MLB in 2017: Who’s the Best at Each Position?

Photo Credit: Panamerican World

I know. The 2016 MLB season just ended. It is way too early to be talking about next season given how long it is until another baseball game is played. However, there has been a lot of discussion among the SportsPress writers on the articles which feature the MLB all-time dream team. I don’t plan on writing too many baseball articles over the offseason, but why not write one last one on who performed the best at each position?

My starting 5 pitchers would begin with the ace, Clayton Kershaw. Sure, he struggles come postseason time. But his performance in the regular season is totally worth the gamble in the playoffs.Because of this, I have to make my second starter Madison Bumgarner. Remember, I am making the best possible team to win a World Series. Perhaps one of the most clutch pitchers in MLB history will to just that for me. Pitching third is yet another National League pitcher (the Cy Young himself) Max Scherzer. He willed his team to a 2 seed in a tough NL, and was very deserving of his 1st ever Cy Young award. There was serious consideration put in from here. There is a lot of candidates for the 4 and 5 spot. Corey Kluber is my man at the 4th spot. He dominated in the playoffs. Sure, he slipped in game 7 (in which he played the same team for the 3rd time and on astronomically low amounts of rest), but his pitching performance as a whole was the best  of any postseason pitcher this year. Fifth was by far the hardest decision. Despite the toughness it took to leave out stars such as Noah Syndergaard or Jake Arrieta, I could not make this without the Cy Young winning Rick Porcello. Personally, I believe Kluber was the best pitcher this season. But Porcello won the award, so leaving him out of the top 5 would be considered a mistake.

I’m not going to spend too much time on relief pitchers. For this team, I’ll have a closer and 2 late game relievers. My closer is Zach Britton. Over a month later people are still asking why Buck Showalter did not sub in Britton in extra innings of the wild card game against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was so good, people were actually giving him a chance to win MVP. My first late game reliever is Aroldis Chapman. It’s hard to hit someone who throws over 100 miles per hour, and he does it with more control than anyone else in baseball. Andrew Miller fills out my late game players. Though it did not go this way in game 7, games 1-6 of the 2016 World Series were all decided by the 5th inning. The Cubs had to score enough runs to win the game before Miller came in because they weren’t going to score off him.

The best catcher in baseball is Yadier Molina. That does not necessarily mean he is the best offensively. In my eyes, the most useful attribute a catcher can hold is what he can do on the defensive side of the ball. Having a catcher who can hold runners and keep people from stealing bases gives teams one of the biggest advantages in the game. Molina does just that. No one in the league today compares to his defensive dominance. However, he still has a pretty good bat and can make big hits from time to time, increasing his insane talent.

The first base position would have to go to Paul Goldschmidt. I know many would take Anthony Rizzo in this scenario, and I would accept an argument. Though Paul didn’t play for a winning organization, he still put up unreal numbers early in the season. He’s nothing too special as far as defense goes, but his offensive firepower is enough to make him the best first baseman in baseball.

Second base is, without a doubt, Jose Altuve. There is very few second basemen that you can even compare to Altuve. He was my pick to win MVP at the All-Star break. His average was through the roof, and he supplied so much on defense as well. At 5’5″, Altuve may just be the best player at that height ever.

Third base was the toughest position to decide on. While Kris Bryant was an MVP, Nolan Arenado won both the batting and fielding title for the third basemen. Plus, Manny Machado was one of the best players in baseball this year. However, I just cannot count out the MVP from the dream team, so I have to take Kris Bryant. He was a defensive monster, and was also one of the biggest contributors to the Cubs’ 3-1 comeback. If you can win MVP and a World Series in a single season, you can’t be left of the best players’ list.

The shortstop position goes to Corey Seager. Yes, it was not easy deciding to put a rookie on this list, especially when Fransisco Lindor’s postseason presence makes him more than worthy. However, from a statistical standpoint, Seager is a top 10 player in this league, and is more deserving to be on this list.

Since outfield is a position where a left fielder (for example) can really play right field or center, I will just name 3 outfielders regardless of actual positions. This is also to make it slightly easier to make cuts. My star outfielder, the best player in baseball today, who will take over in left field, is Mike Trout. It is a real shame the Angels cannot put even the least amount of talent around him to give us a chance to see what he can do in the postseason. Unfortunately, besides Albert Pujols and maybe Kole Calhoun, Anaheim has not done well in building this franchise. The second outfielder, in right field, is Bryce Harper. Harper may be the most competitive player in the MLB right now, and is one of my personal favorite players. He always has this “I’m winning no matter what” mentality that always gives him success. He is an inspiration to many and a superstar to all. Capping off this list, playing centerfield, is Giancarlo Stanton. He was not as dominant since coming off his injury, but I expect him to come back and once again become an impact player on the field next season. He by far is the most powerful hitter in baseball, and is certainly up there as one of the best.

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