So here’s a fun trivia question: How many players currently on an MLB team’s roster played for the same team in 2010 that they’re playing for now? Ten years, same team, no changes. The answer, at least according to our research, is 13. There are 13 players who appeared in a game in 2010 for the team they’re currently with. They are:
Elvis Andrus, Rangers
Ryan Braun, Brewers
Carlos Carrasco, Indians
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Freddie Freeman, Braves
Brett Gardner, Yankees
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Buster Posey, Giants
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
Joey Votto, Reds
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
(Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals and Alex Gordon of the Royals would also qualify if they end up returning to their teams in 2020.)
Suffice it to say: Staying with the same team for a whole decade is a rare occurrence. But nevertheless, today we try to predict one player in every organization who might still be on the same team’s roster in 2030. In some cases, we actually went with Minor Leaguers, and we realize some of the players here are unlikely to make their MLB debuts this year, thus making them unable to officially be 2020ers and 2030ers.
But: 1) Some might! and 2) That these players will still be well into their 30s in a decade despite still being in the Minors now speaks to just how hard this is to do. Besides, there is pretty much no chance that any current, say, Orioles or Tigers players are going to be on their teams in 2030. And what's the fun in that?
So with all of that said, here are our best bets. (Ages as of Opening Day 2020.)
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays -- Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B, age 21: How many Guerrero jerseys do you think the Blue Jays are gonna sell in the next decade?
Orioles -- Adley Rutschman, C, age 22: The No. 1 overall pick from last June’s Draft is unlikely to debut this year -- though you never know! -- but he’s expected to be at the center of everything the Orioles are trying to do over the next decade.
Rays -- Wander Franco, SS, age 19: The Rays don’t typically keep guys around forever, but Franco, the MLB Pipeline No. 1 prospect in the game, could be the exception.
Red Sox -- Rafael Devers, 3B, age 23: He might already be their best hitter. Imagine what he’s gonna be like with a decade of experience under his belt?
Yankees -- Gleyber Torres, 2B, age 23: Aaron Judge will be 37 in a decade, and Gerrit Cole’s and Giancarlo Stanton’s contracts will have finally expired by then. But Torres will only be 33 and very much in his prime.
Indians -- Nolan Jones, 3B, age 21: The third base prospect is the best bet for a franchise that may go through quite a transition over the next decade. There is also a scenario in which José Ramírez -- who is under team control through 2023, his age-31 season -- ends up being good enough to merit being kept, but not good enough to price himself out of Cleveland, and is here until 2030 as a fan favorite.
Royals -- Bobby Witt Jr., SS, age 19: The No. 2 pick of the 2019 Draft is a couple of years away from the Majors, but he looks destined to be the next Royals superstar.
Tigers -- Riley Greene, OF, age 19: He was taken just three picks behind Witt and was so good in rookie ball (1.036 OPS in 43 plate appearances) that he got promoted twice. And yes, the Tigers have a bunch of elite pitching prospects, starting with Matt Manning and Casey Mize, but when in doubt, go with a hitter long-term rather than a starting pitcher.
Twins -- Royce Lewis, SS, age 20: The No. 1 pick in the 2017 Draft was awesome in 2018, and took a step back in '19, but he could debut this year.
White Sox -- Luis Robert, OF, age 22: He’s already signed potentially through 2027: What’s three more years at this point?
Angels -- Mike Trout, CF, age 28: His contract extension last year takes him through 2030, when he will turn 39.
Astros -- Alex Bregman, 3B, age 26: Currently signed through 2024; if the Astros end up ponying up big for anyone, it’ll be him.
Athletics -- Matt Chapman, 3B, age 26: He has had "A-for-life" written all over him since arriving in the big leagues … but that extension isn’t done yet.
Mariners -- Jarred Kelenic, OF, age 20: If he reaches his potential, he is certain to haunt Mets fans well into the next decade.
Rangers -- Joey Gallo, OF, age 26: He’ll be in his late 30s by 2030, but he’ll still be able to reach any fence you put in front of him.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves -- Ronald Acuña, Jr., OF, age 22: Amazingly, the Braves have options on him through 2028.
Marlins -- Jazz Chisholm, SS, age 22: If the Marlins ever get rid of a potential superstar shortstop named “Jazz,” they will abandon all hope.
Mets -- Pete Alonso, 1B, age 25: He’s a little older than everyone realizes -- he’ll be 36 in 2030. But the power will still be there.
Nationals -- Juan Soto, LF, age 21: Can the Nats get this phenom sewn up long term?
Phillies -- Bryce Harper, RF, age 27: As close to a lock as there is on this list -- he’s signed through 2031.
Brewers -- Christian Yelich, OF, age 28: If the Brewers let him get away, they’re a different team entirely.
Cardinals -- Jack Flaherty, RHP, age 24: Flaherty looks like he could be the next Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter, a guy who, once he’s in St. Louis, never leaves.
Cubs -- Javier Báez, SS, age 27: The Cubs may be making dramatic moves soon, but Báez looks to be the guy who will stay no matter what.
Pirates -- Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, age 23: The Pirates are as tough as any team to pick on this list, so we’ll go with the up-and-coming third baseman who MLB Pipeline has ranked as their No. 2 prospect.
Reds -- Nick Senzel, OF, age 24: Once he settles into a position, he can become the most stable part of a constantly changing team. Cincinnati held on to Joey Votto for more than a decade, and he’s the most likely guy currently there to get the same treatment.
D-backs -- Ketel Marte, 2B/CF, age 26: He’s younger than people realize, and if that jump last year was real, Arizona can build around him.
Dodgers -- Cody Bellinger, CF, age 24: Many, many players to choose from here, but the reigning MVP is tough to pass over.
Giants -- Joey Bart, C, age 23: Outfielder Heliot Ramos (their No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) would also be a good choice, but we’ll go with Bart, their No. 1 prospect, who gets the edge simply because he’s more likely to debut this year and officially get the “played in MLB in 2020 and 2030” designation.
Padres -- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, age 21: As the White Sox learned the hard way, this is the sort of player you absolutely cannot let get away.
Rockies -- Nolan Arenado, 3B, age 28: He’s signed through 2026. If he makes it to 2026 as a Rockie, he’ll stay through 2030. The question is whether he makes it to 2026 as a Rockie.