Los Angeles Angels OF Mike Trout has carried the designation of "best player in baseball" for most of the past decade. While there is little doubt he can still hit among the best in the game, the bottom line is he does not hit enough. What is enough? Well, it is certainly more than 36 games, which is all that Trout played in 2021. The most recent season in which Trout played more than 140 games was 2016. This is a disturbing trend and it's why we simply can no longer call Trout a first-round fantasy baseball selection.
It's time to exalt Washington Nationals OF Juan Soto as the best player in baseball. Soto delivered a monster 2021 season at the plate, and all at the tender age of 22. We should enjoy a decade of this, too. No, Soto did not hit as many home runs as the leaders, nor did he steal a ton of bases. He certainly did not take the mound and throw 100-plus innings on top of all that. You can certainly make the case for a number of other players for the top spot in 2022 and sound like you're making sense. To me, Soto is the safest of all. He makes the most sense.