The MLB has seen some major ups and downs in the past few years, but this past season the league has been able to consistently put its top players on the field for the majority of games.
The Boston Red Sox, for example, were able to put the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Jacoby Ellsbury, and David Price on the mound together in the playoffs, all in the same season.
And then this past summer, they had Matt Harvey and Alex Cobb on the roster for the entire regular season.
That’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the 2007 World Series, when they also had the likes the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners together for the entirety of the postseason.
This year, the Red Sox have the ability to do something that few teams can do.
They can put the best players on their roster on the same field for as long as they want, and it’s working out in their favor.
So far, it seems like it will be an even stronger combination.
In this week’s MLB Power Rankings, we’re looking at the most valuable position players in the game.
Who should earn the top billing for their respective team?
Let’s take a look.
RHP Jake Arrieta: The Cubs are one of the most dominant pitching teams in baseball.
They’ve won more than 100 games in every season since 2008, and they’ve won at least 90 games in each of the past four seasons.
With that dominance comes a ton of responsibility.
They have to be able to execute on their offense, but they also have to make it through the postseason on their own.
The Cubs have had a tough start to the season, and their pitching staff is in need of a big boost.
Arrieta has a big fastball that sits in the low 90s and has the ability for guys to chase it.
He has great command, but he has also struggled to get strikeouts (16.1 per nine innings last season).
He’s been one of those guys who’s been consistently good, but can sometimes get unlucky in the clutch.
He can still get some strikeouts, but it’s going to be tough to keep up with him this year.
OF David Ross: It’s hard to overstate the impact David Ross has had on the game of baseball over the past decade.
He’s one of only two players to have been named to three All-Star games and he’s been a force to be reckoned with since arriving in the league.
He also has a long history of being a great offensive hitter, something that will come into play in his debut with the Cubs.
He already has three Gold Gloves, and he’ll have plenty of opportunities to do even more this year as he enters his first full season.
Ross is the most consistent offensive threat on the team, but that’s not to say he can’t improve.
He’ll have to put together more of a breakout year this year, as the Cubs’ offense is going to have to take a step back if they want to keep the playoff race alive.
OF Kyle Schwarber: Schwarber has been one the most reliable offensive players in baseball since arriving with the club.
He finished the season with 28 home runs and 106 RBIs, and that’s despite being the third-most valuable player on the Cubs roster behind Mike Trout and Anthony Rizzo.
Schwarber can also hit for a good amount of power, and the Cubs have been able, over the years, to keep him on the base paths.
He still has the power to hit for average and hit for power, but his speed is also impressive.
He could really be the one to carry the Cubs offense.
He was the Cubs best hitter in 2017 and will need to keep hitting like that in 2018 to be a force in the lineup.
RHP Chris Archer: Archer is another guy who’s played a huge role in the Cubs success in recent seasons.
Archer’s ERA has been in the upper-90s over the last two years, and his K/BB rate is at a career-high 3.4%.
He also leads the team with a career strikeout rate of 16.3 per nine, which should be good enough for a guy with his upside.
Archer also has the best strikeout potential in the majors, as he has the highest K/9 rate in the Majors and the highest BABIP (batting average on balls in play).
His stuff will definitely help him stay in the rotation this year with a big step forward from last year.
Archer is one of just two pitchers in the entire majors to throw a complete game shutout in 2017, which he did.
He won’t be able, however, to repeat that feat in 2018.
OF Yoan Moncada: The Dodgers added Moncadas first big-league home run in 2018, and while he didn’t get much love from the Dodgers, he did deliver on his promise. Moncades