Top 20 Best MLB Players of This Year

Hello, baseball fanatics! It’s time for us to take a peek at the best MLB Players for this year. So, stick with us to find out if your favorite player hit the home run or struck out on our updated list of Top 20 Best MLB Players of 2021.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest major professional league globally, which comprises 30 teams in total. While 15 teams play in the National League (NL), the other half plays in the American League (AL)

best-mlb-players-2021
Will Mookie Betts topple the likes of Juan Soto and Mike Trout? (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

From hitters to pitchers, the MLB is a sport that requires immaculate precision and control. So, without wasting much time, let’s dig into the Top 20 Best MLB Players of 2021.

Top 20 Best MLB Players 2021

We have compiled our list from various trusted sources around the web, such as MLB.com and ESPN.

Before we dip our toes into the specifics, let’s first look at a quick sneak-peek of the Top 20 Best MLB Players 2021.

Name Team
20. Manny MachadoSan Diego Padres
19. DJ LeMahieuNew York Yankees
18. Walker BuehlerLos Angeles Dodgers
17. José RamírezCleveland Indians
16. Trevor BauerLos Angeles Dodgers
15. Anthony RendonLos Angeles Angels
14. Shane BieberCleveland Indians
13. Alex BregmanHouston Astros
12. Cody BellingerLos Angeles Dodgers
11. Nolan ArenadoSt. Louis Cardinals
10. Francisco LindorNew York Mets
9. Christian YelichMilwaukee Brewers
8. Fernando Tatis Jr.San Diego Padres
7. Freddie FreemanAtlanta Braves
6. Jacob deGromNew York Mets
5. Gerrit ColeNew York Yankees
4. Ronald Acuña Jr.Atlanta Braves
3. Juan SotoWashington Nationals
2. Mookie BettsLos Angeles Dodgers
1. Mike TroutLos Angeles Angels

20. Manny Machado

  • Born: July 6, 1992 (29 years old)
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

After a topsy-turvy start to his San Diego career, Manny Machado finally found his groove in the 2020 season. Moreover, with stellar numbers under his belt, Machado is vying to emulate the same this season.

Manny Machado. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Not to mention, the third baseman for the Padres was ruthless in 2020, posting an impressive .304/.370/.580 hits which included 16 home runs as well.

What’s more, Machado finished third in the “NL MVP Voting” on the back of his impressive hitting and rock-solid defense.

19. DJ LeMahieu

  • Born: July 13, 1988 (23 years old)
  • Position: Infielder

David John LeMahieu, more commonly known as DJ LeMahieu, is an orchestrator on the pitch who plays as an infielder for the New York Yankees

Nicknamed “LeMachine,” LeMahieu has constantly justified his name, putting up top-notch performances every season.

Moreover, the California-born athlete has finished in the top five Most Valuable Player on two separate occasions. Furthermore, he led the league in batting average for majors in 2020.

Despite his age, LeMahieu has shown no signs of slowing down in the league.

You might also be interested in the Top 9 Best NFL Fullbacks in the World.

18. Walker Buehler

  • Born: July 28, 1994 (27 years old)
  • Position: Starting Pitcher (SP)

In #18 of our best MLB Players of 2021, Walker Anthony Buehler is a professional baseball athlete who took some time off after the league halted in 2020.

With that in mind, it is only natural that Buehler was relatively slow in getting up to speed with the demanding standards of the league.

Walker Buehler. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

But during the postseason is where Buehler found form and started delivering on his talents. After his mini-comeback of sorts, he allowed only five runs and struck out 39 batters in 25 innings during that period.

Buehler hopes to bring his postseason form into 2021, which would further benefit his credentials and greatly uplift the Dodgers’ season.

17. José Ramírez

  • Born: September 17, 1992 (29 years old)
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

While he may be short in size, José Enrique Ramírez is a powerful hitter, capable of stealing bases regularly.

His stats reflect his excellence on the field as Ramírez finished in the top three of MVP voting in all of the last four years. Moreover, a 7 WAR player in 2017 and 2018, Ramírez and his hard-hitting will be a fantastic feature in the 2021 season.

16. Trevor Bauer

  • Born: January 17, 1991 (30 years old)
  • Position: Starting Pitcher (SP)

After signing a mammoth three-year $102 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Trevor Andrew Bauer is currently the starting pitcher for the reigning champions.

