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SB Nation Reacts: Who is the best player in baseball?

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Dodgers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Astros fans, sign up HERE to join Reacts.

It is common for baseball fans to debate about who is the best player in the sport. Especially in an offseason where the transactions are slow and the excitement scarce. Sometimes in baseball, we tend to get lost in the weeds without admiring the field of bounty in front of us.

Deciding who you view as the best player in baseball is an interesting exercise. For example, some are swayed by fan allegiance while others are solely compelled by the numbers. There are narratives to consider and how a player’s story may be woven into their performance. Past performances and consistency are also key to the argument. To quote Dwight Schrute, “Nostalgia is truly one of the great human weaknesses.” And do baseball fans love that nostalgia.

So, how did the fans vote for this year?

For the most part, it went as expected with Mike Trout as the overwhelming favorite. And the correct choice, I might add. In fact, 63 percent of the fans who voted went in favor of Trout, who is undoubtedly the best player of his generation.

Although his overall numbers in 2020 weren’t as excellent as a handful of other players, it was still a remarkable year for Trout when games took place. But there isn’t a player with his kind of track record since his debut in 2011. Mookie Betts comes in a distant second with Juan Soto and Freddie Freeman rounding out the top four. No qualms necessarily with any of those choices although an argument could be made for a handful of players over the likes of Soto and Freeman. Betts finishing second is right considering today’s context and what he has done in recent seasons. But if the Dodgers star continues at this pace in the future, we might have to consider Trout as choice 1a and Betts as choice 1b.

To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.