In 2019 the MLB unveiled the first edition of the All-MLB Team. The first team was (in my opinion) a good idea, as it allows us to have a way to select what we think is the best possible team at the END of the season after the highs and lows of a year. This year presents the lack of an All-Star game, so the All-MLB Team is going to have more importance this year, which I am excited for. I’ve always personally wanted an All-MLB Team, but who will make the first team? This is based on predictions and fairly educated guesses, so I could be wrong, but that’s the fun of it!
The All-MLB Team had 8 position players, a DH, 5 Starting Pitchers, and 2 Relievers, so that’s what I will use.
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani Grandal was snubbed in 2019 by the All-MLB First Team, with JT Realmuto getting the spot. Grandal has a 123 wRC+ and .357 wOBA with a 27.4 FRM since 2018, and has been the best catcher in the sport since 2018. I see him continuing his success with the White Sox now, though I doubt that he will be in the postseason.
First Base: Matt Olson
Yes I know Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy exist however I think Olson will get the nomination at the end of the season due to his great bat and his incredible defense. He was 15th in xwOBA (3rd among 1st Baseman) and first in Outs Above Average defensively. I think Muncy and Freeman (or even Rizzo) can get this spot, but my guess is is Olson for his great bat and premier defense.
Second Base: DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu is defensively an elite second baseman, as he had 3 OAA despite only 150 sttempts, and in a full season at second base, he had 14 OAA. Offensively he was 3rd in wRC+, 2nd in wOBA, and 1st in xwOBA among second baseman. Similarly to Matt Olson, while he’s probably not the best offensive second baseman, his defense being elite will get him this spot. The main competitors for DJ will most likely be Jose Altuve and Ketel Marte.
Third Base: Anthony Rendon
The best 3rd baseman in the MLB, Rendon offensively was 5th in xwOBA, (1st among 3B), 2nd in wrC+ among third baseman, and 2nd in wOBA among third baseman. His defense is above average as well, with 2 OAA. I think with his bat and solid defense, it’ll be hard for guys like Alex Bregman, Matt Chapman, Nolan Arenado, or Josh Donaldson to compete with.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa
Let me preface this by saying that I abhor Carlos Correa’s handling of the scandal and the Astros’ organization. This doesn’t mean the dude isn’t an absolute stud. In 2019 Correa had a .391 xwOBA (which is first among SS). He also had hit 21 home runs in merely 321 plate apperances. He was also 9th in OAA with 9 OAA. Yes he struggled in 2018, but that was due to injuries that had him on and off the field. I think Francisco Lindor or Trevor Story are great selections but for the fact that Correa could avoid injuries in a short season and is an elite hitter and defender, so he’s my pick.
Outfield: Christian Yelich
I want to put Aaron Judge here, but I can’t put him above a dude who has had a xwOBA above .400 since 2018, a .431 wOBA, 170 wRC+, .631 SLG, and 15.4 fWAR. Yelich is an average to below average defender, but his offense is incredible and undoubtedly going to be able to do it again until I see otherwise.
Outfield: Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts had an historic 2018, which made a lot of people feel like he wasn’t that good in 2019. While he did regress from 2018, he was still very much so elite, with a .408 xwOBA and 7 OAA, alongside a 6.6 fWAR which was 9th in the league. He’s going to perform closer to .400 for his wOBA and keep up his elite defense. He’s an MVP candidate and there’s no denying his spot for my prediction.
Outfield: Mike Trout
Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, period. There is no debate, no argument, no question, no competition. Mike Trout’s been 1st in fWAR, wRC+, xwOBA, wOBA, and OBP since 2018. This dude is insanely talented, and if there’s anyone that’a a lock for the All-MLB first team, it’s the Milville Meteor.
Designated Hitter: Yordan Alvarez
Yordan Alvarez was incredible in 2019, as he had a .432 wOBA and a .410 xwOBA. He hit 27 home runs in only 87 games and while he probably will regress from that stretch (as shown in the postseason) due to his BABIP being high, it will still be great most likely. I could probably see Nelson Cruz in this spot as well, and maybe even JD Davis or Nick Castellanos.
Starting Pitcher 1: Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole’s xFIP and SIERA are only second the Chris Sale since 2018, who won’t be pitching due to injury. The insane strikeout numbers and great metrics even in a ballpark that’s 7th in ESPN’s Park Factor in runs, 6th in Home Runs, and 9th in Hits. Yankee Stadium is surprisingly pitcher friendly, so his ERA will stay in the 2.50 range and will probably net him the top spot.
Starting Pitcher 2: Max Scherzer
I’ve made it very clear that I strongly believe that Max Scherzer is the best NL pitcher due to xFIP and SIERA giving the advantage to Scherzer since 2018. I think Scherzer is a great pitcher and that he just edges out the third pitcher, as this season you could arguably switch the top three around because only the season can truly tell.
Starting Pitcher 3: Jacob deGrom
The Mets’ ace is great, and while I think his Cy Young reign ends in 2020, but he will still be elite. The dude’s filthy and gives up softer contact than most. I think you will see deGrom continue to thrive as a starter and cruise his way onto this team. There’s very little doubt in my mind that he will be on this team.
Starting Pitcher 4: Justin Verlander
Since 2018, Justin Verlander is 2nd in SIERA, had a xWOBA in the .240s, had the 5th best xFIP, and is still great. He won the Cy Young in an undeserving manner in 2019, but he’s still a great pitcher and is a top 5 pitcher in this sport. Barring his performance aging, I think he will find his spot on the All-MLB team here at the end of this season.
Starting Pitcher 5: Stephen Strasburg
Placing 7th in SIERA and 6th in xFIP since 2018, Strasburg had a breakthrough in 2019 with a healthy successful season. I think that Strasburg will be in the Cy Young race and live up to his massive contract. The Nationals will enjoy having two of the best pitchers in baseball, and have two on the All-MLB first team.
Relief Pitcher 1: Josh Hader
I think Hader will make his second All-MLB First Team, as since 2018, Hader has a minuscule 1.73 SIERA with a 2.20 xFIP. He’s also struck out by 47.2% of batters faced since 2018, and has done it with a mere 0.81 WHIP, which is incredibly dominant. I think he’s the best reliever in the sport and it’ll be reflected in 2020.
Relief Pitcher 2: Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson’s rise in 2019 was a shock for most, but the dude was elite. In 2019 he had a 2.21 SIERA and 2.44 xFIP. He was even BETTER with the Rays when he had a 21.1 inning stint where he struck out 52.6% of batters he faced, had a 1.03 SIERA, and had a 1.19 xFIP. That’s beyond dominant and incredible, and while I don’t think it’s sustainable over a full season, he will be good enough to make the All-MLB first team.
What do you think about my All-MLB first team? Let me know who would or wouldn’t make it in your opinion.
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