Three down and one to go.
That’s a phrase you almost never hear in Major League Baseball, primarily because there are only three outs in an inning. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Two down and one to go,” about a billion times. But this time, we’re talking about the quarters of the season. There is only one quarter left before the playoffs commence.
Playoff teams are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack and some of the major award races are starting to take shape. Now is a perfect time to reflect how the first three quarters of the year have gone, and which players have really stood out from the others. In other words, who has been baseball’s best player?
For the last few days, I’ve been busy looking at numbers, numbers and more numbers trying to answer that question. I’ve come up with a list of the top 50 players at the three-quarter mark. In order to do so, I gave each player a ranking and used their WAR for the year to give them a number of points.
For those wondering, a player’s WAR accounted for 50 percent of their point total and my rankings accounted for the remaining 50 percent. I sorted the players by total number of points and the top 50 made the list, and are in order on the following slides. There will be disagreements, of course, as this isn’t a perfect list.
Everyone is titled to their own opinion on the matter. This article is just my two cents—or 50 cents—on which players have performed at the highest level throughout the year. So, without wasting any more of your time, here are the 50 best players in baseball this season.
All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. All injury information was obtained via Baseball Prospectus unless otherwise noted and all contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.