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Rating Each MLB Workforce’s Beginning Left Fielder for the 2024 Season

Ranking Every MLB Team’s Starting Left Fielder for the 2024 Season 0 of 30 Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Welcome to Bleacher Report’s 2024 MLB position rankings series. With the beginning of a new baseball season right around the corner, we’ll be ranking each team’s starter at every position in the coming weeks to

Rating Each MLB Workforce’s Beginning Left Fielder for the 2024 Season

Rating Each MLB Workforce’s Beginning Left Fielder for the 2024 Season

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    OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 14: Tampa Bay Rays Outfield Randy Arozarena (56) warms up in the on-deck circle during the Major League Baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics on June 14, 2023 at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

    Welcome to Bleacher Report’s 2024 MLB place rankings collection.

    With the start of a brand new baseball season proper across the nook, we’ll be rating every staff’s starter at each place within the coming weeks to supply a full position-by-position preview for the 2024 marketing campaign.

    Left discipline is a wierd place, missing in true top-tier expertise, however with as many as 25 guys who’re able to placing collectively a 3-WAR season in 2024. It is a group loaded with younger up-and-comers, established second-tier contributors and veterans with bounce-back potential after posting elite numbers previously.

    Gamers had been ranked based mostly on expectations for the 2024 season. Offensive and defensive contributions had been each thought-about, and previous observe document performed a significant position in figuring out every participant’s outlook.

    Let the talk start.

30. JJ Bleday, Oakland Athletics

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    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 13: JJ Bleday #33 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

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    JJ Bleday hit .347/.465/.701 with 27 dwelling runs and 72 RBI in 71 video games throughout his junior season at Vanderbilt to ship his draft inventory hovering, and he ended up going No. 4 general within the 2019 draft to the Miami Marlins.

    After being robbed of a yr of improvement in 2020, he struggled at Double-A in 2021 however rebounded to submit an .835 OPS with 20 dwelling runs in 85 video games at Triple-A the next yr to earn his first MLB call-up.

    The Marlins traded him to the Oakland Athletics previous to the 2023 season in a one-for-one swap for left-hander A.J. Puk, and whereas he has but to totally break by means of on the MLB degree, the 26-year-old confirmed sufficient potential final yr to be the front-runner for the beginning left discipline job.

29. Eddie Rosario, Washington Nationals

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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 24:  Eddie Rosario #8 of the Atlanta Braves prepares for a pitch during game one of a doubleheader of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 24, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    Mitchell Layton/Getty Photographs

    Regardless of posting a 100 OPS+ with 24 doubles, 21 dwelling runs and 74 RBI in 142 video games because the beginning left fielder for the Atlanta Braves final season, Eddie Rosario had his $9 million membership choice declined firstly of the offseason.

    In a slow-moving free-agent market with a number of veteran outfielders that match the same profile, Rosario ended up having to accept a minor league cope with the Washington Nationals that can pay him as much as $4 million if he makes the MLB roster.

    The 32-year-old has an opportunity to be a pleasant buy-low pickup for a rebuilding staff and a confirmed run producer in the course of a younger lineup.

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28. Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres

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    HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 09: Jurickson Profar #10 of the San Diego Padres reacts after hitting a two run home run during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 09, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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    As soon as upon a time, Jurickson Profar was prospect royalty, rating because the No. 1 prospect in baseball previous to the 2013 season whereas rising the ranks within the Texas Rangers farm system as their shortstop of the longer term.

    His future star trajectory finally stalled, however he has carved out a strong profession as a nook infielder with some energy and on-base means.

    The 31-year-old had a 3.1-WAR season for the San Diego Padres in 2022, and after falling flat with the Colorado Rockies on a one-year deal final season, he finally discovered his approach again to the Friars the place he’s slated to interrupt camp because the beginning left fielder.

