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2011 MLB Player Rankings: Top 50 Position Players

Steve ChottCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2011

2011 MLB Player Rankings: Top 50 Position Players

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    We're one week away from the start of the baseball season, and I'm starting to feel it. Spring Training is in full swing and the boys of summer are getting ready for the real deal.

    With all of this approaching, here's a list of the top 50 position players in baseball. This list was made by looking at the recent past and how they will perform in the future.

50: Alex Rios, Outfielder, Chicago White Sox

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    Coming in at No. 50 on the list, Alex Rios is a two-time All Star and batted .284 with 21 home runs and 88 RBI in 2010.

49: Jay Bruce, Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds

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    With 25 HR's and 75 RBI, not only was Jay Bruce a good guy to have in the Reds lineup his 4.3 WAR rating was among the best in the league and the main reason he made the list at number 49.

48: Shane Victorino, Outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies

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    At number 48, The "Flyin Hawaiian" Shane Victorino has had good success ever since he replaced Bobby Abreu in 2006.

    A Gold Glove Winner and an All Star, Victorino becomes the best outfielder on a very good Phillies team now that Jayson Werth took big money to go to the Nationals.

47: Andrew McCutchen, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    The only bright spot on the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates is Andrew McCutchen, who batted .286 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI.

    McCutchen, who won the 2009 Rookie of the Year award, was also fifth in the National League last season with 33 stolen bases.

46: Hunter Pence, Outfielder, Houston Astros

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    In his first four seasons, Hunter Pence has flown under the radar of most baseball fans, most likely because he plays for the Astros who have been irrelevant in his time there.

    In 2010, Pence hit .282 with 25 home runs, 91 RBI and an OBP of .325.

45: Chipper Jones, Third Baseman, Atlanta Braves

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    A former MVP and six-time All-Star, Chipper Jones has had a very good career. With that being said, I don't expect anything special from Chipper this year.

    He's been on the decline since 2008 and with the ACL injury he suffered last year, his days are numbered. He is still No. 45 on the list, though.

44: Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets

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    With a good combination of hitting and speed, Jose Reyes is a big threat when he is healthy.

    On the abysmal Mets, Reyes has missed games in the past two years with injury but was still good enough to make a trip to his third All-Star Game last year.

43: Dan Uggla, Second Baseman, Atlanta Braves

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    When the Braves acquired Dan Uggla in the offseason, they got themselves a very strong power hitter.

    A two-time All Star and Silver Slugger, Uggla is a good addition for the Braves and could help get them back into the postseason.

42: Jose Bautista, Outfielder, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Even though he may be too one dimensional for my liking, Jose Bautista's pure power hitting puts him at number 43.

    Bautista led the league with 54 home runs, but batted .260. Bautista is all power and while he may have alot of it, it's not enough to have him higher than 43.

41: Torii Hunter, Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem

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    Even though he is on the decline, Torii Hunter is still a very good player. A four time All Star and nine time gold glover, Hunter still batted .281 and knocked in 90 runs.

40: Carlos Quentin, Outfielder, Chicago White Sox

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    The second White Sox outfielder on the list, Quentin was a first-half MVP candidate before he suffered an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the year.

    Expect for Quentin to come back healthy and have another great year.

39: Corey Hart, Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers

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    A two time all Star, Corey Hart really came on last year hitting 31 home runs and 102 RBI. Hart will be a very valuable part of the Brewers this season.

38: Delmon Young, Outfielder, Minnesota Twins

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    Last year the Twins made Delmon Young their starting left fielder and it sure payed off for them. Young hit .298 with 21 HR's and 112 RBI.

37: Adam Dunn, First Baseman/DH, Chicago White Sox

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    Even though Dunn is a below average fielder, his pure power hitting puts him on this list. Dunn hit 38 HR's last year to go along with .536 SLG percentage.

36: Nelson Cruz, Outfielder, Texas Rangers

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    A key part in getting Texas to the World Series, Nelson Cruz hit .318 with 22 HRs and 78 RBI in just 108 games.

35: Shin-Soo Choo, Outfielder, Cleveland Indians

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    Shin-Soo Who? Last season Shin-Soo Choo had a league leading 7.3 WAR rating and also hit 20 HR's with 20 stolen bases, making him a member of the 20-20 club and a deserving member to this list.

