July 13, 2017 13:16 GMT by cbssports.com

MLB Top 100 Players: Trout has not been the best player so far, so who has been?

Who have been the best players of the 2017 season to date? You've come to the right place

The first three months of the 2017 season are behind us, and it's time for our monthly look at the top 100 players in baseball.

When we did this coming into the season, the rankings were based upon reasonable expectations -- using things like age and recent performance history -- to make educated guesses at which players would provide the most value in 2017. Since then, though, each installment has been about performance to date. As such, the rankings you're about to see reflect nothing more than who's been the best through the first half of the 2017 season.

The preceding has been italicized for emphasis. Now we're going to bold it and italicize it -- and perhaps even brandish a larger font size -- for even more emphasis:

The rankings you're about to see reflect nothing more than who's been the best through the first half of the 2017 season.

In coming up with these rankings, your scribe paid no heed to what may or may not be sustainable. Some of the names will be very much at home among the game's best, while others belong to players who have solidly over-performed or are just establishing themselves as premium performers. Whatever the case, we're not worried about whether the performances will stick. It's all about what's happened in 2017 thus far.

As for what matters, with position players it's a mix of batting, defense, and baserunning. On offense, we're not concerned with things like RBI. Getting on base and hitting for power matter above all, as do playing time, context of the player's home ballpark, and production relative to positional peers (e.g., the offensive bar is lower for shortstops and catchers than it is for first basemen and DHs).

For pitchers -- and since this a backward-looking assessment of value provided -- run prevention and workload will be the drivers, but we'll also give some consideration to underlying fundamental indicators like strikeouts and walks. When it comes to relievers, leverage, or the relative importance of the innings a reliever works, are taken into account. (Note: It's hard for relievers to crack this list in the first place, given how much more valuable starting pitchers tend to be, thanks to their much higher innings loads.)

Again, this is all about 2017 to date, and the rankings suggest nothing about whether the player in question can maintain the current level of performance going forward. As such, the next time you see this list, it'll probably look very different.

As always, reach to the author at his personal email address -- [email protected] -- with all your complaints. He looks forward to a productive dialogue …

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100
Martin Maldonado L.A. Angels C
The Halos brought in Maldonado because they wanted better pitch-framing. He's given them that while also hitting a little.
99
Joe Kelly Boston RP
Suffice it to say, Kelly's transition to the bullpen has gone swimmingly. He's now one of the hardest throwers in the game.
98
Josh Harrison Pittsburgh 2B
Harrison's got a plus glove at the keystone, and he's also putting up quality numbers at the plate (including a league-leading 20 HBPs).
97
Felipe Rivero Pittsburgh RP
The lefty reliever has given up four earned runs in 47 1/3 innings. That's a lot of innings, and that's great run prevention.
96
Scooter Gennett Cincinnati 2B
He of the four-homer game earlier this season is now batting .311/.363/.603.
95
Archie Bradley Arizona RP
He's pitched to a 1.10 ERA in 41 innings while striking out 47 batters versus just eight walks.
94
He's a skilled defender, he's patient at the plate, he can still run into one on occasion, and he's a highly regarded clubhouse presence.
93
Zack Godley Arizona SP
As rotation plug-ins go, Godley's been an excellent one, as he's posted a 2.58 ERA in 11 starts for the Snakes.
92
The bat's coming around, especially in terms of power, and we've seen the throwing arm he's got.
91
Brian McCann Houston C
McCann's missed some time earlier this season with a concussion, but when healthy he's put up strong numbers at the plate while remaining a sound defender.
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90
Kenley Jansen L.A. Dodgers RP
Jansen's heavily used cutter may be the best single pitch in all of baseball. Speaking of which, this season he has a sub-1.00 ERA and 57 strikeouts against two walks.
89
Jose Abreu Chi. White Sox 1B
In his age-30 season, Abreu's slugging better than .500 and on target for more than 30 spanks -- typical Abreu, in other words. It's been a nice rebound in the power department relative to last season.
88
The curveball specialist is a 2017 All-Star on the strength of his 131 ERA+ and 3.93 K/BB ratio after 16 starts.
87
Justin Bour Miami 1B
The 29-year-old first baseman in 2017 mashed his way into the Home Run Derby. In related matters, he's slugging better than .550 with 20 bombs.
86
Avisail Garcia Chi. White Sox RF
Garcia's hitting for average, and he's putting up good power numbers relative to his established standards. The Sox have believed in him for some time, and now he's justifying their faith.
85
Mike Moustakas Kansas City 3B
One year removed from a major knee injury, Moose is looking solid in the field while putting up impressive power numbers early.
84
Kyle Freeland Colorado SP
Here's another homegrown starting pitcher contributing mightily to the Rockies' success thus far. He flirted with a Coors Field no-hitter, and he now sports a 3.77 ERA after 107 1/3 innings.
83
Andrew Miller Cleveland RP
The arm that revived the fireman role is still at it. He's on pace to provide the Tribe with 80 or so innings of complete and utter dominance.
82
Stephen Strasburg Washington SP
The All-Star has been pitching exclusively from the stretch this season, and he's arguably put up the best numbers of his career along the way.
81
Craig Kimbrel Boston RP
Kimbrel's back to vintage form and then some. In 36 appearances, Kimbrel's registered an ERA of 1.19 while striking out an astounding 50.8 percent of opposing batters.