The former Reds-pitcher outclassed all his counterparts in the league in 2020, earning himself a 2020 Cy Young Award (NL).

Trevor Bauer. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

As we head into the 2021 season, all eyes will be on Bauer and how well he’ll gel with a star-studded Dodgers’ lineup.

Nevertheless, we can expect another incredible year from the talented pitcher as he hopes to recreate another 1.73 ERA season.

15. Anthony Rendon

  • Born: June 06, 1990 (31 years old)
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

Possessing mesmerizing skills and sharp intellect, Anthony Michael Rendon is a top-tier professional who consistently churns out Gold Glove level performances week-in-week-out.

While making contact has proven to be as challenging as ever, Rendon boasts a struck-out rate of +24 over the times that he has walked.

14. Shane Bieber

  • Born: May 31, 1995 (26 years old)
  • Position: Starting Pitcher (SP)

Emerging as one of the best pitchers over the last two years, Shane Robert Bieber features at number 14 on our list. After an outstanding 2020 season, Bieber aims to do more of the same in the ongoing 2021 season. 

You may also enjoy reading about Shane Bieber’s Girlfriend: Engagement & Net Worth.

Moreover, Bieber finished 2020 with a 1.63 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 12 starts. While he couldn’t get his hands on the American League MVP, he eventually clinched the 2020 Cy Young Award (AL).

13. Alex Bregman

  • Born: March 30, 1994 (27 years old)
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

The “A-Breg” of MLB, Alexander David Bregman, is the third baseman for the Houston Astros. After a dismal 2020, Alex hopes to put the past in the past and build on a better season heading into 2021.

Despite a poor showing last season, it would be naive to say that his best days are over. The skillful baseman has mesmerized the league with hits that emulate rockets, and it is only a matter of time before Bregman gets back to his usual best.

12. Cody Bellinger

  • Born: July 13, 1995 (26 years old)
  • Position: Outfielder (OF) and First Baseman (1B)

Gifted with lightning-quick speed, incredible power, and a precise plus arm, Cody James Bellinger is one of the most talented fielders in the league.

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Cody Bellinger. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

If ever there was a year that truly showcased the brilliance of Cody Bellinger, it would have to be the 2019 season. Moreover, tantalizing the field with his meticulous load and swing right, Bellinger ended the season with an MVP to his name.

While various factors played into his shortened sub-par 2020 season, Bellinger remains an elite athlete vying for a successful 2021 campaign.

11. Nolan Arenado

  • Born: April 16, 1991 (30 years old)
  • Position: Third Baseman (3B)

Another third baseman on our list is Nolan James Arenado, a baseball professional currently representing the St. Louis Cardinals.

While he had his career-worst season in 2020, it is worth pointing out that he played about the entirety of last season with an AC joint pain.

With reports suggesting that Arenado has fully recovered from his injury, Cardinals will look to bank on him in the ongoing season.

What’s more, we might get to witness Arenado back to his sensational best. Similarly, the eight-time Golden Glove winner aims to straighten his shoulder and bulldoze his way through the opposition.

Also Read: Nolan Arenado Wife: Relationship, MLB & Family

10. Francisco Lindor

  • Born: November 14, 1993 (27 years old)
  • Position: Shortstop (SS)

The 10th athlete on our list is a player that is infamous for his wholesomeness on the field. Nicknamed “Paquito” and “Mr. Smile,” Francisco Miguel Lindor is a two-time Gold Glove shortstop who plays for the Cleveland Indians.

Like Arenado, Lindor also had a below-par 2020 season where he hit a career-low 258 with eight home runs.

While the MLB circuit is well-aware of his stellar credentials, the four-time All-Star heads into a crucial 2021 season, hoping to hit the ground running.

9. Christian Yelich

  • Born: December 5, 1991 (29 years old)
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

Hoping to regain some much-needed form, Christian Stephen Yelich heads into 2021 with a chip on his shoulder. However, with the added pressure to deliver, Yelich finds himself in a tough spot.

But still, Yelich can leave his opponents high and dry, provided that he regains his past form. Before an abysmal 2020, the Brewers outfielder led the National League in OPS his first two seasons in Milwaukee.

8. Fernando Tatis Jr.

  • Born: January 2, 1999 (22 years old)
  • Position: Shortstop (SS) and Outfielder (OF)

While Fernando Gabriel Tatís Medina Jr. has played baseball in the MLB for only a single season, he has already bagged himself a fourteen-year $340 million contract.

