On Sunday night, MLB Network started their rankings of the top ten players at each position right now. The first position was third base and Jung Ho Kang ranked eighth for all third basemen.
These rankings are based on what to expect for the upcoming season. Each show has two hosts who submit their own top tens, plus a panel of experts (usually 3-4) who give their top ten. The main list for the show though, is submitted by “the Shredder”, which is just their name for the list put together by the show’s researchers based on offense and defense, using “analytic methodology”.
Kang was listed last year as the seventh best by the Shredder. Once they went to the hosts and experts, he made just one of those six lists, finishing tenth. Bill James, Vince Gennaro, who is the president of SABR, and Mike Petriello, who is a baseball analyst for MLB.com, were the expert panelists this year. They all left him off their lists. So just like last year, the Shredder seems to favor Kang more than everyone else.
This show is currently on now and we will post updates as they go along, including the third base lists from the hosts, who are Brian Kenny and Mike Lowell. Also at 10 PM, they will have the top ten for second basemen if you want to tune in to that show. Josh Harrison also got rated high by the Shredder last year, then didn’t do well when they went to the hosts/experts. He was ranked fifth on the show’s list and no one had him in their top ten.
UPDATE 9:55 PM: Kang was ranked ninth overall by Brian Kenny. He didn’t make the list for Mike Lowell. This year the show has a list voted on by the fans as well. Kang didn’t make that list. Not including the fan list, Kang finished up making two of the six lists, getting ranked eighth and ninth. Harrison updates to come. The second base show will be hosted by Kenny and Harold Reynolds.
The shows final top ten list for third base (listed 1-10): Josh Donaldson, Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Justin Turner, Adrian Beltre, Kyle Seager, Kang, Anthony Rendon, Evan Longoria.
UPDATE 10:50 PM: Josh Harrison was left off all six lists. All throughout the show they mentioned that second base is the best/deepest position right now, so Harrison had a tough group to crack. His name wasn’t even mentioned as a just missed.