MLB Network is releasing its Top 10 player rankings at every position throughout the month of January, and unsurprisingly, the Philadelphia Phillies are well represented with three players earning a nod so far.
Zach Wheeler gained a sixth-place ranking as one of the Top 10 starters in all of Major League Baseball when the first list was announced last week. Not everyone at That Ball's Outta Here agrees with Wheeler's No. 6 ranking, however.
J.T. Realmuto ranks as the fourth best catcher in MLB
J.T. Realmuto became the highest-ranked member of the Phillies to date when the best catchers in MLB rankings were released on Jan. 10. His fourth-place finish makes him the highest-ranked of all Phillies position players on MLB Network's lists so far.
This pre-season honor for Realmuto is well-deserved as he is one of the best all-around catchers in all of MLB. The well-respected Phillies backstop continues to be elite behind the plate between handling the responsibilities of major league pitching staff and keeping opponents honest on the base paths.
Despite having a slightly down year, by his standards, at throwing runners out, Realmuto was still better than the league average with a 22 percent caught stealing rate. He posted the fastest pop time in the majors at 1.83 seconds and ranked in the 96th percentile with 12 blocks above average, per Baseball Savant.
Realmuto continues to be one of the best offensive catchers in the game and had a solid 2023 season at the plate. He hit .252 with 20 home runs, 63 RBI, and 70 runs scored, in addition to 16 stolen bases. His power and speed combination is a rarity for a demanding position like catcher.
Trea Turner ranks as the fifth best shortstop in MLB
Trea Turner entered the 2023 season as No. 1 on MLB Network's Top 10 rankings just a year ago, but after an up-and-down first season in a Phillies uniform, Turner has slid to number five on the most recent list released on Jan. 11.
Turner's late-season comeback wasn't enough to secure the top spot on this year's rankings, but he still put up solid numbers in 2023. He hit .266 with 26 home runs, 76 RBI, and 30 stolen bases, finishing second on the Phillies with a 3.8 fWAR.
Phillies fans are expecting more out of Turner this season, both offensively and defensively, and it's not unrealistic to think that the 30-year-old shortstop will be ranked higher when MLB Network puts this list together next year.
MLB Network will release its Top 10 right fielders on Tuesday, Jan. 16, and Nick Castellanos could become the fourth Phillies player to earn recognition as one of the best players at his position.