The Derek Jeter farewell tour is less than two months from coming to an end. Many people considered Jeter the face of Major League Baseball. Every stadium he goes to, he gets a warm welcome and a parting gift. With Jeter’s days almost done, it’s time to look at the players that Jeter will pass the torch to. Let’s take a look at who the five faces of MLB are today.
1. Mike Trout
This is an absolute no brainer. Mike Trout defines a five tool player. There is nothing that he can’t do. He’s one of the toughest outs in baseball. Jeter passes the torch into the hands of Trout, who took home the All-Star Game MVP in Minnesota in July. The scary thing is that Trout is just 22 years old. We get to see another 15-20 years more of the young superstar robbing opposing home runs and hitting plenty of his own. Not to mention he’s great off the field as well and he gets to do it all around the corner from Hollywood.
2. Clayton Kershaw
From the Los Angels Angels of Anaheim to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hollywood shines bright when Clayton Kershaw takes the hill. Kershaw has become the best pitcher in baseball and it’s an event when he’s on the mound. He’s already won two Cy Young Awards and has a career ERA of 2.52, including sub-two ERA’s this year and last year. Kershaw became the highest paid player in baseball when he signed a seven-year, $215 million contract in the off-season. It’s a lot of money, but he’s going to end up as one of the best pitchers in the history of the game.
3. Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera has been around for a while, yet he’s just 31 years old and still crushing the baseball. While his power numbers are down this season, Cabrera has consistently been a 30-plus home run hitter for his entire career. A career batting average of .320 and an OBP of .397 isn’t too shabby, either. There has not been a more consistent player in the league in the last decade than Cabrera. He’s a shoe-in to be a first ballot Hall of Famer when it’s all said and done. He also started his career with a World Series title with the Marlins in 2003.
4. Yasiel Puig
Some may say it’s too early to call Yasiel Puig one of the faces of baseball, but he’s become a must-watch player. Puig is the kind of player that people pay extra money to go see at the ballpark. He’s a terrific hitter. He has a cannon of an arm and can get after any ball and throw anyone out. He’s very fast. He can hit for power. There’s not much that Puig can’t do and it’s only his second year here. The 23-year-old is very charismatic and has that off the field personality that some in baseball may hate, but that the fans love. Baseball needs guys like Puig in the league to bring some excitement to a sport that has games dragging on longer than ever. And c’mon, how could you not love the bat flips?
5. Andrew McCutchen
The 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen has made the Pittsburgh Pirates relevant. That’s been a hard thing to do the last two decades. The Pirates had not made the playoffs since 1992. McCutchen changed that last season with his MVP performance. The 27-year-old has only gotten better every season, and is the epitome of a five-tool player. His OBP has been over .400 the last three seasons and he’s stolen 20+ bases every season coming into 2014. He’s done it in a mediocre lineup with not much help, which makes it that more tremendous of a feat. The Pirates outfielder has brought fans out to PNC Park and the last guy to do that in Pittsburgh was Barry Bonds.