Ten years ago, I posted a 30-year All-Star team, pulling one player from each team & one player from each year 1981-2010 and making a 30-man roster of players. Now, I am doing the same thing for the time period 1991-2020.
Basic rules: the roster consists of two players at each of the eight defensive positions (2-9), one DH, one extra IF & OF, one utility player (at least 30 games each at two position groups (C, IF, or OF)), seven starting pitchers, & three relievers; position is determined by most number of games played at in the season in question (pitchers with more relief appearances than starts count as relievers); any player can only appear once on the list (no Bonds for PIT & SFG). I used Fangraphs WAR & WPA values, along with Baseball-Reference WAR & Win-Loss% w/Avg Team (waaWL%, basically Wins Above Average as a rate stat, normalized to a .500 W%); traditional stats were not really part of my decision making, though awards may have factored in somewhat. For any year with a limited schedule, I extrapolated the stats for comparison purposes. Any player that played for multiple teams during the year counts toward whatever team he had the highest combined WAR. For pitchers, I folded in their hitting to help determine their overall ranking.
Stats are listed out as: [batters] G / PA, fWAR / bWAR, waaWL%, AVG/OBP/SLG, 35+ 2B / 10+ 3B / 20+ HR / 20+ SB, 90+ R / 90+ RBI / 170+ H / 80+ BB, fWPA, 5+ Total Zone Runs (Rtot) / 5+ DRS / 5.0+ UZR (5.0+ DEF for >2008 catchers), All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, ROY voting rank, MVP voting rank, HOF; [pitchers] G / GS / IP (GS only if no relief appearances, G only if no starts), fWAR / bWAR (including batting if >0), waaWL%, fWPA, W-L record, Save Opportunities, Holds, ERA / FIP, 8+ K/9, less than 2 BB/9, 2.50+ K/BB, All-Star, Gold Glove, ROY voting rank, MVP voting rank, CYA voting rank, HOF.
The data collection for this project took a really long time to compile, plus many hours to determine the best combination of players for the list. I wasn't able to pick the best performance every year; some seasons had several great players, some teams hurt for top-notch options & had to take a lesser fallback position to make the process work, although I would venture that none are truly lacking. Overall, I think I did pretty well - 8 HOF inductees, 8 more solid possibilities, 8 MVP & 5 CYA seasons (only two players failed to make their All-Star team), and no starting pitcher & only one position player with an average WAR (FG & BR) less than 7.0 [extrapolated] (the three relievers all topped 3.5 WAR). I welcome your looking over this list and commenting & making suggestions as to changes & improvements.
1991 - Cal Ripken Jr - SS - BAL (162 G / 717 PA, 10.6 fWAR / 11.5 bWAR, .556 waaWL%, .323/.374/.566, 46 2B / 34 HR, 99 R / 114 RBI / 210 H, +4.32 fWPA, 23 Rtot, All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player, HOF) Cal put up his finest season, winning his 2nd MVP award & garnering his first GG, while setting career highs in HR, RBI, & WAR. Ripken solidly beat out Roger Clemens (CYA), Barry Bonds, Tom Glavine (CYA), Frank Thomas, Junior Griffey, & Ryne Sandberg, as well as NL MVP Terry Pendleton & AL runner-up Cecil Fielder. He was also by far the best option for the Orioles, with Chris Davis, Brian Roberts, Manny Machado, Mike Mussina, & Zach Britton the standouts.
1992 - Andy Van Slyke - CF - PIT (154 G / 686 PA, 6.5 fWAR / 6.0 bWAR, .527 waaWL%, .324/.381/.505, 45 2B / 12 3B, 103 R / 199 H, +4.38 fWPA, All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, 4th-MVP) The only entry (non-RP) below the 7-win threshold, Van Slyke was still a Top 10 position player (by WAR) in '92, leading the NL in Hits & Doubles. Pittsburgh is lacking in options, as Andy was just fifth on the WAR list after Barry Bonds, Andrew McCutchen, Brian Giles, & Jay Bell (SP was a relative wasteland & the relievers didn't stand out enough). The best players that year were headed by teammate Bonds (MVP), Greg Maddux (CYA), Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Darren Daulton, & Frank Thomas, along with Dennis Eckersley (MVP/CYA).
1993 - Mike Piazza - C - LAD (149 G / 602 PA, 7.4 fWAR / 7.0 bWAR, .535 waaWL%, .318/.370/.561, 35 HR, 112 RBI / 174 H, +3.80 fWPA, 8 Rtot, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Rookie Of The Year, 9th-MVP, HOF) For a Top 10 draft pick (never mind a 62-round pick), it was a hell of a debut for a catcher, as the 2nd-best position player in the NL. Barry Bonds (MVP) & Jose Rijo were at the head of the class, out in front of Ken Griffey Jr, Kevin Appier, John Olerud, Kenny Lofton, Mark Langston, and award winners Greg Maddux (CYA), Frank Thomas (MVP), & Jack McDowell (CYA). Mike is part of an impressive group of Dodgers, including Adrian Beltre, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, & Eric Gagne.
1994 - Greg Maddux - SP - ATL (25 GS / 202 IP, 7.7* fWAR / 8.7* bWAR, .779 waaWL%, +6.13 fWPA, 16-6 W-L, 1.56 ERA / 2.39 FIP, 1.4 BB/9, 5.03 K/BB, All-Star, Gold Glove, 5th-MVP, Cy Young Award, HOF *(including batting)) Winning his third consecutive CYA (& fifth of a record 18 Gold Gloves), Maddux's numbers were very impressive even before you factor in a 114-game league schedule; his 8.2 average WAR extrapolates out to over 11.6 WAR, second to only Bonds' 2001-02 ridiculousness within this era. Picking him over the equally-brilliant Jeff Bagwell (MVP) was a tough decision, with Kenny Lofton, Junior Griffey, Frank Thomas (MVP), Barry Bonds, Bret Saberhagen, David Cone (CYA), & Randy Johnson in the rear-view. The trio of 90's Atlanta starters (Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine) headlines a strong list, along with Freddie Freeman, J.D. Drew, Andruw Jones, Mark Teixeira (including LAA numbers), Marcus Giles, & Chipper Jones.
1995 - Edgar Martinez - DH - SEA (145 G / 639 PA, 7.0 fWAR / 7.0 bWAR, .533 waaWL%, .356/.479/.628, 52 2B / 29 HR, 121 R / 113 RBI / 182 H / 116 BB, +7.58 fWPA, All-Star, Silver Slugger, 3rd-MVP, HOF) Edgar was the gold standard at DH for many years, with '95 the high point as he led the AL in Runs & AVG and the Majors in Doubles, OBP, & WPA. This season did not lack for quality, led by Randy Johnson (CYA) & Greg Maddux (CYA), as well as John Valentin, Albert Belle, Reggie Sanders, & league MVP's Barry Larkin & Mo Vaughn. The Mariners are stacked, with Top-5 2B, SS, CF, DH, & SP (Bret Boone, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr, Martinez, Johnson), plus Ichiro & King Felix.
1996 - Chuck Knoblauch - 2B - MIN (153 G / 701 PA, 8.1 fWAR / 8.7 bWAR, .540 waaWL%, .341/.448/.517, 35 2B / 14 3B / 45 SB, 140 R / 197 H / 98 BB, +3.15 fWPA, 11 Rtot, All-Star, 16th-MVP) Before his move to the Yankees & the "yips" that derailed his career, Knoblauch was a heck of a player, combining walks, speed, defense, & surprising pop. He's a pretty solid choice for this year, alongside Junior Griffey, Barry Bonds, John Smoltz (CYA), Bernard Gilkey, Ken Caminiti (MVP), Pat Hentgen (CYA), Juan Gonzalez (MVP), and the emergence of Alex Rodriguez & Mariano Rivera. Chuck's '96 season tops the Twins list, beating out Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, & Kirby Puckett.
