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Ranking the Top 50 MLB Players from 2012

Doug MeadCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2017

Ranking the Top 50 MLB Players from 2012

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    Back in October, I gave my take on the top 50 MLB players of the 2012 season.

    Now over three months later, it's time to look back at those selections and see if anything has changed.

    A re-ordering of sorts could be in the cards for some—the October ranking did not take into account postseason performances. In some cases, players have been added and dropped as well.

    Each player's previous ranking will be listed along with their review.

    Everyone's opinion varies on what constitutes the best, so no doubt a spirited and lively discussion based on each player's merits will ensue.

    In any event, here is a year-end look at the top 50 MLB players in 2012.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

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    Previous Rank: No. 47

    October Review:

50. Aaron Hill: Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    With the current list, Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill cracks the top 50.

    After a couple of rough seasons, Hill re-asserted himself offensively, hitting .302 with 26 home runs and 85 RBI. He earned the second Silver Slugger Award of his career as well.

    Hill was one of the most consistent contributors for the Diamondbacks offense all season and looks to continue an upward trend in 2013.

49. Kris Medlen: Atlanta Braves

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    Previous Rank: No. 46

    October Review:

48. Yovani Gallardo: Milwaukee Brewers

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    Previous Rank: No. 45

    October Review:

47. Allen Craig: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Previous Rank: No. 44

    October Review:

46. Alex Rios: Chicago White Sox

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    Previous Rank: No. 43

    October Review:

45. Billy Butler: Kansas City Royals

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    Previous Rank: No. 42

    October Review:

44. Ian Desmond: Washington Nationals

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    Upon further review, it was clear that Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond deserved inclusion on this list.

    Despite missing nearly a month with an oblique injury, Desmond hit .292 with 25 home runs and 73 RBI. His .845 OPS was second in the majors among shortstops and his 5.4 WAR was second as well.

    Desmond also captured his first-ever Silver Slugger Award along with his first All-Star selection.

43. Rafael Soriano: New York Yankees

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    Previous Rank: No. 40

    October Review:

42. Kyle Lohse: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Previous Rank: No. 39

    October Review:

41. Aroldis Chapman: Cincinnati Reds

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    Previous Rank: No. 38

    October Review:

40. Yoenis Cespedes: Oakland Athletics

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    Previous Rank: No. 35

    October Review:

39. Austin Jackson: Detroit Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 36

    October Review:

38. Albert Pujols: Los Angeles Angels

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    Previous Rank: No. 32

    October Review:

37. Josh Reddick: Oakland Athletics

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    The Boston Red Sox traded outfielder Josh Reddick to the Oakland A's last offseason for closer Andrew Bailey and reserve outfielder Mark Sweeney.

    They likely now rue that transaction.

    Reddick came alive for Oakland, leading the way offensively with 32 home runs and 85 RBI. Reddick also showed off a powerful arm from right field, picking up 15 assists along with his first-ever Gold Glove Award.

    Reddick was not included in the original top 50. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, it was clear he belonged.

36. Adam LaRoche: Washington Nationals

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    Previous Rank: No. 41

    October Review:

35. Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals

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    Previous Rank: No. 34

    October Review:

34. Cole Hamels: Philadelphia Phillies

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    Previous Rank: No. 31

    October Review:

33. Edwin Encarnacion: Toronto Blue Jays

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    Previous Rank: No. 30

    October Review:

32. Chris Sale: Chicago White Sox

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    Previous Rank: No. 28

    October Review:

31. Johnny Cueto: Cincinnati Reds

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    Previous Rank: No. 27

    October Review:

30. David Wright: New York Mets

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    Previous Rank: No. 26

    October Review:

29. Giancarlo Stanton: Miami Marlins

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    Previous Rank: No. 25

    October Review:

28. Jim Johnson: Baltimore Orioles

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    Previous Rank: No. 24

    October Review:

27. Aramis Ramirez: Milwaukee Brewers

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was left off the original top 50 ranking in October.

    That oversight has been corrected.

