Five members of the Cubs were included on a ranking of MLB’s top 100 players for the 2019 season released by ESPN on Wednesday. The network assembled a panel of nearly 50 media members, including reporters, analysts and “Insiders,” to vote on who they’d take as the best players in the sport.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout unsurprisingly leads the rankings given his dominance over the last five years. Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts comes in second after a monster 2018 season, then Nationals starter Max Scherzer, Mets starter Jacob DeGrom and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado round out the top five.
The Astros (Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve) and Red Sox (Betts, Chris Sale) each have two players in the top 10.
Kris Bryant leads the way for the Cubs at No. 21, just ahead of Astros ace Justin Verlander. The third baseman is followed by shortstop Javier Baez (No. 29), first baseman Anthony Rizzo (No. 38), catcher Willson Contreras (No. 92) and lefty Jon Lester (No. 97).
The White Sox only have one player on the top 100: first baseman Jose Abreu, who dropped to No. 89 from No. 40 a year ago. However, don’t be surprised if the likes of Yoan Moncada and/or Eloy Jimenez find their way onto here by next spring.