Saturday, February 17, 2007

Best of the Best Conclusion: Baseball Edition [David Stefanini]

This is the conclusion of the Best of the Best posts. It has taken me a little longer to write because there are so many players in baseball it is nearly impossible to say who are the top 5. There will be a lot of disagreement with these picks, and there should be. One can make a case for literally 20 different top 5's. When writing this post I re-wrote my list 6 times, at first including names like A-Rod, then taking them out. So without any further delays here it is:
1 - Albert Pujols - Pujols is the most versatile in the game today. Every time he steps to the plate there is a good possibility bringing in every runner on base, including himself. Along with being the best batter in the league Pujols can play outfield or 1st base exceptionally well. There is nothing he can't do and he is still growing as a hitter and a defensive player. The sky is the limit for Pujols and there is no telling when he will get there.
2 - David Ortiz - Ortiz is the most clutch hitter in the league. With the game on the line in the 9th inning who do you want up to the plate, Ortiz without question. He does not play defense because he is the DH, but there is no questioning what he can do with the bat. He may not be the fastest runner or the best hitter for AVG. however the way he steps up in the clutch over compensates for his lack of speed and defense.
3 - Johan Santana - Is there a more dominating pitcher in the league? Undoubtedly no. He lead the league in Wins, Strikeouts (by a mile), and ERA. For the second time in his career he won the CY Young Award with a unanimous vote. When he takes the hill his team has a very good chance to walk out with a victory. His change up makes even the best hitters look like sorry excuses for batters and his fastball makes even the best hitters look silly trying to catch up. He is the most dominating pitcher in the league and still has a long career ahead of him.
4 - Derek Jeter - Jeter has been the face of baseball for quite sometime now. More than just his hitting his defense is unbelievable. He is a complete player and has been the leader of the Yankees for several years. His leadership is what makes Jeter the player he is. It is impossible for one player to win a game in baseball, but at times you can see Jeter willing the Yankees to victory.
5 - Ryan Howard - Howard just completed his second full year in the majors and did he show up with a bang. Howard lead the majors in HR's and RBI's at 58 and 149 respectively. He won the MVP Award by almost bringing the Phillies into the playoffs single-handily. Going into next year he has to be one of the top 2 favorites to win the MVP Award again. It should be a great race between him and Pujols to see who can claim the award.

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