27. Matt Wallner, Minnesota Twins

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    HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 07: Matt Wallner #38 of the Minnesota Twins bats during game one of the Division Series against the Houston Astros on October 7, 2023 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

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    With a 6’4″, 220-pound body and among the finest energy potential within the Minnesota Twins system, Matt Wallner broke by means of final season when he posted a 139 OPS+ with 14 dwelling runs and 41 RBI in 76 video games as a rookie.

    Nonetheless, he additionally posted a 31.5 % strikeout charge and logged poor defensive metrics (-2 DRS, -0.4 UZR/150) in left discipline, so it’s removed from a foregone conclusion that he’s the left fielder of the current and future.

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    The 26-year-old has additionally gone simply 2-for-23 with 10 strikeouts this spring, and whereas his strong debut ought to afford him the primary alternative on the beginning gig, he might want to show himself additional earlier than he can climb any greater.

26. Bryan De La Cruz, Miami Marlins

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    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 31: Bryan De La Cruz #14 of the Miami Marlins bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

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    After flashing some intriguing offensive potential in 2021 and 2022, Bryan De La Cruz was an on a regular basis participant for the primary time in his profession in the course of the 2023 season.

    The 27-year-old ranked among the many Miami Marlins staff leaders in hits (149, second), doubles (32, first), dwelling runs (19, second), RBI (78, first) and complete bases (238, third).

    Nonetheless, these robust counting numbers got here with a lackluster .257/.304/.411 line and a 92 OPS+ to go together with poor protection (-9 DRS, -2.8 UZR/150), and ultimately he completed the season with minus-0.3 WAR in 153 video games.

    Can he take one other step ahead?

25. MJ Melendez, Kansas Metropolis Royals

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 04: MJ Melendez #1 of the Kansas City Royals at bat during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 4, 2023 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Wealthy Graessle/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

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    Developed as a catcher within the Kansas Metropolis Royals farm system, MJ Melendez has performed primarily on the nook outfield spots in deference to longtime backstop Salvador Pérez whereas serving as each a leadoff hitter and a middle-of-the-order run producer.

    The 25-year-old hit .235/.316/.398 with 29 doubles, 16 dwelling runs and 56 RBI in 148 video games final season whereas splitting his time between left discipline and proper discipline. Now that newcomer Hunter Renfroe is penciled in because the staff’s main proper fielder, Melendez will settle in as the first left fielder.

    His 11.3 percent profession stroll charge and 20-homer energy give him the upside to climb greater in these rankings, and an improved lineup round him would additionally take away some strain as a main run producer.

24. Michael Conforto, San Francisco Giants

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    ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 19: San Francisco Giants right fielder Michael Conforto (8) bats during the Saturday evening MLB game between the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves on August 19, 2023 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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    Michael Conforto declined a qualifying supply from the New York Mets following the 2021 marketing campaign after which underwent shoulder surgical procedure that may hold him on the sidelines for your entire 2022 season.

    The San Francisco Giants signed him to a two-year, $36 million deal final offseason, however he struggled to shake off the rust of a misplaced yr, hitting .239/.334/.384 for a 99 OPS+ with 15 dwelling runs and 58 RBI in 125 video games.

    The 31-year-old was a 30-homer slugger and All-Star at his peak, and he nonetheless has a 120 OPS+ over 3,450 profession plate appearances, so there may be loads of potential for a bounce-back marketing campaign in 2024.

23. Tyler O’Neill, Boston Pink Sox

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    FORT MYERS, FL- FEBRUARY 25: Tyler O'Neill #17 of the Boston Red Sox bats during a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on February 25, 2024 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

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    Only a few years in the past, Tyler O’Neill was a 6.1-WAR participant for the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a 148 OPS+ with 34 dwelling runs whereas successful a Gold Glove and ending eighth in NL MVP balloting.

    Accidents have restricted him to 168 video games over the previous two seasons, and he has hit simply .229/.310/.397 with a 97 OPS+ and 1.6 WAR when he has managed to take the sphere.

    Regardless of these struggles, he nonetheless seems like a primary candidate to profit from a change of surroundings, and the Boston Pink Sox acquired him to plug a gap within the outfield following the departures of Alex Verdugo and Adam Duvall.

