Unfortunately, many of the best second basemen in 2023 are being a little overlooked ahead of the upcoming season. There is so much attention on the top-tier shortstops who changed teams this offseason that the current crop of second basemen has become forgotten.
That’s why we wanted to take a closer look at some of the best second basemen in 2023.
Best second basemen 2023
But what players are among the best second basemen right now and who deserves the label of the top second baseman in MLB ahead of the 2023 season?
We considered well over a dozen players who figure to see most of their playing time at the keystone this season. From that, we came up with a list of the 10 best second basemen in 2023.
10. Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres has certainly given the Yankees and everyone else reason to doubt him in recent years. But he enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2022, hitting 24 homers and producing an OPS of .761.
It wasn’t quite the same kind of numbers he was putting up early in his career, but it was a good reminder of what he’s capable of doing.
If nothing else, it was enough for the Yankees to keep him as their primary second baseman moving forward. Keep in mind that he’s still only 26 years old. Torres should be coming into his prime years right now. Coming off an improved performance in 2022, he has a chance to get back to being an all-star-caliber player this season.
9. Ketel Marte
Playing in Arizona for the last several years has been akin to being in the witness-protection program for Ketel Marte. He’s had some good seasons but hasn’t necessarily received much attention. We’re talking about a player who’s hit over .300 and produced an OPS of over .900 twice in the last four seasons.
Granted, he was solid but unspectacular last season. But Marte tends to have his best seasons in odd-numbered years. That’s a good omen for a player who is among the best second basemen in the majors if he’s at the top of his game.
8. Luis Arraez
The Marlins weren’t fooling around this offseason, giving up starting pitcher Pablo Lopez in order to acquire Luis Arraez from the Twins. Arraez is fresh off winning the American League batting title in 2022 and could still have his best years ahead of him at age 25. The only caveat with Arraez is that his power is almost non-existent.
He hit just eight home runs last season and has just 14 total over his first four seasons in the majors. As a result, his OPS last season was below .800 despite winning the batting title. That being said, Arraez still has a chance to continue to assert his standing as one of the best second basemen in baseball this year.
7. Jorge Polanco
Jorge Polanco’s name is rarely mentioned among the elite second basemen in the majors, but he’s been a solid and reliable player for a long time. In nearly a decade-long career, he’s a career .270 hitter with an OPS of .779.
Outside of the shortened 2020 season, he’s never had a down year.
Plus, Polanco is just two years removed from hitting 33 home runs and 35 doubles while driving in 98 runs during the 2021 season. At age 29, there’s no reason why Polanco can’t return to that level in 2023 and come close to matching the career highs he set two seasons ago.
6. Ozzie Albies
Ozzie Albies surely just wants to forget about the 2022 season, as injuries limited him to just 64 games. He never quite got going, producing a pitiful OPS of .703.
That being said, Albies has enough of a track record to still be considered among the best second basemen in the majors. After all, he was an all-star and a Silver Slugger winner in 2021 while helping the Braves win the World Series. If he’s healthy in 2023, it’s a safe bet that Albies will be able to produce.
5. Brandon Lowe
Since he’s spent his entire career with the Rays, Brandon Lowe hasn’t already received the attention and praise his on-field performance deserves. He’s also coming off an injury-plagued 2022 campaign in which he only hit .221 with an OPS of .691. However, his track record before last season speaks for itself. He’s quietly been a huge part of Tampa’s success in recent years.
Keep in mind that Lowe has a career OPS of .830 and hit 39 home runs during the 2021 season. If he can stay healthy this season, there’s no reason why Lowe can’t be among the best second basemen in the majors this season.
4. Marcus Semien
Two years ago, Marcus Semien might have been the best second baseman in baseball. That year, he set the all-time single-season record for home runs by a second baseman with 45. He also won the Gold Glove that year, helping him earn a massive $175 million contract from the Rangers.
He might have taken a slight step backward last year, but not much. Semien still mashed 26 homers last season and stole 25 bases despite a modest .733 OPS. While he’s not always shown consistency from one year to the next, Semien still has the potential to be one of the best second basemen in 2023.
3. Andres Gimenez
While he’s a shortstop by trade, Andres Gimenez has turned into an all-star second baseman and one of the best in the game at his position. The kicker is that Gimenez is just 24 and he’s already an all-star and a Gold Glove winner.
His breakout season in 2022 saw him hit 17 homers with a .297 average while also stealing 20 bases. We’re talking about someone who’s an elite defensive player with the potential to also hit .300 and maybe even join the 20-20 club. For Gimenez, the sky is truly the limit, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him become the best second baseman in baseball in the years to come.
2. Jeff McNeil
Fresh off a batting title and a Silver Slugger award in 2022, Jeff McNeil has catapulted himself close to the top of the list of the base second basemen in 2023. The Mets gave him a contract extension this past offseason, so clearly they have faith that he’s going to keep hitting, even if he doesn’t hit a lot of homers.
Granted, McNeil had a down year in 2021, but he’s hit over .300 in every other season since he got to the majors. He’s also a more than capable defensive second baseman who always hustles and leaves everything on the field. You can’t ask for much more than that, especially for a player who could easily win another batting title in 2023.
1. Jose Altuve
After helping the Astros win another World Series last season, it’s hard to deny that Jose Altuve is the top second baseman in MLB right now. When all is said and done, he has a chance to go down among the greatest players in MLB history at his position.
Altuve has been an all-star every year since 2014 and also took home MVP honors in 2017. Even if his performance in the 2022 postseason wasn’t his best, Altuve hit .300 with an OPS of .920 during the regular season.
There’s simply no other second baseman in the majors who can match his combination of average, power, and defense, not to mention Altuve’s propensity for helping his team win.