Dodgers News: Austin Barnes Ranks 2022 Ballclub Highly Compared to Past Clubs

Everyone wants to keep pointing to the comps between these Dodgers and the 2017 Dodger World Series team.

Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes talked with insider/poorslider David Vassegh before the Los Angeles took on the Giants earlier this week, and after getting the formalities out of the way — namely, Barnes poking fun at Vassegh for being bad at going down slides — Vassegh asked Barnes if he thought this year’s L.A. team is the most talented he’s been a part of.

Last week, we saw Justin Turner be a bit reluctant to compare different iterations of the team, but Barnes was more forthcoming in his assessment.

“Yeah, I think this one is [the most talented]. I think this is probably the best team we’ve had. That ’17 team was, obviously, really good. I think the ’20 team was pretty special too. But this team, with adding Freddie and Trea, they’re really, really good baseball players.”

Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner have been added in the last 13 months and are the top two in hits in the major leagues, hitting second and third in the Dodgers lineup behind Mookie Betts, who was added before the 2020 season. So it’s not really controversial to say this team is better than a team that didn’t have those three guys and a team that only had one of them, but those were very, very good teams.

In 2017, the Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw a little closer to the peak of his powers, and Cody Bellinger was slamming his way to the Rookie of the Year Award instead of whiffing his way to a possible postseason el bencho like this year. For that matter, Barnes himself had his only great offensive season in 2017, posting an .895 OPS in 262 plate appearances.

The 2020 team had peak Mookie, peak Corey Seager, peak Will Smith, and outstanding seasons from Justin Turner and AJ Pollock, along with elite starting pitching from Kershaw, Dustin May, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, and Walker Buehler.

But the 2022 Dodgers are getting contributions everywhere. Urias and Gonsolin are even better than in 2020, Smith and JT are hitting as well as ever, Max Muncy got his groove back, and, oh yeah, they have Mookie, Trea, and Freddie at the top of the lineup.

Those 2017 and 2020 teams were great, and the 2022 team still has to win the World Series to be beloved the way 2020 is, but yeah, Barnes is right when he says this year’s Dodgers team is the most talented he’s been a part of.

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