Second base isn’t the deepest position in MLB, but there sure are some studs at the position. There are World Series champions, future World Series champions, and pure talent at second base. We believe these are the top 10 second basemen for 2023. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Brandon Lowe – Tampa Bay Rays
After a monster 2021 in which Lowe posted an .863 OPS (140 OPS+) with 39 home runs and 31 doubles in 615 plate appearances, 28-year-old Brandon Lowe had a very injury riddled 2022 season. Lowe only appeared in 65 games in 2022, posting a .691 OPS (102 OPS+) with only eight home runs and ten doubles in 266 plate appearances. Hopefully, Lowe can eventually return to where he was in 2021, but it’s not looking too good for the Rays second baseman’s future.
Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
After the first two years of Torres’ career, he’s taken a bit of a step back, but he’s still been a good baseball player. In 2022, Torres posted a .761 OPS (114 OPS+) with 24 home runs and 28 doubles in 572 plate appearances. Gleyber is looking to be the everyday second baseman for the Yankees in 2023, and even though he’s only an honorable mention, we expect him to make the most of it.
Jorge Polanco – Minnesota Twins
After a career year in 2021, in which Polanco posted an .826 OPS (125 OPS+) with 33 home runs and 35 doubles in 644 plate appearances, he took a bit of a step back in 2022. Polanco did miss about two months with an injury but still recorded 445 plate appearances, in which he posted a .751 OPS (117 OPS+) with only 16 home runs and 16 doubles. If Polanco can stay healthy this year, a middle infield of him and Carlos Correa would be fantastic, but his main concern is staying on the field and playing at a consistent level.
10. Ozzie Albies – Atlanta Braves
Ozzie Albies missed a bunch of time due to injury in 2022, and the Braves missed his production. In his last healthy season (2021), Albies posted a .799 OPS (108 OPS+) with 30 home runs and 40 doubles in 686 plate appearances. As a switch hitter, Albies’ splits are a bit of a concern. In 2021, Albies posted a fantastic .940 OPS vs. LHP while only posting a .749 OPS vs. RHP. If he can figure out what to do with his swing and stay healthy, the Braves might have a future superstar on their hands, as Albies is only 26. But right now, he’s going to give them the solid production they need to compete.
9. Kolten Wong – Seattle Mariners
It’s no mystery why the Seattle Mariners, who will try and contend in 2023, traded for 32-year-old Kolten Wong. The 2x gold glover has had a solid career in MLB, and now he will try and win a ring in Seattle. In 2022, Wong posted a .770 OPS (118 OPS+) with 15 home runs and 24 doubles in 497 plate appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers. At the plate, Wong is nothing more than a good hitter who will get you what you need. But in the field, Wong is still among the best. He’s going to fit perfectly in a talented lineup that consists of J.P. Crawford and all-star Ty France.
8. Jake Cronenworth – San Diego Padres
“The Crone Zone,” as Padres fans call him, might not be the everyday second baseman in San Diego anymore, but he’s still going to find a way to be super productive. Cronenworth will likely slide over to first base with the addition of SS Xander Bogaerts, but he still fits right in on this list. In 2022, Cronenworth posted a .722 OPS (111 OPS+) with 17 home runs and 30 doubles in 684 plate appearances playing second base for the Padres. But where Cronenworth shines is his defense, which at first base won’t shine as much as it did at second base, which is why he ranks right below his teammate.
7. Ha-Seong Kim – San Diego Padres
Ha-Seong Kim, who will most likely be the everyday second baseman for San Diego, ranks just above his teammate Jake Cronenworth (see above). In his first full year in the majors (2022), Kim posted a .708 OPS (OPS+) with 11 home runs and 29 doubles. While Kim may not have much pop, second base isn’t a position where a team would need that. Players like Ozzie Albies (see above) and Marcus Semien are exceptions. Like his aforementioned teammate, Kim shines in the field, arguably the best fielding second baseman in the NL. We expect more consistent production from Ha-Seong Kim in 2023.
