MLB Network’s Top 10 Players Right Now at every position


5:12 AM UTC

MLB Network kicked off its annual tradition of ranking the “Top 10 Players Right Now” at each position on Jan. 10 when it rolled out its list of the game’s best relief pitchers in the first installment of 10 weeknight specials.

Using rankings based on past player performance, a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced data and traditional numbers, and analysis by the MLB Network research team, “The Shredder” gave us its input (output?) on which players are the 10 best at their positions right now.

Here’s the full schedule of when each position ranking will be unveiled:

Wednesday: Starting pitchers
Thursday: Catchers

Here’s a look at the lists so far:

Trea Turner, who signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Phillies this offseason, will enter 2023 as the No. 1 shortstop, per MLB Network. He checked in at No. 2 last season, behind only Fernando Tatis Jr., who has shifted to right field for the purposes of these rankings. Three of the top six shortstops will be playing for a new team in 2023, with Turner, Xander Bogaerts (11 years, $280 million with the Padres) and Dansby Swanson (seven years, $177 million with the Cubs) all inking big deals this winter. Meanwhile, Carlos Correa — who checks in at No. 2 — is returning to the Twins after a chaotic offseason.

1. Trea Turner, PHI (Last year: 2)
2. Carlos Correa, MIN (3)
3. Xander Bogaerts, SD (4)
4. Corey Seager, TEX (5)
5. Francisco Lindor, NYM (9)
6. Dansby Swanson, CHC (Not ranked)
7. Bo Bichette, TOR (7)
8. Willy Adames, MIL (NR)
9. Tim Anderson, CWS (8)
10. Wander Franco, TB (10)

Jose Altuve returns to the top spot at second base after slipping to No. 4 in last season’s rankings. He’s followed by Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil, who jumped seven spots to No. 2, and Guardians breakout sensation Andrés Giménez, who debuts on the list at No. 3. Last year’s top second baseman Ketel Marte remains on the list, though he dropped seven places.

1. Jose Altuve, HOU (Last year: 4)
2. Jeff McNeil, NYM (9)
3. Andrés Giménez, CLE (Not ranked)
4. Marcus Semien, TEX (2)
5. Brandon Lowe, TB (3)
6. Jorge Polanco, MIN (7)
7. Brendan Donovan, STL (NR)
8. Ketel Marte, ARI (1)
9. Kolten Wong, SEA (NR)
10. Gleyber Torres, NYY (NR)

This was one of the closest battles for the top spot, with Manny Machado narrowly edging out José Ramírez, who was No. 1 on last year’s list. Despite dropping out of the top spot, it was certainly nothing Ramírez did (or didn’t do) in 2022. The Guardians superstar finished fourth in AL MVP voting, marking the fourth time in the past six seasons he’s cracked the top 5. Over the past two seasons, Ramírez averaged 32 homers, 114 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and 38 doubles. But Machado assumes the crown following his NL MVP runner-up finish. The six-time All-Star racked up 32 homers, 102 RBIs and a 159 OPS+ last season.

1. Manny Machado, SD (Last year: 7)
2. José Ramírez, CLE (1)
3. Austin Riley, ATL (NR)
4. Rafael Devers, BOS (2)
5. Nolan Arenado, STL (8)
6. Alex Bregman, HOU (3)
7. Justin Turner, BOS (4)
8. Max Muncy, LAD (No. 4 1B)
9. Yandy Díaz, TB (NR)
10. DJ LeMahieu, NYY (NR)

Fresh off winning the 2022 NL MVP Award, Paul Goldschmidt leaps Freddie Freeman for the top overall spot at first base. Freeman remains No. 2 at the position, which saw six of last year’s top-8 players return to the list in ’23. That said, there are four newcomers rounding out the top 10 at first base.

