If you were presented with the opportunity of building the ultimate MLB team, filled with the best players from the 2010s, you would be faced with some very tough decisions. Often a scenario that most people will only have the chance to imagine, building your own team is something that takes quite a bit of thought.
Since the start of the 2010s, baseball has seen some amazing talents enter the league, as well as enter the prime of their careers. Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Manny Machado and Kris Bryant are just a few young superstars that have debuted since 2010 and have already built their cases as some of the best players in the game. However, baseball still has its share of established superstars that are only seemingly getting better with age.
When tasked with building the perfect team, there are many aspects of the game that must be considered. The team should be good both offensively and defensively and also have a balanced lineup that would provide the most efficient assortment of players possible.
For the purpose of this article, we selected eight every day position players, five starting pitchers, five bench players, a designated hitter and a closer. Here is the All-MLB team of the 2010s.
23 The Starters
22 Catcher - Buster Posey
Buster Posey wasted no time starting off his MLB career as he hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI after his call up to the show in 2010. Posey claimed the rookie of the year that season en route to winning his first World Series. Posey’s career hit a brief bump when he missed the majority of the 2011 season after suffering an injury in a collision at home plate. Posey picked up right where he left off and smacked 24 homers and 103 RBI while hitting .336 in 2012 which earned him the honors of league MVP. Posey has already won three World Series as a member of the Giants and at only 29 years old the future is still very bright. Throughout the 2010s Posey has been the ever rare consistent offensive force at catcher, making him an easy call on this team.
21 First Baseman - Miguel Cabrera
A star player long before the start of the 2010s, Cabrera has only added on to his lofty career statistics since. However, it appears that Cabrera has had his best years since the new decade started. In 2012, Cabrera became the first man to win the Triple Crown in the American League since Carl Yazstrzemski did so in 1967. Cabrera belted 44 home runs in both 2012 and 2013 which helped him earn back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards. Since 2010, Cabrera has averaged an insane pace of a .333 batting average, 33 home runs and 115 RBI per season. Cabrera is one of the premier bats of this decade.
20 Second Baseman - Robinson Cano
Debuting in 2005, Cano put together several solid seasons before really entering his prime in 2010, where he finished third in MVP voting. Cano continued to amass huge offensive numbers in the following seasons before he signed a massive deal to join the Seattle Mariners. Cano has since seen his numbers take quite the hit but has still remained one of the best second basemen in the league. While Cano’s offense is strong, he solidifies himself as the complete player because of his excellent defense. According to Fangraphs, Cano has accumulated 19 Defensive Runs Saved since 2010 and a Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 32.1. A great player on both sides of the ball helps secure Robinson Cano as the best second basemen of the 2010s.
19 Shortstop - Troy Tulowitzki
Although much of his career has been plagued by injuries, Tulowitzki was one of the best players in the game when healthy. No other shortstop in recent memory has showcased the kind of power that “Tulo” has. In just 122 games in 2010, “Tulo” belted 27 homers and drove in 95 runs. He followed that stellar season with 30 homers and 105 RBI the following year. Similar to Cano, Tulowitzki is an elite player because of what he can do defensively as well. He won back-to-back gold gloves in 2010 and 2011 and had four seasons of accumulating a WAR of over 5.0 according to Baseball Reference. Slot Tulowitzki in as the starting shortstop.
18 Third Baseman - Adrian Beltre
Considered by many as one of the most underrated star players in baseball since entering the prime of his career, Beltre has put together quite the impressive career. Although Beltre has slowed down a bit in the past two seasons, his work earlier in the 2010s makes it hard to argue any other third basemen was better than he was. In six full seasons since 2010, Beltre has averaged 27 home runs, 94 RBI to go along with a robust average OPS of just over .880. Beltre has slugged over .475 in five of those six seasons as well. Beltre is also an elite defender at the position. The four-time Gold Glover has collected a jaw-dropping 198 Defensive Runs Saved throughout his career according to Fangraphs.
