Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images (Gordon); Andy Hayt/Getty Images (Kershaw)
May 25, 2017

The Original No. 1: Gordon (No. 2 BA, No. 1 BP)

The second pick of the 2005 draft and the 2006 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, Gordon had a respectable rookie season for the Royals as a 23-year-old third baseman in '07 (.247 batting average, .314 on-base percentage, .411 slugging percentage, 15 homers, 2.0 WAR) and then put up even better numbers in each category the next year. Alas, he combined for -0.2 WAR over the next two seasons while playing just 123 major league games. He converted to leftfield during a return trip to Triple A in 2010 and finally broke out after coming back to the majors for good in 2011, his age-27 season. From '11 to '15 Gordon won four Gold Gloves, made three All-Star teams and helped the Royals win two pennants and a World Series title. His past season and a quarter has been dreadful, but he's one of just six position players on this list with at least three 6.0-WAR seasons under his belt.

The New No. 1: Kershaw (No. 24 BA, No. 16 BP)

Though he didn’t debut for the Dodgers until May 25, 2008, Kershaw has been by far the best player on either top 100 list. His 54.7 WAR is easily the highest of that group, outpaces every other pitcher regardless of experience level and is higher than all but four position players, all of them Cooperstown bound (Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera). Given his three NL Cy Young Awards, three strikeout titles and four ERA titles, Kershaw is a likely Hall of Famer himself and the easiest call on this list. 

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