Peter Appel’s Top 100 Players in Major League Baseball for 2023

The definitive list of the top 100 players in Major League Baseball right now heading into Opening Day in 2023.

Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MAY 09: Shohei Ohtani #17 and Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 09, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Welcome to my flawless top 100 list for the 2023 season. One must remember it’s flawless, in my opinion. My way of ranking players may differ from yours, and that’s okay!

The game of baseball is different from any other sport, but at the same time, we can draw similarities from the game of football.

How does one compare a defensive end to a quarterback? Well, the quarterback is the most critical position in football, so that’s typically not a fair comparison. Comparing a cornerback and a wide receiver is much more challenging. And yet, we see plenty of lists comparing the two on a top 100 list.

Baseball is different from any sport due to the role of the player. It isn’t easy to correctly evaluate a hard-throwing closer’s worth to that of a speedy outfielder. If we wanted to rank each player by WAR accurately, I would point you toward that leaderboard.

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What’s the fun in that? This list is subjective, but I believe these are the top 100 players in baseball moving forward to 2023.

I had the privilege of interviewing Joe Posnanski, the inspiration behind this list. He created the Baseball 100, a list of all-time top 100 baseball players. He used Tom Tango’s WAR calculations, among other stats, to list the greatest players in baseball history. As one can imagine, his list isn’t a WAR leaderboard. I used my formula to create this list. If I told you the formula, I might have to kill you. That’s an ode to Mr. Krabs from Spongebob, not a threat, just so we are clear.

My favorite quote from the interview with Joe is, “By the numbers, Ichiro didn’t compile the stats to be a top 100 player. But how is Ichiro Suzuki not one of the most impactful players in baseball history?”

Ichiro compiled 3,000 hits in his career, but he had over 1,000 in Japan before he came over as a 27-year-old. He wasn’t a top 100 player in MLB history in WAR or most statistics, but Joe felt he was a top 100 player. That’s his opinion, and I love him for that.

An all-time list is different than a current list. Their careers are over, while some players on this list are just starting. You may see some players that don’t have the service time compared to others, but they rank higher on this list.

I’m looking forward to 2023, while appreciating the player’s career, I value consistency over a long period. That’s greatness, in my eyes. Some players on this list haven’t had the privilege to develop a career yet, but if they appear on this list, I believe they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them.

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With all of that said, I’m a numbers guy. I believe that the analytics and traditional stats all tell a story about a player. Some players are due for regression based on some of our more advanced metrics, yet they find a way to perform at a high level. Some players have had bad luck, but the numbers indicate better days ahead.

Another note; I’m optimistic about health. I weighed each player’s injury concerns with a “glass half full approach”. I also didn’t dock a player if they are scheduled to miss time this season. Bryce Harper is a perfect example; just because he’s due to miss a chunk of the season doesn’t mean I’m dropping him on this list. With all that said, I value consistency, so if a player has been injured for multiple seasons in a row, I rank them accordingly.

This is my list. Feel free to disagree, and I welcome any criticism. Here’s my Twitter page; my DM’s are open. I welcome your hateful messages.

Just know I’ll fight to the end of time to prove my list is flawless.

