Bradley Popkin and Men's Fitness Editors 1 / 13
The knuckle ball-wielding, grand slam-hitting players of Major League Baseball need to be in serious shape to withstand the rigors of a 162-game season. Within the realm of professional baseball, there are five-tool players as well as unparalleled pitchers and blistering base-runners. Here are 12 of the most talented players in the MLB.
The long-time St. Louis Cardinals catcher suffered a down year several seasons ago due to a torn ligament in his thumb, but when he's healthy, the 5'11", 220-pound Molina is one of the most well-rounded catchers in baseball.
Posey is a huge asset to the San Francisco Giants and is one of the main reasons why the team remains a favorite to win the World Series every year. The 29-year-old catcher continues to improve on his key batting numbers, including batting average, home runs and RBIs.
The Cincinnati Reds outfielder may not be the biggest guy, he's arguably the quickest. Hamilton drove opposing pitchers and catchers crazy in 2014 by stealing 56 bases, which was good for second best in the major leagues.
ESPN commentator Mark Jackson's famous catchphrase—"Mama, there goes that man"—is apt for Gordon, who led the MLB in stolen bases with the Dodgers with 64. Gordon cleaned up in his first year with the Miami Marlins, nabbing an All-Star nod, the Golden Glove Award, the Silver Slugger Award, the National League Batting Title, and the MLB title in stolen bases.
Jones has been a model of consistency for the Baltimore Orioles over the last six seasons. The center fielder has been named an All-Star five times—including an incredible four-year run from 2012–2015—and garnered four Golden Glove Awards.
5. Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton is a 6'6", 240-pound behometh of an athlete. He nabbed offers to play football in college, but chose baseball instead—which payed off big time when he nabbed the richest sports contract in sports history: a 13-year, $325 million deal with the Miami Marlins.
4. David Price, Boston Red Sox
Price is a bit of a journeyman, having played for four teams—the Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox—in his career. When the 6'6", 210-pound lefty pitcher is on his game, Price has one of the best sliders in baseball, and he's leveraged the hell out of it in his career, earning five All-Star nods, the Cy Young Award (in 2012), and leading MLB in strikeouts in 2014.
3. Félix Hernández, Seattle Mariners
“King Félix,” as he is known, is one of the most dangerous pitchers in professional baseball. He's racked up six All-Star appearances, nabbed the American League Cy Young Award in 2010, and pitched the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012.
2. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kershaw claimed the National League MVP award in 2014, and with good reason: The dominant lefty is arguably one of the best pitchers, if not the best pitcher, in Major League Baseball, with a Triple Crown and multiple league titles to his name. When he nabbed his third NL Cy Young Award in 2014, he became the youngest pitcher in history to win a third Cy Young Award.
1. Mike Trout
The "Millville Meteor" (a.k.a. "Prince Fish" and "King Fish 2.0" after Tim Salmon) is, both statistically and anecdotally, one of the finest young ball players in the history of the game. A first-round pick in 2011 by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he was unanimously named the AL Rookie of the Year in 2012, and then picked up the AL MVP Award and the Hank Aaron Award (for the league's top hitter) in 2014.