MLB Network’s Top 100 Players Right Now Heading Into 2012

This is the complete list, 100-1, of the MLB Network’s Top 100 Players “Right Now”.

In other words, if every player was available in a draft prior to the 2012 season, this is the order that they should be selected, according to MLB Network’s ranking system.

The system is built on:

  • Emphasized stats from last 3 seasons, weighting 2011
  • Projected 2012 performance
  • Defensive position
  • Intangibles
  • Accolades

A total of six (6) Milwaukee Brewers made the list and, as this is a Milwaukee Brewers blog, I have emphasized them accordingly.

So without further adieu, here is the list. My comments follow.

100. Ichiro Suzuki – RF – Seattle Mariners

99. Carl Crawford – LF – Boston Red Sox

98. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals

97. Starlin Castro – SS – Chicago Cubs

96. Chase Utley – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies

95. Michael Morse – 1B/LF – Washington Nationals

94. Michael Bourn – CF – Atlanta Braves

93. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves

92. Ryan Madson – CL – Cincinnati Reds

91. Shin-Soo Choo – RF – Cleveland Indians

90. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants

89. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

88. Gio Gonzalez – SP – Washington Nationals

87. Kevin Youkilis – 3B – Boston Red Sox

86. Alex Rodriguez – 3B – New York Yankees

85. Howard Kendrick – 2B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

84. Dan Uggla – 2B – Atlanta Braves

83. Rickie Weeks – 2B – Milwaukee Brewers

82. Carlos Beltran – OF – St. Louis Cardinals

81. Ben Zobrist – 2B/OF – Tampa Bay Rays

80. Joe Mauer – C – Minnesota Twins

79. Carlos Santana – C – Cleveland Indians

78. Heath Bell – CL – Miami Marlins

77. John Axford – CL  -Milwaukee Brewers

76. Brian Wilson – CL – San Francisco Giants

75. Jhonny Peralta – SS – Detroit Tigers

74. Brett Lawrie – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays

73. Eric Hosmer – 1B – Kansas City Royals

72. Yovani Gallardo – SP – Milwaukee Brewers

71. Tim Hudson – SP – Atlanta Braves

70. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles

69. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals

68. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

67. David Freese – 3B – St. Louis Cardinals

66. Aramis Ramirez – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers

65. Ricky Romero – SP – Toronto Blue Jays

64. Zack Greinke – SP – Milwaukee Brewers

63. David Price – SP – Tampa Bay Rays

62. Jose Valverde – CL – Detroit Tigers

61. Jonathan Papelbon – CL – Philadelphia Phillies

60. Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants

59. Ryan Howard – 1B – Philadelphia Phillies

58. Shane Victorino – CF – Philadelphia Phillies

57. Josh Beckett – SP – Boston Red Sox

56. Chris Carpenter – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

55. Mark Teixeira – 1B – New York Yankees

54. Carlos Gonzalez – OF – Colorado Rockies

53. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox

52. Derek Jeter – SS – New York Yankees

51. Lance Berkman – 1B – St. Louis Cardinals

50. Jon Lester – SP – Boston Red Sox

49. Ian Kennedy – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks

48. Miguel Montero – C – Arizona Diamondbacks

47. Brian McCann – C – Atlanta Braves

46. Matt Cain – SP – San Francisco Giants

45. James Shields – SP – Tampa Bay Rays

44. Pablo Sandoval – 3B – San Francisco Giants

43. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals

42. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates

41. Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins

40. Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati Reds

39. Alex Avila – C – Detroit Tigers

38. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals

37. Dan Haren – SP – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

36. Hunter Pence – RF – Philadelphia Phillies

35. Nelson Cruz – RF – Texas Rangers

34. Mike Napoli – C – Texas Rangers

33. Paul Konerko – 1B – Chicago White Sox

32. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS – Cleveland Indians

31. Ian Kinsler – 2B – Texas Rangers

30. Josh Hamilton – LF – Texas Rangers

29. Michael Young – UTIL – Texas Rangers

28. Justin Upton – RF Arizona Diamondbacks

27. Mariano Rivera – CL – New York Yankees

26. CC Sabathia – SP – New York Yankees

25. Jose Reyes – SS – Miami Marlins

24. Hanley Ramirez – 3B – Miami Marlins

23. Curtis Granderson – CF – New York Yankees

22. Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – Washington Nationals

21. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays

20. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners

19. Tim Lincecum – SP – San Francisco Giants

18. Cliff Lee – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

17. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – Boston Red Sox

16. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers

15. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds

14. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Boston Red Sox

13. Jered Weaver – SP – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

12. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox

11. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

10. Prince Fielder – 1B – Detroit Tigers

9. Ryan Braun – LF – Milwaukee Brewers

8. Robinson Cano – 2B – New York Yankees

7. Roy Halladay – SP – Philadelphia Phillies

6. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays

5. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers

4. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies

3. Miguel Cabrera – 3B – Detroit Tigers

2. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers

1. Matt Kemp – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers

My main comment is that while I realize that this show was obviously recorded prior to the announcement that Ryan Braun won his appeal of a 50-game suspension, based on their composite criteria there should be no way he’s ninth best on this list. He’d absolutely be higher, maybe as high as three on my personal list and no lower than four.

