Sure, this seems like an easy task: Plug some numbers into our spreadsheets, shake the Magic 8 Ball for a little additional advice and spit out the 2027 All-MLB team. It can't be that difficult to project the sport's top superstars five years from now.
Except, as Ron Washington might say, it's incredibly hard.
Just look at five years ago. If we had been projecting the All-2022 team prior to the 2017 season, some of our top candidates would have been:
Kris Bryant, coming off his 2016 MVP season
Manny Machado, coming off a huge 7.3-WAR season at age 23
Miguel Cabrera, still one of the best hitters in the game after hitting .316 with 38 home runs
Jackie Bradley Jr., fourth among outfielders in WAR after hitting 26 home runs with elite center-field defense
And don't even look at the pitchers, unless you want to be reminded that Carlos Martinez, Michael Fulmer and Noah Syndergaard were top-15 starters in 2016 (not to mention Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber).
Not all these players were duds in 2021, but none of them would be top choices for an All-2022 team. Oh, and projecting prospects isn't so easy either. The consensus top prospect heading into 2017 was Andrew Benintendi, and the top pitching prospect was Alex Reyes.
So here's our All-2027 squad. We had to consider how players age, which players may shift positions and which pitchers are the best bets to stay healthy. Thanks to the influx of young superstar talent in recent seasons, there were a couple obvious choices. Then things got fun.