Bleacher Report's MLB 25 in '25: Predicting the Top 25 Superstars in 2025

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2021

Bleacher Report's MLB 25 in '25: Predicting the Top 25 Superstars in 2025

0 of 26

    John Raoux/Associated Press

    We've arrived at the end of B/R's MLB 25 in '25 rankings!

    Over the past few months, we've tried our hand at predicting who the 25 best players will be at each position in five years, during the 2025 season.

    Loyal readers will remember we did something similar in 2015 with our "20 for '20" series.

    While I feel I've grown a good deal as a talent evaluator in those five years, we won't know for sure until five years from now how many hits and how many misses I tallied.

    To put a bow on the series, we're combining all the positional rankings into one ranking of the 25 best players in baseball in 2025.

    Players were again ranked according to their upsides, paths to playing time, production and projectable tools. Ages refer to how old a player will be July 1, 2025.

    Along with analysis on the 25 players selected, you'll find a list of the 25 who fell just outside the rankings.

    Thanks for following along throughout the unveiling of each position. I look forward to hearing your final thoughts in the comments.

    Let's get started.

       

    Catch up on our MLB 25 in '25 series: Catchers, First Basemen, Second Basemen, Third Basemen, Shortstops, Outfielders, Pitchers.

Next 25

1 of 26

    Cody Bellinger
    Cody BellingerJulio Cortez/Associated Press

    Had the list been expanded to 50 players, this is who would have represented the next 25:

    • 1B Pete Alonso, NYM
    • OF Randy Arozarena, TB
    • C Joey Bart, SF
    • OF Cody Bellinger, LAD
    • 2B Cavan Biggio, TOR
    • 3B Alec Bohm, PHI
    • OF Dylan Carlson, STL
    • 3B Matt Chapman, OAK
    • RHP Gerrit Cole, NYY
    • SS Carlos Correa, HOU
    • RHP Jacob deGrom, NYM
    • RHP Jack Flaherty, STL
    • LHP Max Fried, ATL
    • RHP Lucas Giolito, CWS
    • RHP Tyler Glasnow, TB
    • OF Trent Grisham, SD
    • OF Eloy Jimenez, CWS
    • 2B Brandon Lowe, TB
    • SS Marco Luciano, SF
    • 3B Manny Machado, SD
    • 1B Matt Olson, OAK
    • 3B Jose Ramirez, CLE
    • OF Julio Y. Rodriguez, SEA
    • C Will Smith, LAD
    • 2B Gleyber Torres, NYY

25. SS Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals

2 of 26

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 25

    Position Rank: No. 6 shortstop

    The No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, Bobby Witt Jr. has played just 37 professional games, and he's hit a lackluster .262/.317/.354 with one home run in 180 plate appearances, but he's overflowing with potential.

    A five-tool talent at shortstop, Witt also has baseball bloodlines with a father, Bobby, who pitched in the majors for 16 seasons.

    The Kansas City Royals have not had a face of the franchise since George Brett's last season in 1993, but that could change once Witt arrives on the scene.

24. SS Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

3 of 26

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 31

    Position Rank: No. 5 shortstop

    Whether he's still suiting up for the Los Angeles Dodgers or moves elsewhere via free agency next offseason, Corey Seager should still be one of the game's elite shortstops in 2025.

    He appeared to turn a corner in the power department during the shortened 2020 campaign, posting a career-high .585 slugging percentage with 15 home runs in 52 games during the regular season before homering another eight times in the playoffs.

    If that's a sign of things to come, he has only scratched the surface of his offensive potential.

23. 3B Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

4 of 26

    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 28

    Position Rank: No. 3 third baseman

    After a sluggish start to the 2020 season, Rafael Devers righted the ship in August before hitting .283/.330/.515 with eight doubles, five home runs and 23 RBI in 24 September games, easing concerns about his ability to replicate his past success.

    In 2019, he hit .311/.361/.555 with an American League-high 54 doubles, 32 home runs and 115 RBI to finish 12th in AL MVP voting. Based on his tremendous raw power, there is reason to believe a few more of those doubles could find their way over the fence in the years to come.

    Devers will never be more than an average third baseman, and there's a possibility he moves across the diamond to first. But his potentially elite bat earned him a spot on this list.

22. 2B Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

5 of 26

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 28

    Position Rank: No. 1 second baseman

    Ozzie Albies led the National League with 189 hits while batting .295/.352/.500 with 43 doubles, 24 home runs and 15 steals in a 5.2-WAR season in 2019, and he did it at the age of 22.

