Who are the best players in Major League Baseball right now?

To determine this, ESPN formed a panel of MLB writers, analysts, contributors and Insiders to rank the top 100, which we’ll count down from No. 100 to No. 1, 20 players per day for five days.

To compile the top 100, we collaborated with Microsoft Research and The Wharton School, and polled 65 ESPN experts who voted in thousands of head-to-head matchups based on a list of 167 players. We asked our panel to vote on both the quality and the quantity of each player’s contributions to his team’s ability to win games. After seven days of voting in June, we have our results.

We continue our countdown with Nos. 80-61, which features 10 players who weren’t in our #BBTN Top 100 for 2016, four Rookies of the Year and three Cy Young Award winners.


Elvis Andrus

Position(s): Shortstop

Team: Texas Rangers

Honors: American League All-Star (2010, 2012)

Twitter: @ElvisandrusSS1

Career stats (through 2016 season): .274/.335/.357, OPS — .692, hits — 1,266, HRs — 35, RBIs — 436

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.3

Did you know?
Elvis Andrus is one of five players to debut since 1990 who recorded at least 20 steals in each of their first eight seasons. The three who have done it in nine straight are Ichiro Suzuki, Chuck Knoblauch and Delino Deshields. — Mark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information

Wil Myers

Position(s): First baseman

Team: San Diego Padres

Honors: National League All-Star (2016)

Twitter: None; Team: @Padres

Career stats (through 2016 season): .257/.331/.429, OPS — .759, hits — 382, HRs — 55, RBIs — 211

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 1.6

Did you know?
Last season, Wil Myers became just the third Padres player since 2003 to record at least 90 runs, 25 home runs and 90 RBIs in a season, joining Chase Headley and Adrian Gonzalez. — Ken Woolums, ESPN Stats & Information

Michael Fulmer

Position(s): Starting pitcher

Team: Detroit Tigers

Honors: American League Rookie of the Year (2016)

Twitter: @MFulmer12

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 11-7, 159.0 innings pitched, 3.06 ERA, 132 strikeouts, 1.119 WHIP

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 4.4

Did you know?
In 2016, Michael Fulmer became the first Tigers player to win Rookie of the Year since Justin Verlander in 2006. Fulmer was the fifth player in Tigers history to win the award. — Woolums

Yadier Molina

Position(s): Catcher

Team: St. Louis Cardinals

Honors: National League All-Star (2009-15), Gold Glove (2008-15), Silver Slugger (2013)

Twitter: @Yadimolina04

Career stats (through 2016 season): .285/.338/.400, OPS — .738, hits — 1,593, HRs — 108, RBIs — 703

2016 Rank: 54

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.1

Did you know?
Yadier Molina is a seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the only other catchers in history to accomplish this are Ivan Rodriguez and Johnny Bench. — Woolums

Robbie Ray

Position(s): Starting pitcher

Team: Arizona Diamondbacks

Honors: None

Twitter: None; Team: @Dbacks

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 14-31, 330.2 innings pitched, 4.65 ERA, 356 strikeouts, 1.452 WHIP

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 4.3

Did you know?
Robbie Ray was one of three pitchers last season to average more than 11 strikeouts per nine innings and qualify for the ERA title, joining Jose Fernandez and Max Scherzer. — Woolums

Brian Dozier

Position(s): Second baseman

Team: Minnesota Twins

Honors: American League All-Star (2015)

Twitter: @BrianDozier

Career stats (through 2016 season): .246/.320/.442, OPS — .762, hits — 668, HRs — 117, RBIs — 346

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 3.1

Did you know?
Last season, Brian Dozier became the first American League player with at least 40 home runs as a second baseman in a single season. Forty of his 42 homers were as a second baseman. — Sarah Langs, ESPN Stats & Information

Addison Russell

Position(s): Shortstop

Team: Chicago Cubs

Honors: National League All-Star (2016)

Twitter: None; Team: @Cubs

Career stats (through 2016 season): .240/.314/.404, OPS — .718, hits — 240, HRs — 34, RBIs — 149

