The designated hitter is probably going coming to the Nationwide League in 2020, and whereas many lifelong NL followers might have sturdy emotions towards the change, Dodgers followers could also be most amenable to the swap, realizing how strongly their membership is positioned to make the most of the rule change.
Among the many 18 non-pitchers who took no less than 50 plate appearances with the Dodgers final season, a whopping 13 of them had been higher than the league common by way of wRC+. That doesn’t even embrace projected second baseman Gavin Lux, who’s extensively thought to be the sport’s No. 2 general prospect due largely to his upside on the plate (.392/.478/.719 in 232 Triple-A plate appearances final 12 months). It appears protected to count on him to hitch that group of above-average bats.
It’s true that the Dodgers misplaced three of these above-average hitters — David Freese retired, Alex Verdugo and Kyle Garlick had been traded — however L.A. additionally added the most effective hitters on the planet in Mookie Betts. He’ll pair with Cody Bellinger and a few sort of platoon between Joc Pederson, A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor within the outfield.
That’s solely a part of the Dodgers’ outfield depth, in fact, and the infield is equally stacked with expertise and far better-than-average bench items. The arrival of Lux at second base seemingly pushes Max Muncy to first base, leaving Corey Seager and Justin Turner to proceed suiting up on the left aspect of the diamond. Will Smith has the makings of an excellent hitter behind the plate, as properly.
That’s a particularly deep beginning lineup as is, however the Dodgers might discipline practically a whole second beginning infield with their bench choices. Taylor, already talked about, hasn’t fairly replicated his big debut season in L.A., however his .257/.332/.451 slash over the previous two seasons is powerful. First baseman/left fielder Matt Beaty was a roughly league-average hitter in 268 PAs final 12 months, and fellow nook choice Edwin Rios can be within the combine to begin at third base for some golf equipment after posting a 112 wRC+ in Triple-A final 12 months and hitting .277/.393/.617 in 56 huge league plate appearances. Enrique Hernandez had a down season however is just a 12 months faraway from hitting .256/.336/.470.
Beaty and Rios give supervisor Dave Roberts a pair of lefty-swinging bats to work into the combo at first base (both participant), third base (Rios) and in left discipline (Beaty). Hernandez and Taylor can each play shortstop, second base or any outfield slot. Irrespective of who wants a breather at DH on a given day or what hand the opposing starter throws with, Roberts has versatile choice with high quality offensive monitor data. The Dodgers additionally acquired a pleasant exhibiting from outfielder DJ Peters in Triple-A final 12 months and reacquired first baseman/outfielder Luke Raley from the Twins this winter on the heels of a 122 wRC+ in Triple-A. Don’t fear — platoon choices abound there as properly; Peters hits right-handed to Raley’s left-handed bat.
Because it already stood, the Dodgers might’ve rolled out a lineup that includes Betts, Bellinger, Pederson/Pollock, Turner, Seager, Lux, Muncy and Smith on any given day. Now, it appears they’ll have the ability to rotate any of these regulars by the DH place whereas changing him within the discipline with a flexible piece in a positive platoon matchup. And on days when that projected lineup is on the market, just about any bench bat at Roberts’ disposal ought to be outfitted to ship properly above-average offense — significantly given the power to tweak based mostly on matchups.
The Dodgers led the NL with a 111 wRC+ final 12 months, and with a deep secure of balanced bats who’ve versatile gloves, they need to excel in 2020 with out even needing to consider one other addition for the brand new DH spot.