    Pay no mind to his middling 2020. He returned from an August wrist injury to rake down the stretch with a .338/.372/.581 line and eight extra-base hits in his final 18 games.

    He sometimes gets lost in the shadow of Ronald Acuna Jr. and 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, but he's one of the game's best young hitters and a foundational piece of the Atlanta Braves.

21. RHP Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins

6 of 26

    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 26

    Position Rank: No. 6 pitcher

    Sixto Sanchez proved to be worth the wait in 2020.

    After struggling to stay healthy while being handled with kid gloves during his time in the Philadelphia Phillies system, he was traded to the Miami Marlins as the centerpiece of the J.T. Realmuto blockbuster. Last season was his coming out party.

    In seven starts, he posted a 3.46 ERA and 3.50 FIP, and he should have no trouble improving on his 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings. With a high-octane fastball, plus-plus changeup and solid breaking stuff, he'll be a perennial NL Cy Young Award contender and the unquestioned ace of a good young staff.

20. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates

7 of 26

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 28

    Position Rank: No. 2 third baseman

    Ke'Bryan Hayes made his MLB debut Sept. 1, and despite playing just 24 games, he led all rookies with 1.9 WAR.

    He hit .376/.442/.682 with 14 extra-base hits in 95 plate appearances while showcasing the elite defensive skills to give Nolan Arenado a run for his money for NL Gold Glove honors at third base.

    With a 60-grade hit tool, he has the ability to be a perennial .300 hitter who develops into a 20-plus home run threat and double his defensive value. He's the most exciting thing going for the rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates.

19. LHP Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics

8 of 26

    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 27

    Position Rank: No. 5 pitcher

    A shoulder injury was all that kept Jesus Luzardo from making the Oakland Athletics rotation out of spring training in 2019, and when he did debut that September he posted a 1.50 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12 innings before tossing three scoreless innings in the AL Wild Card Game.

    He made nine starts last season, pitching to a 3.83 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 52 strikeouts in 49.1 innings, including six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against the San Francisco Giants in his final start of the regular season.

    He mixes his fastball-changeup-curveball-sinker repertoire extremely well, throwing all four pitches for strikes and keeping hitters off balance. The left-hander is the complete package, and we have not come close to seeing the best he has to offer.

18. 1B Spencer Torkelson, Detroit Tigers

9 of 26

    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 25

    Position Rank: No. 2 first baseman

    With a 60-grade hit tool and 65-grade power, Spencer Torkelson is the most dangerous offensive player in the Detroit Tigers organization but has yet to make his professional debut.

    He slugged 54 home runs during his time at Arizona State, and he hit .340/.598/.780 with six home runs and more than twice as many walks (31) as strikeouts (15) in 17 games before the 2020 season was halted.

    The Tigers are going to try him at third base in an effort to add defensive versatility, but his long-term home is first base. He could debut as early as 2022 and emerge as one of the game's elite middle-of-the-order sluggers.

17. CF Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners

10 of 26

    Darryl Webb/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 25

    Position Rank: No. 6 outfielder

    A future outfield of Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic and Julio Y. Rodriguez should give the Seattle Mariners plenty of reason for excitement in the not-too-distant future.

    Kelenic has the well-rounded game and exceptionally high ceiling to wind up as the best of the bunch. He has an advanced hit tool, plus power and the defensive chops to be the long-term answer in center field.

    In his first full professional season in 2019, he hit .291/.364/.540 with 31 doubles, 23 home runs and 20 steals and reached Double-A shortly after his 20th birthday.

16. SS Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays

11 of 26

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 27

    Position Rank: No. 4 shortstop

    Bo Bichette has 44 extra-base hits in 75 games over the past two seasons.

    That's a staggering number for someone who's getting acclimated to life in the big leagues—and a promising sign for his long-term outlook. He also has a .307/.347/.549 line and 137 OPS+ with 3.2 WAR since his July 2019 debut.

    It remains to be seen if he will stick at shortstop or move to second or third base, but he can hit. He'll also be a key catalyst for the Toronto Blue Jays, who will have a chance to give opposing pitchers fits once all their pieces are in place.

15. LHP MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres

12 of 26

    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 26

    Position Rank: No. 4 pitcher

    The San Diego Padres' aggressive approach to rebuilding their starting rotation this offseason likely means MacKenzie Gore will spend another year honing his craft in the minors.

    Don't be surprised if he forces the team's hand.

