Every year MLB Network puts on a series entitled “Top 10 Right Now” at each position in the game of baseball. And over the years I have joined along and made my list. Now before last season, it didn’t mean much beyond being a personal exercise. Last year having had LaracuenteLedger.com, I now have a platform to display my list. And this year I’ll be keeping with the decade-long tradition. I follow along with MLB Network and release my list as they air the corresponding episode of each position. So we begin with the Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now.
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Each time I sit down to make out my list of the Top 10 at each position I look to the graphic above that MLB Network releases. I usually have an idea in mind of my top players at each position, but then I research and try to make my best decision. Now the selection process is somewhat like a fantasy draft of each position as an individual draft. But by the same token one must take into account previous output and estimate what the player can do in the upcoming season at that position. And be sure to listen to tomorrow’s episode of The Laracuente Ledger Podcast for a complete recap of both my Top 10 Left Fielders & Center Fielders Right Now. So number ten on my Top 10 Left Fielders Right now is…
No. 10: Corey Dickerson
The number ten entry on my list for Top Ten Left Fielders Right Now is Corey Dickerson. Dickerson had a very good 2018 campaign, and it was capped off by winning a Gold Glove in the NL Outfield. Over the last two seasons, Corey has produced at an All-Star level. And even when you examine his case, he merits a spot in the Top 10 Left Fielder s Right Now.
No. 9: Eddie Rosario
Eddie Rosario is my sleeper pick. Playing in Minnesota, Eddie doesn’t receive much praise and adulation from the national news outlets. But anyone that has watched the Guayama, Puerto Rico native knows of his talents. And Eddie’s inclusion on my Top Ten Left Fielders Right Now is not merely a superficial addition for being my countryman. No, not at all. Rosario’s addition is merited as a quiet All-Star caliber talent over the last two seasons.
No. 8: Marcell Ozuna
Going into the 2018 season, Marcell Ozuna was the at the top of my Top Ten Left Fielders Right Now. But following the 2018 season, Marcell had a bit of a down season. Marcell Ozuna has all the potential of topping this list on any given season. And when looking ahead to the 2019 season, Ozuna should be more comfortable in his second season in a Cardinals uniform. Also the additions the Cards have made will help protect Marcell in a way he did not have in 2018. Marcell had 23 home runs and 88 RBI’s and an OPS+ of 106. When analysting what he is capable of look for a big season in 2019.
No. 7: Andrew Benintendi
Andrew Benintendi has quietly had a solid career. Andrew has played second fiddle for his two-plus year tenure in the Major Leagues. Benintendi came in second place in the rookie of the year voting in 2017. And has been surpassed by Mookie Betts on his own squad as the best all-around player. However, when you look at Andrew Benintendi he is a Top Ten Left Fielder Right Now. Benintendi’s breakout rookie campaign was followed up by arguably an even better sophomore season. Andrew slashed .290/.366/.465 all of which were better than his 2017 campaign. Projecting forward into 2019 and Benintendi looks to have every more
No. 6: Juan Soto
The next two entries on this list are about the future. And at number seven is Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals. Juan Soto came up to the Major Leagues on May 20th at the tender age of 19. And looking at his rookie campaign, Soto put up impressive numbers 22 home runs and 70 RBI’s. But even more impressive is the .292/.406/.517 slash line of Juan Soto. Going into the 2019 campaign, Juan Soto should add to his excellent rookie season.
No. 5: Khris Davis
Khris Davis has been criminally overlooked because he plays in Oakland. Khris has been a consistent All-Star caliber player for the last four seasons. And yet over those four seasons, Davis has not once been selected to an All-Star team. When examining Davis as a player, one must take into account his below average defense. Over his six seasons in the Major Leagues, Davis is a -22 Rdrs (according to BaseballReference.) But his offense is so impactful and dynamic that he makes up for it. Just looking at Davis last three seasons in Oakland, Davis has hit 133 home runs. That’s an average of 44 homers a season. And Davis is playing 81 games in one of the most difficult ballparks for hitters. So Khris Davis contributions
No. 4: Ronald Acuna Jr
Much like Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna spot on this list is as much about the future as it was about his stellar 2018 campaign. When examining the numbers that Acuna put up in 2018 and his Minor League track record, one can’t help but get excited. Acuna hit 26 homers, drove in 64, stole 16 bases and slashed .293/.366/.552 and had an OPS+ of 144. When projecting forward for the 2019 season, Ronald Acuna Jr. looks to be a staple in the conversation of best players in the game. And his placement at number four is only because I want to see dominate for a bit more time before placing him at the top of this list.
No. 3: Justin Upton
A quiet player, usually playing on underperforming teams so he is often overlooked, Justin Upton is my number three Top Ten Left Fielders Right Now. Justin has been an incredible player for over a decade. Having started his Major League playing career at 19, the 31 year old Left Fielder has put a quiet albeit impressive Major League career together. Justin Upton over his 12 year career has hit 286 home runs and has a career OPS+ of 121 (All-Star level.) And projecting for 2019, Upton’s consistency is one of the easiest to bank on. So look for 28ish home runs and 90ish RBI’s and a slash line of .270/.350/.475.
No. 2: JD Martinez
Once a Houston Astros castoff, JD Martinez turned himself into one of the games most feared hitters. A man that can routinely spray the ball all over the field. And a man who studies his craft and informs everyone around him. JD has become a great hitter in Major League Baseball. Over the last five seasons, JD Martinez has had an OPS+ of 154, 139, 142, 168, and 173, remember league average is 100. Looking at the offensive game for JD he can absolutely rake. But the knock on JD’s game is defensive. While not the worse defender that has ever roamed the Fenway Park outfield, JD’s defensive inefficiencies are a factor to be considered. But playing in the AL with access to the Designated Hitter position. And also playing in Fenway Park with the Green Monster behind him, JD merits a high place on this list.
No. 1: Giancarlo Stanton
Since his debut in 2010, Giancarlo Stanton has played like an All-Star caliber player. Stanton has also taken his game up to elite level MVP status on several occasions as well. Thus far in his career, Giancarlo has proven himself a reliable force in the middle of the order. And when looking at his first season in Pinstripes, Stanton had an excellent season. Giancarlo blasted 38 home runs and drove in 100 on the nose. And while spending most of the season as the DH for the Yankees, Stanton is still seen as a well above average defender in the outfield. Stanton is likely to spend more time in Left Field this season, (based on the current construction of the Yankees roster) and that is why he tops this list.