MLB Top 10s: Giants' Posey, Dodgers' Kershaw lead best of NL West

by | Baseball Writer

In the Eye On Baseball Top 10s, here's what we do: rank players according to criteria. Those criteria change depending upon week and whim, but the Top 10s always will be informed by some angle or another. (Note that the absence of an angle is itself an angle!)

And that brings us to this week's guiding query: Who are the best position players and pitchers in the National League West?

In recent weeks, we've been devoting ourselves to rank provincialism by ordering hitters and pitchers from each of baseball's six divisions. So the primary criterion for this week is that each name-checked player must play for the Diamondbacks, Giants, Padres, Rockies or Dodgers. Beyond that, each should be good at baseball and stuff.

As for really deciding who merits inclusion, we're focusing on players who are performing at least solidly in 2013 and have the track record and or pedigree to suggest that their 2013 numbers are sustainable or even headed upward. That is, these are good players playing well or soon to play well. What's unfolded in 2013 matters, but so does body of work and established expectations. If a player isn't on here despite strong numbers in the current season, then you should assume that all-powerful I have determined his performance to be somewhat fluke-ish. It is so because I said it is so. Such are the privileges of boundless authority.

Spoiler alert: You're not going to find the names Matt Kemp or Pablo Sandoval on this list. In Kemp's case, I very much appreciate how excellent he's been in the past, but I'm frankly worried about his ability to stay healthy these days. If he comes back and starts hitting like vintage Matt Kemp, then he'll zoom up these rankings. As for Sandoval, he's a fine hitter, but he's also a DH playing third base. Absent notable improvement in his conditioning, I can't envision a bright future for him.

And now let us recite baseball names for purposes of SEO and making you angry. As always, feel free to brandish your incorrect opinions and make idle threats in the comments section.


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