Top 15 Current Houston Athletes Vol. 1

JJ Watt Barely Cracks Landry Locker's List Of Houston's Top 15 Current Athletes

MAD Radio
April 03, 2018 - 10:48 am

Who are the Top 15 current athletes in Houston? Landry Locker of Mad Radio lists Houston’s 15 best athletes based on what they can currently do and his confidence in what they can do moving forward.

A lot of people get technical when discussing the best athlete. This list is about professional athletes who are currently best as the sport the play

Two factors were taken into account when making this list. Factor One: Which Houston athletes are currently the best at what they do? Factor Two: Which Houston athletes do I have the most confidence in performing the best moving forward?

Here's the list... 

 

No. 1: Jose Altuve

The MVP, a World Series Champion, this was an easy decision.

 

No. 2: James Harden

This year’s MVP, the leader of the 1-seed in the playoffs and one of the five best players in the NBA, who came into the 2017-18 season in the best shape of his career following his scrutinized Game 6 performance in last year’s postseason. If he’s able to win a championship like Altuve did then there will be a debate over who should have the No. 1 spot on this list.

 

No. 3: DeAndre Hopkins

Hopkins is one of the elite receivers in the league, but still somewhat unappreciated by the national media. He’s also quarterback proof and produces regardless of the situation. Bad quarterback, Hopkins produces. Bad football team, Hopkins produces. Hopkins is the ultimate professional and one of the best at what he does.

 

No. 4: Carlos Correa

He’s already widely-regarded as one of the best shortstops in the league and it feels like he’s a battle-tested veteran despite being only 23-years-old. MLB analyst Alex Rodriguez said he’d buy stock in Correa the next 10 years before any other player in the entire MLB. His best baseball is ahead of him, which is a scary thought.

 

No. 5: Justin Verlander

A 6X All Star, Cy Young Award winner and most importantly the 2017 ALCS MVP, who put the Astros over the top and has been elite since Jeff Luhnow made the last-second trade to acquire him last season

Verlander is 10-1 as an Astros pitcher (6-0 in the regular season, 4-1 in the postseason).

 

No. 6: Chris Paul

Paul will ultimately be judged by how he performs in the playoffs, but his arrival in Houston has taken the Rockets to another level. Many wondered if he and Harden could play together, but those concerns have been squashed to the point where some are picking them to dethrone the Golden State Warriors.

 

No. 7: Dallas Keuchel

Having Keuchel as the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation is a luxury for the Astros. The former Cy Young Award winner would be the Ace of most pitching staffs in the MLB and was the best pitcher on the Astros since he came into the league. He was also an integral part in acquiring Verlander, which only adds to his current value.

 

No. 8: Jadeveon Clowney

There’s a reason Clowney will get the hefty contract he has coming his way, he deserves it.

Clowney is one of the most unappreciated athletes in town. Some local critics hold it against Clowney that he’s not as good as JJ Watt was a few years ago, which is unfair because Watt was one of the most dominant forces in the history of the NFL. People also measure him too much by sacks, often ignoring that he is one of the best run-stopping defensive ends in the league and for whatever reason the Texans defensive coaching staff insists on using him in coverage and standing up instead of rushing the passer.

Clowney’s talent has never been questioned, but he also deserves credit for his professionalism. The Texans had a miserable 4-12 season in 2017, but Clowney never stopped playing hard, remained positive in the locker room and was the bright spot of the depleted defense.

 

No. 9: George Springer

Springer is tone-setter for the 2017 World Series Champs, an All Star and the World Series MVP. The fact he is ninth on this list shows how much star power there is on the Astros and in the city as a whole.

 

No. 10: Deshaun Watson

When Watson played in 2017 he was great, but that only lasted 6 ½ games. Plus, because of his season-ending injury he didn’t endure the struggles most quarterbacks experience early in their careers. Even with any potential struggles Watson will move up on the list if he’s able to stay on the field in 2018. I predict Watson will be higher up on this list after the 2018 season, but I’m conservatively putting him at No. 10 until he proves he can stay on the field.

 

No. 11: Gerrit Cole

Cole finished fourth in Cy Young voting in the NL a couple years ago and has a stellar Astros debut last week, striking out 11 in seven innings. I’m on the record saying he will be an All Star this season so his ranking has to do with my belief in him.

 

No. 12: Whitney Mercilus

JJ Watt’s season-ending injury got most of the attention last season, but the injury Mercilus was just as costly. He’s one of the first names opposing coaches mention when talking about the Texans defense and is only 27-years-old with his best football ahead of him.

 

No. 13: Alex Bregman

The former No. 2 overall pick in only his second season as a full-time everyday player, but battle-tested and a key part of the World Series run. He’s already elite as a fielder, will get more comfortable at the plate and will only climb up this list as time goes on.

 

No. 14: Eric Gordon

Last season’s NBA Six Man Of The Year, who could start on most teams. Scores 18 points per-game and has been called upon to start 30 games this season for the team with the best record in the NBA.

 

No. 15: JJ Watt

Hasn’t finished a season healthy since 2014 and wasn’t as dominant in a brief time last season before a second consecutive season-ending injury. Everyone’s rooting for JJ to get back to what he used to be, but expecting it would be unrealistic unfair to him.

 

Listen to Landry Locker on Mad Radio Monday-Friday from 6-10 a.m., email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @landrylocker.

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