Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and it looks like Rob Segedin (.407/.448/.889) really wants to make the Dodgers opening-day roster.
Comparing the teams
Continuing each weekday until conclusion, I will take a look at all five NL West teams, comparing them at each position, the rotation and the bullpen. Every team will be ranked at each position, so we can get a better idea of where the Dodgers stand as they try to win their first World Series since the Reagan administration. If you see a stat you don't recognize, such as WAR or FRAA, just click on it and you will be taken to the explainer. All stats are courtesy of baseball-reference.com.
Today we move to shortstop.
1. Corey Seager, Dodgers
Last two seasons: .312 AVG/.374 OB%/.519 SLG%/7.7 Offensive WAR/1.1 Defensive WAR
All he did last season was be the easy choice for Rookie of the Year and set the Dodgers' record for most home runs by a shortstop (26). He also hit 40 doubles, scored 105 runs and played solid defense. He was caught stealing three times though, so he obviously has a lot of work to do to be considered a good player.
2. Brandon Crawford, San Francisco
Last three seasons: .260/.329/.427/8.4 OWAR/7.2 DWAR
His power dipped a bit last year, but he still had double digits in doubles, triples and homers. Plus he won his second consecutive Gold Glove. You can make an argument for ranking Trevor Story second, but I think Crawford's defense gives him the edge for now.
3. Trevor Story, Colorado
Last season: .272/.341/.567/2.7/0.9
Story hit a lot of homers (27) and struck out a lot (130). If he hadn't had thumb surgery and missed the last two months of the season, he probably would rank ahead of Crawford. Add in that his father is a paramedic and his mother runs a food bank, and it's hard to root against Story.
4. Erick Aybar, San Diego
Last three seasons: .266/.309/.349/7.2/1.3
It appeared Luis Sardinas was going to start at short for the Padres this season after playing well the last two months of last season. But a week ago, Manager Andy Green said Sardinas was going to be a utility player and all but gave the job to Aybar. I'd rather go with the young guy who has potential than the old guy who is fading. Especially on a team that is expected to finish last.
5. Chris Owings, Arizona
Last three seasons: .253/.291/.376/2.0/1.9
Owings in battling Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte for the job in spring, but he appears to have the job in hand after hitting over .400 this spring. And that may be the first and last time "Owings" and "hitting over .400" will ever appear in the same paragraph. When your career on-base percentage is under .300, you better field like Ozzie Smith. Owings does not field like Ozzie Smith.
This concludes the look at third base. If we assign points based on where a player ranks at each position, giving seven points for first place, five for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth, then the NL West stacks up like this so far, with many positions left to look at:
Dodgers, 7 points
San Francisco, 5 points
Colorado, 3 points
San Diego, 2 points
Arizona, 1 point
That brings the grand total after five positions to:
Dodgers, 25 points
San Francisco, 21 points
Colorado, 21 points
Arizona, 15 points
San Diego, 8 points
Ask Ross Porter
Once again, former Dodgers announcer Ross Porter will be answering select reader questions. Email me a question for Ross, and I will pass it on. The answers will begin once the season starts, but send the questions in now!
The Dodgers face plenty of rotation questions in the last week of spring training.