1997 - Larry Walker - RF - COL (153 G / 664 PA, 9.1 fWAR / 9.8 bWAR, .553 waaWL%, .366/.452/.720, 46 2B / 49 HR / 33 SB, 143 R / 130 RBI / 208 H, +6.65 fWPA, 10 Rtot, All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player, HOF) Part of the most recent HOF class, Walker really put it all together in '97, setting career highs in most offensive categories (some surpassed later) to go with his quality defense; not a complete Coors Field illusion, his 178 OPS+ was 2nd in NL to Mike Piazza. He was the top position player that year, with Roger Clemens (CYA), Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr (MVP), Piazza, Pedro Martinez (CYA), & Barry Bonds topping a strong group. Larry leads the Rockies entries, along with Todd Helton, Ellis Burks, Trevor Story, Matt Holliday, Ubaldo Jimenez, & Gabe White.
1998 - Kevin Brown - SP - SDP (36 G / 35 GS / 257 IP, 10.1* fWAR / 9.1* bWAR, .683 waaWL%, +4.30 fWPA, 18-7 W-L, 1 Hold, 2.38 ERA / 2.23 FIP, 9.0 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 5.24 K/BB, All-Star, 16th-MVP, 3rd-CYA *(including batting)) Having his finest season (leading the majors in FIP), Kevin finished probably two wins short of winning the Cy Young Award (which might have clinched HOF consideration). He was the best player that year, in front of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens (CYA), Mark McGwire, John Olerud, Sammy Sosa (MVP), Tom Glavine (CYA), Juan Gonzalez (MVP), & Trevor Hoffman. Brown's lone campaign in San Diego was well ahead of Ken Caminiti, Jake Peavy, Chase Headley, Hoffman, & the 2020 trio of Fernando Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, & Dinelson Lamet.
1999 - Keith Foulke - RP - CHW (67 G / 105.1 IP, 2.9 fWAR / 4.5 bWAR, .545 waaWL%, +3.32 fWPA, 3-3 W-L, 9/13 SvOpp, 22 Holds, 2.22 ERA / 2.84 FIP, 10.5 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 5.86 K/BB, 10th-CYA) Still just a setup man at this point, Foulke was 2nd in the majors in Inherited Runners Scored % and 4th in Holds, as well as tied for 1st in average WAR among relievers (Billy Wagner). His overall numbers understandably pale compared to the leaders Pedro Martinez (CYA), Randy Johnson (CYA), Derek Jeter, Jeff Bagwell, Manny Ramirez, Roberto Alomar, Chipper Jones (MVP), Mike Hampton, & Ivan Rodriguez (MVP).Keith is well down the list for the White Sox, led by Frank Thomas, Jose Abreu, Albert Belle, Esteban Loaiza, Tim Anderson, Adam Eaton, Jack McDowell, & Robin Ventura.
2000 - Pedro Martinez - SP - BOS (29 GS / 217 IP, 9.4 fWAR / 11.7 bWAR, .833 waaWL%, +7.61 fWPA, 18-6 W-L, 1.74 ERA / 2.17 FIP, 11.8 K/9, 1.3 BB/9, 8.88 K/9, All-Star, 5th-MVP, Cy Young Award, HOF) To make the 30-30-30 process work best, I had to settle for a nearly 12 bWAR season from Pedro (instead of a nearly 12 fWAR campaign in '99); he only set a ML single-season record for WHIP and won his third Cy Young. He led an impressive set of players, with Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson (CYA), Todd Helton, Angels teammates Darin Erstad & Troy Glaus, Andruw Jones, and MVP's Jason Giambi & Jeff Kent. Boston was loaded & Martinez ruled out so many top options like Mookie Betts, John Valentin, Jacoby Ellsbury, Roger Clemens, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, & Jonathan Papelbon.
2001 - Luis Gonzalez - LF - ARI (162 G / 728 PA, 8.9 fWAR / 7.9 bWAR, .537 waaWL%, .325/.429/.688, 36 2B / 57 HR, 128 R / 142 RBI / 198 H / 100 BB, +4.70 fWPA, 5 Rtot, All-Star, Silver Slugger, 3rd-MVP) The Big Unit is the obvious choice for the D-backs, but this list is kind of lacking in leftfielders outside of #24 and Luis fits the bill perfectly; he nearly doubled his high in HR this season and was genuinely great in '01 (& had a sneaky-good career). Barry Bonds' HR chase (MVP) tops the list, with Sammy Sosa, Randy Johnson (CYA), Jason Giambi (MVP), Gonzalez, Bret Boone, Alex Rodriguez, Larry Walker, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, & Roger Clemens (CYA) rounding out the group. Johnson & Schilling top the Arizona leaderboard along with Gonzo, Paul Goldschmidt, Ketel Marte, AJ Pollock, & Brandon Webb.
