solid defense.
93) OF Eddie Rosario (Twins)
Rosario (27) has hit .290 and .288 in his last 2 seasons, all while averaging 26 homers, 32 doubles, an .819 OPS and very good defense in right field for the Twins.
92) 2B DJ LeMahieu (Yankees)
After 3 .300 seasons including a batting title winning .348 season, Lemahieu took a bit of a step back down to .276 in 2018. Nevertheless, he’s a Gold Glove caliber second baseman who knows how to hit.
91) RP Jeremy Jeffress (Brewers)
The righty’s up and down career reached an all-time high in 2018. He used his fastball and wipeout curveball to reach a 1.29 ERA in 76.2 innings out of the Brewers’ pen in a breakout campaign.
90) 3B Miguel Andujar (Yankees)
Andujar never stopped hitting in 2018, batting .297 with 27 homers, 47 doubles and 170 total hits. Defense needs work, but with the offensive game this 23 year old already has, the Yankees future is bright with him at the center.
89) OF Ender Inciarte (Braves)
Inciarte Hit only .265 in 2018 compared to .300 from 15-17. The super durable hitting machine and defensive star needs a bit of a bounce back to form next season.
88) SP Noah Syndergaard (Mets)
Syndergaard has a 2.93 ERA through his first 4 seasons, but health has been a bit of an issue the last 2 seasons. Nevertheless, He has an elite fastball and crazy slider and changeup and is only 26.
87) 1B Jesus Aguilar (Brewers)
Aguilar showed off the pop in his first all-star campaign in 2018. He was just many of the great hitters on the Brewers, and he’ll anchor this lineup for years to come.
86) SS Carlos Correa (Astros)
We know the defense Correa brings and the kind of offensive prowess he can bring, so if he stays healthy and stays strong, he’ll be much higher after 2019.
85) IF Gleyber Torres (Yankees)
Torres showed all throughout his all-star 2018 campaign that he’s got pop and can come through in the clutch. If he can improve his defense and stay strong in the second half, the 22 year old Torres’ future is EVEN BRIGHTER.
84) SS Corey Seager (Dodgers)
Were it not for Tommy John Surgery that derailed his season in May, Seager would be way higher on this list. He’s one of the game’s premier offensive shortstops who needs to come back strong next season.
83) 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins (Phillies)
Let’s be clear right out of the gate: THIS MAN CAN RAKE! Hit 34 homers with 38 doubles and 96 RBIs for the “fightin Phils” and you’ll make this list.
82) SP Walker Buehler (Dodgers)
This rookie flamethrower gives L.A hope that when Clayton Kershaw’s gone, they’ll have another ace ready to take his place. Pitching to a 2.62 ERA with a strong postseason with his arsenal, Buehler is one of the rising star pitchers in baseball.
81) 3B/OF Nicholas Castellanos (Tigers)
One of the only bright spots on a tanking Tigers team, the 26 year old has gotten better with each season, just missing a .300 season in 2018. If he can cut back the strikeouts, he can get even better, and he’s still young!
80) OF Marcell Ozuna (Cardinals)
After a monster breakout campaign in 2017, Ozuna returned to Earth in 2018, Hitting .280 with 23 homers and above average defense, which still makes him a very good all around player.
79) 3B Matt Chapman (Athletics)
No one who can match Chapman’s defensive prowess, and his bat came alive in 2018 for a 24 homer, 100-run season that put him at 7th in MVP voting! If he keeps this up he’ll climb the ranks VERY quickly!
78) SP Madison Bumgarner (Giants)
Bumgarner has made 38 starts over the last 2 years. He has to get back to full strength and show the baseball world he can pitch a full season again at the level of dominance we expect from him.
77) SP/DH Shohei Ohtani (Angels)
First man to pitch and hit since BABE RUTH. Ohtani won AL Rookie of the Year by hitting over .280 with 22 homers while also pitching to a 3.31 ERA on the mound in 51.2 innings.
