MLB Power Rankings: Predicting the 50 Best Players of the 2010s

Brett Appley@@BrettAppleyCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Predicting the 50 Best Players of the 2010s

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    Barry Bonds
    Barry BondsMike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Barry Bonds is considered one of the greatest players of the last decade. He currently owns the season- and all-time records for most home runs.

    Maybe some superstar of the current decade will break a record of his own. While this decade has only just started, it's time to start predicting.

    I'm going to tell you which MLB players will be the 50 best of the 2010s.

50. Clay Buchholz, SP, Boston Red Sox

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 15:  Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 15, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Red Sox pitching has been elite for quite some time, and Clay Buchholz will be part of the Boston greats for a while.

    He recorded 17 wins last year and is only 26 years old, so he'll be getting better.

49. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    ST. LOUIS - AUGUST 1: Andrew McCutchen of the St. Louis Cardinals fields a fly ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on August 1, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Pirates 9-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Andrew McCutchen is going to be the leader of the Pirates soon enough. Although he's only 24, McCutchen has already made his mark on the MLB.

    Last year he hit over .280, and stole 33 bases.  His stock is going to be rising for a while.

48. Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

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    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  (EDITOR'S NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Desmond Jennings #27 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at Charlotte County Sports Park on February 26, 2010 in Port Charl
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Desmond Jennings is one of many excellent prospects for the Tampa Bay Rays. He entered the majors at the end of the season last year, and looks to take over Carl Crawford's position this year.

    At 24, Jennings is blisteringly fast and plays the outfield well. Look for him to become elite in the next few years.

47. Chris Carpenter, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

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    ST. LOUIS - JULY 15:  Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts to giving up a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium on July 15, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Being 35 years old doesn't help Carpenter's case much, but his Cy Young and 15-plus winning seasons do.

    Carpenter will probably have three years or so left of elite pitching, which in my vote, puts him into the top 50 of the decade.

46. Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 27:  Pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 27, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Verlander has emerged as the Tigers ace in the last few years and he is becoming more elite every season.

    He recorded 18 wins last season, and he will most likely continue that trend for a while as he is only 28 and entering his prime.

45. Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17:  Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies connects for a long fly ball out to advance the runners against the San Francisco Giants in Game Two of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 17, 201
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Chase Utley, 32, makes the list at spot 45. He's been the leader of the Phillies for the last couple years and made the All-Star team last year.

    He will probably be an all-star for a long time to come.

44. Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with the World Series Championship trophy out to the field after they won 3-1 against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlingt
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Matt Cain finished the season as one of the NL's best pitchers.

    He helped the San Francisco Giants to the World Series last year and is only 26 years old.

43. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Seattle Mariners

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners warms up in the on deck circle against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 26, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
    Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

    I was forced to put Ichiro so low on this list because he is an outstanding player and I see no end in sight for him, but he's already 37 years old and he might not play the rest of the decade.

    Even still, he will continue to be on top of the league in hits for a while. He's just too good to leave out.

42. Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland Indians

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 05:  Catcher Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Carlos Santana has yet to make his mark in the major leagues due to a season-ending injury last year, but he should emerge from the rubble this year.

    At 24, he has all the skills offensively and defensively to be a great player for a long time.

41. Josh Johnson, SP, Florida Marlins

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Josh Johnson #55 of the Florida Marlins throws a ptich during the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Johnson, 27, had a career year last year and was headed for a Cy Young award until he fell off at the end of the season.

    There is no doubt that he is the ace of the Marlins and he should contend for Cy Young consistently.

40. Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 13:  Starter Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 13, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    In 2006, Lester was diagnosed with cancer during the middle of the season. He has come so far since then by throwing a no-hitter, and winning a world championship.

    He is only 27 years old and entering his prime, and he should have a solid career by the end of the decade.

39. Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 10:  Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves against the San Francisco Giants during Game Three of the NLDS of the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Turner Field on October 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    McCann was one of the heroes for the National League last year during the All-Star game.

