The 2022 MLB season is upon us, and it's time for us to rank the top 100 players in baseball. The rankings you'll soon be yelling about are based upon reasonable expectations, using things like age, trajectory, scouting profile, and recent performance history to arrive at those expectations. In essence, we're making educated guesses at which players would provide the most value in 2022. While a player's performance in 2021 is very relevant to these rankings, it's not the sole consideration. 

Again, these are in essence predictions of which players will be the very best in the season to come, and there's more to it than just eyeballing last year's outputs.

As for what matters, with position players it's a mix of batting, defense, and baserunning. On offense, we're not concerned with things like RBI. Getting on base and hitting for power matter above all, as do playing time, context of the player's home ballpark, and production relative to positional peers (e.g., the offensive bar is lower for shortstops and catchers than it is for first basemen and DHs). For pitchers, run prevention and workload will be the drivers, but we'll also give some consideration to underlying fundamental indicators like strikeouts and walks. We're ranking players based on actual baseball considerations as opposed to anything having anything to do with fantasy (although there's obviously some overlap).

Above all, remember that this is Internet Street, and only righteous grievances live here. 

Justin Turner will (again) be part of a vaunted Dodgers offense. CBS Sports
Oneil Cruz Pittsburgh Pirates SS
At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Cruz may not stick at shortstop long-term, but wherever he winds up his big-time power from the left side and speed on the bases will play. The guess here is that he makes a big impact in Pittsburgh this season after the Pirates are done manipulating his service time.
Alek Manoah Toronto Blue Jays SP
The 24-year-old former first-rounder has a strong four-pitch mix, and he put up strong numbers during his rookie season of 2021.
Adley Rutschman Baltimore Orioles C
One of the very best prospects in baseball right now, Rutchsman, a catcher out of Oregon State, probably won't crack the Opening Day roster in part because of a spring triceps strain. Once he does arrive in Baltimore, though, expect him to immediately establish himself as a real difference-maker.
Jonathan India Cincinnati Reds 2B
Last year's NL Rookie of the Year is of course coming off an impressive 2021. His offensive skill set and ability to man an up-the-middle position earn India a spot on this list.
Mike Zunino Tampa Bay Rays C
Zunino's a skilled pitch-framer, and his improved batted-ball metrics suggest that last year's power surge might be at least partly sustainable.
Sean Manaea San Diego Padres SP
The 30-year-old lefty, traded to San Diego over the weekend, doesn't have elite velocity, but he keeps hitters off-balance and guessing with his four-pitch repertoire. Over the last three seasons, Manaea has a K/BB ratio of 4.80.
Harrison Bader St. Louis Cardinals CF
Bader is in the top-most tier of defensive center fielders, and he's also developed into a capable hitter.
Bobby Witt Kansas City Royals 3B
Your best bet for 2022 AL Rookie of the Year laurels also has the potential to pick up some MVP votes. He's a shortstop who will put up big offensive numbers for years to come.
Nick Castellanos Philadelphia Phillies RF
Ideally, Castellanos would be a full-time DH, but the power stroke will do the talking regardless of whether he's brandishing a glove or not.
Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers 3B
Very likely, the 37-year-old Turner is in the early stages of decline, but in 2022 he'll remain an impact player both offensively and defensively.
How many homers will Giancarlo Stanton hit in 2022? CBS Sports
Sean Murphy Oakland Athletics C
Murphy is in the discussion for top defensive catcher in baseball, and he's also been a quality hitter by the standards of his position.
Carlos Rodon San Francisco Giants SP
There's no doubting the excellence of Rodón's season in 2021 and his overpowering stuff. The only thing that keeps him from a much higher ranking is his health history.
Javier Baez Detroit Tigers 2B
Yes, he's streaky and has contact issues, but Báez remains a defensive plus at either middle-infield position with big-time power.
Shane McClanahan Tampa Bay Rays SP
The hard-throwing McClanahan, a former top-100 overall prospect, exceeded even those lofty expectations in his rookie season of 2021. In 25 starts, McClanahan had a 115 ERA+ and a K/BB ratio of 3.81. He's got the skills to be even better in 2022.
Eduardo Rodriguez Detroit Tigers SP
The lefty, who soon turns 29, isn't that far removed from a 2019 season in which he finished sixth in the AL Cy Young balloting. In 2021, Rodriguez put up the best command-and-control numbers of his career.
