Baseball has been searching for a “face of the game” for quite sometime now. The NBA has Lebron James, the NFL has Tom Brady, and the NHL has Sidney Crosby. Baseball hasn’t had a real face of the game since Derek Jeter. Here are five potential faces of baseball today.
It’s easy to call Jose Altuve the face of Major League Baseball. Altuve is easily one of, if not, the best players in all of baseball today. In his seven year career, Altuve is a 5x All-Star, a 3x batting champion, a 2x stolen base leader, a 3x Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove award winner, and most recently 2017 American League Most Valuable Player and a World Series champion.
Standing at 5’6” and 165 pounds, Jose Altuve is one of the tiniest players in the game today. However, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the way he plays the game. Altuve carries himself on the field as if he is the biggest guy on the diamond. This is done rightfully so, as Altuve is a true five tool player and can do just about everything on the baseball field.
Altuve is the model for consistency on the diamond. The past four seasons, Altuve has 200 or more hits, has hit to an average of .314 or higher, and has 30 or more doubles and stolen bases. Jose Altuve has also never stuck out more than 100 times in his career.
The Venezuelan native is a terrific story, and is a terrific face for baseball both on and off the field.
The 6’7” rookie took the league by storm last season, winning both a Silver Slugger and the American League Rookie of the Year. Aaron Judge led the AL with a rookie record, 52 home runs. He also drove in a stellar 114 RBI’s. Judge finished second in MVP voting, behind Altuve by a large margin.
First of all, Judge would be a good face of baseball because he’s easily recognizable. Standing at 6’7”, Judge is real hard to miss as he is easily the biggest man on the diamond. Judge also has that signature gap in his front teeth.
Baseball wise, Judge’s raw power makes him extremely special. Perhaps the thing off the field that makes him even more special is the way he carries himself and how humble he is. Although he is only 25 years old, Judge carries himself as if he is a veteran already. Despite the early success with a big market team, Judge isn’t cocky and full of himself. Judge stays true to himself, his teammates, the media, and the fans.
Aaron Judge is going to be a very good ball player for quite sometime, and the MLB may have just found it’s new face of baseball.
Clayton Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the game, and the best left handed pitcher in the game today. Kershaw is a 3x NL Cy Young award winner, an NL MVP winner, a 3x NL All-Star, a 5x ERA champ, a Gold Glove winner, and a rare Triple Crown winner. Kershaw has finished in the top-5 in Cy Young voting in each of the past seven years.
When healthy, Kershaw is the very best in the game, He owns easily the most wicked curveball in the game today. He has recorded 200 or more strikeouts in seven of his ten big league seasons.
The thing that makes Kershaw so good, is he desire for more. Even though his resume is so full with outstanding accolades, Kershaw is always going to have that drive and will for more. We saw this in this past postseason as two days after throwing 110 pitches in a start Kershaw came in and saved the Dodgers season in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Mike Trout is only 26 years old, and has already put together a strong resume. Trout won Rookie of the Year in 2012, and finished second in MVP voting that year. He has won a pair of AL MVP’s in 2014 and 2016. In every full season he has been in the league, he has finished the top-2 in MVP voting except for 2017. He is also a Wilson Defensive Player of the year winner, a 5x Silver Slugger, a 2x All Star and All Star Game MVP.
The Millville, New Jersey kid is an absolute stud on the diamond. Trout does it all both at the plate and in the field. Over his career, he is a .306 hitter with 200 home runs and doubles, and 1,040 hits and he is only 26 years old.
Trout is one of the very best in the game. He is a genuinely good guy both on and off the field. At just 26, Trout already has seven years of big league experience under his belt. Mike Trout is at the top of this new wave of baseball, and he is only going to get better.
Nolan Arenado is the best defensive third baseman in all of baseball today. Despite the five Gold Gloves, he does not receive enough recognition for the magic he performs at the hot corner. He averages a 2.5 dWar for his five year career.
Offensively, Arenado is pretty impressive as well. Arenado has been awarded a Silver Slugger award the past three seasons. In both 2015 and 2016, Arenado led the majors in home runs and RBI’s. In 2015 he hit 42 home runs and drove in 130 RBI’s, and in 2016 he hit 41 home runs and drove in 133 RBI’s.
This past season, Arenado finished fourth in MVP voting. He should’ve been placed higher, as he was the key factor in the Rockies turnaround. Arenado hit .309/.373/.586 with 37 home runs, 130 RBI’s, and a league leading 43 doubles.
Nolan Arenado is a defensive wizard at the hot corner, and deserves to be in the talks for the next face of baseball.