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The top 10 American League players for the 2023 MLB season

Spring Training is right around the corner! The Locked On Podcast Network's MLB hosts voted on the top 10 American League position players going into 2023.

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball players have reported to camp in Arizona and Florida, they’re wearing their spring training garb, throwing and catching balls in the sunshine, and answering questions from the beat writers about their expectations for the upcoming season which means it’s time for all the preseason lists to come out. 

The Locked On Podcast Network’s MLB hosts took a survey and ranked their Top 10 American League position players for the 2023 season.

There was a list of position players who were ranked by each host and then tallied and this was the order they came up with. (Feel free to debate amongst yourselves.)

The five players who just missed the cut were: Carlos Correa (11), Jose Altuve (12), Wander Franco (13), Bryon Buxton (14), Bo Bichette (15).

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10. Adley Rutschman, Catcher, Baltimore Orioles

Rutschman was the first pick of the 2019 Amateur draft and finished second in the 2022 Rookie of the Year voting behind our #5 player. Rutschman batted .254/.362/.445 with 13 home runs, 35 doubles, and 42 runs batted in 113 games. Don’t be surprised when you see this young phenom appear on similar lists before the regular season starts.

9. Kyle Tucker, Outfielder, Houston Astros

Tucker had a strong 2022 campaign matching his 2021 career-high of 30 home runs. He also hit 28 doubles and drove in 107 runs in 150 games. He made the American League All-Star team for the first time, received some MVP votes, and won a Gold Glove. He recently lost to the Astros in arbitration but that’s more than likely setting him up for a contract extension.

8. Rafael Devers, Infielder, Boston Red Sox

Devers had a solid 2022 season batting .295/.358/.521 with 27 home runs and 42 doubles in 141 games and he was rewarded for it when the Red Sox signed him to a 10-year/$313.5M extension which begins in 2024. He made the American League All-Star for the second season in a row in 2022 and also picked up some MVP votes.

7. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Infielder, Toronto Blue Jays

Guerrero Jr. has lived up to his name so far and in 2022 he continued to be a great player for the Blue Jays batting .274/.339/.480 in 160 games with 32 home runs and 97 runs batted. It was a bit of a dropoff from his spectacular 2021 campaign when he led the AL and MLB in seven categories and finished second in the AL MVP vote but Guerrero Jr. is

6. Jose Ramirez, Infielder, Cleveland Guardians

Ramirez finished fourth in the AL MVP vote in 2022 thanks to a strong performance in which he batted .280/.355/.514 with 29 home runs, an AL-leading 44 doubles and 97 runs batted in. He also played in a career-high 157 games and was intentionally walked a league-high 44 times. Look for Ramirez’s numbers to get better in 2023 with the shift ban. He hit the ball up the middle 50% of the time in 2022. With the new ban, Ramirez will probably see a lot more singles instead of groundball outs.

5. Julio Rodriguez, Centerfielder, Seattle Mariners

Rodriguez was voted 2022 AL Rookie of the Year and for a good reason. He hit 28 home runs and drove in 75 runs while batting .284/.345/.509 with 25 doubles and 25 stolen bases and helped lead the Mariners to their first playoff appearance since 2001. He is the real deal and it should be exciting to see what he can do in his sophomore campaign in 2023.

4. Yordan Alvarez, Designated Hitter/Outfielder, Houston Astros

Alvarez had the best season of his career in 2023. He hit 37 home runs while batting .306/.406/.613. He drove in 97 runs, hit 29 doubles, and finished third in the AL MVP vote. He also picked ended his season on a high note winning the first World Series ring of his career. Look for him to be one of the top candidates for AL MVP in 2023.

3. Mike Trout, Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels

Trout, a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate, will always show up highly ranked on these lists, and for good reason. He had a bounce-back season in 2022 after appearing in only 39 games in 2021 due to injury. In 2022, he returned to form playing in 119 games and batting .283/.369/.630 with 40 home runs and 80 runs batted in. He also made the All-Star team for the 10th time in his career and finished in the Top 10 of the AL MVP vote.

2. Aaron Judge, Outfielder, New York Yankees

Judge, the reigning American League MVP, had a historical season in 2022. And it wasn’t only his 62 home runs that set a new American League record but it was also his other stats. He lead the Majors in runs scored (133), runs batted in (131), OBP (.425), slugging (.686), OPS (1.111) OPS+ (211), and total bases (391). Oh, and he nearly won the Triple Crown thanks to a .311 batting average.

1. Shohei Ohtani, Pitcher/Designated Hitter, Anaheim Angels

Ohtani, like his teammate Mike Trout, will always be on these lists and he will always be in the running for American League MVP because not only is he a two-way player he’s a damn good two-way player. He hits well—he batted .273/.356/.519 with 34 home runs and 95 runs batted in. And he pitches well—he went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts. He finished second in the AL MVP vote in 2022 and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young vote.

SUBSCRIBE: The Locked On Podcast Network has a daily podcast for EVERY MLB team, find yours today! Free and available everywhere

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