The Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Angels have something in common: they each have a truly stellar player that projects to be one of the league’s best players in the foreseeable future.
Predicting MLB’s Best 3 Players Five Years From Now
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
If there is one hitter in MLB that has the potential to surpass Mike Trout as the best overall offensive producer in the league, it’s Juan Soto.
The Washington Nationals’ star is already putting mind-boggling numbers as a major leaguer at age 22.
Juan Soto con TREMENDO JONRÓN… 💪💪💪 pic.twitter.com/AHl4519LJY
— Los Nacionales (@losnacionales) April 11, 2021
Not only that, but he also led the team to a World Series title in 2019 when he was 20 years old.
Soto is really a one-of-a-kind player who played only eight games above Class-A advanced, at Double-A, before making the jump to the bigs in 2018.
As a major leaguer, he has hit .298/.417/.557 with a 153 weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+, a stat that helps measure the quality of a player’s offensive output.
In wRC+, 100 is average, which means that Soto’s offensive production has been 53 percent better than his peers.
In 2019, his only full season in MLB (2020 was a shortened year and the 2021 campaign is just getting started), he hit .282/.401/.548 in 150 games and 659 plate appearances.
That year, he hit 34 home runs, scored 110 runs, and drove in another 110, adding 12 steals.
Prior to this season, Soto said he wanted to steal more bases, which would make him even more valuable and versatile.
So far this season, Soto is hitting .378/.465/.568.
It’s scary to think how good he can become in five years, when he’ll be just 27.
Fernando Tatis, San Diego Padres
If Soto projects to have elite offensive productions for years to come, Tatis offers flair, style, and confidence, elements that MLB certainly welcomes.
Tatis is already one of the best players in MLB, at age 22, and his projection for the next five years is extremely positive.
Tatis is a true five-tool player in an era that the term gets thrown around very easily: he has the ability to hit for a high average, as he did in his rookie 2019 season (.317 in 372 plate appearances), he can hit for power as evidenced by his 40 homers at such a young age, he has very good defense, a great arm, and is lightning quick.
His career line of .297/.371/.575 with a 147 wRC+ is just a preview, a peek of what he can do in the major leagues.
Ten days ago, he suffered a shoulder subluxation on a swing and miss, which is an injury that can sideline a player for a while.
However, Tatis has already been activated from the injured list by the San Diego Padres as he recovered in record time.
The #Padres have activated SS Fernando Tatis Jr. from the 10-day IL and optioned INF/OF Tucupita Marcano to the alternate training site.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 16, 2021
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout is still MLB’s best player, and while other players are getting close, none of them match his past performance with present talent.
If Mike Trout decided today that he doesn’t want to play anymore and retired, he would still be a surefire Hall of Famer.
For his career, he has a .305/.418/.584, 306 home runs, 201 stolen bases, and an absolutely insane 172 wRC+, a figure most players would dream to have in a season.
And, at 29 years old, Trout is still in the prime of his career and can still perform at a similar level over the next five years.
The Los Angeles Angels have themselves a truly generational talent, one that could go down as the best to ever play the game when all is said and done.
Acuna Jr. And Mike Trout already have a 1.0 war this year. Absolutely incredible.
— The OG Tommy Z (@tommyzografos) April 15, 2021