Brant Dubeau's MLB Top 50
While the world being in lockdown may have thrown the 2020 MLB season for a loop, baseball is still the most likely sport to make a return at some point. With the recent announcement of plans to commence the season in late June to early July, I figured there's no better time than now to take a look at the leagues best for this upcoming season.
50. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
2019 Stats: 16-5, 3.03 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 189 SO, 3.1 WAR
It wasn't that long ago that Kershaw was easily the best pitcher in baseball. Unforunately he isn't what he used to be, and as such he falls to 50th on my list. He still comes in as the 10th best pitcher on the list however.
49. Paul Goldschmidt, STL
2019 Stats: .260/.346/.476, 34 HR, 97 RBI, 2.4 WAR
There was a time that you could pencil Goldschmidt in as an MVP candidate nearly every year in Arizona. At 32 years old, he doesn't quite possess that ability anymore, but he still showed that he can be a deadly bat in the middle of a shallow St Louis order.
48. Josh Bell, PIT
2019 Stats: .277/.367/.569, 37 HR, 116 RBI, 2.7 WAR
Bell had a breakout year last year with the Pirates, setting career highs in every offensive category. It remains to be seen whether or not he can keep that pace going forward, but if he continues, he will skyrocket up these rankings.
47. Yordan Alvarez, HOU
2019 Stats*: .313/.412/.655, 27 HR, 78 RBI, 3.7 WAR, AL RoY
Alvarez had a phenomenal rookie season on a cheating Astros team. He showed incredible power but went through big ups and downs in the postseason. This year will be a good test to see if he can hit consistently when he doesn't know what pitch is coming.
46. Hyun Jin Ryu, TOR
2019 Stats: 14-5, 2.32 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 163 SO, 5.0 WAR
Last years NL Cy Young finalist has a new look this season after coming up north to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. Most fans in Toronto are hoping he can stay healthy and replicate the numbers he put up last year. If not, he will still be the best pitcher on the entire roster.
45. Justin Turner, LAD
2019 Stats: .290/.372/.509, 27 HR, 67 RBI, 4.1 WAR
Turner put in another consistently great season for the Dodgers last year. They'll be looking for an increase on the home runs and RBIs if they want to get back to the World Series again; but if he gets on base at that clip in front of new acquisition Mookie Betts, then it should be a great season in LA
44. Tommy Pham, SD
2019 Stats: .273/.369/.450, 21 HR, 68 RBI, 3.8 WAR, 25 SB
Acquired in a steal of an offseason deal with the rays, Pham brings both power and speed to a lineup that is in desperate need of a player like him. If he can stay near 100% healthy, then he'll help make the Padres a potential playoff contender.
43. Josh Hader, MIL
2019 Stats: 37 SV, 2.62 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 138 SO, 2.6 WAR
The lone reliever on my list, Hader is a dominant force on the mound. He has the ability to go multiple innings while relying pretty much solely on impeccable fastball command. He is without a doubt the best reliever in baseball.
42. Mike Soroka, ATL
2019 Stats: 13-4, 2.68 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 142 SO, 5.5 WAR
Oh Canada baby! Soroka burst onto the scene in his rookie year and lit it up for the Atlanta Braves. His dominance saw him sporting an ERA in the twos by the end of the year despite tailing ff near the end of the season. Hopefully Soroka is able to repeat his success at the front of a quality Braves rotation.
41. Max Muncy, LAD
2019 Stats: .251/.374/.515, 35 HR, 98 RBI, 5.7 WAR
Quietly one of the games best utility men, Muncy can play nearly anywhere on the infield and poses as a huge threat in the middle of a deadly Dodgers lineup. The only issue now will be deciding where to play him.
40. Anthony Rizzo, CHC
39. Michael Brantley, HOU
2019 Stats*: .311/.372/.503, 22 HR, 90 RBI, 4.8 WAR
I honestly didn't think Brantley had it in him anymore to be an elite player for an entire season in the MLB. I'm sure the refreshing sounds of Minute Maid Park probably helped a career rejuvination, but Brantley has always been a great middle of the order bat when healthy.
