Ranking the top 25 players in the National League East for 2023
15. Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves
Harris was another Alex Anthopoulos special last season, as his call up in May changed the energy and feel about the Braves last year and took it to National League Rookie of the Year honors. He posted a 5.3 WAR in four months, with a .297 batting average, 49 extra-base hits and played excellent center field defense at Truist Park, posting a +8 defensive runs saved, reminding Braves fans of Andruw Jones patroling the outfields of Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field in the 1990s and 2000s.
14. Jeff McNeil, New York Mets
Jeff McNeil is coming off the best season of his career where he led the majors with a .326 batting average and finish the season piping hot. McNeil became the second Met to win the National League batting title (Jose Reyes in 2011) with a four-year contract extension in which he won't have to deal with arbitration anymore. McNeil is primed for another big year protecting Pete Alonso in a deep Mets lineup.
13. Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
In a league that has grown quite difficult for pitchers to throw complete games, Nola has five of them since 2020, including three shutouts (most in the majors). His 6.09 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that span also ranks first among qualified starters. He is that reliable and efficient. Barring anything unforseen, Nola will become the fourth pitcher in Phillies history to make six Opening Day starts, joining Chris Short, Robin Roberts, and Steve Carlton. Nola is set to receive a massive pay day from somebody in the next 12 months, as he is up for free agency at the end of the year.
12. Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets
The Mets recognized Nimmo's value to the Mets as a center fielder and as an on-base of a leadoff hitter this winter by handing him an 8-year, $162 million deal that will make him a Met for life. The Mets offense is such a functional unit when Nimmo is in the lineup and producing. Nimmo has a career .385 on-base percentage and a 130 OPS+. He's also played strong center field defense the last two years, adding to his value and solving the team's previous center field woes.
11. Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves
Matt Olson proved to be a strong replacement for Freddie Freeman last year, as he helped his hometown Braves slug past the Mets in the division. Three of his 34 home runs last season came in that crucial three-game sweep at Truist Park the final weekend of the season, and hit home runs in big spots throughout the season. He is a streaky hitter, though.