    With four above-average pitches, plus command and deceptive mechanics, Gore has been on another level. In 2019, he posted a 1.69 ERA and 0.83 WHIP with 135 strikeouts in 101 innings and reached Double-A at the age of 20.

    Regardless of when he debuts, he is the future ace in San Diego.

14. RHP Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves

13 of 26

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 27

    Position Rank: No. 3 pitcher

    There is simply no ignoring how dominant Ian Anderson was in his first taste of MLB action.

    The 6'3" right-hander logged a 1.95 ERA in six regular-season starts, backing it with an equally impressive 2.54 FIP and a stellar 41-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32.1 innings. He then ripped off three straight scoreless starts in the playoffs, ending his first postseason run with a 0.96 ERA in 18.2 innings.

    What more could you ask?

    The league will adjust, but Anderson has the stuff and poise to continue to dominate for the next decade atop a staff that is still taking shape.

13. 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays

14 of 26

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 26

    Position Rank: No. 1 first baseman

    Relative to the otherworldly expectations heaped on him when he made his MLB debut shortly after his 20th birthday in 2019, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was a disappointment.

    However, there's nothing wrong with a 109 OPS+ in 757 big league plate appearances at an age when most prospects are just reaching the upper levels of the minors.

    Get ready for the "best shape of his life" stories in spring training, and with more experience under his belt, he has nowhere to go but up. He has the ability to develop into a Miguel Cabrera-type force who hits for average and power while contending for MVP Awards.

12. SS Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays

15 of 26

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 24

    Position Rank: No. 3 shortstop

    The consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball will still be just 24 years old when the 2025 season rolls around, so it's fair to assume Wander Franco may not have reached his peak by then.

    Players his age simply don't have the type of offensive approach he showed while splitting the 2019 season between Single-A and High-A as an 18-year-old. He hit .327/.398/.487 with 43 extra-base hits and far more walks (56) than strikeouts (35) in 114 games.

    The Rays have no reason to rush him with Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames occupying the middle infield spots, and there are several other quality middle infield prospects in their pipeline who are ahead of Franco in terms of development.

    Once he arrives, he will work toward unseating Evan Longoria as the best homegrown hitter in franchise history.

11. 3B Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

16 of 26

    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 31

    Position Rank: No. 1 third baseman

    In 2019, Alex Bregman hit .296/.423/.592 with 41 home runs and 112 RBI while leading the majors with 119 walks and finishing second in AL MVP voting.

    His home-road splits speak to a hitter who is capable of doing damage regardless of the circumstances:

    • Home: 345 PA, .278/.400/.523, 16 HR, 50 RBI, 54 BB
    • Road: 345 PA, .315/.446/.663, 25 HR, 62 RBI, 65 BB

    He slumped during the shortened 2020 season, but his age, track record and extremely disciplined approach bode well for his chances to rebound in 2021 and remain an elite hitter in the years to come.

10. SS Francisco Lindor, New York Mets

17 of 26

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 31

    Position Rank: No. 2 shortstop

    Since Francisco Lindor debuted midway through the 2015 season, only Mike Trout (47.0), Mookie Betts (43.1), Nolan Arenado (33.0), Paul Goldschmidt (30.3) and Manny Machado (30.1) have eclipsed the 28.7 WAR he has posted.

    He already has a strong case as one of the most well-rounded shortstops in MLB history. With a pair of Gold Glove Awards, a career 117 OPS+ and three 30-homer seasons to his credit, he is one of the best two-way players in the game and is just now entering his prime.

    Will the New York Mets be able to come to terms with him on an extension similar to what the Los Angeles Dodgers and Betts agreed on after Betts was traded in February, or will Lindor hit the open market next offseason?

9. RHP Shane Bieber, Cleveland

18 of 26

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 30

    Position Rank: No. 2 pitcher

    Shane Bieber was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft and never appeared on a Baseball America Top 100 prospect list before reaching the majors in 2018.

    His rapid ascent from No. 5 starter in a stacked Cleveland rotation to the best pitcher in baseball in 2020 was nothing short of shocking, and his peripheral numbers say he's here to stay.

    He went 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA, 2.07 FIP, 0.87 WHIP and 122 strikeouts in 77.1 innings to win the AL Cy Young Award, so it will be fun to see what he does for an encore in a 162-game season.

8. CF Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox

19 of 26

    Paul Beaty/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 27

    Position Rank: No. 5 outfielder

    Luis Robert has the ability to be a superstar for a long time, but the way he ended the 2020 season is at least a reason to pause.

