MLB Network's countdown of baseball's best players at each position came to a conclusion on Saturday night, with the final installment of the "Top 10 Right Now!" series featuring the game's top relief pitchers and shortstops.
The five-week program hosted by Brian Kenny used rankings based on player performance over the last two seasons, a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced data and traditional numbers and analysis by the MLB Network research team.
The series featured appearances from MLB Network on-air personalities and former Major Leaguers Eric Byrnes, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lowell, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Ron Darling, Jim Thome and Joe Girardi, as well as roundtable discussions with Kenny, president of SABR Vince Gennaro, the Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and MLB.com analyst Mike Petriello. Each episode also featured a fan-generated Top 10 Right Now list compiled via voting on MLB Network's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages using #Top10RightNow.
Below is a breakdown of this year's rankings results:
Top 10 relief pitchers right now
Craig Kimbrel doesn't currently have a team, but that doesn't matter for the purposes of these rankings given his dominant performance over the last two years. But if Josh Hader, Edwin Díaz and Blake Treinen can replicate their 2018 performances, they will challenge for the top spot a year from now.
Top 10 first basemen right now
Paul Goldschmidt is a human metronome: Over the last four seasons he has played in at least 155 games while batting a combined .310/.410/.538 with an average of 32 homers and finishing in the top 11 in NL MVP voting each year. He'll get a chance to build on a potential Hall of Fame resume in St. Louis this year.
Top 10 starting pitchers right now
Top 10 left fielders right now
Some might argue that J.D. Martinez is more of a designated hitter, but he did play 57 games in the outfield last year, and more than half of them came in left. And over the last two years he has hit an insane .319/.391/.655, with an average of 44 homers per year.
Top 10 right fielders right now
We know what you are thinking, Aaron Judge over Mookie Betts, after the season Betts just had?
But consider this: These lists are dictated by The Shredder, MLB Network's player rating formula, which looks back at the last two seasons and weights them evenly. Over the past two years ….
Judge: .282/.409/.584, 79 homers, 15 steals, 162 wRC+
Betts: .301/.388/.541, 56 homers, 56 steals, 143 wRC+
And while Betts is a stud on defense, Judge also rates highly in the outfield, with the third-most Defensive Runs Saved among right fielders in the last two years, which allowed him to hold Betts off for the top spot.
Top 10 catchers right now
There is a strong argument that J.T. Realmuto is the best catcher in the game right now, but Buster Posey still gets the edge, buoyed by a strong 2017 campaign that is still weighted heavily. Given recent trends, there is a very good chance that this is Posey's last year at the top.
Top 10 second basemen right now
Top 10 third basemen right now
This might be the most stacked position in baseball right now, and you can argue for about six different guys at No. 1.