MLB’s top 25 players at the start of the 2022 regular season | Launderer’s report

Corey SeagerChristian Petersen/Getty Images

15. SS Corey Seager, Texas Rangers

2021 Stats: 95 G, 409 PA, 16 HR, 1 SB, .306 AVG, .394 OBP, .521 SLG, 145 OPS+, 3.7 rWAR

Look, $325 million is a lot for a guy with a long injury history and what’s likely a limited future at shortstop. Still, Seager is an undeniable game-changer when healthy. For proof, see his 147 OPS+ and 31 home runs over the past two seasons and his 2020 World Series MVP-winning performance.

14. 3B Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

2021 stats: 153 G, 640 AP, 28 HR, 12 SB, .278 AVG, .347 OBP, .489 SLG, 131 OPS+, 5.0 rWAR

It’s easier to stay for Guerrero or Devers as the hard-hit baseball king, but Machado is the lone hitter with more than 1,400 hard-hit balls since Statcast arrived in 2015. Since he’s also holding his position pretty well, he’s looking forward to another year as an All-Star contender and MVP.

13. 2B Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers

2021 Stats: 162 G, 724 AP, 45 HR, 15 SB, .265 AVG, .334 OBP, .538 SLG, 133 OPS+, 7.3 rWAR

Semien has been just OK for much of his career, but his 2019 and 2021 seasons make it impossible to ignore his massive upside. All he did both years was play in all 162 games while hitting for power and playing Gold Glove caliber defense. More of that in 2022 would force us to move it closer to No. 1 in 2023.

12. SS Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

2021 Stats: 148 G, 646 PA, 28 HR, 32 SB, .328 AVG, .375 OBP, .536 SLG, 146 OPS+, 6.5 rWAR

It’s apparently Turner’s lot in life that he has to share lineups with hitters who are even bigger stars than he is. But considering he’s hit .330 with 40 homers and 44 stolen bases since the start of 2020, his own excellence certainly becomes harder to deny.

11. 1B Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers

2021 Stats: 159 G, 695 PA, 31 HR, 8 SB, .300 AVG, .393 OBP, .503 SLG, 133 OPS+, 4.7 rWAR

Freeman’s consistency of shooting excellence is quite impressive, as he is the only player to have dominated a 130 OPS+ every year since 2013. And in 2021, he hasn’t fallen as far from his 2020 MVP-winning form as you might think. He has always put up MVP voting numbers despite being one of the less fortunate hitters in the sport.

Kimberly B. Nguyen