25. Jose Abreu, First Base, Chicago White Sox
Some White Sox fans might argue that shortstop Tim Anderson is the better of the team’s two stars. Perhaps, but Abreu is Chicago’s undisputed leader and the reigning AL MVP. During the abbreviated 2020 season, Abreu ranked among Major League Baseball’s best in batting average (.317), hits (76), home runs (19) and led everybody with 60 RBIs in 60 games. He was a big reason the White Sox reached the postseason for the first time since 2008, and why they are considered a World Series contender in 2021.
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24. Yu Darvish, Starting Pitcher, San Diego Padres
The Chicago Cubs’ need to shed salary was another gain for the all-in 2021 Padres. San Diego’s new opening-day starter, the 34-year-old Darvish was stellar during the shortened 2020 campaign. Vaulting to the ace of the Cubs’ staff, the right-hander went 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA, 93 strikeouts and just 14 walks. From July 31-Sept. 4, Darvish allowed five runs over 46 innings in winning seven straight starts. If he can come close to any of that in ’21, the Padres just might be a true contender for the NL pennant.
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