For the second time in as many days, an Atlanta Braves superstar has been disrespected by MLB Network's top 10 right now list. Ozzie Albies was left off of the top second basemen list completely. Late Thursday night, MLB Network released their top 10 first basemen and Matt Olson is not where you would expect him to be on the list.
Matt Olson has the argument that he is potentially the best first basemen in the game right now. After all, he did lead all of Major League Baseball in two of the three Triple Crown categories a season ago. In 2023, Olson mashed a total of 54 home runs and tallied 139 RBIs. His .283 batting average is nothing to sneeze at either.
Realistically, if Ronald Acuna Jr. did not have a historic season and became the first player to reach an absurd 40 homer, 70 stolen base season, Matt Olson could have won the National League's Most Valuable Player Award. In fact, Olson still finished 4th in MVP voting.
Here is the Top 10 first basemen in the MLB right now according to MLB Network:
Now even with the season Olson had in 2023, most of us would agree that former Brave Freddie Freeman is an acceptable answer for the best in the league. Freeman finished last season with an impressive .331 average and led the MLB in doubles for the second straight season (59). He also finished 3rd in MVP voting. The head scratcher is who took the runner-up position.
NL East rival Bryce Harper is considered a better first basemen than Matt Olson right now according to MLB Network. This analysis is baffling. Since Harper came back from injury, the Phillies have decided to use him as a first basemen. Harper has been an outfielder/DH his entire career.
Bryce Harper undeniably had a great season last year hitting .293 with 21 homers and 72 runs batted in across 126 games, most of which came as a DH because of injury (Harper only played 36 games at first base). These numbers do not compare to what Olson did last season and who is better right now is clear. MLB Network got this one wrong.
Obviously the rankings of these players do not mean a thing. Matt Olson will continue to work and go about his business to help the Braves win next season and won't be concerned about jumping over Bryce Harper on this list. However, it is hard to justify the list MLB Network put together and Olson not first or second drew some attention. Olson is better than Harper right now and that needs to be made clear.