Posted by ESPN Crikey Sports on Friday, January 30, 2018 05:31:17 The MLB players who have been playing at the top level since 2016 are set to get a new look this season.
There are a few big names who will be returning to the game, including a number of those who made their big league debuts last year.
The list includes a few players who were key parts of the 2016 and 2017 World Series winning teams, and a few who have come back from injury or off-field issues.
Here are the top five MLB players in terms of 2016 and beyond.
David Price, LHP Boston Red Sox The Red Sox ace pitched his last game of the season on Saturday, ending his season with a 1.00 ERA in 10.2 innings.
He is now 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA in eight starts since he made his big league debut in 2017.
Chris Sale, RHP Boston Red Wings The 24-year-old has pitched his first game since October 11th with a 0.93 ERA in two starts this season and has a 2-1 record in six starts after a 5-0 start to the year.
Carlos Martinez, OF Pittsburgh Pirates The 25-year old slugger is still a key piece of the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup and has already thrown a complete game in six of his first eight starts this year.
Jose Fernandez, RHP Miami Marlins The 24th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Fernandez has been a staple of the Miami Marlins lineup since he was drafted in the fifth round.
He has been hitting .290/.383/.482 in five starts since his return.
Jose Bautista, OF Miami Marlins Bautistas first career home run was a single in the fourth inning on Saturday against the Boston Red Bulls.
He leads the Marlins in home runs and RBIs this season with 24.
Edwin Encarnacion, SS Chicago Cubs The 24 year old has been the team’s top option at shortstop since he arrived in Chicago, and he has been solid at the position all year.
He will likely miss the remainder of the year after having shoulder surgery on July 29th.
Yu Darvish, RHP Texas Rangers Darvishes first career start came on September 1st in the Texas Rangers opener.
He went 6.1 innings with five strikeouts and one walk in the win.
Francisco Lindor, LHB Los Angeles Dodgers The 28-year age-22 has pitched at least seven innings in every start for the Dodgers, and has made six starts since August.
Carlos Gonzalez, LOF Los Angeles Angels Gonzalez is coming off back-to-back games where he threw two complete games with a strikeout.
He could be a valuable asset for any team this season, and will have a lot to prove after a season in which he had just three starts of at least two innings.
Jose Abreu, OF Chicago Cubs Abreus was the key piece in the Cubs playoff run in 2016.
He had 11 homers and 31 RBIs in his first full season with the Cubs.
Miguel Sano, RHP Los Angeles Padres The 24 years old outfielder has a career 2.13 ERA and a 1-0 record in two playoff starts since coming over from the Chicago White Sox in July of this year, so he will likely be a good candidate for the rotation next year.
Miguel Cabrera, OF Detroit Tigers The 32-year year old slugging outfielder had two career home runs on Saturday night against the Atlanta Braves.
Carlos Correa, OF Oakland Athletics Correa has been one of the game’s best hitters this season in terms a RBI total and is hitting .321/.400/.505 in nine starts since returning from the DL in June of 2017.
Matt Moore, OF Texas Rangers Moore has had a solid first half to the season, but he has struggled since the All-Star break.
He hasn’t allowed a home run since the break and has now allowed eight homers over the last four games.
J.T. Realmuto, OF New York Yankees The 25 year old was the best hitter on the Yankees this season but has yet to score a run in his last five games.
Andrew McCutchen, OF Boston Red Stars McCutchens first full year as a professional has come to a halt due to a wrist injury, and now that he is back, he is making a run at the NL MVP award.
Jose Altuve, CF Houston Astros Altuve has been playing well in Houston and has been doing well in his second year as the Astros starter.
He ranks in the top 20 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ in the AL. 17.
Carlos Beltran, OF Atlanta Braves Beltran is back in Atlanta and has played well in five games since his DL stint in late June.