All Decade Team: 2010's AL

As we approach the end of another decade of baseball, we are excited to start thinking about the best players at each position from 2010 - 2019.  Admittedly, my colleagues and I went into this thinking it should be pretty easy to achieve consensus on this team since it's most recent in our minds compared to other decade teams.  There were a few no-brainers, but many of the positions required some debate and scrutiny.  As with past decade teams, it can be hard to separate a guy that absolutely crushed for a couple of years from a guy that was consistent through the whole decade.  Further, we had to weigh the service of players that split time between the two leagues versus players that remained in the league the entire decade.  Here is the team we assembled for your consideration...

C - Salvador Perez
1B - Miguel Cabrera
2B - Jose Altuve
SS - Xander Bogaerts
3B - Adrian Beltre
IF - Robinson Cano
OF - Mike Trout
OF - Jose Bautista
OF - Adam Jones
OF - Nelson Cruz
SP - Justin Verlander
SP - Corey Kluber
SP - Chris Sale
SP - David Price
CL - Fernando Rodney

Where to begin?  We'll start with the easy ones, the lock/no-brainer picks.  Trout and Cabrera were penciled in quite easily.  Miguel Cabrera was a legitimate star the last decade headed into this one.  He hit the ground running in his rookie campaign and sped out of the blocks en route to a six year stretch averaging 38 double, 32 homers, and 115 RBI.  Again that was last decade.  He may well have made our 2000s NL team if not for a guy named Pujols.  Cabrera continued his streak in the 2010s decade highlighted by consecutive MVPs and 4 additional top 10 finishes.  He also garnered 4 batting titles not to mention the first Triple Crown in over 40 years at the time.  As impressive as Cabrera's stats through the decade, equally so are Mike Trout's.  Trout has also come out of the gate swinging (literally) with mind boggling numbers in this past decade.  Starting his first full season in he has managed to either win the MVP or place 2nd in 6 out of 7 years.  That odd year was a middling 4th place MVP finish.  He's also currently on pace to undoubtedly finish 1st or 2nd again this year, an unprecedented run. 

The rest of the outfield and the infield was a little harder to fill out.  In the outfield, we came to an early consensus on Bautista and Cruz.  Both started to mash by 2010 and whereas Bautista has fallen off of late, Cruz continues to put up 30+ homers per year.  Adam Jones rounds out our outfield and although many people may shrug at that pick, we did value longevity over short bursts of dominance.  That's the reason Mookie Betts didn't make the team, he simply doesn't have the prolonged consistency yet.  Prior to this season, Jones has been averaging 29 doubles, 26 homers, and 82 RBI in the decade.  He has been consistently performing under the radar for the O's. 
In the infield, Jose Altuve and Robinson Cano have been 2 of the preeminent infielders over the past decade so we utilized the infield spot for Cano.  There careers are going in opposite directions with Altuve still in the middle of his prime and Cano starting to decline.

There were a few picks that made us scratch our heads and think "is this really the best guy?"  Starting at Catcher, we scoured the league and no disrespect to Salvador Perez, but we were surprised that no one else stood out.  He has been as consistent a hitting catcher as you'll find, he has 5 Gold Gloves in the decade and he has the World Series MVP.  Joe Mauer was probably the closest candidate but given Joe's switch to first in 2014 and the fact that he dealt with some injuries that ultimately let to his retirement in 2018, we felt that Perez was the better choice.  Beltre was another pick that surprised us with his numbers in this decade.  Indeed, he really found a 2nd half career resurgence with his one season in Boston and then several in Texas.  He became an all star for the first time with the Rangers, he topped 100 RBI 4 times, added 3 Gold Gloves, and is certain to be bound for Cooperstown.  We considered Josh Donaldson (3xAS, 2015 MVP) and Evan Longoria (one of the more consistent players on this past decade) but when you compare resumes, Beltre stands out.

Shortstop is unarguably the weakest position on this team.  Xander Bogaerts doesn't hold a candle to many other All-Decade shortstops but the list of potential candidates is fairly slim.  We looked at Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor.  We even considered Derek Jeter (a member of our AL 2000's team who retired in 2014)... ultimately, we went with Bogaerts.

The pitching staff for this decade team is very solid.  Verlander has a Cy Young and MVP and 3 other 2nd place finishes.  Kluber has 2 Cy Youngs and has dominated for the Indians, injuries this year notwithstanding.  Sale is the only hurler on our list without a Cy Young award, but he has finished in the top 6 for the past 7 consecutive years.  Price rounds out the staff and also has a Cy and has been very consistent everywhere he has played.  We painfully had to leave off King Felix Hernandez, whose reign of dominance ended rather abruptly in 2015 (he has really been a shell of himself since 2014).

Perhaps the most surprising part of the all decade team is the lack of a consistent dominating closer in the AL.  Many of the big names swapped leagues with no one establishing themselves as the premier closer.  Besides Rodney, the only other we found with any longevity was Joakim Soria.

Please let us know what you think, what we missed, and where we're way off base.  We appreciate the comments!


  1. I am from Detroit so i don't care for Max Scherzer. But I put him on the team ahead of Corey Kluber.



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