34: Vernon Wells, Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    After being traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Vernon Wells will look for a fresh start for a contender.

    Wells is still a very good player, and while he's not as good as his contract would have you think, he will be a very good piece for the Angels this season.

33: Kendrys Morales, First Baseman, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    Last season, Kendrys Morales got off to a good start before going down with one of the strangest injuries in recent history.

    If he's healthy though, I expect Morales to be back on track this year and to have another good season.

32: Prince Fielder, First Baseman, Milwaukee Brewers

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    We've seen in the past couple of years what Prince Fielder can do when healthy and motivated so it will be interesting to see what he can do this year with the Brewers or another team, as his name has been floated around in trade rumors since last season.

    Fielder would be a great addition to any team's lineup.

31: Paul Konerko, First Baseman, Chicago White Sox

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    Last year, Paul Konerko had one of the best seasons of his career hitting .312 with 39 HR's and 111 RBI.

    Even though Konerko is starting to get older, I think he still has a 25 HR, 90 RBI season left for this year.

30: Michael Young, Infielder, Texas Rangers

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    The biggest name going around in spring training is Michael Young, who has asked to be traded.

    Young is a very good batter and fielder and shouldn't have a problem finding a home when the Rangers are willing to trade him.

29: Ian Kinsler, Second Baseman, Texas Rangers

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    Teammate of No. 30 on this list, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler started last season on the disabled list.

    When he's healthy, though, Kinsler is a very dangerous weapon and has been a member of the 20-20 and 30-30 clubs in the past three years.

28: Jason Heyward, Outfielder, Atlanta Braves

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    Second in the Rookie of the Year voting last season, there is no doubt that Jason Heyward is on his way to a bright career.

    In his second year, expect Heyward to impress even more than he did last year and make the All-Star Game.

27: Victor Martinez, Catcher/First Baseman, Detroit Tigers

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    Even though he took the money and left Boston, he got big money for a reason. An all star last year and a former Silver Slugger, Martinez hit 20 HR's and batted .302.

26: Buster Posey, Catcher, San Francisco Giants

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    The 2010 Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey's combination of hitting and catching was essential to the Giants' World Series run.

    Just like Jason Heyward, Posey has a bright MLB future.

25: Jayson Werth, Outfielder, Washington Nationals

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    Okay, so he took the money and ran to Washington. Still though, Werth is a great player.

    Not nearly enough to carry the Nats, but Werth could definitely make this team interesting along with Stephen Strasburg.

24: Adrian Beltre, Third Baseman, Texas Rangers

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    Is there a trend here? Another free agent this offseason, Beltre left the Red Sox to become a member of the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers.

    With 102 RBI, Beltre put together one of his best seasons last year with the Red Sox.

23: Ryan Braun, Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers

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    An All-Star and Silver Slugger last season, Ryan Braun has come on in the past two seasons and is starting to prove himself as an elite player.

    Since winning the Rookie of the Year in 2007, he has been to the All-Star Game every year since.

22: Adrian Gonzalez, First Baseman, Boston Red Sox

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    Adrian Gonzalez will not only bring power to the new Red Sox lineup in 2011, but he also brings along his two Gold Gloves at first base.

21: Jimmy Rollins, Shortstop, Philadelphia Phillies

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    A former MVP and Gold Glover, Rollins will have to get healthy to be able to have the effect I believe he will.

    If Rollins is healthy, though, he will be another dangerous part of this Phillies team in the field and at bat.

20: Derek Jeter, Shortstop, New York Yankees

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    Number 20? But this is Derek Jeter! Mr. November! Captain Clutch!

    Yes, Jeter has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career, but coming off his worst season, it's clear his batting and fielding skills are diminishing, which is what keeps him this low.

    Don't be surprised if Jeter bounces back this season, though, and proves all of his critics wrong.

19: Ichiro Suzuki, Outfielder, Seattle Mariners

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    No matter how old he gets, it seems Ichiro's skills haven't gotten worse at all.

    He's never finished with a batting average below .300, never had fewer than 200 hits, always won a Gold Glove and rarely gets hurt.

    Ichiro has unbelievable endurance and can get base hits like no other.

18: Dustin Pedroia, Second Baseman, Boston Red Sox

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    After missing 87 games last season with a foot injury, the former MVP Red Sox second baseman should be back and ready to help this new-look Sox team to achieve their high expectations with his good fielding and better batting.

17: Kevin Youkilis, First Baseman/Third Baseman, Boston Red Sox

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    Another injured Red Sox player, Youkilis will hope to bounce back with an injury-free season.

    Youkilis should have his power and get many walks as usual.

    It will be interesting to see how Youkilis will play third base full-time, which is most likely to happen with the Red Sox getting Adrian Gonzalez.

16: Matt Holliday, Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals

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    A Silver Slugger and an All Star, Matt Holliday is one of the best hitting duos with Albert Pujols.

    In the year and a half with the Cardinals, Holliday has hit over 40 home runs and 150 RBI.

15: Mark Teixeira, First Baseman, New York Yankees

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    Even though he struggles at times at the plate, Mark Teixeira makes it so high on this list because of his outstanding fielding.

    Tex's glove saves the behinds of his Yankees teammates.

14: Miguel Cabrera, First Baseman, Detroit Tigers

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    Even though he's had a rough offseason, I don't see why he won't be fine for the start of the season.

    He's reported and looked fine so far, and I fully expect Cabrera to be in the All-Star Game.

13: Justin Morneau, First Baseman, Minnesota Twins

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    Even though it's taken him awhile to rehab from his concussion, Morneau is finally back and playing for the Twins. I think Morneau could be a sleeper for AL MVP this season.

12: Chase Utley, Second Baseman, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Even though Chase Utley has been placed on the DL, when Utley returns, he will be an important part of this Phillies lineup, especially without Jayson Werth.

11: Hanley Ramirez, Shortstop, Florida Marlins

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    Last season Hanley Ramirez had a decline from his stellar 2009, which may have had something to do with a quarrel with manager Fredi Gonzalez.

    Gonzalez is out, though, and I expect Hanley to be an All-Star and in the thick on the MVP race.

10: Troy Tulowitzki, Shortstop, Colorado Rockies

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    Last season, Troy Tulowitzki was an All-Star, Gold Glove winner and won the Silver Slugger award for his position.

    Not only his bat, but Tulo's glove will start to separate him as one of the best shortstops in the next couple of years.

9: Alex Rodriguez, Third Baseman, New York Yankees

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    In the past two years, A-Rod has started to get held back by injury and aging. Then again, in his prime A-Rod was unbelievable.

    A-Rod is most definitely still a top hitter in the league and still has a good glove.

8: Evan Longoria, Third Baseman, Tampa Bay Rays

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    In his first three years, Evan Longoria has torn up the league, which is especially hard to do in the AL East.

    Not only is Longoria a Silver Slugger, he's also got a good glove to go along with it.

7: Joey Votto, First Baseman, Cincinnati Reds

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    The reigning NL MVP, Joey Votto put up incredible numbers with 37 HR's and 113 RBI.

    In the year of the pitcher, Votto was killing the ball and is sure to again this year.

6: Robinson Cano, Second Baseman, New York Yankees

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    There's no doubt in my mind right now that Robinson Cano is the best second baseman in baseball.

    He's a great hitter, can get base hits or home runs and is now the best on this Yankees team.

    He also has a great glove and you'll see him several times on "Web Gems."

5: Ryan Howard, First Baseman, Philadelphia Phillies

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    A big power hitter and the cleanup man for the Phillies, Ryan Howard got the contract extension that he deserved.

    Howard is always in the MVP race as long as he's healthy and has a decent glove.

4: Carl Crawford, Outfielder, Boston Red Sox

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    The newest member of the Red Sox may be the most complete person in this Top 10.

    He's a good hitter, a great fielder and is one of the best base stealers in the league.

3: Josh Hamilton, Outfielder, Texas Rangers

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    The story of Josh Hamilton is amazing, and now it's come full circle with him winning MVP.

    I see no problem with Hamilton winning MVP again, as his hitting is the best in the league.

2: Joe Mauer, Catcher, Minnesota Twins

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    One of the best defensive catchers in the league, Mauer is unquestionably one of the best in all of baseball.

    After being hurt for part of last season, Mauer should be back and healthy this season and could win his second MVP award.

1: Albert Pujols, First Baseman, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Was there any question Albert Pujols was going to be number 1?

    Pujols is a three-time MVP and if he stays healthy for the rest of his career, he should find himself in the Hall of Fame.

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