Nine pitchers, 3 Red Sox in ESPN’s top 25 MLB players of 2019

The 2019 MLB season technically kicked off in Japan on Wednesday, but all 30 teams will be returning to action in just over a week on March 28. 

Over the offseason, ESPN released its ranking of the top 100 MLB players of 2019. A panel of writers, experts and analysts voted from a list of 300 players to select the best of the best in the league entering the new season. 

Some major names, like the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, saw their stock drop from 2018. In fact, five players from last year’s top 50 weren’t even ranked this time around. Others, like pitchers Aaron Nola and Gerrit Cole, moved way up on the list after impressive campaigns last season. 

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox were well-represented in the top quarter of the list. American League MVP and Boston outfielder Mookie Betts made a significant jump up in the rankings, but was it enough to topple last year’s No. 1 (and soon-to-be highest-paid player) Mike Trout?

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