22. Mark Canha, Detroit Tigers

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    LAKELAND, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23:  Mark Canha #21 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during photo day at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on February 23, 2024 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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    One of many larger Rule 5 success tales of the previous decade, Mark Canha turned a powerful run with the Oakland Athletics right into a two-year, $24.5 million deal from the New York Mets in his first journey to free company previous to the 2022 season.

    The Mets traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers on the deadline final yr, and he posted a 120 OPS+ with 5 dwelling runs and 33 RBI in 50 video games after altering groups. The Brewers confronted an $11.5 million membership choice determination for the 2024 season however as an alternative flipped him to the Detroit Tigers who locked him in for that wage.

    The 35-year-old has logged six straight seasons with an OPS+ above 100, posting a terrific .364 on-base proportion throughout that span whereas averaging 20 dwelling runs and 73 RBI per 162 video games. He’ll give a younger Tigers lineup a welcome veteran presence.

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21. Alex Verdugo, New York Yankees

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    TAMPA, FL - MARCH 06: New York Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo (24) at bat during the spring training game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees on MARCH 06, 2024 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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    The New York Yankees acquired Alex Verdugo from the Boston Pink Sox in one of many first notable trades of the offseason, marking simply the eighth time since 1969 that the 2 bitter rivals have come collectively on a commerce.

    Over the previous three seasons, he has been roughly a league-average contributor offensively, posting a 103 OPS+ over 1,850 plate appearances whereas averaging 36 doubles, 12 dwelling runs and 64 RBI.

    Being the centerpiece of the deal that despatched face of the franchise Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers little doubt got here with important strain, and shifting on to a different staff might assist him flip in a real breakout season in his age-28 marketing campaign and a contract yr.

20. Lars Nootbaar, St. Louis Cardinals

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 18: Lars Nootbaar #21 of the St. Louis Cardinals at bat during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Busch Stadium on July 18, 2023 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images)

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    Lars Nootbaar was a standout for Workforce Japan within the World Baseball Basic final spring, turning into the primary participant born exterior of Japan to play for the nation’s nationwide staff, and he used that as a springboard to one of the best season of his MLB profession.

    The 26-year-old hit .261/.367/.418 for a 115 OPS+ with 23 doubles, 14 dwelling runs, 46 RBI and 11 steals in 117 video games, ending third on the team with 3.3 WAR whereas enjoying all three outfield spots.

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    With Tommy Edman set to be the staff’s main middle fielder and Tyler O’Neill now in Boston, Nootbaar is predicted to settle in because the on a regular basis left fielder as soon as he recovers from a rib setback, and he has nonetheless not reached his full potential.

19. Luke Raley, Seattle Mariners

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    PEORIA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Luke Raley of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during photo day at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 23, 2024 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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    One in all baseball’s greatest out-of-nowhere affect gamers final yr, Luke Raley entered the 2023 season with a .189 batting common and 57 OPS+ in 144 profession plate appearances within the huge leagues.

    The 29-year-old performed his approach onto the Opening Day roster with a terrific spring coaching final yr, and he went on to submit a 126 OPS+ with 23 doubles, 19 dwelling runs and 49 RBI in 118 video games whereas beginning a number of video games at first base, all three outfield spots and designated hitter.

    The Seattle Mariners acquired him in January in trade for utility infielder José Caballero, and whereas he’ll possible fill the same super-utility position, left discipline seems like his main spot to open the yr.

    Control up-and-comer Dominic Canzone as somebody who might pressure his approach into a bigger position after he was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on the deadline within the Paul Sewald commerce.

18. Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 11: Los Angeles Angels left fielder Taylor Ward (3) waits for the pitch during a regular season game between the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners on June 11, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

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    A primary-round choose as a catcher again in 2015, Taylor Ward was one in every of baseball’s greatest breakout stars in 2022, hitting .281/.360/.473 for a 134 OPS+ with 22 doubles, 23 dwelling runs and 65 RBI in a 3.7-WAR season.

    His encore efficiency was derailed when he was hit in the face by a 91 mph pitch from Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah, sidelining him from July 29 by means of the top of the common season.

    Previous to that damage, he had a 105 OPS+ with 18 doubles, 14 dwelling runs and 47 RBI in 97 video games, and he really improved his hard-hit charge (42.9 to 43.9 percent) and common exit velocity (90.0 to 90.7 mph) relative to his 2022 numbers.

17. Andrew Benintendi, Chicago White Sox

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    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 30: Andrew Benintendi #23 of the Chicago White Sox warms up in the on-deck circle prior to the start of the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on June 30, 2023 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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    After falling wanting expectations throughout his time with the Boston Pink Sox, former high prospect Andrew Benintendi put collectively a 3.2-WAR season with the Kansas Metropolis Royals and New York Yankees in 2022 whereas incomes his first All-Star choice.

    The 29-year-old parlayed that right into a five-year, $85 million contract with the Chicago White Sox final offseason, however he fell wanting matching his 2022 success in his first season with the South Siders.

    He hit simply .262/.326/.356 for an 87 OPS+ with 41 extra-base hits and 0.2 WAR in 151 video games, and he nonetheless has $66.4 million remaining over the ultimate 4 years of that back-loaded deal.

    With 16.1 WAR over eight seasons, he has a extra profitable profession observe document than some others forward of him on this checklist however much less upside heading into 2024.

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16. Jarred Kelenic, Atlanta Braves

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    CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Atlanta Braves outfielder Jarred Kelenic (24) at bat during the spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies on February 28, 2024 at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

    Jarred Kelenic hit .291/.364/.540 with 31 doubles, 23 dwelling runs, 68 RBI and 20 steals in 117 video games throughout his age-19 season in 2019, reaching Double-A and cementing his standing as one in every of baseball’s elite prospects.

    The canceled 2020 MiLB season delayed his arrival within the huge leagues, and he fell flat as soon as he did lastly get the decision, hitting .168/.251/.338 with a 66 OPS+ and 30 % strikeout charge in 558 plate appearances throughout his first two seasons within the huge leagues.

    The 24-year-old took a major step ahead final yr, posting a 109 OPS+ with 25 doubles, 11 dwelling runs, 49 RBI and 13 steals in a 2.0-WAR season, however he broke his foot kicking a water cooler in July and missed nearly two months.

    The Atlanta Braves acquired him firstly of the offseason to plug their gap in left discipline, and he might show to be probably the greatest buy-low pickups of the winter.

15. Austin Hays, Baltimore Orioles

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    BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 23: Austin Hays #21 of the Baltimore Orioles bats during the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

    Daniel Shirey/MLB Pictures through Getty Photographs

    In three seasons because the Baltimore Orioles’ beginning left fielder, Austin Hays has hit .262/.313/.439 for a 109 OPS+ whereas averaging 32 doubles, 18 dwelling runs, 66 RBI and a pair of.6 WAR.

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    The 28-year-old was an All-Star for the primary time final yr, hitting .275/.325/.444 for a 114 OPS+ with 36 doubles, 16 dwelling runs and 67 RBI and ending as a Gold Glove finalist whereas posting robust defensive metrics (6 DRS, 8.1 UZR/150).

    With a wealth of younger outfielders rising the minor league ranks, it stays to be seen the place he will probably be enjoying as soon as he reaches free company for the primary time following the 2025 season, however for now he’s a key cog on the defending AL East champions.

14. Chas McCormick, Houston Astros

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    HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 22: Chas McCormick #20 of the Houston Astros hits a three run home run in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on September 22, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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    An underrated contributor in a stacked Houston Astros lineup, Chas McCormick put collectively one of the best season of his profession in 2023, hitting .273/.353/.489 for a 130 OPS+ with 17 doubles, 22 dwelling runs, 70 RBI and 19 steals in a 3.6-WAR season.

