The Top 10 Best Players in the AL West for the 2024 Season

From a World Series-winning double play duo, to a future first ballot Hall of Famer in Mike Trout, the AL West is loaded with star talent.

Mike Trout
HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 10: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a three run home run in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 10, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The AL West often feels like an extremely slept on division. Sure, it doesn’t have the depth of team talent as the AL East. But with three teams that won 88+ games a season ago, filled with star-studded talent, and all returning with imposing rosters and high aspirations, it shapes up to be a tightly-knit division race once again.

Even with the best player in the world changing leagues in Shohei Ohtani, there is no shortage of stars in this cohort. 

So, let’s rank their position players entering 2024.

10. Alex Bregman

Entering his walk year, Bregman faces a crucial season when it comes to determining his market next winter. It appears that he is no longer the 8 fWAR player that he once was in 2018 and 2019.

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All of that said, Bregman continues to be an imposing bat year after year that draws an abundance of walks (12.7% BB% in 2023) and seldomly strikes out (12% K% in 2023). He deposited 25 long balls and drove in 103, while still posting a well above-average 125 WRC+. 

Additionally, he is still playing quality third base defense, posting five DRS for the year.

9. J.P. Crawford

He still may not be a household name to some, but when you put up a 5 fWAR season (4.9 to be exact) and rank as a top 15 hitter in all of baseball with a 134 WRC+ like Crawford did, you are going to crack the top-10.

Crawford has always had a keen eye at the plate, but in 2023 he walked a career high 14.7% of the time. Only three players walked more often: Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber and Ohtani. And of those three, only Soto struck out less than Crawford’s 19.6% K%.

Truthfully, Crawford’s defense was the only thing keeping him from ranking even higher on this list (-3 DRS, -8 OAA). Had he played the Gold Glove level defense that he displayed in 2020 and 2021, there’s a real world where we’re sitting here talking about a top-five MVP finish for him.

8. Adolis Garcia 

Garcia racked up the traditional counting stats categories, ranking within the top-10 in baseball in home runs (38), RBI (107) and Runs (108). He had his best season by every account this past year, including boosting his BB% above 10% and slugging over .500.

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Defensively he is phenomenal, taking home his first Gold Glove after sporting 6 DRS for the year. Truthfully, he has an even better arm than glove, ranking in the 98th percentile of the league in Arm Value and the 95th percentile in Arm Strength (per Baseball Savant).

And all of that doesn’t even include his electric postseason play in which he hit .323 with eight home runs and an 1.108 OPS to help the Rangers to their first ever World Series title.

7. Kyle Tucker

These Astros hitters have a theme, don’t they? Flat out mash and don’t strike out. 

Enter Tucker, who put his inaugural season struggles behind him (in what was a very small sample size) and hasn’t looked back since. Tucker missed a third-straight 30-home run season by a lone round tripper. Nevertheless, a career high fWAR (4.9) and a 140 WRC+, a Silver Slugger and a top five AL MVP finish holds more weight anyway.

2023 was the second-straight year that Tucker finished top-15 in MVP voting, and the third-consecutive year he’s finished within the top-20. The only thing that held him back was his defense taking a surprising dip this past season (-4 OAA) after establishing himself as one of the game’s best defensive corner outfielders over the previous three seasons, highlighted by a Gold Glove in 2022.

He may not be flashy, but Tucker is one of the best hitters on the planet. And there is nothing that suggests that won’t continue.

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6. Marcus Semien

It’s amazing how well both of the massive free agent splashes that the Rangers made on position players have worked out. After a sluggish first two months in Arlington, Semien has been everything the Rangers wanted and more. 

From June 1 until the end of 2022, Semien posted an .810 OPS with a 125 WRC+. In 2023, he led the American League in hits, adding 29 bombs and an .826 OPS. All of that paired with ranking within the top-10 in the league in OAA (15), Semien finished with a bronze medal in the AL MVP race for the second time in three years and the third time in five years.

Semien really is a complete player. Power, defense, speed (stole 14 bases but ranks in the 85th percentile of the league in Sprint Speed per Baseball Savant), and a quality plate approach. He strikes out a miniscule 14.6% of the time, doesn’t chase and seldom swings and misses. Chris Young and crew really struck gold on that signing.

