Rodenburg’s Top 5

Tom Rodenburg, Staff Writer

Rodenburg’s Top 5 MLB Players


5) Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox

Mookie Betts is officially the face of the Red Sox. At just 24 years old and only in his fourth major league season, Betts is already a dominant force at the top of the Red Sox lineup as he hit 42 Home Runs while maintaining a batting average of .318 last season. Last season, he was also second in MVP voting to another man that is on this list. In his career, his lowest batting average has been a .291 and that was his rookie season. He’s continually gotten better and he should be expected to be the face of the Red Sox organization for years to come… also he has a pretty incredible name.

4) Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros

Jose Altuve is the best contact hitter in baseball today, PERIOD! In not even 6 full seasons, he has racked up over 1000 hits and has 641 hits over his last 3. He is also a man with incredible speed and is a perennial gold glove contender. He is also a guy that doesn’t strike out. In his career, he has only struck out  around 11% of the time. Every year he seems to just get better and better. Every season the question is what else can Jose Altuve do? Can he hit 10 more home runs than the previous season? Can he add another 200+ hits to his career total?  Did I mention that the guy is just 5’6’’?

3) Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs

Kris Bryant’s arrival 2 years ago symbolized the dawn of a new age in the Chicago Cubs organization. He quickly went from the top prospect in all of baseball, to an all-star and MVP. His rookie year, he hit 26 home runs and drove in 99 runs. He then followed it up with his first MVP award after hitting 39 home runs and driving in 102. He lead the Cubs to their first World Series win in 108 years. Kris Bryant has been a star from the moment he stepped foot in Wrigley Field for the first time and will be a face of baseball for years to come.  

2) Bryce Harper, OF Washington Nationals

Bryce Harper has been a big talking point among baseball fans since he was in the high school home run derby and hit a ball 502 feet in Tropicana Field. He was drafted first overall by the Washington Nationals while he was still in high school. He was called up at the age of 19 and has been amazing spectators ever since. From the moment he was called up, he was the powder keg. He’s a kid that everyone had high hopes for and were waiting to explode and become a huge star and MVP. That all was in doubt after people thought that he played the game too hard and it continued to cause injuries. Then in 2015, it finally happened. He hit 42 home runs and had a batting average of .330. He had finally arrived. Though he had a down year in 2016, he has started his 2017 on a hot streak that refuses to quit. Bryce is no longer the next big thing, he is the big thing… of course, there is just one more bigger thing.

1) Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. That is not an opinion, it is a fact and I challenge anybody to argue otherwise. He is this generation’s Ken Griffey Jr. He hits for power and contact, he is fast, has one of the best gloves in all of baseball, and even though he is on one of the worst teams in baseball, every time he is on the field, the game feels like a big deal for the sole purpose that Mike Trout is playing in it. In each of his first 5 seasons, he has been in the top 2 players in MVP voting, and has won two of those times. Trout is the first player to ever do that. He is just 25 years old and already has over 500 RBIs and is approaching the 200 home run mark. Mike Trout is the guy that our generation will tell our kids and grandkids about because he is just that good. He is a once-in-a-few -lifetimes player and when it is all said and done, one day he will be in the all time 5 greatest players list, but for now, he will just have to settle with the best player today.


* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license