    The 28-year-old has already been a significant success story after going within the twenty first spherical of the 2017 draft out of D-II Millersville College, and he’s one in every of solely 4 gamers ever to be drafted out of that college, with Toronto Blue Jays reliever Tim Mayza additionally on that checklist.

    After splitting his time evenly between middle discipline and left discipline final yr, he would be the staff’s main left fielder this season with Jake Meyers getting a crack on the on a regular basis middle discipline job. That stated, his means to deal with middle discipline if wanted additional provides to his worth on the roster.

13. Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds

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    CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 27, 2023: Spencer Steer #7 of the Cincinnati Reds bats during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on September 27, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

    George Kubas/Diamond Photographs through Getty Photographs

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    The Cincinnati Reds acquired Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand from the Minnesota Twins on the 2022 commerce deadline in trade for Tyler Mahle, and that’s shaping as much as be probably the most lopsided offers in latest reminiscence.

    Steer, 26, hit .271/.356/.464 for a 119 OPS+ with 37 doubles, 23 dwelling runs, 86 RBI and 15 steals in 156 video games to complete sixth in NL Rookie of the 12 months balloting.

    After enjoying primarily third base within the minors, he performed a wide range of positions in his first full yr within the huge leagues, and including the outfield to his defensive repertoire proved extraordinarily priceless to a Reds group loaded with younger infielders.

12. Brandon Marsh, Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 24: Brandon Marsh #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a single in the third inning during Game 7 of the NLCS between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

    Rob Tringali/MLB Pictures through Getty Photographs

    In what might develop into the uncommon one-for-one commerce that finally ends up benefiting each groups, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Brandon Marsh from the Los Angeles Angels in trade for catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe on the 2022 commerce deadline.

    Marsh served because the staff’s beginning middle fielder throughout its shock run to the 2022 World Collection after which shifted to left discipline final yr after Johan Rojas arrived within the huge leagues and staked his declare to the middle discipline job.

    Marsh, 26, hit .277/.372/.458 for a 127 OPS+ with 25 doubles, 12 dwelling runs, 60 RBI, 10 steals and three.4 WAR in 133 video games whereas hitting primarily on the backside of a stacked lineup, and he’s controllable by means of the 2027 season.

11. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Arizona Diamondbacks

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    PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 31:  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates as he touches home plate after hitting a three-run home run in the eighth inning during Game 4 of the 2023 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

    Mary DeCicco/MLB Pictures through Getty Photographs

    Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit .261/.309/.463 for a 108 OPS+ with 35 doubles, 24 dwelling runs and 82 RBI final yr after coming over together with Gabriel Moreno within the deal that despatched Daulton Varsho to the Toronto Blue Jays final offseason.

    That earned him his first All-Star choice, and a brand new three-year, $42 million deal in free company, with the D-backs solidifying their beginning outfield alongside younger up-and-comers Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas.

    That might find yourself trying like a little bit of an overpay relative to among the offers given out as a slow-moving offseason unfolded, however it’s cash effectively spent for the defending NL pennant winners as they appear to construct off final yr’s success.

10. Daulton Varsho, Toronto Blue Jays

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    TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Toronto Blue Jays Outfield Daulton Varsho (25) bats during the MLB baseball regular season game between the Texas Rangers  and the Toronto Blue Jays on September 11, 2023, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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    Initially drafted and developed as a catcher, Daulton Varsho has developed into one in every of baseball’s finest defensive outfielders and a perennial 20-homer menace who can present worth in all kinds of how.

    He had 23 doubles, 20 dwelling runs and 16 steals in a 3.9-WAR season in his first yr with the Toronto Blue Jays final season, however that was accompanied by a lackluster .220/.285/.389 line and an 85 OPS+ over 158 video games.

    The 27-year-old hit .235/.302/.443 for a 108 OPS+ throughout his remaining season with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022, and he’s simply now coming into the prime of his profession, so there may be loads of motive to imagine a bounce-back season might be coming.

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    Even when he lands someplace within the center offensively, his protection is sweet sufficient to persistently make him a 3-WAR participant.

