Voting for Major League Baseball's 2022 All-Star Game won't even begin for another month, but it's never too early to start arguing over who is currently the best in the business.

This ranking of MLB's top players is not exclusively rooted in 2022 production. It's actually more so based on what these players were able to accomplish over the past 3-plus years as opposed to the past 3-plus weeks.

But early returns were certainly a big factor in, say, red-hot Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado ranking ahead of slow starters Juan Soto and Mookie Betts, or pitchers like Carlos Rodon and Kevin Gausman even landing in the top 20.

Early returns (or, rather, the lack thereof) also played a key part in a few very good players missing the cut due to injury. If we were ranking players for a "rest of season" fantasy draft of sorts, all of Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jacob deGrom almost certainly would have made the cut. But they're relegated to honorable mentions for now.

Statistics are current through the start of play on Sunday, May 1.


Honorable Mentions

Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr. and Jacob deGrom

Acuna just made his triumphant return to Atlanta's lineup on Thursday and even swiped two bags to prove that ACL is just fine. However, we opted not to include these three All-Stars who are working their way back from injury. That said, it would not be surprising in the slightest if all three are clearly in the top 20 by the end of July.


Trea Turner

Compared to leading the majors in batting last year (.328) and hitting even better in both 2020 (.335) and 2016 (.342), it has been a slightly down year for Turner (.276). But he's still faring quite well with at least one hit in all but four games played. Once the power starts to resurface (21.3 at bats per home run last season; one home run in 76 at bats this year), he'll be right back in the mix for the top 10.


Carlos Correa

Correa had to go 3-for-5 at the dish on Thursday just to bring his batting average back up to .200. Needless to say, things haven't gone according to plan for last year's fifth-place finisher in the AL MVP race. But June is typically when Correa does his best work, so let's check back in two months before doing anything drastic like writing this off as a lost season.


Pablo Lopez and Logan Gilbert

The beauty of small sample sizes is that a lot of pitchers have gotten out to unexpectedly impressive starts to the season. But we especially need to mention Lopez and Gilbert, each of whom has allowed just one earned run through four starts. And Gilbert's lone blemish was a solo shot in the first inning of his first start, so he hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 22 innings of work.


Also strongly considered (in alphabetical order): Alex Bregman, Walker Buehler, Corbin Burnes, Gerrit Cole, Nester Cortes, Rafael Devers, Tommy Edman, Ty France, Eric Hosmer, Francisco Lindor, Shane McClanahan, Seiya Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Kyle Wright


20. LHP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
23.0 IP, 2.35 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 11.7 K/9

When Kershaw got pulled seven innings into a perfect game in his first start of the season, there was a swift and fierce backlash over the "fragile" and "over-protected" state of starting pitchers these days. But now that the dust of that fracas has settled, can we all just marvel at the fact that this 34-year-old, oft-injured-in-recent-years lefty still has the stuff to mow down 21 consecutive batters, 13 of them by strikeout, in just 80 pitches?

After that immaculate outing against the Twins, Kershaw proceeded to pick up wins over the Braves and the Padres. He's nowhere near the undisputed, best-in-the-business ace that he was in the 2011-17 timeframe, but he's still got some impressive tricks up his sleeve.


19. SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
.375/.419/.500, 1 HR, 9 RBI

Been a rough start to the year for Boston, but that certainly hasn't been Bogaerts' fault. While most of the league seems to be flirting with the Mendoza Line, the Red Sox shortstop is up closer to Ted Williams territory with AL-best marks of 30 hits and .375 average.

From April 17-27, he went 23-of-46 (.500) at the dish with six games of at least three hits. However, he only managed to generate five RBI during that scorching stretch, because no one can seem to get into scoring position ahead of him.