76) OF David Peralta (Diamondbacks)
Peralta has hit .293 or higher in each of his last 4 seasons. He stepped up the power this season to produce a 30 homer campaign. As the Diamondbacks begin a potentially long rebuild, Peralta will remain their star.
75) RP Raisel Iglesias (Reds)
Since moving to the pen in 2016, Iglesias has been one of the most consistent and underrated relievers in the majors. With a 2.47 ERA, an average of 75 innings and consistently getting saves longer than 3 outs, he deserved his raise.
74) SP Carlos Martinez (Cardinals)
Before being injured in 2018, in the prior 3 seasons he threw at least 179 innings and made 2 all-star teams. He’s got a great fastball and changeup and a wipeout slider. He’s one of many talented arms in the Cardinals rotation and a VERY good starting pitcher.
73) 1B Jose Abreu (White Sox)
Despite a bit of a dip in 2018, the all-star has hit .289 and averaged 28 homers and 95 RBI since 2015. He’s been a bright spot on what is a developing White Sox team.
72) 3B Eugenio Suarez (Reds)
Suarez has gotten better with each of his last 4 seasons, peaking with 2018 where he hit .283 with 34 homers and made his first all-star team. He’s one of many great young bats on the Reds.
71) 1B/OF Cody Bellinger (Dodgers)
The 22 year-old Bellinger has shown his versatility, athleticism and durability (having played all 162 games in 2018). The NLCS MVP took a bit of a dip in power in 2018, but the rest of his game was on point all year, and he’s got many more to give L.A.
70) SP Kyle Freeland (Rockies)
What a 2018 this lefty has had. He finished 4th in NL Cy Young voting! Freeland had one of the best seasons at Coors Field in Rockies history and is poised to remain their ace for a long time.
69) C Salvador Perez (Royals)
Salvy is the best defensive catcher in the AL, but with a rather inconsistent offensive game. despite hitting just .235 last season and with a below average OBP, the 5-time Gold Glover and 6-time all-star remains one of the best catchers in the game.
68) OF Aaron Hicks (Yankees)
In the last two seasons, Hicks has blossomed into an essential component to the Yankees’ success. He’s amounted 8.6 WAR while becoming an above-average hitter and runner with a great eye and elite defense.
67) DH Nelson Cruz (Twins)
“Boomstick” may have seen his average take a dip after 2018, but in his 4 seasons in Seattle he averaged 41 homers. The fact remains that the 38 year-old Cruz can still hit bombs!
66) RP Dellin Betances (Yankees)
Dellin’s high heat fastball and unhittable knuckle-curve, have averaged 121 strikeouts over the last 5 seasons. After his control went awry in 2017, he brought it back in ’18 and reestablished himself as a premier setup man.
65) RP Aroldis Chapman (Yankees)
Chapman bounced back from a sluggish 2017 to make the all-star team in 2018. By making more use of his slider along with his heater. If his knee returns to 100%, he’ll remain in peak form for the Yanks next season.
64) SP Stephen Strasburg (Nationals)
Strasburg is one of the most intimidating pitchers in the game, but there’s one BIG problem: HE CAN’T LAST A FULL SEASON. Strasburg last made 30 starts in 2014 (34), but his fastball, curveball and changeup combo are one of the best in the game.
63) 2B Scooter Gennett (Reds)
Gennett’s two seasons With the Reds have turned the 28 year old into a premier offensive second baseman. He’s made his first all-star team while hitting .303 and averaging 25 homers and 94 RBIs.
62) OF/DH Khris Davis (Athletics)
Davis has become known for 3 things as a big leaguer: BIG TIME power, being better off as a DH and being the king of the .247 average. He’s hit .247 in 4 straight seasons while averaging 44 homers over the last three.
61) OF George Springer (Astros)
Despite making his 2nd all-star team and scoring over 100 runs, the 2017 World Series MVP took a bit of a step back from 2017. Nevertheless, he’s still a key piece in the Astros’ dynasty.
