Second basemen in the MLB have a lot of responsibility.
A second baseman is responsible for relaying signals to a pitcher when a runner is on second base.
Quick reflexes and speed are needed to play the position to get to ground balls and line drives.
Fielding is key to recording a double play.
The second baseman has a lot of responsibilities and duties on defense.
Getting it done offensively is a huge bonus on top of being good defensively for second basemen.
Below, we will analyze the top 10 second basemen entering the 2023 MLB season.
The Top 10 Second Basemen Entering The 2023 MLB Season
There are a lot of talented players playing the second base position in the MLB.
Unfortunately, some talented second basemen had to be left off the top 10 list.
Despite a solid season, Brendan Rodgers did not make the top 10 list. He had 72 runs, 140 hits, 30 doubles, 13 home runs, 63 RBIs, and a .266 batting average last year. Rodgers was helped tremendously playing half his games at Coors Field, which explains his offensive numbers. He will play the 2023 MLB season starting at second base for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is expected to bat fifth or sixth in a much less hitter-friendly park, which will hinder him offensively. Rodgers just missed out on making the list.
After a monstrous 2021 campaign, Brandon Lowe had a very down 2022 season. In 2021, Lowe hit 39 home runs and recorded 99 RBIs. His 39 home runs were among the most ever by a second baseman. He dealt with back issues all season in 2022 but even when he was healthy, Tampa Bay only sporadically played Lowe. He just misses out on cracking the top 10 list.
Whit Merrifield had 70 runs, 126 hits, 28 doubles, 11 home runs, 58 RBIs, and a .250 batting average last season. He will bat lower in the batting order with the Toronto Blue Jays this season, after being traded from the Kansas City Royals to the Blue Jays last season. He spent most of the time batting leadoff or at the top of the batting order with the Royals. Batting lower in the order will not give him as much of a chance to give him a lot of offensive production.
We take a look at the top 10 second basemen entering the 2023 MLB season.
Gleyber Torres kicks off the top 10 list of second basemen for the 2023 MLB season.
10. Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres has not become the superstar he seemed destined to be.
However, a move from shortstop to second base did him very well in the 2022 MLB season.
At second base, Torres graded out significantly better as a defender and his offensive profile as a slugger is more unique.
After a magnificent 2019 season, in which Torres hit 38 home runs and had 90 RBIs, he struggled mightily in 2020 and 2021.
In a bounce-back 2022 season, Torres had 73 runs, 135 hits, 28 doubles, 24 home runs, 76 RBIs, a .257 batting average, .310 OBP, .451 SLG, and .761 OPS.
He ranked fifth in runs, ninth in hits, eighth in doubles, third in home runs and RBIs, eighth in batting average, 11th in OBP, and fourth in SLG and OPS among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season.
Torres is only 26 years old, which means the best may still come.
He is expected to bat leadoff for the Yankees and will improve upon his 2022 season.
Expect Torres to have over 80 runs, 140 hits, 30 doubles, 25 home runs, and 75 RBIs, and to improve his batting average to over .270.
Torres will have a good 2023 MLB season and have a top-10 season among second basemen.
9. Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte finished fourth in NL MVP voting in 2019 but he was limited to playing in 135 out of a possible 222 games in 2020 and 2021.
He was healthy enough to play in 137 games last season but his production did not match his production when he was healthy the prior three seasons.
Marte had 68 runs, 118 hits, 42 doubles, 12 home runs, 52 RBIs, a .240 batting average, .321 OBP, .407 SLG, and .727 OPS.
Despite the down season, Marte ranked 11th in runs, 16th in hits, first in doubles, 17th in home runs, 15th in RBIs, 13th in batting average, eighth in OBP and SLG, and seventh in OPS among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season.
Marte delivers premium exit velocity and has the launch angle that suggests he should hit more home runs than he has.
He has a ton of upside and will be 29 during the 2023 MLB season.
If Marte can stay healthy, expect his numbers to go up in 2023. He will hit around 20-25 home runs, have over 75 runs and 65 RBIs, and vastly improve his batting average to around .290. Marte’s batting average in 2019 was .329, in 2020 it was .287, and in 2021, he had a batting average of .318.
Marte will bounce back after a down 2022 campaign and have a much improved 2023 MLB season.
8. Jorge Polanco
Jorge Polanco is coming off a down season after having an excellent 2021 campaign.
In 2021, Polanco had 97 runs, 158 hits, 35 doubles, 33 home runs, 98 RBIs, a .269 batting average, .323 OBP, .530 SLG, and .826 OPS in 152 games.
