10 MLB Players Destined to Stick Around for a Long Time
Jamie Moyer's career is a remarkable story to say the least. It isn't very often where you see someone in an extended age accomplish as much as Moyer has during his run in the MLB.
However great Moyer's story may be, he's not the only one has could pull off something like this.
In today's MLB, for instance, there are a number of young talents that have shown they are poised to stick around the league for some time to come and that they will leave their mark in the Major League history books before they hang up their cleats for good.
Surely, it may be near impossible to predict even one player to last as long as Moyer has in the league, let alone a whole list of them, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility to think that some guys have what it takes to make it for a long time.
Here are the 10 players with the best cases for sticking around the MLB for a long time to come:
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Current Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Catcher, First Base
Years of Experience: Eight
Joe Mauer is one of the most technically sound players in the Major Leagues and has been ever since he stepped into the Twins dugout in 2004 for the first time.
Since then, all he has done is become a three-time batting champion, a three-time Golden Glove winner and the 2009 AL MVP award winner. Needless to say, he's proven to be a consistent player year in and year out.
Unfortunately, Mauer has started to feel the effects to being a full-time catcher as his legs have began to weaken, causing him to miss most of 2011 with injuries. Lucky for Mauer, he is a born baseball player and felt extremely comfortable moving over to first base when asked to do so.
Mauer will never be known for his power, though he has displayed some signs of strength in his batting at times. For Mauer, it's all about fundamentals of the game. When you look at other sports figures, such as the NBA's Tim Duncan, fundamentals can carry you a long way in a career.
Luckily for Mauer, too, is that with his easy transition over to first base, he does not have to be a catcher for the rest of his career, which could help prolong it in the long run. With the versatility to move from first base to catcher and to the designated hitter role, Mauer has the tools to stick around longer than some may think.
Current Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Years of Experience: 10
For Cliff Lee, he is a lot like Moyer: consistent, not mind-blowing speed, wide pitch variation, commands the strike zone, keeps batters guessing and maintains his composure regardless of the situation.
Lee has shown his ability to dazzle on the mound with the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and, now, the Philadelphia Phillies. His dominance has been amazing, although his style has never been the blow-you-away type of pitching.
Lee's style translates well with Moyer's, which makes him a prime candidate to be the REAL next Moyer. Even at 33, Lee is showing no signs of a drop-off in the near future and could very well challenge Moyer for many of the records he holds for the being the oldest to do so.
Whether or not Lee's arm will give out before he reaches that level of success remains to be seen, but he is well on his way to challenging for greatness of the old timers.
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Current Team: New York Mets
Position: Third Base
Years Experience: Eight
David Wright has had his struggles over his career, but overall, he is second-to-none when it comes to top-tier third baseman in the Major Leagues.
2012 has been sort of a redemption year for Wright after struggling in 2011, giving him a renewed sense of confidence. He's proven his power is still there but also that he can maintain a steady batting average. Hitting for both power and base hits can make or break a batter, and Wright has what it takes to do both.
Being a career .300 hitter, Wright has been the cornerstone for the Mets since his first day at the hot corner. He's stayed through the good times and the bad and has actually provided much of what Mets fans have to be excited about with their up-and-down success rate over the past five years.
Wright may be climbing a little bit in age, but 29 also means that he has plenty of good years ahead of him. And if he can continue to hit for average, he may just be getting started with his career.
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Current Team: Washington Nationals
Years of Experience: None
While some might think that Stephan Strasburg should be the National on this sort of list, Bryce Harper is still honing his craft while learning on the fly in the major leagues, which gives him an even greater opportunity for high success in the majors.
Given how hype surrounded him coming into the season, Harper has dealt with the pressure fairly well and provided a nice punch in the Nationals batting order.
Harper is still raw: This is his first full season of action, so it's really hard to judge just how far he can truly come in baseball on the professional level. However, it's safe to say that he has garnered massive attention already in such a short amount of time, which means that all eyes will be on him throughout his career.
Because of his age and pure athleticism alone, Harper is one who has the promise to be great for many years and maintain that level of success. Wait and see is the game we will be playing with Harper for now, but with what he's shown in this little bit of time, he could very well be in this league for a very long time.
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Current Team: Cincinnati Reds
Years of Experience: Four
Another phenomenal prospect from a few years back, Jay Bruce has proven he was worth the wait for Cincinnati, asserting himself into the permanent starting lineup within a year of his debut.
