The talent level in Major League Baseball is arguably the best its been in a long time, with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper leading a young crop of players that we will have the pleasure of watching for years to come.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who currently hold a three game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West, have some good young players of their own, and that was highlighted by Baseball America’s 2015 Major League Best Tools list, where four Dodger players were recognized for their tools.
The list ranks the top three players in each league for a certain tool they possess that makes them better than everyone else in the league at their position. Some of the categories Baseball America ranked include best hitter, best power, best pitcher, best curveball, best outfield arm, etc. The Dodgers who made the list include Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers two aces, Kershaw and Greinke, both made the list in multiple categories. For “Best Pitcher” in the NL, Greinke ranked first followed by Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and then Kershaw. The ranking for “Best Control” looked the exact same. Kershaw also ranked first for “Best Curveball” and third for “Best Slider”, while Greinke came in second for “Best Changeup.
Neither Kershaw nor Greinke lost a game in the month of July, as they combined to give up five earned runs in 71 innings. Overall on the season, Greinke leads the majors with a 1.58 ERA and Kershaw is tied for 5th with a 2.39 ERA.
The next Dodger to make the list, Gonzalez, came in second behind Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks for “Best Defensive 1B”. The four-time Gold Glove winner has made just four errors on the season, which ranks sixth among National League first baseman and is good enough for a .996 fielding percentage, which is just above his career .995 mark.
The final Dodger on the list, Puig, ranked first for “Best Outfield Arm”. As Dodger fans know, Puig has proved he has the best arm in the league ever since his first Major League game when he doubled up Chris Denorfia of the San Diego Padres at first base from the right field wall to end the game. Puig is currently tied for eighth among Major League right fielders with six outfield assists on the season, despite only playing 64 games.