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.3

Did you know?
Since he made his MLB debut on April 21, 2015, Addison Russell trails only Andrelton Simmons in defensive runs saved by a middle infielder. Russell also ranks in the top 20 among middle infielders in home runs over that span. — Woolums

Salvador Perez

Position(s): Catcher

Team: Kansas City Royals

Honors: American League All-Star (2013-16), Gold Glove (2013-16), Silver Slugger (2016)

Twitter: @SalvadorPerez15

Career stats (through 2016 season): .272/.302/.432, OPS — .734, hits — 696, HRs — 87, RBIs — 343

2016 Rank: 61

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.9

Did you know?
Salvador Perez became the first player in major league history to go from being the last out of the World Series one season to the MVP of the World Series the following season. — Simon

Andrew Benintendi

Position(s): Left field

Team: Boston Red Sox

Honors: None

Twitter: @asben16

Career stats (through 2016 season): .295/.359/.476, OPS — .835, hits — 31, HRs — 2, RBIs — 14

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.0

Did you know?
On April 23, Andrew Benintendi recorded five hits against the Orioles. In doing so, he became the youngest Red Sox player with five hits in a game since Tony Conigliaro on April 16, 1967, against the Yankees. — Woolums

Justin Verlander

Position(s): Starting pitcher

Team: Detroit Tigers

Honors: American League Rookie of the Year (2006), AL MVP (2011), AL Cy Young (2011), AL All-Star (2007, 2009-13)

Twitter: @JustinVerlander

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 173-106, 2,339.0 innings pitched, 3.47 ERA, 2,197 strikeouts, 1.185 WHIP

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 3.1

Did you know?
Justin Verlander won the Triple Crown for pitchers in 2011, leading the AL in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He’s one of two Tigers to do that. The other is Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser in 1945. — Simon

James Paxton

Position(s): Starting pitcher

Team: Seattle Mariners

Honors: None

Twitter: @James_Paxton

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 18-15, 286.0 innings pitched, 3.43 ERA, 253 strikeouts, 1.276 WHIP

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 3.2

Did you know?
James Paxton has thrown more than 1,375 pitches that registered 96 mph or higher on a TV radar reading since the start of 2016. Only Noah Syndergaard has more (1,870). Paxton has just a 1.6 percent home run rate in that span, second also to Syndergaard. — Langs

Edwin Encarnacion

Position(s): Designated hitter

Team: Cleveland Indians

Honors: American League All-Star (2013-14, 2016)

Twitter: @Encadwin

Career stats (through 2016 season): .266/.352/.498, OPS — .850, hits — 1,439, HRs — 310, RBIs — 942

2016 Rank: 38

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.5

Did you know?
Edwin Encarnacion hit a home run every 15.1 at-bats from 2010-16 with the Blue Jays, the fourth-best rate of any player to play all seven seasons. He and teammate Jose Bautista combined to hit 480 home runs in those seven seasons, more than any two teammates in that span. — Jonathan Costa, ESPN Stats & Information

Justin Turner

Position(s): Third baseman

Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Honors: None

Twitter: @redturn2

Career stats (through 2016 season): .282/.348/.439, OPS — .787, hits — 583, HRs — 58, RBIs — 282

2016 Rank: Not ranked

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 5.5

Did you know?
Justin Turner had career highs in doubles (34), home runs (27) and RBIs (90) in 2016. Turner was the first Dodger playing primarily third base to hit at least 25 HRs and have 90 RBIs since Adrian Beltre in 2004. — Costa

Matt Carpenter

Position(s): First baseman

Team: St. Louis Cardinals

Honors: National League All-Star (2013-14, ’16)

Twitter: @MattCarp13

Career stats (through 2016 season): .284/.376/.462, OPS — .838, hits — 733, HRs — 74, RBIs — 335

2016 Rank: 69

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.5

Did you know?
Matt Carpenter’s 16.6 wins above replacement from 2013-16 were the most by any Cardinals player over that span. Only four Cardinals have more career postseason home runs than his six. — Costa