60) C Buster Posey (Giants)
Here’s consistency at it’s finest. Posey has never hit below .284, played at least 140 games from 2012-2017, and has made 4 straight all-star games (2015-2018). Posey is an excellent hitter, a good defender behind the plate, and an elite catcher.
59) OF Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox)
Benintendi was AL Rookie of the Year runner up in 2017 and was even better in 2018. He hit .290 with 103 runs scored and played great defense in left for the World Champions both in the regular and postseason.
58) C Wilson Ramos (Mets)
Since 2016, Ramos has made 2 all-star teams with 2 .300 seasons with Washington, Tampa Bay and Philly. Ramos has had some issues staying on the field throughout his career, but he’s only 31.
57) SP Kyle Hendricks (Cubs)
Hendricks has had some up and down seasons. After a 2.13 ERA in 2016, Hendricks’ ERA crept up to 3 in 2017 and now 3.34 in 2018. That’s still very good, but the soft-throwing righty isn’t trending the right direction.
56) SS Didi Gregorius (Yankees)
Didi’s averaged hitting .274 with 20 homers and just 76 strikeouts all while continually improving defensively since joining the Yankees. He is a vital piece and a fan-favorite in the Bronx.
55) 2B Daniel Murphy (Rockies)
Since joining Washington back in 2016, Murphy batted .326 while averaging 20 homers, 80 RBI and just 58 strikeouts per season. In an era where strikeouts are at an all-time high, Murphy is among the few defying the trend.
54) RP Kenley Jansen (Dodgers)
Jansen rose to elite at the helm of L.A’s pen, but health issues caused a bit of regression in 2018. Now that that’s all been resolved, hopefully he can return to dominant form again in 2019.
53) RP Craig Kimbrel (FA)
Kimbrel’s fastball touches 100 and his curveball is as good as they come. His walk rate and ERA have been up and down in the last few seasons, but the fact remains that he’s quite reliable and usually unhittable.
52) SP Jon Lester (Cubs)
A well aging veteran, Lester has had a very strong 3.33 ERA in his 4 seasons with the Cubs, but much like Hendricks, he’s had very distinct peaks and valleys. His 2.44 ERA in 2016 jumped to over 4 in 2017 before coming back to 3.32 in 2018.
51) 2B Robinson Cano (Mets)
Cano may now be known to be a PED user, but the fact remains that he’s hit .296 since joining Seattle and has barely slowed down offensively since leaving New York, along with his still very strong defense.
50) SS Andrelton Simmons (Angels)
“Simba” is the best defensive infielder in baseball, and has gotten better offensively every season setting a career high in OPS in 2018. He’s won back-to-back Gold Gloves and is one of the best players on a lackluster Angel team.
49) SP Patrick Corbin (Nationals)
Corbin is fresh of a season where he finished 5th in NL Cy Young voting pitching to a 3.15 ERA with 246 strikeouts, just 48 walks and 15 homers allowed in 200 innings. He’s earned the big-time deal from the Nats!
48) RP Josh Hader (Brewers)
Hader pitched 81.1 innings and struck out 143 batters (15.8 K/9). Hader had a 0.811 WHIP, gave up just 36 hits and finished 7th in NL Cy Young voting. The ace of the Brewers’ pen looks like another (and younger) Andrew Miller.
47) RP Blake Treinen (Athletics)
Treinen’s ERA was UNDER ONE this season, not to mention that he recorded 100 strikeouts, finished 6th in AL Cy Young voting and has a filthy sinker/slider combo to work with. He’s an unhittable reliever and one of the game’s best.
46) SP Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks)
His heater may barely sit above 90, but the dependable Greinke has put up back-to-back low-3 ERA seasons while also making the all-star team, winning the Gold Glove and making 33 starts and throwing 200 innings.
