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, 2019, and 2020, we will go over our Top 10 Right 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. Teoscar Hernandez
When it comes to Right Fielders, they are seen as the offensive impactors of the game. And in the shortened 2020 season, Teoscar Hernandez was a force. Teoscar would play in 50 of the 60 games and hit to the tune of an OPS+ of 146. Hernandez would also hit 16 homeruns and drive in 34 while slashing an impressive .289/.340/.579. Now, as the 2021 season approaches, the Blue Jays Right Fielder should put on a display and breakout in a big way. And solidify his entry on my Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now.
9. Wil Myers
Wil Myers was the first domino to fall for the San Diego Padres many seasons ago. But when Myers was able to relax and have reinforcements surrounding him, he would blossom. The 2020 campaign would see a dominant performance from the veteran Padre. Myers would blast 15 homeruns and drive in 40 while slugging a career-best .606 slugging percentage and OPS+ of 159. Now would Myers have come back to the pack over a full 162? Maybe, but maybe not. The veteran cornerman has started playing with the poise and ability that was long expected of him. Playing for a competitive team can boost a player’s drive. And that seems to be the case for my number 9 of the Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now.
8. Joey Gallo
This perennial slugging champ would have a down season, but no one expects Joey Gallo to stay down for long. Gallo isn’t going to be a guy that competes for a batting crown. But what Gallo does, he does extremely well. Gallo hits for tremendous power and plays unexpectedly good outfield defense. While many may overlook Gallo as not being among the elite Right Fielders in the game, they would be mistaken. Even in a down season, Joey Gallo would smash 10 homeruns and rank first in the American League in Walks and third overall in MLB. Joey Gallo is a prime candidate for comeback player of the year in 2021, and that’s why he’s on my list of Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now.
7. Mike Yastrzemski
The grandson of the legendary Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Yastrzemski has been an underrated player. Yas made his debut in 2019 and has played in 161 games over that span. During his career, Yas has hit 31 homeruns and 90 RBIs with a career slashline of .281/.357/.535 for an OPS+ of 137. When examining the 2020 season for Mike Yastrzemski, it was an even better season. Across 54 games, Yas hit 10 homeruns, drove in 35 RBIs, and slashed .297/.400/.568 with an OPS+ of 165. Yastrzemski is also a plus defender in RIght Field. So when combining all of these attributes, you have one of the Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now.
6. Michael Conforto
Since 2017, Michael Conforto has been a top tier outfielder. Conforto has produced OPS+’s of 148, 122, 127, and 156, respectively. For Conforto’s six-year Major League career, he has an OPS+ of 128 with a slashline of .259/.358/.484 with 118 homeruns and 341 RBIs. For the 2020 season, Conforto would step up in a major way. In 2020, Conforto would slash .322/.412/.515 with 9 homers and 31 RBIs, and an OPS+ of 156. And when you look at Conforto’s defense, he is a plus defender on the corners. So when you add all of these stats together, you get one of the Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now.
5. Bryce Harper
Now we get into the upper echelon of the Top Right Fielders in the game. Bryce Harper is one of my favorite players in MLB. There’s something about the all-out nature of Harper’s that resonates with me. And while many people will hate or criticize this player, I think he is good for Major League Baseball. Now looking at Bryce Harper’s numbers, he’s better than pundits give him credit. For his career, Bryce Harper has never had an OPS+ under 111, and that was an injury shorted campaign. Add in teams propensities to work around Harper, making it even more difficult to hit for such high numbers. And yet Harper can do so, as evidenced by his 157 OPS+ in 2020. Bryce Harper would also slash .268/.420/.542 to go along with 13 homeruns, 33 RBIs, and a league-leading 49 walks. Bryce Harper is unquestionably one of the Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now.
4. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge is capable of topping this list of the top Right Fielders in the game if he’s able to remain healthy. Even in a shortened 2020 campaign, Judge would miss about half of the season. However, when on the field, Judge is among the elites at the position. Over his five-year Major League career, Judge has amassed a career slashline of .272/.390/.558 and an OPS+ of 150. Aaron Judge has also mashed 119 homeruns and 268 RBIs. Aaron Judge is also a plus defender. If Judge can remain healthy for a full season, he will top this list.
3. Ronald Acuña Jr
Next is Ronald Acuña Jr. Acuña Jr is poised to raise his game to the next level in 2021. Over the course of his three-year Major League career, Ronald has produced an OPS+ of 133 with a slashline of .281/.371/.538 with 81 homeruns and 194 RBIs. And when examining his injury-shortened, short season of 2020, his numbers are even more impressive. Acuña Jr’s slash for 2020 was .250/.406/.581 with 14 homeruns in only 46 games. Now when it comes to defense Acuña Jr is among the very best Right Fielders in the game. So when you add the player as a whole, Ronald Acuña Jr is definitely a Top 10 Right Fielder Right Now.
2. Juan Soto
Juan Soto is an incredible talent in MLB. His offensive ability is almost unparalleled in all the Majors. Looking at his excellent 2020 campaign elicits an eye-popping reaction. Soto’s OPS+ in 2020 was an unbelievable 212 with a league-best slashline of .351/.490/.695. Juan would also hit 13 homeruns and drive in 37 just for good measure on the season. Soto has been in MLB for three seasons and has produced an OPS+ of 151 with a career slash of .295/.415/.557. Defensively is where Soto needs improvement, thus landing him in second on this list instead of number one. But there’s no doubt that Juan Soto is among the upper elite Right Fielders Right Now.
1. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts finds himself atop the list of the Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now. Betts is arguably the best player in MLB not named Mike Trout. Betts has produced an OPS+ of 137 with 155 homeruns and 509 RBIs over his seven-year Major League career. For the 2020 season, Mookie slashed .292/.366/.562 with an OPS+ of 149 with 16 bombs. Mookie is also an insanely great defender in right field. Anyone objectively looking at making a Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now list understands that the list begins with Mookie Betts at the top. And the rest filters from there.