5. Jose Altuve

The best second baseman of the last decade just continues his tirade. After turning in his best offensive season in 2022 highlighted by a whopping 161 WRC+, Altuve followed it up by slashing .311/.393/.522/.915 at age 33. He is also now walking more over the last two years than ever before while continuing to keep his strikeout rate under 20%.

Altuve played just 90 games after getting hit on the wrist by a pitch in the World Baseball Classic back in March, cutting his 2023 campaign nearly in half. Despite all of that, he posted a 4 fWAR.

The one caveat here is that Altuve’s defense really deteriorated in 2023 (-13 DRS, -3 OAA) and some of his peripherals raise an eyebrow. Altuve has never blown up exit velocity readings, so ranking low in those areas is the norm for him. The issue is his xBA dropped by an alarming 52%, and his xwOBA decreased by 34%. 

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In all likelihood, Altuve still has a few very impactful seasons left in him, but ZiPS is projecting 2024 as the beginning of a slow decline for him, and some of his data backs that up as he enters his age 34 season.

4. Yordan Alvarez

There is a real argument that he is the single best hitter on the planet. Alvarez has put up a ridiculous WRC+ of 185 and 170 the last two seasons. Not even Ohtani (142 in 2022, 180 in 2023) can say that he’s put up the type of back-to-back years that Alvarez has. Aaron Judge is the only one who surpasses him in that category. But even Judge strikes out a lot more than Alvarez does.

And Alvarez hasn’t even played a full season over the last two years. He appeared in 115 in 2023 and 135 in 2022, and he still combined for 68 home runs and an 11.5 fWAR in that time (as a DH at that). If Alvarez stays on the field, 50 bombs is by no means out of the question for him.

But unfortunately for Alvarez, he doesn’t run well at all and plays virtually no defense (-3 OAA across 40 games in left field in 2023). The lack of three tools on the five-tool player scale is what separates him from ranking at No. 4 as opposed to No. 1. 

3. Mike Trout

In 2023, Trout had his career worst season… that consisted of a .263/.367/.490/.858 slash line and a 134 WRC+. That’s his career worst season. It’s unbelievable.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about Trout these days because he’s on a non-competitive team and has had a long history of injuries. But he is still the modern day Mickey Mantle and one of the game’s elites.

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That being said, Trout hasn’t played 130 games since he won his third MVP in 2019. He has played 140 games once since 2017, and he hasn’t played over 140 games since 2016. And not being on the field does ding him a bit in terms of his ranking.

If he plays 130 or more games in 2024, assuming he continues to produce the way he has throughout his 13-year career, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be sitting at the top of the throne on this list a year from now.

2. Julio Rodriguez

Entering his age-23 season, Rodriguez is one of the faces of baseball. Not just from his fiery passion, youthful exuberance and the million dollar smile. But with his results to back it up.

After a 25-25 season in home runs and stolen bases as a 21-year-old rookie, Rodriguez went for a 30-30 season in 2023, corralled over 30 and 100 in the home runs/RBI categories, while also posting just shy of a 6-fWAR season (5.8). His August set the world on fire, slashing .429/.474/.724/1.198 with 45 hits, seven home runs and 11 stolen bases.

Defensively he may be even better. Rodriguez posted 12 OAA in 2023, ranking third among all big league outfielders. That placed him in the 97th percentile of the league after his 8 OAA in 2022 slotted him in the 95th percentile (per Baseball Savant).

Is that not enough? How about the fact that through age-22 Rodriguez’s resume consists of two All-Star Games, an AL Rookie of the Year, a pair of Silver Sluggers, and two top seven MVP finishes?

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Rodriguez is a true five tool player. And he is just scratching the surface on the type of player he can become moving forward. 

1. Corey Seager

Had Seager not missed 43 games this year, there is a real chance he would have been hoisting the AL MVP trophy rather than finishing runner-up. 

33 home runs, a .327 batting average, leading the AL with 42 doubles, a 1.013 OPS and a 169 WRC+? Paired with a 6.1 fWAR in 119 games? Yeah, Seager earned this one.

Seager doesn’t punch out much (16.9% K%), draws his walks and plays clean defense at shortstop (73rd percentile in OAA). He has endured a somewhat lengthy injury history in his own right, but when he is on the field he is unstoppable, especially at the plate.

Seager, much like Semien, is giving the Rangers everything and more that they could’ve hoped for when he inked that 10-year, $325 million deal.