Top 25 MLB Players in 2023

1. Shohei Ohtani (RHP/DH) – Los Angeles Angels

2. Mike Trout (OF) – Los Angeles Angels

3. Aaron Judge (RF) – New York Yankees

4. Mookie Betts (RF) – Los Angeles Dodgers

5. Bryce Harper (DH/RF) – Philadelphia Phillies

6. Juan Soto (RF) – San Diego Padres

7. Ronald Acuna Jr. (RF) – Atlanta Braves

8. Sandy Alcantara (RHP) – Miami Marlins

9. Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS/OF) – San Diego Padres

10. Jacob deGrom (RHP) – Texas Rangers

11. Manny Machado (3B) – San Diego Padres

12. Nolan Arenado (3B) – St. Louis Cardinals

13. Jose Ramirez (3B) – Cleveland Guardians

14. Francisco Lindor (SS) – New York Mets

15. Freddie Freeman (1B) – Los Angeles Dodgers

16. Corbin Burnes (RHP) – Milwaukee Brewers

17. Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – St. Louis Cardinals

18. Jose Altuve (2B) – Houston Astros

19. Trea Turner (SS) – Philadelphia Phillies

20. Yordan Alvarez (DH/LF) – Houston Astros

21. Julio Rodriguez (CF) – Seattle Mariners

22. Corey Seager (SS) – Texas Rangers

23. Carlos Correa (SS) – Minnesota Twins

24. Justin Verlander (RHP) – New York Mets

25. Kyle Tucker (RF) – Houston Astros

Top 26-100 Players in 2023

26. Austin Riley (3B) – Atlanta Braves

27. Max Scherzer (RHP) – New York Mets

28. Rafael Devers (3B) – Boston Red Sox

29. Xander Bogaerts (SS) – San Diego Padres

30. JT Realmuto (C) – Philadelphia Phillies

31. Alex Bregman (3B) – Houston Astros

32. Zack Wheeler (RHP) – Philadelphia Phillies

33. Pete Alonso (1B) – New York Mets

34. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B) – Toronto Blue Jays

35. Dylan Cease (RHP) – Chicago White Sox

36. Adley Rutschman (C) – Baltimore Orioles

37. Carlos Rodon (LHP) – New York Yankees

38. Gerrit Cole (RHP) – New York Yankees

39. Michael Harris Jr. (CF) – Atlanta Braves

40. Julio Urias (LHP) – Los Angeles Dodgers

41. Max Fried (LHP) – Atlanta Braves

42. Aaron Nola (RHP) – Philadelphia Phillies

43. Bo Bichette (SS) – Toronto Blue Jays

44. Shane Bieber (RHP) – Cleveland Guardians

45. Wander Franco (SS) – Tampa Bay Rays

46. Jeff McNeil (2B) – New York Mets

47. Spencer Strider (RHP) – Atlanta Braves

48. Marcus Semien (2B) – Texas Rangers

49. George Springer (RF) – Toronto Blue Jays

50. Luis Castillo (RHP) – Seattle Mariners

51. Matt Olson (1B) – Atlanta Braves

52. Brandon Nimmo (CF) – New York Mets

53. Andres Gimenez (2B) – Cleveland Guardians

54. Will Smith (C) – Los Angeles Dodgers

55. Framber Valdez (LHP) – Houston Astros

56. Shane McClanahan (LHP) – Tampa Bay Rays

57. Byron Buxton (CF) – Minnesota Twins

58. Daulton Varsho (OF/C) – Toronto Blue Jays

59. Tyler Glasnow (RHP) – Tampa Bay Rays

60. Sean Murphy (C) – Atlanta Braves

61. Cristian Javier (RHP) – Houston Astros

62. Zac Gallen (RHP) – Arizona Diamondbacks

63. Dansby Swanson (SS) – Chicago Cubs

64. Edwin Diaz (RHP) – New York Mets

65. Willy Adames (SS) – Milwaukee Brewers

66. Bryan Reynolds (OF) – Pittsburgh Pirates

67. Tommy Edman (SS) – St. Louis Cardinals

68. Emmanuel Clase (RHP) – Cleveland Guardians

69. Steven Kwan (LF) – Cleveland Guardians

70. Jose Abreu (1B) – Houston Astros

71. Bobby Witt Jr (SS) – Kansas City Royals

72. Matt Chapman (3B) – Toronto Blue Jays

73. Devin Williams (RHP) – Milwaukee Brewers

74. Luis Arraez (2B) – Miami Marlins

75. Nico Hoerner (2B) – Chicago Cubs

76. Willson Contreras (C) – St. Louis Cardinals

77. Alek Manoah (RHP) – Toronto Blue Jays

78. Jeremy Pena (SS) – Houston Astros

79. Luis Robert (CF) – Chicago White Sox

80. Ketel Marte (2B) – Arizona Diamondbacks

81. Alejandro Kirk (C) – Toronto Blue Jays

82. Kevin Gausman (RHP) – Toronto Blue Jays

83. Tim Anderson (SS) – Chicago White Sox

84. Logan Webb (RHP) – San Francisco Giants

85. Corbin Carroll (OF) – Arizona Diamondbacks

86. Gunnar Henderson (3B/SS) – Baltimore Orioles

87. Cedric Mullins (CF) – Baltimore Orioles

88. Starling Marte (RF) – New York Mets

89. Clayton Kershaw (LHP) – Los Angeles Dodgers

90. Brandon Woodruff (RHP) – Milwaukee Brewers

91. Kris Bryant (LF) – Colorado Rockies

92. Triston McKenzie (RHP) – Cleveland Guardians

93. Kyle Schwarber (LF) – Philadelphia Phillies

94. Harrison Bader (CF) – New York Yankees

95. Jazz Chisholm (CF) – Miami Marlins

96. Ryan Helsley (RHP) – St. Louis Cardinals

97. Anthony Rendon (3B) – Los Angeles Angles

98. Vinnie Pasquantino (1B) – Kansas City Royals

99. Ozzie Albies (2B) – Atlanta Braves

100. Cal Quantrill (RHP) – Cleveland Guardians