Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who's In Your Top 5?

As my buddy Aarron and I got bored watching the Rockies' 11-game winning streak come to an uncerimonious end the other night, we started debating the current baseball greats.

Since baseball is in such a transitional state right now, it strangely became a somewhat difficult task to lock down the current Top 5 players in the game right now. Just a couple of years ago, it seemed a little easier, but we are currently witnessing the end of the steroids era (Manny and A-Rod speculations) and the beginning of a new era of stars (Longoria, Hamels, Lincecum, etc.).

Aarron would probably disagree with me on having Manny in here, but here is my final Top 5 list of the best current baseball players:

1. Albert Pujols - with a bullet

2. Manny Ramirez - still waiting to get all the info about any kind of PEDs but regardless, he is still the best pure hitter in baseball

3. Johan Santana - the only truly dominant pitcher in the game right now when on

4. Hanley Ramirez - Potential has no limits

5. Chase Utley - explanation below

Ok... Let's take a moment for everyone to breathe (especially anyone that is freaking out that A-Rod is not on the list).

I know a lot of people are going to see me including Utley as a homer pick on my part, but just hear me out (believe me, I was TRYING to get Chase off of the list, but after the following reasons, just couldn't do it).

Yes, A-Rod has the power and has been a pretty solid defensive player for most of his career, but here's the bigger question: for what other reason should he be on the list?

Utley has a ring - and was a big part of the title run (most noteably, he saved the NLCS Game 1 with a clutch home run and got things going with a first inning homer in Game 1 of the World Series).

I think the bigger point becomes is A-Rod even the best third baseman in baseball right now? You could definitley make arguments for Wright and Longoria; but who is even in the same conversation as Utley at his position. I know second base is not sexy, but he is kinda making it sexy.

I've thought about this for two days now, trying to change my list, but the more I think about it, the more solid it feels.

Open to suggestions.


EZ said...

1. Pujols - Hard to argue for anyone else at #1.

2. Johan Santana - The most dominant starting pitcher of the last several years.

3. Manny - The toughest hitter to face today besides Pujols.

4. Roy Halladay - At the risk of sounding like a homer Jays fan, he's been an underrated stud his whole career who racks up complete game wins left and right.

5. David Wright - I think he slightly edges out Utley and Hanley as the best star infielder who could be the next greatest hitter in baseball.

The Triumphant Return of Paulie Walnuts said...

As I texted you prior to reading your blog (without any thought at all):

1. Pujols (easily)
2. A Rod
3. Manny
4. Hanley
5. Utley

A Rod was ahead of Albert in a lot of people's minds just a year ago; he hasn't fallen THAT far. They were dumb, but they had a case.

We saw what Manny can do. You could argue him over Pujols if your life depended on THIS YEAR. You'd be wrong, but not insane.

Hanley is highest on the 'unlimited potential' scale. Longoria is prob #2 of that club.

Utley gest the nod over Wright in the 'we know what we're gonna get, we like it, and we excpect it for a while'. If Mets don't choke and Wright has the ring, I would swap. Those guys are almost the same to me. Either way is a good answer.

I'll never have a pitcher in the convo. They are the Running backs on baseball. Sexy, amazing, and wonderful when you have a great one, but they burn out without warning, no names can be just as good (Cliff Lee), and you can get by with scrubs (Jammie Moyer). After Santana and Halladay, I'd prob just as soon take Carp and hope he's healthy over the other 'studs' (maybe Lincacum, but how long will his body last?).

Kevin said...

It's hard because with pitchers, defensive studs, and sluggers they each play a key role..some are a flash in the pan but some have consistency and strike fear into the other teams..some are better because the teams they are are my quick top 5 people in baseball..

1. Pujols
2. Manny
3. Santana
4. ARod
5. Josh Beckett

Kevin said...

I also think with the steroids and some of the "greats" getting older that we are in a transition period..kind of like in the NBA when Michael Jordan retired, everyone was the "next Jordan" and players like Barkley, Ewing, "The Dream", and others were also took awhile for true lasting stars to emerge..players like Hanley, Wright, Utley, Howard, Coles, Cain, Lincecum, Upton brothers, Hunter Pence, Adam Jones..they may become the Top 5 in baseball..but they haven’t earned that yet.

Just Being Josh said...

Kev, DEFINITELY agree that there needs to be some more time for some of these guys to be considered all time greats, but I was just trying to come up with the 5 best guys RIGHT NOW.

If we had played this game a few years ago, I think Vlad, Miguel Cabrera, Torii Hunter, etc. might have been included?

Going for the instant gratification, baby!!

The Triumphant Return of Paulie Walnuts said...

Looks like Pujols and Manny are agreed...prob even Arod

after that you like the next teir of five-tool guys or pitching

Santana, Utley, Wright, Hanley

Beckett top 5 is a no way....other than that I dont see any problems

willmcdougal said...

What other player is as complete as Pujols + has a ring + has famous "clutch" moments + is not linked to steroids + has tons of time left in his prime?

I mean, Paul and I have spent tons of time discussing the fact that Pujols is winning the Decade Triple Crown right now.

1. Pujols

2-5. difficult to tell.

Anonymous said...

1. Pujols
2. Hanley - Seen play in person, he's on another level
3. Longoria - every bit the offensive/defensive equal of wright with more power.
4. Utley
5. Mauer - best offensive/defensive catcher in game. always hits high average and handles Minnesota's staff better than any catcher in league.