Starting this week, I’ll be releasing two slideshows.
One will rank the 20 best position players on a week-by-week basis.
The other will rank the 10 best pitchers on a week-by-week basis.
Originally, I was going to do “The 30 best players in baseball,” but comparing pitchers and position players is like comparing apples to oranges.
So to be fair to you, the reader, I’ll separate them.
The position player’s slideshow will be released first this week, followed by the pitcher’s slideshow.
I’m releasing this now as opposed to the beginning of the year,because:
- We just had the All-Star Game, so everyone’s thinking about, well, the All-Star players
- I’ve got a half season’s body of work to use as opposed to using last year’s stats (this, of course, helps out Adam Dunn, hurts Albert Pujols and is favorable for younger players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout)
- And, honestly, I thought up the concept midseason (yes, I realize it’s not a novel concept)
Please, I encourage you to offer suggestions on players I should include, where to rank them and anything else that would make this slideshow more enjoyable for you.
Finally, a disclaimer: I’m a Twins fan, having said that I love individual players and will try to be as objective as possible. But, yes, if you see a White Sox/Yankees/Red Sox player ranked below a player in a Twins uni, there may be a little bit of homerism going on there.
Stats: 11 doubles, no triples, 25 home runs, 61 RBI, .208/.358/.502
See? I don’t hate the White Sox. In fact, I’ve got Mr. I’ll-Strike-Out-or-Hit-a-Home-Run right here at No. 20.
I could have easily put Trevor Plouffe here.
Dunn’s having a better season than last year and deserves to be recognized for that.
Stats: 20 doubles, no triples, 19 home runs, 50 RBI, .284/.364/.554
Stanton is here because of how he hits the ball.
I’d love to have a seat behind home plate in the Marlins’ new park just to hear him hit the ball (and honestly, I could probably just buy a cheap ticket there and sneak down after seeing how sparsely attended their games are).
Remember, this guy destroyed an outfield screen in Miami with one of his bombs.
Stats: 14 doubles, no triples, 23 home runs, 58 RBI, .295/.382/.565
Encarnacion’s numbers are impressive, but the fact that he’s a designated hitter and offers nothing in the field hurts him in the rankings a little bit.
Stats: 10 doubles, 2 triples, 23 home runs, 48 RBI, .248/.352/.502
And look, I’ve got a Yankee already too.
A centerfielder with power numbers is always impressive to see. Granderson’s home run total is great, but it’s his average that keeps him from crawling up higher on the list.
Stats: 17 doubles, 5 triples, 9 home runs, 38 RBI, .332/.408/.545
Jackson is another centerfielder that anyone would love to have in his or her lineup.
He’s hitting well for average and isn’t a lousy power hitter either.
Stats: 15 doubles, 3 triples, 12 homeruns, 40 RBI, .341/.397/.562
Bryce Harper who?
It may be a little sinful to have Trout and Harper, but Trout’s putting up big-boy numbers at age 20.
His performance has overshadowed that of his can’t-legally-drink-yet brethren in Washington (no small feat) and some guy named Albert Pujols in his own dugout.
Stats: 18 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 41 RBI, .326/.416/.449
I’m a homer, but I’d like to think I’m fair.
In all honesty, I was thinking about putting Mauer at No. 1, 2 and 3, but 14 seems about right for Minnesota’s hometown hero.
The catcher (and kinda first baseman) has returned to form after an injury-plagued season and is hitting for average, even though it would be nice to see him put up power numbers, even in spacious Target Field.
Stats: 18 doubles, 7 triples, 8 home runs, 44 RBI, .353/.391/.519
The former New York Yankee bounced around a bit, with stays in Atlanta and Kansas City before finding a home in San Francisco.
He looks like he’s found a home by the bay. Cabrera surpassed Willie Mays, a beloved figure in San Fran, when he hit 51 hits in May.
Stats: 15 doubles, no triples, 14 home runs, 42 RBI, .329/.404/.528
Even as a Twins fan, I can acknowledge that Paul Konerko is one of the best players in baseball.
Stats: 27 doubles, 2 triples, 11 home runs, 59 RBI, .351/.441/.563
He might get a little overshadowed playing for New York’s other baseball team (sorry, Queens!), but Wright is a bona fide superstar.
He’s put up both average and power numbers while fielding the hot corner for the Mets.
Stats: 26 doubles, 1 triples, 20 home runs, 51 RBI, .313/.374/.578
The Yankees’ homegrown superstar (yes, there is such a thing), Cano is putting up great numbers this season, outplaying superstar teammates Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.
Stats: 12 doubles, no triples, 27 home runs, 65 RBI, .244/.360/.540
Yeah, his average isn’t all that great, but Bautista is tied with Hamilton for the most home runs in the league, so he’s going to get a little love here.
Stats: 15 doubles, 3 triples, 22 home runs, 57 RBI, .306/.358/.608
Teammate Mike Trout may be getting all the love nationally, but fans in Anaheim know that Trumbo is on pace to not only match, but surpass the impressive numbers he put up last year.
Stats: 21 doubles, no triples, 13 home runs, 46 RBI, .350/.412/.584
Catching one of the league’s best rotations (or at least they used to be) is no easy feat, but then throw being a quality hitter as a catcher, and damn, this guy is good.
Stats: 14 doubles, 2 doubles, 24 home runs, 61 RBI, .306/.391/.599
After his outstanding performance in the All-Star Game and a phenomenal start to the season, Braun has done what he can to make fans and media alike forget about his steroid incident.
Stats: 35 doubles, no triples, 14 home runs, 48 RBI, .348/.471/.617
Hitting three home runs in a day? That’s pretty sick.
Stats: 25 doubles, no triples, 22 home runs, 57 RBI, .312/.406/.607
Hitting 400 home runs over the span of your career? That’s something to be proud of.
Stats: 19 doubles, 4 triples, 17 home runs, 58 RBI, .330/.389/.578
Hitting three home runs while playing on my fantasy team? Priceless.
(There are some things money can buy that the Yankees don’t have.)
Stats: 17 doubles, 5 triples, 18 home runs, 60 RBI, .362/.414/.625
What’s more impressive than hitting three home runs in a game?
Pretty much single-handedly turning around the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.
Stats: 15 doubles, 1 triple, 27 home runs, 75 RBI, .308/.380/.635
Despite suffering from the Sports Illustrated cover jinx a little bit, Hamilton is still hands-down the best player in baseball right now.