2002 - Jim Thome - 1B - CLE (147 G / 613 PA, 7.3 fWAR / 7.4 bWAR, .535 waaWL%, .304/.445/.677, 52 HR, 101 R / 118 RBI / 122 BB, +6.23 fWPA, 7th-MVP, HOF) Thome was an offensive beast in 2002, leading the AL in Walks, SLG, OPS, & OPS+, but was an afterthought in award voting. He trailed Barry Bonds (MVP), Alex Rodriguez, and the D-backs duo of Randy Johnson (CYA) & Curt Schilling in WAR totals, but headlined the next group with Vladimir Guerrero, Roy Halladay, Pedro Martinez, Jeff Kent, and A's Barry Zito (CYA) & Miguel Tejada (MVP). Cleveland has a solid mix of players, including Kenny Lofton, Shane Bieber, Albert Belle, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Corey Kluber, Manny Ramirez. Grady Sizemore, & Rafael Betancourt.
2003 - Alex Rodriguez - SS - TEX (161 G / 715 PA, 9.2 fWAR / 8.4 bWAR, .536 waaWL%, .298/.396/.600, 47 HR, 124 R / 118 RBI / 181 H / 87 BB, +4.61 fWPA, 8 Rtot / 8 DRS / 11.2 UZR, All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player) With eight 8.0+ win seasons for three different franchises, it was just a matter of which one I'd pick for A-Rod; I ended up settling for his second year in Texas, garnering his first MVP. He was among the best in the majors, alongside Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols (MVP), Mark Prior, Pedro Martinez, Roy Halladay (CYA), Esteban Loaiza, Eric Gagne (CYA), and a trio of Braves (Marcus Giles, Gary Sheffield, & Javy Lopez). Alex led a group of Rangers including Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Lance Lynn, Adrian Beltre, Rafael Palmeiro, & Ivan Rodriguez.
2004 - Barry Bonds - LF - SFG (147 G / 617 PA, 11.9 fWAR / 10.6 bWAR, .561 waaWL%, .362/.609/.812, 45 HR, 129 R / 101 RBI / 232 BB, +13.06 fWPA, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player) This was Barry's fourth straight video-game-numbers season, eclipsing a .600 OBP & .800 SLG; if his baserunning & defensive prowess hadn't left years ago, his value would have been astronomical. As it was, his WAR easily led a formidable cast starting with Adrian Beltre, Randy Johnson, J.D. Drew, Ichiro Suzuki, Johan Santana (CYA), Vladimir Guerrero (MVP), Roger Clemens (CYA), and the Cardinals MV3, Scott Rolen, Albert Pujols, & Jim Edmonds. The Giants list basically starts with 11 seasons of Bonds and continues with Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Jeff Kent, Mike Yastrzemski, Rich Aurilia, Jason Schmidt, Matt Williams, & Robb Nen.
2005 - Dontrelle Willis - SP - MIA (34 GS / 236.1 IP, 7.4* fWAR / 8.3* bWAR, .660 waaWL%, +5.21 fWPA, 22-10 W-L, 2.63 ERA / 2.99 FIP, 3.09 K/BB, All-Star, 11th-MVP, 2nd-CYA *(including batting)) In what probably should have been an award-winning season, D-Train led the majors in Wins, CG, Shutouts, & HR/9. He was an easy choice for '05, amongst Alex Rodriguez (MVP), Albert Pujols (MVP), Derrek Lee, Roger Clemens, Andruw Jones, Chase Utley, Johan Santana, Mariano Rivera, & CYA winners Chris Carpenter & Bartolo Colon. Dontrelle topped the list for Florida/Miami, along with Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Kevin Brown, Josh Johnson, Cliff Floyd, Gary Sheffield, & Miguel Cabrera.
