Opening Day is finally upon us in MLB, and this year is even sweeter than usual.
For old-school fans last year was a gimmick of a season considering they only played 60 games.
With full a full season ahead of us, let’s look at the top players who separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Here are the top 5 players entering the 2021 MLB season.
5. Juan Soto
Juan Soto is one of the best pure hitters the game has ever seen and the oldest he has been during an MLB game is 21 years old.
He has slugged over .500, recorded an OBP above .400, and logged an OPS above .920 in all three seasons he has been apart of.
His slugging and OPS have improved every year.
He does not only produce in the regular season, but also in the postseason.
As a 20-year-old he was thrust into the spotlight of a 7 game world series matchup and he stepped up in a big way.
He posted a 1.178 OPS with seven RBI’s and three homers in seven games.
He also averages 36 homers every 162 games.
I would not be surprised if he is the best player in baseball in a year or two.
Juan Soto talks that talk, and he can back it up.
— MLB (@MLB) March 27, 2021
4. Fernando Tatis Jr.
While Juan Soto is the better pure hitter of these two phenoms, Tatis’s value to a club is immeasurable.
He is a human highlight reel.
Every game you can count on him to wow the crowd with a dazzling play from the box, on the basepath, or in the field.
Tatis Jr. has only played 143 games in his career which some people point to as a bad thing, but I see it as a positive.
He was a top prospect and this production is not a surprise, so why do some expect it to drop off?
He will only improve with more experience and he has already been phenomenal.
In 143 regular-season games, he has posted a .301/.374/.582 slash line and has accumulated 39 homers and 27 steals in those games.
His impact is so much more than just numbers, his energy and swag are the engine that fuels the Padres.
Baseball is a mental game and Tatis helps improve all of his teammate’s mentalities.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 13, 2021
3. Jacob Degrom
Degrom has not had much offensive help in the last few years, but he still posted exceptional numbers when his record was not reflecting his impact.
In his last three seasons, his ERA has been below 2.50, his WHIP below 1.00, and has had more than 11 k’s/9, yet he is only 25-19 in that span.
The Mets added shortstop Francisco Lindor to their lineup which will greatly bolster their offense this year.
Degrom should have the extra run support this year that he has deserved for the last three years.
Jacob deGrom, 100mph Fastball. 🔥
Nova's face. 😂 pic.twitter.com/0izqhH5KtD
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 16, 2021
2. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts is one of the most consistent players in the MLB and even when he was traded all the way across the country, he did not miss a beat.
He has been a silver slugger for four of the past five seasons.
Not only is he a dominant offensive player, but he has also won five straight gold gloves.
Mookie is an even-keeled leader who carries himself very well and helped the Dodgers win their first world series with this core of players.
Not only was his bat and glove a welcome addition, but his ability to focus and be a pro definitely helped the Dodgers grind through the postseason.
1. Mike Trout
When it is all said and done, Trout may go down as the best player to ever step onto the diamond.
He has played nine seasons winning rookie of the year in his first, finishing top five in MVP voting every year while inning three times, and has been named a silver slugger eight times.
He had a down year for his standards last year which still consisted of a .993 OPS and 17 homers in just 51 games.
His approach at the plate is exceptional, he can field, and his speed is underrated even though he does not steal much anymore.
I just hope we get to see Trout in the playoffs before his prime is over.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) March 20, 2021