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Aaron Judge tops the list of baseball's best bargains

Ranking MLB's best players - excluding prospects with little or no MLB experience - making under $1 million.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees runs the bases after hitting a homerun against the Baltimore Orioles at Steinbrenner Field on March 12, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mark Brown

David Lennon ranks baseball’s best players - excluding prospects with little or no MLB experience - making under $1 million.

Pre-arbitration players typically receive nominal raises annually before collecting three years of service time. The 2019 minimum salary for a player not sent to the minors is $555,000.

1. Aaron Judge, Yankees RF, $684,000, 2xAll-Star, .963 OPS

2. Matt Chapman, A’s 3B, $575,000, 7th in MVP vote, Gold Glove

3. Shohei Ohtani, Angels P/OF, $650,000, ROY, 3.31 ERA, 11.0 K/9, .925 OPS

4. Ronald Acuna, Braves LF $575,000, ROY, 26 HRs, .917 OPS

5. Juan Soto, Nationals LF, $575,000, 2nd in ROY, .292 BA, .923 OPS

6. Gleyber Torres, Yankees 2B, $605,200, 3rd in ROY, 24 HRs, .820 OPS

7. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers 1B/OF, $605,000, 25 HRs, .814 OPS, 162 G

8. Miguel Andujar, Yankees 3B, $617,000, 2nd in ROY, .297 BA, 27 HRs

9. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox LF, $717,500, 16 HR, 21 SB, .290 BA

10. Gary Sanchez, Yankees C, $669,800, limited to 89G in ’18 by injury

11. Ozzie Albies, Braves 2B, $575,000, All-Star, 24 HR, 14 SB, 105 R

12. Walker Buehler, Dodgers RHP, $575,000 3rd in ROY, 2.62 ERA, 0.961 WHIP

13. Willson Contreras, Cubs C, $575,000, All-Star, .799 career OPS

14. Brandon Nimmo, Mets OF, $589,285, 17 HR, .917 OPS in 2nd half

15. Joey Gallo, Rangers OF/1B, $605,500, 81 HR, 172 RBIs over 2 seasons

16. Jack Flaherty, Cardinals RHP, $562,100, 3.34 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 1.106 WHIP

17. Kyle Freeland, Rockies LHP, $575,000, 4th in CYA, 17-7, 2.85 ERA

18. Edwin Diaz, Mets RHP, $607,425, All-Star, 1.96 ERA, 57 SV, 15.2 K/9

19. Josh Hader, Brewers LHP, $687,600, All-Star, 0.811 WHIP, 15.8 K/9

20. Joey Wendle, Rays INF/OF, $570,400, played 5 positions, 4th in ROY vote

FLASHBACK: The 2018 LIST

1. Aaron Judge, Yankees

2. Francisco Lindor, Indians

3. Corey Seager, Dodgers

4. Gary Sanchez, Yankees

5. Chris Taylor, Dodgers

6. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

7. Luis Severino, Yankees

8. Alex Bregman, Astros

9. Byron Buxton, Twins

10. Trea Turner, Nationals

11. Joey Gallo, Rangers

12. Willson Contreras

14. Greg Bird, Yankees

15. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox

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