MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Top 25 players in the game today

These are the 25 best players in Major League Baseball’s current crop of superstars.

With nearly one full month of baseball in the books, Major League Baseball fans have been treated to an epic month of action. There have been dominant performances across the board, especially from reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger who both have a chance to break the record for most home runs hit before the start of May. On the flip side, the Baltimore Orioles have already allowed 71 home runs and are well ahead of pace to allow the most home runs in MLB history.

We’ve also seen several notable injuries, and a few New York Yankees players have managed to avoid the injured list. The season is still very young, but the Boston Red Sox must flip the switch at some point if they want to avoid getting buried by the surprising Tampa Bay Rays.

With so many strong performances to start the year, pulling together a list of the 25 best players in the league right now is quite a challenge. I’ve tried to do my best to consider each player’s track record over the past few seasons, but some hot starts, like those of Yelich and Bellinger, are just too hard to ignore. I’ve also given a few struggling superstars like Chris Sale and Jose Ramirez the benefit of the doubt — for now.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 19: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park on April 19, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

25. Josh Hader

The role of closer has taken on less significance as MLB teams begin to embrace modern strategy and analytics. That’s why Craig Kimbrel remains unsigned, as reliever contracts likely peaked with the five-year deals signed by All-Stars Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Now, a reliever who can go more than one inning at a time is much more valuable than a pure closer. Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Josh Hader is the best in the business in that regard, and that warrants inclusion on this list of the best players in the league.

Hader, a converted starter, is being used to close out games for the Brewers this year, but he is hardly being limited to an inning at a time. Through his first six appearances this season, the 25-year-old has logged nine innings. Last season, Hader threw 81.1 innings in only 55 games with 143 strikeouts and 36 hits allowed. In case you were worried the Brewers burned Hader out in the regular season last year, he has struck out 29 hitters in only 14 innings this year with a WHIP of 0.714, which is down from last year. Hader’s ERA is a bit bloated at the moment after giving up a two-run bomb on April 19, but it’s still early.

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