17 Left Fielder - Ryan Braun
Although Braun has recently been shifted to RF, he has spent the majority of his career in left. The all-time leader in homeruns in Brewers history, Braun has put together some monstrous seasons in the 2010’s. Many fans will question the authenticity of Braun’s statistics due to his suspension for performance enhancing drugs in 2013, but it’s unfair to discredit all of his statistics because of it. Since the start of 2010, excluding this season, Braun has belted 152 home runs, driven in 529 runs and stolen 116 bags. Braun’s bat is not just a power bat as he has demonstrated to be one of the best average hitters in the game. Braun is another example of a complete player. According to Baseball Reference, Braun has collected a WAR of 27.3 since 2010 and an impressive 7.8 mark in his 2012 MVP season. We’ll happily slot Braun in left.
16 Center Fielder - Mike Trout
Maybe the best overall player of this generation, Mike Trout is a lock for the All-MLB team of the 2010’s. Trout debuted in the big leagues in 2011 and had a less than impressive start to his career. Since that poor start, Trout has been historically good. In Trout’s first full year in the league in 2012 he knocked 30 homers and stole 49 bags while slashing an absurd .326/.399/.564. Trout followed up his Rookie of the Year campaign with seasons of 27, 36 and 41 home runs and has never hit lowered than .287 in a season. In just over four full seasons, according to Baseball Reference, Trout has collected a total WAR of 40.4, by far the most of any player. Mike Trout is an all around stud and arguably the best player we may ever see.
15 Right Fielder - Jose Bautista
Before the start of the 2010s, Jose Bautista was nothing more than an afterthought to most baseball fans. Now, Bautista is one of the game’s elite sluggers and one of the best outfielders in the league. Bautista kicked off the 2010’s with a career year as he finished the season with 54 home runs and a .617 slugging percentage. Bautista followed up that year with an even better season in 2011 when he finished with a league leading OPS of 1.056. In the six full seasons of the 2010’s Bautista has cracked 227 home runs, more than any other player in the game.
14 Designated Hitter - David Ortiz
A well-established slugger before the start of the 2010s, Ortiz has continued to put up big time numbers since. Ortiz has notched over 95 RBI in all but one of his seasons since 2010 and excluding the injury shortened 2012, he has homered more than 29 times each year. Ortiz is an ageless slugger as he currently leads the American league in slugging percentage as well as OPS with a mark of 1.156. Ortiz is slated to retire at the end of this season, but we would be very hard pressed to find another DH that has put up numbers even close to Ortiz.
13 The Rotation
12 Starting Pitcher - Clayton Kershaw
The easiest selection to make for the all-MLB team of the 2010s, Clayton Kershaw earns the spot atop this rotation. Kershaw has been nothing but historic since 2010. The highest ERA he has posted is 2.91 and that was in just his second full big league season. Since then, Kershaw has pitched to ERAs of: 2.28, 2.53, 1.83, 1.77 and 2.13 while winning three Cy Young awards and the 2014 National League MVP. Kershaw dominates in every aspect of pitching and this season has an insane 18.7 strikeout to walk ratio. He is a once in a lifetime pitcher and no doubt the best of the 2010s.
11 Starting Pitcher - Felix Hernandez
It’s amazing to think that Hernandez has been in the league for parts of 12 seasons now and he’s built quite the career thus far. “King Felix” has been a model of consistency and high level performance throughout the 2010’s making him an easy choice for this rotation. Hernandez has tossed over 200 innings in each of the past six seasons and has never posted an ERA higher than 3.53 in that stretch. Felix kicked off the 2010’s with arguably his best season when had a 2.27 ERA and captured the AL Cy Young. A true ace a no doubt selection.
10 Starting Pitcher - Madison Bumgarner
Bumgarner made quite the impact his rookie season as he helped lead the Giants to winning the World Series in 2010. Since then, Bumgarner has been one of the best and most consistent pitchers in baseball. “Mad Bum” has averaged an ERA of 3.05, 16 wins and 207 strike outs in five full big leagues seasons. One thing that makes him even more special is his career is his track record in the postseason. In just over 88 postseason innings, Bumgarner has pitched to an ERA of 2.14 and a 0.25 ERA in 36 World Series innings. In the 2014 playoffs he was nearly untouchable, as he surrendered just six runs in over 52 innings.