Bruce may not be the most consistent hitter, but he has proven his power and glove work in the outfield are what makes him so great. He also continues to grow and adapt as he goes along with his career as a Red.
Having been around for a few years, Bruce may be at his pinnacle right now. However, that does not take away from the tools he has to maintain that pinnacle of success for a number of years and into the future.
Pit that with the fact he's only 25 years old with a bright future ahead of him, Jay Bruce can very easily give himself a long run in the MLB and, possibly, be one of the stars of his generation.
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Current Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Years Experience: Three
Pittsburgh has made a dramatic turnaround in 2012, and Andrew McCutchen has been possibly the biggest key to that success.His presence at the plate is unmatched, even though he hasn't been around for too long.
He possesses all of the tools to be a great player for years to come: hitting for average and power, a superb defensive outfielder and a speedster on the bases. McCutchen provides that spark whenever it's needed for the Pirates, and it has shown in their record this season.
Sure, his speed may decline over time, but he's still very young at 25 so that may take a while to catch up to him. Whenever that does hit, however, he will still have the ability to hit to all fields and just allow the home runs to come along with the pitches he receives, not go chasing for them.
In McCutchen, the Pirates have the cornerstone player they need in order to build a successful team. Don't expect his production to drop off or for him to be moved anytime in the near future.
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Current Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Third Base
Years Experience: One
It might be a little premature to designate Brett Lawrie as a man who could potentially leave his mark on baseball history by establishing himself for years to come, but a little gamble never hurt anyone, has it?
Lawire has done some nice things for Toronto in the past year or so, and he isn't expected to drop off anytime soon as his career in the MLB is just beginning. He is also quickly becoming one of the top players in the entire league, quite a feat for someone who wasn't on a roster two years ago today.
With all five tools under his belt already, Lawrie's youthful exuberance can carry him quite a long way into the future. Given his persistence at the plate, as well as on defense, Lawire's production has the potential to sky-rocket in the very near future and into the next decade or two.
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Current Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Third Base
Years of Experience: One
Quietly, the Kansas City Royals have established a young, talented group of players to fill their roster with for the next decade and, possibly, find great success along the way with them. Mike Moustakas is one of the many young Royals who has given hope to a franchise with, what feels like, an eternity of tough luck.
Moustakas came along last season by only playing in 89 games, so his statistics may not speak volumes as to his ability to grow over time. However, with the numbers he has produced so far in 2012, he has already outdone his totals from 2011 in fewer games played.
If Moustakas can not only continue this pace for the rest of the season, but also in the coming years, the Royals may have found their golden goose to help rebuild their franchise.
He could also be one of many Royals to lead the pack, but he has the tools to be the main man to redeem the failures of their past.
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Current Team: Los Angeles Angels
Position: First Base
Years of Experience: 11
Multiple-time MVP award winner, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, two-time World Series Champion and surefire Hall of Fame inductee.
Yes, it is no question that Alberto Pujols has seen and done it all during his time in Major League Baseball, all with the St. Louis Cardinals. Now he has moved on to a new location in hopes to continue his reign on top of the baseball world.
As a member of the Angels thus far, Pujols has been less than stellar but has recently started to re-find his power and plate presence that made him the biggest star in the entire sport.
There is no question that Pujols will always be a feared hitter whether or not he's in the lineup each and every day. He's a solid first baseman and even flashed the glove a time or two over at third as well.
Take that defensive presence along with him now being in the American League, home of the designated hitter, and Pujols is destined to be around for a long time to come.
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Current Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Years of Experience: Six
One player who has really started to hone his natural abilities as a player over the past few years has been Matt Kemp, perennial MVP candidate in the National League this season.
Kemp has been one of the few bright sports for a Dodger organization going through dramatic changes off the the field. He's gone from being what some considered a troubled player to proving all of them wrong and really honing his craft as a player.
He's just now starting to really figure things out overall on the field, giving LA another player to put their hopes of baseball prosperity into. Still relatively young, Kemp has the ability to not only elevate his production, but also could eclipse his cross-town counterpart, Pujols, in the years to come.
It is now a matter of not if, but when, Kemp will stake his claim as the top player in all of baseball. He's well on his way to doing so in the future and could stay there for a long time once he reaches it.