Ladies and Gentlemen: 30 days, 30 MLB position rankings. Nine positions and the top starting pitcher ranked from each team in three parts each. Each player on the list is based on the projected starter for a team for the 2020 season by position. On day eighteen of this series, we’ll look at the top ten left fielders in MLB.
Check out my previous rankings from this series:
Catchers 30-21 | Catchers 20-11 | Catchers 10-1 | First Base 30-21 | First Basemen 20-11 | First Basemen 10-1 | Second Basemen 30-21 | Second Basemen 20-11 | Second Basemen 10-1 | Third Basemen 30-21 | Third Basemen 20-11 | Third Basemen 10-1 | Shortstop 30-21 | Shortstops 20-11 | Shortstop 10-1 | Left Field 30-21 | Left Field 20-11
10. Mark Canha, Oakland Athletics
2019: 126 games, .273/.396/.517 splits, .913 OPS, 26 Home Runs, 58 RBIs
After a solid year in 2018, Mark Canha had a breakout season in 2019, putting up career highs across the board. At the plate, Canha provides a ton of power, while also drawing a lot of walks. In the field, he plays around the outfield and at first, but is projected to play left field in 2020. It will be interesting to see how he performs in 2020, coming off a career year.
9. David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks
2019: 99 games, .275/.343/.461 splits, .804 OPS, 12 Home Runs, 57 RBIs
Despite playing under 100 games due to injury, David Peralta still had a great year in 2019. After hitting 30 home runs in 2018, Peralta’s number did slip, but he still flashed some power. However, the reason he cracks the top ten is due to his defense. Last season, Peralta made just one error in left field, as he earned the first gold glove award of his career.
8. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
2019: 155 games, .250/.339/.531 splits, .871 OPS, 38 Home Runs, 92 RBIs
Unlike David Peralta, who is all about defense, Kyle Schwarber cracks this top ten due to his elite power. Schwarber followed up a great year in 2018 by hitting a career-high of 38 home runs in 2019 while knocking in 92 runs. However, the former catcher still needs work in the field. Schwarber posted a -3 Rdrs in left field in 2019, as he doesn’t provide a great amount of range.
7. Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers
2019: 149 games, .249/.339/.538 splits, .876 OPS, 36 Home Runs, 74 RBIs
Joc Pederson vs. Kyle Schwarber was a tough decision. Both bring elite power to the plate; Pederson hit a career-high of 36 homers in 2019 at age 27. The reason Pederson ranks above Schwarber is because of his defense. In the field, Pederson had the best year of his career as he made just one error in 84 games in left. He is hoping to build off of his career-year in 2020.
6. Tommy Pham, San Diego Padres
2019: 145 games, .273/.369/.450 splits, .818 OPS, 21 Home Runs, 68 RBIs
Following a great season with the Tampa Rays in 2019, Tommy Pham was acquired by the Padres during the offseason. At the plate, he does a solid job at getting on base, while also providing some power. However, his defense is the reason he ranks sixth on this list as he didn’t make a single error last year. It will be interesting to see how he performs with his new team in 2020.
5. Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019: 134 games, .314/.377/.503 splits, .880 OPS, 16 Home Runs, 68 RBIs
Who? If you haven’t heard of Bryan Reynolds until now, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. However, all MLB fans need to learn this guy’s name. In his rookie season, Reynolds provided an immediate impact for Pittsburgh as he hit well over .300 while providing some power. Despite flying under the radar, he finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Heading into his age 25 season, he should only continue to improve.
4. Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins
2019: 137 games, .276/.300/.500 splits, .800 OPS, 32 Home Runs, 109 RBIs
With his bat, Eddie Rosario provides a ton of power, posting career-highs across the board in 2019. However, he still has one glaring offensive issue: drawing walks. In 2,599 career plate appearances, Rosario has drawn just 114 total walks. Defensively, he’s still well below league-average as well. However, his elite power and ability to drive in runs place him fourth on this list.
3. Michael Brantley, Houston Astros
2019: 148 games, .311/.372/.503 splits, .875 OPS, 22 Home Runs, 90 RBIs
It’s great to see Michael Brantley able to stay on the field for a full season. Following injury-plagued years in 2016 and 2017, Brantley was able to play 148 games in 2019, while hitting a career-high 22 home runs. He also earned the fourth all-star appearance of his career during his first year with the Astros. He’s an elite defender as well. While he doesn’t attract many headlines, Brantley deserves to be up there with the top left fielders in MLB.
2. Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
2019: 150 games, .282/.401/.548 splits, .949 OPS, 34 Home Runs, 110 RBIs
How on earth is this guy still only 21? With his smooth swing, Soto had a near-MVP caliber year in 2019, as he helped the Nationals win their first World Series. He provides a ton of power but also draws walks, something that is rarely seen in younger MLB players. He defense is right at league-average but has a lot of room for improvement. If he can continue to improve, Soto may be considered one of the best players in MLB.
1. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
2019: 130 games, .329/.429/.671 splits, 1.100 OPS, 44 Home Runs, 97 RBIs
After playing right field for most of 2019, Yelich is projected to head to left field for 2020 after Milwaukee signed Avisail Garcia. Yelich had an insane year at the plate last season, leading MLB in average, OBP, Slugging, and OPS. If he had not been injured late in the season, he likely would have won NL MVP for the second consecutive year. At age 28, Yelich is still in the prime of his career and should continue to carry the Brewers to the playoffs in 2020.
Come back tomorrow for the first part of my center field ranking!
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