Top 10 Right Now Series: Part 1

As we inch closer to the much anticipated start of the Major League Baseball season, MLB Network has started doing its yearly “Top 10 Right Now” shows. 5 Saturdays in a row, viewers can watch an hour-long breakdown of the top 10 players at each position. The past couple of years, I have decided to make my own lists to compare it to the ones “The Shredder” (analytical algorithm that spits out the top 10 at each position for the network’s lists) makes. The Shredder is solely based on numbers, mostly complicated saber metric numbers, both from the players’ past and projecting forward. The criteria that I base my lists off is more intuitive, just from watching the games (don’t get me wrong, I love analytical baseball stats, but due to time constraints I refrain from using them for this exercise). The first two lists I will do are second base and third base; one very deep position, and the other very top heavy.

Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now (according to Nathan White):

  1. Jose Altuve, Astros
  2. DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
  3. Ozzie Albies, Braves
  4. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
  5. Whit Merrifield, Royals
  6. Robinson Cano, Mets
  7. Scooter Gennett, Reds
  8. Jonathan Schoop, Twins
  9. Brian Dozier, Nationals
  10. Starlin Castro, Marlins

Just Missed: Rougned Odor, Rangers; Jed Lowrie, Mets; Joey Wendle, Rays; Kolten Wong, Cardinals

Just a few disclaimers for this list; I counted Javy Baez as a shortstop, seeing as he will most likely be the everyday man there for the Cubbies. I made this list before DJ LeMahieu signed with the Yanks, so in all likelihood, Gleyber will be playing short and/or be used as a utility man. And finally, some of the guys that we recognize as utility players, I kept off. I tried to get as many “true” second basemen on here as I could (utility players would include guys like Ben Zobrist, Jed Lowrie, and Josh Harrison). As for the list itself, Altuve was an easy pick for #1, DJ has always flown under the radar but is an excellent hitter with good defensive skills, Albies and Torres burst onto the scene, and are very high based mostly on projection. Whit is a guy, like DJ, that flies under the radar, but he can do it all at 2nd. Spots 6-10 were a little tough for me. Cano and Gennett are both very good left handed power hitters, but the defense lacks a bit. Schoop dropped off significantly after the trade to the Brewers, but give him 500+ at bats and he will find himself at the top again very soon. Dozier and Castro are very similar in my opinion. Both are inconsistent to a degree, but both have very good bat to ball skills. This position is very top heavy.

Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now:

  1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
  2. Alex Bregman, Astros
  3. Kris Bryant, Cubs
  4. Jose Ramirez, Indians
  5. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
  6. Justin Turner, Dodgers
  7. Matt Chapman, Athletics
  8. Josh Donaldson, Braves
  9. Mike Moustakas, FA
  10. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

Just Missed: Miguel Andujar, Yankees; Travis Shaw, Brewers; Rafael Devers, Red Sox; Kyle Seager, Mariners

Third base is in a clear golden era right now. There are stars up and down this list, but I think pound for pound, the best at this position is none other than Nolan Arenado. The man is a wizard with the glove, can hit for average, hits for massive power (I don’t want to hear it about Coors Field), and can carry a team for long stretches at a time. Alex Bregman had a breakout year in 2018 and really established himself as a star with his power numbers spiking, and his arm coming into play. Kris Bryant came off a down year for his standards, but a lot of that has to do with his nagging shoulder injury that really affected his power numbers, and ultimately, the number of games he played in. Jose Ramirez and Anthony Rendon really showed us what they could do with the bat in 2018, after sort of lingering around the bottom 10 at this position in years past. Justin Turner, once off the DL, showed us, yet again, how much of an impact he can make in the middle of that Dodger’s order. Matt Chapman had a special, special 2018. We had heard about the defense, but now we saw just how good he can be with the glove, and the bat. Josh Donaldson has been plagued by injuries the past few years, before which he was perennially the top man at this position. A fresh 1 year deal to play in a nice hitter’s park in Atlanta should be just what the doctor ordered (Oh, and stay healthy). Mike Moustakas has been the “steady-eddy” at this position for years now. Nothing but consistency, good defense, and a left handed power stroke from this guy. Rounding out the top 10 is an interesting choice I believe. Matt Carpenter, with the Goldy addition, looks like the everyday 3rd baseman for the Cardinals now. We know what he can do with the bat when he’s hot (one of the best hitters in the game), but his trouble throwing the ball at times could come into play now that he plays across the diamond full time.

To check out the MLB Network lists, click on the link provided below.

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