Not many MLB players have captured a CY Young and MVP award in the same season. The list is very short but includes names you may recognize in Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw. Perhaps, this season the MLB will add another future Hall-of-Famer to the list, or potentially even two players?
There’s no doubt that this year has been the year of the pitcher. Well, it was, until the MLB enforced strict rules on pitchers using sticky substances to gain a better grip on the ball. Just a couple weeks after the rule was put into place and it’s pretty clear the impact it has on the game.
Nevertheless, the best hitters continue to shine on a daily basis and the top pitcher stays untouchable. Let’s take a look at the best players in the majors right now and what they’ve been able to accomplish so far this season.
Top 5 Players in MLB Right Now
5. Houston Astros (Yes, I am aware this is a team and not a player)
The Houston Astros have been making their case as to why they are the best team in baseball on the field, but I will do so right here. The top 4 players in the MLB weren’t really much of a debate, rather it was sorting out the order that was the toughest challenge. When I got to #5 I was stumped.
I had the realization of why not just make the 5th best player in the MLB the best player on the best team? So, I started looking at the Astros roster and that’s when it hit me. They don’t have one best player on their team like other teams do. What makes them so elite is how high caliber each of their players are and how they collectively get the job done on the field.
Altuve, Brantley, Gurriel, Alvarez, Correa, Bregman are all names that certainly pop out as you scan the roster. But, does one distinctly stick out more than the rest?
The Astros may not have the best player in baseball, but they have the best group of players in the major leagues. That outweighs the importance of one individual’s play significantly, and I’m pretty confident the Astros prefer it that way.
4. Fernando Tatis Jr.
Both Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have made plate appearances in 76 games played this season. Due to injury, Fernando Tatis Jr. has unfortunately only been able to be active for 61 of the Padres games. Well, guess what? The 22 year-old electric shortstop trails Guerrero and Ohtani by just one home run (25).
Tatis Jr. is probably the flashiest player in the MLB right now. Turning simple singles into hard-earned doubles is just part of the fun for Tatis as he does it on a daily basis. A threat on the bases and trustworthy in the field, Tatis brings a lot of excitement to the game.
He is just 2nd behind Guerrero with a 1.074 OPS attached to his name. Look for Tatis to give Ohtani and Guerrero a run for their money in the home run race as things continue to tighten up.
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
It’s almost laughable that this is just Guerrero’s third season in the big leagues. The 22-year-old is developing into one of the most reliable designated hitters in the game. Leading or close to the top in pretty much every single hitting category makes Guerrero a tough name to ignore for the MVP conversation that will take place in the future.
- Batting Avg: .342 (3rd)
- Home Runs: 26 (Tied-1st)
- RBI’s: 66 (1st)
- Hits: 94 (Tied-4th)
- OPS: 1.127 (1st)
I don’t think much else needs to be said about the bright future of Guerrero Jr. His numbers certainly talk for himself and what he brings to the table. While the Blue Jays slugger may fall short to Ohtani for MVP this season, there’s no telling how many awards the big man will hoist throughout his career in the MLB.
2. Shohei Ohtani
The most versatile player in today’s game is Shohei Ohtani. With the unique ability to launch the ball over your head and strike you out on any given night makes Ohtani one of the most valuable assets in today’s game. He is as rare as they come, no one else does what Ohtani does.
Tied for the league lead in home runs (26) and just a few RBI’s short of the league lead (66) Ohtani is making his case for MVP. Not only that, but the potential of a CY Young is up in the air as well.
It’s become very apparent as to the kind of work Ohtani put in this past offseason. He’s developed into the All-Star everyone was hoping for when he joined the league just a couple of years ago. Now, all of that hard work is finally paying off.
Ohtani holds a 2.58 ERA throughout his first 11 starts of the season. He’s allowed just 17 earned runs and has delivered 82 strikeouts in just 59.1 innings pitched.
It wouldn’t surprise me if this was a historic year with deGrom winning NL MVP and CY Young while Ohtani captures the AL MVP and CY Young award. It may just happen.
1. Jacob deGrom
It should come as no surprise that the most dominant player in all of baseball takes the #1 spot. The fact that he’s constantly making you question if he’s the best pitcher of all time makes it that much more of an easy decision to name him the best player in the MLB.
We’re now about to be halfway through the regular season. Jacob deGrom has allowed opposing teams just a combination of six total runs earned. SIX!
Let’s put that into perspective and compare that to some of the best pitchers around the league. Trevor Bauer has allowed 31 earned runs so far this season while Yu Darvish has allowed 28 earned runs. Both pitchers finished above deGrom for the CY Young award last season.
Adding to his historic season, the Mets’ ace boasts a 0.69 ERA leading the MLB in the category by many miles. The sticky stuff may influence other pitchers and lead them to their downfall, but not Jacob deGrom. Every time he steps on the mound you better put the popcorn in the microwave because it’s time to enjoy the show.
The best pitcher in the game doesn’t only deliver on the mound. deGrom is batting .414 with just as many RBI’s as earned runs allowed (6). It seems the Mets are finally delivering for their ace by bringing runs to the plate. The best player in the game today is without a doubt Jacob deGrom.