Which Dodgers Made The Shredder Rankings For 2021 Season?

Since its inception in 2014, MLB Network’s The Shredder has compiled top-10 player rankings at each position entering the new season. The Los Angeles Dodgers typically are heavily represented on these lists, and that was again the case in 2021.

For this season’s particular rankings, The Shredder took into account three-year samples because the 2020 campaign was shortened to just 60 games. It factored in statistics like WAR and wRC+ in addition to Statcast metrics.

Defense was weighed more heavily at certain positions (e.g. shortstop and center field) in comparison to others (third base and right field).

Starting pitchers

The Dodgers initially had two representatives on The Shredder’s top-10 starting pitchers list for the 2021 season, with Clayton Kershaw (No. 7) and Walker Buehler (No. 10) each making the cut. Now with the reported signing of Trevor Bauer, they have another as he was ranked No. 4.

Kershaw went unranked last season, but before that had been included in the rankings every year since 2012. For Buehler, it marks a second consecutive year being considered a top-10 starting pitcher.

Kershaw went 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA, 3.31 FIP and 0.84 WHIP in 58.1 innings this past season, placing ninth in National League Cy Young voting. Buehler posted a 3.44 ERA, 4.36 FIP and 0.96 WHIP over eight starts, never logging more than six innings in any outing.

Bauher won the Cy Young Award last season, finishing a modest 5-4 but with a 1.73 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 11 starts.

Relief pitchers

For a third consecutive season, the Dodgers were not featured on The Shredder’s list of top-10 relief pitchers. That’s despite their bullpen being one of the best in baseball this past season, finishing third in FanGraphs’ WAR (3.5).

Kenley Jansen struggled with inconsistencies throughout the year, but other relievers stepped up such as Jake McGee, who pitched to a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings. Other standouts include Victor Gonzalez, who posted a 1.40 ERA as a rookie; and Adam Kolarek, whose 0.95 ERA was the lowest among L.A. relievers with a minimum of 15 innings pitched.


Will Smith, who was recognized by analysts last year, was ranked the third-best catcher by The Shredder heading into this season. The 25-year-old produced 1.3 WAR in 2020, which was 10th-best among all backstops.

Since 2019, Smith’s .574 slugging percentage and 144 wRC+ both rank first for catchers with at least 300 plate appearances. His .363 on-base percentage during that same span is second-best.

First basemen

Max Muncy placed fifth on The Shredder’s list of top first basemen entering the 2021 season despite struggling at the plate last year. In 58 games last season, he batted a lowly .192/.331/.389 with four doubles, 12 home runs and 27 RBI.

Muncy did, however, post the second-highest walk rate of his career at 15.7% and found more success in the playoffs. He started all 18 games and hit .250/.438/.467 with four doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and 20 walks.

Second basemen

Though he isn’t attached to just one position, The Shredder ranked Chris Taylor the eighth-best second baseman entering the 2021 season. In 56 games, he hit a solid .270/.366/.476 with eight home runs and 32 RBI.

Third basemen

Justin Turner checked in at No. 6 on The Shredder’s list of top 10 third basemen for the 2021 season after another strong year. In 42 games last season, he batted .307/.400/.460 with nine doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI over 175 plate appearances.

Turner went on to bat .221 across four postseason series, but got stronger with each one. He hit .280 with a home run in seven games against the Atlanta Braves, then proceeded to bat .320 with two additional homers against the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.


Corey Seager placed sixth on The Shredder’s list of best shortstops heading into the 2021 season. He appeared in 52 games last year and hit .307/.358/.585 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI.

Seager was arguably the Dodgers’ best player in the postseason as he hit .328/.425/.746 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 18 postseason games. He was named MVP of the NL Championship Series and World Series, and also earned a selection to the All-MLB First Team.

Left fielders

The Dodgers did not have a representative in The Shredder’s top 10 left fielder rankings for the 2021 season, but saw AJ Pollock and Joc Pederson land in the ‘just missed’ category.

Pollock hit .276/.314/.566 with a team-leading 16 home runs and 34 RBI this past season while accumulating 0.9 WAR. Pederson, meanwhile, slashed .190/.285/.397 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 43 games.

Center fielders

For the third consecutive year, Cody Bellinger placed second in the The Shredder’s top-10 center fielder rankings behind Mike Trout. Bellinger struggled for much of the abbreviated 2020 season, hitting just .239/.333/.455 with 12 home runs and 30 RBI in 56 games.

However, over the past two seasons, he leads all position players with 10.8 WAR. Mookie Betts is right behind him with 10.6, while Trout accumulated 10.1 during that span.

Right fielders

Mookie Betts was ranked the No. 1 right fielder by the The Shredder for a second consecutive season. He previously placed atop the list in 2017 as well.

Betts exceeded lofty expectations in his first season with the Dodgers, 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.

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