NL West 2011: The Best and Second Best at Each Position

Taylor StarrContributor IIMarch 5, 2011

NL West 2011: The Best and Second Best at Each Position

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    One guy already did it for the NL Central. Now it's time for the NL West!


    There's many talented players in this division. And one of them happens to be the defending World Champions (Giants)


    The division's been considered a joke for a little bit now, but let's see who the best and second best is.


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    1. Buster Posey Giants


    Buster Posey surely showed the MLB what's he's got last season, and was a huge contributor to the Giants World Series run.


    2.  Chris IanettaRockies


    This is now  a weak catching division with the exception of Posey. Ianetta isn't bad, but he's not the greatest. 


    Honorable mention:


    Nick HundleyPadres


    Still young. Solid fielder.

First Base

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    1. James LoneyDodgers

    Tough pick between Loney and Huff, but I'll go with Loney. He may not be the best hitter, but you could argue he's one of the best fielders in the game.


    2. Aubery HuffGiants


    Huff is getting up there in age and has been inconsistent in recent seasons. Who knows if he could hit 26 homers again in 2011?


    Honorable mention:


    Brad Hawpe—Padres


    Sorry you guys don't have Adrian Gonzalez anymore. Hawpe gets the nod here since Todd Helton is old and a question mark and who knows who the Diamondbacks starting first baseman will be?

Second Base:

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    1. Kelly JohnsonDiamondbacks

    Johnson  is one of the most underrated players in baseball, IMO (and I'm a Rockies fan) he actually had a pretty good season for the god-awful Diamondbacks last season (.284 BA, 26 home runs)


    2. Juan UribeDodgers 

    After hitting 24 homers last season, this easily earns him the second best in the division. His average could be better, but then again, he is a second baseman. And he's a solid fielder too.



    Honorable mention:

    Jose Lopez—Rockies


    His numbers should improve since he moved from a pitchers park to a hitters park in the offseason, and if he can hit 25 homers in 09' with the Mariners, he should be fine at Coors Field.


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    1. Troy TulowitzkiRockies

    This is probably the easiest choice so far in this division. Not only is Tulowitzki the best shortstop in the division, but (in my opinion) the best in baseball.


    2. Stephen DrewDiamondbacks

    Even as a Rockies fan, I gotta say, this kid has great potential. He can hit for a solid average and double digit dingers.


    Honorable Mention:

    Rafael Furcal—Dodgers 


    He's got a good batting average, and while he's not a power hitter like Tulowitzki or even a little bit like Drew, he is a good speed threat. (He stole 22 bases in 2010)

Third Base

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    1. Pablo Sandoval Giants

    Sandoval had a lot of promise showing when he had for a .330 average and 25 homers in 2009. He went through a sophomore slump, but I expect him to still be a solid power hitter.


    2. Ian StewartRockies

    Stewart still has some potential. He's got great power. He needs to have better contact and be able to hit off left handed pitchers. With a new and better hitting coach, however, his numbers should improve.


    Honorable Mention:

    Ty Wigginton—Rockies


    Wigginton hit more homers in 2010 than any CURRENT third baseman in this division. He's going to be an excellent asset off the Rockies bench.


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    1. Carlos GonzalezRockies


    Cargo can do it all. He came close to winning the triple crown in 2010, lead the NL in batting average, hit 34 homers, won a silver slugger, stole 26 bases, oh, and won a Gold Glove. Say what you want about him "being a one year wonder" cause right now, he's still young, he was a good prospect once, and showed great promise towards the end of the 09' season and was the Rockies only good hitter in the NLDS against the Phillies. He's got outstanding power, and a great swing.


    He's gonna dominate for years to come.


    2. Andre EitherDodgers


    Andre Either is a great player. He may not be a complete dominant player like Cargo, but he's very close.


    Honorable mention:

    Matt Kemp—Dodgers

    Could improve the average, but he's got everything else down.

Starting Pitcher:

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    1. Ubaldo JimenezRockies

    You should give Ubaldo some credit since he did have that outstanding season playing in Denver. It is a hitters paradise, and he pitched 3.19 at Coors in 2010. That's DOMINANT for a park like that. Ubaldo is an outstanding pitcher, and people should really give him more credit. I don't expect him to have a historic first half again, but I do expect him to still dominate.

    2. Tim LincecumGiants

    How on earth would a Giants starter NOT be on this list? They have en excellent staff and Lincecum is an elite pitcher. No Doubt.


    Honorable mention:

    Matt Cain—Giants

    He is also a great pitcher, and him and Lincecum are an excellent 1-2 punch.

Bullpen Including Closers)

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    1. Brian WilsonGiants

    This guy is arguably the best closer in the game of baseball.


    2. Heath Bell Padres

    The dude is a flat out beast. I hate going up against him. I hope the Padres trade him. 




    Honorable mentions

    Mike Adams - Padres