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

February 3rd, 2023

MLB Network continued its annual tradition of ranking the “Top 10 Players Right Now” at each position.

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.

The 10-show rollout concluded with the top catchers being announced on Feb. 2

Here’s a look at the list for every position:

Top 10 catchers

J.T. Realmuto was the No. 1 catcher on this list entering last season -- and he went out and showed exactly why in 2022. He flashed his all-around talent by racking up 22 homers and 21 stolen bases, joining Ivan Rodriguez as the only catchers in AL/NL history with a 20-20 season. While Realmuto remains a constant at the top, there was plenty of change behind him, with Will Smith taking over the No. 2 spot and five new catchers joining the list, including Orioles phenom Adley Rutschman.


1. J.T. Realmuto, PHI (Last year: 1)
2. Will Smith, LAD (3)
3. Adley Rutschman, BAL (Not ranked)
4. Sean Murphy, ATL (7)
5. Willson Contreras, STL (4)
6. Alejandro Kirk, TOR (NR)
7. Travis d’Arnaud, ATL (NR)
8. Salvador Perez, KC (5)
9. Danny Jansen, TOR (NR)
10. Tyler Stephenson, CIN (NR)

Top 10 starting pitchers

There was plenty of shakeup in the starting pitcher rankings, with last year’s No. 1 (Jacob deGrom) swapping spots with last year’s No. 9 (Corbin Burnes). Outside of those two big moves, the top 10 features six newcomers, including reigning Cy Young winners Justin Verlander (AL) and Sandy Alcantara (NL).


1. Corbin Burnes, MIL (Last year: 9)
2. Justin Verlander, NYM (Not ranked)
3. Carlos Rodon, NYY (NR)
4. Max Scherzer, NYM (3)
5. Sandy Alcantara, MIA (NR)
6. Shohei Ohtani, LAA (NR)
7. Max Fried, ATL (NR)
8. Zack Wheeler, PHI (6)
9. Jacob deGrom, TEX (1)
10. Julio Urias, LAD (NR)

Top 10 shortstops

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)

Top 10 second basemen

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)

Top 10 third basemen

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)

Top first basemen

Fresh off winning the 2022 NL MVP Award, leaps 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)

Top 10 center fielders

Mariners phenom 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 , while Angels superstar 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)

Top 10 right fielders

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: (2022 AL MVP), (’18 AL MVP) and  (’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)

Top 10 left fielders

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 , 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, SD (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)

Top 10 relief pitchers

, 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 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)