I don’t know about any of you, but I’m still a baseball fan, even as the game has lost some of its luster over the years and isn’t the sport it once was. All of these damn millennials (I’m a millennial) think the game is too long and boring, and yeah it might be, but it’s still America’s pastime, so I’m glad that the 2017 season is underway.
Although baseball isn’t as popular as it was in the ’90s, there are still a ton of players that are fun to watch and worth the price of admission. Unfortunately, none of these players play for my New York Yankees, but that’s neither here nor there. With all the talent that’s in the game today, I decided to do the unthinkable and rank the top five players in the game today. Okay, so it’s not quite groundbreaking per se, but every other baseball writer in America is doing it, so I might as well get in on the fun as well.
5. Mookie Betts – Center Fielder, Boston Red Sox
This one pains me because I hate the goddamn Boston Red Sox with every fiber of my being, but I’m also a fair person and am well aware that Mookie Betts is a flat-out stud. To prove how fair I am, I thought that he should have been the AL MVP over Mike Trout last year (more on him later), because his numbers were better than Trout’s, and his team was far superior to Trout’s crappy Angels team. He’s 24 years old, shows no signs of showing down, and is going to give my Yankees problems for years to come. Dammit.
4. Clayton Kershaw – Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
I probably should put Kershaw higher on this list, because he’s one of the best pitchers I’ve seen in my lifetime, but man can he just not get it done in the postseason. Regular season? He is flat-out disgusting and worth every penny of that massive contract that the Dodgers gave him a few years ago, and has definitely been more than deserving of his Cy Young Awards and NL MVP. If he’s able to put together a nice playoff run this year, maybe I’ll move him up higher on this list for next year.
3. Bryce Harper – Right Fielder, Washington Nationals*
*Future New York Yankee. Say what you will about Harper, but the dude has delivered in the big leagues. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated when he was still in high school and was dubbed the next big thing in baseball, and he’s absolutely lived up to expectations. With the exception of his down year last season, he has an MVP award to his name, positioned his Nationals as perennial contenders each year, and probably the most impressive thing he’s done is hit a home run in all five of his Opening Days since getting called up to the MLB. Can’t wait until he’s in pinstripes in a few years.
2. Kris Bryant – Third Baseman, Chicago Cubs
Kris Bryant is on an all-time hot streak right now. He was the College Baseball Player of the Year, Minor League Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, MVP, and helped the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. He did all of that in a five-year span, which is absolutely insane. If you wanted to make the argument that Bryant is the best player in baseball, I would have a hard time disagreeing with you. The guy has delivered at every level and is becoming one of the faces of the game. He’s so much fun to watch and it’ll be interesting to see how he tops the historic run he just went on.
1. Mike Trout – Center Fielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I really don’t know what else can be said about Mike Trout at this point. Dude is a five-time All Star and two-time MVP winner, all at the ripe young age of 25. The problem with Trout is that the team he plays for absolutely sucks, so you can say that he’s not necessarily making them better, but at the same time baseball is a pretty individual sport. He’s doing all he can, which is a lot by the way, so it’s not really his fault that the rest of his team is a pile of garbage. I hope one day he has a chance to play for a World Series title because it would be a damn shame if we never got to see that.