2006 - Albert Pujols - 1B - STL (143 G / 634 PA, 8.1 fWAR / 8.5 bWAR, .547 waaWL%, .331/.431/.671, 49 HR, 119 R / 137 RBI / 177 H / 92 BB, +9.62 fWPA, 13 Rtot / 17 DRS / 10.5 UZR, All-Star, Gold Glove, 2nd-MVP) The Machine followed up his MVP season with an even better year, leading the majors in SLG, OPS, & fWPA and setting a career-high in HR, despite missing three weeks of games. He posted the top WAR in '06, with Carlos Beltran, Grady Sizemore, Chase Utley, Johan Santana (CYA), Brandon Webb (CYA), Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard (MVP), Justin Morneau (MVP), & Jonathan Papelbon trailing behind. Pujols dominates the Cardinals list, alongside Scott Rolen, Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, Yadier Molina, Brian Jordan, Matt Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, & Chris Carpenter.
2007 - Chase Utley - 2B - PHI (132 G / 613 PA, 7.7 fWAR / 7.8 bWAR, .547 waaWL%, .332/.410/.566, 48 2B, 104 R / 103 RBI / 176 H, +3.61 fWPA, 9 Rtot / 18 DRS / 12.5 UZR, All-Star, Silver Slugger, 8th-MVP) Utley managed a 7.8 bWAR despite playing in just 132 games and received a collective yawn from the baseball writers, finishing 8th in the voting; that he also never won a Gold Glove is a travesty (121 DRS, 95.3 UZR). He finished among the leaders, with Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Albert Pujols, DET outfielders Curtis Granderson & Magglio Ordonez, Chipper Jones, Jake Peavy (CYA), Carlos Pena, CC Sabathia (CYA), Jimmy Rollins (MVP), & Rafael Betancourt. Chase paced the Phillies, trailed by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Aaron Nola, Curt Schilling, Darren Daulton, Scott Rolen, Lenny Dykstra, Zack Wheeler, & Bobby Abreu.
2008 - Mariano Rivera - RP - NYY (64 G / 70.2 IP, 3.0 fWAR / 4.3 bWAR, .540 waaWL%, +4.26 fWPA, 6-5 W-L, 39/40 SvOpp, 1.40 ERA / 2.03 FIP, 9.8 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 12.83 K/BB, All-Star, 5th-CYA, HOF) As befitting the only player to be unanimously selected for the Hall Of Fame, Rivera was one of the most consistent players on the yearly lists and I made sure to make room for him on this team. As a reliever, his raw WAR numbers in 2008 appear less impressive against the leaders, Albert Pujols (MVP), Chase Utley, Tim Lincecum (CYA), CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, Chipper Jones, Carlos Beltran, Hanley Ramirez, Brian McCann, & Cliff Lee (CYA). Mariano rules out a ton of deserving Yankees, led by Alex Rodriguez, Aaron Judge, Robinson Cano, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, DJ LeMahieu, Bernie Williams, & Mike Mussina.
2009 - Zack Greinke - SP - KCR (33 GS / 229.1 IP, 8.7 fWAR / 10.4 bWAR, .750 waaWL%, +5.96 fWPA, 16-8 W-L, 2.16 ERA / 2.33 FIP, 9.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 4.75 K/BB, All-Star, 17th-MVP, Cy Young Award) In his breakout season for the Royals, Greinke led the majors in ERA & FIP while setting a career-high in IP. His performance was the best that year, followed by Albert Pujols (MVP), Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley, Joe Mauer (MVP), Tim Lincecum (CYA), Hanley Ramirez, Chone Figgins, & Ryan Zimmerman. Zack leads a pitching-heavy group, including Kevin Appier, David Cone, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Montgomery, & Wade Davis.
