The Fantasy Baseball Today Crew's All-Decade Teams for 2010 through 2019

With the season delayed, we've got a bit more time to ourselves these days, and we're trying to fill it as best as we can on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast. We're still prepping for the 2020 season — we discussed the biggest question marks for the top-six players on Monday's episode, among other things — but we're also coming up with ways to distract ourselves with some more fun topics.

Last week, it was a draft of the best fictional baseball players of all time, but we brought things back to reality Tuesday by putting together our All-Decade teams for 2010-19. And it was a fascinating argument.

For example: If it wasn't for Chris Sale's Tommy John surgery, five of the six starting pitchers who made our lists would have still been top-20 starters for the 2020 season. At a position that seems to fluctuate every year, the likes of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw who are reliable every year are worth their weight in gold.

On the other hand, while shortstop is the deepest position in Fantasy in 2020, it was surprisingly hard to come up with a good answer for the 2010-19 era. The best players early in the decade couldn't keep up their production, while the best players of the last few years mostly didn't make the leap to stardom until the last few years. That left us picking from short-term stars or a few players with longevity who didn't quite measure up at their best.

We broke our picks down on the podcast, with some great discussions and disagreements around outfield, first base, and shortstop in particular. Here's the podcast, and here are our teams:

Chris Towers' Team


PLAYER

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

C

Buster Posey

0.302

594

140

673

23

1B

Paul Goldschmidt

0.292

806

243

807

127

2B

Jose Altuve

0.315

734

128

538

254

3B

Adrian Beltre

0.307

696

227

801

10

SS

Elvis Andrus

0.276

810

67

589

269

OF

Mike Trout

0.305

903

285

752

200

OF

Ryan Braun

0.294

770

241

811

166

OF

Andrew McCutchen

0.286

868

221

765

165

U

Nelson Cruz

0.281

774

346

961

50


PLAYER

ERA

WHIP

W

K

SV

SP

Clayton Kershaw

2.31

0.96

156

2179

0

SP

Max Scherzer

3.12

1.07

161

2452

0

SP

Justin Verlander

3.10

1.08

160

2260

0

SP

Chris Sale

3.03

1.03

109

2007

12

SP

Zack Greinke

3.18

1.11

155

1872

0

RP

Craig Kimbrel

2.08

0.95

31

898

346

RP

Kenley Jansen

2.35

0.91

30

903

301

AKA, the best team. My most controversial picks were Goldschmidt and Braun. By my calculation, Braun was the No. 2 player in Fantasy for the decade, so it doesn't seem too controversial to me. Recency bias may be at play there, as Braun's best seasons were in the first half of the decade, but with just a few exceptions he was pretty consistently a first-round pick from 2010 through 2016. He had two 30-homer, 30-steal seasons in a row, and if you take out his weird 2016, he hit .303/.368/.532 while averaging 29 homers, 21 steals, 97 RBI, and 92 runs. He was one of the premiere five-category studs in the game.

And the same logic drove my Goldschmidt pick. The rest of the team went with Miguel Cabrera, and I have them neck and neck in value over the stretch. The tiebreakers for me come with Goldschmidt's eight seasons as a must-start Fantasy option to Cabrera's seven, plus Goldschmidt's significant edge in steals. He was 12th in home runs for the decade, and only Trout and Justin Upton ahead of him had more than 100 steals. I'll take that kind of all-around dominance on my team.

Scott White's Team


PLAYER

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

C

Buster Posey

0.302

594

140

673

23

1B

Miguel Cabrera

0.317

799

268

941

14

2B

Jose Altuve

0.315

734

128

538

254

3B

Nolan Arenado

0.295

626

227

734

16

SS

Troy Tulowitzki

0.293

494

160

537

26

OF

Mike Trout

0.305

903

285

752

200

OF

Giancarlo Stanton

0.268

686

308

785

41

OF

Andrew McCutchen

0.286

868

221

765

165

U

Nelson Cruz

0.281

774

346

961

50


PLAYER

ERA

WHIP

W

K

SV

SP

Clayton Kershaw

2.31

0.96

156

2179

0

SP

Max Scherzer

3.12

1.07

161

2452

0

SP

Justin Verlander

3.10

1.08

160

2260

0

SP

Chris Sale

3.03

1.03

109

2007

12

SP

Zack Greinke

3.18

1.11

155

1872

0

RP

Craig Kimbrel

2.08

0.95

31

898

346

RP

Kenley Jansen

2.35

0.91

30

903

301

Scott's most controversial picks were Troy Tulowitzki and Giancarlo Stanton, a player Scott has as a bust for 2020. Stanton was a great player during the 2010s, ranking third in home runs, but I only have him as a borderline top-20 player for the decade, for the same reason so many of you are avoiding him in your 2020 drafts: He couldn't stay healthy. When he was healthy, Stanton was an elite hitter, ranking seventh in OPS and third in slugging percentage, but he just wasn't healthy enough. Stanton hit more than 40 homers in a season just once in the decade, despite being on-pace for 50-plus on two separate occasions and 40-plus four other times. I don't mind drafting an injury-prone hitter at a discount, but I can't overlook it for this team.