I want to hear from you on this one!

What is your biggest complaint with the rankings? Who should be higher? Who should be lower?


  1. Dave

    Well Braun is right where he belongs, he is great! But he is not any better than Cabrera, Verlander or Kemp, I mean Halladay is better, Cano, Kershaw and Tulowitzki are all better, just the way it is!

  2. WrigleyRegular

    I haven’t seen the show yet on MLBN, so I’d like to hear their comments, but there is no way that Verlander is #2. I also agree with you, Braun is top 4. My top 4 are…

    M Cabrera…………A Pujols…………..R Braun…………..M Kemp


  3. mfgoffy

    Mustr be good to see 6 of your players on your list. Only 3 Jays, albeit with Joey Bats high up. I too would have both he and Braun higher. Joey’s OPS, Walks, HR and division played in should make him top 3. Kemp is member of the FIGJAM society.

    Zack should be higher – I expect big things from him this year!

  4. John

    I think it’s pretty accurate. I’d move Braun up and Bautista down and I think Paul Konerko should be 2 or 3 spots higher, no way Asdrubel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler should be higher than him.

  5. Sean

    Let me qualify this by first saying I’m a die hard Mets fan. Jose Reyes at 25 is insane. Ability to stay on the field should be factored in. That said, I believe same is true for Joe Mauer. The fact continent there isn’t even 1 Met on the list gets to he a bit as well. There is a contingent of young players on that team, and if Eric Hosmer can make it with his limited experience, why not someone like Ike Davis? Or for that matter, David Wright? I realize he was hurt much of last season, but so was Buster Posey, and DW has a much more proven track record.

    Just saying, the lack of Met love is a bit unnerving.

  6. Don

    Ichiro as the 100th best player. The human hit machine. Mr Batting title and gold glover at #100. An imported Hall of Famer to be. The question with him is not will he get his annual 200 hits, but how many over 200 will he get. Impossible for him to be the 100 th best, so if the list is flawed from the start why bother to read the rest of it.

    • Sweet Lou

      I agree, Ichiro way too high. Probably isn’t even in the top 200 right now. Sub-par defensively at this point in his career, .270 hitter, minimal power. Still has good speed but that’s about it. Oh and I’m a Mariners’ season ticket holder and have been a fan of Ichiro the past decade.

  7. bryant gregory

    How do you put the greatest all around player ever @ 52????? Derek Jeter is the face of baseball. he has never blemished baseball or given it a black eye like most mlb players. His stats, and leadership alone should be enough to place him @ #1. He is consistant and allways on top of hitting leader boards, never makes an error and covers shorstop like no one else can!!!

  8. Chance Harris

    I do not agree that Kemp should be number 1. Yes he went beast mode last year, but seasons prior to last, he was average to a little above average, therefore does not show enough consistency to project similar numbers next season. Kemp should be between 10-25. And Cano number 8???? Cano might not be number 1, but definitely should be around number 3 or 4. CC at number 26? CC is the face of consistent. Always flirts with 20 game seasons every year. Reyes should be lower, and Fielder is not better than Pujols. I agree with number 2 and 3.

  9. Cardinals Fan

    I’m surprised where they put Pujols but this list seems pretty good.. I’m sure we can all argue a position or two but don’t be insane people.. Jeter is good but not the face of baseball & I could careless what he makes or endorsements, it’s about the game.. That said, I don’t know if David Freese should be that high but I’m definitely a fan & it’s great to see 7 STL Cardinals in the top hundred!!

  10. cna124

    Where is Melky Cabrera? I think he led the AL in doubles.. the guy pretty much portrayed being a 5 tool players with a decent arm in the outfield as well. Choo is not to be on this list given a poor year on and off the field. Pedroia at #12? Really?? I think we need to lay off his band wagon he’s more like #38. I also don’t like how everyone on the show via Leiter, Ripken, Williams, Reynolds all agree with each other on everything.. there’s no controversy.

  11. Angelo

    Yo u guys need to look at the numbers again because THE MACHINE is not suppose to be in #11 he is the only player in the history of baseball to hit like that and NO one is close to his numbers so I’ll check the numbers again

  12. me

    Ichiro doesn’t belong on the list at all. He’s a weak slap hitter with a horrible on-base percentage. No walks, legs are going fast. he hit .270 last year! guys is a DRAIN!

