As we approach the 2021 MLB trade deadline, it’s a good time to answer an interesting question: Who are the three most untouchable players in baseball?
A lot of factors go into a question like this.
Several years ago, a lot of baseball fans probably would have agreed that Boston Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts was untouchable, but when his contract was set to expire, he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a blockbuster deal.
Superstar status isn’t enough to make a player untouchable.
Rather, the biggest factors to consider are things like age, the contract situation, and most importantly, the trajectory of the team that the player is on.
Taking all of these things into account, we’ve ranked the three most untouchable players in baseball as this year’s deadline approaches.
3. Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has been impressive at every turn of his young career, and in 2021, he has taken his game to ridiculous heights.
The 22-year-old is the best player on a San Diego Padres team that has legit title aspirations.
He is batting .291 this year with league-best marks in slugging (.654), OPS (1.029), OPS+ (184), home runs (29), stolen bases (22), and runs (74).
Day time blast from Tatis Jr 😎
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 21, 2021
Tatis has a 5.0 WAR already, and he will definitely be a factor in the National League MVP race.
Through two-and-a-half seasons at the MLB level, Tatis has already won a Silver Slugger Award, been named an All-Star, finished in the top-three of the 2019 Rookie of the Year race, and finished in the top-four of the 2020 MVP race.
There will likely be plenty more accolades for the youngster after the 2021 season ends.
The Padres should do their very best to make sure he never plays a game for another team.
2. Mike Trout
Mike Trout’s greatness should never be taken for granted.
There is no chance whatsoever of the future Hall of Famer being traded any time soon, especially given his contract situation (he is set to remain with the Los Angeles Angels through the 2030 season).
Trout has missed much of the 2021 campaign due to a calf injury, but he is set to return soon.
Baseball fans have missed watching the all-time great this year.
Trout has completed 10 seasons at the MLB level, and here are some of his accomplishments:
- He has won three MVP awards and has been a top-two finisher seven times.
- He has been named to nine All-Star teams.
- He has won eight Silver Sluggers.
- He has led the league in OPS+ six times.
- He has led the league in OPS four times.
- He has led the league in OBP four times.
- He has led the league in WAR four times.
One can only hope that the Angels crack the postseason with Trout in the near future.
A ring is the only thing missing from the superstar’s legacy.
1. Shohei Ohtani
Trout is still the best player in baseball, but if you were building a team from scratch, you’d probably want Shohei Ohtani as your franchise player.
Ohtani will likely win multiple MVP awards before he retires.
As a two-way guy who is elite both offensively and on the mound, he brings an absurd amount of value to the table.
He essentially packs two seasons’ worth of production into one campaign.
At the plate, Ohtani currently leads the league in home runs (34) and slugging (.679).
He also has a 1.040 OPS and 171 OPS+.
Shohei Ohtani has 34 HR this year.
And he's pitching tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/793wZ2SoWJ
— MLB (@MLB) July 18, 2021
On the mound, he has a 3.21 ERA, 3.37 FIP, and 1.16 WHIP in 14 starts.
He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 14 outings.
On the whole, he has a 6.1 WAR, putting him on pace for a 10.5 mark by the end of the year.
We’re witnessing one of the greatest single seasons in the history of the sport, and there’s no reason to believe Ohtani’s future years will look much different from this one.
At just 27 years old, he has a massive contract in his future.
He is currently locked up through the 2023 season.