In 2022, he had 54 runs, 88 hits, 16 doubles, 16 home runs, 56 RBIs, a .235 batting average, .346 OBP, .409 SLG, and .751 OPS in 104 games.
He was injured for approximately a third of the 2022 season, which hurt his numbers. Underlying data suggests Polanco should not have fallen as much as he did in 2022.
Despite being injured for a good chunk of the 2022 season and having a down year, Polanco still ranked 19th in runs, ninth in home runs, and 13th in RBIs among second basemen in the league. He did not see enough plate appearances to qualify for batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS.
Polanco had the 11th-best WAR among second basemen last season.
Entering the 2023 campaign, Polanco is healthy and will bat leadoff for the Twins.
Expect Polanco to have a much better 2023 season than he had in 2022. He will have over 85 runs, 150 hits, 30 doubles, 25 home runs, and 75 RBIs, and increase his batting average to .260 or better.
Polanco will return to form in 2023 and if he can remain healthy, he will have a top-10 season among second basemen.
7. Nico Hoerner
Nico Hoerner was a first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
The 2022 MLB season was Hoerner’s first season in which he played over 50 games, playing in 135 games in 2022.
He played most of last season at Shortstop but he will be playing second base in 2023 with Dansy Swanson starting at Shortstop for the Chicago Cubs.
Hoerner and Swanson will form one of the best double-play duos in baseball for the foreseeable future.
Hoerner is one of the major reasons the Cubs went 39-31 after the All-Star Break last season.
Last season, Hoerner had 60 runs, 135 hits, 22 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 55 RBIs, a .281 batting average, .327 OBP, .410 SLG, and .736 OPS.
As a second baseman, Hoerner ranked 18th in runs, tied for ninth in hits, tied for 18th in doubles, tied for second in triples, tied for 21st in home runs, 14th in RBIs, and fourth in batting average, fifth in OBP, sixth in SLG, and fifth in OPS among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season.
He had a WAR of 4.5 last season.
He will improve offensively and he is already very good defensively.
Expect Hoerner to record over 65 runs, 135 hits, 25 doubles, 15 home runs, 60 RBIs, and a .285 batting average in the 2023 MLB season.
Hoerner will have a strong 2023 MLB season and have a top-10 season among second basemen.
6. Jazz Chisholm
One of the MLB’s most electric young stars is Jazz Chisholm.
Chisholm was one of the very few bright spots for a Miami Marlins offense that struggled mightily, scoring an NL-worst 586 runs in the 2022 MLB season.
However, Chisholm’s 2022 campaign was cut short due to a back injury. He missed the entire second half of the season.
In just 60 games played last season, Chisholm had 39 runs, 54 hits, 10 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs, 45 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, a .254 batting average, .325 OBP, .535 SLG, and .860 OPS.
He will only be 25 years old during the 2023 MLB season.
Injuries are a concern for Chisholm, which is why he just missed out on cracking the top-five list.
If he can stay healthy, Chisholm will have a strong 2023 campaign and will easily be one of the best second basemen in the league.
In the 2023 MLB season, Chisholm will double the production he had in the 2022 season if he can play over 120 games. He will hit over 25 home runs and have over 25 stolen bases in 2023.
Chisholm will make an argument to be among the top 2-3 second basemen in the league if he can remain healthy.
The Top 5 Second Basemen Entering The 2023 MLB Season
Now, we get to the top-five second basemen in the MLB.
Ozzie Albies kicks off the top-five list of second basemen entering the 2023 MLB season.
5. Ozzie Albies
Ozzie Albies missed much of the 2022 MLB season, as foot and finger fractures limited him to just 64 games.
He enters the 2023 MLB season healthy, which is scary for opposing teams since the Atlanta Braves still managed to win 101 games last season without Albies for large stretches of the campaign.
In 2021, Albies played in 156 games and he recorded 103 runs, 163 hits, 40 doubles, seven triples, 30 home runs, 106 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, a .259 batting average, .310 OBP, .488 SLG, and .799 OPS.
In 2022, he played in 64 games and Albies recorded 36 runs, 61 hits, 16 doubles, eight home runs, 35 RBIs, a .247 batting average, .294 OBP, .409 SLG, and .703 OPS.
Albies is a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2019 and 2021).
With Albies healthy, he will bounce back and perform similarly to his 2021 numbers, as he bats in one of the best lineups in the MLB.
Expect Albies to record over 100 runs, 160 hits, 35 doubles, 30 home runs, 95 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, a .260 batting average, and rank in the top five among second basemen in OBP, SLG, and OPS.
