Phillies Were in Mix for Shohei Ohtani After 2017 Season

It is hard to believe we are already into the third decade of the 21st Century but- we are. I am currently reading The Baseball 100- an excellent new book by Joe Posnanski and it got me thinking. There is little doubt that the greatest player in baseball in the 2000’s- was the Cardinals Albert Pujols- and in the 2010’s- that title would go to the Angels Mike Trout. We are two years into this decade- in 2030 who will be looked at as the GOAT of the 2020’s–while I wouldn’t rule out Mike Trout- he did turn 30 in August. If he can become the player of the 20’s- then we will be talking about a player in vary rare air- he will be in the discussion for the greatest of all time- with Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. Here are the Fantastic Five players who I see as the prime candidates to become the Player of the Decade-2020’s. – Juan Soto- Washington Nationals 23 years old/ Ronald Acuna- Atlanta Braves- also 23 years old/ Fernando Tatis Jr- San Diego Padres -22 years old/ Vladimir Guerrero Jr- Toronto Blue Jays-22 years old and the oldest of the bunch- 27 year old Shohei Ontani of the Los Angeles Angels. Of course there are other fine ballplayers who could take the title but I would be surprised if it is someone outside of this Fantastic Five. It could be a disputed title- Who was the Player of the 1990’s- while I would go with Barry Bonds- many others would say Junior Griffey- a case could be made for both.


  1. Pretty much agree with you. I hope it will be Vladimir Guerrero Jr (and think it might be ) but I’d put Soto as a good candidate too, and maybe Acuna. Tatis is I’m sure going to be good, but I’m not sure he is quite the same talent nor that he has quite enough maturity to really work at it to be his best . Now, Ohtani, he’s interesting. His name obviously comes to mind, but I doubt he will be a serious candidate for the title because of his age and injury history. There’s no question what he’s doing is one of the most amazing things we’ve seen in baseball – a pitcher who’s good who can also hit very well (not just as in “well he isn’t an automatic out if he comes up 9th and we don’t want to pull him yet”) . That’s a great talent and something I’ve often hoped the league would see. But, given how little he’s been able to pitch since coming to the U.S., and the strain of pitching, I don’t foresee him having many more years like ’21. Personally, I think Trout’s days of being an elite star are over, though I have little doubt he’ll still be a highly productive (kind of .280/.375 on base, 30 homer ) type of player for several more years.

  2. The only thing about Trout I worry about is his body breaking down. I hope he continues at the pace his is going. I think Acuna or Tatis might have a really good shot…Vlad also if he can keep his body in shape.

    • I think as long as Trout is healthy- he has at least 5 more great years but that is a big IF- he was off to the best start of his career this year- then well we know what happened… I think of those mentioned one will probably end up disappointing- I was thinking back at the start of the 90s I thought the best of that decade would be Griffey- Bonds- Frank Thomas- Juan Gonzalez…. while he had a very good career- Gonzalez didn’t fully live up to expectations… there is probably someone I didn’t mention who will surprise. A great batch of young players..

    • Gonzalez….I thought he was going to be the guy for a while. He was a huge guy and could hit well. I have to wonder if PEDs were a part of his package because when he broke down…he broke down….could have been just him though. No one will know for sure.

    • I recall sitting at a game in Cleveland- back then- lucky enough to be next to a very knowledgeable fan- and I threw the question out- who is going to be the best among those players- the Rangers were playing in the game and he pointed to Gonzalez- he thought he would be the best of the bunch. He seemed like he was on the way. He ended up having a strange career.. ….hopefully all those players stay healthy- I sure hope 2022 isn’t a repeat of 2021- all those big injuries…

    • I would have agreed with that fan at that time. He seemed to be able to do it all…and he was just built like a super baseball player.
      Oh I know…Acuna, Trout, Tatis, and so many around the league had injuries. But two out of the ones you mentioned and Acuna for the year after his.

    • speaking of Acuna- hopefully it doesn’t happen but I can’t think of a team losing two big offensive players like Acuna and Ozuna – and winning a series– I recall Reggie with the A’s getting hurt in the playoffs and the A’s still winning- but to lose one of the best players in the game- and a potential MVP- and a big bat…

    • Yes I forgot about them losing Ozuna for some reason. That is huge. Acuna was enough to lose…it is surprising they made it this far. It pulled that team together at the right time.

      Ozuna won’t be back anytime soon…Bauer will be back before he will I believe.

  3. Hans may very well be right…could be a player who only shows up next year, or one of this year’s good but not remarkable rookies like Mountcastle, or some random joe who so far has 200 games logged & .205 avg who’s about to explode.
    Juan G was pretty good for sure. I remember a baseball card I had of him ( in my brief adult stage of collecting cards in early 90s) that had him painted with his bat on fire.

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