    He has shaped up to be one of the best catchers in baseball, and he is only 27.

38. Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets bats against the Atlanta Braves on September 17, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Braves defeated the Mets 6 - 4.  (Photo by Andrew Burt
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    With his blazing speed, and great defense, Jose Reyes is already an elite player at 27.

    If he can avoid injuries, Reyes should have a really good career.

37. Aroldis Chapman, RP/SP, Cincinnati Reds

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    CINCINNATI - OCTOBER 10: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the 9th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during game 3 of the NLDS at Great American Ball Park on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Phillies defeated the Reds 2
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Although he's barely been in the majors, the 23-year-old has a lot of hype surrounding him. Last year, Chapman threw the fastest pitch ever in baseball.

    If he can live up to the hype, Chapman will be an excellent player for a long time.

36. Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado Rockies

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    DENVER - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez #38 of the Colorado Rockies works against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on September 25, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Jiimenez failed to earn his 20th win of the season as the Dodgers defeated
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Ubaldo Jimenez, 27, started off the year strong and finished as one of the NL's top pitchers. He threw a no-hitter last year as well.

    This man has a lot of promise and he has many years left to show it.

35. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees makes a play for a ball on defense against the Texas Ranger in Game Six of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010 in Arlington, Tex
    Elsa/Getty Images

    This one is tough to call. Of course, A-Rod was one of the best players of the '90s but because he is already 35, I can't put him any higher on this list than 35.

    He will most likely put up a few more years of dominant numbers until his production slows down.

34. Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper #34, playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions, warms up on deck during the AZ Fall League game against the Phoenix Desert Dogs at Scottsdale Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Scottsdale, Ar
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Here is another player I put in based on hype.

    At 18, he might not even get to the majors for a year or two, but once he gets there, Harper should be effective immediately.

33. Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 15: Pitcher Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies is introduced to the media during a press conference at Citizens Bank Park on December 15, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Cliff Lee had an amazing season last year which led him to the World Series. Now, he is teaming up with the Phillies already excellent pitching staff.

    Lee, 32, should be able to put up Cy Young numbers pitching around the all-star lineup the Phillies have developed.

32. Mike Stanton, OF, Florida Marlins

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    PHOENIX - JULY 11:  Mike Stanton #27 of the Florida Marlins warms up on deck during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 11, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Marlins defeated the Diamondbacks 2-0.  (Photo by
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Stanton came into the majors last year and performed well for his club. He hit 22 homers in 100 games and he is only 21 years old.

    Stanton should play for the entire decade and put up some big numbers once he enters his prime.

31. Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 23:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants in Game Six of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Ryan Howard, 31, has been putting up monster numbers for a while. He helped lead the Phillies to a NLCS appearance last year and he looks to get even further this year.

    Howard is in his prime and should put up huge numbers for a while.

30. Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 21, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Halladay started off the decade with a Cy Young award and a no-hitter in the postseason. He is the ace in one of the best starting rotations ever.

    The reason I can't put him higher on this list is that he is already 33 years old but he has enough left in him to make the top 50.

29. Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds

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    CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates following the game against the Houston Astros at Great American Ball Park on September 28, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 3-2 to clinch the NL Central Division title after
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Bruce, along with Joey Votto, is the corps of this young Reds squad. He is only 23 years old and has already taken the Reds to the playoffs.

    Look for big things out of him in the next few years.

28. Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota Twins

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    OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 04:  Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins bats against the Oakland Athletics during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 4, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Injury plagued 29-year-old Justin Morneau last year and prevented him from having a monster season.

    He is the heart of the Twins lineup though, so he should still put up consistent numbers for a while.

27. Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals

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    WASHINGTON - AUGUST 10:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Florida Marlins at Nationals Park on August 10, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Strasburg, 22, had one of the most hyped first starts ever. And he lived up to it.

