Red Sox

Ranking the top 10 MLB second basemen for 2023

Red Sox

MLB is loaded with talented second basemen. But when it comes to naming the top players at the position, one star still stands above the rest.

Former MVP Jose Altuve's Hall-of-Fame career continued with a stellar 2022 season that ended with another World Series title. The 32-year-old has eight All-Star selections on his résumé and he remains the undisputed No. 1 second baseman in the game.

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After Altuve, the second basemen rankings are up for debate. There's reigning batting champions Jeff McNeil (New York Mets) and Luis Arraez (Miami Marlins), then there's 2022 breakout star Andres Gimenez (Cleveland Guardians). And don't forget about slugger Marcus Semien as he enters Year 2 with the Texas Rangers. There's no shortage of players vying for that No. 2 spot.

So, what does the top 10 look like? Here are the second basemen rankings ahead of the 2023 season.

10. Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 stats: .240/.321/.407, 12 HR, 52 RBI

You may have forgotten about Marte's fourth-place MVP finish in 2019. The switch-hitting utility man was incredible that season, though he's been unable to duplicate that output ever since. He was plagued by injuries after a strong start in 2021 and just did not look like himself in 2022. This is an important year for Marte as he looks to prove he's still an All-Star talent who's worthy of being considered one of the game's top second basemen.

9. Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

2022 stats: .247/.294/.409, 8 HR, 35 RBI (64 games)

A two-time All-Star, Albies would be near the top of this list had it not been for an injury-plagued 2022. He missed three months of the campaign due to a foot fracture and struggled in his return. If he can stay healthy this year and regain his 2021 form, you'll find him in the top five of next season's rankings.

 

8. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

2022 stats: .257/.310/.451, 24 HR, 76 RBI

Torres was an All-Star in his first two MLB seasons but struggled at the plate over his next two. Last year was sort of a bounce-back year for the Yankees infielder as he hit 28 doubles, 24 homers, and posted a .761 OPS while also making strides defensively. Now it's just a matter of whether the 26-year-old can do it consistently.

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Gleyber Torres will look to build off a bounce-back 2022 campaign.

7. Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs

2022 stats: .281/.327/.410, 10 HR, 55 RBI

Horner spent 2022 at shortstop but will move over to second base with the arrival of Dansby Swanson. That shouldn't be an issue as he was exceptional defensively last season and should be even better at a simpler position. Offensively, Hoerner can do a little bit of everything. He hardly strikes out (57 in 517 plate appearances last year), he has some pop, and he's a threat to steal 20+ bases.

6. Luis Arraez, Miami Marlins

2022 stats: .316/.375/.420, 8 HR, 49 RBI

Arraez won the American League batting title in 2022. Now he'll look to win it in the National League after being traded from the Minnesota Twins to the Marlins. What the 25-year-old lacks in power he significantly makes up for with his bat-to-ball skills and his remarkably low strikeout rate. He doesn't offer much else, but he doesn't really need to.

5. Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 stats: .221/.308/.383, 8 HR, 25 RBI (65 games)

Lowe missed most of last season due to injuries and looked like a shell of himself when he was able to take the field. Assuming he's healthy in 2023, he should return to form as one of the most feared hitters in the American League. Lowe was top-10 in MVP voting in 2020 and in 2021. In the latter season, he belted 39 homers with 99 RBI and posted a .863 OPS.

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Brandon Lowe hopes to return to form after an injury-plagued 2022.

4. Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers

2022 stats: .248/.304/.429, 26 HR, 83 RBI

Semien's debut season in Texas got off to a rocky start, but he made up for it by raking from June to October. The 32-year-old, who has two third-place MVP finishes, is arguably the best all-around second baseman in the game not named Jose Altuve when he has it all working. Consider him a dark-horse MVP candidate in 2023.

3. Jeff McNeil, New York Mets

2022 stats: .326/.382/.454, 9 HR, 62 RBI

McNeil is the reigning NL batting champ and is coming off a season in which he led all second basemen in the league in fWAR (5.9). He's proven to be an incredibly valuable, versatile player for the Mets since joining the team in 2018. He's no one-trick pony at the plate either as he hit 23 homers back in 2019. If he can find some of that power this year while contending for another batting title, he'll be in the MVP conversation.

2. Andres Gimenez, Cleveland Guardians

2022 stats: .297/.371/.466, 17 HR, 69 RBI

Gimenez was one of the surprise stars of the 2022 season, earning his first All-Star nod and finishing sixth in AL MVP voting. The 24-year-old did it all for Cleveland. He hit for power (.837 OPS), played stellar defense (Gold Glove), and was a pest on the basepaths (20 stolen bases). Can he repeat that success in 2023? We'll soon find out.

 
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Andres Gimenez was a breakout star for the Guardians last season.

1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

2022 stats: .300/.387/.533, 28 HR, 57 RBI

Altuve's age-32 season was one of his best yet, and that's saying a lot. He placed fifth in AL MVP voting after leading all second basemen in homers, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. His career numbers and accolades speak for themselves at this point. Altuve remains not just the top second baseman, but also one of the best all-around players in the entire game.