    Ramirez was brilliant in his first season for the Brewers. Adding another potent bat to the offense, Ramirez delivered with a .300 average, 27 home runs and 105 RBI.

    He led the National League with 50 doubles and posted an impressive .901 OPS. National League MVP Award voters showed Ramirez some love as well, giving him enough votes to place ninth overall.

26. Joey Votto: Cincinnati Reds

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    Previous Rank: No. 23

    October Review:

25. Matt Holliday: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Previous Rank: N/A

    St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday was another player left off the original top 50 list published in October.

    That was another omission that has been corrected.

    Holliday was outstanding in his third full season with the Cardinals, hitting .295 with 27 home runs, 102 RBI and an .877 OPS.

    Holliday garnered his third All-Star selection in as many seasons and continues to provide consistent production in the middle of the Cardinals batting order.

24. Prince Fielder: Detroit Tigers

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    Previous Rank: No. 22

    October Review:

23. Felix Hernandez: Seattle Mariners

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    Previous Rank: No. 21

    October Review:

22. Adam Jones: Baltimore Orioles

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    Previous Rank: No. 12

    October Review:

21. Jered Weaver: Los Angeles Angels

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    Previous Rank: No. 20

    October Review:

20. Joe Mauer: Minnesota Twins

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    Previous Rank: No. 18

    October Review:

19. Fernando Rodney: Tampa Bay Rays

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    Previous Rank: No. 19

    October Review:

18. Craig Kimbrel: Atlanta Braves

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    Previous Rank: No. 33

    October Review:

17. Matt Cain: San Francisco Giants

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    Previous Rank: No. 17

    October Review:

16. Gio Gonzalez: Washington Nationals

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    Previous Rank: No. 16

    October Review:

15. Chase Headley: San Diego Padres

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    Previous Rank: No. 15

    October Review:

14. Derek Jeter: New York Yankees

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    13. Clayton Kershaw: Los Angeles Dodgers

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      Previous Rank: No. 29

      October Review:

    12. Josh Hamilton: Texas Rangers

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      Previous Rank: No. 13

      October Review:

    11. Andrew McCutchen: Pittsburgh Pirates

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      Previous Rank: No. 10

      October Review:

    10. Yadier Molina: St. Louis Cardinals

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      Previous Rank: No. 9

      October Review:

    9. Justin Verlander: Detroit Tigers

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      Previous Rank: No. 8

      October Review:

    8. David Price: Tampa Bay Rays

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      Previous Rank: No. 11

      October Review:

    7. Robinson Cano: New York Yankees

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      6. R.A. Dickey: New York Mets

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        Previous Rank: No. 7

        October Review:

      5. Adrian Beltre: Texas Rangers

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        Previous Rank: No. 5

        October Review:

      4. Ryan Braun: Milwaukee Brewers

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        Previous Rank: No. 3

        October Review:

      3. Buster Posey: San Francisco Giants

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        Previous Rank: No. 4

        October Review:

      2. Mike Trout: Los Angeles Angels

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        Previous Rank: No. 2

        October Review:

      1. Miguel Cabrera: Detroit Tigers

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        Previous Rank: No. 1

        October Review:

        Sorry, but for me, nothing trumps a Triple Crown.

        Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to achieve the rare feat, hitting .330 with 44 HR and 139 RBI.

        Despite others in the media who will attempt to downplay the significance of a Triple Crown, it hasn't been achieved in 45 years.

        With all of the bashing going on in the 1990s and despite several players coming close (most recently Albert Pujols, 2009), it's an achievement even more rare than a perfect game, more rare than hitting four home runs in a single game.

        It's even more rare than an unassisted triple play.

        For me, that trumps everything.

        It still trumps everything.

        Cabrera won the AL MVP Award in rather convincing fashion, capturing 22 of 28 first-place votes. Trout captured the remaining six.

        For all of the talk from sabermetric experts about Trout's superior skills, very few voters were ready to deny Cabrera the award.

        Trout will likely have his day in the sun at some point in the future in terms of hoisting an MVP trophy. But for this season, Cabrera's Triple Crown effort ruled the day, and the year.

         

        Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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