MLB NL West Rankings: Ranking Every Position in the NL West for 2011

Mike BormannContributor IJanuary 21, 2011

MLB NL West Rankings: Ranking Every Position in the NL West for 2011

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    The NL west is full of young talent that is often overlooked by fans from other divisions.

    This slide show will breakdown each position within the division.  When ranking the players many things came into consideration: past production, future promise, and fielding will obviously be in the mix.  Some players are versatile and play more than one position, but in this article players will only be eligible at one position.  The position chosen will be either their primary position or the one they are expected to start at to begin 2011.

    Feel free to let me know your opinions in the comment section below.  This should be a deep list, so I am sure some debate will rise.

Catchers

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    The catcher position is probably the one position that has the most parity from top to bottom.  The 2010 season was big for one catcher in the NL West, winning the Rookie of the Year and World Series title.  The top of this list has some nice young catchers, then falls into mediocrity fast.  Here is the top catchers...

    1. Buster Posey - SF

    2. Miguel Montero - Ari.

    3. Chris Ianetta - Col.

    4. Nick Hundley - SD

    5. Rod Barajas - LA

    6. Dioner Navarro - LA

    7. Rob Johnson - SD

    8. Jose Morales - Col.

    9. Eli Whiteside - SF

    10. Henry Blanco - Ari.

1st Baseman

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    The Huffinator

    After compiling this list, I realized that the west is a little weak at this position.  There are no real superstars or true power hitters here that are a staple throughout the league.  There are some young names on the list who could prove to be elite in a few years and also some glorified DH's who fall into this category.

    1. Aubrey Huff - SF

    2. James Loney - LA

    3. Todd Helton - Col.

    4. Brad Hawpe - SD

    5. Kyle Blanks - SD

    6. Juan Miranda - Ari.

    7. Brandon Belt - SF

    8. Jason Giambi - Col.

    9. Geoff Blum - Ari.

    10. Brandon Allen - Ari.

    11. Travis Ishikawa - SF

2nd Baseman

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    KJ

    Some familiar names return to the west this season as well as some known newcomers.  I based Uribe and Wigginton at 2B because they are projected to start the season at this position. 

     

    1. Kelly Johnson - Ari.

    2. Juan Uribe - LA

    3. Ty Wigginton - Col.

    4. Orlando Hudson - SD

    5. Freddy Sanchez - SF

    6. Mike Fontenot - SF

    7. Eric Young Jr. - Col.

    8. Jamey Carroll - LA

    9. Jonathan Herrera - Col.

    10. Emmanuel Burriss - SF

3rd Baseman

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    Kung Fu Panda

    3rd base is full of veteran players in the west.  Putting the panda at number one is based upon his bounce back from a disappointing 2010 season.  It is rumored that he has lost 17 pounds already, but who knows if that is accurate or if he will keep it off.  On a side note, is it me or is everyone else surprised that Jose Lopez is only 27.

    1. Pablo Sandoval - SF

    2. Ian Stewart - Col.

    3. Chase Headley - SD

    4. Jose Lopez - Col.

    5. Casey Blake - LA

    6. Melvin Mora - Ari.

    7. Ryan Roberts - Ari.

    8. Ryan Rohlinger - SF

    9. Russ Mitchell - LA

    10. Jarrett Hoffpauier - SD

Shortstop

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    Tulo Mullet Power

    We all know who rules supreme at short in this division.  You cannot deny the power of the mullet.  Drew is poised to breakout and a few vets still have some left in the tank.

     

    1. Troy Tulowitzki - Col.

    2. Stephen Drew - Ari.

    3. Rafael Furcal - LA

    4. Jason Bartlett - SD

    5. Miguel Tejada - SF

    6. Everth Cabrera - SD

    7. Tony Abreu - Ari.

    8. Chris Nelson - Col.

    9. Hector Gomez - Col.

    10. Ivan De Jesus - LA

Left Field

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    Cargo Makes The Grab

    Was there any doubt?  CarGo is obviously the best left fielder heading into 2011.  If he can match his 2010 numbers is another debate, but for this list he reigns supreme.

