With baseball’s offseason in full swing, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2020 campaign. And what better way to do that than by ranking the game’s top 100 players? This is our sixth annual edition of the MLB Top 100, and once again, we’ve got a mix of veteran stars and up-and-coming youngsters. The list is based on a comprehensive evaluation of each player’s skill set, role and value, both past and present.
As always, there are some tough decisions to be made. Who’s better, Mike Trout or Ronald Acuna Jr.? Is Gerrit Cole really worth $324 million? And where do we rank Shohei Ohtani, who is eligible to both hit and pitch? You’ll find the answers to all those questions and more in our MLB Top 100 for 2020. So without further ado, let’s get started.
- Mike Trout, CF, Angels
The best player in baseball remains at the top of our list for the sixth straight year. Trout is coming off another incredible season in which he hit .291/.438/.645 with 45 home runs, 104 RBI and 110 runs scored. He also stole 11 bases and played stellar defense in center field.
There’s simply no weakness in Trout’s game, as he’s an elite hitter, fielder and baserunner. He’s also just 27 years old, so he should be in the prime of his career for years to come. Trout is the standard by which all other players are measured, and he’s deserving of the top spot on our list.
- Ronald Acuna Jr., RF, Braves
Acuna was our top-ranked prospect heading into the 2018 season, and he’s lived up to the hype in his first two years in the majors. The 21-year-old has hit .292/.366/.552 with 49 homers, 101 RBI, 118 runs scored and 32 stolen bases in just 154 games.
Acuna has already established himself as one of the game’s premier all-around talents. He’s a five-tool player who can impact the game in a variety of ways, and he should only get better as he continues to develop. Acuna is the future of baseball, and he comes in at No. 2 on our list.
- Christian Yelich, LF, Brewers
Yelich was in the running for the NL MVP award for the second straight season in 2019, as he hit .329/.429/.671 with 44 homers, 97 RBI and 110 runs scored. He also stole 30 bases and won his second Gold Glove Award in left field.
The 27-year-old has developed into one of baseball’s most complete players. He’s an elite hitter with power and speed, and he’s also a terrific defender in the outfield. Yelich is in the prime of his career, and he’s coming off back-to-back seasons as one of the game’s best players. He comes in at No. 3 on our list.
- Gerrit Cole, RHP, Astros
Cole was absolutely dominant in his first season with the Astros, going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 240 strikeouts in 212.1 innings pitched. He was also named an All-Star for the second time in his career.
Cole was simply unhittable at times last season, as he led the majors in strikeouts while also posting a career-best ERA. He’s developed into one of baseball’s premier pitchers, and he’s just entering his prime at age 29. Cole is worth every penny of his $324 million contract, and he comes in at No. 4 on our list.
- Jacob deGrom, RHP, Mets
deGrom followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2018 season with another excellent campaign in 2019. The 31-year-old went 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 255 strikeouts in 204 innings pitched. He also won his second straight NL Cy Young Award.
deGrom has established himself as one of baseball’s elite pitchers, as he’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA in four straight seasons. He’s also struck out at least 250 batters in three consecutive years, and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. deGrom is the undisputed ace of the Mets’ pitching staff, and he comes in at No. 5 on our list.