In a recent Sports Illustrated article, Tom Verducci named the 10 most powerful people in baseball, and the list was as follows:
1. Bud Selig, Commissioner
2. Mark Walter, Los Angeles Dodgers Chairman
3. Scott Boras, Agent
4. Bob Bowman, MLB Advanced Media CEO
5. Michael Weiner, MLBPA Executive Director
6. Rob Manfred, MLB Executive VP of Economics and League Affairs
7. Derek Jeter, Yankees SS
8. Tim Brosnan, MLB Executive VP of Business
9. Mike Trout, Angels OF and Bryce Harper, Nationals OF
10. Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees General Partner
It's a good collection of front office types, league officials and key players in the league today, and I think a good representation of the distribution of power throughout the league.
With that list in mind, here is my take on the 10 most powerful players in the MLB today:
1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees shortstop
The top player on Verducci's list gets the top spot here as well, as Jeter transcends his role as Yankees shortstop at this point in his career.
The shortstop is a living legend and essentially the face of the sport nationwide, as the most popular player on the most well-known team in the sport.
2. Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals pitcher
This past November, Guthrie was re-elected as one of two Associate Player Representatives of the player's union (h/t NBC Sports), which is the highest elected position in the union.
The 33-year-old also landed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Royals where he'll be a veteran leader on a young team.
3. Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees outfielder
The other Associate Player Representative, Granderson was also re-elected to the high-ranking post this past November.
Granderson attended the University of Illinois-Chicago before being taken in the third round of the 2002 draft.
4. Chris Capuano, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher
One of two Pension Committee Representatives, Capuano was also re-elected to his position in November after holing it the previous two seasons.
The 34-year-old graduated from Duke University with a 3.86 GPA and a degree in Economics, so he could have a solid career ahead of him once his playing days are over.
5. Craig Breslow, Boston Red Sox reliever
The other Pension Committee Representative, Breslow is newly appointed to the position this season, and he has an impressive background as well.
The 32-year-old graduated from Yale before being taken in the 26th round of the 2002 draft, and he scored a 1410 on his SAT in high school. He may well be considered the smartest player in the league.
6. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox first baseman
Konerko was named team captain back in 2006, and he has been the heart and soul of the White Sox team for the past 14 season while hitting 415 home runs and driving in 1,307 runs.
He is enough of a leader in the clubhouse that the team actually considered him for the open manager position last offseason before Robin Ventura was hired (h/t ESPN).
7. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals outfielder
Dubbed the "Chosen One" by Sports Illustrated as a high schooler back in 2009, Harper has long been viewed as a baseball prodigy, and he lived up to that billing in his debut last season.
He hit .270 with 22 home runs and 18 steals as a 19-year-old, and there is little question he is the face of the MLB moving forward and perhaps the most marketable player in the game today.
8. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels outfielder
He may not have entered the league with the hype of Harper, but there is little question Trout turned in the superior season and may even have the higher ceiling long term.
As a 20-year-old, he hit .326 with 30 home runs and 49 steals in what was perhaps the greatest rookie season in baseball history. His marketability will only skyrocket from here, and with all the superstars on the Angels roster, he may well be the biggest.
9. David Wright, New York Mets third baseman
While the Mets play second fiddle to the Yankees in the sports mecca that is New York, they are still in the spotlight nonetheless, and they have locked up the face of their franchise in Wright for the long haul.
With an eight-year, $138 million deal, Wright will likely close out his career in the Big Apple. He goes beyond being a Mets player as one of the faces of the MLB and an ambassador to the game, playing in his second World Baseball Classic.
10. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds first baseman
Not only is Votto one of the biggest stars in the game today, but he was recently named the "Face of MLB" in a bracket style competition held by MLB Network.
The final four came down to Votto, Jason Heyward, Andrew McCutchen and Matt Kemp, and he edged out Kemp in the finals.
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