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Present & Future of the NL East

This series of blogs is 100% opinion based on who I see as the best players in the NL East and who I can see having a legit shot at the HOF. The "most exciting" are the players who are young but already have shown to have the highest upside. The "on their way" are the players getting closer and closer to the HoF with every year they play. The "honorable mentions" are players who will be on the ballot but will not make it into the HoF. The "future HoF" are the players that I have no doubt will make it into Cooperstown.

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Most Exciting:

Brian Anderson OF Marlines-The 3yr MLB vet has been nothing short of excellent in those three seasons. He owns an 8.7WAR, 354H, 42HR, 177RBI with a .266/.349/.431 slash over 1333AB. Anderson is 27yo, but the Marlins young team's heart carries an insane amount of upside for competing Marlins.

Ozzie Albies 2B Braves- The 23yo Albies finished up his 3rd professional season in 2020. Albies is on his way to being one of the best second basemen in the MLB; he already owns an 11.7WAR, 450H, 60HR, 40SB, .279/.330/.473 slash over 1614AB. Albies will be a member of the Braves until 2027 and continue to develop into one of the elite second basemen in the MLB; Albies has already won 1 Silver Slugger and made 1 All-Star appearance.

Dominic Smith 1B Mets- Smith is set to push Pete Alonso for the 1B job after posting a 1.9WAR, 10HR, 42RBI, 56H with a .316/.377/.616 slash over 177AB. I am a big fan of the power and on-base potential for Smith, and the 25yo will continue to develop into a great offensive weapon for the Mets.

Alec Bohm 3B Phillies- Thank goodness the Phillies had Bohm step up in 2020, so now Harper can stay in the outfield and not move to 3B for now. Bohm was the runner up for the Rookie of the Year in 2020. The 24yo posted a 0.9WAR, 54H, 4HR, 23RBI with a .338/.400/.481 slash over 160AB. The glove still needs to come around as he posted a -5DRS in 2020 at the hot corner.

Victor Robles OF Nationals- The 23yo outfielder did not perform great in 2020 as he posted -0.4WAR. So far over Robles 2 seasons, he owns a 4.2WAR, 23HR, 199H, 94RBI with a .250/.320/.407 slash over 797Ab. Robles has already proven to be a great third option to Soto and Turner.

On Their Way:

Trea Turner SS Nationals- The 27yo Turner has lived up to every bit of hype since being the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft. Turner owns a 16.6WAR, 75HR, 644H, 257RBI, .296/.353/.480 slash over 2177AB. Turner should hope for a move to 2B as his defensive metrics are well above average.

Dansby Swanson SS Braves- The 26yo Swanson is yet another member of the young Braves that are well on their way to greatness. He posted a 2.9WAR. So far in Swanson's career, he owns a 7.5WAR, 50HR, 227RBI, 452H with a .249/.321/.396 slash over 1815AB. Swanson has been a great defender to date with 18DRS over 4284.2INN with a .974FLD% at Short Stop. Swanson has years left to establish himself as one of the premier shortstops in the MLB.

Jeff McNeil OF Mets- McNeil is an On-base machine and a defensive wizard with the glove. He owns a career .975Fld% over 1935.1INN between the OF, 2B, 3B with 11DRS. He holds a 9.4WAR, 293H, 117RBI, .319/.383/.501 slash line in his career over 918AB. McNeil has a tremendous amount of time to go down as a great utility man.

Michael Conforto OF Mets- The power was finally starting to come around in 2019 when he smashed a career-high 33HR. In 2020 he was nothing short of excellent with a 2.3WAR, .322/.412/.515 slash line. The career numbers aren't bad for the 27yo, with a 14.6WAR, 118HR, 341RBI, .259/.358/.484 slash over 2145AB.

Honorable Mentions:

Robinson Cano 2B Mets- I can't believe I am still adding Cano to this list. We all know that after the 2nd PED suspension, Cano's chances at the Hall of Fame are slim to none. To look back at a remarkable career that included 5 Silver Sluggers, 2 Gold Gloves, 1 World Series ring, and 8 All-Star appearances. The stats back up all the accolades with a 69.1WAR, 2624H, 334HR, 1302RBI, .303/.352/.492 slash over 8673AB. Cano has always been a solid defender but not elite as he holds just 1DRS with a .988FLD% over 18766.2INN in the field. It is an absolute shame Cano used PED's and kept using them.

Andrew McCutchen OF Phillies- Go ol' Cutch has been nothing short of excellent in his 11yr career. He has earned 1 MVP, 1 Gold Glove, 4 Silver Sluggers, and 5 All-Star nods. To date, the 34yo owns a 44.6WAR, 1719H, 243HR, 853RBI, 191SB, .285/.376/.478 slash over 6038AB. Cutch's biggest blemish on his HoF resume is the -76DRS. Cutch will have a case for Cooperstown when it's all said and done. Only time will tell.