Chris Sale Boston Red Sox SP
Sale's rib injury has limited him this spring and will take a bite out of his regular season. However, he's proved that when healthy he's still capable of ace-grade results.
Willy Adames Milwaukee Brewers SS
The 26-year-old shortstop took off after a trade to the Brewers last season, but that level of production isn't out of step with what he did in 2020. He'll be a notable presence in the Milwaukee lineup.
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees DH
This typically isn't a space for 30-something DHs, but Stanton is an exception. He found health last season and was able to rack up 35 home runs.
Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins CF
Injuries are the only thing that's kept Buxton from stardom. Even when he's missing time, though, he still provides enough value with his stellar defense in center and cultivated power to merit inclusion.
Jesse Winker Seattle Mariners LF
The Mariners are one of the teams benefitting from the Reds' decision to tank in 2022. In their case, they get the 28-year-old Winker and his career slash line of .288/.385/.504.
Fernando Tatis Jr. could miss the first three months of the 2022 campaign. CBS Sports
Joey Gallo New York Yankees RF
Gallo is a plus glove when manning a corner spot, and his power and willingness to work walks are more than enough to make up for his long-standing contact issues.
Fernando Tatis San Diego Padres SS
Tatis will unfortunately miss perhaps three months after undergoing wrist surgery. However, his excellence-when-healthy is such that he should still bank enough value down the stretch to merit this ranking.
Trevor Story Boston Red Sox SS
Story struggled with making throws from shortstop last season, but the move to second base in Boston should allow him to make the most of his still excellent range. Story's also a better hitter than he showed in 2021.
Jake Cronenworth San Diego Padres 2B
The San Diego second baseman has a 123 OPS+ over his first two MLB seasons. In 2021, he struck out just 90 times in 643 plate appearances.
Jacob deGrom New York Mets SP
DeGrom's stuff and outstanding recent results make him the best pitcher in baseball … when healthy. The problem, though, is that deGrom is once again not healthy, which explains what might seem like a low ranking. Right now, it looks like the scapula issue he's dealing with could push his first start back to early June. The guess here is he's still excellent when on the mound, but pitching a partial season negatively affects deGrom's total value in 2022. So here he is.
Kris Bryant Colorado Rockies 3B
Will a full-time single position in the field allow Bryant to make some gains at the plate, or will it simply reduce his overall value? However that plays out, Bryant will continue producing with the bat in his hands.
Jorge Polanco Minnesota Twins 2B
Polanco disappointed during the COVID-compromised 2020 season, but he bounced back in a big way last year. He's back to being a big producer as middle infielders go.
Josh Donaldson New York Yankees 3B
Donaldson is 36 and has injury concerns in his semi-recent past. However, he's also coming off a 2021 season in which he cracked 26 home runs in 135 games and ranked fourth in all MLB with an average exit velocity of 94.1 mph.
Tyler O'Neill St. Louis Cardinals LF
O'Neill's shed full of tools showed up in a big way last season, as he slugged .560 with 34 homers in 138 games and good defense in right. His elite exit velocities and sprint speed underpin it all.
Logan Webb San Francisco Giants SP
Webb last season eased off his fastball in favor of more sinkers and curves, and ace-like results followed. Across 26 starts and one relief appearance, Webb notched a 3.03 ERA and a 4.39 K/BB ratio.
Can Sandy Alcantara make another All-Star team in 2022? CBS Sports
Cedric Mullins Baltimore Orioles CF
One of the few bright spots for the 2021 Orioles, the diminutive Milluns put up a 135 OPS+ as a center fielder in his first full season.
Austin Riley Atlanta Braves 3B
Riley was a huge part of Atlanta's success last season with a 132 OPS+ and 33 homers as a 24-year-old.
Bryan Reynolds Pittsburgh Pirates CF
In his breakout 2021 campaign, Reynolds batted .302/.390/.522 with 24 home runs, eight triples, and 75 walks. That high batting average was earned at the quality-of-contact level, and Reynolds also graded out as a major plus in center.
Matt Chapman Toronto Blue Jays 3B
Chapman arrives in Toronto with some concerns about his hip, but he also arrives with a substantial track record of power outputs and fielding excellence at third base.
Brandon Nimmo New York Mets CF
Since 2017, his second season in the majors, Nimmo has done nothing but hit. Over that span, he has an OPS+ of 133 and an OBP of .395.
