Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt ranked 13th on MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now! program, the network’s annual ranking of the best players in baseball. Goldschmidt finished one spot ahead of the Nationals’ Max Scherzer and one spot behind the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado. In addition to Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock was ranked 46th and Zack Greinke was ranked 64th.
The show took into account player performance over the past several seasons with an emphasis on 2016 - this year’s ranking also weighted projected 2017 performance. Players returning from injury and young players expected to break out were taken into account, as well as base-running, defensive value and award finishes. Top 100 Right Now! featured 19 players that are 25-years old and younger, plus eight Cy Young Award winners, 12 MVP Award winners, 13 Rookie of the Year Award winners, 29 Gold Glove Award winners, 43 Silver Slugger Award winners, and 85 All-Stars.
Below you can find the the full list of the top 20 - what do you think? I’m slightly surprised to see Donaldson so high, and would probably also drop Harper a bit, due to his sharp downturn in 2016. Interesting that Goldschmidt was ranked #1 when the show focused on first-basemen, but came in behind Cabrera and Votto here. I think it’s perhaps because the position show did not take into account 2017 projections. Here’s the section of that show, which discussed Paul.
- Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels
- Clayton Kershaw, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
- Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
- Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
- Manny Machado, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
- Mookie Betts, RF, Boston Red Sox
- Bryce Harper, RF, Washington Nationals
- Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
- Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Max Scherzer, P, Washington Nationals
- Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
- Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
- Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
- Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
- Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros