Major League Baseball has been graced by an incredible generation of young stars, and that shows not only in the numbers on the field but the numbers off it as well.
All nine of the highest-selling jerseys this season, as announced by the league Friday, belong to players age 29 and younger. Even the next player on the list, Anthony Rizzo, turned only 30 in August.
For the third straight season, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge topped the list with Bryce Harper (No. 2), Javier Báez (No. 4) and NL MVP co-favorites Cody Bellinger (No. 3) and Christian Yelich (No. 5) rounding out the top five.
Here’s the full list of top 20 jersey sellers
1. Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
2. Bryce Harper, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
3. Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Javier Báez, SS, Chicago Cubs
5. Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
6. Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves
7. Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox
8. Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
9. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
10. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
11. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals
12. Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros
14. Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets
15. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
16. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
17. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
18. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
19. Jacob deGrom, P, New York Mets
20. George Springer, OF, Houston Astros
Hitters reign supreme once again
One other notable aspect of the top-10 jersey sales are that each player on that list is a hitter. The only pitchers to crack the top 20 are Clayton Kershaw (12) and Jacob deGrom (19).
This is pretty consistent based on historic jersey sales; hitters are just more popular than pitchers. There were only two pitchers on last season's list as well with Kershaw leading pitchers at fourth overall. Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani also finished eighth, although he's a bit unique as a two-way player.
Interestingly, jersey sales were well spread out among teams. The Astros and Cubs led all teams with three players apiece, and nine teams were represented among the top 10 jersey sellers.
New jerseys and new contracts get a boost
Harper made one of the largest jumps of the year, going from 13th in 2018 to second this year. That’s largely due to the fact he signed with a new team, making his jersey a must-buy for plenty of Phillies fans.
Harper isn’t the only new jersey to make an appearance on the list. Paul Goldschmidt cracked it in his debut season with the Cardinals after not appearing last year, while Pete Alonso was the most popular rookie.
Several players who locked into long-term deals with their team also saw a boost in sales, perhaps because fans knew the jersey wouldn’t be out of style in a year or two. Acuña, Trout and Bregman rose on the list after earning new high-dollar deals in the past year, while Kershaw remained the top pitcher after landing a three-year extension.
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