Albert Pujols and the 25 Best Players in the MLB Right Now

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IApril 9, 2011

Albert Pujols and the 25 Best Players in the MLB Right Now

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    Many things decide a great baseball player. Catching. Throwing. Average. Home Runs. Stolen Bases. RBI. Runs. Leadership.

    All these things go into account when counting down the list of the 25 best position players in baseball. Many people debate and argue on who are the best players, but here is my own list.

25. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

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    The former AL MVP has shown he can do it all in the MLB. Despite his small stature, he can still hit for power, while also hitting .304 for his career. The second baseman has shown ability to also steal bases, score runs and provide energy and leadership to the Boston clubhouse.

24. Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland Indians

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    Perhaps the least known superstar in the league, Shin-Soo Choo is the perfect example of a great player on a bad team. A career .294 hitter, Choo has shown the ability to hit for power, average and drive in runs. A 30/30 year is in his near future.

23. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies

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    The Rockies outfielder is fresh off a breakout year which saw him hit a ridiculous .336 while also clobbering 34 HR and 117 RBI. The youngster has also shown off a nice glove and a great energy in the dugout. The only thing that keeps him from being deeper on the list is that he calls the hitter-friendly Coors Field home.

22. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

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    The veteran is the definition of a superstar. He hits for power, average and drives in runs. No one can disagree that A-Rod is a once in a lifetime talent, but his admitted steroid use keeps him from being further up on the list. 

21. Ichiro, Seattle Mariners

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    The man known by only one name is a modern legend. After a superstar career in Japan, he came over to the MLB and continued to dominate, breaking the hits record for a single season with 262. Ichiro has done everything but the sad thing is he remains on one of the worst teams in the MLB. 

20. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox

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    The Youk is a great player. He was a late-bloomer in the big league, not making the transition from good player to superstar until he was 29. But I don't think it matters, as the Red Sox star has shown he has plenty of fuel left in the tank.

19. Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox

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    The newest member of the Red Sox has shown that he can do anything in this league. Arguably the fastest man in the big leagues, Crawford is a reliable contributor in home runs, RBI, runs, stolen bases and average. He is not only a five-tool player, he is more than that.

18. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

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    The Nationals superstar is one of the most underrated players in the league. Zimmerman is a player capable of .300/30/100 every year and has a Gold Glove on defense. He is a member of the elite class of third basemen in the league, along with this man...

17. David Wright, New York Mets

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    David Wright is one of the best players in the league. The 28-year-old has already appeared in five All-Star games and has won two Gold Gloves and and two Silver Sluggers. Despite the alarming strikeout rate, Wright has still managed to put up season averages of .305/27/107. Those are definitely superstar numbers. 

16. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Despite being injured the last few seasons, Utley is still one of the best second basemen in Major League Baseball. He hits for both power and average and has led his team to four consecutive division titles and a World Series championship.

15. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers

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    The monster of a man is the centerpiece to a slugging Brewers lineup. Arguably the most dangerous man in baseball with men on, Fielder averages a ridiculous .279/37/104 and don't forget, he is only 27.

14. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

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    The reigning AL MVP has overcome a lot throughout his career. He struggled with drug abuse early in his career and has dealt with his share of injuries. But through all the problems, the Rangers outfielder has proven that he is well deserving of his position on this list as one of the best players in the MLB. 

13. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees

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    The Yankee slugger is one of the most dangerous hitters in the MLB. He can hit one deep at any time and also hit for average despite significantly struggling in the early months. All this comes along with a Gold Glove mitt and a leader in the clubhouse. 

12. Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Let's face it, Matt Holliday was robbed of the NL MVP in 2008. Even though he did hit in Coors Field, Holliday put up ridiculous numbers and was more deserving of the award than Jimmy Rollins.

    The outfielder has proven that it is not the stadium he hits in, but his ability, as he has continued to produce monster numbers in St. Louis. A career .314/29/111 hitter, Holliday is still only the second best player on his team. 

11. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees

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    The Yankee second baseman has shown he is one of the best players in this league. Coming off an MVP-like season, Cano is still in his prime at the tender age of 28. As Jeter approaches the end of his storied career, Yankee fans have the privilege of having another superstar middle infielder. 

10. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

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    The former NL MVP is a monster slugger. He is capable of hitting it 500 feet every time he steps to the plate and is also capable of crushing a ridiculous 60 HR every year. Don't believe me? Well, he hit 58 homers in 2006 and averages 47 homers a season for his career. 

9. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

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    The young Tampa All-Star has shown he can do everything in the majors. He can hit for power, average, drive in runs, steal bases and show off a superb glove. The former Rookie of the Year may one day be the AL MVP. 

8. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

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    The Rockies shortstop is coming off a ridiculous second half and has shown that he is part of an elite class of shortstops. He has a great mitt, a great eye, a great bat and a great personality. He is a superstar in the MLB. 

7. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

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    The reigning NL MVP has shown it all. Not only does he have a once in a lifetime talent, but he also has superb leadership qualities and a great clubhouse personality. The young first baseman could easily be the left-handed Albert Pujols.

6. Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox

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    Gonzo is a superb talent. He single-handedly carried the Padres through the 2010 playoff race until the last day of the season and provided their lone offensive force. His offseason trade to the Red Sox may make him the most deadly offensive weapon in the league, as he is finally on a better than average offensive team. 

5. Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins

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    The Marlin superstar is the best shortstop in the league. He has great speed, power, average and he just has fun playing the game. A runner up in MVP voting a couple of years ago, Hanley is still well into his prime and still has years of All-Star production left in him.

4. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

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    Braun could be the most complete player in the MLB. He provides the Brewer clubhouse with great personality and leadership. He also averages a ridiculous .308/36/117 for his career. The Milwaukee outfielder is the face of the franchise and he leads one of the best offenses in baseball. 

3. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

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    Mauer is the best catcher in the MLB by a long shot. The three-time batting champion and former AL MVP has shown that he may go down as one of the best catchers of all time with his amazing eye, hitting and catching. 

2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

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    Miguel Cabrera is destined for the Hall of Fame. Since his debut at the tender age of 20, Cabrera has been the second best hitter in baseball.

    At just 28, Cabrera already has 250 HR, 886 RBI and a .314 career AVG. He has already been to five All-Star games, finished in the top five in MVP voting four times and has hit at least 100 RBI in his first seven full seasons. Right now, Miguel Cabrera is the best player in the American League. 

1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

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    No surprises here, the Machine comes in at the top of the list. Through 10 seasons, Pujols is a nine-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glover, a six-time Silver Slugger and a three-time NL MVP. He averages a ridiculous .331/42/128 per season in his career. On this pace, Pujols may not only be the greatest hitter of our generation, but one of the greatest hitters of all time.