Starling Marte OF Marlins- The 32yo has had a solid career to date. He has earned 1 All-Star nod and 2 Gold Gloves. Marte owns a 29.9WAR, 1111H, 114HR, 447RBI, 249SB with a .287/.341/.450 slash over 3875AB in his 7 season career. The glovework in the outfield has been nothing short of elite. He has played 8409INN in the outfield with a .983FLD% and 59DRS. He could have 71+ had he never moved to CF full time in 2018.

Future HoF:

Ronals Acuna Jr RF Braves- Yes, Acuna is only 23, and I am already considering him a Hall of Famer. I think that Acuna when he signed an 8yr extension in 2019 to keep him on the Braves through 2026, was a sign of what is still yet to come. Acuna has done nothing but impresses on the diamond after winning Rookie of the Year, 1 All-Star appearance, and 2 Silver Sluggers; the best is yet to come. To date, he holds a 12.1WAR, 342H, 81HR, 194RBI, 61SB, and a .281/.371/.538 slash over 1219AB. In 2019 Acuna posted 41HR, 101RBI, and 37SB. He was aiming for a 40/40 season in 2020 before it was cut short. Acuna has another 10-15 years ahead of him to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Juan Soto OF Nationals- Baby Shark himself is in the same category as Acuna, where it does feel a little premature to think that he will one day be a Hall of Famer, but the numbers don't lie. The 22yo has earned 1 World Series ring, 1 Silver Slugger, and 1 Batting Title. The 2019 World Series is where he became Baby Shark as he hit .333/.438/.741 with 3HR in 32PA. The glove has yet to come around after two seasons as he has posted a respectable .993FLD% but -15DRS. The bat is where Soto shines with a career 9.7WAR, 328H, 69HR, 217RBI, .295/.415/.557 slash over 1110AB.

Freddie Freeman1B Braves- MVFREE! It took ten years for Freeman to earn his long-overdue MVP award finally. The 31yo vet has been nothing short of dominant at the plate in his career. He holds a 38.8WAR, 1524H, 240HR, 858RBI, 45SB, .295/.383/.509 slash over 5167AB.

Freeman has 1 Gold Glove, 2 Silver Sluggers, and 4 All-Star nods along with the MVP award. Freeman is great with the glove, as we have seen for ten seasons and 12079.1INN played. He holds a .995FLD% and 14DRS. Freeman will be a free agent at the end of the 2021 season, and don't think for a second they will let Freeman walk.

Bryce Harper OF Phillies- Last season, I put Harper's numbers and careers profile in the NL Central. I was a different blogger then; thank goodness for good friends! Harper was well deserving of the 13yr contract he got from the Phillies in 2019. Harper has won 1 MVP, 1 Rookie of the Year, 1 Silver Slugger, and 6 All-Star nods. Harper is only 28 and going into his 3rd year of that deal. Harper debuted at the age of 19 and since owned a 33.7WAR, 1122H, 232HR, 668RBI with a .276/.387/.513 slash over 4069AB. Harper is an on-base machine with the best swing in all of baseball, in my opinion. To go along with an excellent swing, he has a great glove over 9550.2INN in the field. He has a .983FLD% with 10DRS. I am a massive fan of Harper's and will be following his career closely.


Most Exciting:

Sixto Sanchez SP Marlins- The 22yo Sixto Sanchez came on strong in 2020 for the Malins. I don't think that the plan was for him to jump into the role of Ace for the Fish, but he did. Sanchez carries his Rookie status into 2021 and will be an obvious early choice for Rookie of the Year in the NL. After posting a 1.4WAR, 3.46ERA/3.50FIP over 39IP. The future is bright for the budding Ace.

Sandy Alcantara SP Marlins- Alcantara also gives the Marlins another high upside young starter. The 25yo pitcher so far in his career owns a 3.9WAR, 3.71ERA/4.49FIP over 281.2IP with a 197.1 of those coming in 2019 over 32 starts. Keep Alcantara on your radar as his career is only getting underway.

Ian Anderson SP Braves- The 22yo start looked the part of an elite level, top 3 picks in the draft. Anderson posted a 1.3WAR, 1.95ERA/2.54FIP, 41K-14BB over 32.1IP. Anderson will be an excellent 3rd option for the Braves behind Soroka and Fried.

Seranthony Dominguez RP Phillies- I am pretty sure the 26yo Dominguez hits triple digits regularly. So far, the reliever owns a 2.3WAR, 3.27ERA/3.20FIP with 103K-34BB over 82.2IP. Dominguez should be a stabilizing force for the back end of the Phillies bullpen.

On Their Way: