February 24, 2023
Opening Day is upon us, and with it the return of a host of superstar players who will delight us with incredible home runs, mind-blowing shots, and impressive defensive play throughout the MLB season.
So the question that inevitably arises this time of year is: Who are the best of the best in baseball? MLB Network's Top 100 Players Right Now series examined the response and ranked the crème de la crème #1. 100 to the best player of today's game.
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Here is a summary of the names and qualifications:
1) Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH, Angelinos (Rank 2022: 1)
It's hard to argue with Mike Trout, who has been considered the best player in the game for the better part of the last decade. But it's also hard to argue that the top spot goes to a man who has basically been the equivalent of Freddie Freeman on base and Carlos Rodon on the mound for the past two seasons. No wonder Ohtani is baseball's No. 1 pick for the second year in a row.
2) Aaron Judge, RF, Yankees (2022 Rank: 11)
How do you jump nine places to #2 on the list of the best players in the game in one year? One possibility is to set a new AL record with 62 home runs in a single season. The judge's record-breaking 2022 campaign only added to his already tremendous value in his contract year, resulting in aContract extension for nine years and $360 millionwith the Bronx Bombers. What will you do for an encore?
3) Mike Trout, CF, Angelinos (Rang 2022: 2)
The fact that it takes a two-way superstar the likes of which we've never seen before, along with a hitter who set a new league record for home runs in a season, to keep Trout in first place shows what an incredible center fielder he is. The Angels. still in his 11th season in the major leagues. Unfortunately, Trout was sidelined for some time in 2022 due to injury, but he still hit 40 home runs with a .999 OPS and a 6.3 OPS.b WARin just 119 games.
4) Mookie Betts, RF, Dodgers (Rang 2022: 6)
His initials are not M.L.B. You are welcome. Markus Lynn Betts remains one of the elite positional players in the game, averaging 8.6 bWAR per 162 games during his impressive nine-year career. Last season, he led the National League in 117 runs scored, finished fifth overall for the National League MVP award and won his sixth career Golden Glove award. All in one season of work for Betts.
5) Manny Machado, 3B, Padres (2022 rank: 18)
After seeing what Machado did on track and in the postseason to help the Padres reach the NLCS, it's easy to see how he jumped 13 spots year-over-year to finish in the top five on the season. 2023. Sure, at a high level in mid-August, but he really picked up from there until the end of the season, hitting .314/.376/.588 in the last 49 games with 13 home runs. .
6) Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals (2022 Rank: 19)
As of the start of the 2022 campaign, Arenado was a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner, a five-time Platinum Glove Award winner, a six-time All-Star and was a five-time top 10 voter for the National League MVP Award. . He then went on and had the best overall season of his career, posting his career-highs in OPS+ (154) and bWAR (7.9). Another star third baseman who jumped 13 spots in the standings.
7) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals (2022 Rank: 27)
The reigning NL MVP jumps an impressive 20 spots in 2022, and why not? Goldschmidt had a career year and finally earned that elusive MVP honor after being a three-time finalist in MVP voting. He comes on the heels of his corner field partner-in-crime, Arenado, who he's teamed up with to make life a nightmare for opposing hitters hitting ground balls against the St. Louis Rams. ludwig But that was secondary to his tremendous performance on base, where he led the league in slugging percentage (.578), OPS (.982) andOPS+(180).
8) Jose Ramirez, 3B, guard (rank 2022:15)
From a slugging corner infielder who finally won an elusive MVP award to someone who could pull it off every year. It was another typical season for the Cleveland franchisee, who signed a seven-year, $141 million contract extension to remain with the Guardians early last year, posting an AL-leading .869 OPS with 44 doubles plus 29 home runs and 20 steals. . He finished fourth in the AL MVP Award selection, the fourth top-five MVP of his career.