2010 - Evan Longoria - 3B - TBR (151 G / 661 PA, 7.5 fWAR / 8.2 bWAR, .538 waaWL%, .294/.372/.507, 46 2B / 22 HR, 96 R / 104 RBI, +3.39 fWPA, 16 Rtot / 20 DRS / 12.1 UZR, All-Star, Gold Glove, 6th-MVP) Evan had his best season by WAR, posting his best 2B, SB, AVG, & OBP. Only Josh Hamilton (MVP) bested him, followed by teammate Carl Crawford, Robinson Cano, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Roy Halladay (CYA), Joey Votto (MVP), & Felix Hernandez (CYA). The (Devil) Rays list is not terribly deep, headed by Ben Zobrist, Longoria, Crawford, Carlos Pena, Brandon Lowe, Blake Snell, Jason Bartlett, Kevin Kiermaier, & Charlie Morton.
2011 - Jose Bautista - RF - TOR (149 G / 655 PA, 8.1 fWAR / 8.3 bWAR, .540 waaWL%, .302/.447/.608, 43 HR, 105 R / 103 RBI / 132 BB, +8.23 fWPA, All-Star, Silver Slugger, 3rd-MVP) For a former middling utility player who started his ML career as part of five organizations within his first season, the kid done good; Joey Bats won his 2nd straight HR crown and led the majors in HR, BB, SLG, OPS, & OPS+. He was among the best in the game, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Matt Kemp, Dustin Pedroia, Clayton Kershaw (CYA), Justin Verlander (CYA/MVP), & Ryan Braun (MVP). Bautista & Roger Clemens topped the Blue Jays list, followed by John Olerud, Josh Donaldson, Roy Halladay, Carlos Delgado, Pat Hentgen, & Hyun Jin Ryu.
2012 - Mike Trout - CF - LAA (139 G / 639 PA, 10.1 fWAR / 10.5 bWAR, .561 waaWL%, .326/.399/.564, 30 HR / 49 SB, 129 R / 182 H, +5.41 fWPA, 13 Rtot / 19 DRS / 10.4 UZR, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Rookie Of The Year, 2nd-MVP) Probably the most obvious player for this new decade, Trout burst onto the scene with one of the (if not THE) greatest rookie seasons of all time, robbed of MVP honors by a Triple Crown winner. He was the best of the best that year, including Buster Posey (MVP), Robinson Cano, Yadier Molina, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera (MVP), Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun, David Wright, & Cy Young winners David Price & R.A. Dickey. The top of the Angels list is dominated by The Millville Meteor, with Darin Erstad, Troy Glaus, Chone Figgins, Mark Langston, Tim Salmon, Jim Abbott, Randy Velarde, & Anthony Rendon mixed in.
2013 - Miguel Cabrera - 3B - DET (148 G / 652 PA, 8.6 fWAR / 7.5 bWAR, .534 waaWL%, .348/.442/.636, 44 HR, 103 R / 137 RBI / 193 H / 90 BB, +6.82 fWPA, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player) Miggy backed up his Triple Crown season with his 2nd straight MVP campaign, leading the majors in AVG, OBP, & SLG, all while playing at 3B to accommodate Prince Fielder at 1B. He trailed only Mike Trout & Clayton Kershaw (CYA) in WAR, with Andrew McCutchen (MVP), Josh Donaldson, Carlos Gomez, Chris Davis, Max Scherzer (CYA), Kojii Uehara, and Cardinals Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, & Adam Wainwright. Cabrera's year led the list for Detroit, followed by Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Justin Verlander, Tony Phillips, Lou Whitaker, Justin Thompson, & Max Scherzer.
2014 - Jonathan Lucroy - C - MIL (153 G / 655 PA, 8.2 fWAR / 6.4 bWAR, .530 waaWL%, .301/.373/.465, 53 2B, 176 H, +3.91 fWPA, 22 DRS / 8.2 DEF, All-Star, 4th-MVP) Lucroy is a solid fit for this season, putting up great numbers for a catcher including a ML-leading 53 doubles. His 7.3 average WAR was fourth in all of baseball, behind the award winners Clayton Kershaw (CYA/MVP), Mike Trout (MVP), & Corey Kluber (CYA), followed by Andrew McCutchen, Michael Brantley, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista, Anthony Rendon, Buster Posey, & Wade Davis. The Brewers group is headed by Ben Sheets, CC Sabathia, Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun, Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, Jeff Cirillo, Lorenzo Cain, & Devin Williams.
