This MLB season has been nothing short of amazing so far, with some insane play from both pitchers and batters across the league. Every night something crazy happens, and many players you’ll see on this team are often responsible for these bizarre occurrences. While it’s definitely way too early to make assumptions about what the All-MLB team will look like at the end of the season, here’s what the team should look like after two months of outstanding baseball to begin the 2021 MLB Season.
Catcher: Yermin Mercedes, Chicago White Sox
We start off the All-MLB team with perhaps the biggest surprise so far in the 2021 season. Mercedes, a 28 year old rookie, has been tearing the league apart to the tune of a .350 batting average to start the season. While he sees the majority of his time at DH, Mercedes’ primary defensive position is catcher, and there has been no catcher quite as good as him to start this season off. The first spot on the All-MLB team belongs to the Yerminator.
First Baseman: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
The NL MVP and AL MVP awards both went to first baseman in 2020, which is a testament to the amount of talent at this position currently in the MLB. Of all the talented players at this position, no one has been even close to Guerrero Jr. to start this season. He has been arguably the best hitter in the league to start the season, making leaps and strides with each passing season and proving himself to be the player we all hoped he’d be when he was the top prospect in all of baseball. His OBP is second to only Mike Trout and his batting average sits above .320 with a share for the league lead in homers and plenty of RBIs to his stat line already. Vladdy Jr. has been absolutely outstanding to start the 2021 season, and he beat out numerous other talented players to snag the first baseman spot on the All-MLB team so far.
2nd Baseman: Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
In a league currently devoid of many elite second baseman, there weren’t many stellar slash lines to sift through for this position. Whit Merrifield is the best second baseman in the league so far to start the season, as he’s been one of the better players on a solid and inconsistent Royals team. He’s been a staple of the Royals lineup for quite some time now and he’s about as reliable as they come. He can play outfield as well and always manages to hit for contact when needed and is a constant stolen base threat. Every lineup needs a guy like Merrifield, and he’s kept some pretty mediocre Royals teams in contention for the past few years. He hasn’t been on the same level as a lot of the other guys on the list, but he’s been the best second baseman in baseball this year.
Third Baseman: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
There will be people who clamor for Nolan Arenado and Rafael Devers here instead, because both of those players have been sensational for their respective ball clubs, but Ramirez has been better. He has swatted 12 homers and has 26 RBIs, stolen 6 bases (a rarity for the hot corner), and most impressively is his 19 walks compared to only 22 strikeouts. He’s been putting the ball in play all year and his numbers should be even better given his advanced statistics. He’s been a bright spot on an Indians team that has struggled to get good at-bats and has already been the victim of two no hitters this year. This position has to go to Ramirez.
Shortstop: Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
Fernando Tatis has missed some time with injuries already in 2021, but that hasn’t stopped him from being the best shortstop in baseball this year. The only close option at this position was Xander Bogearts, but Tatis still has better stats than Bogearts on the year despite missing time with injury. He’s already hit 13 homers in only 110 at bats, and has been the hottest hitter on the planet after coming back off the injured list. He’s playing like he’s worthy of the contract he signed in the offseason, and the Padres and MLB fans alike are enjoying watching the superstar work his magic in San Diego.
Left Field: Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds
Jesse Winker has been a very pleasant surprise for the Reds. After being a team that rode their pitching staff in 2020, they have been a high scoring, shootout winning team in 2021. Trevor Bauer is gone, Luis Castillo has been absolutely putrid, and Sonny Gray has only made a handful of starts. They’ve relied on the offense to win games, and this offense in 2020 would’ve made the Reds a terrifying team to face. Winker barely beat out his teammate, Nick Castellanos, for this spot on the All-MLB team. Both Winker and Castellanos have been outstanding, but it was Winker who claimed this spot, and the Reds have appreciated his breakout in 2021.
Center Field: Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
The Ronald Acuña hype train slowed a little after he took a step back in 2020, but people saw the talent there and expected him to bounce back in 2021, and bounce back he did. Acuña has looked like an MVP candidate for a struggling Braves team. He’s been in a battle with a few players for the league lead in home runs, while knocking in plenty of runs and swiping 6 bases already. Acuña has taken the league by storm and is solidifying himself as the player we all hoped he’d be when he was just a top prospect trying to make the Braves team after spring training in 2019. His leap forward into superstardom was somewhat expected, and he hasn’t disappointed at all in 2021 for the Braves.
Right Field: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
J.D. Martinez has seen most of his games as a DH, but he occasionally plays in the outfield so he’s made this team as the right fielder. Martinez was awful in 2020 and surprised a lot of people with his mediocrity. He quickly bounced back in 2021 already though, leading the league in RBIs and total bases to start the season. His resurgence has helped lead the Red Sox to the top of their division, with fellow All-MLB member Xander Bogearts and Rafael Devers. Martinez has been among the league’s best hitters this season, and he gets rewarded with an All-MLB nomination here as he looks to keep up his hot start.
Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
A 2021 All-MLB team isn’t complete without Shohei Ohtani. The two way prospect has been what he was advertised when coming over from Japan ahead of the 2018 season. He has led the league in home runs and pitched to a sub-3.00 ERA while doing it. He is doing what many believed would be impossible in today’s MLB. He is the early leader for the AL MVP award and it’s hard to argue anyone against him. He’s been the MLB’s best overall player in 2021 and we all hope that injuries and slumps don’t derail his historic season as a two-way phenom.
Starting Pitcher #1: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
This goes without saying, deGrom has missed some time with lingering injuries but has pitched to a 0.68 this year when healthy. We aren’t even surprised at this point. We also aren’t surprised that his record is only 3-2 thanks to the embarrassing play of the Mets when he’s on the mound. He’s proved himself as the best pitcher in baseball, and anyone who disagrees at this point, is either stupid or biased. Hopefully deGrom can come back soon and remind everyone of his talent after missing the past few weeks. No one else is worthy of the Starting Pitcher #1 spot on this list. Jacob deGrom makes sure of that with every start he makes.
Starting Pitcher #2: Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Gerrit Cole plays like a man that earned a 324 million dollar contract for the New York Yankees, and he’s marched to a 6-2 record with a 1.81 ERA in 2021 so far. He’s been the leader of a great Yankees rotation that is just waiting on the hitters to catch fire at this point. Cole has brought top tier talent to the Yankees. Almost anyone could agree that he is the second best pitcher in baseball, but somehow also only the second best pitcher in New York. Cole has been outstanding as expected in 2021, and earned the second pitcher spot on the All-MLB team so far as he looks to keep up his solid start and propel the Yankees deep into the playoffs.
Starting Pitcher #3: Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers
The reigning world champs have gotten off to a bit of a slow start to begin 2021, but is definitely not that fault of Trevor Bauer. The colorful and outspoken Bauer has started the season by going 5-2 with a 1.98 ERA and 88 strikeouts. He’s been the best pitcher of a stacked Dodgers pitching staff, and he will be one of the key players to propel a Dodgers turnaround here early in 2021. Bauer is quite deserving of this spot on the list, regardless of the sluggish play of many of his Dodger teammates this season.
Starting Pitcher #4: Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres
Yu Darvish was considered a risky signing by the Padres after an up and down tenure for the Chicago Cubs that did end with a Cy Young finalist season in 2020, but they have gotten arguably the best version of Darvish yet. The Japanese born Darvish throws reportedly atleast 10 pitches in any given start, and he’s been the best Padres pitcher to start the season. He’s one of the main reasons for the Padres early season success, though the outstanding play of Fernando Tatis and his fellow pitching staff members have helped a lot as well. His hot start will need to continue for the Padres to challenge the NL powerhouses that have all struggled to start the season.
Starting Pitcher #5: Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox
This fifth spot was very tough to decide. Corbin Burnes, Jack Flaherty, Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, and John Means were all very close and they all could’ve ended up in this spot. Carlos Rodon was just slightly ahead of them, he’s been absolutely outstanding in 2021. No one really expected this huge breakout from Rodon, but I’m sure the White Sox have loved every second of it. He’s already thrown a no-hitter and has pitched to a 5-1 record with a 1.27 ERA already. Rodon is one of the many surprising pitchers to break through in 2021, and the plethora of pitchers that could have been on this list is an example of why they have called 2021 the “year of the pitcher”. There have been numerous pitchers that have put together spectacular numbers to begin the 2021 season, and Rodon is no exception.
Relief Pitcher #1: Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
The Cuban Missile has still lived up to that nickname in 2021. He’s not the pitcher he used to be in terms of velocity, his 105 mile per hour fastballs have sank to about 101 miles per hour. So horrible, I know. Chapman is actually probably a more talented pitcher now, mixing in different pitches with his blazing fastball. He recorded 10 straight saves without allowing a run and currently sits at 11 saves with a 0.47 ERA on the season. Chapman has been virtually unhittable all season and continues the trend of great play by Yankees pitchers. They’ll need him to keep up the good work throughout the regular season, I’m sure Chapman isn’t a welcomed sight to see on the mound against you in October. Unless you’re Rajai Davis or Jose Altuve with a buzzer on your chest though.
Relief Pitcher #2: Mark Melancon, San Diego Padres
Melancon is a journeyman who has been a closer for numerous teams throughout the league. He settled in to arguably the best bullpen in baseball and quickly was earning the save opportunities for this Padres team. He leads the league in saves with 16, and has pitched to a 0.84 ERA. He’s been among the league’s best relievers to start the season, and it has been one of the many welcomed surprises for this Padres team in 2021. He’s been locking down ninth inning duties for the Padres all season.
Relief Pitcher #3: Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals
Alex Reyes was a top prospect that got moved to the bullpen due to concerns about his durability and stamina at the major league level. No one ever doubted his talent though, and he has excelled at the relief pitcher role in 2021. He’s already notched 14 saves with a sparkling 0.72 ERA for a Cardinals team that has appreciated his reliable arm out of the bullpen. He’s earned the spot of this team, and hopefully the young Reyes can keep up his hot start and become a staple of the Cardinals bullpen for quite a while.
ALL HONORABLE MENTION TEAM:
These are the players that almost made the All-MLB team, but narrowly missed out to other players at their position.
Catcher: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
First Baseman: Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros
Second Baseman: Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays
Third Baseman: Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
Shortstop: Xander Bogearts, Boston Red Sox
Left Fielder: Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds
Center Fielder: Adolis Garcia, Texas Rangers
Right Fielder: Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants
John Means, Baltimore Orioles
Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers
Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox
Ian Kennedy, Texas Rangers