2018 Season Review: Second Base

Next up, the Dodgers’ weakest position over the last couple years. Prepare to miss Orlando Hudson.

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This is … not going to be fun.

Logan Forsythe

2018 stats (with Dodgers)- .207/.270/.290, .560 OPS, 56 wRC+, .249 wOBA, 20.4 K%, 8.1 BB%, -0.6 fWAR

Forsythe was looking to bounce back from a rough 2017 season with the Dodgers. He looked good in Spring Training, tricking poor Allan into writing a post about his potential for a good season. It was a good and smart post (that I agreed with fully but will also let Allan take all the blame for it). However, the bounce-back did not happen, as he was worse than he was in 2017.

Part of the appeal of Forsythe when the Dodgers traded for him was his ability to hit lefties. In six major league seasons before becoming a Dodger, Forsythe owned an .818 OPS and 127 wRC+ in 722 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. Even in his poor 2017, Forsythe crushed lefties. In 153 plate appearances against lefties, he posted an .870 OPS and 138 wRC+. That came crashing down hard last season with the Dodgers, as he OPS’d .486 and posted a 37 wRC+ in 92 plate appearances against lefties in 2018.

Forsythe was traded to the Twins at the trade deadline, and his luck turned a bit. In 205 plate appearances with Minnesota, Forsythe posted a .258/.356/.292 triple slash. While he carried a .255 BABIP with the Dodgers, that rose to .333 with the Twins. Impressively, he only had six extra base hits (all doubles) as a Twin.

Chase Utley

2018 stats- .213/.305/.305, .610 OPS, 71 wRC+, .272 wOBA, 18.2 K%, 9.1 BB%, 0.1 fWAR

Somehow, Utley was statistically the most valuable second baseman the Dodgers rolled out in 2018. Of these four, he posted the only positive fWAR.

In his final Major League season, Utley had the fewest plate appearances since his rookie 2003 season. In 187 plate appearances Utley had 12 extra-base hits including one dong in San Francisco in April. 170 of those plate appearances came against righties, giving the Dodgers a platoon partner with Forsythe. 11 of Utley’s 12 extra base hits came against righties. Utley’s value to the team wasn’t all that great statistically, but it was still tough in July when he announced his intent to retire at the end of the season.

Utley only had 40 plate appearances after announcing his intent to retire. He started two of the Dodgers’ three games in Philadelphia in July, and went hitless in those two games. He had a pinch hit appearance in the middle game and singled.

Despite his limited playing time, Utley was still hit by a pitch five times. This tied him for the fourth-most on the team. In April, Utley was hit by a pitch for the 200th time in his career. I believe that was one of the first recaps I wrote at this site, and that stupid game went 12 innings.

Brian Dozier

2018 stats (with Dodgers)- .182/.300/.305, .650 OPS, 83 wRC+, .289 wOBA, 19.4 K%, 14.1 BB%, -0.2 fWAR

At the deadline, the Dodgers traded Forsythe and two prospects to Minnesota for Dozier. The Dodgers bet on Dozier putting up a huge second half, as he did in each of the previous two seasons. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, that did not happen. His OPS fell by over .100 points and he hit only five dongs in the second half. While Dozier never went on the DL, a report came out late in the season that he had been dealing with a bone bruise in his knee throughout the season. It wasn’t an ideal end to his walk year, but he wound up signing a one year, $9M contract with the Nats.

Dozier didn’t do much in the postseason, as he had two hits in 22 plate appearances. He struck out six times and drew six walks, but his time with the Dodgers really didn’t work out.

Breyvic Valera

2018 stats (with Dodgers)- .172/.273/.172, .445 OPS, 35 wRC+, .217 wOBA, 11.8 K%, 11.8 BB%, -0.2 fWAR

Since I gave Allan shit for his Forsythe post, I will admit that I was really into Valera. I was blinded by the fact that he walked more than he struck out. He walked and struck out the same number of times in his 34 Dodger plate appearances (four times each). Valera flashed a couple nice plays defensively, but ended up being traded to Baltimore in the Manny Machado deal.

Others

The Dodgers had four other players log innings at second base. Austin Barnes was written about in the catcher post. Max Muncy was written about at first base. Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor will be written about in center field.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.