The MLB and MLBPA have agreed to start the season on time – Spring training to start February 17th and Opening Day April 1st. And with the season right around the corner I take a look at who I think are the top five players at each position.
Starting Pitcher: Jacob DeGrom. DeGrom is coming off another exceptional season where he posted a 2.38 ERA and led the league with 104 strikeouts in the 60 game shortened season. I expect DeGrom to continue to dominate in the NL East in 2021, as he has the past three seasons.
- Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
- Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
- Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
- Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
- Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers
Relief Pitcher: Josh Hader. The leftie reliever is coming off a league leading 13 saves in 2020 and is just now coming into his prime at 27 years old. Hader and the Brewers will be in numerous close games in the NL Central and Hader will be called on to close out those battles.
- Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers
- Liam Hendriks, Chicago White Sox
- Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
- Edwin Diaz, New York Mets
- Nick Anderson, Tampa Bay Rays
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto. Not many catchers can bring the bat like Realmuto and the 30 year old catcher is not too bad behind the plate either. A 20+ home run season is almost expected at this point while providing one of the best arms at the position.
- J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
- Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
- Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
- Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox
- Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
First Base: Freddie Freeman. The reigning MVP stays atop the position and he may be there for awhile. Freeman hit .341/.462/.640 with a lead leading 23 doubles. The leftie hitter has a ton of lineup protection and will be able to drive in plenty of runs in 2021.
- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
- Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
- Pete Alonso, New York Mets
- Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
Second Base: Jose Altuve. Altuve had his struggles in 2020 and is definitely not a fan favorite after the Astros scandal. The former 5x Silver Slugger can prove that he is still the best at the position in 2021. Although, the former MVP could see a drastic fall from grace if he can’t rebound from is 2020 season.
- Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
- DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees
- Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
- Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays
Third Base: Nolan Arenado. Arenado is a 8x Gold Glove, 4x Platinum Glove, and 4x Silver Slugger. To Say that he is the top 3rd basemen in the league is not a stretch. The Cardinals are getting a perennial 40 home run hitter and 100+ RBI guy, who also is the top fielder at the position. The only worry is can Arenado match his production outside of Coors Field.
- Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
- Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels
- Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
- Matt Chapman, Oakland A’s
- Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
Short Stop: Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis is taking the league by storm and creating a name for himself. The 2020 Silver Slugger just turned 22 years old and the sky is the limit for Tatis. A 30 home run and 20 steal season is right around the corner in 2021.
- Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
- Francisco Lindor, New York Mets
- Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
- Trea Turner, Washington Nationals
- Javier Báez, Chicago Cubs
Left Field: Juan Soto. A slash line of .351/.490/.695 lands Soto at the top of the position. Soto is expected to play more right field this season but for now he tops the left fielders. Is Soto can come anywhere near his 2020 slash line he will solidify himself as one of the top players in MLB at any position.
- Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
- Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
- Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox
- Michael Brantley, Houston Astros
- Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays
Center Field: Mike Trout. What do you want me to say? Trout is the best player in the game and has been a MVP candidate every year of his career. That won’t change in 2021.
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
- Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
- George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays
- Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox
- Starling Marte, Miami Marlins
Right Field: Mookie Betts. In Betts’ first year with the Dodgers he hit .292/.366/.562 with 16 homers and 10 steals while making the Dodgers one of the most feared lineups in MLB. A full season and time to get comfortable in the NL could lead to an even bigger year in 2021.
- Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
- Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
- Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals (Utility?)
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez. Martinez has been lights out since joining the Red Sox but couldn’t get into a groove in 2020. Even after a disappointing 2020 season I expect Martinez to stay on top of the position and post a 30+ home run and 100 RBI season.
- J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
- Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
- Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins
- Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals
- Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees