The 2010s are over for MLB, so let’s build the best team possible from all the future Hall of Famers who starred over the past ten years.
There might be two months and two major holidays left in the Twenty-tens, but the decade is effectively closed for Major League Baseball after the conclusion of the World Series. What a decade it was for baseball fans. MLB just wrapped up one of the most exciting decades in its history, marked by parity, the emergence of a new generation of superstars, Mike Trout’s continued campaign to go down as the greatest baseball player in human history and zero World Series appearances for the New York Yankees.
That last bit alone puts the 2010s in the upper echelon of MLB decades.
The San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox combined to win five of the 10 World Series in the decade, but no team can lay true claim to having a dynasty. Nearly every World Series was competitive, and five of them went all seven games. The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals got their long-elusive titles, while the Houston Astros reinvented the rebuilding process and proved an approach driven almost entirely by mathematicians could work.
The decade was also marked by a huge shift in baseball’s approach to hitting. We were given the terms launch angle and exit velocity to better describe how hitters make contact. We also got juiced baseballs after the league experienced a brief power outage after PED testing finally kicked in for good.
As MLB enters its next ten years and beyond, let’s pause to reflect on all the incredible stars who made the 2010s such an incredible decade to watch. This was the decade where youth was fully served, which can perhaps be chalked up to the best of the best playing each other 12 months of the year in travel ball. Whatever the case may be, the team of stars that will follow is a star-studded group of future Hall of Famers that would give any generations stars a run for their money.
Catcher: Buster Posey
This isn’t a particularly difficult decision (unless you root for the St. Louis Cardinals). Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was far and away the best catcher in baseball for the past decade. The 32-year-old has begun making a few appearances at first base each season, but made 957 starts at catcher and only 135 at first base in the decade.
Posey outpaced Molina 53.0 to 41.7 in WAR over the last decade and provided value on offense and defense. Molina is lauded for his leadership abilities and defense, but provides limited value at the plate. Both players have multiple World Series rings, but all three of Posey’s came in the 2010s, opposed to one for Molina.
The Giants catcher has hit .302/.371/.458 over the last decade with 140 home runs and 673 RBI. He won Rookie of the Year in 2010, was named MVP two years later and has been an All-Star six times with four Silver Sluggers. He has also hit .248/.323/.325 in the playoffs with four home runs and 23 RBI.
It’s unfortunate, but Posey’s days as an elite two-way catcher may be numbered. He has hit just .270/.340/.375 in 219 games over the last two seasons with 12 home runs and 79 RBI as he battles repeated injuries. Posey’s career is following a similar arc to that of Joe Mauer, who hit just .278/.359/.388 over the final five years of his career after becoming the first catcher to win three batting titles.