2011 MLB Power Rankings: The 10 Most Dynamic Duos in Baseball
There have been quite a few dynamic duos throughout history and pop culture–Batman and Robin, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Wayne and Garth, Hall and Oates, etc.
Baseball is no different.
It's almost impossible for an offense to be successful in a 162-game season without at least two talented bats in the lineup.
A lot of offseason moves broke up some of the more dominant duos from 2010.
Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena in Tampa, Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez in Florida, and Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman in Washington are no more.
Other moves created new powerful partnerships, like Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko with the Chicago White Sox, and Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth on the Washington Nationals.
With spring training beginning this week and lineups starting to take shape, it's becoming clear which duos will be amongst the best in 2011.
10. LAD: Andre Ethier / Matt Kemp
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Both Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp were overshadowed throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010 by the antics and steroid allegations of Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez and his shenanigans were sent off to the Chicago White Sox last season. He now plays for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Entering the 2011 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers will look to Ethier and Kemp to carry the load on offense.
If past seasons are any indication, this young duo should be more than up to the task.
Andre Ethier: 71 R, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 2 SB, .292 AVG
Matt Kemp: 82 R, 28 HR, 89 RBI, 19 SB, .249 AVG
Total: 153 R, 51 HR, 171 RBI, 21 SB, .269 AVG
9. WAS: Jayson Werth / Ryan Zimmerman
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Ryan Zimmerman was none too happy when the Washington Nationals let Adam Dunn leave in free agency.
Little did Zimmerman or anyone on Earth know that Dunn would be replaced by Jayson Werth.
Jayson Werth should bat cleanup in the lineup behind Zimmerman and provide the RBI totals he had become accustomed to with the Philadelphia Phillies.
2011 could be a hard season for the duo and the team, but hot-shot prospect Bryce Harper is due to be with the major league club next season and could turn this dynamic duo into the best trio in baseball.
Jayson Werth: 106 R, 27 HR, 85 RBI, 13 SB, .296 AVG
Ryan Zimmerman: 85 R, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 4 SB, .307 AVG
Total: 191 R, 52 HR, 170 RBI, 17 SB, .301 AVG
8. BOS: Adrian Gonzalez / Kevin Youkilis
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Adrian Gonzalez joined the Boston Red Sox just before the winter meetings and is penciled into the cleanup spot in the team's lineup.
Kevin Youkilis will drop into the fifth spot and enjoy a ton of RBI opportunities, while his runs shouldn't suffer with David Ortiz, JD Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury behind him in the order.
The 2010 totals for Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis are not as high as some on this list due in large part to Youkilis missing 60 games last season.
It's not hard to imagine these two being the top duo in baseball following the season assuming both are able to stay healthy.
Adrian Gonzalez: 87 R, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 0 SB, .298 AVG
Kevin Youkilis: 77 R, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 4 SB, .307 AVG
Total: 164 R, 50 HR, 163 RBI, 4 SB, .302 AVG
7. PHI: Ryan Howard / Chase Utley
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Although the Philadelphia Phillies were able to make it to the NLCS in 2010, it was not a memorable season for Ryan Howard or Chase Utley.
Howard had one of his worst seasons to date and saw a dramatic decline in his RBI and HR output, while Utley missed over 45 games and never looked like himself at the plate.
Even with their drop-offs in performance, the two still combined for impressive totals across the board.
A little health and luck and this duo should move up the rankings throughout the season.
Chase Utley: 75 R, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 13 SB, .275 AVG
Ryan Howard: 87 R, 31 HR, 108 RBI, 1 SB, .276 AVG
Total: 162 R, 47 HR, 173 RBI, 14 SB, .275 AVG
6. MIL: Ryan Braun / Prince Fielder
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Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder have been teammates on the Milwaukee Brewers for over three seasons now, but there is a good chance 2011 will be their last tour together.
Fielder becomes a free agent after the season and is almost guaranteed to test the market.
There is good reason to believe the duo will go out with a bang as both Braun and Fielder look to improve on their 2010 totals and carry the team to the postseason.
Both are in the prime of their careers entering the season and are surrounded by talented players like Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and Casey McGehee.
