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Top Seven Player Ranking: NL West

The NL West is probably the deepest division in all of baseball, so I’m sure this list will ruffle plenty feathers. But by now it should be understood that no task scares me.

Let’s go!

7. Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks

This is probably where he should be, based on his 2020 campaign. It’s an accomplishment to be on this list to begin with, but when your power numbers fall off a cliff, you can’t ask for too much love. He had just two home runs in his 181 at-bats last season, which is far below league average. In roughly 500 at-bats, the average starter in the bigs hits 22 long balls.

Still, Ketel Marte’s versatility defensively and ability to switch hit with contact is a plus to any roster. I could easily see Marte scaling my rankings by the All-Star break if he finds that power stroke.

6. Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

The World Series MVP got a lot better last season when some believed injuries were bound to plague the 26-year-old shortstop. What makes him even more dangerous is that he’s entering the final year of his contract with the Dodgers, so he might ascend up this list by mid-season.

It’s actually ludicrous that a left-handed power bat who plays above average defense at the most important position on the field is stuck at No. 6. He batted .307 last year with 15 homers and is now a proven clutch at-bat. Expect a 10-year deal at roughly $300 million in his future.

5. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

If Everyone Hates Chris were a baseball player, he’d be Manny Machado. With that said, Machado has proven he can shine as a wingman to Fernando Tatis Jr. Teams slept on San Diego a bit last year, which seems to be a perfect fit for how Machado likes to play.

Now that the Dodgers just signed Trevor Bauer, Machado and the Padres likely feel that teams are sleeping on them once again. Machado was nearly the MVP last year, and he’s also playing Gold Glove-caliber third base. No. 5 is a rough ranking to give, but I feel it’s justified since his role is smaller than the role of some other players on this list.

4. Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies

He offers premium defense at shortstop, is entering a contract year, and oh yeah, he rakes. We might even be able to argue he gets traded this year to a contender that’s willing to entertain his asking price.

His contract may creep north of $350 million, depending on the franchises that get involved.

3. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

He’s a former National League MVP who had a skid mark of a 2020 season. How did Bellinger manage to make it this far? If you’re asking how, then I’d suggest we both take a gander at his career numbers and how that may help us predict his 2021 output:

One year, he’s a monster. The next, he’s an MVP candidate and winning a Gold Glove. Based on the trend he’s maintained the past four season, Cody Bellinger is about to launch into stardom.

We can’t exactly pinpoint why he hits .305 one year and then .239 the following season, but it’s reality. And with Trevor Bauer on the roster, Bellinger will be taking his MVP swing into the playoffs. One of the best defenders in the sport was asked to play center field after the Dodgers traded for Mookie Betts, and he became a Gold Glove center fielder. It’s not even fair what the Dodgers have going on right now.

2. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

The face of baseball. He’s charismatic and is one of the best defensive shortstops in the sport. He makes diving plays in the shift that shouldn’t be possible, but for him, they are.

Other than Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, Tatis might be the first or second player off the board if MLB held a player’s draft.

1. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers

He’s the second-best player in the sport pretty much every year. He’s the best defensive player in the game outside of Oakland’s Matt Chapman and has a rocket for an arm. And if you watched any of the Dodgers’ World Series run last season–Mookie Betts is a winner.

It isn’t a coincidence that the Dodgers had more talent than everyone else each of the past six seasons, and then they got Mookie and earned themselves a championship. He does what needs to be done on the field to turn really good teams into champions.

Hopefully one day, Mike Trout gets traded into a similar situation so we can see him flourish, too.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

3 Comments

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  1. I like these lists by division. Easier to digest and compare intra-division.

    It would be cool of you could do something similar for the pitchers. This too would have plenty of Dodgers and Padres, but their actual rank would be interesting. Bauer won the Cy Young but is he even the best pitcher on the Dodgers? Where do you place the new acquisitions for the Padres?

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing what Mookie can do in his first full (non covid shortened) season as a Dodger. To me, he’s the most exciting player in baseball, so Gary, no argument or “ruffled feathers” from me in regards to this list you have here.

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