If you’re a big fan of baseball like I am, you can’t help but appreciate the great players in the game – even if they’re division rivals. The following three players are on teams who I cheer against, but I can’t help but enjoy watching these players perform individually. I think these are three of the best players in the game, and I watch them every chance that I can get. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of the Brewers, but I am also a huge fan of the great game of baseball. I think that in order to be a true fan of this game, you have to learn to not only appreciate the great players on your team, but also appreciate the great players on other teams, as well.

 

 

Joey Votto

In my opinion, this 2010 NL MVP is the greatest hitter in the game. He plays for the division rival Reds, so I know I’m not supposed to be rooting for him, but I can’t help myself. I watch him every chance I get. His eye at the plate is impeccable. I’m normally not overly excited watching players draw walks, but his ability to recognize pitches in and out of the strike zone is just unreal. He’s already drawn 47 walks in 62 games this year. His batting average is currently .325 and his 2013 on-base percentage is a whopping .442. He has drawn 476 walks in his 790 career games and has a career on-base percentage of .418. He’s also an excellent defender, winning his first gold glove award after the 2011 season.

 

 

Adam Wainwright

He debuted for the hated division rival St Louis Cardinals in 2005. He started out in the bullpen, and was the Cardinals closer in 2006. The next year, they converted him into a starter, and he has been an “ace” ever since. He is a sinkerballer, and throws a curveball, cutter, four seam fastball and a changeup. His strikeout pitch, the curveball, is a thing of beauty. Personally, I think he’s a pleasure to watch. Well, unless he’s dominating the Brewers, which he has done plenty of times in his career. I also admire pitchers who can come back from Tommy John surgery and be just as good, or better, than they were before the surgery.

 

 

Joe Mauer

I’m not sure how many Brewers fans have an extreme dislike for Mauer, considering the Brewers only play 2 series again the Twins per year, but he always seems to find a way to dominate the Brewers when we do play them. Only three times in his 9 year major league career has he finished with a batting average below .300. And in these three seasons, he still managed to finish .294, .293 and .287.  He has also finished with an OBP of .400 or better in five of his nine major league seasons. In the other four, he finished with OBPs of .369, .372, .382 and .360. In 2009, he won the AL MVP. He has also won three batting titles and is the only catcher to have ever won three batting titles in the history of Major League Baseball. On top of that, he has three gold glove awards at the catcher position. Pretty impressive.

 

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