Jake Arrieta

Position(s): Starting pitcher

Team: Chicago Cubs

Honors: National League Cy Young (2015), NL All-Star (2016)

Twitter: @JArrieta34

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 74-46, 992.2 innings pitched, 3.58 ERA, 907 strikeouts, 1.161 WHIP

2016 Rank: 9

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 3.5

Did you know?
From 2014-16, Jake Arrieta ranked second in baseball in ERA (2.42) and WHIP (0.97), trailing only Clayton Kershaw in both. He also threw two no-hitters in that span, becoming just the third Cubs pitcher with multiple no-hitters. — Costa

Wade Davis

Position(s): Relief pitcher

Team: Chicago Cubs

Honors: American League All-Star (2015-16 — with Kansas City Royals)

Twitter: None; Team: @Cubs

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 55-37, 776.2 innings pitched, 3.53 ERA, 689 strikeouts, 1.279 WHIP

2016 Rank: 23

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 1.6

Did you know?
Wade Davis had a 1.18 ERA the previous three seasons, the lowest in the majors among pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched. And he boasts two seasons in his career with 60 appearances and an ERA of 1.00 or lower; no other pitcher has done it twice. — John Fisher, ESPN Stats & Information

Jose Abreu

Position(s): First baseman

Team: Chicago White Sox

Honors: American League Rookie of the Year (2014), AL All-Star (2014), Silver Slugger (2014)

Twitter: @79JoseAbreu

Career stats (through 2016 season): .299/.360/.515, OPS — .875, hits — 537, HRs — 91, RBIs — 308

2016 Rank: 41

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.5

Did you know?
Jose Abreu is one of eight players with 90 home runs and 300 RBIs over his first three seasons in the live ball era. Notable players to achieve this include Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Ralph Kiner, as well as Albert Pujols. — Simon

Brandon Crawford

Position(s): Shortstop

Team: San Francisco Giants

Honors: National League All-Star (2015), Gold Glove (2015-16), Silver Slugger (2015)

Twitter: @bcraw35

Career stats (through 2016 season): .252/.319/.393, OPS — .712, hits — 675, HRs — 59, RBIs — 346

2016 Rank: 78

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.1

Did you know?
Since his first full season in 2012, Brandon Crawford has the second-most defensive runs saved at shortstop, trailing only Andrelton Simmons in that span. Crawford has won two straight Gold Gloves at the position, and hit a career-high .275 with 11 triples in 2016. — Langs

Evan Longoria

Position(s): Third baseman

Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Honors: American League Rookie of the Year (2008), AL All-Star (2008-10)

Twitter: @Evan3Longoria

Career stats (through 2016 season): .271/.344/.490, OPS — .834, hits — 1,311, HRs — 241, RBIs — 806

2016 Rank: 84

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.9

Did you know?
Evan Longoria is the Rays’ all-time leader in games played, home runs, RBIs and wins above replacement, and he became just the second player in franchise history to hit at least 35 HRs in a season when he hit a career-high 36 last season. Carlos Pena (twice) is the other. — Costa

David Price

Position(s): Starting pitcher

Team: Boston Red Sox

Honors: American League Cy Young (2012 — Tampa Bay Rays), AL All-Star (2010-12, ’14 — Rays; ’15 — Detroit Tigers)

Twitter: @DAVIDprice24

Career stats (through 2016 season): W-L: 121-65, 1,671.2 innings pitched, 3.21 ERA, 1,600 strikeouts, 1.142 WHIP

2016 Rank: 15

ZiPS Projected 2017 WAR: 2.0

Did you know?
David Price had seven games with at least 10 strikeouts in 2016, his first season with the Red Sox. Only Justin Verlander had more with eight. Price was the first Red Sox pitcher to have at least seven 10-K games since Jon Lester in 2010. — Costa

MLBrank was produced in collaboration with Microsoft Research and The Wharton School.