Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers did not have a representative in MLB Network’s The Shredder rankings of the top-10 left fielders heading into the 2023 season, but former prospect Yordan Álvarez topped the list after a stellar year for the Houston Astros that ended with a World Series championship.
Álvarez was followed by Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres (second), the Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber, Taylor Ward of the Los Angeles Angels, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena, Steven Kwan of the Cleveland Guardians, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill, Astros teammate Michael Brantley, the Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ and Eloy Jiménez of the Chicago White Sox.
The Shredder is a statistical model that places emphasis on WAR, wRC+ and Statcast metrics to compile annual rankings. The model focuses directly on a three-year sample for left fielders, with 2022 performance given more weight in the calculations.
The Dodgers signed Álvarez for $2 million during the 2015-16 international signing period before trading him two weeks later to the Houston Astros in exchange for Josh Fields.
It turned out to be an ill-fated move as Álvarez has developed into one of the best power hitters in all of baseball. He won American League Rookie of the Year honors in 2019 and was selected to his first All-Star Game this past season.
Álvarez hit .306/.406/.613 with 29 doubles, a career-high 37 home runs and 97 RBI in 135 games. He finished third in MVP voting and won the Silver Slugger Award for designated hitters.
Álvarez reflected on the trade this past October and revealed that he had mixed emotions at the time. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman previously discussed the deal and said it is one of his biggest regrets.
MLB Network analysts Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs and Vince Gennaro also did not have a Dodgers player make their individual lists of the best left fielders heading into the 2023 season.
MLB Network Top-10 Left Fielders Right Now for 2023
RankThe ShredderMike PetrielloSarah Langs Vince Gennaro
1Yordan Álvarez (Astros)Yordan Álvarez (Astros)Yordan Álvarez (Astros)Juan Soto (Padres)
2Juan Soto (Padres)Juan Soto (Padres)Juan Soto (Padres)Yordan Álvarez (Astros)
3Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)Steven Kwan (Guardians)Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)
4Taylor Ward (Angels)Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)Steven Kwan (Guardians)Steven Kwan (Guardians)
5Randy Arozarena (Rays)Taylor Ward (Angels)Ian Happ (Cubs)Michael Brantley (Astros)
6Steven Kwan (Guardians)Daulton Varsho (Blue Jays)Daulton Varsho (Blue Jays)Andrew Benintendi (White Sox)
7Tyler O’Neill (Cardinals)Ian Happ (Cubs)Andrew Benintendi (White Sox)Joc Pederson (Giants)
8Michael Brantley (Astros)Randy Arozarena (Rays)Randy Arozarena (Rays)Taylor Ward (Angels)
9Ian Happ (Cubs)Tyler O’Neill (Cardinals)Taylor Ward (Angels)Mark Canha (Mets)
10Eloy Jiménez (White Sox)Eloy Jiménez (White Sox)Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Diamondbacks)Daulton Varsho (Blue Jays)
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