This continues my series where I rank the top 10 MLB players at each position for 2023, moving onto left field — a place where the Braves are very poorly represented. If you missed any of the previous editions of this series, follow the links below.
Top 10 Left Fielders in MLB
- Juan Soto
- Yordan Alvarez
- Steven Kwan
- Ian Happ
- Kyle Schwarber
- Randy Arozarena
- Taylor Ward
- Tyler O’Neill
- Kris Bryant
- Eloy Jimenez
The top spot on this list is an argument in and of itself. I went with Soto over Alvarez because I still believe he’s the toughest out in baseball today, but I would argue with no one who switched the two.
There’s a significant drop-off after that, but I went with Steven Kwan, even though he only has one season under his belt. As a rookie, Kwan hit .298, won a gold glove, and accrued 5.8 WAR.
Ian Happ clocks in at #4 on this list because of his incredible consistency. He’s pretty much a lock for an .800 OPS every season. He also won his first Gold Glove and made his first All-Star games last year.
Shwarber does one thing very well — mash baseballs into the stratosphere. He’s among the best power hitters in the game, but he doesn’t hit for average and is abysmal defensively, which is why he’s not higher on this list.
Arozarena followed up his 2021 Rookie of the Year campaign with another more than solid performance as a sophomore. He’s a true five-tool player that is a lock to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases every season.
Taylor Ward may not be as well known as some of the others on this list, but he was unbelievable in his first year as a starter, recording a .833 OPS and accruing 3.8 WAR over 135 games.
Injuries limited O’Neilll to just 96 games last season, and when he was healthy, he wasn’t the same player that finished inside the top 10 of the NL MVP race, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. This is a guy who hit 34 homers and recorded a .912 OPS to go along with his Gold Glove in 2021.
Bryant’s another player that was decimated by injuries last season, playing in only 42 games. He’s not an elite glove like many of the players on this list, but he can rake with the best of them. When he was available last year, he hit .306 with an .851 OPS. Bryant could find himself much higher on this list next year if he stays healthy, especially playing at Coors Field.
Speaking of players that can’t stay healthy, Eloy Jiménez hasn’t played in more than 85 games since his rookie season back in 2019. Let’s hope that changes this year because when he’s on the field, he’s a stud. In just 84 games last year, he accrued 1.7 WAR, mashing 16 homers to go along with his .858 OPS.
Who is on your MLB top 10 left fielders list?
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