38. Austin Meadows, TB
2019 Stats: .291/.364/.558, 33 HR, 89 RBI, 4.0 WAR
There were times last year when I thought Austin Meadows had a legitimate chance to compete for the AL MVP award. If he's healthy, and at his best, he can help carry a Rays roster that relies more on depth than star power.
37. JT Realmuto, PHI
2019 Stats: .275/.328/.493, 25 HR, 83 RBI, 4.5 WAR
The sole catcher on my list is easily the best catcher in baseball. Not only can he get it done at the plate, but he has a rocket launcher of an arm and can gun down pretty much any base stealing threat. He is everything you want out of a catcher.
36. Rafael Devers, BOS
2019 Stats: .311/.361/.555, 32 HR, 115 RBI, 4.9 WAR
Devers was the lone bright spot on a disappointing Red Sox team. If he continues at his pace from last year then he could be much higher on this list, but given the massive jump from 2018 to 2019, the jury is still out for me on whether or not this is what Devers is.
35. DJ LeMahieu, NYY
2019 Stats: .327/.375/.518, 26 HR, 102 RBI, 5.9 WAR
LeMahieu has never really gotten his due before 2019. He's always been a great contact hitter who could play defence. Now that he's playing in the mecca of baseball, I think we're just scratching the surface on the value of this newly formed utility man.
34. Eugenio Suarez, CIN
2019 Stats: .271/.358/.572, 49 HR, 103 HR, 3.9 WAR
Suarez is the textbook definition of a late bloomer. His numbers are slowly climbing higher and higher culminating to him hitting multiple career highs last year at the age of 27. I think he probably has a couple more years before he truly hits his peak.
33. Marcus Semien, OAK
2019 Stats: .285/.396/.522, 33 HR, 123 RBI, 8.9 WAR
Semien shocked a lot of people with his near MVP performance last season. I'm not prepared to consider him among the games elite, but he's definitely someone to watch out for.
32. Kris Bryant, CHC
2019 Stats: .282/.382/.521, 31 HR, 77 RBI, 3.7 WAR
The former MVP had a quality bounce back year for a Cubs team that sputtered down the stretch. I'd look for Bryant to improve on his numbers from last season to put his name back in with the elite.
31. Gleyber Torres, NYY
Gleyber was just as impressive in his sophomore year as he was in his rookie year. After taking full time shortstop duties because of the injury to Didi Gregorius, Torres dazzled at the plate and in the field, allowing the Yankees to let Didi walk in the offseason.
30. Fernando Tatis Jr., SD
2019 Stats: .317/.379/.590, 22 HR, 53 RBI, 4.1 WAR
This kid has it all. You want defence? He'll lock it down at short. You want speed? He flies around the basepaths. You want power? He can tear the cover of the ball. I'm real excited to see what a full, healthy season of Tatis Jr. looks like.
29. J.D Martinez, BOS
2019 Stats: .304/.383/.557, 36 HR, 105 RBI, 3.4 WAR
J.D stayed consistent last year, posting big numbers at the plate while trying to shoulder most of the offensive load of the Red Sox. At 32, he may slow down soon, but it's unlikely that this is that year.
28. Josh Donaldson, MIN
2019 Stats: .259/.357/.521, 37 HR, 94 RBI , 6.0 WAR
Donaldson was a pleasant surprise for the Braves last year after signing a one year, "prove it" deal. He definitely droved that when healthy he is still one of the best hitters in the game.
27. Jack Flaherty, STL
2019 Stats: 11-8, 2.75 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 231 SO, 5.8 WAR
Flaherty emerged as one of the premier pitchers in the game last season. His performance netted him a fourth place finish in Cy Young voting, and even a 13th place finish in MVP voting.
