Mookie Betts leads the pack among right fielders in the 2010s. I gave him the nod over the gentlemen below because Betts has played at an extremely high level since his debut and has simply brought a lot of value to his teams in a short period of time. He has posted at least 6 rWAR in every full season he has played, and he has played between 250 and 400 fewer games than the other guys in this section. Betts is the owner of a .301/.374/.519 career triple-slash and brought the coveted power-speed combo to the Red Sox for the first six years of his career, launching 139 home runs and stealing 126 bags in that time frame. The one-time MVP will now suit up in Chavez Ravine for the Dodgers and look to get this next decade started right. Worth noting, of course, is that he’ll be there for the next 12 years on the heels of a $365 million extension.
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Fangraphs and Baseball Reference agree on the top four left fielders of the past decade though they don’t quite agree on the order. This brings us to a debate of elite quality versus very high quantity; WAR is a counting stat so if you play more games at a high level, you end up with a higher WAR. Still, though, playing fewer games at an elite level is incredibly valuable. I’ll settle the debate.
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Robinson Cano outplayed his competition at second base by so much over the past decade that he gets his own heading. Prior to his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, he was nearly a lock for the Hall of Fame. Before his 2018 suspension, Cano had accrued 64.4 rWAR, a .305/.354/.494 triple-slash, and 2376 hits in 13 seasons. The suspension put a damper on his Hall of Fame chances but it doesn’t change the fact that he was far and away the best second baseman of the decade.
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This is the second installment in a six-part series in which I will go division by division and recap the biggest storylines of each team’s season. To find the recaps for other divisions, follow the links below. NL East NL Central AL Central NL West AL West All WAR metrics are fWAR unless otherwise stated. […]
Read more "2017 Recap: AL East"