Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Since its inception a decade ago, MLB Network’s The Shredder has compiled top-10 player rankings at each position entering the new season. The Los Angeles Dodgers are usually heavily represented on these lists, and that again was the case in 2024.
The Shredder is a statistical model that places emphasis on WAR, wRC+ and Statcast metrics to compile annual rankings. It focuses on a three-year sample with performance in the previous season weighted more heavily in the calculations.
The Houston Astros led all teams with eight players ranked by The Shredder, while the Atlanta Braves, Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies tied for second place with seven each. The St. Louis Cardinals had six.
Dodgers on The Shredder rankings for 2024
Relief pitcher: Evan Phillips, No. 4
Evan Phillips placed fourth on the list of MLB Top-10 Relief Pitchers Right Now for the second consecutive year. Phillips is coming off another solid season that saw him post a 2-4 record with 24 saves, a 2.05 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 0.83 WHIP and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings across 62 relief appearances.
Catcher: Will Smith, No. 2
Will Smith ranked second on The Shredder’s list of top-10 catchers for the second year in a row. He finished the 2023 season with a .261/.359/.438 batting line, 21 doubles, 19 home runs and 76 RBI.
Smith had a stellar first half before going into a prolonged slump after the All-Star break. What made that all the more confounding is he remained productive while playing through a fractured rib in the first half but results at the plate tailed off despite getting healthy.
First base: Freddie Freeman, No. 1
Freddie Freeman is back to being considered the No. 1 first baseman by The Shredder, which has included the future Hall of Famer in its annual rankings for 11 consecutive seasons.
Freeman hit .301/.388/.514 with 59 doubles, two triples, 29 home runs and 102 RBI in 161 games last year, while breaking the franchise doubles record and Los Angeles records for extra-base hits and runs scored, among other accolades.
Second base: Mookie Betts, No. 1
Betts usually earns recognition from The Shredder as one of the best right fielders in MLB, but with the Dodgers planning a full-time position switch, he was ranked the No. 1 second baseman heading into the 2024 season.
Betts hit .307/.408/.579 with 40 doubles, one triple, 39 home runs, 107 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 152 games last season.
He was a finalist for a 2023 Gold Glove Award in right field and the utility position, but fell short for both. He nevertheless is a six-time Gold Glove winner and took home a 2023 Fielding Bible Award in the multi-position category.
Third base: Max Muncy, No. 8
Muncy was ranked as the No. 8 third baseman by The Shredder for the second consecutive year. He enjoyed a bounce back 2023 season by hitting .212/.333/.475 with 17 doubles, one triple, 36 home runs, 105 RBI, 95 runs scored and 85 walks.
Center field: James Outman, No. 6
After an impressive rookie campaign, Outman placed sixth on The Shredder’s list of top-10 center fielders for the 2024 season. He hit .248/.353/.437 with 16 doubles, three triples, 23 home runs and 70 RBI in 151 games.
Right field: Teoscar Hernández, No. 8
While Hernández will likely play left field for the Dodgers this year, he checked in at No. 8 on The Shredder’s top-10 rankings for right fielders heading into the 2024 season.
Hernández is coming off somewhat of a down year that saw him hit .258/.305/.435 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs and 93 RBI in 160 games.
Dodgers unranked at starting pitcher, shortstop & left field
The Dodgers did not have a representative at starting pitcher, shortstop and left field in The Shredder’s top-10 rankings for the 2024 season.
Julio Urías fell off the list for starting pitchers after an inconsistent 2023 season that ended in September after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Meanwhile, former Dodgers prospect Yordan Álvarez and two-time World Series champion Corey Seager topped the rankings for left field and shortstop, respectively.
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