Anytime a person or a network puts out a top ten list, it is going to be met with criticism. Sometimes it’s deserved; sometimes it isn’t. In this case, it most definitely is. I would go as far as to say whoever put this list together shouldn’t just be fired from their jobs; they should be banned from watching the game of baseball altogether. For someone to put a list together that is so egregious, they shouldn’t even be allowed to enjoy such a beautiful game because they clearly don’t understand it.
Take a look:
MLB Network's Top 10 Players:
1. Shohei Ohtani
2. Mike Trout
3. Fernando Tatis Jr.
4. Juan Soto
5. Bryce Harper
6. Mookie Betts
7. Jacob deGrom
8. Vladdy Jr.
9. Freddie Freeman
10. Ronald Acuña Jr. pic.twitter.com/fnLSyTpKsj
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 2, 2022
There are so many things wrong with this list that I firmly believe this was purely made for clickbait, but let’s start with the obvious and the point that perturbs me the most — Freddie Freeman over Ronald Acuña.
This quite literally has to be the most laughable thing I’ve ever seen. No sane person would ever say this if they had to defend this in court because you cannot find any statistic on any baseball page that supports this argument. However, I found one that shows just how far ahead Acuña is of Freeman, and it was pretty damn easy to locate.
Freeman 2021: 159 games, 4.5 fWAR
Acuña 2021: 82 games, 4.2 fWAR
Please don’t ever compare the two again. Thank you
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) April 2, 2022
With no exaggeration at all, Acuña is almost double the player Freeman is, and this is no slight to the former Braves’ first baseman. It’s just a fact, so for someone to stamp their name on this list with Freeman ahead of Acuña, it means one of two things — they are a bumbling ignoramus, or they did this purely for clickbait. I’m going to go with the latter, which is pretty pathetic.
At the very worst, Acuña should be fifth on this list, but I think he belongs firmly in the top three and has a case to be first. It’s clear injuries are not taken into account, either, because several of these guys are battling injuries and will begin the season on the IL.
There are plenty of other things I would change, but I’ll create my own on Monday so you can judge mine. There is one other aspect that I wanted to dissect — Shohei Ohtani being number one. Now, what Ohtani did last season for the Angles might have been the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in baseball, but are we really going to crown him the best player in baseball — over Mike freaking Trout — because of one season? That’s ridiculous. In 2020, Ohtani hit .190. Even if he only played in 44 games, Trout would never do that. I need to see Ohtani do it for at least two seasons before I’m crowing him the best player in the game. However, putting him at #1 is not nearly as unacceptable as putting Acuña at 10.
Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire