Philadelphia, PA - Baseball is one of America’s oldest sports and for over a hundred years, the Major Leagues have propelled many skilled athletes into the limelight. Nowadays, many skilled players are still celebrated and analyzed by commentators, fans, and gamblers alike.
Who are The Top 5 Players In MLB Today
We’re looking at five of them today. By looking at their performances in 2020 and then how they have performed this year, we can identify the best players right now and how they have improved over the last season.
By analyzing the best players in Major League Baseball, you can know who to back when you’re next looking at Fanduel’s MLB odds.
1. Mike Trout
The #1 MLB player of 2020 is back at the top again for 2021. Mike Trout is the center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels and by most accounts, the best player in the MLB right now, based on this year’s performance. That’s despite his batting averages decreasing and stealing just one base across the whole year. His .582 slugging percentage and 1.000 on-base slugging are the best in active major league ballplayers.
For his ninth season in a row, he finished in the top five for the American League MVP voting, which he has won three times in the past, so even at his worst, he’s head and shoulders above many of the players in the league right now. What else would you expect from a nine-time MLB All-Star who’s the favorite of most sabermetricians right now?
2. Mookie Betts
Alongside Mike Trout, Mookie Betts is another name that is being thrown around for one of the best players in the MLB right now. Betts is the right fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers right now, though he first cut his teeth playing for the Boston Red Sox. With the Red Sox, he won MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and the World Series in just one single season.
Having orbited near the top of rankings in 2020, now he’s in second place by most sabermetricians’ metrics. His 2021 season marked his fifth National League All-Star nomination, though an injury prevented him from playing. With a .640 standard batting average, he’s one to watch in the 2022 season and one of the only players who have a chance at dethroning Mike Trout.
3. Juan Soto
As left fielder for the Washington Nationals, Juan Soto has been one of the most consistently best hitters in the current MLB roster who has been compared to Ted Williams in the past – favorably, of course. In 2021, he batted at .313/ .465/ .534 at 23, roughly lining up with Ted Williams’ 21-year-old season where he hit .344/ .442/ .594.
After winning the National League Batting Champion and Silver Slugger awards in 2020, he doubled down in 2021 to win another Silver Slugger and a second All-MLB First Team nomination. He was also the runner-up for National League MVP this year, too.
4. Ronald Acuna, Jr.
Debuting in 2018 for the Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna, Jr. won the National League’s Rookie of the Year award in his inaugural season. As an outfielder for the Braves, he’s established himself as a home-run hitter before even reaching 23. In 2020, he hit at .250/ .406/ .581 across 46 games. He also hit 14 home runs during that time.
As for his 2021 season, he won the National League’s Player of the Month in April after having made 8 home runs by that point, and he would go on to make his first walk-off home-run the following May. An injury ended his 2021 season after 82 games, where he hit 24 home runs and .283/ .394/ .596.
5. Gerrit Cole
After all of these young players above, we have a veteran of the 2008 draft in Gerrit Cole, who refused and later joined in 2013. At 31, he’s still one of the best pitchers in the MLB. Like many players, his performance was interfered with by the Covid-19 pandemic but one thing was clear, no other pitcher showed themselves to be better than him. If he has any weakness, it was that he served up 14 home runs in 2020.
Pitching for the New York Yankees, he became the Yankees’ most effective pitcher in terms of season-start strikeouts, matching David Cone’s record. He also achieved his 1,500th career strikeout, making him the fastest pitcher besides Randy Johnson. He was a First Team addition to the All-MLB Team by both fan and peer voting, marking his third All-MLB nomination.