Given the almost unbearable length of a Major League Baseball season, it’s not shocking to learn that even fans of the game stop caring about certain teams. This is what happens when you’re part of a society with a short attention span. Still, while we may not throw our full support behind the teams themselves, that doesn’t mean we won’t go out there and show love to our favorite players. The best way to do this is simple — buy the jerseys.
As we inch closer to the end of the regular season, not only have the true contenders started to emerge, but as far as jerseys sales are concerned, individual ball players have also separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Granted, the list is filled with many familiar faces. However, when it comes to the top-20 highest-selling MLB jerseys, it’s the order of names that you will find most shocking.
For the record, this information stems from Major League Baseball’s official online store, MLBShop.com, and is based off sales from January 1, 2016 through the 2016 All-Star Game. With that, here’s a look at the seven players with the highest-selling MLB jerseys in the game in 2016.
7. Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
Following his Cy Young award season in 2015, Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta had a ridiculously dominant start to the 2016 campaign. While the 6-foot-4 righty has cooled down as the year has progressed, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a beast on the mound.
At the end of the regular season, Arrieta was 18-8, helds a 3.10 ERA, and had 190 strikeouts. The Cubs ace also made the first All-Star Game of his career this season. With Chicago sitting at 103-58 through the year and winning the World Series for the first time since 1908, it’s hardly surprising to see Arrieta’s jersey flying off the shelves.
6. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Whether he’s behind the plate or doing work with his bat, Buster Posey remains one of the best players in the game. Once again, the San Francisco Giants catcher had a phenomenal season.
Posey has 155 hits on the year, 32 doubles, 80 RBIs, and batted .288. He has the highest on-base percentage (.364) among Major League catchers and his 4.0 wins above replacement (WAR) is the best among catchers as well. Posey is the heart of the San Francisco Giants, the player who keeps the team together, and an individual who plays the game the right way. No wonder he’s so popular among the fans.
5. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
While opinions on the matter vary, we strongly believe that Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. Not only is he an incredible talent, but he’s just 25 years old. That’s scary — as is the season he’s having in 2016.
In 159 games, the 2014 Most Valuable Player was batting .315 (fourth in the American League), had 173 hits, 32 doubles, 100 RBIs, and lead the AL in walks with 116. On top of that, he has the highest WAR in Major League Baseball with 10.6. Simply put, he is a generational talent who has the opportunity to go down as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. How could you not want to buy his jersey?
4. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
There is a good reason why Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo made his third consecutive All-Star Game — he’s freaking awesome. Obviously.
The 27-year-old batted .292, had 161 hits, 32 home runs (eighth in the National League), and 109 RBIs (second in the National League). Not to mention, he has the tenth-highest WAR in the NL with 5.7. If the Cubbies are finally able to break the biggest curse in professional sports, you better believe Rizzo will have played a significant role.
3. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
He may not win the Cy Young award this season (injuries really hurt his chances in 2016), but Clayton Kershaw remains the top pitcher in Major League Baseball. Just look at the numbers and try to refute it. You can’t. This season, Kershaw was 12-4, has an ERA of 1.69, has three complete-game shutouts, and a ridiculous .72 WHIP. When a guy already has three Cy Young awards and an MVP on his résumé, people tend to go out and sport the gear. Welcome to the world of Clayton Kershaw.
2. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
In just his second season in the bigs, Kris Bryant has already established himself as one of the games best talents. In fact, it’s highly likely that he runs away with the National League MVP award. Based on his numbers, we can see why.
Bryant has a .292 batting average with 176 hits, 35 doubles, 39 homers, and 102 RBIs. On top of that, he made the second All-Star Game of his career and has the highest WAR (7.4) in the National League. At just 24 years of age, Bryant hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he’s capable of. We can’t wait to see how the rest of his career unfolds.
1. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
We always knew that David Ortiz was popular. We just didn’t know that he was this popular. Then again, it was his last season in Major League Baseball, and he certainly made the most of it. Big Papi tied for the fifth-best batting average (.315) in the American League, lead the AL in doubles (48) and slugging percentage (.620), and the most RBIs (127) in the American League. This is what a swan song is supposed to look like. Man, we’re going to miss this guy.