The 30 Most Amazing MLB Players of the 21st Century

Bonds Sosa 560x373When the 2000 Major League Baseball season ended, we were left with 16 players hitting 40 or more Home Runs with Sammy Sosa leading the way with 50 of them and 138 RBIs. The league was in the midst of a power struggle between hitting and pitching with the most of the power coming from the batting side of the game.

The following season, the 2001 season, Barry Bonds did the unimaginable and he crushed 73 long balls to break the long time record for most career Home Runs, held by legendary power hitter, Hank Aaron. By 2009, the term doping in baseball became common among fans and critics of baseball. The entire scandal nearly destroyed the sport as it alleged almost all of the biggest hitters in baseball were taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

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Following the scandals and inflated numbers that caused an unbalanced struggle between scoring and defense in the late ’90s and early ’00s, there has been a re-balancing in Major League Baseball. A new crop of stars have emerged in the 21st century, and presumably most of them are clean. As we approach Hall of Fame Weekend, we take a look at the 30 Best MLB Players of the 21st Century, and ponder how many of them will one day be Hall of Famers, or how many will be held out due to their scandalous pasts.

30) Adrian Beltre, 3B

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  • Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 4
    • Gold Gloves: 5
    • Silver Sluggers: 4
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • Batting Avg (Avg): 0.288
    • On-Base (OBP): 0.339
    • Hits (H): 2,785
    • Doubles (2B): 565
    • Triples (3B): 31
    • Runs (R): 1,342
    • Home Runs (HR): 428
    • Runs Batted In (RBI): 1,504
    • Walks (BB): 718
    • Stolen Bases (SB): 99

29) Madison Bumgarner, LHP

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  • Team: San Francisco Giants
  • Awards
    • World Series Titles: 3
    • World Series MVP’s: 1
    • All-Star Games: 4
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • W-L Record (W-L): 100-70
    • Earned Run Average (ERA): 2.99
    • Complete Games (CG): 15
    • Shutouts (SHO): 6
    • Saves (S): 0
    • Innings Pitched (IP): 1,424.2
    • Hits (H): 1,237
    • Earned Runs (ER): 473
    • Strikeouts (K): 1,409
    • Walks (BB): 326

28) Aroldis Chapman, LHP

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  • Teams: Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs
  • Awards
    • World Series Titles: 1
    • All-Star Games: 4
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 24-21, 2.16 ERA, 190 Saves, 395.2 IP, 220 H, 95 ER, 666 K, 179 BB

27) Vladimir Guerrero, RF

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  • Final Season: 2011
  • Teams: Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Awards
    • NL MVP: 1
    • All-Star Games: 9
    • Silver Sluggers: 8
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    •  .318 Avg, .381 OBP, 2,092 H, 381 2B, 32 3B, 1,072 R, 357 HR, 1,215 RBI, 621 BB, 153 SB

26) Chris Sale, LHP

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  • Teams: Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 6
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 85-54, 2.97 ERA, 15 CG, 2 SHO, 12 Saves, 1,237.2 IP, 1,015 H, 409 ER, 1,422 K, 282 BB

25) Jose Altuve, 2B

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  • Team: Houston Astros
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 5
    • Gold Gloves: 1
    • Silver Sluggers: 3
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .313 Avg, .358 OBP, 1,153 H, 229 2B, 21 3B, 506 R, 72 HR, 367 RBI, 241 BB, 216 SB

24) Billy Wagner, LHP

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  • Final Season: 2010
  • Teams: Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 7
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 30-26, 2.30 ERA, 321 Saves, 650 IP, 443 H, 166 ER, 802 K, 192 BB

23) Roy Oswalt, RHP

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  • Final Season: 2013
  • Teams: Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 3
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 163-102, 3.36 ERA, 20 CG, 8 SHO, 2,245.1 IP, 2,199 H, 838 ER, 1,852 K, 520 BB

