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The best of the National League heading into 2019

Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez slides safely across home

Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez slides safely across home against Seattle on March 19, 2019. Photo Credit: AP/Elaine Thompson

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

BEST PLAYER

1. Javier Baez, Cubs

Baez finished second to Christian Yelich for last year’s MVP, but his breakthrough 2018 vaulted him to the top of our list. His 34 homers and 111 RBIs were more impressive when you consider the versatile, good-glove infielder was primarily a shortstop over the final five weeks. He played 160 games, and still is only 26.

2. Christian Yelich, Brewers

3. Manny Machado, Padres

4. Nolan Arenado, Rockies

5. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

BEST MANAGER

1. Craig Counsell, Brewers

2. Bud Black, Rockies

3. Dave Roberts, Dodgers

BEST EXECUTIVE

1. David Stearns, Brewers

2. John Mozeliak, Cardinals

3. Theo Epstein, Cubs

BEST STARTING PITCHER

1. Jacob deGrom, Mets

2. Max Scherzer, Nationals

3. Aaron Nola, Phillies

BEST CLOSER

1. Edwin Diaz, Mets

2. Kenley Jansen, Dodgers

3. Wade Davis, Rockies

BEST SET-UP MAN

1. Josh Hader, Brewers

2. Jeurys Familia, Mets

3. Joe Kelly, Dodgers

BEST FIRST BASEMAN

1. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

2. Joey Votto, Reds

3. Freddie Freeman, Braves

BEST SECOND BASEMAN

1. Robinson Cano, Mets

2. Ozzie Albies, Braves

3. Scooter Gennett, Reds

BEST SHORTSTOP

1. Javier Baez, Cubs

2. Trevor Story, Rockies

3. Corey Seager, Dodgers

BEST THIRD BASEMAN

1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies

2. Anthony Rendon, Nationals

3. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

BEST CATCHER

1. Buster Posey, Giants

2. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies

3. Wilson Contreras, Cubs

BEST OUTFIELDER

1. Christian Yelich, Brewers

2. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers

3. Bryce Harper, Phillies

BEST BASESTEALER

1. Trea Turner, Nationals

2. Starling Marte, Pirates

3. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers

BEST FASTBALL

1. Jordan Hicks, Cardinals

2. Noah Syndergaard, Mets

3. Joe Kelly, Dodgers

BEST SLIDER

1. Andrew Miller, Cardinals

2. Max Scherzer, Nationals

3. Patrick Corbin, Nationals

BEST SUPER UTILITY PLAYER

1. Enrique Hernandez, Dodgers

2. Charlie Culberson, Braves

3. Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks

BEST EXIT VELOCITY

1. Robinson Cano, Mets

2. Christian Yelich, Brewers

3. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals

BEST HOME-RUN DISTANCE

1. Trevor Story, Rockies

2. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

3. Bryce Harper, Nationals

BEST OPEN-AIR STADIUM

1. Dodger Stadium

2. Wrigley Field

3. AT&T Park

BEST DOME STADIUM

1. Marlins Park

2. Miller Park

3. Chase Field

BEST HOME UNIFORMS

1. Dodgers

2. Cardinals

3. Cubs

BEST MASCOT

1. Phillies (Phanatic)

2. Mets (Mr. Met)

3. Cardinals (Fredbird)

BEST PLAYER UNDER AGE 25

1. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

2. Ozzie Albies, Braves

3. Jose Peraza, Reds

BEST PROSPECTS

1. Pete Alonso, Mets

2. Victor Robles, Nationals

3. Garrett Hampson, Rockies

BEST WALK-YEAR PLAYERS

1. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

2. Anthony Rendon, Nationals

3. Madison Bumgarner, Giants

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