After weeks and months of platooning sub-par major league left fielders alongside Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, the Dodgers have finally secured an everyday player in Shane Victorino. While also filling a hole in left, Victorino also provides Los Angeles the speed they’ve lacked in Dee Gordon‘s absence.
As the trade deadline passed, and Victorino put on a Dodgers jersey, I got to thinking, does LA have the best outfield in baseball?
In answering this question you’ve got to consider both offense and defense, so here are the top five outfields that I could find (in no particular order):
At first glance, that’s an interesting group of teams.
On one hand is a team like the Cardinals, with a couple veterans who are still mashing (Beltran and Holliday have combined for 45 home runs this season), while the Angels are led by two guys who probably aren’t anywhere near the peak of their careers (Trout and Trumbo).
Defensively, I think the Dodgers have the edge over all of these teams. Some, like the Rangers, have sacrificed defense for the sake of offense, while other teams have individual liabilities. For the Dodgers, while Ethier isn’t exactly “elite” defensively (yes, he won a gold glove, no, he probably didn’t deserve it), he’s still above average, while Kemp and Victorino are among the best in baseball.
Offensively, however, the Dodgers fall behind a few of the teams listed above. While Kemp is among the top hitters in the league, Ethier and Victorino leave much to be desired in a talk of the “best in baseball.” For an offensive edge, I’d have to give the nod to the Angels thanks to the emergence of Trout and Trumbo and the consistency of Hunter.
Here are how I’d rank the teams overall:
1) Angels — best offensively, two of the best defensive outfielders in baseball
2) Dodgers — best defensively, need more production from Ethier to climb this list
3) Cardinals — seriously, have you seen the numbers from Holliday and Beltran?!?
4) Rangers — probably number two offensively but they’ve got some holes defensively (see: World Series)
5) Brewers — lack a third offensive threat in the outfield, below average defensively
While that’s how I see it, what do you think, where do you see LA’s new trio stacking up?