Another decade just concluded, which makes this an opportune time to review baseball’s best players at each position over the prior 10 years. This is certainly a debatable topic, and it’s just one person’s opinion, so feel free to make any disagreements known in the comments section below…
Catcher: Buster Posey, Giants
- Father Time has seemingly caught up with Posey in recent seasons, but it doesn’t diminish the 32-year-old’s overall excellence. From 2010-19, he was an instrumental member of three World Series-winning Giants teams, an NL MVP winner and a six-time All-Star. Posey slashed .302/.371/.458 with 140 home runs and 53.0 fWAR during that span, potentially putting himself on a Hall of Fame course.
First base: Joey Votto, Reds
- Votto – now 36 and in the twilight of his career – should go down as one of the greatest and most intelligent hitters in the history of the game. He ran roughshod over pitchers throughout the prior decade, batting .306/.428/.516 with 231 homers and 48.0 fWAR, and joined Posey in earning six All-Star nods and an NL MVP.
Second base: Jose Altuve, Astros
- Hey, another six-time All-Star and a former MVP. But unlike Posey and Votto, who have faded of late, Altuve’s still a high-end performer. The diminutive 29-year-old’s fresh off his sixth straight outstanding season after beginning his career as a fairly non-threatening hitter. Between 2014-19, Altuve hit .327/.380/.497 with 114 dingers and helped his team to a championship. He ranked fourth in the majors in fWAR (32.4) and fifth in stolen bases (179) during that span.
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Indians
- Mr. Smile has been the focus of significant trade speculation over the past couple months, which tends to happen when you’re an elite player who seems unwilling to sign an extension with a small-market club. Regardless of where Lindor plays in the future, there’s no denying the four-time All-Star has an incredible past. Lindor, 26, has posted a .288/.347/.493 line with 130 homers, 93 steals and 27.2 fWAR since he debuted in 2015.
Third base: Josh Donaldson, Free Agent
- Fresh off a tremendous several years, the 34-year-old Donaldson’s now the No. 1 free agent on the market. Donaldson rose to prominence as a member of the Athletics in 2014 and has since played for three other teams (the Blue Jays, Indians and Braves). Between his breakout campaign and last season, the Bringer of Rain finished third among position players in fWAR (33.3), hit .272/.374/.524 with 185 homers, picked up three All-Star bids and took home an AL MVP.
- Was there any doubt Trout would make this list? He’s a three-time MVP at the age of 28, easily the best player of last decade and someone who could quit right now and go down as one of the preeminent players the sport has ever seen. The rest of the outfield’s more debatable, but Betts and McCutchen made strong cases over the past few years. They’re each ex-MVPs who have been among a handful of elite performers for about half a decade. Most of McCutchen’s success came as a member of the Pirates, but he has become more of a complementary player with the Giants, Yankees and Phillies over the past couple seasons.
Designated hitter: David Ortiz, Retired
- You’re well within your rights to want, say, the ageless Nelson Cruz here, but I’ll take the now-retired Ortiz – one of the most feared hitters and one of its premier big-game hitters throughout his career. From 2010 until his retirement in 2016, Big Papi was a five-time All-Star, a two-time champion and a one-time World Series MVP. Ortiz slashed .292/.383/.562 and swatted 224 HRs in that span before saying goodbye to the game. Even in his final season, his age-40-campaign, Ortiz was a force at the plate.