2015 - Bryce Harper - RF - WSN (153 G / 654 PA, 9.3 fWAR / 9.7 bWAR, .551 waaWL%, .330/.460/.649, 38 2B / 42 HR, 118 R / 99 RBI / 172 H / 124 BB, +6.18 fWPA, 13 Rtot / 6 DRS, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player) While he's exhibited symptoms of Saberhagen's Syndrome (alternating meh seasons with awesome ones), Bryce was simply sublime in 2015, posting an OPS+ of 198 and leading the NL in Runs, HR, OBP, & SLG. Along with Mike Trout, he led the pack in WAR, ahead of Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta, Josh Donaldson, Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke, Joey Votto, Max Scherzer, Manny Machado, & AJ Pollock. Harper heads the list for the Expos/Nationals, alongside Max Scherzer, Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Moises Alou, Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, & John Wetteland.
2016 - Kris Bryant - UT - CHC (155 G / 699 PA, 7.9 fWAR / 7.3 bWAR, .535 waaWL%, .292/.385/.554, 35 2B / 39 HR, 121 R / 102 RBI / 176 H, +2.22 fWPA, 15 Rtot / 9 DRS / 7.7 UZR, All-Star, Most Valuable Player) With 107 games at 3B & another 69 in the OF, "Sparkles" qualifies as a Utility player; his league-leading Runs & WAR totals, as well as his MVP award, solidifies him on this squad. He was near the top of the list for 2016, along with Mike Trout (MVP), Mookie Betts, Josh Donaldson, Jose Altuve, Manny Machado, Robinson Cano, Justin Verlander, Adam Eaton, Noah Syndergaard, and CYA winners Rick Porcello & Max Scherzer. The Cubs have a diverse list, with Sammy Sosa, Greg Maddux, Mark Prior, Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Ryne Sandberg, Bryant, Derrek Lee, Rick Wilkins, & Carlos Zambrano.
2017 - Jose Altuve - 2B - HOU (153 G / 662 PA, 7.6 fWAR / 7.6 bWAR, .535 waaWL%, .346/.410/.547, 39 2B / 24 HR / 32 SB, 112 R / 204 H, +3.51 fWPA, 13 Rtot, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Most Valuable Player) Jose posted his fourth straight 200-hit campaign and third batting title in four seasons, garnering the MVP award. He was near the top of the board, with rookie Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton (MVP), Corey Kluber (CYA), Joey Votto, Max Scherzer (CYA), Chris Sale, Jose Ramirez, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, & Craig Kimbrel. The Astros had to fall back a bit from Jeff Bagwell & Craig Biggio, but Altuve is plenty worthy alongside Alex Bregman, Roger Clemens, Lance Berkman, Mike Hampton, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Carlos Beltran, and relievers Brad Lidge & Billy Wagner.
2018 - Jacob deGrom - SP - NYM (32 GS / 217 IP, 9.3* fWAR / 10.4* bWAR, .754 waaWL%, +5.85 fWPA, 10-9 W-L, 1.70 ERA / 1.98 FIP, 11.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 5.85 K/BB, All-Star, 5th-MVP, Cy Young Award *(including batting)) While not quite as obvious as Doc Gooden was for my last 30-30-30 Team, Jacob was the clear choice for the Mets, handily winning the CYA despite a pedestrian W-L record. The top pitcher in baseball, he placed among the ML leaders, Mookie Betts (MVP), Mike Trout, Max Scherzer, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Matt Chapman, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich (MVP), Aaron Nola, Blake Snell (CYA), & Blake Treinen. The Mets list is solid with deGrom, David Wright, Bret Saberhagen, Carlos Beltran, Bernard Gilkey, John Olerud, Robin Ventura, & Lance Johnson.