26. George Springer, HOU
2019 Stats*: .292/.383/.591, 39 HR, 96 RBI, 6.4 WAR
George Springer was one of the best power leadoff hitters in the game. I'm interested to see if that holds up when he actually has to guess the pitch that's coming.
25. Ketel Marte, ARI
2019 Stats: .329/.389/.592, 32 HR, 92 RBI, 7.2 WAR
I think if Marte wasn't playing for the leagues most average team then you'd probably hear a lot more about him. He quietly had one of the better seasons in the MLB last year and looks to continue that this season.
24. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
2019 Stats: .309/.384/.555, 33 HR, 117 RBI, 5.9 WAR
Bogaerts set career marks in almost every offensive category last year. After drastically improving the last two years, he is looking more and more like one of the leagues premier shortstops.
23. Trevor Story, COL
2019 Stats: .294/.363/.554, 35 HR, 85 RBI, 6.1 WAR
One half of one of the best left sides of an infield in the league, Trevor Story bounced back from his sophomore slump with two straight elite caliber seasons. Offensively he is easily a top three shortstop in the league.
22. Freddie Freeman, ATL
2019 Stats: .295/.389/.549, 38 HR, 121 RBI, 4.0 WAR
I find Freeman to be overrated by a lot of people in baseball. He's an incredible talent, and is a difference maker on the Braves, but I don't see him as a top 15 player in the league.
21. Bryce Harper, PHI
2019 Stats: .260/.372/.510, 35 HR, 114 RBI, 4.3 WAR
Bryce Harper is always a polarizing figure on everyone's list. If he is what he was in the back half of the season, the he is easily a top 10 player in the league. If he is the player from the first half of the season, then he probably falls significantly. My bet, is that we are likely to see a phenomenal year out of a now comfortable Bryce.
20. Pete Alonso, NYM
2019 Stats: .260/.358/.583, 53 HR, 120 RBI, 5.2 WAR, NL RoY
Pete Alonso surprisingly broke camp with the Mets last season and never looked back. He hit with more power than almost anyone in the league and showed it off any chance he got. Hopefully he can notch a few more hits consistently to bring that average up this year.
19. Walker Buehler, LAD
2019 Stats: 14-4, 3.26 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 215 SO, 2.0 WAR
The forgotten kid on a rotation full of huge names, Buehler is probably the best of the bunch. At just 25 years old I could easily see a Cy Young award in Walker's future.
18. Javier Baez, CHC
2019 Stats: .281/.316/.531, 29 HR, 85 RBI, 6.0 WAR
The most electrifying player in baseball and it's honestly not even close. His all in approach at the plate, and his mind blowing defence create highlight reel plays all game long.
17. Jose Altuve, HOU
2019 Stats*: .298/.353/.550, 31 HR, 74 RBI, 3.8 WAR
bzzz.... bzzzz... damn that tattoo makes a lot of noise.
16. Stephen Strasburg, WSH
2019 Stats: 18-6, 3.32 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 251 SO, 6.4 WAR, WS MVP
If Stras proved anything last year it was just how dominant he can be when he's fully healthy. In a series featuring three pitchers above him on this list, he was without a doubt the best pitcher in the series. It's only a question of health with him for why he's not in the top 10.
15. Matt Chapman, OAK
2019 Stats: .249/.342/.506, 36 HR, 91 RBI, 8.3 WAR
It is a crying shame that Matt Chapman doesn't play on a team with any sort of media coverage. A top three defender in the league, a great bat at the plate, he can do it all. He just needs to find a little more consistency at the plate to contend for an MVP award.
14. Aaron Judge, NYY
2019 Stats: .272/.381/.540, 27 HR, 55 RBI, 5.5 WAR
Aaron Judge is a big "what could be" situation. He has the tools to be a top three player in the league, he just needs to stay healthy long enough to put up numbers.