45) SP Carlos Carrasco (Indians)
Since 2015, Carrasco has averaged 29 starts, 180 innings, and 206 strikeouts with a 3.40 ERA. 2018 saw a pretty similar campaign: 3.38 ERA, 192 innings and 231 strikeouts. Hopefully he’ll stay No. 2 in Cleveland’s rotation behind Corey Kluber.
44) IF Matt Carpenter (Cardinals)
Carpenter is a very versatile infielder with great power and a great eye at the plate. He’s averaged 27 homers, 38 doubles and 93 walks since 2015 and has remained a key piece of the Cardinals’ lineup.
43) OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees)
Stanton averaged 39 homers and a .907 OPS since 2015, and brought his crazy power to New York. Although not quite to the MVP level of 2017, Stanton still raked for the Yankees and will remain a constant 40-homer threat in the Bronx.
42) IF/OF Whit Merrifield (Royals)
Merrifield hit .296 while averaging 38 doubles, 180 hits and 40 stolen bases and a .796 OPS in the last 2 seasons. As a leadoff hitter, that’s about as good as it gets, it’s a shame he’s already pushing 30 or his future would be even brighter!
41) SP Gerrit Cole (Astros)
Cole looked like a Cy Young winner after 2015, but it took until 2018 for him to return to form. He fanned 276 batters, cut his HR/9 nearly in half while still throwing 200 innings and keeping his ERA under 3.
40) C Yadier Molina (Cardinals)
Molina is the undisputed defensive champion at catcher. His strong, accurate arm and his 9 Gold Gloves can do the talking, but he’s continually gotten better at the plate and the 9-time all-star is fresh off a 20 homer campaign. He may be 36, but Yadi’s not done!
39) OF Juan Soto (Nationals)
Soto only played 116 games this season but he still had one of the best seasons by a teenager ever. Hitting .292 with 22 homers and 25 doubles, Soto is the next great young outfielder for Washington.
38) OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves)
The most highly touted prospect other than Ohtani heading into 2018, the NL Rookie of the Year didn’t disappoint AT ALL! Hitting .293 with 26 homers and elite defense in just 111 games, Acuna’s future is stardom!
37) SP Luis Severino (Yankees)
The first half for the 24 year-old Severino was other-worldly. A 1.98 ERA through June was set back by a 5.67 ERA after that. He’s one of MLB’s best and hardest throwing starters, but needs a little more consistency.
36) RP Edwin Diaz (Mets)
“Sugar” Diaz broke out and then-some by going out and getting 57 saves while collecting 15.2 K/9 and pitching to a 0.79 WHIP. He’s only 24 with an electric fastball and slider, and an easy pick for the highest ranked reliever.
35) SP Trevor Bauer (Indians)
An ERA of 2.21 (almost 2 runs lower than his career low), 221 strikeouts and just 9 homers allowed in 175.1 innings. Bauer’s breakout year showed he’s finally developing into a third Indians ace.
34) SP Blake Snell (Rays)
Here’s your 2018 AL Cy Young Winner. Snell pitched to a 1.89 ERA and won 21 games while having to face the juggernaut Yankees, Red Sox, Indians and Astros many times. If he replicates this in 2019, he’ll climb the list quickly!
33) SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
Bogaerts has had his fair share of ups and downs in his career. Fortunately, 2018 was a bounceback from a rough 2017 as Bogaerts set career-highs in homers, RBIs and doubles while lowering his strikeout rate.
32) SS Trevor Story (Rockies)
Story, now a centerpiece in Colorado and only 25, set career highs average, hits, runs, homers, doubles, triples, RBIs and steals all while continuing to cut back the strikeouts and improving defensively in 2018.
31) 3B Kris Bryant (Cubs)
Bryant has incredible raw power with an increasingly good eye and discipline at the plate and great defense and versatility. The 2015 NL R.O.Y a bit of a bounceback, but is still a face of the Cubs.
