Every offseason, MLB Network runs through a series of programming. One such show is about the Top 10 Right Now at each position. And as we have done in both 2018 and 2019, we will go over our Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now.
Just a quick note about this list, it is a personal list, and everyone will value different things from each position. So I encourage you to make your own list and see who makes the cut on your list.
10. Eloy Jimenez- Chicago White Sox
Eloy Jimenez is an interesting addition to this list, but I think a necessary one. The position of Left Field has almost always been viewed as an offensive position (i.e., Manny Ramirez.) And for as poorly as the White Sox season went in 2019, Jimenez was not the reason. Going into 2020, the White Sox are going to be a much different team. The additions that the team has made this offseason should add even more protection for the South Side outfielder. Look for a big offensive season from Eloy Jimenez.
9. David Peralta- Arizona Diamondbacks
Maintaining our offensive focus, David Peralta appears next on my list. The Diamondbacks outfielder has been a pretty consistent contributor and had a breakout season in 2018. However, any more potential progress in 2019 was stunted by injury, limiting Peralta to just 99 games played. But even in the shortened season, David would produce a wRC+ of 107 while also seeing positive results on the defensive side of the ball. Should Peralta return healthy to the field for another productive season like the one from 2018 could easily propel David forward on this list.
8. Kyle Schwarber- Chicago Cubs
And continuing with that offensive mindset that Kyle Schwarber is next on my list. Schwarber put together an All-Star caliber season with a wRC+ of 120. Kyle hit 38 homeruns and 92 RBIs. Now the obvious knock-on Schwarber is Kyle’s defense. And in my opinion, Schwarber belongs on an American League team where he can DH, but I digress. Kyle Schwarber, even as a poor defender, is an offensive force. That offense helped the Cubs break a 108-year drought in World Championships. And an offensive game of that nature deserves a place on my list.
7. Eddie Rosario- Minnesota Twins
Viva mi Isla, Eddie Rosario, is an underrated talent, in my opinion. Because of playing with the Minnesota Twins, Rosario doesn’t get a lot of exposure on the mainstream media. But over the last few seasons, Eddie has quietly has put up some respectable numbers culminating in a career year in 2019. With 32 homeruns and 109 RBIs, Rosario should just be coming into his own for the 2020 campaign.
6. Marcell Ozuna- Free Agent
When it comes to Marcell Ozuna, I find him to be a compelling case. Over the last three seasons, Ozuna has been a consistently excellent contributor for the Marlins and Cardinals. During that stretch, Ozuna has averaged nearly 30 homeruns and 100 RBIs, which is elite-level production from a middle of the order bat. But for whatever reason, Marcell isn’t viewed as a top performer in Major League Baseball. However, diving into the numbers offensively, Ozuna can slug it with the best of them. Now over the past few seasons, Marcell’s defense has suffered a little bit, but it’s still just about league-average. Thus combining league average defense with plus level hitting and you have one of the Top 10 Left Fielders in the game today.
5. Justin Upton- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Justin Upton has been a consistent performer over the years. In three of the last four seasons, Upton has hit at least 30 homeruns and driven in 85 RBIs. Injuries absolutely demolished Upton’s 2019 season, but a healthy Upton going into 2020 has the making for “Comeback Player of the Year.”
4. Michael Brantley- Houston Astros
At one point, Michael Brantley was beginning to be a forgotten man, but that changed just two short years ago. Brantley would regain his health and, thus, his premium talent in the outfield. Among Left Fielders, Brantley is among the elder statesmen but still ranks as one of the best. Last season, Michael Brantley would have his career-best output with 22 homeruns and added another 85 RBIs to his career total. Going into 2020, Michael will still be on one of the best offensive lineups in baseball with the Astros. So another strong offensive campaign is likely to be the outcome at the season’s end. And when you factor in Brantley’s desire to improve his defense, he’s going to be a strong contender to top the best Left Fielders in the game.
3. Tommy Pham- San Diego Padres
Another underrated talent in MLB is that of Tommy Pham. Pham has been moved this offseason from Tampa Bay to San Diego, and with that move comes more opportunities. Tommy Pham is a guy that has great talent and tools. Over the last few seasons, Pham has hit 65 homeruns and 204 RBIs. Going to the NL West in an expansive ballpark like Petco could be problematic as Pham’s defense has fallen slightly below league average. But with a better opportunity to stay in the middle of that order, Pham can continue his growth. But hopefully, Pham can find a home in Sunny San Diego.
2. Giancarlo Stanton- New York Yankees
In 2019, Giancarlo Stanton had a wasted year. Injuries have been a consistent problem for Stanton throughout much of his career. But when healthy, Stanton is among the most dangerous threats in Major League Baseball. It was just a few short years ago where Stanton was the NL MVP and hit nearly 60 homeruns. So if Stanton can remain healthy, a 60 homerun campaign is not just possible but a likely outcome.
1. Juan Soto- Washington Nationals
When it comes to the Left Fielders currently in the game, I think none are as entertaining to watch as Juan Soto. When you look at what Soto provided the Nationals this season, he was the reason the Nats let Bryce Harper walk. (And walk to an in-division rival, no less.) Even at this age, Soto has an understanding of the strikezone that’s better than some twice his age. So as the 2020 season approaches it’s beginning, the “Soto Shuffle” will remain atop the premium of this list of Left Fielders Right Now.