We’re back with our fourth installment of the top-100 players in the MLB right now. We’ve got some sluggers, some flamethrowers and two of the best MLB The Show players in Major League Baseball. And — spoiler alert — it also features our first relief pitcher.
No. 70 – Blake Snell: Mike 61, Ben 57, Jorge 90
Ben: Blake Snell has all the talent and ability to be a top-flight MLB pitcher, as evidenced by his 2018 AL Cy Young Award. In 2018, Snellzilla won a league-leading 21 games while posting a 1.89 ERA (second lowest in the MLB behind only Jacob deGrom) and striking out 221 batters. However, following his dominant 2018, his numbers took a major dip in 2019, as he went 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with only 147 strikeouts. It’s now up to him to get back on track as the Rays ace. If he does, he’ll be flying up these rankings in 2020 and for very good reason.
No. 69 – Luis Castillo: Mike 73, Ben 64, Jorge 70
Ben: Luis Castillo, the Reds ace and best player, is as exciting a pitcher as there is in the MLB right now. He’s always had potential, but the Reds’ righty put it all together in 2019. The 27-year-old went 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 226 strikeouts, all among the top 20 in the MLB. His numbers tailed off a bit towards the season’s end, but for much of 2019, Castillo was the player everyone knows he can be. Like Snell, another good year from Castillo will skyrocket him up these ranks.
No. 68 – Joey Gallo: Mike 68, Ben 61, Jorge 76
Jorge: Joey Gallo hits baseballs very far. He does that a lot. However, up through 2018, he didn’t really seem to do much else. Sure, he hit 81 home runs over two years, but he also hit just .208. Then in 2019, he really turned a corner, bumping his slash line up to .253/.389/.598. However, this was just in 70 games, as he spent two separate stints on the IL in 2019. The first of which knocked him out for just under two weeks in June, and the second started in late July and ended his season. He still hit 22 long balls in those games, so if he can keep up that pace throughout an entire season from both a hits and homers standpoint, he could potentially be a top-30 player in the league.
No. 67 – Trea Turner: Mike 70, Ben 70, Jorge 64
Jorge: Trea Turner might be the most infuriating player in the MLB to go up against. Being a Mets fan, I see this play out 19 times a year. He’s crazy fast, he gets on base and he’s even got some pop, smacking 19 homers each of the past two seasons. He just impacts the game so much with his legs, evidenced by him racking up 157 stolen bases over the past four seasons. He’s extremely efficient as well, getting caught just 28 times in that same span. One knock on him is he seems to have a knack for landing on the injured list, doing so three times over the past three seasons, but when he’s on the field, he’s nothing short of a game-changer.
No. 66 – Ozzie Albies: Mike 71, Ben 60, Jorge 72
Mike: Albies has been incredibly consistent in his two full years in the big leagues. He has posted 24 home runs and 72-plus RBIs in each season while stealing about 15 bases per year and having 40-plus doubles per year. He dramatically increased his walk rate last season, up from 5.3% to 7.7% of plate appearances. He also bumped up his OPS by nearly 100-points from 2018 to 2019. It’s safe to say the Atlanta Braves got an absolute steal by signing him to a 7-year, $35 million extension last offseason.
No. 65 – Aroldis Chapman: Mike 76, Ben 42, Jorge 81
Ben: I think the hardest part of writing this list was comparing closers to the game’s other positions. However, they have the critical job of delivering their team wins in the pressure-packed final innings of games and Aroldis Chapman is as good as anyone at getting the job done. The Cuban Missile earned 37 saves in 2019 (3rd among closers) with an ERA of 2.21 (second, behind only Kirby Yates). Unfortunately for Chapman, his excellent 2019 season will largely be remembered for the 2-run home run he gave up to Jose Altuve in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the ALCS that sent the Astros to the World Series.
No. 64 – Charlie Blackmon: Mike 45, Ben 76, Jorge 65
Mike: Now in his ninth season with the Colorado Rockies, Blackmon turned it back on in 2019 after a relative down year in 2018. His 32 homers and 112 runs were a return to form for Chuck Nazty. His speed has started to degrade, however, after five straight years of 10 or more steals, Blackmon only swiped two last season. He was also caught five times.
Like Ohtani, he’s also filthy for Jorge in The Show as well.
No. 63 – Yoan Moncada: Mike 80, Ben 66, Jorge 38
Jorge: Similar to Gallo, Moncada has always been fine. He did what he did (less power than Gallo with a better average) but never really shined, however in 2019 he really turned it on. Hitting .315/.367/.548 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs out of primarily second base, he doesn’t walk a lot and needs to cut back on the strikeouts, but still, Moncada has become a key cog in a White Sox team that is all of a sudden poised to compete whenever the 2020 season gets underway.
No. 62 – Charlie Morton: Mike 74, Ben 49, Jorge 61
Jorge: Charlie Morton is like a fine wine: The older he gets, the better he seems to become. Through the first nine years of his career, he put up an ERA of 4.54, then he went to Houston and threw up a 3.36 and closed out a (now tainted) World Series. He made his first All-Star game in 2018 and in 2019, he got even better. Not only did he make it back-to-back years with his All-Star weekend booked, but he put up a career-best ERA (3.05) in a career-high innings pitched (194.2) for the Tampa Bay Rays. Heading into his age-36 season, it will be interesting to see if he can keep up his high level of play.
No. 61 – Yordan Alvarez: Mike 63, Ben 58, Jorge 62
Mike: Simply put, this man can mash baseballs. In just 87 games last year, he hit 27 home runs and finished the year with a 1.067 OPS. Projected out through a 150-game season, that would be about 47 home runs. He also walks at a great clip, with 14.1% of his plate appearances ending in a free pass. He was 2019’s AL Rookie of the Year for good reason. (He also mashes for me in The Show.)