Nathan Eovaldi Boston Red Sox SP
Over the last two seasons, Eovaldi's results – 5.88 K/BB ratio, 3.02 FIP across 41 starts – have risen to meet his stuff. His health history is well known, but he's been free of arm problems since 2019.
Charlie Morton Atlanta Braves SP
Sure, Morton is 38, but decline doesn't appear to be an immediate concern. Last season, he put up a 132 ERA+ and struck out 216 batters in 185 2/3 innings while averaging 96 mph with his fastball.
Pete Alonso New York Mets 1B
Petaters – you see, he's named Pete, and he hits taters – has over the first three seasons of his MLB career averaged 46 home runs per 162 games played.
Starling Marte New York Mets CF
The Mets' new fly-catcher remains, even at age 33, one of the top five-tool threats around. Last season, he stole 47 bases in 120 games.
Sandy Alcantara Miami Marlins SP
Alcantara and his 98-mph sinker have put up a 121 ERA+ overall and a 134 ERA+ over his last 40 starts. He topped 200 strikeouts in 2021.
Salvador Perez crushed 48 homers in 2021. CBS Sports
Willson Contreras Chicago Cubs C
Contreras has worked to develop solid pitch-framing skills, and he remains a rich source of power as catchers go.
Luis Castillo Cincinnati Reds SP
One of the leading changeup artists in baseball right now, Castillo has a career ERA+ of 123, and he's been quite healthy and durable throughout that career.
Lucas Giolito Chicago White Sox SP
Since his 2019 breakout, Giolito has notched an All-Star appearance and a pair of top-10 finishes in the AL Cy Young balloting. Turfing his sinker and increasing use of his changeup has helped make it all happen.
George Springer Toronto Blue Jays CF
Health is always the key for Springer. When he's on the field, he produces like few else in the game today.
Yoan Moncada Chicago White Sox 3B
Over the last three seasons, Moncada owns a 123 OPS+ with sound defense at third base.
Seiya Suzuki Chicago Cubs RF
The marquee import of the offseason should provide the North Siders with good plate discipline, hard-hit balls, and a strong throwing arm in the outfield.
Jose Berrios Toronto Blue Jays SP
Berríos has for some time been a pretty durable moundsman, and last year he made impressive gains in terms of commanding the strike zone.
Randy Arozarena Tampa Bay Rays LF
The 27-year-old Arozarena has a 136 OPS+ for his career, and that's not counting his .354/.436/.760 line across 29 postseason games.
Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers 1B
Muncy is coming off Tommy John surgery, and the Dodgers' signing of Freddie Freeman means that he'll likely spend most of his time at second and third base. Whatever his role, he'll continue putting up big numbers at the dish.
Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals C
Perez likely won't repeat his 48-homer outburst from a season ago, but he'll still be the best power threat among catchers.
Yordan Alvarez will be the anchor of Houston's offense in 2022. CBS Sports
Justin Verlander Houston Astros SP
The future Hall of Famer is coming off Tommy John surgery and ready to reclaim his spot atop the Houston rotation. Yes, he's 39 now, but this is a pitcher who won a Cy Young at age 36.
Aaron Nola Philadelphia Phillies SP
Nola's 2021 didn't go as planned from a run-prevention standpoint, but the stuff and underlying metrics are as strong as ever. He'll be back in vintage form this year.
Paul Goldschmidt St. Louis Cardinals 1B
Goldbird over the last two seasons has an OPS+ of 144, which means the Paul Goldschmidt Decline Watch is hereby on hold.
Framber Valdez Houston Astros SP
Valdez over the last two seasons has ridden his sinker-curve approach to a 3.29 ERA. When healthy, he may be the most underrated starting pitcher in MLB.
Max Fried Atlanta Braves SP
The lefty in 2021 made gains at the command-and-control level, and he looks like a near-ace moving forward provided he stays healthy.
Marcus Stroman Chicago Cubs SP
Stroman added a splitter to his repertoire last season, and that should help continue thriving when it comes to keeping the ball on the ground and keeping runs off the board.
Ketel Marte Arizona Diamondbacks CF
The relentlessly useful Marte can man multiple premium defensive positions and put up strong numbers with the bat while doing so.
