Over the past couple of seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have attempted to buy themselves a championship by bringing in big name player such and Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. However, they have fell short each season. This year the Dodgers look to take a step forward and move out of the shadows of the San Francisco Giants, and finally win a pennant. The lineup looks solid from one through nine and now it’s just a matter of it translating to the field.
- Andrew Toles LF: Toles is looking to win the starting spot out of camp and I would give him a good chance to with the Dodgers needing a leadoff hitter this season. He made his MLB debut last July and had a pretty solid end of the regular season and a spectacular Postseason that should give him an edge over Andre Ethier. In his short time in the majors Toles hit for a 314 average with three home runs, and 16 RBI’s, he only stole one base in that time, however in the minors he stole a bunch of bags and got on base at a very consistent rate.
- Yasiel Puig RF: Puig looks to bounce back after an awful 2016 and make a difference in this lineup. He would fit perfectly in this second spot in the lineup as long as he’s consistent, if he isn’t look for Dave Roberts to drop him. In 2016 Puig hit for a 263 average, eleven home runs, and drove in 45 runs, I believe him hitting behind the explosive Toles could benefit both parties tremendously.
- Corey Seager SS: The Dodgers faithful had been waiting for this kid for years, after finally making his MLB debut he took off. He put together one heck of a rookie season posting a 308 average, with 26 home runs, and 72 RBI’s and solidifying the shortstop position for the Dodgers. Not often do you see a shortstop put up the numbers he’s capable of putting up, he’s a different breed of shortstop that will change the game.
- Adrian Gonzalez 1B: Gonzalez has more or less been the face of consistency for the Dodgers, and the 34 year old shows no sign of slowing down. He’ll still hit for a high average and drive the ball out of the park for you, while still driving in around 100 runs each year. He hit for a 285 average, with 18 home runs, and 90 RBI’s. The scary thing is he posted a higher average than he has in three season, without hitting 20 plus home runs and still drove in a bunch of runs. Look for AGone to continue to lose some power in his game but still drive in loads of runs.
- Justin Turner 3B: Outside of the top four spots in the Dodgers lineup I’d say the rest of the lineup is a toss up. With that being said I think Turner adds good protection behind Gonzalez and can consistently get on base. Turner has been nothing but solid since joining the Dodgers in 2014 and continues to grow in his role. His stats have only gotten better since coming to Los Angeles and with him in the five spot in this lineup I expect the same. Hitting for a 275 average, with 27 home runs, and 90 RBI’s leads me to believe he can be a consistent threat in this lineup.
- Joc Pederson CF: Pederson will be entering his third full season in the majors and needs to improve greatly if he wishes to be here long term. In each of his first two seasons he had a batting average below 250, but has the power part of his game figured out hitting 26 and 25 home runs in his first two seasons respectively. Just like I said for Puig, Joc needs to get himself together if he hopes to be the everyday centerfielder moving forward.
- Logan Forsythe 2B: Logan Forsythe was acquired on January 23 in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for Jose De Leon. Forsythe can be a security blanket behind Pederson in the seventh spot of the lineup and potentially improve Pederson’s numbers. In 2016 Forsythe hit for a 264 batting average, while adding 20 round trippers, and 52 RBI’s. A perfect player to put behind Pederson due to the power threat he poses.
- Yasmani Grandal C: Grandal is entering his third season in LA and looks to only improve upon his recent numbers. He didn’t post a high average only hitting for 228 but added a power element to the Dodgers lineup hitting 28 home runs, and bringing in 72 runs. He just like Forsythe can be a security blanket for the batter ahead of him. As much as I personally like Grandal it’s hard for me to move him up in this lineup with so many good hitters from one to eight. The good thing is he has the ability to do damage from both sides of the plate so Roberts can move him up in the lineup if need be.
This Dodgers team appears loaded and looking to make a deep playoff push. If I had to choose I’d say the NL West could easily be the best division in the NL. It will definitely be competitive and could compete for best division in baseball and these Dodgers will be one of the top teams.