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BBTN 100: Players Nos. 50-41

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Robinson Cano, and Adam Wainwright rank lower than usual (2:53)

The Baseball Tonight crew breaks down the players ranked Nos. 50-41 in the top 100. (2:53)

Who will be the best players in Major League Baseball in the 2016 season?

ESPN formed a panel of MLB writers, analysts and contributors to rank the top 100, which we'll count down from No. 100 to No. 1, revealing the top 10 on "Baseball Tonight" on March 24.

To compile the top 100, we polled 70 ESPN experts in February and March, starting with a list of more than 350 players. Using a 0-to-10 scale, the experts evaluated the players based on how well they are projected to perform in 2016. Players expected to miss 2016 because of an injury were not included.

The results will be announced on ESPN.com, Facebook (ESPN Baseball Tonight) and Twitter (@BBTN). Fans can use the hashtag #BBTN100 to join the discussion and follow along.

We're continuing the top 100 with Nos. 50-41.

50. Adam Jones

Pos.: CF | Team: Baltimore Orioles | @SimplyAJ10

2015 rank: 40 | 2016 fantasy rank: 59

2015 Stats: .269 BA, .782 OPS, 27 HRs, 82 RBIs

ESPN says: Perhaps nobody in baseball has been more consistent over the past five seasons than Jones, who is practically a lock to hit .280, club 30 homers and drive in 90 runs. As the current Geico campaign might say, "It's what he does." Defensively, given Baltimore's corner outfield questions, the four-time Gold Glove center fielder will have his work cut out for him. But that shouldn't stop him from doing what he does. -- Eddie Matz, ESPN.com Orioles/Nationals reporter

By the numbers: Since 2012, Jones has appeared in more games in center field than any other player in the American League, and he leads the position in hits in that span (686). His 119 homers while playing center since 2012 are the most by any player in the majors, and he enters 2016, his 11th year in the majors, four homers shy of 200 for his career. Jones has made four consecutive All-Star Games and won a Gold Glove in three of the past four seasons. -- ESPN Stats & Information

49. Robinson Cano

Pos.: 2B | Team: Seattle Mariners | @RobinsonCano

2015 rank: 8 | 2016 fantasy rank: 36

2015 stats: .287 BA, .779 OPS, 21 HRs, 79 RBIs

ESPN says: The six-time All-Star got off to a horrid start as he battled a stomach ailment and hit .238 with four home runs through June. Then the old Cano returned: He hit .331/.387/.540 in the second half. He has lost a step on defense, but if he can put those numbers up over six months, he'll return to his usual top-10 spot in the MVP voting. -- David Schoenfield, ESPN.com Sweetspot blogger

By the numbers: A six-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger winner, Cano leads all second basemen with a .310 BA since 2009. His 177 homers and 674 RBIs are most at the position in that span. His 44.2 WAR since 2009 leads all position players and trails only Clayton Kershaw's (45.8). Cano enters the 2016 season with 983 RBIs for his career and should reach 1,000 this season. He is the only second baseman in history to notch 2,000 hits through his first 11 seasons in the league. -- ESPN Stats & Information

48. Kenley Jansen

Pos.: RP | Team: Los Angeles Dodgers | @kenleyjansen74

2015 rank: 62 | 2016 fantasy rank: 50

2015 Stats: 52.1 IPs, 80 Ks, 2.41 ERA, 36 saves

ESPN says: How would you react if your 108 saves over the past three years were fourth most in baseball, and your team tried to bring aboard a new closer in the offseason? Jansen didn't register a complaint, at least not publicly, about a move that could have hurt him in free agency. Credit him with another save. -- Doug Padilla, ESPN.com Dodgers reporter

By the numbers: Jansen owns four of the six highest single-season save marks in Dodgers history. His 44 in 2014 are the current gold standard in the franchise, and his 36 the past season tied Jonathan Broxton's 2009 for second. Jansen's 108 saves since 2013 are third in the majors in that span, behind Craig Kimbrel's (136) and Huston Street's (114) saves. His 292 strikeouts since 2013 put him third among relief pitchers, behind only Aroldis Chapman and Wade Davis. -- ESPN Stats & Information

47. Adam Wainwright

Pos.: RHP | Team: St. Louis Cardinals | @UncleCharlie50

2015 rank: 32 | 2016 fantasy rank: 104

2015 Stats: 7 games, 2-1, 1.61 ERA

ESPN says: After a year mostly lost to a torn Achilles tendon, Wainwright is determined to prove he's still one of the best starting pitchers in the game, even at age 34. He came back to pitch in relief at the end of 2015, which sparked optimism that he has fueled by staying healthy so far this spring. He's scheduled to pitch Opening Day ahead of young stars Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, which tells you what the Cardinals think of him. -- Mark Saxon, ESPN.com Cardinals reporter

By the numbers: Wainwright will make his fifth career Opening Day start in 2016, which will tie Dizzy Dean and Chris Carpenter for second most in Cardinals history. Wainwright made three relief appearances in September, his first relief appearances since he notched four saves for the World Series-winning Cardinals as a rookie in the 2006 playoffs. Since his first career start in 2007, Wainwright is second in the majors in ERA behind Clayton Kershaw and is tied for third in complete games and shutouts. -- ESPN Stats & Information

46. Lorenzo Cain

Pos.: CF | Team: Kansas City Royals

2015 rank: NR | 2016 fantasy rank: 47

2015 Stats: .307 BA, .838 OPS, 16 HRs, 72 RBIs, 28 SBs

ESPN says: Cain really hit his stride in 2015, when he earned his first All-Star berth and finished third in the American League MVP race. Excellent defense is a given, and with experience, he continues to become a more discerning hitter. His walks have increased, his strikeouts have declined, and his OPS has increased from .658 to .751 to .838 the past three seasons. Cain is susceptible to nagging leg injuries, so manager Ned Yost would be wise to mix in periodic rest. -- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com senior writer

