Hitter Power Rankings has a new No. 1

April 28th, 2023

The early-season leaderboards always feature a mix of both familiar and surprising names.

The same is true of our latest Hitter Power Rankings, which include five holdovers from our previous edition and five new faces. It remains to be seen which of these hot starters have staying power over the course of a six-month season, but at the moment, these are the best of the best with the bat.

Here are the results from our voters, who took into account both track record and recent performance in making their selections. All stats are updated through Wednesday’s games.

1. , Angels (Last poll: 2)
Trout was second behind Aaron Judge in both of our first two 2023 polls, and now he’s got the top spot. As usual, Trout’s consistent brilliance at the plate is hard to fathom. At age 31, he is slashing .311/.415/.578 (173 OPS+), compared with a nearly identical career line of .303/.415/.587 (176 OPS+).

2. , Braves (not ranked)
He’s baaaaack. Acuña was one of the absolute best players in the sport before sustaining a serious knee injury midway through the 2021 season. He wasn’t quite the same after returning last year but is having no such issues in ‘23. Acuña entered Thursday leading the NL in hits (37), runs (22), total bases (58) and steals (13), while batting .363/.449/.569. He seems like a serious 40-40 threat again.

3. , Dodgers (not ranked)
Let Muncy’s season be a lesson in how quickly one can shed a “slow start.” Through nine games, he was 4-for-33 (.121) with one homer. Over his next 13 games before going on the paternity list on Tuesday, he went 14-for-38 (.368) with 10 big flies to grab the Major League lead (11).

4. , Mariners (not ranked)
As extreme as Kelenic’s struggles were over his first two big league seasons (a .168 average and .589 OPS), he is still only 23 years old. And there is a reason he was a top-10 overall Draft pick and consensus top-10 prospect. Now Seattle is being rewarded for its patience. With a new swing paying dividends, Kelenic homered in three straight games from last Saturday through Tuesday and entered Thursday leading the AL in slugging (.688).

5. , Blue Jays (9)
If Chapman’s first season in Toronto was a bit of a disappointment, his follow-up has been anything but. Thanks in part to a revamped approach, the third baseman began Thursday with AL leads in average (.364), OBP (.446), OPS+ (207) and total bases (58). That’s opportune timing for one of the biggest names in next offseason’s free-agent class.

6. , Blue Jays (4)
The past week has been eventful for Vlad Jr., who arrived in the Bronx for a series and firmly reiterated his intent to never play for the Yankees. That, of course, led to Yankees fans serenading him with boos, but that hardly bothered Guerrero. He homered twice in the series, helping Toronto take two out of three.

7. , Marlins (5)
The man is just a hit machine. He won the AL batting title in 2022, and following an offseason trade to Miami, he’s in early position to win the NL batting title in ‘23. Arraez has a .421 average, with 10 multi-hit games. He’s batting .386 against fastballs, .467 against breaking balls and .471 against offspeed pitches.

8. , Rays (not ranked)
Reminder: He only turned 22 years old on March 1. At an age when most players are still in the Minors -- or even college -- Franco is playing his third Major League season and thriving for a team that has been the best in the Majors so far. The switch-hitter has a 160 OPS+ and entered Thursday leading the Majors with 12 doubles.

9. Phillies (not ranked)
Amid all the big names on the roster, it’s Marsh who has been the Phillies' best hitter -- and best overall player -- in the early going. Acquired from the Angels at last year’s Trade Deadline to fill a hole in center field, Marsh made some key adjustments at the plate this offseason that led to a .351/.435/.703 slash line over his first 23 games.

10. , Yankees (1)
The king of the Hitter Power Rankings going back to his historic 2022 campaign, Judge led our first two polls of ‘23 before a slump nearly dropped him out of the top 10 this time around. The reigning AL MVP was stuck in a 5-for-34 (.152) stretch before a three-hit, two-double game on Wednesday -- his 31st birthday -- boosted his slugging percentage back to .522.

Also receiving votes: Randy Arozarena (Rays), Brandon Nimmo (Mets), Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals), James Outman (Dodgers), Yordan Alvarez (Astros), Yandy Díaz (Rays), Patrick Wisdom (Cubs), Sean Murphy (Braves), Corbin Carroll (D-backs), Mauricio Dubón (Giants), Masataka Yoshida (Red Sox), Adolis García (Rangers), Anthony Volpe (Yankees)

Voters: David Adler, Brett Blueweiss, Paul Casella, Doug Gausepohl, Thomas Harrigan, Sarah Langs, Travis Miller, Ricardo Montes de Oca, Brian Murphy, Efrain Ruiz, Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru, Andrew Simon, David Venn