New York- Baseball is back! It’s that time of the year where stores rack up with shirts and jerseys from baseball’s top superstars. Fresh off the pen and paper, NY Mets, Max Scherzer and Starling Marte merchandise is going quick. Speaking of that, I recently purchased a Mets black Max Scherzer shirt. Enough of the merch talk. Today, Latino Sports previews a division which contained two 105+ win teams for the 2021 season (San Francisco Giants and LA Dodgers). The resilient National League West.
The NL West has been arguably the top tier division across MLB in the past decade or so. Dating back to 2010, the World Series Champion was an NL West division team, (SF Giants in 2010, 2012 & 2014; LA Dodgers in 2020). A few National League MVPs were awarded to players within the NL West, such as 2019, Cody Bellinger, and 2014, Clayton Kershaw, both being for the LA Dodgers as well as 2012, Buster Posey (Giants). Fernando Tatís has become a superstar of his own for the San Diego Padres. Paired along with 3B Manny Machado, the Padres are a division threat for the foreseeable future and have the potential to be elite across the National League.
The Colorado Rockies made a huge free agent signing in Kris Bryant over the offseason. The former 2016 NL MVP signed a 7 year/$182 million contract making him the new face of the Rockies franchise. And lastly the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite the D-Backs poor records in past seasons, the organization has a productive farm system in the works. In MLB’s Top 100 Prospects list, Arizona contains four players: 18. Alek Thomas, Outfielder, 19. Corbin Carroll, Outfielder, 23. Jordan Lawlar, Shortstop, 99. Blake Walston, Pitcher. This past week, Ketel Marte, agreed to a contract extension with the D-Backs, totaling $76 million over the next 5 years. Teams in the NL West are constantly building off past seasons to remain the cream of the crop in divisions throughout MLB.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
2021 Record: 107-55, Won the NL West
2021 Result: Lost in NLDS to LA Dodgers in 5 games (3-2)
Key Departures: Free-agent pitcher, Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays), Free-agent 3B/OF, Kris Bryant (Rockies), Catcher, Buster Posey (Retired), Waiver-claim outfielder, Alex Dickerson (Braves)
Key Additions: Signed pitcher, Carlos Rodón (White Sox), Signed outfielder, Joc Pederson (Braves), Signed pitcher, Alex Cobb (LA Angels), Signed pitcher, Matthew Boyd (Tigers)
Camilo Doval 2021 Statistics: 5-1 record, 27 innings pitched, 37 strikeouts
The young 24-year old is from Yamasá, Dominican Republic. On April 17, 2021, Doval made his major league debut against the Miami Marlins, finishing with two strikeouts. He looks to be a strong piece out of the bullpen for the Giants in their run to the top of the NL West this season.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
2021 Record: 106-56, 2nd in NL West (Wild Card)
2021 Result: Lost in NLCS to the Atlanta Braves in six games (4-2)
Key Departures: Free-agent, pitcher Max Scherzer (NY Mets), Free-agent, shortstop Corey Seager (Rangers), Free-agent, closer Kenley Jansen (Braves), Free-agent, 1B/DH Albert Pujols (Cardinals), Club-optioned, pitcher Joe Kelly (White Sox)
Key Additions: Signed first baseman, Freddie Freeman (Braves), Signed pitcher, Tyler Anderson (Mariners), Re-signed pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, Signed pitcher, Daniel Hudson (Padres)
Julio Urías: Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
From Culiacán, Mexico, Julio Urías recorded 20 wins in the 2021 season. He is the first pitcher in the National League to accomplish this milestone since 2016, Max Scherzer (Nationals). Urías is a finalist for the 32nd Annual Latino Sports NL Starting Pitcher Award.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
2021 Record: 79-83, 3rd in NL West
2021 Result: Failed to reach the postseason
Key Departures: Free-agent outfielder, Tommy Pham (Reds), Player-option pitcher, Mark Melancon (Diamondbacks), Traded second baseman, Adam Frazier (Mariners), Free agent pitcher, Daniel Hudson (Dodgers)
Key Additions: Signed pitcher, Nick Martínez (Rangers, 2017), Signed pitcher, Luis García (Cardinals), Acquired 1B/DH, Luke Voit (Padres), Acquired outfielder, Corey Rosier (Mariners)
Fernando Tatís 2021 Regular Season Statistics:
42 home runs, 97 runs batted in, .364 on base percentage
From San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, Tatís is a finalist for the 32nd Annual Latino Sports NL Most Valuable Player Award.
2021 Record: 74-87
2021 Result: 4th place in NL West
Key Departures: Free-agent shortstop, Trevor Story (Red Sox), Free-agent pitcher, Jon Gray (Rangers), Traded outfielder, Raimel Tapia (Blue Jays)
Key Additions: Signed, 3B/OF Kris Bryant (Giants), Signed pitcher, Alex Colomé (Twins), Signed shortstop, José Iglesias (Red Sox), Acquired outfielder, Randal Grichuk (Blue Jays)
Germán Márquez 2021 Regular Season Statistics:
12-11 record, 4.40 earned run average, 176 strikeouts, 180 innings pitched
2021 Latino Sports NL Starting Pitcher Award Finalist
From San Félix, Venezuela, Márquez received his first All-Star game nod of his career this past season. The ERA may seem high for pitchers; however you must consider the home ballpark he pitches in at Coors Field. At high elevations, offensive performances seem to be at an increased rate.
2021 Record: 52-110
2021 Result: Last place in NL West
Key Departures: Non-tendered pitcher, Taylor Clarke (Royals), Club-option outfielder, Kole Calhoun (Rangers), Mutual-option pitcher, Tyler Clippard, Released pitcher, Zack Burdi, Traded infielder, Ronny Simon (Rays)
Key Additions: Acquired infielder, Sergio Alcantara (Cubs), Signed pitcher, Zach Davies (Cubs), Signed pitcher, Ian Kennedy (Phillies), Signed pitcher, Mark Melancon (Giants), Acquired 1B/OF, Jordan Luplow (Rays), Extended outfielder/outfielder, Ketel Marte
Marte has proven to be one of the core players of the D-Backs perennial future. Marte is from Nizao, Dominican Republic. Last season, he clipped 108 hits on a .318 batting average along with .377 on base percentage.
Robert Rizzo Contact Info:
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