Major League Baseball has had an influx of superstar-level talent in the past decade. Most teams have a superstar or two, with a lucky portion having an entire ensemble of game-changing talents. With so much skill in the league, debates about which players are best, and what the perfect lineup would be are frequent and intense.
Everyone has an opinion and their own arguments and justifications for why they picked certain players over others. I've decided to throw my name into the ring and formulate my best MLB lineup of the 2010s. This batting order takes into account success for the entire 2010 decade and has the players who are good in almost every aspect of the game. It's important to know that my super team will play at Fenway Park because it is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the MLB and it just so happens to be my favorite.
The perfect leadoff hitter gets on base, can steal bases, and has some power. Jose Altuve checks off all of those boxes and then some. In his eight-year career, the talented second baseman has led the American League in batting average three times, stolen bases twice, and hits four times (all in a row). The reigning American League MVP, Altuve is coming off of a World Series win with his Houston Astros. There's no better second baseman or pure hitter in the game right now than number 27.
With the perception of the number two hole changing, it seems every manager is batting their best player second. So, I've decided to follow that trend (big follower guy) and put the best player at the second spot in my MLB lineup of the 2010s. Frequently leading the AL in numerous categories every year, Mike Trout has been a phenomenon since entering professional baseball in 2011.
He has two MVP awards and a Rookie of the Year award in his trophy case and will be adding to that throughout his career. Trout just so happens to be one of the best defensive players in the game as well. His freakish athleticism allows him to cover centerfield easily, leading to spectacular catches and web gems. The best all-around baseball player in the MLB right now bats second, it's science.
Of all the stars in the best MLB lineup of the 2010s, Miguel Cabrera in his prime is arguably the best. The first triple crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, Cabrera was a machine this decade. He has played at third base here and there, so it's perfectly alright to include him here in that position.
To ensure Trout doesn't get walked too frequently, he needs protection behind him. Trust me, no one will be walking the Angels centerfielder with Cabrera behind him. Miggy led the AL in batting average four times and home runs and RBIs twice. If they're gonna walk Trout, they will certainly walk the Detroit Tigers star, leading them to another monster.
Joey Votto is the cleanup hitter for my team. Assuming the three members in front of him get on base, a relatively safe assumption, I trust the Cincinnati Reds first basemen to bring them home. Constantly finding himself at the top of the National League on-base percentage charts, Votto will find a way to get it done. With over 1,000 walks in his career and a .313 lifetime batting average, his hitting ability and knowledge of the strike zone give him the upper hand on any pitcher.
Love him or hate him, there's no denying Bryce Harper's talent. It's exactly that skill set that flows out of him that makes his next contract being $500 million a possibility. At only 25 years old, Harper already has an MVP under his belt. His best year came in 2015, where he slugged 42 home runs, drove in 99 runs, and hit for a .330 average. The five spot is a perfect place for Harper's blend of power, on-base capabilities, and speed.
Now that all of those players have either gotten on base or remain there, it's time to bring everyone around. That's where Giancarlo Stanton comes into play. The designated hitter for my best MLB lineup of the 2010s, Stanton is coming off his best season to date. He led the MLB with an absurd 59 home runs and 132 RBIs and will act as the big slugger on this team. His .267 career batting average is better than most probably think, considering he is a big power-hitter and secures his spot in the six hole.
The most elite and successful catcher in the game for the 2010s, no one comes close to Buster Posey. His hitting ability, knowledge of the game, and game management from behind the plate are second-to-none. It's surprising that were seven Gold Glove awards given during seasons where Posey played the majority of games and he only took home one. However, everyone knows how good #28 is behind the plate, just look at his career success as an example.
Posey has been a centerpiece for the San Francisco Giants dynasty of this decade, winning the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. We'll have to wait and see if they can continue their even year winning ways after missing out on the 2016 World Series. If they do, Posey will be a big part of it and he is more than capable of putting up a tremendous year.
Even though his brother was one of the worst MLB free agent signings in history, Justin Upton has more than earned a spot in the MLB lineup of the 2010s. His consistent power-hitting and fielding have seen him become one of the best left fielders in recent memory.
Upton has recorded over 200 home runs and 650 RBIs since 2010. Turning 31 this year, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder has, at the very least, a few more high-performance seasons ahead of him, truly cementing him as one of the best MLB players of this decade.
This one was tough. There are so many young shortstops in the MLB who started their careers in the middle of the 2010s. That list includes Francisco Lindor, Didi Gregorius, Corey Seager, and Trea Turner. For my team, I decided on Carlos Correa. The 2015 rookie of the year was a key piece of the 2017 Houston Astros World Series squad and it's easy to see why.
Correa hits home runs, hits for average, steals bases, and provides tremendous defense. You'll want all of those attributes at the back of the lineup if you can get it, and we most certainly can. Another added bonus, Correa and Altuve have some experience combining for back-to-back homers.
Obviously, with a designated hitter, the pitcher won't be batting but I thought I'd include him in the best MLB lineup of the 2010s for one reason: his dominance. Clayton Kershaw would take the mound for this team because he's simply been the best pitcher in baseball for a decade.
The author of one of the best opening days in MLB history and countless other performances like it, the southpaw is unhittable when he is on his game. He's led the MLB in ERA five times, wins three times, shutouts three times, and strikeouts three times. The three-time Cy Young award winner has been the perfect ace for so long, it's truly incredible to watch and will end with a spot in the hall of fame.