Dodgers Led MLB With 16 Selections On Baseball America’s ‘Best Tools’ List For 2021
Trea Turner, Dodgers City Connect
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

Every season, Baseball America asks all Major League managers, along with some coaches and analysts in front offices, to rank the top three players in each league for a variety of offensive, defensive and pitching categories.

There are a total of 25 categories, including best hitter, best strike-zone judgment, best fastball, best reliever, best defender at each position and best manager.

For the 2021 regular season, three Dodgers’ players won the top spot in four categories, and the team was represented with 16 overall selections out of the total 73 spots.

There were 24 categories that up to three players could be selected and one category where only Dodgers manager Dave Roberts could be picked. The Dodgers’ 16 selections is the most of any club.

Trea Turner was named the best baserunner and the fastest baserunner in the National League, which is well deserved as he has the top sprint speed in baseball among all active players, according to Statcast.

This is the third straight season Turner was named the NL’s best baserunner and the second season he was voted the fastest baserunner.

Mookie Betts also placed third, behind Turner and San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr., in the best baserunner category.

On the defensive side of the ball, Will Smith was named the third-best defensive catcher, Max Muncy took second place in best defensive first baseman and Justin Turner came in third for the best defense at the hot corner.

Surprisingly, neither Cody Bellinger nor Betts took a spot on the best outfield defense list, but both did place in the best outfield arm category. Betts took the top spot and Bellinger came in third behind Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper.

On the non-player side of things, Dave Roberts was selected as the second-best manager in the NL behind Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Dodgers pitching well-represented

On the mound, the Dodgers were recognized in multiple categories that make it easy to see why L.A. had one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball.

Their roster holds the best two curveballs in the NL as Julio Urias took first place while Clayton Kershaw came in second place.

Urias also came in second in the best pickoff move category.

Walker Buehler was chosen as having the second-best fastball in the NL behind New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom.

DeGrom also took the top spot for best slider but he was followed by Max Scherzer and Kershaw, who took second and third, respectively.

So based on the list, the Dodgers’ staff includes the best fastball, the best curveball and the best slider among current active NL pitchers.

Urias also came in second in the best pickoff move category.

And despite flak he regularly received from fans, Kenley Jansen was voted as the third-best reliever in the NL, proving he is still a respected pitcher in the league. It does seem saves were valued highly as Blake Treinen did not place within the top three despite being one of the most valuable relievers in baseball.

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