Turns out, baseball might have a more controversial topic than pace-of-play: Who are the superstars in MLB?
It’s a question that’s been kicking around the Internet the past few days and inspiring some fiery takes. It’s a question that we tackled in depth on the latest Yahoo Sports MLB podcast with myself, Jeff Passan and Tim Brown. And it’s a question with answers that ultimately angered one fanbase in particular.
So to start: What makes a baseball superstar in 2018? That question seemed easier to answer 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. In the post-Jeter, post-A-Rod, post-Big Papi era, baseball is flush with talented young players. But how many of them rise to the level of superstar? Actually, what is a superstar in this day and age — a time where baseball is segmented by regionalism and has dug deeper into its my-team-or-no-team nature.
While the superstar talk is always going to be subjective, it’s easier to name the superstars in other sports. The NFL has Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, the NBA has LeBron James and Steph Curry and MLB has … Mike Trout and Bryce Harper? That’s not quite in the same stratosphere, admittedly, but they’re still superstars, right?
That’s part of what we discussed on the podcast — and it’s a discussion similar to the one happening on Deadspin and Molly Knight’s Twitter account and that bore more than 8,000 words from famed sabermetrician Bill James.
So who are the superstars?
These are the names who were thrown out as superstars by the three of us on the podcast:
Tim Brown said Bartolo Colon too, though he might have been joking or at least mocking the Bartolo love fest on Twitter. Worth noting here: Trout, Harper, Kershaw, Judge, Altuve and Ohtani were the consensus picks with the others getting support from Tim.
That caused quite a bit of anger on the North Side of Chicago, where Cubs fans are extremely convinced that Bryant is a no-doubt superstar and let us know.
Kris Bryant’s fWAR rank since 2015:
3rd (0.4 behind Betts)
If he’s not a superstar, there may be only one superstar.
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) May 9, 2018
Bryant, whether you think he’s a superstar or not, is only one part of this discussion.
So now we’re turning to you, opinion-having baseball fan, how many superstars are there in MLB right now and who are they?
Put your list in the comments or tweet it to us at @MLBYahooSports.
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