Los Angeles Dodgers: 5 Best Players In 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers are full of talent -- here are the 5 best from the 2013 season
The Los Angeles Dodgers just finished a very strong season with a 92-70 record and finished third in the National League. They head to Atlanta on Thursday for the best-of-five NLDS series. The Dodgers have tons of talent from top to bottom on their roster. Some of those players lived up to their big-name billings, while others struggled to stay on the field or struggled to put up good stats. Some players were dominating all year while others quietly did their part without much recognition. Other players were good at the beginning of the season and faltered at the end or vice versa, where they finished strong after struggling early. Even with all that said, there are quite of few players who could be on this list but fell short due to injuries or lack of stats or consistency over the full season like I mentioned above.
Don Mattingly did a good job overall with what he had out on the field, especially when some of his star players were hobbled or just not playing up to their ability, and considering the nightmarish start that the team was off to until a certain Cuban import came in and saved the day. A few players who get honorable mentions for this list would be said import Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who both had amazing seasons as rookies and will hopefully continue their strong play in the postseason. However, whether the team was in dead last or in first by 10 games, these five players continued to do their part and maintained their success all season long.
5. Hanley Ramirez
You would think Hanley Ramirez would be higher up on this list, but that's just how good the Dodgers were this year talent-wise. Hanley was another player who was back and forth from the disabled list, but he was amazing when on the field. He batted .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBIs.
4. Kenley Jansen
The hard-throwing righty Kenley Jansen was Mr. Versatility out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. When Brandon League was in the closing slot, Jansen was the setup man for him and he managed 16 holds. Once Kenley moved to ninth-inning duties, he provided the Dodgers with 28 saves. Throughout the whole year, he struck out 111 batters, which is amazing for a relief pitcher.
3. Zack Greinke
A $100-plus million contract was given to Zack Greinke this offseason, and boy did he show he deserved his hefty payday. In his first full season wearing Dodger blue, he posted a 15-4 record with a 2.63 ERA and stuck out 148 batters. He has been amazing in the 1-2 punch with Clayton Kershaw and makes the future of the Dodgers' pitching staff very bright.
2. Adrian Gonzalez
Talk about silent but deadly. Adrian Gonzalez is quiet, but his bat sure isn't. He batted .293 with 22 home runs and exactly 100 RBIs, and I bet no one even noticed. Everyone was so wrapped up in Puig's rookie year or Hanley's return to dominance that it seems everyone forgot about Adrian. That type of play, as well as his veteran leadership, means only positive things for the Dodgers in the future. He isn't the youngest hitter on the roster, but he just may be the best.
1. Clayton Kershaw
Who else would you expect to be no. 1 on this list? Clayton Kershaw is the best player on the Dodgers and is the best pitcher in all of baseball. He's backed it up for the past three years and should win his second NL Cy Young award this offseason. His 16-9 record, 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts say it all -- Kershaw's 2013 season was the best on the entire Dodgers' roster.