MLB Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now: Mookie Betts Ranked No. 1 By The Shredder For 2021

Having helped the Los Angeles Dodgers end their World Series drought, Mookie Betts was ranked the No. 1 right fielder right now by MLB Network’s The Shredder for a second consecutive season. He previously placed atop the list in 2017 as well.

Like all of the other rankings compiled by The Shredder for this season, the evaluation of right fielders took into account a three-year sample because the 2020 season was shortened to just 60 games. It factored in WAR and wRC+ in addition to Statcast metrics. Defense was not weighed as heavily compared to center field.

While The Shredder favored Betts over the Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto, that didn’t translate to analysts Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs and Vince Gennaro. They each ranked Soto — new to right field for the 2021 season — No. 1 instead of Betts.

Petriello and Gennaro deemed it a relatively easy decision, while it was more challenging for Langs before giving the edge to Soto for being what she believes is the best hitter in baseball.

Gennaro said he had more internal debate over whether to slide Betts to third in favor of Ronald Acuña Jr. Gennaro anticipates Acuña moving past Betts and into second place on the rankings next season.

The Shredder ranked Soto the No. 4 left fielder heading into the 2019 season, and No. 1 at his position last year. Betts has now placed in the top five of rankings in each of the past six years.

Betts’ 3.6 WAR topped not only right fielders but all players in 2020. Since 2018, his 21.2 WAR is first in the Majors, and .405 on-base percentage and .576 slugging are both third. Also during that span, Betts’ slugging (.576), OPS+ (157), DRS (44) and BSR (15.8) are superior to Soto’s respective marks of .557, 151, -15 and 1.0.

Among current right fielders with at least 400 plate appearances since 2019, Betts’ 139 OPS+ is third, behind Soto (157) and Aaron Judge (142).

Betts’ first season with the Dodgers was not spectacular, but steady. He finished the year batting .292/.366/.562 with nine doubles, 16 home runs, 39 RBI and a 149 OPS+. All the while he played stellar defense that amounted to a fifth consecutive Gold Glove Award.

Betts additionally took home a third straight Silver Slugger (fourth overall), finished second in National League MVP voting and was named to the All-MLB First Team.

Top 10 right fielders right now for 2021 season

RankThe ShredderMike PetrielloSarah Langs Vince Gennaro
1Mookie Betts (Dodgers)Juan Soto (Nationals)Juan Soto (Nationals)Juan Soto (Nationals)
2Juan Soto (Nationals)Mookie Betts (Dodgers)Mookie Betts (Dodgers)Mookie Betts (Dodgers)
3Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)
4Aaron Judge (Yankees)Aaron Judge (Yankees)Aaron Judge (Yankees)Aaron Judge (Yankees)
5Bryce Harper (Phillies)Bryce Harper (Phillies)Bryce Harper (Phillies)Bryce Harper (Phillies)
6Mike Yastrzemski (Giants)Michael Conforto (Mets)Michael Conforto (Mets)Michael Conforto (Mets)
7Michael Conforto (Mets)Mike Yastrzemski (Giants)Teoscar Hernández (Blue Jays)Teoscar Hernández (Blue Jays)
8Joey Gallo (Rangers)Teoscar Hernández (Blue Jays)Joey Gallo (Rangers)Joey Gallo (Rangers)
9Charlie Blackmon (Rockies)Austin Meadows (Rays)Mike Yastrzemski (Giants)Mike Yastrzemski (Giants)
10Jorge Soler (Royals)Joey Gallo (Rangers)Austin Meadows (Rays)Nicholas Castellanos (Reds)

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