Sitting at home watching old baseball highlights has gotten us thinking: Who are the top-100 players in the MLB right now? Sure, a ton of other places have already released their lists (ESPN, MLB Network and CBS Sports just to name a few), but now we’re throwing our hat into the ring!
Three of us — Mike Mavredakis, Ben Berg and Jorge Eckardt — each ranked our top-100 players in the MLB and then averaged them together to attempt to create one cohesive and unbiased list. For example, if “Player A” was ranked 52, 61 and 57 in all three lists, he would end with an average of 56.66. From there, we put all the players in order based on their averages. If two or more players ended up tied, we simply raised it to a vote.
Naturally, with three people making different lists, there are going to people that are included by some but not all. When averaging people who were not ranked, we assigned each “NR” a total of 110. For example, if “Player B” was ranked 78, 92 and NR (110 would substitute the NR in the math), their average would be 93.33. Yes, it’s arbitrary, but we tried to find a number that wouldn’t sink a player for being unranked by one or two people but also didn’t give them a value relatively close to someone that was ranked. Feel free to complain in our emails.
We also have three people who are fans of three different teams — Mike is a Red Sox fan, Ben is a Yankees fan and Jorge is a Mets fan — so that also helps to eliminate bias. Oftentimes, we found out we were harder on the players from our own favorite teams than the other two.
There were a total of 115 people ranked by at least one person, but this is a list of the top 100, so let’s go through the honorable mentions: Eloy Jimenez, Jameson Taillon, Eduardo Escobar, Ramon Laureano, Corey Kluber, Eddie Rosario, Jonathan Villar, Mark Canha, Liam Hendricks, Luis Severino, Kenley Jansen, Chris Paddack, Sonny Gray, Eduardo Rodriguez and Mike Moustakas.
But now, onto those who did make the cut.
No. 100 — Zac Gallen: Mike 77, Ben NR, Jorge NR
Mike: I originally caught some flack for picking Mr. Gallen so highly, since he’s a relative unknown. However, after looking deeper you may understand why I think he can be something special. He has made just 15 MLB starts, splitting time with the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks after a mid-season trade. Across 80 innings last year, he posted a 2.81 ERA and struck out 96 batters, while walking 36. He was worth 2.5 bWAR through essentially 40% of a season — projected out through 34 starts that is a 5.7 bWAR, which would be tied for eighth in pitcher bWAR in MLB. This kid’s good.
No. 99 — Corey Seager: Mike NR, Ben 77, Jorge NR
Mike: I have never been a huge proponent of Seager, hence me leaving him off the board. After struggling with injuries in 2018, Seager had a solid 2019. He led the National League in doubles with 44 and turned in 134 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His 3.3 bWAR was the 13th best among shortstops last season, but as a 25-year-old he still has room to grow. With the potent Dodgers lineup around him, he should be able to return to his 2017/2018 numbers once again.
No. 98 — Joc Pederson: Mike NR, Ben 88, Jorge 93
Jorge: Sure, Joc Pederson may be best known for hitting balls to the moon in the Home Run Derby, but the Dodger outfielder has proven that he is a true top-tier slugger in this league. With 36 long balls and an OPS of .876 in 450 at-bats putting him in the top 10 in the at-bats per home run leaderboards. In that loaded Dodgers lineup, Pederson fits in well at the top, with about 85% of his plate appearances coming from the leadoff spot. I get the reasons for not thinking he’s a top-100 caliber player — he doesn’t make or break a team — but he’s just a flat out good ballplayer, and he hits tanks.
No. 97 — Starling Marte: Mike 88, Ben NR, Jorge 92
Mike: Coming off of the best offensive season of his career, Marte was traded to the Diamondbacks in January. Now in a more complete offense, look for Marte to make a splash in his new home when baseball starts again. Alongside Ketel Marte (keep an eye out for him), David Peralta and Eduardo Escobar, there is a very good chance he improves on his 23-homer, 82 RBIs and .845 OPS 2019 season. Oh, and he burns as well.
No. 96 — Gary Sanchez: Mike 98, Ben 81, Jorge NR
Ben: Gary Sanchez is as tough to rank as anyone in the league. He strikes out a lot, isn’t great defensively and is as slow as they come on the base path. Yet, the Yankee slugger was still a 2019 AL All-Star. Though he struggled with consistency at the plate (.232 batting average), his 34 home runs, 77 RBIs and off-the-charts arm strength prove he is still a very valuable MLB catcher in today’s game.
No. 95 — Carlos Santana: Mike NR, Ben 90, Jorge 86
Jorge: Carlos Santana really took his game to another level in 2019, finishing with an OPS of .911, almost .050 higher than any of his previous nine seasons. With 34 homers, 93 RBIs and 110 runs scored, which was tied for No. 12 in the league, he made his return to Cleveland special. He made the All-Star team, won the silver slugger award and even came in 16th in the MVP race. Going into his age-34 season (if there is a season), it will be interesting to see if Santana can maintain this level of play or if his 2019 will be a one-hit-wonder. But as of right now, he’s got to be on this list.
No. 94 — Vladimir Guerrero Jr: Mike 97, Ben 78, Jorge NR
Ben: Vladdy Jr. didn’t make quite the splash in the MLB everyone expected after he spent so much time as the league’s most highly touted prospect. That being said, he still had a good year and has all the tools to be an elite third-basemen someday. In 123 games in 2019, Guerrero Jr. hit .272 with 15 HR and 69 RBIs for a very young Blue Jays team. Not bad for a 21-year-old playing in the best baseball league on the planet. His stock should be on the rise along with the rest of Toronto’s young core.
No. 93 — Trey Mancini: Mike 94, Ben NR, Jorge 78
Jorge: Mancini is one of the guys I consider the most underrated in the league, evidenced by how much higher I have him ranked than others. A .291 hitter with an OPS just a single point under .900, Mancini is one of the few bright spots in Baltimore. The outfielder/first baseman/DH hit 35 long balls and knocked in 97 RBIs — both team highs — and was second on the team with 106 runs scored. His OPS jumped almost .200 points from 2018 to 2019 so there’s still the question of if he can do this consistently, but if he can, I think he can be a legitimate top-50 player in the league.
No. 92 — Marcus Stroman: Mike 95, Ben 92, Jorge 95
Jorge: Stroman catches some flack because after he got traded to the Mets, his ERA was 3.77 the rest of the way (which still isn’t bad), but he still finished the year with just a 3.22, which was good for No. 11 in the league among starters. He’s not a big strikeout pitcher and his WHIP has never been the best, but he gets results. An All-Star last year with Toronto for the first time and now having an offseason to settle into his new team not to mention it being a contract year for him, I’m expecting big things from Stro.
No. 91 — Giancarlo Stanton: Mike NR, Ben 59, Jorge NR
Ben: This one is tough because Stanton spent the majority of the 2019 season on the IL, playing in only 18 games. In those games he hit .288 with 3 homers, 13 RBI’s and 12 walks. Pretty good, but too small of a sample size. To get a real read on the slugger’s value you have to go back to 2018, when he hit .266 with 38 HR and 100 RBIs and 70 base-on-balls in his first season in New York. While his 2017 (59-home run) MVP season for the Marlins was likely a flash in the pan, Stanton can still put up great numbers when healthy.