2023 MLB Power Rankings: Who are the favorites for the AL MVP? (June Edition 1.0)
A look at the top performers in the AL.
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already a third into the 2023 MLB regular season. With over eight weeks behind us, let’s take a look at five players that would be among the favorites for the American League Most Valuable Player if the season were to end today.
Related: 2023 MLB Power Rankings: Who are the favorites for the NL MVP?
5. Bo Bichette
Four of the top five players in Major League Baseball in terms of bWAR on this list. One of those players is Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays shortstop is third in the league in bWAR (3.1) and no player in the league has recorded more hits (80) than the 25-year-old.
On the season, Bichette hit .333/.370/.525 with 11 home runs, 23 extra base hits, and 38 RBI across his first 56 games.
4. Marcus Semien
Bichette’s former teammate Marcus Semien slots in at #4 on this list. The 32-year-old, who is second in all of baseball in bWAR (3.2), batted a solid .295/.366/.485 with eight home runs and 44 runs batted in, the latter of which is fifth in the Majors and fourth among AL hitters. In the field, Semien’s been superb. The Rangers infielder possesses a +6 Outs Above Average (OAA) at second base.
The Rangers second baseman has been the complete package this season, as the 32-year-old has helped push the Rangers past the Astros, Angels, and Mariners in a deep AL West.
3. Wander Franco
Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been a regular on this list. Franco’s excellence both at the plate and on the field has the young infielder leading all of MLB in bWAR (3.4). The 22-year-old only hit two home runs in the month of May, but he did swipe 14 bases and hit .296/.361/.417 for a Rays team entrenched in first place in the AL East.
We can’t finish this blurb off without talking about Franco’s defense. Statcast gave Franco a +7 OAA, tied for second among shortstops alongside Dansby Swanson and tied for third among all players. Only SS Xander Bogaerts (+8) and Ke’Bryan Hayes (+8) have better OAA ratings.
2. Aaron Judge
It’s incredible to see what Aaron Judge is doing just one year after a historic 2022 campaign. The reigning AL MVP came into the day on June 1 with 18 home runs, the most in the American League and second in all of MLB. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Judge cranked 18 homers in just 47 games, as he did spend a brief period earlier this year on the IL. Judge also leads the AL in extra base hits (28) all of the league in OPS (1.088).
Judge has been incredible for the Yankees yet again. However, the runner-up for the 2022 AL MVP is our frontrunner at the moment.
1. Shohei Ohtani
To little shock, Angels SP/DH Shohei Ohtani is once again in the top spot. Ohtani is sixth in the Majors (15) in home runs, in the top 20 in runs batted in (38), and has been dominant yet again on the mound. The 28-year-old is 5-1 with a sparkling 2.91 ERA and a AL-high 90 punchouts.
The Angels are still very much in the thick of the AL playoff race and Ohtani is a big reason why.
Note: This list is as of June 1 It will be updated throughout the year.