The MLB is in a good spot right now. There is a good mix of experience and young talent. It seems like this is the best that both pitchers and hitters have played in the last couple years. With that being said, the MLB may be the hardest sports to rank the best players. On one hand, you have players who only throw the ball and on the other hand, you have players that only hit the ball. There has been no doubt that Mike Trout has been the best position player since Alex Rodriguez. But what about pitcher? Who is the best pitcher in the MLB? Gerrit Cole? Justin Verlander? Max Scherzer? Jacob deGrom? In this article, I will break down every position ranking the best player and give a couple honorable mentions.
Best MLB Starting Pitcher
Jacob deGrom RHP - New York Mets
Lets start off with the position who has the most control over the game. When deGrom's fast ball is on its game, it may be the most unhittable pitch in MLB history. Right up there with Mariano Rivera's cutter, Randy Johnson's slider and Clayton Kershaw curveball. The Mets' ace is a three time all star, two time Cy Young award winner and two time All-MLB First Team member. deGrom threw his fast ball at triple digits last year and added that on with a velocity of low nineties on his changeup and slider. If the Mets could get him some runs, we may be talking about deGrom as one of the greatest pitchers of all time.
Honorable Mention: Shane Bieber RHP - Cleveland Indians
Best MLB Middle Relief Pitcher
Devin Williams RHP - Milwaukee Brewers
Speaking of unhittable pitches, lets move on to Devin Williams. Williams' changeup is the best in the game. The pitch almost looks like a fast screwball. They call Williams the "Air Bender" for a reason. The Brewers reliever won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2020, and although he has struggled with walks in 2021, his changeup keeps him at number one.
Honorable Mention: Taylor Rogers LHP - Minnesota Twins
Best MLB Closing Pitcher
Josh Hader LHP - Milwaukee Brewers
Adding to the best bullpen in the MLB is Josh Hader. Hader is flame throwing lefty, who is often relied on by Milwaukee to close out games. Hader had a down year last year, but he has seemed to reclaim his dominance this year with 0.00 ERA in six games. He also holds two MLB records for most consecutive outs via the strikeout (16) and most consecutive hitless appearances (12). Throwing two straight fastballs high and then dropping a slider low continues to leave hitters stifled.
Honorable Mention: Liam Hendriks RHP - Chicago White Sox
Best MLB Catcher
J.T. Realmuto - Philadelphia Phillies
This was one of the easier choices for this list. Realmuto has been the premier catcher in the MLB since he arrived in Philadelphia in 2019. Realmuto's combination of power and speed at the catcher position has rarely been seen throughout the history of baseball. He is a main reason why Philadelphia will look to contend in the coming years. Realmuto is a two time all star, two time silver slugger and one time gold glover.
Honorable Mention: Salvador Perez
Best MLB First Baseman
Freddie Freeman - Atlanta Braves
The reigning NL MVP takes the cake as the best first baseman in the MLB. Freeman is the experienced veteran on a young Braves team. With players on your team like Ronald Acuna and Marcell Ozuna, Freeman was able to stand out as the MVP. He hit to the tune of a .462 OBP and .640 SLG during his 2020 MVP season. While he has started the 2021 campaign slow, the heart and soul of the Braves will give them a shot to make another deep run in the playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Jose Abreu - Chicago White Sox
Best MLB Second Baseman
D.J. LeMahieu - New York Yankees
Who is the best player on the Yankees? LeMahieu or Gerrit Cole? The argument can be made either way, but an argument that can't be made is that there is a better second baseman than D.J. The Yankees second baseman batted an outstanding .364 last season with a 1.011 OPS. His ability to slap singles to opposite field is unmatched in the MLB. LeMahieu should remain a staple at the forefront of the Yankees batting lineup.
Honorable Mention: Ozzie Albies - Atlanta Braves
Best MLB Third Baseman
Manny Machado - San Diego Padres
This is the position that is up for the most debate. Third base is the deepest infield position. What makes Manny Machado the best though? Machado finished 2021 with a .304 batting average with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs. He finished 2020 with the third most votes to win the NL MVP. Had MLB teams in 2020 played a complete 162 game season, its possible that Machado hits 50 home runs. The Padres' third baseman is still one of the premier defensive players in the game.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Rendon
Best MLB Shortstop
Fernando Tatis Jr - San Diego Padres
Fernando Tatis Jr. has taken Mike Trout's mantle as the face of baseball. Along with Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr., the 22 year old Padre is making baseball fun again for young viewers. Bat flips, grand slams and a smile win fans over. Now with all of this flash, you have to back up your play. In 2020, Tatis proved that he is one of the best players in baseball. Tatis batted .277/.366/.571 and outpaced his super star teammate Manny Machado with one more home run. There is a reason that he is the on the cover of MLB the Show 21 and why the Padres gave him a 14-year, $340 million deal.
Honorable Mention: Trevor Story - Colorado Rockies
Best MLB Left Fielder
Christian Yelich - Milwaukee Brewers
Yet another Brewer graces this list. Christian Yelich has become a mainstay at the front of Milwaukee's lineup. There is not a lot of superstar talent at the left field position, with Michael Brantley taking the honorable mention. The lanky lefty has sneaky speed and his ability to hit left on left makes him one of the ultimate weapons in baseball today.
Honorable Mention: Michael Brantley - Houston Astros
Best MLB Center Fielder
Mike Trout is the best position player since Alex Rodriguez. 2020 may have been Trout's worst season and he still batted .281/.390/.603.
Honorable Mention: Cody Bellinger - Los Angeles Dodgers
Best MLB Right Fielder
Mookie Betts - Los Angeles Dodgers
Honorable Mention: Juan Soto - Washington Nationals
Best MLB Designated Hitter
Nelson Cruz - Minnesota Twins
Honorable Mention: Jorge Soler