Major League Baseball
Ranking the 10 best second basemen in MLB 2024
Major League Baseball

Ranking the 10 best second basemen in MLB 2024

Updated Apr. 3, 2024 3:51 p.m. ET

Before a regular-season game has been played, there's already a new No. 1.

Mookie Betts would have been the top player at the position entering the 2024 season. The six-time Gold Glove Award-winning right fielder was expected to make a full-time move to second base this year. Instead, he's on the move again.

The Dodgers announced Friday that they're switching Betts to shortstop and Gavin Lux to second base in a decision that manager Dave Roberts described as "permanent, for now." With that, these rankings take on a new look.

Our nine-part position series continues here with the top 10 second basemen entering the 2024 season.


10 Best Second Basemen in 2024

1. José Altuve, Houston Astros
2023: .311/.393/.522, 17 HR, 154 wRC+, 4.0 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .277/.352/.467, 20 HR, 127 wRC+, 3.4 fWAR

2. Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers
2023: .276/.348/.478, 29 HR, 124 wRC+, 6.3 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .265/.337/.457, 26 HR, 115 wRC+, 4.6 fWAR

3. Luis Arráez, Miami Marlins
2023: .354/.393/.469, 10 HR, 132 wRC+, 3.4 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .316/.369/.418, 7 HR, 113 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR

Arráez, who just became the first player in baseball's modern era to win the batting title in each league in back-to-back seasons, is defying what we thought possible in today's game. In a time of exit velo and launch angle, there is no hitter quite like him. He doesn't hit it hard. He doesn't hit it far. But he also doesn't miss. Arráez was on .400 watch for much of the year before finishing the season with a .354 batting average — the highest mark in a full season since Josh Hamilton (.359) in 2010. 

Arráez sported MLB's lowest whiff rate (7.8%) and strikeout rate (5.5%) last season, and no one came close to challenging him. (The average MLB whiff rate and strikeout rate last year were 25.8% and 22.7%, respectively.) His defense hurts his projections, but there's a reason he finished eighth in MVP voting in 2023. Considering his age (he turns 27 next month), it's possible his ceiling goes higher.  

Marlins' Luis Arráez on hitting approach & Tony Gwynn comparisons

4. Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
2023: .280/.336/.513, 33 HR, 124 wRC+, 4.0 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .273/.327/.478, 26 HR, 113 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR

5. Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres
2023: .285/.350/.440, 19 HR, 120 wRC+, 4.4 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .275/.346/.424, 17 HR, 115 wRC+, 4.0 fWAR

He's one of the toughest players to rank on this list, given that he has never played the position professionally. But regardless of how Bogaerts handles the defensive switch, the former shortstop immediately becomes one of the top-hitting second basemen in the sport. Even in a down year offensively last season, Bogaerts' .790 OPS was still 20% better than league average and would have ranked seventh among all qualified second basemen. 

He's posted an OPS+ of 120 or better every year since 2018, and after dealing with a nagging wrist injury early in the 2023 season, he looked much better in the second half. There will be more dynamic defenders at the spot, but his offensive talents provide a higher floor than most players at this position. 

Xander Bogaerts blasts solo homer to extend Padres' lead vs. Astros

6. Andrés Giménez, Cleveland Guardians
2023: .251/.314/.399, 15 HR, 97 wRC+, 3.6 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .272/.339/.424, 15 HR, 113 wRC+, 4.7 fWAR

7. Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs
2023: .283/.346/.383, 9 HR, 102 wRC+, 4.7 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .276/.335/.392, 11 HR, 99 wRC+, 4.0 fWAR

8. Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
2023: .276/.358/.485, 25 HR, 127 wRC+, 4.2 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .279/.353/.473, 19 HR, 122 wRC+, 3.4 fWAR

9. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
2023: .273/.347/.453, 25 HR, 123 wRC+, 3.2 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .271/.342/.454, 24 HR, 121 wRC+, 3.6 fWAR

10. Matt McLain, Cincinnati Reds
2023: .290/.357/.507, 16 HR, 128 wRC+, 3.2 fWAR
2024 ZiPS: .252/.339/.449, 20 HR, 109 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR

On a team with a young talent as dazzling as Elly De La Cruz, it can be easy for the other rookies to fly more under the radar. But what McLain did last season shouldn't go unnoticed. McLain, Triston Casas and NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll were the only players in their age-23 seasons or younger to post an OPS over .850 in at least 400 plate appearances. 

McLain, who finished fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting, had the highest batting average (.290) and slugging percentage (.507) of that trio. At just 24 years old entering this season, it's not a surprise that ZiPS projects him to be a top-10 player at the position.

Honorable mentions: Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays), Bryson Stott (Philadelphia Phillies), Edouard Julien (Minnesota Twins), Jordan Westburg (Baltimore Orioles), Jeff McNeil (New York Mets

Other MLB Positional Rankings

Rowan Kavner is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. He previously covered the L.A. Dodgers, LA Clippers and Dallas Cowboys. An LSU grad, Rowan was born in California, grew up in Texas, then moved back to the West Coast in 2014. Follow him on Twitter at @RowanKavner.


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