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.
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.
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.