This week, ESPN listed the Dodgers as No. 6 on their most recent MLB power rankings.
The Dodgers have improved their rankings just one spot, as they previously sat in seventh place a couple of weeks back on an MLB power ranking list.
ESPN reporter, Alden Gonzalez shared his reasoning on why the Dodgers are so low despite last year’s 111-win season.
“The Dodgers’ lineup has been deep, decorated and flat-out overwhelming in recent years. But now — on paper, at least — it feels relatively lacking, with Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger gone and not necessarily replaced. The Dodgers essentially swapped Justin Turner for J.D. Martinez, the latter of whom will absorb most of the playing time at designated hitter. But it looks like they will fill most of their remaining holes internally.
Center field and left field are a major question, and three of the infield spots — second base, third base and shortstop — will be filled by the foursome of Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Miguel Vargas and the recently added Miguel Rojas. Will infield defense be a problem, particularly in a year with shift restrictions? And will their promising crop of young players be good enough to make up for major losses?”
As Gonzales mentions, the Dodgers are taking a hit with Turner now missing from their lineup. The two-time All-Star garnered significant productivity for the team and accumulated 4.9 WAR. With many vital players now gone from the group, LA will have to find a way to make just as big of an impact with their 2023 roster.
Outfielder James Outman and infielder Miguel Vargas have power potential and can work towards providing their talent more frequently this upcoming season. Veteran players like Chris Taylor, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, and Mookie Betts can also lead this bullpen to more wins, even if it isn’t as much as last year.
Only time will tell if the rankings hit or miss the mark, once the season kicks off and we see what this 2023 Dodger team is truly all about.