By the numbers: Cain posted career highs across the board in 2015, including batting average, OPS, HRs and hits. Cain earned his first All-Star selection and finished third in MVP voting for his efforts. It was the first top-three MVP finish by a Royals player since George Brett was second in 1985. Cain's 18 defensive runs saved in center field were second only to Kevin Kiermaier's last season, and with 85 since 2010, he trails only Jason Heyward and Alex Gordon among outfielders. Cain is the only AL player who ranked in the top seven in both offensive WAR (seventh at 5.3) and defensive WAR (tied for fourth at 2.3) in 2015. -- ESPN Stats & Information

45. Chris Davis

Pos.: 1B | Team: Baltimore Orioles

2015 rank: NR| 2016 fantasy rank: 21

2015 Stats: .262 BA, .923 OPS, 47 HRs, 117 RBIs

ESPN says: Offensively, Davis is at his best when he's relaxed. You could argue that there'll be pressure on him to perform up to the expectations of his $161 million contract, but you could also argue that he'll be free and easy now that the deal is done. Based on his vibe at spring training -- where he homered in his very first at-bat -- the latter seems more likely. That, combined with the protection provided by newcomer (and fellow masher) Mark Trumbo, makes Davis a good bet to flirt with 50 bombs again. -- Matz

By the numbers: Davis' 126 homers the past three seasons are the most in the majors in that span and 15 more than the next player (Nelson Cruz, 111). Davis led baseball with 53 round-trippers in 2013 and did so again in 2015, with 47. Davis is one of just five players in the majors with at least 25 homers in each of the past four seasons (Mike Trout, Adam Jones, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista). -- ESPN Stats & Information

44. Stephen Strasburg

Pos.: RHP | Team: Washington Nationals

2015 rank: 20 | 2016 fantasy rank: 64

2015 Stats: 23 GS, 11-7, 3.46 ERA, 155 Ks

ESPN says: When healthy, Strasburg dominates. That's what he did in the second half of the past season, when he went 6-2 with a 1.90 ERA and posted a ridiculous 11.5 K/BB ratio. He also did that in 2014, when he led the National League in strikeouts. Despite a checkered medical past, he has averaged 29 starts over the past four years. If he can match (or top) that in 2016, the final year of his contract, then come October, we'll all be wondering why he wasn't ranked higher here. -- Matz

By the numbers: Strasburg has averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the first six seasons of his major-league career. That's the highest rate of any pitcher who threw at least 600 innings in the first six seasons of his career -- narrowly ahead of Kerry Wood. Strasburg's 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched last season put him third in the majors behind Chris Sale (11.8) and Clayton Kershaw (11.6). -- ESPN Stats & Information

43. Jason Heyward

Pos.: CF/RF| Team: Chicago Cubs

2015 rank: 43 | 2016 fantasy rank: 63

2015 Stats: .293 BA, .797 OPS, 13 HRs, 60 RBIs

ESPN says: It's rare that a $184 million player isn't asked to carry a team, but Jason Heyward finds himself in that position with the Cubs. That should make for an easier transition, as big free-agent signings often have difficulty performing to expectations in Year 1. With a loaded lineup, Heyward can simply be what he has been to this point in his career: A solid, all-around baseball player with the potential for even more. -- Jesse Rogers, ESPN.com Cubs reporter

By the numbers: Since his rookie year in 2010, Heyward's 122 defensive runs saved are most among outfielders. In 2015, he had the third most among outfielders, with 24. Heyward had a strong 2015 on the offensive side as well, as he recorded career bests in a .293 batting average and 23 stolen bases. Heyward has won three Gold Gloves since 2012, tied for second in MLB in that span. -- ESPN Stats & Information

42. Cole Hamels

Pos.: LHP | Team: Texas Rangers

2015 rank: 33 | 2016 fantasy rank: 117

2015 Stats (Rangers and Phillies): 32 GS, 13-8, 3.65 ERA, 215 Ks

ESPN says: Longtime Phillie Hamels made new friends in Texas with his complete game victory to clinch the AL West on the season's final day, and Rangers fans will enjoy his consistency and durability. Hamels piles on the innings each year and has registered an ERA of 3.65 or better the past six seasons. With strong offensive and defensive support, Hamels could be in line for a career best in wins too. -- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com senior fantasy writer

By the numbers: Over the past five seasons, Hamels has struck 430 batters out with his changeup. He is one of three pitchers in that span to strike at least 400 batters out with a changeup (James Shields, Felix Hernandez). -- ESPN Stats & Information

41. Jose Abreu

Pos.: 1B | Team: Chicago White Sox

2015 rank: 12 | 2016 fantasy rank: 17

2015 stats: .290 BA, .850 OPS, 30 HRs, 101 RBIs

ESPN says: Right-handed sluggers are a cherished commodity, but Abreu is more than a guy who has electric power from foul pole to foul pole. The pure hitter is committed to team over self, has a work ethic that is off the charts and is as accountable as they come. His defense is a work in progress, but it's getting better. -- Padilla

By the numbers: The 2014 American League Rookie of the Year has 9.3 WAR in his first two major league seasons, which tied Frank Thomas for the most in the first two seasons of a career in White Sox history. Abreu's 66 homers in his first two seasons are the most in franchise history, as are his 354 hits and 208 RBIs. His homers are also the most by any MLB first baseman in his first two career seasons. -- ESPN Stats & Information