As for Tulowitzki, it is largely a similar scenario. When he was on the field, Tulowitzki was the best hitting shortstop in the league, sporting an OPS nearly 30 points better than Carlos Correa or Francisco Lindor have. Before injuries caught up to him, he was a perennial first-rounder, with speed and power and an average north of .300 nearly every year. However, he played more than 120 games just five times, never once getting to even 145. 

Frank Stampfl's Team


PLAYER

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

C

Buster Posey

0.302

594

140

673

23

1B

Miguel Cabrera

0.317

799

268

941

14

2B

Robinson Cano

0.3

828

237

878

34

3B

Nolan Arenado

0.295

626

227

734

16

SS

Elvis Andrus

0.276

810

67

589

269

OF

Mike Trout

0.305

903

285

752

200

OF

Jose Bautista

0.251

781

285

764

56

OF

Andrew McCutchen

0.286

868

221

765

165

U

Nelson Cruz

0.281

774

346

961

50


PLAYER

ERA

WHIP

W

K

SV

SP

Clayton Kershaw

2.31

0.96

156

2179

0

SP

Max Scherzer

3.12

1.07

161

2452

0

SP

Justin Verlander

3.10

1.08

160

2260

0

SP

Chris Sale

3.03

1.03

109

2007

12

SP

Zack Greinke

3.18

1.11

155

1872

0

RP

Craig Kimbrel

2.08

0.95

31

898

346

RP

Aroldis Chapman

2.23

1.02

33

883

273

You'll notice I haven't mentioned anything about pitching yet, and for good reason: There was no disagreement between Scott, Frank and I on the starters, and Scott and I both had Aroldis Chapman as our No. 3 closers of the decade, so we couldn't find much reason to disagree on Frank's choice there. There also wasn't much disagreement on Frank's pick of Robinson Cano as the top second baseman, even though he was the only one of the four to make that choice. Again, Cano fell just short of Altuve for Scott, Adam and I, with Altuve's speed and elite years overcoming Cano's consistent bat.

However, there was plenty of room for disagreement at shortstop. And, to be frank, Andrus feels like a pretty disappointing choice for the top player of the decade at a position that is totally stacked these days. Andrus hit .300 once in the decade, and hit double-digit home runs just one more time, so he was hardly an elite Fantasy option. However, he stole 20 or more bases nine times, with 30 or more in three of the first four seasons. He was never an exciting option, but Andrus finished as the No. 1 player at the position more than any player, and sort of ended up as the default choice. 

Adam Aizer's Team


PLAYER

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

C

Buster Posey

0.302

594

140

673

23

1B

Miguel Cabrera

0.317

799

268

941

14

2B

Jose Altuve

0.315

734

128

538

254

3B

Nolan Arenado

0.295

626

227

734

16

SS

Elvis Andrus

0.276

810

67

589

269

OF

Mike Trout

0.305

903

285

752

200

OF

Mookie Betts

0.301

613

139

470

126

OF

Charlie Blackmon

0.304

713

172

511

129

U

Nelson Cruz

0.281

774

346

961

50


PLAYER

ERA

WHIP

W

K

SV

SP

Clayton Kershaw

2.31

0.96

156

2179

0

SP

Max Scherzer

3.12

1.07

161

2452

0

SP

Justin Verlander

3.10

1.08

160

2260

0

SP

Chris Sale

3.03

1.03

109

2007

12

SP

Felix Hernandez

3.40

1.17

111

1714

0

RP

Craig Kimbrel

2.08

0.95

31

898

346

RP

Kenley Jansen

2.35

0.91

30

903

301

Full disclosure: Adam originally had Madison Bumgarner in Chris Sale's place, before we talked him out of it, and he was the only member of the group to omit Zack Greinke as well. Hernandez isn't a bad pick, necessarily, with two seasons leading the league in ERA and 200-plus strikeouts every year from 2010-2014. Unfortunately, the decline phase hit King Felix hard, and he was basically finished as a high-end starter by 2016. I'm rooting for a come back season with the Braves, but Hernandez didn't really have the longevity to crack my list. Especially when compared to Greinke, who has a 2.90 ERA and 1.063 WHIP over the last five seasons. Hernandez's Hall of Fame argument is basically written and will rely on a high peak, while Greinke is still out here as one of the best pitchers in the game into his late-30s. 

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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