  13. mlb fan since i was born

    this is how the list supost to be well the top 50:
    1. Miguel Cabrera-power, avg, has played 3base before he’s the best right now
    2. Albert Pujols- the king albert tremendous power
    3. Robinson Cano- the best yankee right now deff, off avg power
    4. Justin Verlander- best pitcher but shouldnt have won the mvp its for players
    5. Matt Kemp- speed power avg need to prove more that was last year only
    6. Roy Halladay – the doc best pitcher in years active player
    7. Troy Tulowitzki- this guy its so good the col will stick with him until he retired
    8. Jose Bautista – power on a team that bat but not like yankees, red sox or texas
    9. Clayton Kershaw- nl triple crown winner he’s good
    10. Ryan Braun – mvp NL without him no playoff offcourse and prince
    11. Prince Fielder- power power deff big guy
    12. Adrian Gonzalez- on off the best deff at 1base ave and power
    13. Joey Votto- power like most of the 1b he’s great
    14. CC Sabathia- one of the best lefty in the game stam, kos inn the best
    15. Jacoby Ellsbury- mvp runner up waoo speed, avg , power rbi DEFF
    16. Dustin Pedroia- small but big playing he’s game deff power avg
    17. Cliff Lee- another great lefty in the game he’s so good
    18. Tim Lincecum- san fra ACE young player with many good year to come
    19. Adrian Beltre- this guy play great in every team LAD, BOS texas
    20. Jose Reyes- what an avg last year if not for the injuries he be higher
    21. Felix Hernandez- nice young pitcher on a bad team well hes one of the best
    22. Jered Weaver- better than his brother so good with fastball
    23. Evan Longoria- best player in tampa deff n off
    24. Curtis Granderson- he has it all but his avg last year was ok i guess
    25. Jon Lester- another great lefty he’s so good
    26. Alex Avila- this young guy replace victor (off course no arm) but he’s good
    27. Hanley Ramirez- not a great year last year but now in 3base let see how he do
    28. Josh Hamilton- superman yeah power avg deff not much speed like before
    29. Paul Konerko- white sox best power they need that off of his
    30. Mariano Rivera- he’s a closer but its the best closer right now
    31. Justin Upton- young talented player power speed deff
    32. Mike Napoli- after mike piazza i think this guy has the most power as a catcher
    33. Alex Rodriguez- come on he has to be in the list faster player to reach 450 hr
    34. Michael Young- for his age he’s pretty good and playing all infield
    35. Ian Kinsler- great 2b baseman he’s that 2 spot in the lineup no doubt
    36. Asdrubal Cabrera- how many plays this guy this last year and cle best hitter
    37. Nelson Cruz- power deff okay but a tremendous arm
    38. Hunter Pence- great young player on a new team
    39. Yadier Molina – arm arm best deff catcher and trwoing out guys avg good
    40. Ian Kennedy- i think it was 20 or 21 win last year this guy its good
    41. James Shields- i think this is rays ace not d price
    42. Brian McCann- no more chi jones (old) but brian mc its atl #1
    43. Mark Teixeira- omg on that deff no ball get away from him nice off player
    44. David Ortiz- big pappi best DH hitter in history
    45. Dan Haren- angels great pitcher maybe ace not sure
    46. Mike Stanton- young power deff great player for the marlins
    47. Matt Holliday- you know he’s in here he was better with col but hes great
    48. Ryan Howard – he couldnt be out of the list strike out alot but that power!!!
    49. Lance Berkman- he could play 1b rf or lf great player avg pow deff
    50. Derek Jeter- Yankees Captain derek its a legend for a long time

  14. Alex

    Grienke should be above Kennedy, Longoria is in the top 5, top 2 in mine, Young isn’t 29, personally like Halladay more than JV

  15. Stan

    As a pirate fan I have watched Andrew McCutchen play alot of games. Nothing impressive and have no clue how he made this list. Takes terrible routes to the ball in CF and his hitting numbers are not that good. .259 with 89RBI’s and 23HR’s. He is #42 on this list and he is a good player but def not top 100 let alone top 50.

  16. Pingback: Top 100 Right Now, Saber-Style (#100-91) « Saber Analysis
  17. RJ

    Matt Kemp had one break out year… 2010 matt hit. .249 with 28 hr’s and 89 rbi’s. Albert pujols had better seasons than matt when Albert was younger than matt. Albert never had a season of 100+ strikeouts while matt kemp had 100+ strikeouts in all of his full 4 seasons. Matt kemp talking bout beast mode.. you have a long way to go before you call your self a beast.

  18. Robbin

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