22) Joey Votto, 1B

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  • Team: Cincinnati Reds
  • Awards
    • NL MVP: 1
    • All-Star Games: 5
    • Gold Gloves: 1
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .313 Avg, .425 OBP, 1,502 H, 329 2B, 17 3B, 820 R, 245 HR, 791 RBI, 920 BB, 70 SB

21) Ryan Braun, LF

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  • Team: Milwaukee Brewers
  • Awards
    • NL MVP: 1
    • All-Star Games: 6
    • Silver Sluggers: 5
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .303 Avg, .366 OBP, 1,632 H, 327 2B, 43 3B, 905 R, 294 HR, 958 RBI, 488 BB, 185 SB

20) Bryce Harper, OF

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  • Teams: Washington Nationals
  • Awards
    • NL MVP: 1
    • All-Star Games: 5
    • Silver Sluggers: 1
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .284 Avg, .387 OBP, 745 H, 142 2B, 17 3B, 478 R, 141 HR, 398 RBI, 441 BB, 60 SB

19) Roy Halladay, RHP

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  • Final Season: 2013
  • Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Awards
    • NL Cy Young: 2
    • All-Star Games: 8
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 194-98, 3.36 ERA, 65 CG, 19 SHO, 2,586 IP, 2,481 H, 966 ER, 2,022 K, 511 BB

18) Justin Verlander, RHP

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  • Team: Detroit Tigers
  • Awards
    • AL MVP: 1
    • AL Cy Young: 1
    • All-Star Games: 6
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 178-111, 3.53 ERA, 23 CG, 7 SHO, 2,437 IP, 2,174 H, 956 ER, 2,289 K, 746 BB

17) Alfonso Soriano, 2B/OF

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  • Final Season: 2014
  • Teams: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 7
    • Silver Sluggers: 4
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .270 Avg, .319 OBP, 2,094 H, 481 2B, 31 3B, 1,150 R, 411 HR, 1,158 RBI, 496 BB, 289 SB

16) Max Scherzer, RHP

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  • Teams: Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals
  • Awards
    • AL/NL Cy Young: 2
    • All-Star Games: 5
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 135-74, 3.29 ERA, 8 CG, 4 SHO, 1,817 IP, 1,530 H, 665 ER, 2,044 K, 505 BB

15) Roger Clemens, RHP

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  • Final Season: 2007
  • Teams: New York Yankees, Houston Astros
  • Awards
    • AL/NL MVP: 1
    • AL/NL Cy Young: 7
    • World Series Titles: 2
    • All-Star Games: 11
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 107-50, 3.34 ERA, 3 CG, 1 SHO, 1,454.1 IP, 1,268 H, 539 ER, 1,356 K, 478 BB

14) Trevor Hoffman, RHP

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  • Final Season: 2010
  • Teams: San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 7
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 25-47, 3.02 ERA, 373 Saves, 580.1 IP, 481 H, 195 ER, 553 K, 143 BB

13) Mike Trout, CF

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  • Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Awards
    • AL MVP: 2
    • All-Star Games: 6
    • Silver Sluggers: 5
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .308 Avg, .408 OBP, 972 H, 189 2B, 39 3B, 636 R, 184 HR, 533 RBI, 513 BB, 153 SB

12) Craig Kimbrel, RHP

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  • Teams: Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox
  • Awards
    • All-Star Games: 5
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 23-18, 1.81 ERA, 279 Saves, 438 IP, 235 H, 88 ER, 711 K, 165 BB

11) David Ortiz, 1B/DH

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  • Final Season: 2016
  • Team: Boston Red Sox
  • Awards
    • World Series Titles: 3
    • All-Star Games: 10
    • Silver Sluggers: 7
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .287 Avg, .380 OBP, 2,379 H, 609 2B, 19 3B, 1,361 R, 531 HR, 1,716 RBI, 1,273 BB, 16 SB

