As it was a year ago, there was a clear consensus on the top three bats. Even the WaPo beat writers could name them.
After that, it was like telling apart Hollywood’s leading men named Chris.
Including the honorable mentions, a total of 27 players were named on the ten ballots. After the dust settled, it was…
- Carter Kieboom
- Luis Garcia
- Drew Mendoza
- Viandel Peña
- Jeremy De La Rosa
- Leandro Emiliani
- Yasel Antuna
- Tres Barrera
- Israel Pineda
- Cole Freeman
Others receiving votes: Junior Martina, Jakson Reetz, Nick Banks, Justin Connell, K.J. Harrison, Jacob Rhinesmith, Gilbert Lara,
Jackson Cluff, Jake Noll, Kevin Strohschein, Andry Arias, Eric Senior
We’re five years running with five new players (Mendoza, Peña, De La Rosa, Emiliani, Freeman) and five returnees (Kieboom, Garcia, Antuna, Barrera, Pineda).
Antuna is a mystery to me, given that he had just three more games than I did in 2019 (though he did not go 0-for-12 with 12 K’s and 12 E’s as I would have). Likewise, I’m surprised Martina didn’t get enough votes to crack the Top 10 despite finishing with the third highest OPS among players below AAA (i.e. age appropriate to the level). Folks seem to have a lot of faith that Pineda will resume hitting like Raudy Read; we can only hope that he improves to Read’s level of defense at the same stage.
The voting was especially tight for the last spot – one (1) point separated #10 from #11 from #12. Given that we could only agree on three, this is bound to happen. If I had had maybe five more ballots, this might have been different, but we’re not after statistical significance; this is just for fun.
Next up: the pitchers. As usual, there are concerns about age and injury, which lends credence to the old saw that there are only three kinds of pitchers: young, old, and hurt.