Writer's Choice: MLB Edition

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2008

These are my picks of my favorite MLB player from each of the league’s 30 teams. These players were not selected based primarily on their abilities, but also for the excitement that they bring to the game as well as their composure on and off the field. Anyway, here are my picks. Feel free to let me know what you think and to state some of your own personal picks as well.

1)     New York Yankees: Joba Chamberlain (Pitcher)

With less than one Major League season under his belt, Joba has already managed to wow fans and opposing batters alike with his 100 mph fastball, dangerous curveball, and exciting demeanor. All in all, Chamberlain is bringing a level.


2)     Boston Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury (Center Field)

While I hate the Red Sox with a passion, I had to choose someone. While the baseball world hasn’t seen much of Ellsbury yet, he performed exceptionally well last year when it mattered the most. In addition, many feel his playing style resembles that of Grady Sizemore, which says a lot.


3)     Toronto Blue Jays: Roy Halladay (Pitcher)

Halladay is one of the game’s most complete pitchers. He has the velocity, control, stuff, and stamina to continue dominating big league hitters.


4)     Baltimore Orioles: Nick Markaikas (Right Field)

Nick pretty much won this one by default, as there aren’t too many interesting players on the Orioles anymore. Anyway, Markaikas has the all- around type of ability that makes him one of the few bright spots on a poor team.


5)     Tampa Bay Rays: Carl Crawford (Left Field)

Crawford is arguably the most athletic player currently in the Major Leagues. With his tremendous speed, along with his unquestioned talent in the batter’s box as well as within the field, Carl Crawford is undoubtedly my favorite player to watch for the Rays.


6)     Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore (Center Field)

Sizemore possesses an all- out style of play that hasn’t been seen in the majors since the arrival of Derek Jeter. Already an all star caliber player, the scariest thing about him is that he’s only getting better.


7)     Detroit Tigers: Joel Zumaya (Pitcher)

103 mph fastball. Enough said.


8)     Chicago White Sox: Bobby Jenks (Pitcher)

Jenks is a quality young closer with a fiery fastball, and he’s already proven himself in a World Series. What more could you ask for?


9)     Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer (Catcher)

One of the most talented young catchers the game has seen in years, Joe possesses the kind of abilities and drive that scouts could only dream of.


10)  Kansas City Royals: Joakim Soria (Pitcher)

Once an under the radar pitcher in Mexico, Soria is now one of the few bright spots for the Royals.


11)  Los Angeles Angels: Vladimir Guerrero (Right Field)

Perhaps the most talented batter in the game today, Guerrero somehow manages to hit absolutely anything that comes his way.


12)  Oakland Athletics: Huston Street (Pitcher)

Yet another bright young closer who made a hyper leap from dominating the college ranks to doing the same thing at the pro level. He’s as good of evidence as any as to why young prospects should consider staying in school.


13)  Seattle Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki (Center Field)

Ichiro is by far the most talented player ever to come out of Japan. With his gold glove defense, rifle arm, blazing speed, and ultra- efficient yet highly unorthodox batting style, Ichiro is the type of player that puts fans in the seats


14)  Texas Rangers: Michael Young (Shortstop) 

Michael is simply a complete, solid shortstop.


15)  New York Mets: Jose Reyes (Shortstop)

Jose is one of the most exciting players to watch in Major League Baseball today. His blazing speed combined with his offensive and defensive prowess make his an explosive player in what is sometimes looked at as an otherwise lackadaisical game.


16)  Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley (2nd Base)

Simply stated, Chase is by far the greatest talent at his position.


17)  Atlanta Braves: John Smoltz (Pitcher)

A super athletic pitcher, Smoltz has dominated as both a closer and as a starter through his big league career. Some say he could’ve been a gold glove center fielder too if he wanted too.


18)  Florida Marlins: Hanley Ramirez (Shortstop)

While his defensive certainly has some catching up to do, Hanley is already the greatest offensive shortstop in the game at a very young age.


19)  Washington Nationals: Nick Johnson (1st Base)

Since his days with the Yankees, Nick has always been a favorite of mine. He’s a surprisingly efficient batter, and he has a calm demeanor at the plate that some elders tell me reminds them of Babe Ruth himself.


20)  Chicago Cubs: Alfonso Soriano (Left Field)

During his days with the Yankees, Soriano was probably my favorite player in the game. His combination of speed and power is simply amazing.


21)  St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols (1st Base)

Albert is arguably the brightest star in the game today. His talent level combined with his consistency could result in his name being mentioned along the likes of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron by time he calls it a career.


22)  Cincinnati Reds: Ken Griffey Jr. (Right Field)

Despite some injuries that derailed what should have been one of the greatest baseball careers in history, Griffey is still working hard to make magic happen on the baseball diamond.


23)  Houston Astros: Hunter Pence: (Center Field)

One of the hottest prospects currently in the big leagues, Pence has the work ethic and ability to do some big things at the game’s highest level.


24)  Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun (Left Field)

While his defensive was horrendous last season, his batting was out of this world. Now playing in the much simpler left field, Ryan Braun just may become an all- around monster.


25)  Pittsburgh Pirates: Jason Bay (Left Field)

Jason Bay is one of the few good players on a lackluster team.


26)  Arizona Diamondbacks: Micah Owings (Pitcher)

I cannot say enough about Micah Owings. As a rookie last season, he has already established himself as the best offensive pitcher since Babe Ruth himself. Now with talk about Micah playing a position on some days that he doesn’t pitch, it may be time for Owings to show us just how special he really is.


27)  Colorado Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki (Shortstop)

Troy was one of the most impressive rookies to come into the league last season. Already, many would consider him the best defensive shortstop in the game, although he was snubbed by voters for the gold glove last season. With a bat that isn’t too far behind and a knack for playing well in the clutch, Troy may eventually become an elite player in baseball.


28)  Los Angeles Dodgers: Russell Martin (Catcher)

If being the only catcher currently in the Majors capable of stealing bases isn’t enough of a reason to watch this guy, his solid work at the plate as well as behind it should help.


29)  San Diego Padres: Jake Peavy (Pitcher)

Simply stated, Peavy is one of the more dominant strikeout pitchers currently in the game.


30)  San Francisco Giants: Tim Lincerum (Pitcher)

While he is still a largely unproven commodity, the little man with the big time stuff is as exciting to watch as any pitcher out there in the big leagues today.


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