Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes spoke with insider/poor David Vaseg earlier this week before taking on the Giants, and after getting the formalities out of the way — namely, Barnes mocking Vaseg for saying the slide was bad — Vaseg asked Barnes if he thought this year’s L.A. team was too good. .
Last week, we saw Justin Turner a little hesitant to compare different iterations of the team, but Barnes was more forthcoming in his assessment.
“Yes, I think so [the most talented]. I think this is probably the best team we have. That team of 17 was good. I think the group of 20 was very special. But this team, with the addition of Freddie and Trea, are really good baseball players.
Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner, who were added in the last 13 months and were added before the 2020 season, are the best duo in the major leagues hitting second and third in the Dodgers lineup behind Mookie Betts. So it’s not really controversial to say that this team is better than the team that didn’t have those three kids and only had one.
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In the year In 2017, the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw a little closer to his prime, and Cody Bellinger was hitting his way to the Rookie of the Year award instead of hitting a post-Sean El Bencho this year. After all, Barnes himself had his single greatest offensive season in 2017, posting an .895 OPS in 262 plate appearances.
The 2020 team had senior Mookie, senior Corey Seager, senior Will Smith, and top seasons from Justin Turner and AJ Pollock, along with top starters from Kershaw, Dustin May, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin and Walker Buehler.
But the 2022 Dodgers are getting contributions everywhere. Urias and Gonsolin are better than 2020, Smith and JT are hitting like never before, Max Muncy has his groove back, and oh yeah, they’ve got Mookie, Trey and Freddie at the top of the lineup.
Those 2017 and 2020 teams were great, and the 2022 team still needs to win the World Series to be a 2020-type favorite, but yes, Barnes is right when he says he’s part of this year’s Dodgers team.