Corey Seager and Justin Turner carry Dodgers’ offense in April

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers’ offense was been up and down in the season’s first month. It ranks as the ninth-best in baseball via wRC+, but that number is 102 — 2 percent better than league-average. They also scored the 12th-most runs in the league at 112. That was good for 4.3 runs per game. Not poor, but not great by any means. If anything, it was inconsistent.

But two guys weren’t inconsistent. Two guys were on fire for most of the month. A large percentage of the team’s offense has come from two spots in the lineup — the Nos. 2 and 3 spots. Not surprisingly, those spots are filled by the two best hitters on the team in Justin Turner and Corey Seager. They are the 2017 Dodgers’ version of the Bash Bros.

—–

Corey Seager
.319/.411/.579, 156 wRC+, 14.0 BB%, 19.6 K%

Seager, hitting in front of Turner (as he should be), helps form one of baseball’s best offensive duos in the season’s first month. This is all the more impressive seeing as he had about a week during April when it seemed like nothing was going right.

Corey’s not hitting as many fly balls as Turner, but he’s still elevating (and more than last season, 46.3 GB%) with a 40.8 GB%. And like Turner, his quality of contact is elite-level. His Soft% is 7 percent and his Hard% is 53.5 percent (third-best in baseball behind Nick Castellanos and Miguel Sano).

Seager is picking up where he left off in 2016 — and he’s getting better. He has dropped his O-Swing% by 6.9 percent, raised his Contact% by almost a percent and cut his SwStr% by 2 percent. Oh, and he just turned 23 years old. He’s a good’n and will be for quite some time.

Justin Turner
.404/.465/.562, 179 wRC+, 5.1 BB%, 9.5 K%

This line is all the more impressive seeing as Turner has just one home run, which he hit on Saturday. It’s a start that’s in stark contrast to what he did in the first month of last season (.247/.330/.325, 85 wRC+, 6.8 BB%, 17.0 K%). He’s a member of the fly ball revolution, and 70 percent of the balls he’s putting in play are in the air (fly balls and line drives). He has made up for the lack of home runs by hitting all of the doubles — 11, to be exact, which leads the National League.

The biggest difference is his fly balls are quality. In his first month of 2016, he had a 16.7 infield fly ball rate. That’s bad. He didn’t hit one infield popup this month. Oh, and he’s not making soft contact (7.5 Soft%).

Turner is the best pure hitter on the team at present (sorry, Corey). He’s the anchor in the lineup and the Dodgers got a steal by signing him to a $64 million deal in the off-season.

—–

Turner and Seager are currently a 2-man wrecking crew. Their Off numbers from FanGraphs are 10.1 and 8.5, respectively. The next-best on the team are Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger at 1.4, who combined have 53 plate appearances. It just shows the sheer dominance of the Dodgers’ two-best hitters.

They’re going to regress (Turner a little more than Seager), but they’re still going to be really good. If/when the rest of the offense picks it up, the Dodgers, as a whole, will become more consistent and a much more dangerous team than they already are.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.