10) Ichiro Suzuki, OF

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  • Teams: Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins
  • Awards
    • AL MVP: 1
    • All-Star Games: 10
    • Gold Gloves: 10
    • Silver Sluggers: 3
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .312 Avg, .355 OBP, 3,052 H, 358 2B, 96 3B, 1,408 R, 116 HR, 768 RBI, 631 BB, 508 SB

9) Pedro Martinez, RHP

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  • Final Season: 2009
  • Inducted into the Hall of Fame: 2015
  • Teams: Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Awards
    • AL Cy Young: 3
    • World Series Titles: 1
    • All-Star Games: 8
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 112-50, 3.01 ERA, 18 CG, 6 SHO, 1,468 IP, 1,171 H, 491 ER, 1,620 K, 350 BB

8) Clayton Kershaw, LHP

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  • Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Awards
    • NL MVP: 1
    • NL Cy Young: 3
    • All-Star Games: 7
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 139-62, 2.36 ERA, 24 CG, 15 SHO, 1,883.1 IP, 1,383 H, 493 ER, 2,064 K, 499 BB

7) Derek Jeter, SS

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  • Final Season: 2016
  • Team: New York Yankees
  • Awards
    • World Series Titles: 5
    • World Series MVP’s: 1
    • All-Star Games: 14
    • Gold Gloves: 5
    • Silver Sluggers: 5
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .307 Avg, .374 OBP, 2,658 H, 422 2B, 35 3B, 1,437 R, 197 HR, 970 RBI, 809 BB, 272 SB

6) Ivan Rodriguez, C

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  • Final Season: 2011
  • Inducted into the Hall of Fame: 2017
  • Teams: Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals
  • Awards
    • AL MVP: 1
    • World Series Titles: 1
    • All-Star Games: 14
    • Gold Gloves: 13
    • Silver Sluggers: 7
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .293 Avg, .330 OBP, 1,511 H, 311 2B, 31 3B, 705 R, 167 HR, 711 RBI, 276 BB, 67 SB

5) Mariano Rivera, RHP

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  • Final Season: 2013
  • Team: New York Yankees
  • Awards
    • World Series Titles: 5
    • World Series MVP’s: 1
    • All-Star Games: 13
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 56-47, 2.05 ERA, 523 Saves, 907 IP, 698 H, 207 ER, 836 K, 167 BB

4) Alex Rodriguez, SS/3B

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  • Final Season: 2016
  • Teams: Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees
  • Awards
    • AL MVP: 3
    • World Series Titles: 1
    • All-Star Games: 14
    • Gold Gloves: 2
    • Silver Sluggers: 10
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .291 Avg, .385 OBP, 2,324 H, 388 2B, 20 3B, 1,528 R, 548 HR, 1,623 RBI, 1,128 BB, 211 SB

3) Barry Bonds, LF

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  • Final Season: 2007
  • Team: San Francisco Giants
  • Awards
    • NL MVP:
    • All-Star Games:
    • Gold Gloves:
    • Silver Sluggers:
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .322 Avg, .517 OBP, 925 H, 178 2B, 12 3B, 772 R, 317 HR, 697 RBI, 1,128 BB, 54 SB

2) Randy Johnson, LHP

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  • Final Season: 2009
  • Inducted into the Hall of Fame: 2015
  • Teams: Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants
  • Awards
    • AL/NL Cy Young: 5
    • World Series Titles: 1
    • World Series MVP’s: 1
    • All-Star Games: 10
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • 143-78, 3.34 ERA, 32 CG, 12 SHO, 1,885.1 IP, 1,616 H, 699 ER, 2,182 K, 484 BB

1) Albert Pujols, 1B/DH

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  • Teams: St.Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Awards
    • NL MVP: 3
    • World Series Titles: 2
    • All-Star Games: 10
    • Gold Gloves: 2
    • Silver Sluggers: 6
  • Stats from 2000 until Most Recent Year
    • .307 Avg, .389 OBP, 2,901 H, 611 2B, 16 3B, 1,696 R, 603 HR, 1,870 RBI, 1,235 BB, 108 SB