9. Evan Carter, Texas Rangers

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    ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Texas Rangers outfielder Evan Carter (32) at bat during the MLB game between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 26, 2023 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

    It is tempting to vault Evan Carter straight into the highest 5 amongst left fielders after his unbelievable run by means of the 2023 postseason, however it’s additionally vital to recollect he performed solely 23 video games within the majors previous to that spectacular few weeks in October.

    The 21-year-old nonetheless carries rookie eligibility into the 2024 season, and he’ll possible open the yr because the AL Rookie of the 12 months front-runner after hitting .306/.413/.645 with 10 extra-base hits and 1.6 WAR as a September call-up after which logging a .917 OPS with 18 hits and 10 walks in 17 video games within the playoffs.

    There’s a non-zero risk he ends the 2024 season within the No. 1 spot on this checklist, however for now, we’re taking a cautiously optimistic strategy till he proves himself over a big pattern dimension.

8. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

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    CLEVELAND, OHIO - JUNE 25: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates after scoring during the third inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on June 25, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    Jason Miller/Getty Photographs

    Christian Yelich was squarely within the dialog of finest participant in baseball in the course of the 2018 and 2019 seasons when he gained consecutive NL batting titles, launched a mixed 80 dwelling runs, racked up 14.3 WAR and took dwelling 2018 NL MVP honors.

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    His manufacturing fell off a cliff in the course of the abbreviated 2020 season, and he has by no means returned to that elite degree of manufacturing, however he turned in his finest season since that peak efficiency final yr when he hit .278/.370/.447 with 54 extra-base hits, 28 steals and 106 runs scored serving as extra of a table-setter.

    The 32-year-old began 20 video games at designated hitter final yr, and he might see extra motion there in 2024 to assist hold him contemporary, particularly with a wealth of younger outfielders vying for enjoying time.

7. Teoscar Hernández, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    PEORIA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 22: Teoscar Hernandez of the Los Angeles Dodgers at bat during a spring training game against the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 22, 2024 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)

    Masterpress/Getty Photographs

    Slugger Teoscar Hernández was one in every of baseball’s most efficient nook outfielders throughout his 5 full seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, successful a pair of Silver Slugger Awards and beginning the All-Star Sport in 2021.

    The 31-year-old was traded to the Seattle Mariners forward of his remaining yr of arbitration eligibility final yr, and after a sluggish begin he caught fireplace in August, hitting .365/.396/.654 with 9 doubles, seven dwelling runs and 22 RBI in August.

    He completed the season with a 106 OPS+ and 26 dwelling runs, and the free-spending Los Angeles Dodgers signed him to a one-year, $23.5 million deal after his free company stretched out longer than anticipated.

6. Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs

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    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 27: Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs watches the flight of the ball in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on June 27, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images)

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    Ian Happ has been a constant energy menace within the Chicago Cubs lineup since bursting onto the scene with a 113 OPS+ and 24 dwelling runs in 115 video games in the course of the 2017 season, simply two years after going No. 9 general within the 2015 draft.

    The 29-year-old was an All-Star for the primary time in 2022, placing up stellar numbers within the face of swirling commerce rumors, and the Cubs ended up signing him to a three-year, $61 million extension final yr that begins in the course of the 2024 season.

    Apart from his energy manufacturing, Happ has additionally gained back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in left discipline, making him probably the most well-rounded gamers on this checklist.

5. Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians

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    CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 24: Steven Kwan #38 of the Cleveland Guardians at bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field on September 24, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

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    Steven Kwan spent his school profession at Oregon State enjoying within the shadow of Adley Rutschman, Nick Madrigal and Trevor Larnach who would all go on to be first-round picks and high prospects as soon as their collegiate careers ended.

    On the flip facet, Kwan was a fifth-round choose and by no means sniffed leaguewide High 100 prospect lists, peaking because the No. 27 prospect within the Cleveland Guardians farm system heading into the 2022 season.

    The 26-year-old broke camp as Cleveland’s beginning left fielder in 2022 and went on to a 5.5-WAR rookie season, ending third in AL Rookie of the 12 months voting and successful Gold Glove honors.