2019 - Liam Hendriks - RP - OAK (75 G / 2 GS / 85 IP, 3.9 fWAR / 3.5 bWAR, .528 waaWL%, +1.46 fWPA, 4-4 W-L, 25/32 SvOpp, 8 Holds, 1.80 ERA / 1.87 FIP, 13.1 K/9, 5.90 K/BB, All-Star) Used as an opener, a setup man, & a closer in 2019, Liam posted excellent numbers, but received no post-season recognition. His 3.7 average WAR was best among relievers, well short of the overall leaderboard of Alex Bregman, Cody Bellinger (MVP), Mike Trout (MVP), Marcus Semien, Jacob deGrom (CYA), Christian Yelich, Matt Chapman, Ketel Marte, Lance Lynn, Gerrit Cole, & Justin Verlander (CYA). The Athletics had great options in the bullpen, with swingman Steve Ontiveros, Blake Treinen, Hendricks, Dennis Eckersley, & Andrew Bailey, with the top of the list populated by Jason Giambi, Semien, Chapman, Josh Donaldson, & Mark McGwire.
2020 - Trevor Bauer - SP - CIN (11 GS / 73 IP, 2.5 fWAR / 2.7 bWAR, .695 waaWL%, +1.53 WPA, 5-4 W-L, 1.73 ERA / 2.88 FIP, 12.3 K/9, 5.88 K/BB, 10th-MVP, Cy Young Award) Bauer's average WAR extrapolates out to a 7.0, so he's certainly worthy of making this squad; keeping in mind SSS & all of that, his 5.055 H/9 is the lowest single-season rate in ML history, which gives credence to his CYA. He was among the best in baseball overall, along with Freddie Freeman (MVP), Mookie Betts, Shane Bieber (CYA), Jose Ramirez, Yu Darvish, Jose Abreu (MVP), Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr, DJ LeMahieu, Mike Yastrzemski, Jacob deGrom, & relievers Liam Hendriks & Devin Williams. Cincinnati's best seasons are a bunch of years from Joey Votto & Barry Larkin, with Jose Rijo, Reggie Sanders, Bauer, Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Mitchell, & Aroldis Chapman mixed in.
ARI - Luis Gonzalez - LF - 2001
ATL - Greg Maddux - SP - 1994
BAL - Cal Ripken Jr - SS - 1991
BOS - Pedro Martinez - SP - 2000
CHC - Kris Bryant - UT - 2016
CHW - Keith Foulke - RP - 1999
CIN - Trevor Bauer - SP - 2020
CLE - Jim Thome - 1B - 2002
COL - Larry Walker - RF - 1997
DET - Miguel Cabrera - 3B - 2013
HOU - Jose Altuve - 2B - 2017
KCR - Zack Greinke - SP - 2009
LAA - Mike Trout - CF - 2012
LAD - Mike Piazza - C - 1993
MIA - Dontrelle Willis - SP - 2005
MIL - Jonathan Lucroy - C - 2014
MIN - Chuck Knoblauch - 2B - 1996
NYM - Jacob deGrom - SP - 2018
NYY - Mariano Rivera - RP - 2008
OAK - Liam Hendricks - RP - 2019
PHI - Chase Utley - 2B - 2007
PIT - Andy Van Slyke - CF - 1992
SDP - Kevin Brown - SP - 1998
SEA - Edgar Martinez - DH - 1995
SFG - Barry Bonds - LF - 2004
STL - Albert Pujols - 1B - 2006
TBR - Evan Longoria - 3B - 2010
TEX - Alex Rodriguez - SS - 2003
TOR - Jose Bautista - RF - 2011
WSN - Bryce Harper - RF - 2015
C - Mike Piazza 1992, Jonathan Lucroy 2014
1B - Jim Thome 2002, Albert Pujols 2006
2B - Chuck Knoblauch 1996, Chase Utley 2007, Jose Altuve 2017
3B - Evan Longoria 2010, Miguel Cabrera 2013
SS - Cal Ripken Jr 1991, Alex Rodriguez 2003
LF - Luis Gonzalez 2001, Barry Bonds 2004
CF - Andy Van Slyke 1992, Mike Trout 2012
RF - Larry Walker 1997, Jose Bautista 2011, Bryce Harper 2015
DH - Edgar Martinez 1995
Utility - Kris Bryant 2016
SP - Greg Maddux 1994, Kevin Brown 1998, Pedro Martinez 2000, Dontrelle Willis 2005, Zack Greinke 2009, Jacob deGrom 2018, Trevor Bauer 2020
RP - Keith Foulke 1999, Mariano Rivera 2008, Liam Hendricks 2019