In most cases, baseball pundits rank MLB players in terms of league position and age. But today, we are going to do something unique. We will be ranking the Best MLB units in 2021. The aim is to discover MLB teams with the best infielders, outfielders, catchers, starting pitchers, bench, and relief pitchers this season.
The guide will focus entirely on the 2021 MLB season, meaning the previous years and prospects will not be considered. Simply put, the list contains the names of players from teams with the most units in the 2021 MLB season. Ready to get started?
Tampa Bay Rays: Best Catching Units in 2021
Between 2019 and 2020, Mike Zunino recorded a 50 OPS+ and -0.2 WAR in 18 matches while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. The player has signed a new deal worth $3million which extends up to 2022 with a club option.
The Rays have also signed Fransisco Mejja to strengthen the team. As a result, they have recorded the following statistics with the two players: 505 PA, .235/.309/.504, 56 XBH (31 HR), 76 RBI, 75 R, 4.3 WAR.
Zunino is one of the Tampa Bay Ray’s best pitchers who has logged an earned run average of 3.61 as a catcher. This year, the 30-year-old became an All-star and is also one of the best offensive Rays players. In addition, Zunino has produced 20 extra-base hits for the team.
On the other hand, Mejja has recorded an impressive hit of .263/.323/.429. He has also thrown out 32% of the team’s base stealers in 2021 and registered a 3.87 Earned Run Average.
Atlanta Braves: Best Infield Units
NL MVP Freddie Freeman has been phenomenal recently. Although he had a slow start this year, Freeman is hitting .337/.413/.543, 15 home runs, and 41 RBI in 74 games. On top of that, he ranks fifth among all basemen with a 3.5 WAR.
The Atlanta Braves also boast a second baseman named Ozzie Albies. Albies has been exceptional since his first full game debut in 2018. This season, the player has logged 103 OPS+ with 22 home runs and recorded 84 RBI and 32 doubles to lead the National League.
Besides, Albies has made 16 steals in 18 attempts in his career and is also excellent in defense.
The team also has Dansby Swanson, who is hitting .322/.372/.594 and has registered ten home runs in 36 games. He has also recorded career-highs of 109 OPS+, 126 hits, 29 doubles, 25 home runs, and 75 RBI.
On the other hand, Austin Riley has surprised many after logging 84 OPS+ in 503 home plates within the last two seasons. Besides, Riley has 131 OPS+ and 23 doubles in his career. The player is also great in defense and has posted 223 home runs and 76 RBI.
Cincinnati Reds: Best outfield unit
The Cincinnati Reds boasts Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker as the best corner outfield duo in 2021. The players have recorded the following offensive scores.
- Winker has an OPS+ of 140, while Castellanos has 137.
- Castellanos has a batting average of .139, while Winker has a .307 batting average.
- Winker has an on-base percentage of .395 while Castellanos has .377.
- Winker has an extra-base hit of 57 while Castellanos has 54.
- Winker has 235 total bases, while Castellanos has 226.
The team has also signed an additional star, Tyler Naquin, who earns $1.5 million to strengthen their defense. The 30-year old is under a one-year contract and has proved to be phenomenal in the field. Naquin is hitting .268/.333/.482 for an OPS+ of 105 with 22 doubles, 18 home runs, and 66 RBI.
Best Bench Unit: San Francisco Giants
In the 2021 MLB season, 16 different players from the San Francisco Giants have recorded 100 plate appearances. The players include Wilmer Flores, 358 PA, 102 OPS+, 15 home runs, and 44 RBI.
Another phenomenal star is LaMonte Wade Jr, who has 249 plate appearances, 151 OPS+ 14 home runs, and 33 RBI. The San Francisco Giants have utilized these players to fill in the gaps left by Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria, who are struggling with injuries.
The team has also benefited from backup catcher Curt Casali who has registered 180 plate appearances, 97 OPS+, 5 home runs, and 23 RBI. With Casali on the crouch, the Giants pitchers have logged a 2.63 earned run average.
In addition, Austin Slater and Steven Duggar have been receiving playtime for the San Francisco Giants for a while now. The team has slugged 14 pinch-hit home runs as a result.
Tampa Bay Rays: Best Bullpen Unit
The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen have recorded an impressive 533.1 innings in the 2021 MLB season. On top of that, the team has registered an earned run average of 3.05. Although the Rays have been struggling with injuries, they have recorded tremendous results in this year’s MLB season.
The injured players include Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks. Besides the injuries, the club has exchanged Diego Castillo with JT Chargois and Austin Shenton.
Here are some of the Rays players who have shown great play this year.
- Andrew Kittredge, who has played 44 games, has registered a 1.41 earned run average.
- Collin McHugh has played 27 games to make an earned run average of 1.30.
- Louis Head has played 20 games and has an earned run average of 3.16.
The above three players have been fantastic in terms of bullpen building.
PROMO / SIGN UP