1. Paul Goldschmidt, STL (Last year: 5)
2. Freddie Freeman, LAD (1)
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR (2)
4. Jose Abreu, HOU (8)
5. Pete Alonso, NYM (6)
6. Matt Olson, ATL (3)
7. Ty France, SEA (Not ranked)
8. Nathaniel Lowe, TEX (NR)
9. Luis Arraez, MIN (NR)
10. Rhys Hoskins, PHI (NR)

Mariners phenom Julio Rodríguez wasted no time establishing himself as one of the game’s top players — let alone center fielders — in his sensational rookie season, but he checks in at No. 3 on this list for the time being. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year is one spot behind Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, while Angels superstar Mike Trout maintains his hold on the No. 1 ranking. Buxton continues to flash a remarkable all-around skill set when healthy, but he’s played in 100 games just once in his eight-year career. Beyond that trio, Brandon Nimmo shifts from being a top-10 left fielder last year to a top-5 center fielder this season.

1. Mike Trout, LAA (Last year: 1)
2. Byron Buxton, MIN (3)
3. Julio Rodríguez, SEA (Not ranked)
4. Brandon Nimmo, NYM (No. 6 LF)
5. Michael Harris II, ATL (NR)
6. Bryan Reynolds, PIT (4)
7. Cedric Mullins, BAL (7)
8. Luis Robert, CWS (5)
9. Mike Yastrzemski, SF (NR)
10. Chas McCormick, HOU (NR)

This is one of the most stacked position groups — and that’s with last year’s No. 1 right fielder (Juan Soto) being moved to left field for these purposes. Though nothing is official yet, MLB Network is projecting the Padres, who signed shortstop Xander Bogaerts this offseason, to shift Fernando Tatis Jr. to right field once his suspension is over and slide Soto back to left field where he began his MLB career. But even without Soto in the mix, the top three spots are held by MVP winners: Aaron Judge (2022 AL MVP), Mookie Betts (’18 AL MVP) and Bryce Harper (’15 and ’21 NL MVP).

1. Aaron Judge, NYY (Last year: 4)
2. Mookie Betts, LAD (5)
3. Bryce Harper, PHI (2)
4. Kyle Tucker, HOU (6)
5. Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL (3)
6. George Springer, TOR (No. 2 CF)
7. Starling Marte, NYM (No. 6 CF)
8. Teoscar Hernández, SEA (8)
9. Fernando Tatis Jr., SD (No. 1 SS)
10. Hunter Renfroe, LAA (NR)

As previously mentioned, these rankings operated under the projection that the Padres will shift Soto — last year’s No. 1 right fielder in these rankings — to left field to make room for Tatis in right. Yet Soto does not hold the top spot in left field entering 2023. That honor instead goes to Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez, who split time last season between left field and designated hitter. Whether the result of position switches or breakout seasons, seven of the 10 left fielders in this year’s rankings are newcomers.

1. Yordan Alvarez, HOU (Last year: Not ranked)
2. Juan Soto, WSH (No. 1 RF)
3. Kyle Schwarber, PHI (5)
4. Taylor Ward, LAA (NR)
5. Randy Arozarena, TB (No. 10 RF)
6. Steven Kwan, CLE (NR)
7. Tyler O’Neill, STL (7)
8. Michael Brantley, HOU (4)
9. Ian Happ, CHC (NR)
10. Eloy Jiménez, CWS (NR)

Edwin Díaz, who hadn’t made the list since checking in at No. 4 entering 2019, not only returns to the top 10, but takes over the top spot following his remarkable 2022 campaign. He’s joined by five other newcomers, while Emmanuel Clase moved up two spots to No. 2.

1. Edwin Díaz, NYM (Last year: Not ranked)
2. Emmanuel Clase, CLE (4)
3. Devin Williams, MIL (3)
4. Evan Phillips, LAD (NR)
5. Jhoan Duran, MIN (NR)
6. Ryan Pressly, HOU (5)
7. Andrés Muñoz, SEA (NR)
8. Liam Hendriks, CWS (2)
9. Jason Adam, TB (NR)
10. Ryan Helsley, STL (NR)

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