Brandon Woodruff Milwaukee Brewers SP
Since the start of the 2019 season, Woodruff has established himself as one of the top starters in the National League. In his first full season of 2021, he reached even higher levels.
Yordan Alvarez Houston Astros DH
Through the first 233 games of his big-league career, Alvarez boasts an OPS+ of 150 (!). In other words, he's one of the best pure hitters around.
Kevin Gausman Toronto Blue Jays SP
The impressive strides that Gausman made during his two seasons with the Giants look repeatable in his first year with Toronto.
Nolan Arenado and the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping to win the NL Central for the first time since 2019. CBS Sports
Brandon Lowe Tampa Bay Rays 2B
Lowe, with a career OPS+ of 136 that's trended upward over the last two seasons, could be a serious AL MVP candidate in 2022.
Kyle Tucker Houston Astros RF
Tucker, despite an awkward looking swing, has established himself as a major offensive threat at the highest level. If he approximates last year's additional step forward, then he'll be quite higher on this list going into 2023.
Ozzie Albies Atlanta Braves 2B
Albies, still just 25, is a strong blend of power at the plate, defensive prowess at the keystone, and speed on the bases.
Anthony Rendon Los Angeles Angels 3B
Injuries to his lower half carved a huge chunk out of Rendon's second season in Anaheim, but the expectation here is that he gets back to All-Star form in 2022.
Jose Altuve Houston Astros 2B
Altuve last season rebounded very nicely from those small-sample-size struggles during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. He's back to being one of the best at the position.
Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox SS
Bogaerts is miscast defensively as a shortstop, but the bat makes up for any fielding deficiencies at the position. Since 2018, he's averaged 77 extra-base hits per 162 games played.
Lance Lynn Chicago White Sox SP
Lynn leveled up in a big way during the 2019 season, and he's shown no signs of coming down from those heights yet. (Note: Lynn's ranking was established before it was announced he would miss six weeks or more after undergoing knee surgery. As such, consider him to be lower on this list.)
J.T. Realmuto Philadelphia Phillies C
Realmuto remains the best balance of offensive and defensive skills among NL catchers.
Freddie Freeman Los Angeles Dodgers 1B
Freeman may be showing some early and soft signs of decline at the plate, but he's still squarely in his productive years. He very much fits the Dodgers' current window of World Series aspirations.
Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals 3B
As has been the case for almost a decade now, Arenado remains a plus-plus fielder at third and a rich source of right-handed power.
Will Year 2 in Queens go better for Francisco Lindor than Year 1? CBS Sports
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox SS
Anderson has developed into a quality defender at short, and he also boasts one of the best bats among his positional peers.
Max Scherzer New York Mets SP
Scherzer is 37, which means some slippage is possible and which explains his lower-than-customary ranking. That said, the stuff is still there as are the results. He has the potential to make this placement look like an underplay.
Robbie Ray Seattle Mariners SP
The 2021 AL Cy Young winner has become fastball-slider dominant, and it's resulted in career-best outputs. That Ray struck out 32.1 percent of opposing hitters last season augurs very well for the future.
Matt Olson Atlanta Braves 1B
The Braves are betting that Olson can fill the substantial footprints of Freddie Freeman at first base, and their faith is justified. Olson, already a quality hitter, reached the next level in 2021, and the underlying indicators suggest it's a sustainable improvement.
Zack Wheeler Philadelphia Phillies SP
Wheeler has developed into an elite blend of stuff and results, and he'll resume being one of the NL's best starting pitchers once he's fully clear of the shoulder soreness that limited him early in spring training.
Manny Machado San Diego Padres 3B
Since inking that big contract with the Pads, Machado has registered an OPS+ of 126 with plus fielding at third base. In other words, he's been worth the investment and then some. That'll again be the case in 2022.
Francisco Lindor New York Mets SS
Lindor's first season in Queens got off to a slow start, but he approached his vintage self in the second half. That's the standard and the expectation moving forward, and that's why he's ranked highly on this list.
Marcus Semien Texas Rangers 2B
Last season, Semien's transition from shortstop to second base went exceptionally well, and he resumed his leveled-up production at the plate that he first enjoyed in 2019.
Yasmani Grandal Chicago White Sox C
The veteran backstop has good pop and tremendous patience at the plate, and he remains a quality defender behind it.
Rafael Devers Boston Red Sox 3B
Over the last three seasons, Devers has batted .291/.350/.537 and averaged 47 doubles per 162 games played. At age 25, he may not have yet reached his ceiling as a hitter.