    1. Carlos Gonzalez - Col.

    2. Ryan Ludwick - SD

    3. Mark DeRosa - SF

    4. Pat Burrell - SF

    5. Xavier Paul - LA

    6. Xavier Nady - Ari.

    7. Gerardo Parra - Ari.

    8. Marcus Thames - LA

    9. Jay Gibbons - LA

    10. Oscar Salazar - SD

    11. Jay Payton - Col.

Center Fielders

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    Lucky MF

    Why do players always seem to move from one team to the next in the NL West?  Tony Gwynn Jr. has a change of scenery this season.  Will this be the year that young studs Fowler and Maybin breakout?

    1. Matt Kemp - LA

    2. Chris B. Young - Ari.

    3. Andres Torres - SF

    4. Dexter Fowler - Col.

    5. Cameron Maybin - SD

    6. Aaron Rowand - SF

    7. Tony Gwynn Jr. - LA

    8. Chris Denorfia - SD

    9. Luis Durango - SD

    10. Darren Ford - SF

Right Fielders

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    Justin Upton #10

    Rounding out the list for position players is the #9 position.  Tough decision for the #1 spot here.  Ethier can be the best player when healthy and Upton has the tools to become something special.

    1. Justin Upton - Ari.

    2. Andre Ethier - LA

    3. Seth Smith - Col.

    4. Will Venable - SD

    5. Cody Ross - SF

    6. Ryan Spilbourghs - Col.

    7. Nate Scheirholtz - SF

    8. Willie Bloomquist - Ari.

    9. Aaron Cunningham - SD

    10. Cole Gillespie - Ari.

Starting Pitchers

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    Timmmmaaayyyyy

    Let's be honest, the NL West thrives on pitching and has some of the most electric and exciting in the game.  I think this slide is where the most debate will derive from.  I love the depth of the pitching and think some new young guns will make a name for themselves before the year is over.

     

    1. Tim Lincecum - SF

    2. Ubaldo Jimenez - Col.

    3. Matt Cain - SF

    4. Clayton Kershaw - LA

    5. Mat Latos - SD

    6. Chad Billingsley - LA

    7. Jonathan Sanchez - SF

    8. Daniel Hudson - Ari.

    9. Jhoulys Chacin - Col.

    10. Ted Lilly - LA

    11. Cory Luebke - SD

    12. Hiroki Kuroda - LA

    13. Madison Bumgarner - SF

    14. Clayton Richard - SD

    15. Jorge De La Rosa - Col.

    16. Joe Saunders - Ari.

    17. Jon Garland - LA

    18. Tim Stauffer - SD

    19. Wade LeBlanc - SD

    20. Ian Kennedy - Ari.

    21. Aaron Cook - Col.

    22. Barry Zito - SF

    23. Barry Enright - Ari.

    24. Zack Duke - Ari.

    25. Jason Hammel - Col.

    26. Aaron Harang - SD

    27. Vicente Padilla - LA

    28. Felipe Paulino - Col.

    29. John Ely - LA

Releif Pitchers

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    Hong-Chih Kuo

    The pitching excellence continues to the pen.  I'm intrigued to see some new names with proven records to show what they can do in the west.

    1. Hong-Chih Kuo - LA

    2. Mike Adams - SD

    3. Juan Gutierrez - Ari.

    4. Luke Gregerson - SD

    5. Javier Lopez - SF

    6. Sergio Romo - SF

    7. Matt Lindstrom - Col.

    8. Matt Guerrier - LA

    9. Ramon Ramirez - SF

    10. Rafael Betancourt - Col.

    11. Joe Thatcher - SD

    12. Matt Belisle - Col.

    13. Jeremy Affeldt - SF

    14. Ramon Troncoso - LA

    15. Dan Runzler - SF

    16. Ronald Belisario - LA

    17. Dustin Moseley - SD

    18. Kam Mickolio - Ari.

    19. Kenley Jansen - LA

    20. Santiago Casilla - SF

    21. Carlos Monasterios - LA

    22. Franklin Morales - Col.

    23. Ernesto Frieri - SD

    24. David Hernandez - Ari.

    25. Aaron Heilman Ari.

Closers

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    Fear The Beard

    It was very hard to put Wilson second here.  If it was a list of "being too awesome"  Wilson would win this in a landslide. 

    1. Heath Bell - SD

    2. Brian Wilson - SF

    3. Huston Street - Col.

    4. Jonathan Broxton - LA

    5. JJ Putz - Ari.

     

     

     

    Thats the end of this ranking, please leave feedback on what you would change.

    Thanks