Michael’s earlier Kris-Bryant-digs-Joey-Votto post got me wondering: who is your favorite non-Cubs MLB player?
I don’t want to artificially restrict folks’ rationale for their picks, and I am not asking whom you think is the *best* MLB player (though if you say your favorite is Mike Trout because he’s the best player, well, I’m certainly not going to give you grief for your selection). I am just curious what non-Cubs players out there folks really like.
For example, and it shouldn’t be a big surprise:
I am a huge Giancarlo Stanton fan. I love watching him hit – not only when he sends out monster homers, but yes, especially when he does that – and I also like his overall vibe. He works very hard, but also has fun. And, when healthy, he produces. I’ve really enjoyed seeing him have this kind of a healthy, bust-out-the-dingers season (his 45 homers leads MLB by 8!), and it’s going to be fun to see what happens if he’s truly put on the trade market this offseason.
How about this: despite the fact that he’s a corner outfielder with limited defensive value, and despite the fact that he’s been injured nearly every year he’s been in the big leagues, Stanton has already been worth nearly 32 WAR by his age 27 season. For contrast purpose, Anthony Rizzo just turned 28, and has been worth 23.1 WAR in his career so far.
Some other MLB players I just really enjoy include Andrew McCutchen, Aaron Judge, Adrian Beltre, Brandon Crawford, (peak healthy) Matt Harvey, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw (how could you not?), Jose Altuve, and I could go on. I guess I definitely skew toward the “really good” players. Oh, and Bartolo Colon because come on. And if we extended outside of MLB, you know I’m all aboard the Shohei Otani train.
But if I had to label with that word “favorite,” I’ll go with Stanton.
What about you? Who are the guys you just really enjoy as baseball players, but aren’t on the Chicago Cubs? And if you had to pick just one favorite?