30) OF Charlie Blackmon (Rockies)
Blackmon is not only a great center fielder, but he’s one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball. Here’s Blackmon’s average season based on 2016-2018: .315 average, 32 homers, 34 doubles, 122 runs scored and a .932 OPS!
29) 1B Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)
From 2014-2017, Rizzo was as consistent as they came: an OPS between .899 and .929, 30+ homers and 3 straight all-star nods. Rizzo’s power took a bit of a hit in 2018, but he stayed durable, still drove in over 100 runs and still drew a lot of walks.
28) 3B Anthony Rendon (Nationals)
Rendon has posted an OPS above .900 in each of the last two seasons while being a doubles machine and playing solid defense. If the Nationals contend again, he’ll be a big reason why.
27) 3B Justin Turner (Dodgers)
Turner has been a rock of the Dodgers since he arrived in 2014. He’s hit over .300 in each of the last 2 seasons and has remained a postseason superstar for L.A. He’s 34 and still going strong.
26) SS Jean Segura (Phillies)
One of the most underrated infielders in the game, Segura shook off a rough 2015 to post a 200-hit season in 2016 and follow that up with 2 more .300 seasons all the while cutting his strikeout rate.
25) 1B Joey Votto (Reds)
Votto’s eye is the best there is in baseball, not to mention that from 2015-2017 he hit .314 or higher with at least 29 homers and at least 108 walks. The numbers took a dip in 2018 but he’s still the king of walks.
24) C J.T Realmuto (Marlins)
Realmuto (27) hit .280 over the last 4 seasons and in 2018 set career-highs with 21 homers, 74 RBIs, an .825 OPS. Now a first-time all-star and silver slugger, between his hitting, speed and fielding, he just might be the best catcher in the game.
23) OF Lorenzo Cain (Brewers)
Cain, has been another one of the game’s most consistent leadoff hitters of the last few seasons. He’s hit .300 in 4 of the last 5 seasons and he gets hits, takes walks, steals bases, scores runs and plays a great center field.
22) SP Aaron Nola (Phillies)
Nola continually approved from 2016 to 2017 to a top-3 Cy Young finalist in 2018. Philly’s workhorse ace throws a great 4-seam/2-seam fastball combo with a great curveball and changeup.
21) IF Javier Baez (Cubs)
The defensive wizard played 160 games, at multiple positions to Gold Glove levels, and added on a 34 homer, 40 double, 111 RBI and 101 runs scored season. Yet another young face of the Cubs.
20) 1B Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)
“Goldy” is a 6-time all-star and has been the game’s most consistent hitting first baseman of this decade. He’s averaged 30 homers, 100 RBIs, 96 walks, and 100 runs scored since 2012 and lived right along those lines in 2018.
19) OF Bryce Harper (Phillies)
Baseball’s most prized free agent this offseason, Harper has incredible power, can score a ton of runs and has an incredible eye at the plate. Harper has made 4 straight and 6 of 7 all-star teams and has a .900 career OPS. No doubt he will find success with the Phillies.
18) SS/3B Manny Machado (Padres)
Machado is an elite fielder who has been as durable as ever since 2015 averaging 159 games. He’s made 3 of 4 all-star teams. He hit .297 with 37 homers, 107 RBIs and 188 hits in 2018.
17) OF Aaron Judge (Yankees)
Judge takes a ton of walks, scores a ton of runs, is a great outfielder and of course, can hit BOMBS! Hopefully he stays healthy all year in 2019, because he is VITAL to New York’s success.
16) 1B Freddie Freeman (Braves)
Freeman has been the rock of the Braves for nearly the whole decade. He might only be 28 but he’s a veteran and a present and future leader of the young and talented Atlanta Braves.
15) SP Chris Sale (Red Sox)
Sale has electric stuff and strikes out more hitters than just about anyone in the AL. Fresh off a 300 strikeout 2017, it’s a shame he spent time on the DL, otherwise he would’ve won the Cy Young this season. He’s the ace that no one wants to face!
