Ben Verlander's top 10 MLB players for 2024: Nos. 10-6

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As we draw closer to the 2024 season, I’ve been revealing my top 50 players in Major League Baseball on “Flippin’ Bats.” We’ve now reached the top 10, the elite of the elite in the sport. 

As a reminder, this ranking is only for the upcoming season.

Without further ado, let’s dive into Nos. 10-6.

2023 stats: .263/.367/.490, 18 home runs, 44 RBIs, 2.9 Wins Above Replacement

As my co-host Alex Curry put it, Trout is already a future first-ballot Hall of Famer who probably held the top spot on lists like these for a good five or six years — when Alex was covering him every day as the Angels’ dugout reporter. 

He’s dealt with a lot of different injuries and been overshadowed on his own team by Shohei Ohtani over the past few seasons, but I think Trout is due for a bounce-back season in terms of both health and on-field production. He still deserves to be included in a top-10 list of MLB players and I believe he will remind us why in 2024.

Top 50 MLB Players for 2024: 10-6 | Flippin’ Bats

2023 stats: .293/.407/.583, 31 home runs, 97 RBIs, 4.6 Wins Above Replacement

There’s an argument for Álvarez being the best pure hitter in baseball. He’s certainly in the top three. Some guys are just different at the plate, and Álvarez is clearly one of them. The Astros have boasted one of the game’s best lineup for years, and no one in it is more feared than Álvarez. 

How many times have we seen a team bring in a left-handed reliever specifically to face the lefty slugger, only for Álvarez to hit one out of the park and make his opponent look like a fool? Two moments from the Astros’ 2022 World Series run that fans perhaps remember fondest involve that exact scenario. (Apologies to Phillies and Mariners fans.) And that’s to say nothing of the many, many home runs he hit during the 2023 playoffs for Houston.

2023 stats: .331/.410/.567, 29 home runs, 102 RBIs, 6.5 Wins Above Replacement

Freeman is Mr. Consistency to the point that I half expect him to still be on this list when he’s 50 years old and still near the top of the MLB leaderboards in hits, batting average and RBIs. It really is remarkable how the now-34-year-old seems to just keep getting better as he gets older. That’s just a testament to — and I’ve heard him speak about it — believing and trusting in his approach. That is so much easier said than done. 

It’s natural for hitters to feel like they have to change something up when they struggle, even at the highest level. But Freeman approaches every plate appearance with the confidence that his approach works. It can be extremely difficult to maintain your production after you’ve changed teams, moved to the opposite side of the country and advanced further into your thirties. Freeman is not only doing all that — he’s still improving.

2023 stats: .275/.410/.519, 35 home runs, 109 RBIs, 5.5 Wins Above Replacement

Soto is already a batting champion, a World Series champion, and now the latest potential Yankees savior — and he’s still only 25 years old. One of the things I’m most excited for this upcoming season is to watch him hit at Yankee Stadium and hit back-to-back with Aaron Judge in that Bronx Bombers lineup. Soto was not himself at pitcher-friendly Petco Park during his year and a half with the San Diego Padres, but he was still elite just about everywhere else. 

Last season on the road, Soto hit .307 with a 1.026 OPS. Overall, he set a career high with 35 home runs. Expect that number to go up now that he’s swapping out Petco for the short porch at Yankee Stadium. I’m predicting he’ll hit at least 40 this next season, especially since Soto will likely end up hitting ahead of Judge. Oh, and this is also a contract year for Soto. He’s primed for a massive 2024, and I can’t wait to watch.

Are the Yankees the American League favorite after the Juan Soto deal?

2023 stats: .266/.320/.459, 26 home runs, 76 RBIs, 3.4 Wins Above Replacement

One of the coolest stories in baseball last year was how, amid a dismal start to his first season in Philadelphia, Turner turned his year around after Phillies fans organized a standing ovation for him at Citizens Bank Park. That took place at the beginning of August, and that month, Turner had an incredible .333/.376/.685 slash line with a 179 OPS+. In the second half of the season overall, Turner hit .292 and slugged 16 of his 26 total home runs.

I think, and Turner has hinted as much, that the pressure of the first year of his massive contract in Philadelphia and living up to his “Captain America” star turn for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic played a huge factor in his slow start last year. But that’s all way behind him now.

Because of four quiet months to open the season, Turner finished with a .266 average, and anyone who has watched him over the past decade knows that’s not his game. He’s a high-average, high-contact, high-stolen base guy whose bat also packs some pop. I believe his final two months of 2023 are a more accurate preview of what he’ll produce in 2024, with 30 homers and 30 steals on the table for this year. 

Stay turned next week as I reveal my top five MLB players for the 2024 season! The order might surprise you.

Here’s my full list thus far:

50. J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
49. Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs
48. Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins
47. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
46. Max Fried, Atlanta Braves
45. Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
44. Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners
43. Cody Bellinger, free agent
42. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
41. Pete Alonso, New York Mets
40. Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles
39. Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks
38. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
37. Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres
36. Blake Snell, free agent
35. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
34. José Altuve, Houston Astros
33. Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies
32. Luis Arráez, Miami Marlins
31. Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays
30. Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox
29. Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles
28. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres
27. Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
26. Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals
25. Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves
24. Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
23. Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays
22. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets
21. Adolis García, Texas Rangers
20. José Ramírez, Cleveland Guardians
19. Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers
18. Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves
17. Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves
16. Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks
15. Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
14. Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres
13. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
12. Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros
11. Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners

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Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him on Twitter @BenVerlander.

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Freddie Freeman

Juan Soto

Trea Turner


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