But how? Well, that’s simple. Fernando has blitz past significant records in the one season that he has played in the MLB.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

With a .301/.374/.582 slash line, 39 homers, 27 stolen bases, 8 triples, and a 7.0 Baseball-Reference WAR to his name before turning 22; Fernando is the only player to do so within the first 150 games.

7. Freddie Freeman

  • Born: September 12, 1989 (32 years old)
  • Position: First Baseman (1B)

At number 7 is the 2020 MVP of the Year, Frederick Charles Freeman. Freeman played as though he was possessed, posting numbers that he probably cannot recreate again.

However, there is just that slight hint of a possibility that maybe, just maybe, he’ll do it again. With more walks than strikeouts, Freeman posted his career-best figures in 2020.

Freeman looks to continue on his streak for the 2021 season after such a hot season.

Also, read more about Freeman’s life in Freddie Freeman Son: Surrogacy, Infertility & Net Worth

6. Jacob deGrom

  • Born: June 19, 1988 (33 years old)
  • Position: Starting Pitcher (SP)

Narrowly missing out on his third consecutive Cy Young Award in 2020, Jacob Anthony deGrom had an outstanding 2020 season. 

Given the improved Mets lineup heading into the 2021 season, deGrom looks to dominate the field further. Furthermore, his increase in velocity this spring has left the Mets’ fans excited for what is to come. 

5. Gerrit Cole

  • Born: September 8, 1990 (31 years old)
  • Position: Starting Pitcher (SP)

Regarded as the ace-pitcher of MLB, Gerrit Alan Cole is one of the best players the league has ever seen.

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Gerrit Cole. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Despite struggling with the stop-start nature of the MLB last season, the ace-pitcher lived up to his name, posting a 2.84 ERA in 12 regular-season starts in 2020, with 94 strikeouts over 73 innings.

What’s more, the $324-million-man led his team to a 7-3 record last season.

4. Ronald Acuña Jr.

  • Born: December 18, 1997 (23 years old)
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

Despite his tender age, Ronald José Acuña Blanco Jr. has quickly established himself as one of the go-to athletes in the MLB.

Widely known as a power hitter, Ronald has amassed 14 home runs already. To add to that, he posted a .250/.406/.581 line in 46 games last year.

3. Juan Soto

  • Born: October 25, 1998 (23 years old)
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

Born in the Dominican Republic, Juan José Soto Pacheco is widely known as the “Childish Bambino” in the MLB.

Soto is frequently compared to the MLB legend, Ted Williams – and rightly so.

Juan-Soto-MLB
Juan Soto. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Comparing their stats, Williams hit .344/.442/.594 as a 21-year old followed by a .406 as a 22-year old while Soto hit .351/.490/.695 as a 21-year-old.

What’s more, Soto posted those insane numbers in just 47 matches. With the same world-class ability and dedication as Williams, Soto is the likeliest player to be the best hitter anyone has ever seen.

2. Mookie Betts

  • Born: October 7, 1992 (29 years old)
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

Markus Lynn Betts or Mookie Betts has pleasantly surprised the Dodgers’ coaching staff and the entire MLB circuit with just how good he is. 

With a sturdy defensive outlook, a thoughtful approach to working counts, and a perfect set up to run the bases smoothly, Betts has been a surprise revelation in the league.

Moreover, his 38.4 FanGraphs WAR from 2015 to 2020 is the second-best league, only topped by Mike Trout.

1. Mike Trout

  • Born: August 7, 1991 (30 years old)
  • Position: Outfielder (OF)

Considered as one of the greatest of all time already, Michael Nelson Trout (Mike Trout) reigns supreme in our Top 20 Best MLB Players of 2021.

Even if you judge Mike Trout on his worst day, he still ranks above most players in the league. Such was the case last season, as Trout had his worst season since his debut.

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Mike Trout. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

With all numbers depleting down the board, Trout still managed to finish in the top five of American League MVP Voting.

If there ever was an indication of Trout’s brilliance on the pitch, it is evident with his “worst-season ranking” in the top-five. 

Conclusion

With players of every sport vying to reach the top, only a handful reach the heights they dream about. Furthermore, it is even more so in the MLB, as it requires intricate and impeccable precision to compete at the highest level.

While MLB in itself is an endearing sport, the players mentioned above have risen through the adversities and established themselves as the Top 20 Best MLB Players of 2021.

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