14) SP Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
Kershaw is a no-doubt Hall of Famer, but his last few seasons have featured injuries and his velocity tanked in 2018. He still had a 2.71 ERA and is still an elite pitcher, but he’s trending the wrong way on the wrong side of 30.
13) SP Justin Verlander (Astros)
Verlander’s phoenix-type career peaked in 2018 with the Astros. A 2.52 ERA, 290 strikeouts and a 0.90 WHIP. Were it not for Blake Snell, Verlander likely would’ve won his second Cy Young award.
12) IF Jose Ramirez (Indians)
In the last 3 seasons, Ramirez has been a doubles and hitting machine who developed a great eye at the plate and much greater power while also cutting his strikeout rate, not to mention he’s a solid fielder and great base stealer.
11) 2B Jose Altuve (Astros)
Altuve is a HITTING MACHINE! He hasn’t hit under .313 since 2013 and had 4 straight 200 hit seasons from 2014-2017. He’s a great defender, he steals bases, scores runs and knows how to put bat on ball better than anyone. He’s the core of this Astros dynasty.
10) SP Jacob deGrom (Mets)
deGrom was already seen as a great starting pitcher, and then he had to go and put together a historic season. A 1.70 ERA with 24 straight quality starts! deGrom is the face of a changing Mets team and he’ll be leading the pitching for many more years.
9) OF Christian Yelich (Brewers)
This season was Yelich’s ultimate breakout. His OPS was 200 points above his average and he set career highs in average, homers, RBI, hits, doubles, runs and stolen bases. He’s now an established middle-of-the-lineup BEAST!
8) 3B Alex Bregman (Astros)
Bregman is already a postseason star and great fielder, and is now just the 6th player in the 2000s to hit 50 doubles, 30 homers and more walks than Ks. He’s 24, a superstar and a vital piece to the Astros’ dynasty.
7) SP Corey Kluber (Indians)
Since 2014, the “Klu-bot” has been a 4-time top-3 Cy Young finalist and 2-time winner (2014 and 2017). He’s won 18+ games 4 times, has averaged 218 innings with 246 strikeouts and just 45 walks. He’s a workhorse with great pitches, and great command.
6) OF/DH J.D Martinez (Red Sox)
J.D was the best free agent signing of 2018, and has been one of the game’s best hitters of the last few seasons. He’s hit .307 with a .958 OPS since 2014 and 2018 saw him produce 43 homers, 130 RBI and 111 runs scored. He’s about as good as they come.
5) SP Max Scherzer (Nationals)
“Mad Max” has averaged a 2.71 ERA, 220 innings, 282 strikeouts and a 0.93 WHIP since 2015 (not to forget the 2 Cy Youngs and 2 no-hitters). 2018 also featured a 300 strikeout season! He’s 34 and NO ONE should care, he’s entering 2019 as the No. 1 pitcher in MLB
4) SS Francisco Lindor (Indians)
Lindor has been underrated ever since he came to the show in 2015. He is a switch hitter with good speed, great power, he scores a lot of runs and he plays incredible defense at shortstop.
3) 3B Nolan Arenado (Rockies)
6 straight Gold Gloves and 4 straight seasons of at least a .287 average, 37 homers, 35 doubles 110 RBIs, 97 runs scored and 156 games played. Arenado is the best third baseman in the game.
2) OF Mookie Betts (Red Sox)
Betts surpassed his 2016 MVP-caliber season with his 30/30 MVP season this year. Betts takes walks, hits for power to all fields, steals bases and plays a great right field. He’s only 26 and is the bedrock of the Sox lineup.
1) OF Mike Trout (Angels)
This man remains the best in baseball. He’s finished 1 or 2 in MVP voting 5 times (including 2018) while averaging hitting .308 with 105 runs, 36 homers and 106 walks. As an incredible hitter and outfielder – and fresh off the biggest contract in league history – we are all confident he will continue to the best baseball has to offer.