With the start of the 2021 season just around the corner, MLB Network is currently rolling out its annual top 10 lists ranked by The Shredder at each position.
Although the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 2020, they did not have any left fielders make the list with both AJ Pollock and Joc Pederson being included in the ‘just missed’ category.
Checking in at No. 1 was Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich despite a bit of a down year in 2020. The way The Shredder compiled the list is based on Statcast metrics and other statistics such as WAR and WRC+.
Because of the shortened 2020 season, The Shredder went back three years to evaluate players. That presumably was a factor behind Yelich remaining at the top after outstanding 2018 and 2019 campaigns.
Rounding out The Shredder’s top 10 was Michael Brantley (Houston Astros) at No. 2 followed by Mark Canha (Oakland Athletics), Marcell Ozuna (free agent), Jesse Winker (Cincinnati Reds), Dominic Smith (New York Mets), Eloy Jimenez (Chicago White Sox), Alex Dickerson (San Francisco Giants), Clint Frazier (New York Yankees) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Toronto Blue Jays).
Pollock has a legitimate argument to make the list after an outstanding 2020 season with the Dodgers. In 55 games, he hit .276/.314/.566 with a team-leading 16 home runs and 34 RBI while accumulating a 0.9 WAR.
Pederson, on the other hand, had a down year in 2020, slashing .190/.285/.397 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 43 games. He posted a -0.3 WAR but had a career year in 2019, which probably was the reason he appeared on the ‘just missed’ list.
While Pollock is still under contract with the Dodgers for two more seasons, Pederson is currently a free agent and seems unlikely to be back with the team.
Ozuna, who is the only current free agent to make the top 10, has been linked to the Dodgers in recent weeks, although the fit is a bit questionable.
The 30-year-old isn’t known for his defense but is coming off an incredible offensive season in which he hit .338/.431/.636 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 60 games with the Atlanta Braves.
Barring a signing of either Pederson or Ozuna, Pollock will likely head into 2021 as the Dodgers’ regular left fielder.
MLB Top 10 left fielders right now for 2021
|Rank||The Shredder||Mike Petriello||Sarah Langs||Vince Gennaro|
|1||Christian Yelich (Brewers)||Christian Yelich (Brewers)||Christian Yelich (Brewers)||Christian Yelich (Brewers)|
|2||Michael Brantley (Astros)||Marcell Ozuna (free agent)||Marcell Ozuna (free agent)||Michael Brantley (Astros)|
|3||Mark Canha (Athletics)||Eloy Jiménez (White Sox)||Eloy Jiménez (White Sox)||Dominic Smith (Mets)|
|4||Marcell Ozuna (free agent)||Michael Brantley (Astros)||Michael Brantley (Astros)||Marcell Ozuna (free agent)|
|5||Jesse Winker (Reds)||Randy Arozarena (Rays)||Dominic Smith (Mets)||Mark Canha (Athletics)|
|6||Dominic Smith (Mets)||Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays)||Randy Arozarena (Rays)||Eloy Jiménez (White Sox)|
|7||Eloy Jiménez (White Sox)||Jesse Winker (Reds)||Jesse Winker (Reds)||Randy Arozarena (Rays)|
|8||Alex Dickerson (Giants)||Clint Frazier (Yankees)||Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays)||Jesse Winker (Reds)|
|9||Clint Frazier (Yankees)||Dominic Smith (Mets)||Clint Frazier (Yankees)||Alex Dickerson (Giants)|
|10||Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Blue Jays)||Mark Canha (Athletics)||Tommy Pham (Padres)||Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox)|
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