Yahoo Sports 2018 All-MLB Team: Mookie Betts, Mike Trout lead way

MLB columnist
Yahoo Sports

Two outfielders, two starting pitchers and two relief pitchers were unanimous choices on the Yahoo Sports 2018 All-MLB Team, garnering first-team votes on 60 ballots filled out by players, general managers, front-office officials, scouts, analysts, writers, broadcasters and other major league personnel surveyed.

Because Major League Baseball’s only position-by-position recognition takes place halfway through the season at the All-Star Game, Yahoo last year put together its inaugural All-MLB Team. Adding 15 voters this season did not stop Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer, Seattle Mariners closer Edwin Díaz and Oakland A’s closer Blake Treinen from polling perfectly.

Four other players were named on all 60 ballots with a mixture of first- and second-team votes: Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, Houston Astros starter Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell. Also named 60 times was Brewers reliever Josh Hader, though on a technicality. One respondent left him off altogether, while another put Hader on both the first- and second-team ballots despite instructions to include a player only once. Perhaps he thought Hader’s season was so good it warranted being named twice.

Balloting hiccup aside, the 60 players recognized – 20 each on the first, second and third teams – were a mixture of new and old. Five players repeated from the inaugural first team: Trout, Scherzer, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Indians third baseman José Ramírez, who made it as a utilityman in 2017. In all, 22 players from last season’s team returned this year.

Mookie Betts and Mike Trout keep bringing in the honors. (Getty)
Mookie Betts and Mike Trout keep bringing in the honors. (Getty)

Four teams tied with five players apiece on the 2018 version: the Astros, Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. The latter two did not place a player on the first team. The Red Sox, Indians and Brewers were the only organizations with multiple first-teamers. It certainly beat the fortunes of the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins. Not only were they the only four franchises not to place a player on any of the three teams, none of their players even received a single vote.

In total, voters cast valid ballots for 136 players. Fifty-four of them were pitchers, and two were in rather reversed roles thanks to the Tampa Bay Rays’ novel approach to pitching. Ryan Yarbrough, a starting pitcher by trade who worked out of the bullpen for long stretches when the Rays began using a relief pitcher to start a game, received six votes as a reliever, including one on the first team. One vote was cast for the Rays’ Ryne Stanek — who hasn’t thrown more than two innings in an appearance this season — as a starter after he opened 29 games.

Neither cracked the threshold to make the final groups. Only the elite of the elite do. Introducing the 2018 All-MLB Team:

(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
(Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)

2018 YAHOO SPORTS All-MLB FIRST TEAM

C: J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
1B: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
2B: Javier Báez, Chicago Cubs
SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
3B: José Ramírez, Cleveland Indians
*OF: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
*OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
OF: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
DH: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox
UT: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
*SP: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
*SP: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
SP: Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
SP: Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
SP: Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
*RP: Edwin Díaz, Seattle Mariners
*RP: Blake Treinen, Oakland A’s
RP: Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers
RP: Adam Ottavino, Colorado Rockies
RP: Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
*Unanimous selections

SECOND TEAM

C: Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
SS: Manny Machado, Los Angeles Dodgers
3B: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
OF: Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers
OF: Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners
OF: Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves
DH: Khris Davis, Oakland A’s
UT: Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs
SP: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
SP: Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
SP: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
SP: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
SP: Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies
RP: José Leclerc, Texas Rangers
RP: Dellin Betances, New York Yankees
RP: Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers
RP: Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
RP: Will Smith, San Francisco Giants

THIRD TEAM

C: Wilson Ramos, Philadelphia Phillies
1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers
2B: Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels
3B: Matt Chapman, Oakland A’s
OF: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
OF: Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees
OF: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
DH: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
UT: Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
SP: Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks
SP: Luis Severino, New York Yankees
SP: Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Cardinals
SP: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
SP: Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians
RP: Felipe Vázquez, Pittsburgh Pirates
RP: Ryan Pressly, Houston Astros
RP: Craig Stammen, San Diego Padres
RP: Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals
RP: Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

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