    He gives little in the way in which of energy manufacturing, however his mixture of contact means, plate self-discipline, velocity and protection have made him probably the most priceless gamers on the Cleveland roster.

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4. Nolan Jones, Colorado Rockies

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    CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 20: Nolan Jones #22 of the Colorado Rockies gestures after hitting a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game at Great American Ball Park on June 20, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)

    Jeff Dean/Getty Photographs

    The Cleveland Guardians gave up too quickly on former high prospect Nolan Jones when he was traded to the Colorado Rockies final offseason in trade for minor league infielder Juan Brito.

    The 25-year-old did not make his Rockies debut till the top of Could, however he nonetheless went on to hit .297/.389/.542 with 22 doubles, 20 dwelling runs, 62 RBI and 20 steals over 106 video games in a 4.3-WAR season.

    He additionally quietly posted terrific defensive metrics (9 DRS, 14.2 UZR/150) in left discipline after beginning his profession as a nook infielder, and he now seems like a long-term constructing block for the Rockies with membership management by means of 2028.

3. Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 15: Bryan Reynolds #10 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 15, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    Michael Reaves/Getty Photographs

    Bryan Reynolds hit .314/.377/.503 with 37 doubles, 16 dwelling runs and 68 RBI in a 4.2-WAR season as a rookie in 2019, ending fourth in NL Rookie of the 12 months balloting and offering a 93-loss Pittsburgh Pirates staff with some hope for the longer term.

    Now 5 years into his MLB profession, he has racked up 15.9 WAR and performed his approach into an eight-year, $106.75 million extension that can make him a foundational piece of the staff’s rebuilding efforts within the coming years.

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    The 29-year-old hit .263/.330/.460 for a 113 OPS+ with 31 doubles, 24 dwelling runs, 84 RBI and 85 runs scored in 145 video games final yr, and his glove matches higher in left discipline than it did when he performed middle discipline earlier in his profession.

2. Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 03:  Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets in action against the Seattle Mariners at Citi Field on September 03, 2023 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Mariners 6-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

    Jim McIsaac/Getty Photographs

    Brandon Nimmo has spent the final 5 seasons of his profession manning middle discipline for the New York Mets, however with former Gold Glove middle fielder Harrison Bader signed to a one-year deal in the course of the offseason, he’ll now shift to left discipline.

    The 30-year-old hit .274/.363/.466 for a 127 OPS+ with 30 doubles and a career-high 24 dwelling runs within the first season of an eight-year, $162 million contract in 2023, and he’ll as soon as once more function the table-setter atop the Mets lineup in 2024.

    With higher profession defensive metrics in left discipline (958.1 INN, 7 DRS, 6.1 UZR/150) than in middle discipline (4,155.1 INN, -18 DRS, -3.1 UZR/150), he arguably turns into extra priceless now that he’s not enjoying up the center.

1. Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays

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    ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19:   Randy Arozarena #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates a run in the first inning during game one of a doubleheader at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 19, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Photographs

    The legend of Randy Arozarena started in the course of the 2020 postseason, when he led the Tampa Bay Rays on a shock run to the World Collection by hitting .377/.442/.831 with 10 dwelling runs and 14 RBI in 20 video games.

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    He then entered the 2021 season along with his rookie eligibility nonetheless intact and went on to win AL Rookie of the 12 months honors whereas logging the primary of three straight 20/20 seasons, and he has steadily improved all through his time within the majors.

    The 29-year-old hit .254/.364/.425 for a 120 OPS+ with 23 dwelling runs, 83 RBI and 22 steals in a 3.5-WAR season final yr, and he did it whereas posting career-best marks in stroll charge (12.2 percent) and strikeout charge (23.9 %).

    With three years of membership management remaining and his wage steadily rising now that he’s arbitration-eligible, it is going to be fascinating to see if the small-market Rays can discover a technique to hold him long-term, however for now he is among the headliners of their offensive assault.

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