Last week, MLB Network aired their list of the top 100 players in baseball, and while I have a lot of issues with it outside of just the Dodgers, I'll be taking a look at where the Dodgers players are ranked. In general, I think they did a pretty solid job with the Dodgers, but I feel as though a few of them are undervalued. Of course, I am obviously biased toward the team that I love, but you are too probably, so here we go.
Joc Pederson (#98) - I think that this is a good spot for Joc, and I'm glad he finally made it onto the list after having a monster season last year. Were he able to produce at the same level against left-handed pitching that he can about right, Pederson would certainly be a top 30 player. The best platoon player in baseball, Pederson has solidified himself as a top 100 player in baseball.
Corey Seager (#77) - I think that this is too low for Corey, but I understand that nobody really knows what level he can play at right now. He's obviously still a great player, as he hit 19 home runs in a shortened season last year and still manage to lead the National League in doubles. However, many players are capable of slugging at a higher level than Seager did last year, as evidenced by the influx of home runs and offense in general. If Seager can have
Clayton Kershaw (#61) - This is too low for Kershaw. Period. He provides the Dodgers with an incredible amount of value as he pitched 6 or more innings in nearly all of his starts last year and was top 10 in both ERA and WHIP as well as tying Max Scherzer for 11th in BAA. His place in the list is as an elite starter in baseball (he's above Mike Soroka, Zack Greinke, and Chris"the rail" Sale), but the MLB Network research team doesn't seem to value pitching very highly, as the ratio of hitters to pitchers in the top 50 is gargantuan. Due to this valuation, I can understand Kershaw's spot in conjunction with other pitchers on the list, but I think that many of the pitchers they have ranked ought to be higher.
Justin Turner (54) - Turner just misses out on the top 50, but I think that's okay. He is a great hitter in an era of a historic offensive boom. His offensive stats don't pop compared with other great players', and he's one of the oldest players that high on the list, so prop to him for that. Unfortunately, MLB Network doesn't account for stylish beards and unmatched leadership.
Max Muncy (36) - I'm okay with this one too. Max is a terrific hitter and has improved immensely defensively, but he's competing with guys who have done it for years. Muncy's elite command of the strike zone and ability to slug are incredible, but this was the year of the juiced ball. If Muncy can continue his offensive outbursts, he should have no trouble advancing into the top 20 in my opinion. Again, it is too bad that Muncy's bat flips and savage quotations are not taken into account.
Walker Buehler (29) - This bothers me. I have Walker Buehler as the fifth best starter in baseball, behind deGrom, Cole, Verlander, and Scherzer. However, MLB Network has him behind Flaherty and Strasburg. I know Flaherty had a dominant second half last year, but Buehler was better in all of 2018 and the first of 2019, and was better than both Strasburg and Flaherty in the 2019 postseason, pushing him ahead of them in my opinion. Additionally, Buehler had a better ERA than Strasburg in both 2019 and 2018. He simply gave up fewer runs in fewer innings. While Strasburg had better advanced stats in 2019, the disparity between his ERA and Buehler's in 2018 negates it in my opinion. I think that Walker will surge up the list in 2020.
Mookie Betts (4) - Mookie Betts, is, in my opinion, the 2nd best player in baseball because, over the last few years, he has the 2nd best war in baseball only to consensus best player in baseball Mike Trout. There's really nothing else to say here.
Cody Bellinger (3) - I would have had Bellinger at 3, but I would have had him above Yelich. Their offensive stats were fairly comparable, but I think that Bellinger's defensive versatility and elite ability at 4 positions gets him past Yelich. I am excited and intrigued to see if Cody Bellinger, the most improved player in baseball by far, can again improve upon or exceed his incredible MVP season in 2020.
My Top 10: