Major League Baseball
Shohei Ohtani, Yordan Álvarez headline Ben Verlander's MLB Team of the Week
Major League Baseball

Shohei Ohtani, Yordan Álvarez headline Ben Verlander's MLB Team of the Week

Updated Apr. 3, 2023 8:37 p.m. ET

The 2023 MLB season is in full swing after a monumental Opening Day, and that means it's time for FOX Sports' Ben Verlander to reveal his first Team of the Week for the new season on the latest podcast episode of "Flippin' Bats."

Headlining Verlander's list are Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani and Houston Astros powerhouse designated hitter Yordan Álvarez

In three games so far this season, Ohtani has had four hits, including one monster home run, in 12 at-bats to help lift the Angels to 2-1 on the year. Over that same span, Álvarez has five total hits, including one homer, in 11 at-bats.

Shohei Ohtani, Yordan Alvarez headline MLB Team of the Week

Watch "Flippin' Bats with Ben Verlander" on YouTube, or subscribe on podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts.


Let's check out the rest of the squad!

C: Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles

"Historic first series of the year. He was on base his first seven at-bats. … Hit a homer in his first at-bat. Doing stuff that has never, ever been done by a catcher since at least 1901. … An unbelievable first week, and he is off and running."

1B: C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies

"Three homers. Absolutely dominated for the Colorado Rockies. … There are definitely some at-bat that they (the San Diego Padres) should not have [pitched to Cron]. They did, and they paid."

2B: Luis Arráez, Miami Marlins

"This guy, coming off of an AL batting title, gets traded to the Marlins and is hitting over .600 to start this year with them. He was the heart and soul of the offense for the Marlins against the [New York] Mets this first week. … He's doing it all. He's probably the best. If you need a hit in the game of baseball right now, who are you gonna turn to other than this guy?"

SS: Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays

"Man, was he good in the first week of the year. … I feel like this is the year that Wander Franco breaks out with all the hype in the entire world. [He] hit a homer, [played] great defense."

3B: Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies

"First at-bat of the year off Jacob deGrom, [he] hits a homer to deep right center field. … Great first series, great first game of the year. … I think this is the year he has a very, very big year. Saw him making really good plays over at third base for the Phillies. Defensively, that [has] come a long way."

OF: Trayce Thompson, Los Angeles Dodgers

"He had that one game that was [incredible]. … So far on the year — three homers [in one game], eight RBIs."

OF: Adam Duvall, Boston Red Sox

"Walk-off homerun in the game and the statistics for this guy this week — hit over .500, tons of power, tons of multi-hit games."

OF: Yordan Álvarez, Houston Astros 

"A homer, bases-loaded double to start the year. … Five RBIs. I have a feeling Yordan is gonna to be on a lot of my lists this year because I think Yordan is one of the best hitters in the game, if not the best pure hitter in the game of baseball. [He's] playing a lot of outfield now this year."

DH: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

"The hardest-hit ball on Opening Day, an absolute rocket hit to the opposite field a few inches from going out. … He pitched really well on Opening Day [as well]."

SP: Jeffrey Springs, Tampa Bay Rays

"Six innings pitched, 12 strikeouts, no hits. Not a single hit given up. There are a lot of pitchers [who] have potential to be on this list this week. Gerrit Cole was lights-out on Opening Day, but Jeffrey Springs … he's the guy."

CP: Alexis Díaz, Cincinnati Reds

"Edwin Díaz's younger brother. Two innings, a save, three strikeouts for the Cincinnati Reds. Not a single hit give up, not a single baserunner allowed. This guy is dominant. I wouldn't be surprised if we see him on a different team by the trade deadline, but for now he's with the Reds, and man, is he nasty."

Ben Verlander is an MLB analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the "Flippin' Bats" podcast. 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 at @BenVerlander

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