The National League West Dream Lineup sets up like the NL East Dream Lineup, there is no true leadoff man and the lineup lacks true sluggers. The reigning National League MVP is in the lineup, as is one of the best all around talents in the game.
1. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants 2 (C) Bats: Right
The best option to lead off, based on his .408 on base percentage in 2012 and his .380 career OBP. The 2012 NL MVP led the Giants to the World Series on the strength of other attributes. The Florida State product knocked 24 homers, slugged .549 and led the league in batting with a .336 batting average returning from 2011’s broken fibula. He threw out 30% of runners attempting to steal last season.
2. Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies 6 (SS) Bats: Right
Tulowitzki missed significant time in 2012 due to groin surgery and setbacks during rehab. When healthy he is the best shortstop in the National League. For his career he average 28 homers and 102 RBI every 162 games played. Tulowitzki has a career OPS of .868 and has won two gold gloves. In 47 games in 2012 he hit 8 home runs and drove in 27, hopefully he can return to full strength in 2013.
3. Matt Kemp Los Angeles Dodgers 8 (CF) Bats: Right
Kemp is one of the best all around players in the game, but he missed significant time in 2012. The two time All-Star finished a close second in the 2011 MVP race, slugging 39 homers and driving in 126 runs with a .986 OPS. He also stole 40 bases in 2011. After a hot start in 2012, Kemp suffered hamstring injuries. The two time gold glove winner ended the season with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in just 106 games.
4. Chase Headley San Diego Padres 5 (3B) Bats : Right
After hitting 27 home runs from 2009-2011, Headley hit 31 home runs and drove in a league leading 115 runs in 2012. His .498 slugging percentage was almost 80 points above his career average. Headley capped off his season winning the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger for NL third basemen.
5. Carlos Gonzalez Colorado Rockies 7 (LF) Bats: Left
Gonzalez appeared on the verge of superstardom, but has taken a step back since 2010. His 2012 stat line of 22 HR-85 RBI-20 SB is a long way from his 2010 career year of 34 HR-117 RBI-26 SB, with a league leading .336 BA. The two time Gold Glove winner still possesses the power/speed combination to be among the game’s elite.
6. Hunter Pence San Francisco Giants 9 (RF) Bats: Right
Hunter Pence is a gritty gamer who produces. He hit 24 home runs and drove in 100 runs for the first time in his career in 2012. Its not a coincidence that contending teams traded for a winning player like Pence two consecutive years.
7. Adrian Gonzalez Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (1B) Bats: Left
Gonzalez hit 18 home runs and drove in 108 runs with a .785 OPS in 2012. It was the sixth straight year he posted at least 99 RBI. However, the three time Gold Glover’s numbers have slid the past few seasons. His hit his peak power numbers of 40 HRs and a .958 OPS in 2009 and has sagged each year since.
8. Aaron Hill Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (2B)
Hill had his best showing since his Jeff Kent like 2009 year of 36 homers and 108 RBI. Slugging .522 for the Diamondbacks in 2012, he hit 26 home runs and drove in 85 runs. His career is inconsistent, but seems to have found himself in the desert of Arizona.
9. Micah Owings San Diego Padres 1 (P)
Owings spent 2012 as a Padre and will enter 2013 on the 40 man roster. Owings is the best hitting pitcher, along with Darren Dreifort, I have ever seen. He has a career .813 OPS and a .502 slugging percentage in 205 career at bats. Owings should have been converted to an everyday player early in his career.