9) Jordan Alvarez, LF/DH, Astros (Platz 2022: 46)
Can you really have a "off" season when you start the year with a career: 948 OPS and 61 home runs in 976 plate appearances? If anything, Álvarez did it in 2022, when he hit a 1,019 OPS with 37 home runs in 561 plate appearances to finish third in AL MVP voting and move up 37 spots on our list. He's not 26 yet, and with a World Series ring last fall, it looks like Álvarez is just getting started.
10) Freddie Freeman, 1B, Dodgers (Rang 2022: 9)
Freeman's slump last year is more the result of other players having phenomenal seasons than a step back in his game. The first base hitter got off to a cautious start in 2022 with his new team, but as he turned things around, he never looked back. He hit .250 with three extra-base hits in the first eight games of the season, but from there he's slashed .329/411/521 with 44 doubles (he led the majors with 47) and 21 home runs. He finished in the top five of the National League MVP poll for the fourth time and received the honor in 2020.
No. 11- No. twenty
Juan Soto has dropped eight spots from last year's No. 4 ranking due to his underperformance on the board, at least by his standards. "Below average" for Soto was an .853 OPS with 27 home runs. There's no reason not to expect him to quickly move up this list. Sandy Alcantara, on the other hand, jumps an impressive 71 spots on the list thanks to a Cy Young Award-winning campaign in 2022, while Justin Verlander jumps 78 points. And Julio Rodríguez ranks 16th after his incredible AL rookie of the year season, in which he was the fastest player to hit 25 home runs and 25 steals in his career.
11. Trea Turner, SS, Filis (place 2022: 13)
12. Juan Soto, RF, Padres (Platz 2022: 4)
13. Sandy Alcantara, SP, Marlins (2022 Rank: 84)
14. Justin Verlander, SP, Mets (Rang 2022: 92)
15. Max Scherzer, SP, Mets (Rang 2022: 12)
16. Julio Rodriguez, CF, Mariners (Rangliste 2022: ohne Rangliste)
17. Bryce Harper, RF, Filis (2022 Rang: 5)
18. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Blue Jays (2022 rank: 8)
19. Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox (2022 rank: 22)
20. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves (2022 rank: 34)
Some big names at this level will have something to prove in the 2023 season. Fernando Tatis Jr., who fell from No. 3 to No. 26 last year, will be allowed to return after an 80-game suspension for violating the Program. MLB Drug Prevention and Treatment Suite. He will be the same. Electric Being the superstar we've grown accustomed to? Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who is down 21 spots from last year largely due to injuries, will look to stay healthy and be his dominant mound self for his new club, the Rangers. And superstar center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. also expects to be in good health next season after posting a .764 OPS in 119 games last year.
21. Francisco Lindor, SS, Mets (Platz 2022: 68)
22. Carlos Correa, SS, Gemini (Rank 2022:14)
23. José Altuve, 2B, Astros (Platz 2022: 28)
24. Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros (Rang 2022: 29)
25. Ronald Coin Jr., CF, Bravos
26. Fernando Tatis Jr., RF, Padres (Platz 2022: 3)
27. Corbin Burnes, SP, Brauer (Rating 2022: 24)
28. Jacob deGrom, SP, Rangers (Rang 2022: 7)
29. J. T. Realmuto, C, Filis (Rang 2022: 54)
30. Kyle Tucker, RF, Astros (Platz 2022: 30)
There are some notable rookies on the roster from this group: left-hander Carlos Rodón moves up from second in the top six in Cy Young voting and signs a six-year, $162 million contract with the Yankees and Dansby. Swanson only has one year of his career that earned him a seven-year, $177 million deal with the Cubs. Meanwhile, two star shortstops will attempt to return to the roster: New Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts dropped nine spots in 2022 and the Rangers' Corey Seager dropped 12 spots. Some elite starters at this level would love to do the same, as the Yankees' Gerrit Cole and the Phillies' Zack Wheeler suffered double-digit declines.
31. Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets (Rang 2022: 62)
32. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Priest (2022 Rank: 23)
33. Corey Seager, SS, Rangers (Platz 2022: 21)
34. Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays (Platz 2022: 32)
35. Zack Wheeler, SP, Filis (Rang 2022: 25)
36. Max Fried, SP, Bravos (place 2022: 48)
37. Gerrit Cole, SP, Yankees (Rang 2022: 16)
38. Carlos Rodon, SP, Yankees (Rangliste 2022: ohne Rangliste)
39. Dansby Swanson, SS, Cubs (2022 rank: unranked)
40. Jose Abreu, 1B, Astros (Platz 2022: 45)
No. 41- No. Fifty
Other notable names in this section to make the list after failing to earn a placement in 2022 include Orioles rising star Adleyrutschman, who debuted at No. 41 after placing second in the NBA Rookie of the Year poll. American League. Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil suddenly finds himself at 45th after leading the majors with a .326 batting average last season. And Andrés Giménez had a great year for Cleveland, finishing sixth in AL MVP voting after hitting an .837 OPS with 17 home runs, 20 steals and his first career Gold Glove.
41. Adleyrutschman, C, Orioles (2022 rank: unranked)
42. Will Smith, C, Dodgers (Rang 2022: 53)
43. Matt Olson, 1B, Bravos (Rank 2022: 26)
44. Kyle Schwarber, LF, Phillies (2022 Ranking: 80)
45. Jeff McNeil, 2B, Mets (2022 ranked: unranked)
46. Marcus Semien, 2B, Rangers (Rangliste 2022: 20)
47. Andres Gimenez, 2B, Guardians (Rangliste 2022: ohne Rangliste)
48. Byron Buxton, CF, Gemini (2022 Rank: 39)
49. George Springer, CF, Azulejos (Rang 2022: 33)
50. Julio Urías, SP, Dodgers (2022 Rank: 49)
FEMALE 51 - FEMALE. 60
Tons of young talent are making their top 100 debut here, including NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II, AL Cy Young Award runner-up Dylan Cease, third-ranked Alek Manoah and Major leader League Saves Emmanuel Class in this ranking. Mets closer Edwin Diaz is at that level, too, improving somewhat from his 57-save campaign in 2018 with the Mariners, who post a 1.31 ERA in 61 starts for New York. And don't forget Ray's phenom Wander Franco — he may have slipped from his ranking at 22nd, but he wasn't healthy for most of last season, and if he stays consistent in the field at 23rd , could go up. that list will grow considerably in the coming years.
51. Edwin Diaz, RP, Mets (2022 ranked: not ranked)
52. Emmanuel Class, PR, Guardians (2022 rank: unranked)
53. Michael Harris II, CF, Braves (2022 rank: unranked)
54. Brandon Nimmo, CF, Mets (2022 ranked: unranked)
55. Dylan Cease, SP, White Sox (2022 ranked: unranked)
56. Framber Valdez, SP, Astros (2022 rank: unranked)
57. Alek Manoah, SP, Blue Jays (2022 rank: unranked)
58. Wander Franco, SS, Rays (Platz 2022: 40)
59. Willy Adames, SS, Brauer (2022 Rank: 81)
60. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Piratas (Platz 2022: 43)
FEMALE 61 - FEMALE. 70
Many young stars are making their first top-100 appearances here, with Astros postseason hero Jeremy Peña making his No. 64 debut after a great rookie season for Houston, Braves rookie Spencer Strider , who finished second in the National League as Rookie of the Year Ballot, the Guardians' Steven Kwan proved to be a spark in Cleveland's rookie lineup, left-hander Shane McClanahan enjoyed a stellar performance on the mound for the Rays, Zac Gallen did the same for the D-backs and Nathaniel Lowe put together a great second. half for an outstanding performance for the Rangers.