Ryan Braun: 101 R, 25 HR, 103 RBI, 14 SB, .304 AVG
Prince Fielder: 94 R, 32 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB, .261 AVG
Total: 195 R, 57 HR, 186 RBI, 15 SB, .282 AVG
5. CHW: Adam Dunn / Paul Konerko
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GM Kenny Williams finally got his man this offseason when he signed Adam Dunn to the Chicago White Sox.
It's no mystery what kind of power Dunn brings to the table and it should increase in the hitter-friendly confines of US Cellular Field.
Paul Konerko is no slouch in terms of power himself after hitting 39 HR last season.
Both hit slightly above their career averages in 2010 and neither offer much speed, but the two are the second-best HR and RBI combo in all of baseball.
Chicks should dig this dynamic duo.
Adam Dunn: 85 R, 38 HR, 103 RBI, 0 SB, .260 AVG
Paul Konerko: 89 R, 39 HR, 111 RBI, 0 SB, .312 AVG
Total: 174 R, 77 HR, 214 RBI, 0 SB, .286 AVG
4. TEX: Nelson Cruz / Josh Hamilton
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There is only one thing holding Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton back from being the best duo in all of baseball: their health.
The two played in a total of 241 games for the Texas Rangers in 2010 and have missed significant playing time in each of their MLB seasons.
What's impressive is, despite all their time on the DL, the two are still one of the top five duos in all of baseball and unlike most pairings, Cruz and Hamilton contribute power, speed and average.
Josh Hamilton: 95 R, 32 HR, 100 RBI, 8 SB, .359 AVG
Nelson Cruz: 60 R, 22 HR, 78 RBI, 17 SB, .318 AVG
Total: 155 R, 54 HR, 178 RBI, 25 SB, .338 AVG
3. NYY: Alex Rodriguez / Mark Teixeira
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The New York Yankees had a pretty quiet offseason and only added Russell Martin to their lineup.
As it turns out, that probably isn't a problem.
No offense in baseball scored more runs than the New York Yankees in 2010, and Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira were two of the main reasons.
The two combined to score and drive in over a quarter of the team's runs and hit a third of the home runs.
What more can you ask from the heart of your order?
Alex Rodriguez: 74 R, 30 HR, 125 RBI, 4 SB, .270 AVG
Mark Teixeira: 113 R, 33 HR, 108 RBI, 0 SB, .256 AVG
Total: 187 R, 63 HR, 233 RBI, 4 SB, .263 AVG
2. COL: Carlos Gonzalez / Troy Tulowitzki
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Carlos Gonzalez flat-out broke out in the 2010 season and had perhaps the best all-around season in all of baseball.
Troy Tulowitzki, on the other hand, had one of the best months in the history of baseball when he hit 15 HR, 40 RBI and scored 30 runs in September.
The two are not only the youngest on the list but also offer the best power and speed combination of the bunch.
Both Gonzalez and Tulowitzki signed long-term extensions with the Colorado Rockies in the offseason that could result in the two being considered one of the greatest duos of all time.
Carlos Gonzalez: 111 R, 34 HR, 117 RBI, 26 SB, .336 AVG
Troy Tulowitzki: 89 R, 27 HR, 95 RBI, 11 SB, .315 AVG
Totals: 200 R, 61 HR, 212 RBI, 37 SB, .325 AVG
1. STL: Matt Holliday / Albert Pujols
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You could take any player in baseball, combine them with Albert Pujols and there is a chance they would be on the list.
But, when you combine Matt Holliday with Albert Pujols, you have the best duo in baseball.
2010 marked their first full season together and 2011 could mark their last as Pujols is scheduled for free agency following the season.
With Holliday locked up for multiple seasons, there is a chance that if Albert Pujols were to re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, the two would lock down the top spot for the next five or six seasons.
Albert Pujols: 115 R, 42 HR, 118 RBI, 14 SB, .312 AVG
Matt Holliday: 95 R, 28 HR, 103 RBI, 9 SB, .312 AVG
Total: 210 R, 70 HR, 221 RBI, 23 SB, .312 AVG