Making the grade
While waiting to see how the Dodgers fill that big hole at second base, let’s grade the main Dodgers hitters last season. The stats will be batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage/OPS+. OPS+ takes a player's on-base plus slugging percentage and normalizes the number across the entire league, accounting for ballpark factors (does he play in a pitcher’s park or a hitter’s park?). An OPS+ of 100 is average. If a player has an OPS+ of 110, then he is 10% better than the league average.
Corey Seager (.308/.365/.512/137): Led the Dodgers in hits, doubles, triples, runs scored, batting average, OBP and slugging. Had 40 doubles and 26 homers, scored 105 runs and was much better on defense than many expected. I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.
Justin Turner (.275/.339/.493/124): Shook off a slow start (because of off-season knee surgery) to become one of the best-hitting third baseman in baseball. And he’s one of the few guys who can pull off the long hair and beard look.
Adrian Gonzalez (.284/.349/.435/113): Everyone seems to be waiting for him to slow down on offense, but he drove in at least 90 runs for the 10th consecutive season. Mickey Mantle never did that, nor did Duke Snider. Gonzalez’s power dropped some last season, but he is still a guy you want in the clutch. On defense, he is still the most awkward looking great fielding first baseman around.
Yasmani Grandal (.228/.339/.477/121): A lot of people just look at the batting average and conclude that Grandal is subpar. But he tied for the team lead with 27 homers and led the team with 64 walks. Add in that he is one of the best pitch framers in baseball, and you get a guy who is much more valuable than he appears on the surface.
Joc Pederson (.246/.352/.495/129): Like Grandal, Pederson draws a lot of walks and has good power. He will never be the superstar some expected, but he is a good guy to have on your team and is a good center fielder.
Andrew Toles (.314/.365/.505/135): Is he for real? Will the league catch up to him? He hit .462 against the Cubs in the playoffs. Let’s hope he can provide some much needed speed in 2017.
Chase Utley (.252/.319/.396/95): Had a great first two months, but then fell off a cliff offensively. Would have been a C, but his clubhouse presence lifts him up and has the Dodgers considering re-signing him for next season.
Howie Kendrick (.255/.326/.366/90): Never really looked comfortable in left field, but he was no Billy Ashley out there either. Had his worst season ever at the plate. Traded to Philadelphia after the season.
Yasiel Puig (.263.323/.416/101): It’s time to stop thinking about what Puig once was and start accepting him for what he is: An average player who will occasionally show flashes of brilliance while driving his teammates crazy and wowing fans with his cannon for an arm.
Josh Reddick (.258/.307/.335/76): Acquired on Aug. 1 along with Rich Hill, Reddick looked like a complete bust after hitting only .161 in his first 25 games. But he hit .382 after that to redeem himself. Signed with Houston as a free agent in the off-season.
Rob Segedin (.233/.301/.370/83): Had his moments, but he doesn’t walk much and at times looked overmatched at the plate.
Trayce Thompson (.225/.302/.436/99): In June and July, Thompson hit .189. Was it because of the back injury that landed him on the disabled list the rest of the season, or because the league figured him out? 2017 will provide the answer.
Enrique Hernandez (.190/.283/.324/66): Hernandez seems like a great guy, but it got annoying seeing him get so many at-bats down the stretch. I hope he rebounds, but if he starts off 2017 slowly, it’s time to say goodbye.
Scott Van Slyke (.225/.292/.314/66): Hit poorly, went on DL. 2017 has to be better for him, doesn’t it?
Next time, we’ll grade the pitchers.
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