6. Ketel Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
Ketel Marte hasn’t been the same player since his MVP caliber season in 2019, in which Marte posted a ridiculous .981 OPS (149 OPS+) with 32 home runs and 36 doubles in 628 plate appearances. Oh, and he also had nine triples. In 2022 however, Marte posted a .727 OPS (106 OPS+) with only 12 home runs but had 42 doubles. Ketel has slowly lost some of his pop since that 2019 season, but he’s still an elite fielder and an elite baserunner. If Marte can have a better 2023, Arizona will have an absolute gem.
5. Jazz Chisholm Jr. – Miami Marlins
Jazz Chisholm Jr. is the definition of electrifying. People tune into the Marlins game just to watch Jazz. Unfortunately, 2022 was a very injury-riddled year for Chisholm Jr, in which he posted an .860 OPS (139 OPS+) with 14 home runs and ten doubles in only 241 plate appearances. A big concern for Jazz is his inability to hit against LHP. In 2022, Jazz posted an impressive .927 OPS vs. RHP while only posting a .519 OPS vs. LHP. Although Jazz is only 24 years old, he has time to work on that. If Chisholm Jr. can stay on the field in 2023, we expect big things from the young star.
4. Jeff McNeil – New York Mets
Jeff McNeil is the definition of an elite utility guy. Still, it looks like he will be the everyday second baseman going forward for the Mets, with Luis Guillorme taking over as the utility guy in Queens. McNeil had a breakout year in 2022, in which he made his first all-star game and won a Silver Slugger award. He posted a .836 OPS (140 OPS+) with an impressive 39 doubles and a league leading .326 batting average in 589 plate appearances. McNeil is also one of the best defenders in baseball, it’s a mystery how he didn’t win a Gold Glove in 2022, but he’s absolutely in line for one in 2023 and potentially another Silver Slugger to go along with it. The Mets have an absolute stud on their hands.
3. Marcus Semien – Texas Rangers
Marcus Semien is an absolute hitting machine. Though he had a slow start to his first season in Texas, he picked it up halfway through the season and started hitting like the Marcus Semien we know and love. In 2022, Semien posted a .733 OPS (108 OPS+) with 26 home runs and 31 doubles in a ridiculous league leading 724 plate appearances, which is well above average for second basemen. His fielding did take a step back, going from 13 DRS in 2021 to -1 DRS in 2022. If Semien can go back to even close to his 2021 production, the Rangers will be a scary sight with him and Corey Seager leading the way. Expect more home runs from Semien in 2023 and improved fielding.
2. Andres Gimenez – Cleveland Guardians
This one might surprise some of you, but Andres Gimenez will be a second base superstar. In 2022, the 24-year-old, first-time all-star posted an .837 OPS (141 OPS+) with 26 doubles and 20 stolen bases in 557 plate appearances. But his production at the plate isn’t going to be why Gimenez becomes a superstar; it’s his fielding. Gimenez might be the best defending infielder in baseball, and he’s only going to improve. Did you know that Gimenez finished 6th(!) in AL MVP voting? That’s along with winning a Gold Glove award. Gimenez has many more MVP votes and Gold Gloves to come as he and fellow stud infielder Jose Ramirez try to lead Cleveland to the promised land. Keep an eye out for Andres Gimenez, and don’t be surprised when we say, “I told you so.”
1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
It would be a crime not to rank Jose Altuve as the best second baseman in baseball, and he has been for over half a decade. 2022 was just another elite season from the future Hall-of-Famer, where Altuve posted a .921 OPS (160 OPS+) with 28 home runs and 39 doubles in 604 plate appearances, earning him a Silver Slugger award, along with 18 stolen bases. In 2022, Altuve led his Houston Astros to yet another World Series win, and their dynasty doesn’t look to be over anytime soon, especially not if Altuve continues to play at the elite level he has been over the years. “Gigante” is one of the best players of our generation and will once again be the best second baseman in baseball in 2023.