10. Giancarlo Stanton RF, Miami Marlins
Stanton is yet to reach his full potential, mostly in part to being plagued by injuries throughout the last few seasons, if he can remain healthy, though, I believe this will be the year he begins living up to his enormous contract. In 2014, when Stanton was able to play 145 games, he finished second in the MVP voting putting up career highs in every statistical category. If he can return to that form, and put up comparable numbers to that season he will once again be one of the best players in baseball. Hitting .288, with 37 homeruns, 100+ RBI's, and nearly a .400 OBP will put him in MVP discussions. Also, taking into account that the Marlins have a much better lineup than they did in 2014, Stanton will have more RBI oppurtunities, and he won't have to worry about pitchers trying to pitch around him since he's now got protection behind him in the lineup. Stanton has a huge upside, we'll just have to see if he can finally live up to it in 2017.
9. Corey Seager SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Seager is only 23 years old and is already one of the games best players. Last season he didn't just win the ROY by a landslide, he also came in third in the MVP voting as a rookie, that's unbelievable. As long as this kid doesn't regress he's poised for another huge season. Unfortunately, Seager has now set the bar quite high for himself, he had a batting average of .312, hit 30 bombs, and drove in 89 RBI's, so for him to improve on those numbers he'd almost certainly be bound for an MVP award in the 2017 season. We're witnessing a golden age for the shortstop position in the MLB right now, and this 23 year old stud is leading the charge. Like I said as long as Seager doesn't regress we're certainly looking at a top 10 talent in a league filled with superstars.
8. Mookie Betts OF, Red Sox
Talk about a player that does it all, Mookie Betts is a guy that does just about everything you could want a star baseball player to do. This guy has a cannon for an arm, is a gold glove fielder, knocks the cover off the baseball, and he has the speed of a cheetah, what more could you want. Oh yeah, he's only 24 years old. He's in the same boat as Corey Seager, as long as he doesn't regress at the plate you're looking at a guy that's going to be in the MVP conversation all season. Unfortunately for me and all Yankee fans we'll have to witness murder on our team for years to come, but there's nothing we can do about it now, this kid is a bonafide stud.
7. Joey Votto 1B, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto never quite gets the recognition he deserves, that's what happens when you play on a dreadful team as a superstar player. I won't allow his team to diminish what he does year in and year out on the baseball field, though. Votto religiously leads the MLB in OBP, a stat that I value more than any other batting statistic, if you're getting on base at the highest clip in baseball you're doing your job better than most, if not all. This man straight up RAKES, he hits for power, he hits for contact, and he's the most disciplined hitter in the game, you're never going to cheat this man out of an at-bat, that's for sure. In addition to all of that, he's got a pretty sweet glove at first base. My only concern is that he is aging and we all know father time is a ruthless son of a bitch, with that being said he's only 33 years old, so we shouldn't see too much of a drop off if any at all. For the sake of Votto's legacy I hope he find his way onto an actual contender one way or another so he can experience meaningful baseball in September and October. Until then, Votto will continue to be an after-thought in the MLB.
6. Miguel Cabrera 1B, Detroit Tigers
If you're a true appreciator of the game of baseball then there's not much more entertaining than watching Miguel Cabrera strike a baseball. Such a smooth easy swing, yet it delivers so much power, it's truly an anomaly. Every year this legend of the game is in MVP discussions, or even triple crown discussions because he's just that amazing of a hitter. Once again this season he'll post a batting average well above .300, hit close to 40 homeruns, and drive in over 100+ RBI's. That'll be considered an average season for him which is almost comical to a degree since those are worldly numbers. Every baseball fan should be looking forward to another year of Miggy's reign of terror in the MLB.
5. Jose Altuve 2B, Houston Astros
Jose Altuve isn't a very big guy, as a matter of fact he's very small guy, the only athletic career you'd think he'd have just by looking at him is a jockey in horse racing. Well, he may be small, but he's got big game, and an even bigger bat. Altuve has lead the league in hits for three consecutive seasons now, and once he's on base he's most likely to steal the next base putting himself in scoring position. He's been a very good player for a few years now, but last year he elevated his game to a whole new level. Altuve was able to add the ability to hit for power to his skill set and now he's a force to be reckon with throughout major league baseball. He's a 5 tool player that is a master at every facet of the game, not to mention he's got the heart of a lion, and is everything you could want in a player attitude wise.
4. Josh Donaldson 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson is hands down the most savage player in the MLB. He's clearly a little sick in the head, but how could you not love it, the mohawk, the badass mentality, and he gives 1000% effort every time he takes the field. Donaldson was a late bloomer, he broke onto the scene as a promising player with the A's at the age of 27, he then followed that season up with another very good year, but in total A's fashion they refused to pay him, and Toronto hit the lottery signing him in 2015. His first year in Toronto he was the best player in the AL winning the MVP and it wasn't even close, he followed that up with another MVP caliber season in 2016, falling just short of the award. What can you expect in 2017, well you can expect Donaldson to once again put up MVP type numbers while continuing to anchor the Blue Jays high powered offense.
3. Kris Bryant 3B, Chicago Cubs
No one had a better 2016 than Kris Bryant, he built off a strong rookie of the year season, won the MVP award, and he won the World Series bringing a 108 year drought in Chicago to an end. One hell of a year for a 24 year old stud. Kris Bryant gives the Cubs a ton of defensive versatility, he's played most of his games at third base, but he can basically play any position on the field, which is a treasure of a trait to have in your star player. Bryant has ridiculous power, not only does he hit a lot of home runs he hits them very very far. Can't help but just marvel as you watch him swing the bat with that sweet stroke of his, and the fact that he looks like the happiest and nicest guy on the planet makes it impossible not to like him. If Kris Bryant can continue to minimize strike outs and bump his average up a little bit more we're looking at the best hitter in the national league for the next 10 years.
2. Manny Machado 3B, Baltimore Orioles
Every time I'm blessed with the opportunity of watching this beast play I can't help but think to myself, boy does this kid remind me a whole lot of A-Rod, without the steroids of course. Manny Machado is really a shortstop converted to third basemen, I wish we'd get to watch him play his actual position of shortstop since he's one of the best fielders I've ever seen, but watching him be a barricade at the hot corner is still very entertaining to say the least. Machado will be entering his 5th full season as an Orioles starter this year, the crazy part being that he's only 24. Expect Machado to keep improving at the plate, something he's done each and every year since entering the league. Machado is my pick to win the MVP this season, his power numbers just keep getting better and better, along with his ability to find ways on base without just hitting the ball over the fence. Machado is one of the league's brightest young stars and this is the year he shows the MLB just how amazing he can be.
1. Mike Trout OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
There's no debate when it come to who the best player in the MLB is because Mike Trout is light years ahead of everyone. When it's all said and done if Mike Trout continues at the pace he's at he'll be the greatest player to ever step on a baseball field, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Trout has been either the MVP or second in the voting every year since he broke into the league at 20 years old, absolute insanity. There's not a part of his game you can really criticism because he does everything so well, there's nothing more you could ask for out of a player. Trout fields his position better than anyone, his ability to steal bases is just as good as anyone, he gets on base almost every other at bat, and he can hit the ball to the moon and back. Trout is a superhero among boys on the baseball field, the scary part is that he's still so young, I don't see how he can continue to improve since the numbers he puts up are already ridiculous, but I'm sure he'll find a way to do it, he's just that type of player, always hungry. Just such a shame he's on one of the worst teams in baseball.