Red Sox left fielder vs the AL East
- Randy Arozarena, Rays (10)
- Joey Gallo, Yankees (7)
- Loudres Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays (5)
- Alex Verdugo, Red Sox (3)
- Austin Hays, Orioles (1)
By far the strongest position on the list, each team in the AL East boasts an above-average left fielder. The cream of the crop is the Rays’ Randy Arozarena, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year. Arozarena had already burst onto the scene with a record-setting ten home runs in the 2020 postseason, and he proved it was no fluke in 2021, leading all AL East left fielders in OPS+ with 131 and steals with 20.
Though Arozarena may have been the best hitting left-fielder in the division, it was Joey Gallo who totaled the highest WAR. The big left fielder had the best full season of his career, setting personal highs in OPS+ (121), walks (a league-leading 111), and WAR (4.7). Still, his performance dropped off noticeably after being shipped to the Yankees (.160/.303./.404), which causes him to slip behind Arozarena.
While he may get lost in the weeds of more flashy teammates, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. should be considered a top tier left fielder. Gurriel Jr. had shown glimpses of greatness in his first three seasons in the bigs, and he finally stayed healthy enough to prove what he could do. He set career highs with 21 home runs, 84 RBIs, and 2.7 WAR, though his free-swinging approach (5.9% walk rate) limits his overall value.
Only eleven players with as many at-bats can top Alex Verdugo’s .294 batting average over the last two seasons. His defensive numbers are dragged down by being forced to play center field last year, but he is more than adequate at either corner outfield position. The next step to taking his game to even higher levels will be hitting for more power and drawing more walks.
The Orioles’ Austin Hays is the tough-luck loser here, as he gets the number five spot in the rankings even after a breakout campaign. The 25-year-old smacked 22 home runs to go along with solid defense at the 7, accounting for 3.1 WAR. In a position this deep, however, his low on-base percentage and lack of track record lock him into the last spot.