13. Alex Bregman, HOU
2019 Stats*: .296/.423/.592, 41 HR, 112 RBI, 9.1 WAR
Is Bregman a top 10 player in the league? Probably. Did I lose any shred of respect I had for him after the way he handled the cheating scandal? Absolutely. I really don't care about his numbers, it'll be crazy to watch him play this season without a spine.
12. Justin Verlander, HOU
2019 Stats: 21-6, 2.58 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 300 SO, 7.3 WAR, AL Cy Young
Verlander's stat line last year at 36 years old is pretty remarkable. He is very evidently a top three pitcher in the league, he just needs to hope age doesn't catch up to him.
11. Max Scherzer, WSH
2019 Stats: 11-7, 2.92 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 243 SO, 5.7 WAR
When Max Scherzer is at his best, I would take him over any starter in the MLB. He consistently puts up dominating performances and has the World Series title to prove it.
10. Juan Soto, WSH
2019 Stats: .282/.401/.548, 34 HR, 110 RBI, 4.6 WAR
Soto had his coming out party in the postseason last year. He was arguably the best position player on the World Series winning team and came up huge in many different moments. He enters this season as a 21 year old looking to make an even bigger splash in the regular season.
9. Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL
2019 Stats: .280/.365/.518, 41 HR, 101 RBI, 37 SB, 5.7 WAR
Raw talent through and through. Power, speed, defence, the kid has it all and he's slowly learning to harness it. He was nearly a 40/40 guy last year, and he might have done it too if he reached 162 games.
8. Anthony Rendon, LAA
2019 Stats: .319/.412/.598, 34 HR, 126 RBI, 6.4 WAR
Quietly one of the best players in the league. Contends for the MVP title every single year and up until last year most people had never heard of him. I'm excited to see what he can do in a lineup with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
7. Nolan Arenado, COL
2019 Stats: .315/.379/.583, 41 HR, 118 RBI, 6.7 WAR
The jury is out on whether or not Nolan Arenado is one of the best hitters in the game because he plays in Colorado, or just because he's ridiculously talented. One thing that can't be argued is the fact that he's a top three defender in the league on top of his offensive output. Expect another MVP caliber season out of Nolan
6. Gerrit Cole, NYY
2019 Stats: 20-5, 2.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 326 SO, 6.5 WAR
Last year's AL Cy Young runner up has found a new home in New York with the Yankees. He should be able to replicate at the top of a rotation desperate for an ace.
5. Mookie Betts, LAD
The biggest offseason move of the year saw one of the games best head down south to the powerhouse Dodgers. Mookie had a great year again on a Red Sox team that was struggling to get wins. He now moves to arguably the best team in the Major Leagues to play out the final year of his contract.
4. Cody Bellinger, LAD
2019 Stats: .305/.406/.629, 47 HR, 115 RBI, 9.1 WAR, NL MVP
Bellinger took a dreadful sophomore season and turned it around for quite possibly the most dominating season of the year. If all things go well for Belli, the best may still be yet to come.
3. Jacob deGrom, NYM
2019 Stats: 11-8, 2.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 255 SO, 8.2 WAR, NL Cy Young
Coming into last season I wondered what deGrom could do to follow up his incredible season in 2018. If there were any doubters, he shut every single one of them up with another Cy Young season. It looks like there is still plenty in the tank for the best pitcher in baseball.
2. Christian Yelich, MIL
2019 Stats: .329/.429/.671, 44 HR, 97 RBI, 7.0 WAR
The battle for second in the MLB is always tightly contested. What gives Yelich the advantage fr me is his ability to put the entire Milwaukee Brewers roster on his shoulders for the entire season. Incredible defender, elite bat, great leader, there really isn't much this man can't do. He is easily the best player in the NL in my eyes.
1. Mike Trout, LAA
2019 Stats: .291/.438/.645, 45 HR, 104 RBI, 8.2 WAR, AL MVP
The easiest pick I'll ever make. The guy is going to go down as the best player in baseball history some day and he has the numbers to back it up. Oh... and he's an absolute bullet out of the box