1B—Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona first baseman led all players at his position in OPS (1.005), runs (103), doubles (38), stolen bases (21) and slugging percentage (.570) while ranking among the top four in on-base percentage (.435), walks (118), RBI (110), hits (182) and home runs (33). He is rated as one of the top defensive players at first, which certainly ranks him among the top all-around first basemen in 2015.
2B—Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Although Dee Gordon and Altuve had similar numbers, Altuve gets the nod since his performance came in a run for a division title and playoff berth. The Astros team leader totaled 200 hits with a .313 batting average, .353 on-base percentages, 40 doubles, 38 stolen bases, 15 home runs and 86 runs scored. With the glove, he led all players at his position in the majors with a .993 fielding percentage.
3B—Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
Donaldson, who is a fine defensive third baseman, was the top offensive force at his position with a .297 batting average, .371 on-base percentage, .568 slugging average, .939 OPS, 41 doubles, 41 homers, 122 runs and 123 RBI. He is one of only four third basemen in big league history to lead his league in runs and RBI in the same year. He also topped all major league hitters with three walk-off homers in 2015.
SS—Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
He was the best offensive performer among shortstops in the majors with a .320 batting average, 196 hits, 84 runs, 81 RBI and 35 doubles—leading all players at his position in those categories except RBI which ranked second to San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford’s 84. Bogaerts, 23, posted a .984 fielding percentage and ranked third in putouts (236), fourth in total chances (676), fifth in assists (429) and sixth in double plays (95) while committing only 11 errors in 1,360 innings played.
LF—Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers/Mets
Cespedes was having a good season with the Tigers before being sent to the Mets and turning his year into the best of his four in the major leagues. He finished with career high marks in runs (101), hits (184), doubles (42), homers (35), triples (6), RBI (105) and slugging percentage (.542). His runs, hits, homers, RBI and slugging were tops among all left fielders and in the process of having his best season, Cespedes became the 28th player to club 30 or more homers in a season while splitting the year with two teams—he hit 17 for the Tigers in 102 games and 18 for the Mets in 57 games.
CF—Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
He was the best all-around center fielder in the game during his first three seasons (2012-2014) in the major leagues and he continued on that path last year with another MVP caliber campaign. He led all players at his position in homers (41), extra-base hits (79), on-base percentage (.402), slugging (.590) and OPS (.991). He also ranked among the top leaders in runs (104), RBI (90), doubles (32) and batting average (.299). Defensively he ranks among the best center fielders in the game.
RF—Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The young power-hitting right fielder put together a year all followers anticipated with his MVP performance in 2015. He led the National League with 42 homers and 118 runs with major league leading totals in on-base percentage (.460), slugging percentage (.649) and OPS (1.109) while also hitting .330 with 38 doubles, 124 walks and 99 RBI. He was the most consistent run producer in the game and continues to improve defensively as a strong-armed, hustling right fielder.
C—Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Posey is without question the best hitting catcher in the game. In 2015, he had his fourth .300 season with a .318 BA to go with his .379 on-base percentage, .470 slugging mark, .849 OPS, 56 walks, 177 hits and 95 RBI—all tops among catchers. He also had 74 runs and 28 doubles, which ranked second for players at his position. His 19 home runs ranked fourth among backstops. Defensively, he finished with a .998 fielding percentage and threw out 36 percent of base runners attempting to steal.
DH—David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
Ortiz will go down as the greatest designated hitter in history and at age 39, he continued to be the best substitute hitter in the game with his 37 homers, 37 doubles, 108 RBI, 73 runs, .273 BA, .360 on-base percentage, .552 slugging average and .913 OPS. During the year, he became the 27th player in big league history to hit 500 or more career home runs, finishing the season with 503—447 have come as a DH, the lifetime record for players at the designated hitter role.
P—Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs right-hander had a career year and dominated opposing hitters with incredible efficiency during the second half of the season. Overall he finished with a 22-6 won-loss record, 1.77 ERA, 236 strikeouts, 0.86 WHIP, .185 batting average against, four complete games and three shutouts. His wins, complete games, shutouts and BA against were the top marks among starting pitchers. He worked 229 innings and surrendered only 10 home runs. After the All-Star break, Arrieta was almost perfect, going 12-1 with a 0.75 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched.
CL—Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates
Melancon led the major leagues with 51 saves—becoming the 12th closer to save 50 or more in a season. Along with his games saved total, the All-Star reliever finished the year with a 3-2 record, 2.23 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 76.2 innings. He finished 63 games in his 78 appearances and had a save success rate of 96 percent (51-for-53).