Ranking talent in a loaded division
Who doesn’t love a Top 10 list? Well, we do! So welcome to Top 10 Tuesday, where every week we will dive into a different Rockies-related topic. These lists will not be scientific. They are 100-percent opinion (a “Mountain Viewpoint” so to speak) and — more importantly — they are 100-percent debatable. We encourage the banter in the comments (keep it respectful), and feel free to offer up some future topic ideas!
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With all the changes coming to the National League West this offseason (we’re looking at you, San Diego), it seems like a good time to see how the Rockies stack up in terms of star power. It’s a list of players at their current ability level. Oh, and San Francisco Giants fans can just move along now.
No. 10: Walker Buehler, SP, Dodgers
Has the young right-hander supplanted Clayton Kershaw as L.A.’s ace? Debatable still, but he’s the one you want going forward at this point.
No. 9: Ketel Marte, SS, Diamondbacks
He’s really only had one standout season so far in his young career, but his 2019 campaign (where he finished fourth in the MVP voting) showed his potential. If he stays in Arizona, he’s likely to be a force for the next decade.
No. 8: Manny Machado, SS, Padres
Perhaps he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations after signing the massive contract with the Padres in 2019. But Manny Machado is still a plus-fielder and very dangerous at the plate.
No. 7: Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
The former All-Star and MVP candidate gets lost on a loaded roster. But we all saw what Corey Seager is capable of last year when he took down both NLCS and World Series MVP awards.
No. 6: Blake Snell, SP, Padres
The Padres are going all-in this offseason, and the former Cy Young Award winner immediately takes over as the anchor of a much-improved starting pitching staff. The measure of his success or failure this season will heavily rely on how he handles his opponents on this list.
No. 5: Trevor Story, SS, Rockies
If he could flip his strikeout-to-walk ratio, he’d be in the conversation for tops on this list. But even with it, Trevor Story has career bWAR of 21.0.
No. 4: Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres
Fernando Tatis Jr. appears to be on the brink of being the face of not only the Padres but all of Major League Baseball. He’s a five-tool shortstop who has already supplanted himself in the MVP talks. And he’s only 22.
No. 3: Cody Bellinger, OF, Dodgers
We’re splitting hairs here with the Top 3. But if Cody Bellinger can return to his 2019 MVP form, his argument for No. 1 will be strong.
No. 2: Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
This is a list of perennial All-Stars and MVP candidates — and Nolan Arenado belongs among the top. Enough said.
No. 1: Mookie Betts, OF, Dodgers
What we feared Mookie Betts would look like in Dodger Blue came to realization last season. He’s finished in the top 10 of MVP voting in five of his seven big league seasons — and he doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Honorable mention: Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
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How about all those shortstops? What did I miss? Where did I get it wrong? Sound off in the comments!