Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Since its inception nearly 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 2023.
For this season’s particular rankings, The Shredder focused on a three-year sample, with the 2022 campaign factored in more heavily than others. It factored in statistics like WAR and wRC+, along with Statcast metrics.
Defense was more influential at premium defensive positions, such as shortstop, catcher and center field, in comparison to others.
Dodgers ranked by The Shredder for 2023
Starting pitcher: Julio Urías, No. 10
After previously being included in the “just missed” category, Julio Urías was ranked the No. 10 starting pitcher by The Shredder. The left-hander placed third in National League Cy Young Award voting after finishing 17-7 with a 2.16 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 0.96 WHIP and 166 strikeouts across 175 innings over 31 starts.
Relief pitcher: Evan Phillips, No. 4
A first-timer on The Shredder’s list, Phillips was ranked the No. 4 relief pitcher heading into the 2023 season. The right-hander is coming off a career year in which he went 7-3 with a 1.14 ERA, 1.94 FIP, 0.76 WHIP and two saves across 63 innings pitched (64 games).
Catcher: Will Smith, No. 2
For a third consecutive season, Smith was featured on The Shredder’s rankings, checking in as the No. 2 catcher in all of baseball for this year. Smith had another productive season that saw him hit .260/.343/.465 with 26 doubles, 24 home runs, 87 RBI and 68 runs scored in 137 games.
First base: Freddie Freeman, No. 2
Freeman has been a staple on The Shredder’s annual list for nearly a decade, and this year was ranked the No. 2 first basemen in all of baseball.
The 33-year-old enjoyed a stellar first season with the Dodgers as he batted .325/.407/.511 with 47 doubles, 21 home runs and 100 RBI in 159 games en route to a sixth All-Star Game appearance.
Freeman led the Majors with 199 hits and in doubles, while his on-base percentage and runs scored (117) were tops in the National League. He also ranked second in the league in batting average, on-base plus slugging (.918), wOBA (.393) and wRC+ (157).
Third base: Max Muncy, No. 8
Muncy took a step back this past season but nevertheless was ranked the No. 8 third basemen heading into 2023. He batted just .196/.329/.384 with 22 doubles, 21 home runs and 69 RBI in 136 games.
Right field: Mookie Betts, No. 2
Betts continued putting up elite numbers in his third season with the Dodgers and was ranked the No. 2 right fielder by The Shredder. He hit 269/.340/.533 with 40 doubles, 35 home runs and 82 RBI in 142 games, while playing elite defense and being a force on the base paths.
Betts tied with Freddie Freeman for the National League lead with 117 runs scored, set a career high in home runs and was touted as being the spark plug for the Dodgers lineup.
Dodgers unranked at second base, shortstop, left field & center field
The Dodgers did not have a representative at second base, shortstop, left field and center in The Shredder’s top-10 rankings for the 2023 season.
Chris Taylor fell off the list for second basemen after a disappointing 2022 campaign and Gavin Lux was included in the “just missed” category for shortstops.
Meanwhile, former Dodgers prospect Yordan Álvarez topped the rankings for left fielders and potential trade target Bryan Reynolds made the list at No. 8 for center fielders.
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