C Yasmani Grandal – There’s a chance that some lingering forearm issues force him to the DL to start the year however, the injury is considered minor enough that I feel comfortable placing him here. Note- A.J Ellis almost certainly gets the start on Opening Day as he continues to serve as Clayton Kershaw‘s personal catcher.
1B Adrian Gonzalez – Was there really any doubt? One of the most reliable producers in the game, Gonzalez remains a legitimate power threat in the middle of the Dodgers order. Gonzalez has surpassed 150 games and 80 RBI’s in every season since he broke out in 2006 and the Dodgers will be relying on more of the same if they wish to win it all in 2016.
2B Howie Kendrick – Another injury concern, Kendrick will likely receive the lion’s share of playing time at second this year. Kendrick has dealt with nagging hamstring and groin injuries the last season plus, likely a sign that age is starting to catch up to the 32 year old. The Dodgers will be hoping Kendrick can regain a step or two on defense after an uncharacteristic down year with the glove in 2015.
3B Justin Turner – Turner has quietly emerged as one of the best pure hitters in the National League over his last 3 seasons in LA – Turner’s 4.0 WAR in 2015 was good for 6th in the NL amongst 3rd baseman last year. Off-Season knee surgery couldn’t slow turner as he was 14-24 entering yesterdays exhibition against the Angels.
SS Corey Seager – Seager enters the year as the seemingly unanimous pick for NL Rookie of the Year. I don’t think anyone questions that the bat is elite and despite his size Seager seemed to handle Shortstop quite well. At Just 21, Seager appears poised to be one of the most productive shortstops in baseball.
LF Carl Crawford – Crawford is undoubtedly the beneficiary of the injury to Andre Ethier here. Crawford’s skills look to be well into decline after missing ample time to injuries of his own the last few seasons. With Ethier expected to return later in the year, the Dodgers may simply choose to cut ties with the 4 time All-Star later in the year.
CF Joc Pederson – After a well publicized second half slump, Pederson had to make some changes. Most notably Pederson entered camp with a new stance which earned plenty of attention. The strikeouts are still there – they always will be – but if Pederson can continue to make contact the way he has in spring we maybe watching somewhat of a resurgence.
RF Yasiel Puig – Puig was limited to just 79 games last year as hamstring troubles forced him in and out of the lineup. He’s reportedly lost 20 lbs over the off-season and looks much more athletic entering the 2016 season. Puig looks to have taken more than a step forward with his maturity and the ‘Wild Horse’ may be ready to set the world on fire once again
Next: What's Left of the Rotation