Who are the best players in Major League Baseball heading into the 2013 season? ESPN formed a panel of MLB writers, analysts and contributors to rank the top 500. The countdown from No. 500 to No. 1 begins March 20 and ends March 28 with a special edition of "Baseball Tonight" at 10 p.m. ET.
To compile a top 500, 34 ESPN experts -- who were polled during the final two weeks of February -- started with a list of more than 600 players projected to play in the majors in 2013. Using a 0-to-100 scale, they evaluated each player based only on how well they will perform in 2013. Players expected to miss 2013 with an injury, such as Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal, were not included. Ages are listed as of July 1, 2013.