    Unfortunately for him, he has to sit this entire season out while he heals from surgery. He should be very exciting to watch once he comes back.

26. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 24:  Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on September 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Kershaw, 22, is looking like he will be the ace of the Dodgers very soon, if not by this year.

    He had 13 wins last year with an ERA under three. Look for him to improve on those numbers.

25. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 15, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Zimmerman hit 25 home runs last year and batted over .300. He is one of the centerpieces of the Washington franchise.

    Zimmerman is only 24 years old and should put up some monster numbers this year.

24. Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Starter Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on September 19, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Padres 4-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Image
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Adam Wainwright had a career year last year with 20 wins and an ERA under 2.5. He, along with Carpenter, makes the Cardinals rotation one of the best.

    Wainwright is the younger of the two pitchers at 29, and should take over the ace role shortly.

23. Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 24:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers strikes out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on September 24, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Matt Kemp, 26, is one of the keys to young LA Dodgers franchise. Although he had a little bit of a slumping year last year, Kemp should still put up big numbers.

    He is a great all-around guy who can hit, run and play defense and should perform up to his potential in the future.

22. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox

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    BOSTON - MAY 12:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after he struck out in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 12, 2010 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    This young second baseman already has a league MVP under his belt and should put up some fantastic numbers with the additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the squad for this year.

    If he can stay healthy, Pedroia, 27, has all-star potential.

21. David Wright, 3B, New York Mets

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets walks off after striking out in the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves on September 18, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    David Wright has already been in the league for a number of years and has shown he's one of the top third basemen in baseball.

    At 28, he should put up very consistent numbers the rest of the decade.

20. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston Red Sox

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    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 14:  Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the San Diego Padres bats against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on August 14, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    With the transition to the Boston Red Sox, Adrian Gonzalez's numbers should rise. He is protected in this lineup and should have a lot more opportunities to drive in runs.

    Plus, he's only 28 so Gonzalez is just entering his prime.

19. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 21:  Infielder Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies fields a ground ball out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on September 21, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (P
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    One of the Rockies two young offensive studs at 26, Tulowitzki is becoming consistently an elite player.

    He'll probably be in the top 20 players this year and for a while to come.

18. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 03:  Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants celebrates during the Giants' vicotry parade on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Thousands of Giants fans lined the streets of San Francisco to watch the San Francisco Gi
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Loved and adored by Giants fans everywhere, Posey, 24, came into the majors and took over the catching spot with an ability that hasn't been seen by Giants fans in a long time.

    He was a major contributor to the Giants success last year and he will only get better.

17. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

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    ATLANTA - JULY 15:  Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 15, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Like his father, Fielder has shown he can put up huge power numbers. He's only 26 years old and can easily keep up this production for the rest of the decade.

16. Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco Giants

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants and teammates celebrate defeating the Texas Rangers 3-1 to win the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo b
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Already having won two Cy Young awards and one World Series in his young career, Lincecum has also lead the league in strikeouts and has some of the best pitches in the game.

    He is just 26 and will continue to be an elite player for as long as his freakish body can take him.

15. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees

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    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 20:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after hitting a solo homerun in the third inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 20, 2010 in th
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Cano, 28, surprised everyone last year by hitting a boatload of home runs along with having one of the top averages in the league.

    If he can keep up that performance, Cano will be one of baseball's best in no time.

#14. Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    PHOENIX - AUGUST 04:  Justin Upton #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a RBI single against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on August 4, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Pete
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Being the younger brother of major leaguer B.J. Upton, Justin had a lot to live up to. He is only 23 years old but the potential he has shown is enough for him to be elite someday.

    Look for that day to come sooner than later.

13. Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 27:  Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins bats against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 27, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Twins won 6-3. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Another young player with a league MVP already under his belt, Mauer is widely considered as the best catcher in baseball.

    He is only 27 and should produce for a long time to come.

12. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 22:  Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies warms up in the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The second piece of the Rockies offensive is this man, Carlos Gonzalez. His talent was highly looked upon early in his career and he was traded to the Rockies from Oakland for Matt Holliday.

    Last year, Gonzalez, 25, absolutely dominated the game and put up legitimate all-star numbers. Don't be surprised if he does it again.

11. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 05:  Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on August 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    King Felix already has a Cy Young award this decade playing on a horrendous team.

    I was shocked to find out that he is only 24 years old. He could easily put up league leading numbers for the next 8-10 years.

10. Carl Crawford, OF, Boston Red Sox

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    BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 11:  Carl Crawford answers questions during a press conference announcing his signing with the Boston Red Sox on December 11,  2010 at the Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    One of the most well-rounded players in baseball, Crawford, 29, should put up even better numbers with his movement to Boston.

    He has shown no signs of slowing down and has even gotten better his last couple years of playing. He should definitely be considered as one of the top 10 in baseball.

9. David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

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    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 06:  Pitcher David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Texas Rangers during Game 1 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on October 6, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    David Price was one of many young and talented players to come out of the Rays minor league system.

    Last year, he was one of the best pitchers in the league and started the All-Star game for the AL.

    Although he plays in a very tough division, Price, 25, is still one of the best overall players and I believe he will be considered the best one of the decade.

8. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds

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    CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 12:  Joey Votto #19 of  the Cincinnati Reds is at bat during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark on September 12, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Votto basically carried the Reds on his back for a while last year and was named NL MVP. He beat out players like Pujols and Carlos Gonzalez.

    Votto has already emerged as an elite player, and being only 27 years old, he should stay that way for many years.

7. Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers reacts after he hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Octob
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The story of how Josh Hamilton, 29, got to where he is now is a great one, but the numbers he has put up in the last couple years is even better.

    He helped the Rangers to a World Series appearance last year and hit a whopping 32 homers with a very high average as well.

6. Ryan Braun, OF, Milwuakee Brewers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04:  Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Brewers defeated the Dodgers 11-6.  (Photo by Jeff G
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Braun hit 25 homers last year and batted over .300, so that alone should make him elite.

    At 27, he isn't even in his prime yet, so Braun's numbers will rise. He is in a good lineup right now that should give him a good chance to perform.

5. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves against the New York Mets at Turner Field on September 1, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The "Jay Hey Kid," as some are starting to refer to him as, was yet another player that had huge hype coming into the majors.

    In his first at bat, he crushed a ball into the stands. He continued to play very well until he was injured, which took some momentum out from under him.

    If he can avoid injury, Heyward, 21, will easily make this list at where I have him now.

4. Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

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    OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 20:  Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays in action against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum  on August 20, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Longoria is another great all-around player. He can hit, run and is great on defense.

    He is becoming the leader of Rays with Crawford gone, and is still only 25 years old. He should be an All-Star every single year.

3. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 25:  Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins successfully slides into home off of Gaby Sanchez's #14 (not shown) sacrifice fly in the third inning on August 25, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of Ne
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Hanley Ramirez is already one of the best players in the majors, if not the best. He is lightning-quick and can hit the ball with ease.

    Still a youngster at 27, he will be considered the best shortstop of the decade.

2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers

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    DETROIT - JULY 25: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers gets ready to bat during the first inning against the  Toronto Blue Jays on July 25, 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 5-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Miguel Cabrera has come a long way since his days on the Marlins. He is now one of the best players in baseball and is a consistent all-star.

    MCab is still 27 and should put up huge numbers for a long time.

1. Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals

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    PHOENIX - JUNE 11:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 11, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Here it is. No. 1, Albert Pujols.

    The only reason this wasn't an automatic choice for me was his age. He is 31, and will probably play most of the decade.

    Last year, he put up MVP-type numbers, although he didn't win the award. Pujols will continue to put up those numbers and will be considered the best player of the decade when the time comes.