Juan Soto

MLB player rankings ahead of 2023 season: Left fielders

Home » MLB » MLB Rankings 2023 » MLB player rankings ahead of 2023 season: Left fielders

For whatever reason, left field tends to be the most overlooked outfield position, although some of the best left fielders in 2023 could end up being among the best players in baseball this year.

On top of that, it’s a position that’s loaded with talent. We actually had some trouble limiting our list of the best LFs in baseball to just 10 players.

Best left fielders 2023

So who will be the best left fielders in 2023? Well, it’s a tricky question because some top-flight players appear to be moving to left field from other positions. That could change the hierarchy of the top left fielders in MLB right now.

There are also some intriguing young players who need to be evaluated off of limited action. However, we gave it the required thought and created a list of the 10 best left fielders for 2023.

10. Taylor Ward

Taylor Ward enjoyed a breakout season with the Angels last season, hitting .281 with an OPS of .833. He did that while playing right field, but with the Halos trading for Hunter Renfroe, Ward will likely shift to left field.


In any event, the Angels are just hoping that last season was a sign of things to come. He’s already 29, so Ward is clearly a late bloomer. But he’s used to moving around the diamond, so he should adjust quickly and put himself among the top left fielders in baseball.

9. Michael Brantley

While age is not on his side, Michael Brantley is still a productive hitter. His days of posting an OPS of .800 or better might be over with Brantley’s power numbers coming way down over the last two seasons. But he still hit .288 last year despite being bothered by a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a long stretch.

The upside may not be there with him anymore, but it’s hard to find an outfielder in the majors with a higher floor than Brantley if he’s healthy. 

8. Steven Kwan

It might be too soon to jump to conclusions regarding Steven Kwan, but a year from now, he has a chance to be much higher on this list. As a rookie with the Guardians last year, Kwan hit .298 with an OPS of .773 while also winning a Gold Glove.

Keep in mind that he didn’t play at all in the minors in 2020, so his rise over the last two years has been nothing short of astonishing. While he won’t hit a lot of home runs, Kwan other tools all stand out, giving him a variety of ways to make an impact and assert himself as one of the better left fields in the majors.


7. Andrew Benintendi

Defensively, Andrew Benintendi is one of the elite left fielders in the game, winning Gold Glove honors in 2021. But he’s also bounced back offensively over the past two seasons after a disastrous and forgettable 2020 campaign.

We saw Benintendi excel with the bat early in his career, and he showed signs last season of regaining that form. Of course, a lack of power hurts his standing compared to other left fielders. Just five home runs last year isn’t going to cut it, even if his career-high is only 20 long balls.

However, batting .304 last year and producing an OPS of .772 without many home runs means Benintendi will still bring a lot to the table with the White Sox this season.

6. Kyle Schwarber

With all due respect, Kyle Schwarber is someone the Phillies would probably prefer to put in the DH spot. However, they weren’t able to do that last year and might have to live with his defensive shortcomings again this season.

Fortunately for Schwaber, he typically does enough damage with the bat to make up for some defensive pitfalls. After all, the guy did smash 46 home runs last year and then six more in the postseason.

That was the fourth time in the last five full seasons that Schwaber had at least 30 home runs. Even if he doesn’t hit for a high average or help defensively, there is still value in having that kind of power in the middle of the lineup.

5. Ian Happ

While his efforts may have gone unnoticed on the Cubs last season, Ian Happ put together an outstanding season. He was an all-star who ended up with an OPS of .782 and won Gold Glove honors in left field. Happ has made the move from part-time player to full-time player over the past two seasons, and the results have been good.

He seems to have finally found a defensive home in left field, and the defensive results last season speak for themselves. With the Cubs adding some offensive help around Happ this season, he could be poised to be even better in 2023.

4. Tyler O’Neill

Despite an injury-plagued, up-and-down season in 2022, Tyler O’Neill still has a chance to be one of the best left fielders in baseball this year. His career numbers have been a little erratic, but he’s just one year removed from hitting 34 home runs and posting an OPS of .912 in 2021.

That’s how high his potential is, especially since O’Neill is just 27. On top of that, O’Neill owns two Gold Gloves and is one of the premier defensive outfielders in the game right now. If he can stay healthy and bounce back offensively, O’Neill has a chance to be an all-star in 2023.

3. Randy Arozarena

Just two years removed from Rookie of the Year honors, Randy Arozarena is about to hit his prime, making him one of the top left fielders in MLB right now. While his numbers were down a little last season, he still hit 20 homers for the second straight season.

In addition to providing plenty of power, Arozarena is a great athlete who can use his speed on the base paths and in the outfield, making him one of the more well-rounded left fielders in baseball heading into the 2023 season.

2. Yordan Alvarez

While he’s mostly been a DH during his career, it looks like the Astros are going to give Yordan Alvarez a chance to be their primary left fielder this season. That means Alvarez has a chance to be one of MLB’s best left fielders in 2023. Whether he can hold up defensively in left field is one matter.

But there’s no question that Alvarez can go toe-to-toe with just about any other left fielder in baseball with a bat in his hands. Over the last two seasons, Alvarez has crushed 70 home runs.

Last year, he hit .306 with an OPS of 1.019, and he’s still just 25. If he can play passable defense in left field, his offensive production will far outweigh any defensive lapses.

1. Juan Soto

Despite spending most of his career in right field, it looks like the Padres are going to shift things around to put Juan Soto in left field this season. That move will immediately make him the top left fielder in baseball.

Granted, Soto was not at his best after being traded to the Padres. However, he’s still just 24 and well on his way to being one of the greatest players in baseball history. Since coming to the big leagues in 2018, he’s hit 125 home runs and batted .287 with an OPS of .950.

The guy is a hitting machine who already has a batting title and three Silver Sluggers under his belt. The move to left field will also make him a little less of a liability defensively, although he still has one of the best outfield arms in baseball, giving him another tool to separate him from the other left fielders in baseball.

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