Albies will have a top-five 2023 season among second basemen.
4. Andres Gimenez
In a massive trade, the New York Mets acquired one of the best Shortstops in baseball, Francisco Lindor in January 2021.
However, the Cleveland Guardians appear to have made out pretty well on their end of the trade as well.
Andres Gimenez emerged as one of the most complete infielders in the league in 2022.
He made his first All-Star appearance won a Gold Glove award, and finished sixth in AL MVP voting, at the young age of 24 years old last season.
Gimenez will turn 25 in September and has a bright future ahead of him.
In 2022, he recorded 66 runs, 146 hits, 26 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 69 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, a .297 batting average, .371 OBP, .466 SLG, and .837 OPS.
Gimenez ranked 12th in runs doubles, triples, and fifth in hits, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases among second basemen last year.
Among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season, Gimenez ranked third in batting average and OBP, and second in SLG and OPS.
He had a 7.2 WAR, which ranked first among second basemen.
In 2023, expect Gimenez to record over 70 runs, 150 hits, 25 doubles, three triples, 20 home runs, 70 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, and have a .300 batting average.
Gimenez will have an excellent 2023 season and he will have a top-five season among second basemen.
3. Marcus Semien
One year after Marcus Semien was an AL MVP finalist while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, he posted just a .697 OPS in his first half as a Texas Ranger.
Semien rebounded in the second half of the season and posted a .777 OPS.
He is a natural Shortstop, so he continues to be one of the best defensive second basemen in the league.
Semien turned the most double plays among second basemen in the American League last season.
His modest exit velocity did not measure up in a humidor-hampered April when Semien only hit .157. As the weather heated up, so did Semien’s bat. This resulted in Semien hitting 26 home runs and recording 25 stolen bases. He was just one of four players in the league to hit 25 or more home runs and record 25 or more stolen bases.
In 161 games in the 2022 season, Semien had 101 runs, 163 hits, 31 doubles, five triples, 26 home runs, 83 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, a .248 batting average, .304 OBP, .429 SLG, and .733 OPS.
Semien ranked second in runs, hits, triples, home runs, and RBIs, third in stolen bases, and fourth in doubles among second basemen last season.
Among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season, Semien ranked 11th in batting average, 13th in OBP and sixth in SLG and OPS.
He had a 5.7 WAR, which ranked tied for third among second basemen.
In 2023, Semien will record similar numbers to 2022 or even improve in his second season with the Texas Rangers.
Semien will have a top-three season among second basemen.
2. Jeff McNeil
Jeff McNeil made his second All-Star Game appearance last season, won a Silver Slugger Award, and won the NL batting title with a .326 batting average.
McNeil had the highest batting average of any player in the MLB that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season.
His positional flexibility has made McNeil very valuable to the New York Mets but there is no question that second base is his best position.
He had a 5.7 WAR, which ranked tied for third among second basemen.
In 148 games last season, McNeil had 73 runs, 174 hits, 39 doubles, nine home runs, 62 RBIs, a .326 batting average, .382 OBP, .454 SLG, and .836 SLG.
McNeil ranked tied for fifth in runs, first in hits, tied for second in doubles, and tied for eighth in RBIs among second basemen last season.
Among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season, McNeil ranked first in batting average, second in OBP and third in SLG and OPS.
McNeil will have similar production as he had in 2022 in the 2023 MLB season.
McNeil will have a terrific 2023 season and have one of the best seasons for a second baseman in the 2023 MLB season.
1. Jose Altuve
Jose Altuve was an All-Star for the eighth time in 2022, won his sixth Silver Slugger Award, and helped the Astros win the World Series.
The final two months of the season were especially productive for Altuve. He had a batting average of over .330 and looked like a viable base stealer in the last couple of months of the 2022 MLB season.
In 141 games last season, Altuve had 103 runs, 158 hits, 39 doubles, 28 home runs, 57 RBIs, a .300 batting average, .387 OBP, .533 SLG, and .921 SLG.
Altuve ranked first in runs and home runs, third in hits, second in doubles, and 11th in RBIs among second basemen in the 2022 MLB season.
Among second basemen that qualified with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played last season, Altuve ranked second in batting average, and first in OBP, SLG, and OPS.
He had a 5.1 WAR, which ranked fifth among second basemen.
Altuve will once again bat leadoff for one of the best offenses in the league.
Expect Altuve to replicate his 2022 numbers in the 2023 MLB season.
Altuve has been the best player at the position for quite some time and he will once again have the best season among all second basemen.