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80
Aaron Hicks N.Y. Yankees CF
Hicks is laid up with an injury at the moment, but he's been a valuable contributor when healthy. He's seen time at all three outfield spots while putting up strong numbers at the plate.
79
Justin Upton Detroit LF
Upton didn't quite live up to the billing in his first season in Detroit, but this season he's back to his usual self.
78
Yes, the high batting average is driving Bogaerts' overall offensive value, but the reality is that he's producing at a high level, especially considering he's an everyday shortstop. He's also adding value on the bases.
77
Adam Duvall Cincinnati LF
Duvall's got an OPS+ north of 120, and he's second in the NL in extra-base hits.
76
Jimmy Nelson Milwaukee SP
Nelson's been a vital part of the Brewers' success in 2017. In 109 innings, he's got an ERA of 3.30 with 118 strikeouts against 27 walks.
75
Stanton may be showing signs of decline in the field, but the bat remains potent. His first 40-homer season may be in the offing.
74
Nelson Cruz Seattle DH
Cruz recently turned 37, but he just keeps hitting. Since leaving the Rangers following the 2013 season, he's put up an OPS+ of 148.
73
Khris Davis Oakland LF
Davis is following up his 42-homer campaign in 2016 by once again numbering among the most prolific home run hitters in baseball.
72
Chris Taylor L.A. Dodgers 2B
No player is more emblematic of the Dodgers' incredible depth this season. Taylor's manned five different positions while running an OPS+ of 126.
71
Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati 3B
The 25-year-old third baseman has been a solid hitter at the plate, and in the field he's been a standout at the hot corner.
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70
Texas' bedrock shortstop enjoyed a rebound season at the plate last year. Thus far in 2017, he's improved even further, and he's already set a career high in home runs.
69
Robinson Cano Seattle 2B
Cano's numbers are down a bit from last season, but the future Hall of Famer remains a high-level producer as middle infielders go.
68
Josh Reddick Houston RF
Reddick's missed a little time with injury this season, but overall he's produced in a big way at the plate while still adding value in right field.
67
Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh CF
Cutch overcame his slow start to the season and has proved he's still a star. He'll go into the second half with a line of .294/.380/.528.
66
Yonder Alonso Oakland 1B
Alonso's dealt with some injuries this season, but when healthy he's put up some of the best rate-based numbers in all of baseball.
65
Steven Souza Tampa Bay RF
Souza's an asset at the outfield corners. With the bat, he's already matched his career high in homers while easily besting his career high in OPS+.
64
Michael Conforto N.Y. Mets LF
What a season he's having. Despite erratic playing time, the 24-year-old outfielder has an OBP of around .400 and an OPS+ of around 150.
63
Jake Lamb Arizona 3B
The Arizona third baseman's on pace to make a run at 40 homers while also running a high OBP.
62
Jean Segura Seattle SS
Segura missed a chunk of June with an ankle injury, but after returning he got back to producing at an elite level among shortstops.
61
Justin Smoak Toronto 1B
The veteran first baseman's got an OPS+ of around 140 and he's set to make a run at 40 homers. He's headed for a career year, in other words.
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60
Gonzalez has put up tremendous offensive numbers in semi-regular duty while also seeing time at six different positions. That's highly valuable, to say the least.
59
Luis Severino N.Y. Yankees SP
With an ERA in the mid-3.00s and strong command-and-control numbers, the 23-year-old's been a vital part of the Yankee rotation this season.
58
Michael Fulmer Detroit SP
The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year is at it again in 2017. His numbers are very similar to what he authored last season, but this time around he's on pace to top 200 innings.
57
Starlin Castro N.Y. Yankees 2B
Castro's putting up quality numbers at the plate, especially by the standard of middle infielders. He's presently out with a hamstring injury, but for now he's got enough value in the bank to merit a spot.
56
Alex Avila Detroit C