    After looking like a bona fide MVP candidate in July and August, he hit .136/.237/.173 with one home run and a 34.0 percent strikeout rate in September.

    He's too talented not to rebound, and he may be in the running for the No. 1 spot on this list when 2025 rolls around, but he needs to refine his overly aggressive approach to reach his full potential.

7. RHP Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers

20 of 26

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 30

    Position Rank: No. 1 pitcher

    After suffering from blisters for much of the regular season, Walker Buehler showed why he is the most promising young starter in the game during an impressive postseason run.

    In five playoff starts, he went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 25 innings, capping things with six innings of three-hit, one-run, 10-strikeout baseball in Game 3 of the World Series to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

    Clayton Kershaw has passed Buehler the torch, and Buehler similarly checks all the boxes to win multiple Cy Young Awards.

6. RF Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers

21 of 26

    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 32

    Position Rank: No. 4 outfielder

    When the 2025 season begins, Mookie Betts will be just four years into the 12-year, $365 million extension he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.

    The back end of that deal could be messy, but he should still be one of the game's marquee players five years from now, as he handled the transition to another team and another league seamlessly last season.

    He hit .292/.366/.562 with 16 home runs in 55 games to finish as the runner-up in NL MVP voting, winning his fifth Gold Glove Award before going 7-for-26 with two doubles and two home runs in the World Series to help deliver a title. Expect more of the same for the foreseeable future.

5. C Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles

22 of 26

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 27

    Position Rank: No. 1 catcher

    Consider me sold on Adley Rutschman's living up to the hype of being the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft and a generational talent at catcher.

    The switch-hitter batted an absurd .411/.575/.751 with 17 home runs and 58 RBI in 57 games during his junior season at Oregon State, tallying twice as many walks (76) as strikeouts (38) to solidify his place as the nation's top amateur player.

    He played just 37 games in his brief pro debut, tallying 13 extra-base hits in 154 plate appearances while throwing out seven of 11 would-be base stealers. He is the future face of the franchise for the Baltimore Orioles and the best catcher to come along since Buster Posey—and has a chance to be even better.

4. CF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

23 of 26

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 33

    Position Rank: No. 3 outfielder

    Even if he loses a step in his mid-30s, Mike Trout can still be one of the best players in baseball as he makes his case to be mentioned among the all-time greats in the sport.

    He hit .281/.390/.603 with 17 home runs and 46 RBI in 53 games during the 2020 season. It was a down year by his standards, as his fifth-place finish in AL MVP voting represented his worst finish.

    It's not so much a question of whether Trout will still be great in 2025 but whether the Los Angeles Angels will be able to build a contender around him in the years to come.

3. RF Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves

24 of 26

    John Amis/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 27

    Position Rank: No. 2 outfielder

    How much better can Ronald Acuna Jr. get in the coming years?

    After nearly turning in the first 40-40 year since 2006 in his second season in the majors, he made significant strides with his approach at the plate last season, raising his walk rate from 10.6 to 18.8 percent to post his first on-base percentage above .400.

    He has already developed into an above-average defender in center field and could be a Gold Glove-caliber right fielder when he moves there once Cristian Pache establishes himself in the majors.

2. LF Juan Soto, Washington Nationals

25 of 26

    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 26

    Position Rank: No. 1 outfielder

    Yes, it was a shortened season.

    And yes, he played only 47 games during that shortened season.

    But what Juan Soto did last year as a 21-year-old was all-time great—and he further laid the groundwork for a special career.

    He hit .351/.490/.695 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 37 RBI, winning the NL batting title despite little protection around him in an underperforming Washington Nationals lineup. He also continued to show the mix of elite plate discipline and top-tier power that has already made him a superstar.

    The Acuna vs. Soto debate isn't going away any time soon.

1. SS Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

26 of 26

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    2025 Age: 26

    Position Rank: No. 1 shortstop

    There's not a more dynamic player in the sport than Fernando Tatis Jr., and he's just getting started.

    He hit .277/.366/.571 with 17 home runs, 45 RBI, 50 runs and 11 steals in a 2.8-WAR campaign to finish fourth in NL MVP voting while taking home his first Silver Slugger Award last season.

    On top of his rare power-speed mix, he also has the potential to develop into a Gold Glove-caliber defender after posting one defensive run saved and a 2.6 UZR/150 while putting together quite the highlight reel in 2020.

    If the 2025 season comes and goes and he hasn't won an MVP Award, it would be a shock.

         

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.