- Brett Gardner, Yankees
- Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
- Hyun Soo Kim, Orioles
- Colby Rasmus (injured)/Mallex Smith, Rays
- Ezequiel Carrera, Blue Jays
Hey, occasionally I get one right. I ranked Gardner as the best left fielder in the division in April, and he indeed ended up being the best this year. Gardner provided a little bit of everything: on-base skills (.350 OBP), speed (23 steals in 28 attempts) and even power (a career-high 21 homers). He also played his usual strong defense.
Benintendi was my preseason pick for AL Rookie of the Year. He won’t win that award (because of a fellow AL East outfielder you’ve probably heard of), but he had a productive rookie season with 20 homers, 90 RBIs and a .776 OPS.
The other three teams all had a revolving door in left field, with nobody starting more than 87 games there. The expected Rays’ duo of Rasmus and Smith combined for just 33 starts, while Corey Dickerson — their expected DH — got the bulk of the playing time in left, providing a quality bat but iffy defense.
For the Orioles, Trey Mancini settled in at left in the second half after Kim flamed out, but only 10 of Mancini’s 24 homers came as a left fielder. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays used eight starting left fielders, led by Carrera and ex-Oriole Steve Pearce, with unremarkable results.
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- Gardner, Yankees
- Benintendi, Red Sox
- Dickerson and company, Rays
- Mancini and company, Orioles
- Pearce/Carrera, Blue Jays