star tribune five-tool poll

The Star Tribune sent ballots to two baseball writers from each MLB team asking them to rank, in order, the three best all-around players in their league based on baseball’s five-tool scouting report: hitting for power, hitting for average, speed, arm and fielding. Points were tabulated using three for first-place votes, two for second and one for third. The results:

NL results pts

1. Andrew McCutchen, PIT 29

2. Carlos Gomez, MIL 11

3. Carlos Gonzalez, COL 8

4. Troy Tulowitzki, COL 7

5. Yasiel Puig, LAD 6

(McCutchen had more points than AL choice Mike Trout because more NL writers returned ballots, but McCutchen was not a unanimous pick.)

What they said ...

“McCutchen does everything on the field as well as or better than everyone else in the league. [Cardinals catcher Yadier] Molina makes up for his speed deficiency by controlling games like no player in baseball. Tulowitzki is the undisputed best overall shortstop in baseball.”

Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

“Troy Tulowitzki, as long as staying healthy isn’t a tool. … Carlos Gonzalez I sometimes think we forget just how good this guy really is. … With Bryce Harper, the tools are all there, even if the product isn’t finished.”

C. Trent Rosencrans, Cincy Enquirer

“Andrew McCutchen: Middle of the diamond, power, speed, defense. What more could you want? … Carlos Gomez has blossomed with the Brewers like few envisioned. Tremendous defense compensates for imperfectly aggressive approach at the plate.”

Ken Davidoff, New York Post

“In terms of raw, sheer talent, Puig tops my list. He should only get better with experience. … McCutchen’s home run totals would be much higher if he didn’t play home games in cavernous PNC Park.”

Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal

“Fielding weighs heavily in the rankings, and both McCutchen and Gomez play the most demanding position in baseball. They could flip-flop by the end of the season, but McCutchen has the longer track record, so he’s No. 1 now.”

Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Daily News

“If you go by pure physical tools, I think Gomez might be the best in the NL, but he’s only done it consistently over the course of a season-plus. McCutchen’s MVP speaks for itself, and Gonzalez is in that upper echelon as well — when he’s healthy.”

Todd Rosniak, Milwaukee Journal

“There is no clear-cut choice in the National League, but McCutchen is the one that can beat you in every single phase of the game.”

Bob Nightengale, USA Today

“McCutchen might not have the pure tools of [Bryce Harper and Carlos Gomez], but the production has been so consistently good for years that he’s got to get the leg up.”

Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic

“McCutchen is the steadiest performer on this list and has gotten the job done without a lot of protection in the lineup. Although he’s won a Gold Glove, defense is the area where he needs most work — route running has gotten better the past couple of years, but arm is average. … Gomez is a big-time up-and-comer and might win the MVP before too long. His temper can be a liability.”

Rob Biertempfel, Pirates/MLB beat writer