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The best of the American League heading into 2019

LA Angels centerfielder Mike Trout during a news

LA Angels centerfielder Mike Trout during a news conference to talk about Trout's 12-year, $426.5 million contract on March 24, 2019, in Anaheim. Photo Credit: AP/Mark J. Terrill

A look at the best the American League has to offer in various categories to begin the 2019 MLB season.

BEST PLAYER

1. Mike Trout, Angels

One of these years, Trout won’t be the answer to this question. But we’re not there yet, and only a supernatural season by Mookie Betts, who led Red Sox to 108 wins and the 2018 title, pushed him to second in the MVP voting. A career .307 hitter, Trout also is the active leader with a .990 OPS.

2. Mookie Betts, Red Sox

3. Aaron Judge, Yankees

4. Francisco Lindor, Indians

5. Alex Bregman, Astros

BEST MANAGER

1. A.J. Hinch, Astros

2. Alex Cora, Red Sox

3. Bob Melvin, A’s

BEST EXECUTIVE

1. Jeff Luhnow, Astros

2. Brian Cashman, Yankees

3. Chris Antonetti, Indians

BEST STARTING PITCHER

1. Justin Verlander, Astros

2. Blake Snell, Rays

3. Corey Kluber, Indians

BEST CLOSER

1. Blake Treinen, A’s
2. Aroldis Chapman, Yankees

3. Jose Leclerc, Rangers

BEST SET-UP MAN

1. Dellin Betances, Yankees

2. Adam Ottavino, Yankees

3. Joakim Soria, A’s

BEST FIRST BASEMAN

1. Matt Olson, A’s

2. Justin Smoak, Blue Jays

3. Jose Abreu, White Sox

BEST SECOND BASEMAN

1. Jose Altuve, Astros

2. Gleyber Torres, Yankees

3. Whit Merrifield, Royals

BEST SHORTSTOP

1. Francisco Lindor, Indians

2. Carlos Correa, Astros

3. Andrelton Simmons, Angels

BEST THIRD BASEMAN

1. Jose Ramirez, Indians

2. Alex Bregman, Astros

3. Matt Chapman, A’s

BEST CATCHER

1. Gary Sanchez, Yankees

2. Wellington Castillo, White Sox

3. Mike Zunino, Rays

BEST OUTFIELDER

1. Mike Trout, Angels

2. Mookie Betts, Red Sox

3. Aaron Judge, Yankees

BEST DH

1. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox

2. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees

3. Khris Davis, A’s

BEST BASESTEALER

1. Whit Merrifield, Royals

2. Mallex Smith, Mariners

3. Jose Ramirez, Indians

BEST FASTBALL

1. Aroldis Chapman, Yankees

2. Josh James, Astros

3. Luis Severino, Yankees

BEST SLIDER

1. Chris Sale, Red Sox

2. Adam Ottavino, Yankees

3. Corey Kluber, Indians

BEST SUPER UTILITY PLAYER

1. Marwin Gonzalez, Twins

2. Brock Holt, Red Sox

3. Josh Harrison, Tigers

BEST EXIT VELOCITY

1. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees

2. Aaron Judge, Yankees

3. Joey Gallo, Rangers

BEST HOME-RUN DISTANCE

1. Matt Olson, A’s

2. Joey Gallo, Rangers

3. Aaron Judge, Yankees

BEST OPEN-AIR STADIUM

1. Camden Yards

2. Fenway Park

3. Target Field

BEST DOME STADIUM

1. Safeco Field

2. Rogers Centre

3. Minute Maid Park

BEST HOME UNIFORMS

1. Yankees

2. Red Sox

3. Tigers

BEST MASCOT

1. Angels (Rally Monkey)

2. Mariners (Mariner Moose)

3. Rays (DJ Kitty)

BEST PLAYER UNDER 25
1. Alex Bregman, Astros

2. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox

3. Miguel Andujar, Yankees

BEST PROSPECTS

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays

2. Eloy Jimenez, White Sox

3. Danny Jansen, Blue Jays

BEST WALK-YEAR PLAYERS

1. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (opt-out)

2. Chris Sale, Red Sox

3. Gerrit Cole, Astros

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