Top RFs in MLB currently
Just like there is every other year, there promises to be tons of competition among the best right fielders in 2023 when it comes to who is the best in baseball at that position.
Several of the top right fielders in MLB right now could easily end up being among the greatest outfielders of all time or the best players in baseball history when all is said and done. Even if they aren’t there yet, there are a few players who are on their way to that kind of status.
Best right fielders 2023
But enough about the future, who are the best RFs in baseball currently? Well, we narrowed our list down to the 10 best right fielders in 2023.
From there, putting them in order was no easy task because a few right fielders have a strong argument for being the best at their position. But we crunched the numbers and considered all of the angles to give you a proper ranking of the 10 best right fielders for the 2023 season.
10. Hunter Renfroe
The Angels will be Hunter Renfroe’s fifth team in five years in 2023. It’s hard to figure out why teams don’t want to keep this guy. He’s got a rocket for an arm in right field and has 60 homers and 56 doubles over the last two seasons.
Granted, his plate discipline and speed are a little lacking, which is why he’s not as valuable as the right fielders ahead of him on our list, even some who are older. But hitting for power and playing solid defense are traits most teams would love to have in a right fielder, and the Angels are getting them with Renfroe.
9. Teoscar Hernandez
How about the deal the Mariners made this offseason to trade for Teoscar Hernandez? Even if his numbers slipped a little in 2022 after winning the Silver Slugger in each of the two previous seasons, he was still one of the better players in baseball to be traded this offseason.
Obviously, the Mariners don’t want to see any further drops in his numbers after Hernandez posted an OPS of .807 last year. But they were surely wise to take a chance on someone with 57 homers and 64 doubles over the last two years.
8. George Springer
With Kevin Kiermarier in Toronto, George Springer will likely see most of his playing time in right field this year. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for a player who’s now 33 and may not cover as much ground as he used to.
More importantly, Springer was able to stay healthy for the most part in 2022 following an injury-plagued 2021 campaign. As long as he can stay on the field, the Blue Jays should be pleased with his production.
Springer hit .267 with 25 home runs and an .814 OPS last year. Toronto will surely take that kind of production again, especially since Springer has a chance to be one of the better defensive right fielders in the American League this season.
7. Starling Marte
Starling Marte is another player who has moved from center field to right field as he begins to age. But even at age 33 last season, Marte still made the All-Star Team.
Keep in mind that Marte has hit no worse than .281 in four consecutive seasons, so that part of his game isn’t diminishing at all.
He’s also a strong defensive player in right field now that he doesn’t have to cover quite as much ground. Power-wise, Marte isn’t going to keep pace with most right fielders, hitting just 16 homers last year. But that’s never been a huge part of his game, so the Mets shouldn’t worry too much about what they’ll get from Marte in 2023.
6. Bryce Harper
Heading into the season, it’s very much up in the air whether Bryce Harper will be one of MLB’s best right fielders in 2023. He’s likely to miss the first part of the season after having Tommy John surgery in November.
Even when he returns, it’s unsure if Harper will be able to play the right field away or be relegated to DH duty the way he was last season.
However, it’d be a mistake for anyone to doubt Harper or bet against him. Amidst his injury troubles last year, he hit .286 with an OPS of .878 in 2022. He then proceeded to hit .349 with six homers and a 1.160 OPS in the postseason. Surely, that’s more than enough to keep him among the top right fielders in MLB right now despite some questions about his health.
5. Fernando Tatis Jr.
Despite having immense talent, Fernando Tatis Jr. might be one of the biggest question marks in baseball this year. He played zero games last year, will miss the first 21 games of the 2023 campaign and is being asked to move from shortstop to right field.
That’s a lot going on with the 24-year-old, even though he has three seasons in the big leagues under his belt. Of course, in those three seasons, Tatis is batting .292 with an OPS of .952 thanks to his 42 home runs in just 130 games two years ago. He’s also a phenomenal athlete who should adjust quickly to right field, so we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt.
4. Ronald Acuna Jr.
A torn ACL sidelined Ronald Acuna Jr. during the second half of 2021 and hindered him throughout 2022. Despite the injury, Acuna still made the All-Star team, although he surely wasn’t himself despite hitting 15 homers and stealing 29 bases.
But now that he’s more than a year removed from the injury, we should see the best that Acuna has to offer in 2023. Keep in mind that he has two Silver Slugger awards and was a 30-30 player in 2019. He’s also a mere 25 years old and should get back to performing at a superstar level this season.
3. Kyle Tucker
Fresh off his first Gold Glove and all-star selection in 2022, not to mention earning a World Series ring, Kyle Tucker could be about to have the best season of his career in 2022.
For what it’s worth, the guy has hit 30 home runs in back-to-back seasons and owns a career OPS of .837. But he’s 26 years old and should be about to enter his prime years. Plus, he does a lot more than hit home runs. As mentioned, Tucker was a Gold Glover last season. He also stole 25 bases in 2022.
His defense and speed help to separate him from all of the power-hitting right fielders and puts Tucker in exclusive company.
2. Mookie Betts
Since 2016, Mookie Betts has been a perennial all-star while also winning a Gold Glove all but once during that span. At age 30, Betts is very much in his prime and is surrounded by talent with the Dodgers, which should help his performance.
We should mention that Betts has seen his numbers decline since he won the batting title and MVP honors in 2018 while also joining the 30-30 club. But he’s still an above-average hitter with power and an elite athlete. In other words, Betts is on another level compared to almost every other outfielder in the majors right now.
1. Aaron Judge
Given the season that Aaron Judge had last year, there’s no way he wouldn’t end up at the top of this list. Judge is coming off a historic season and was appropriately compensated by the Yankees during the offseason.
Obviously, it’s going to be hard for Judge to replicate his 62 homers, 131 RBIs, and 1.111 OPS that he posted in 2022, not to mention his 16 stolen bases.
But even if there’s a little bit of a drop-off, there aren’t too many players in baseball at any position who are capable of producing anything close to that. In addition to being a behemoth in the batter’s box, Judge also plays a solid right field and shouldn’t have to worry as much about the Yankees needing him in center field the way they did last season.
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