Bo Bichette and the Blue Jays are hoping to play postseason baseball in 2022. CBS Sports
Luis Robert Chicago White Sox CF
If Robert plays a full season in 2021, then he's going to be in the top 10 of the AL MVP balloting. He's an exceptional combination of power and defensive excellence at a key position.
Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies RF
The 2021 NL MVP remains one of the most effective blends of power and patience among all hitters.
Shane Bieber Cleveland Guardians SP
It's telling that Bieber's 2021 season, in which he posted a 139 ERA+ and struck out 12.5 batters per nine, was considered a bit of a disappointment on the heels of his 2020 Cy Young campaign.
Corey Seager Texas Rangers SS
We know what Seager can do when healthy, and that's being perhaps the most productive offensive shortstop in MLB. The Rangers are betting more than $300 million that health will be his, at least for most part, moving forward.
Alex Bregman Houston Astros 3B
Leg problems have limited Bregman over the last two seasons. However, he's still just 28 and looking to get back to the MVP-caliber form he flashed in 2018 and 2019.
Will Smith Los Angeles Dodgers C
Smith last season faced a starter's workload for the first time behind the plate, and he continued putting up big numbers offensively. Yes, he's now the best all-around catcher in baseball.
Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays SS
We've got an embarrassment of riches at the shortstop position right now, and young Bichette is part of it. He'll continue making strides at the plate while being a defensive asset with the glove.
Aaron Judge New York Yankees RF
He's coming off a strong 2021 campaign in which he batted .287/.373/.544 with 39 home runs in 148 games and a WAR of 6.0. Those are quite obviously strong numbers, and Judge also logged his most games played since 2017. Injuries have been a concern for Judge throughout his career, but nothing predicts health in an upcoming season like health in the prior season. That bodes well for the slugger in 2022.
Ronald Acuna Atlanta Braves RF
If he weren't coming off ACL surgery and expected to miss a bit of time to start the season, he'd be near the very top of this list.
Trea Turner Los Angeles Dodgers SS
A plus-fielding shortstop, an elite base-runner, and of late a true power stroke – Turner is indeed one of the most valuable players in the game right now.
What will Shohei Ohtani do as an encore after an unprecedented 2021? CBS Sports
Corbin Burnes Milwaukee Brewers SP
Burnes emphasized his cutter and curve last season to dominant effect – an MLB-leading 2.43 ERA and 234 strikeouts in 167 innings. Yes, Burnes is now the top pitcher in the NL.
Carlos Correa Minnesota Twins SS
The former Astro and freshly minted Twin is among the best defensive shortstops in baseball. As a bonus, he hits like an All-Star first baseman.
Gerrit Cole New York Yankees SP
He's probably the safest bet among pitchers to reach 200 innings in 2022, and he's also among the most dominant of moundsmen.
Wander Franco Tampa Bay Rays SS
It says here that Franco, coming off an excellent rookie half-season, will take the next step toward superstardom in 2022. He has the ceiling and the broad base of skills to be a generational player.
Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels DH
The reigning AL MVP excelled at hitting and pitching last season. One worries about the physical toll of all that excelling, but the only fair assumption is that in terms of overall value Ohtani will continue walking among the gods in 2022.
Jose Ramirez Cleveland Guardians 3B
It's a shame that Guardians ownership won't do the bare minimum to surround a special player like Ramirez with a contention-worthy roster. Across the past five seasons, Ramirez has an OPS+ of 139 and plus defense at the hot corner.
Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers RF
The most complete player in baseball? Betts going into his age-29 campaign very much remains in that discussion.
Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels CF
Trout's recent health woes keep him from the tip-top of this list. Otherwise, the expectation is that he'll soldier on as the most dominant hitter in the game. It speaks volumes that ranking him third constitutes a hedge on our part.
Vladimir Guerrero Toronto Blue Jays 1B
Last season, Guerrero as a 22-year-old unlocked his power potential in a huge way, and he did so while also displaying an advanced command of the strike zone. A brilliant career lies ahead.
Juan Soto Washington Nationals RF
As a 19-year-old rookie in 2018, Soto batted .292/.406/.517. In terms of rate-based production, that stands as his worst season to date. Four seasons into his career, Soto is looking like this generation's answer to Ted Williams.

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