WASHINGTON -- Who was the best player in baseball at each position during the 2019 season? On Monday, Major League Baseball revealed a plan to try and answer that question with the inaugural All-MLB Team.
Five Nationals appear on the ballot: third baseman Anthony Rendon, outfielder Juan Soto and starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. Only the Astros -- who lead all MLB teams with 10 candidates -- Red Sox (seven) and Twins (six) have more players on the ballot than the Nationals, who are tied with the Braves, Yankees, Indians and Dodgers.
There will be a first and second All-MLB Team, and voters are asked only to consider performance during the regular season when casting their ballots. Each team will include one selection at each position (including designated hitter and three outfielders, regardless of specific outfield position), five starting pitchers and two relievers.
The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team began Monday and runs through 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 3, with 50 percent of the vote coming from fans and 50 percent coming from a panel of experts.
You can vote right here, and may do so once every 24 hours between now and when voting ends next Tuesday. The inaugural All-MLB Team will be announced on Dec. 10 at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in San Diego.
There’s a strong case for three of the Nats’ candidates -- Rendon, Scherzer and Strasburg -- to make the first or second teams, while Corbin and Soto also make for compelling arguments. Wins Above Replacement should not be the only criteria, but it’s helpful to at least compare players’ value at their respective positions.
Rendon ranked second with 7.0 WAR at third base, far behind Houston’s Alex Bregman at 8.5, but still well ahead of Matt Chapman at 6.1. Soto ranked eighth among outfielders in both WAR (4.8) and as a hitter by Weighted Runs Created Plus (142). And all three pitchers rank in the top 15, Scherzer (fourth -- 6.5 WAR), Strasburg (seventh -- 5.7 WAR) and Corbin (13th -- 4.8).