Every year MLB Network conducts a fun exercise of compiling lists of the top ten players at each position in Major League Baseball. Per MLB.com the list is compiled based on “rankings based on player performance over the last two seasons, a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced data and traditional numbers and analysis by the MLB Network research team”. So far the Cardinals have five players to make the list, though we are still waiting on third baseman and relief pitchers to be announced.
Paul DeJong cracks the list for shortstops for the first time, coming in at number ten. Since making his debut in 2017 DeJong has been valuable on both offense and defense. 2019 was the best year of his career so far. He put up 4.1 fWAR and while his offense fell off, his defense stepped up making him one of the best defensive shortstops in the league.
Another newcomer to the Top Ten is Jack Flaherty, who came in at number seven. Flaherty followed up his promising rookie season with an even stronger one, finishing with just under 200 innings pitched at 196.1, a 2.75 ERA, 3.46 FIP, and 4.7 fWAR.
After coming in sixth on the list after the 2018 season, Yadier Molina has fallen to ninth for 2019. With age, Molina’s production has fallen off a bit, but his defense remains above average and many consider the intangible aspects of his game second to none, allowing him to keep his spot on this made-up list.
A lot of turnover appears to have taken place in the second base rankings at eight of the ten spots are filled by first-timers. Kolten Wong is among the newcomers, coming in at number nine this year. Things finally seemed to click for Kolten. He was solidly above average with the bat at 108 wRC+ and combined that with Gold Glove winning defense to help him crack the list.
After being named number one after his first season in St. Louis Paul Goldschmidt fell to number five. A stalwart on the list, Goldschmidt produced on the worst seasons of his career at 2.9 fWAR, mostly due to his unusually tough year at the plate. He ended the season with a career low 116 wRC+.
For the full lists and accompanying videos, check out the link from MLB.com:
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