NEW YORK — Mike Trout, the consensus best player in baseball, ranked just 10th on the list of top-selling jerseys released Wednesday by Major League Baseball, behind even Boston Red Sox utility player Kike Hernandez.
Trout had the league’s fourth best-selling uniform two years ago, but the three-time MVP has slipped behind players who recently have starred in the postseason or changed teams. Trout’s Los Angeles Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014, and the 29-year-old signed a $426.5 million, 12-year deal to remain with them before the 2019 season.
Hernandez is no slouch as a player, but his stat line hardly suggests he’d have baseball’s ninth most popular jersey. He batted .240 with 68 homers and had valuable defensive versatility over six seasons with the reigning World Series champion Dodgers, but his placement more likely reflects the charisma and colorful antics that made him a fan favorite in Los Angeles.
The 29-year-old apparently has generated buzz in Boston since signing a $14 million, two-year deal this offseason. His jersey sales total includes both Boston and LA uniforms.
Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts retained the top spot, with teammate Cody Bellinger second. Los Angeles also placed left-hander Clayton Kershaw (fifth) and shortstop Corey Seager (13th) on the list.
1. Mookie Betts, Dodgers
2. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
3. Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
4. Bryce Harper, Phillies
5. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
6. Aaron Judge, Yankees
7. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves
8. Francisco Lindor, Mets
9. Kike Hernandez, Red Sox
10. Mike Trout, Angels
11. Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
12. Javier Baez, Cubs
13. Corey Seager, Dodgers
14. Gerrit Cole, Yankees
15. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
16. Christian Yelich, Brewers
17. Freddie Freeman, Braves
18. Jacob deGrom, Mets
19. Jose Altuve, Astros
20. Pete Alonso, Mets
San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. ranked third. The 22-year-old signed a $340 million, 14-year deal with the Padres this spring, setting up the budding superstar to spend most or all of his career with the team.
Bryce Harper of the Phillies ranked fourth, two years removed from leading the list after he left the Washington Nationals to sign a $330 million, 13-year deal with Philadelphia. Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, also a former top jersey seller, ranked sixth.
The New York Mets have three players in the top 20, led by new shortstop Francisco Lindor at No. 8. The Mets acquired Lindor from Cleveland via trade this offseason and have been trying to sign him to a long-term deal before he can become a free agent after the season. Lindor has said he won’t negotiate once the season starts. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom ranked 18th, and slugger Pete Alonso was 20th.
Nolan Arenado also cracked the list after changing teams, appearing at No. 11 after being traded from the Colorado Rockies to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Just a few years after dominating the list, the Chicago Cubs have only one player in the top 20 — shortstop Javier Báez at No. 12. Teammates Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant previously ranked among the league leaders in jersey sales, but fan interest has waned with all three players eligible for free agency after the 2021 season.
Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves ranked 17th, with teammate Ronald Acuña Jr. seventh. AL MVP Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox did not make the list, nor did NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer (formerly Cincinnati Reds, now Dodgers) or AL winner Shane Bieber (Cleveland Indians).