Thanks in part to some swing changes, the veteran catcher (and part-time first baseman) has absolutely crushed the ball thus far. Regression may happen at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.
55
Mike Leake St. Louis SP
Since that lights-out April, Leake has steadily regressed. However, the overall numbers remain quite strong.
54
Yasmani Grandal L.A. Dodgers C
In addition to being one of the game's best pitch-framers behind the plate, Grandal's hitting for power again this season.
53
Corey Kluber Cleveland SP
Kluber was laid up for a while with injury, but he's otherwise been in Cy Young form this season.
52
He's played just 34 games thanks to the wrist injury, but his line of .341/.461/.748 keeps him on the list. Freeman may have been on his way to the NL MVP Award before the injury.
51
Yu Darvish Texas SP
It's looking like another quality season for the free-agent-to-be. After 19 starts, Darvish owns an ERA of 3.50 with 125 strikeouts in 118 1/3 innings. That he's been healthy has been huge.
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50
Bradley plays a nifty center field, and he's put up a line of .280/.363/.490 at the plate.
49
Tyler Flowers Atlanta C
Flowers is light on playing time relative to most guys on this list, but he's produced in a big way at the plate. He's also a highly skilled defender behind it (i.e., the plate).
48
Corey Dickerson Tampa Bay DH
Dickerson leads the majors in hits, and he's on pace to top 30 homers for the season.
47
Charlie Blackmon Colorado CF
Blackmon's a starter for the NL All-Star team, and it's not underserved. He's been at another level since the start of the 2016 season.
46
He's on pace to catch more than 1,000 innings this season, and he's putting up very strong numbers at the plate, as catchers go. Realmuto's a highly underrated player.
45
Cody Bellinger L.A. Dodgers 1B
The rookie Bellinger in the first half smashed 25 home runs in just 70 games. If he'd played all of April, he'd be even higher on this list.
44
Jed Lowrie Oakland 2B
Lowrie's got an OPS+ of more than 120 while playing the middle infield on a daily basis. That easily puts him in the top 100 and makes an attractive trade candidate.
43
Gary Sanchez N.Y. Yankees C
Sanchez missed almost a full month with injury, which kept him off recent editions of this list. Now though, he's back on track to play more than 100 games this season while putting up excellent numbers at the plate.
42
Alex Wood L.A. Dodgers SP
Injuries have taken a bite out of Wood's innings load and thus his overall value, but on a rate basis he's been one of baseball's best starters in 2017.
41
Jonathan Schoop Baltimore 2B
Schoop's an underrated defender at the keystone, and he's having one heck of a year at the plate. He's got at shot at getting to 30 homers and 40 doubles this season.
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40
Salvador Perez Kansas City C
KC's team leader remains a durable presence behind the plate, and he's on pace to make a run at 30 homers.
39
Travis Shaw Milwaukee 3B
Shaw's been a big part of Milwaukee's success this season. At present, he's on pace to rack up 80 extra-base hits or so.
38
Carlos Carrasco Cleveland SP
Carrasco's once again putting up strong numbers for the Tribe. After 17 starts he's running an ERA+ of 138 with 114 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings.
37
Eric Thames Milwaukee 1B
Thames has slacked off quite a bit since his otherworldly April, but the overall numbers remain strong enough to keep him on the list.
36
Anthony Rizzo Chi. Cubs 1B
Barring injury, Rizzo this season will set a career high in home runs and walks, and he remains a standout defender at first base.
35
Dallas Keuchel Houston SP
The 2015 AL Cy Young winner endured a disappointing 2016 season, but this year he appears to be back to ace form for Houston. Even with the injury problems this season, Keuchel easily deserves to be ranked.
34
Ivan Nova Pittsburgh SP
Thanks in part to excellent control, Nova boasts a 3.21 ERA after 120 2/3 innings this season. The Pirates' decision to bring him back is looking sage indeed.
33
Marcus Stroman Toronto SP
Stroman's putting together his best season yet. After 112 1/3 innings, he's got an ERA+ of 139 with a 3.21 K/BB ratio.
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