61. Starling Mars, RF, Mets (Rang 2022: 41)
62. Randy Arozarena, LF, Rays (2022 Rank: 71)
63. Luis Arraez, INF, Marlins (2022 rank: unranked)
64. Jeremy Pena, SS, Astros (2022 ranked: unranked)
65. Spencer Strider, SP, Braves (2022 rank: unranked)
66. Steven Kwan, LF, Guardians (2022 ranked: unranked)
67. Luis Castillo, SP, Mariners (2022 rank: unranked)
68. Shane McClanahan, SP, Rays (2022 rank: unranked)
69. Zac Gallen, SP, D-back (2022 rank: unranked)
70. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rangers (2022 ranked: unranked)
WOMEN 71 - FEMALE. 80
Aaron Nola was a key part of the Phillies' surprise run to the World Series, reaching the 79th seed after being delisted in 2022. Astros right-hander Cristian Javier did the same for the Astros, though Houston's World Series run wasn't all that surprising. The other newcomers to this class are new Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras, who had another All-Star campaign in his senior year with the Cubs, and second baseman for the St. Louis Cubs. Louis, Tommy Edman and veteran Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who continues to put up big numbers at the start of his age-33 season.
71. Cedric Mullins, CF, Orioles (Platz 2022: 44)
72. Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (2022 Rank: 31)
73. Willson Contreras, C, Cardinals (2022 ranked: unranked)
74. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Yankees (2022 ranked: unranked)
75. Matt Chapman, 3B, Azulejos (Rank 2022: 83)
76. Shane Bieber, SP, Guardian (2022 rank: 37)
77. Brandon Woodruff, SP, Brewer (2022 Rank: 38)
78. Tommy Edman, 2B, Cardinals (2022 ranked: unranked)
79. Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies (2022 rank: unranked)
80. Cristian Javier, SP, Astros (2022 rank: unranked)
No. 81-No. 90
Clayton Kershaw made a significant jump from last year, moving up 12 spots to No. 81, after doing much better in 2022: He made the same number of starts (22) and pitched nearly the same number of innings (126 1/3 vs. 121 2/3) like last season, but his 2.28 ERA was better by more than one run. Christian Walker had a breakout year both on point and in the field, hitting 36 home runs and earning his first career Gold Glove award to move into the top 100. Alejandro Kirk had his own breakout season last year, hitting 14 home runs and posted a baseball benchmark 3.9 WAR to make the list 90th.
81. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers (Rang 2022: 93)
82. Devin Williams, RP, Brewers (2022 rank: unranked)
83. Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Mariners (2022 Rank: 65)
84. Sean Murphy, C, Braves (2022 ranked: unranked)
85. Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Azulejos (2022 ranking: unranked)
86. Luis Robert, CF, White Sox (2022 Rank: 50)
87. Eloy Jimenez, LF, White Sox (2022 ranked: unranked)
88. Christian Walker, 1B, D-back (2022 rank: unranked)
89. Ty France, INF, Mariners (2022 rank: unranked)
90. Alejandro Kirk, C, Azulejos (2022 ranking: unranked)
No. 91-No. 100
All but one of the players on this leaderboard are on this list after missing the cut in 2022. Néstor Cortés was a revelation for the Yankees, posting a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts. Bobby Witt Jr. hit 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases to finish fourth on the AL Rookie of the Year selection. Jazz Chisholm Jr. was injured for most of the season, but once in the lineup he was prolific, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 12 bases in 60 games. Yu Darvish topped a tough record 21 for the Padres with a 3.10 ERA in 194 2/3 innings. His rotation partner, Joe Musgrove, wasn't bad either, posting a career-high 2.93 ERA in 30 games.
91. Nestor Cortes, SP, Yankees (2022 ranked: not ranked)
92. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals (2022 rank: unranked)
93. Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2B/OF, Marlins (2022 rank: unranked)
94. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies (2022 ranked: unranked)
95. Yu Darvish, SP, Padres (2022 rank: unranked)
96. Joe Musgrove, SP, Padres (2022 rank: unranked)
97. Logan Webb, SP, Giants (2022 ranked: unranked)
98. Yandy Diaz, INF, Rays (2022 rank: unranked)
99. Adolis Garcia, OF, Rangers (2022 rank: unranked)
100. Giancarlo Stanton, OF/DH, Yankees (Platz 2022: 61)