For no matter cause, left discipline tends to be probably the most ignored outfield place, though a few of the finest left fielders in 2023 may find yourself being among the many finest gamers in baseball this 12 months.
On high of that, it’s a place that’s loaded with expertise. We truly had some hassle limiting our record of one of the best LFs in baseball to only 10 gamers.
Greatest left fielders 2023
So who would be the finest left fielders in 2023? Properly, it’s a difficult query as a result of some top-flight gamers look like transferring to left discipline from different positions. That would change the hierarchy of the highest left fielders in MLB proper now.
There are additionally some intriguing younger gamers who have to be evaluated off of restricted motion. Nonetheless, we gave it the required thought and created an inventory of the ten finest left fielders for 2023.
10. Taylor Ward
Taylor Ward loved a breakout season with the Angels final season, hitting .281 with an OPS of .833. He did that whereas enjoying proper discipline, however with the Halos buying and selling for Hunter Renfroe, Ward will possible shift to left discipline.
In any occasion, the Angels are simply hoping that final season was an indication of issues to return. He’s already 29, so Ward is clearly a late bloomer. However he’s used to transferring across the diamond, so he ought to alter shortly and put himself among the many high left fielders in baseball.
9. Michael Brantley
Whereas age is just not on his facet, Michael Brantley remains to be a productive hitter. His days of posting an OPS of .800 or higher is perhaps over with Brantley’s energy numbers coming method down during the last two seasons. However he nonetheless hit .288 final 12 months regardless of being bothered by a shoulder harm that sidelined him for an extended stretch.
The upside might not be there with him anymore, nevertheless it’s laborious to search out an outfielder within the majors with the next flooring than Brantley if he’s wholesome.
8. Steven Kwan
It is perhaps too quickly to leap to conclusions concerning Steven Kwan, however a 12 months from now, he has an opportunity to be a lot larger on this record. As a rookie with the Guardians final 12 months, Kwan hit .298 with an OPS of .773 whereas additionally profitable a Gold Glove.
Understand that he didn’t play in any respect within the minors in 2020, so his rise during the last two years has been nothing wanting astonishing. Whereas he gained’t hit lots of dwelling runs, Kwan different instruments all stand out, giving him a wide range of methods to make an affect and assert himself as one of many higher left fields within the majors.
7. Andrew Benintendi
Defensively, Andrew Benintendi is among the elite left fielders within the recreation, profitable Gold Glove honors in 2021. However he’s additionally bounced again offensively over the previous two seasons after a disastrous and forgettable 2020 marketing campaign.
We noticed Benintendi excel with the bat early in his profession, and he confirmed indicators final season of regaining that kind. In fact, an absence of energy hurts his standing in comparison with different left fielders. Simply 5 dwelling runs final 12 months isn’t going to chop it, even when his career-high is barely 20 lengthy balls.
Nonetheless, batting .304 final 12 months and producing an OPS of .772 with out many dwelling runs means Benintendi will nonetheless convey rather a lot to the desk with the White Sox this season.
6. Kyle Schwarber
With all due respect, Kyle Schwarber is somebody the Phillies would in all probability choose to place within the DH spot. Nonetheless, they weren’t ready to do this final 12 months and may need to stay together with his defensive shortcomings once more this season.
Fortuitously for Schwaber, he sometimes does sufficient injury with the bat to make up for some defensive pitfalls. In any case, the man did smash 46 dwelling runs final 12 months after which six extra within the postseason.
That was the fourth time within the final 5 full seasons that Schwaber had at the least 30 dwelling runs. Even when he doesn’t hit for a excessive common or assist defensively, there may be nonetheless worth in having that type of energy in the midst of the lineup.
5. Ian Happ
Whereas his efforts might have gone unnoticed on the Cubs final season, Ian Happ put collectively an impressive season. He was an all-star who ended up with an OPS of .782 and gained Gold Glove honors in left discipline. Happ has made the transfer from part-time participant to full-time participant over the previous two seasons, and the outcomes have been good.
He appears to have lastly discovered a defensive dwelling in left discipline, and the defensive outcomes final season converse for themselves. With the Cubs including some offensive assist round Happ this season, he may very well be poised to be even higher in 2023.
4. Tyler O’Neill
Regardless of an injury-plagued, up-and-down season in 2022, Tyler O’Neill nonetheless has an opportunity to be top-of-the-line left fielders in baseball this 12 months. His profession numbers have been slightly erratic, however he’s only one 12 months faraway from hitting 34 dwelling runs and posting an OPS of .912 in 2021.
That’s how excessive his potential is, particularly since O’Neill is simply 27. On high of that, O’Neill owns two Gold Gloves and is among the premier defensive outfielders within the recreation proper now. If he can keep wholesome and bounce again offensively, O’Neill has an opportunity to be an all-star in 2023.
3. Randy Arozarena
Simply two years faraway from Rookie of the 12 months honors, Randy Arozarena is about to hit his prime, making him one of many high left fielders in MLB proper now. Whereas his numbers had been down slightly final season, he nonetheless hit 20 homers for the second straight season.
Along with offering loads of energy, Arozarena is a good athlete who can use his pace on the bottom paths and within the outfield, making him one of many extra well-rounded left fielders in baseball heading into the 2023 season.
2. Yordan Alvarez
Whereas he’s largely been a DH throughout his profession, it seems just like the Astros are going to offer Yordan Alvarez an opportunity to be their major left fielder this season. Meaning Alvarez has an opportunity to be one among MLB’s finest left fielders in 2023. Whether or not he can maintain up defensively in left discipline is one matter.
However there’s no query that Alvarez can go toe-to-toe with nearly every other left fielder in baseball with a bat in his arms. During the last two seasons, Alvarez has crushed 70 dwelling runs.
Final 12 months, he hit .306 with an OPS of 1.019, and he’s nonetheless simply 25. If he can play satisfactory protection in left discipline, his offensive manufacturing will far outweigh any defensive lapses.
1. Juan Soto
Regardless of spending most of his profession in proper discipline, it seems just like the Padres are going to shift issues round to place Juan Soto in left discipline this season. That transfer will instantly make him the highest left fielder in baseball.
Granted, Soto was not at his finest after being traded to the Padres. Nonetheless, he’s nonetheless simply 24 and effectively on his approach to being one of many greatest players in baseball history. Since coming to the massive leagues in 2018, he’s hit 125 dwelling runs and batted .287 with an OPS of .950.
The man is a hitting machine who already has a batting title and three Silver Sluggers underneath his belt. The transfer to left discipline can even make him rather less of a legal responsibility defensively, though he nonetheless has top-of-the-line outfield arms in baseball, giving him one other device to separate him from the opposite left fielders in baseball.
The submit MLB player rankings ahead of 2023 season: Left fielders appeared first on Franchise Sports.
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