9 Starting Pitcher - David Price
Initially called up to the big leagues as a reliever, David Price was inserted into the starting rotation in 2009. Price struggled his first year, but has been dominant since then. In 2010, Price finished second in the American League in Cy young voting as he finished the year with a 2.72 ERA and 19 wins. Price continued on to win the award in 2012 with a 2.56 ERA and again finished second in 2015 after a 2.45 ERA. Price is also a strike out machine, posting over 200 in all but one of his full seasons. The lengthy lefty is welcomed in this rotation.
8 Starting Pitcher - Johnny Cueto
Cueto has long been one of the most underappreciated pitchers in baseball and a deeper look at his stats show that he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in the 2010’s. One thing that has always plagued Cueto is the reputation that is attached to him as an injury prone player. However, Cueto really only missed one season. Since 2011, Cueto has never posted an ERA over 3.44 and was under 3.00 in four of those five seasons. Had it had not been for Clayton Kerhsaw, Cueto would have probably won the Cy young award in 2014 when he pitched over 240 innings with a 2.25 ERA. Cueto is a legitimate ace.
7 Closing Pitcher - Craig Kimbrel
The 2011 National League Rookie of the Year made his presence in the majors felt right away as he notched 46 saves. Kimbrel continued on that torrid pace as he has saved 42, 50, 47, and 39 games in the seasons since. Kimbrel has never posted an ERA higher than 2.58 in his career and has been under 1.75 three times included a miniscule 1.01 in 2012. Kimbrel has been pure dominance throughout the early stages of his career. It would be difficult to find someone with a better resume in the 2010’s as a closer. Kimbrel in the ninth is about as safe as it gets.
6 The Bench
5 Out Fielder - Andrew McCutchen
If not for Mike Trout, McCutchen would be a near lock to start in centerfield for the all 2010’s team. McCutchen has undoubtedly been one of the best players in the National League for several years now. McCutchen has averaged 23 homers, 84 RBI and a .299 batting average since 2010. However, what really makes him lethal at the plate is his strong on-base skills. He has recorded on-base percentages of over .400 four times in the 2010’s and has never posted a mark under .360. Add in his good speed and strong defense and he’s a no doubter to make the cut.
4 Out Fielder - Giancarlo Stanton
At only 26 years old, Giancarlo Stanton is one of the best young power hitters in the game. Stanton got an early start in the big leagues as he was called up at just 20 years old. Stanton homered 22 times his rookie season and has put his light tower power on showcase. Stanton has suffered several injuries in his big league career thus hurting his home run totals in some seasons, but he has still hit 193 homers in his big league career. Stanton has a career slugging percentage of .541 and an OPS of .900. One of the game’s best power sources.
3 Second Baseman - Jose Altuve
Every baseball team could use some speed coming off their bench and who better to provide some speed for this team than Jose Altuve. Since entering the league in 2011, Altuve has stolen 185 bases including 56 in 2014. Altuve is more than just a threat on the bases as he has proven to be one of the games’ best average hitters throughout his young career. Altuve has a career batting average of .307, that included an impressive mark of .341 in 2014. Altuve would be the ideal man to come off the bench in the late innings. If he gets on, there’s no one else we’d rather have on the bases.
2 Third Baseman - Josh Donaldson
Donaldson was a little late to the party in the 2010s, as he didn’t have his first full season until 2013, but he made sure to make up for lost time. Donaldson surprised the baseball world in 2013 when he came out of nowhere to finish fourth in MVP voting in the American league. Donaldson hit .301 with 24 homers, 93 RBI and a 7.7 WAR according to Baseball Reference. Donaldson saw his average dip about 50 points the following season but still posted impressive power numbers. In the 2014 offseason, Donaldson was traded to Blue Jays and he put fourth his best season to date cracking 41 home runs en route to earning the American League MVP award.
1 Catcher - Yadier Molina
Maybe the best defensive catcher most baseball fans will ever see play, Yadier Molina’s defense earns him a spot on this roster. Molina has captured eight straight Gold Glove awards behind the dish as well as seven consecutive all-star appearances. “Yadi” is one of the most feared catchers in the history of baseball as he has nabbed a staggering 44 percent of base stealers throughout his career. Now, teams hardly ever run on Molina cause the odds are not in their favor. Molina did also have several strong seasons offensively as he hit .305, .315, .319 from 2011-2013 while hitting 48 home runs in that span.