Reviewing Dodgers outfield and DH offensive production in 2020

Welcome back to another edition of offseason filler content, as I run through who stood out at each position in a 60-game season.

With the shorter schedule, this wasn’t quite as fun to do as last season since there’s so few occurrences of a random player sneaking into the lineup or landing at a position they typically wouldn’t play.

This is even more true of the outfield this season, as two of the positions are incredibly obvious to anyone who watched the team that closely this year.

Left Field

(.238/.301/.471/.772 in 248 PAs)

Another spot where the Dodgers mixed and matched often throughout the season, three players ended up with at least 60 PAs led by AJ Pollock.

Holding a final line of .275/.295/.560/.855 and a 125 wRC+, it was a pretty solid turnaround for Pollock after struggling for much of his first season in Los Angeles. Half of his 16(!!) homers came while in left field, and he managed to play 198 innings out there while also filling in at center field.

Meanwhile, it was a rough result for Joc Pederson in left field. A .148/.235/.328/.563 led to a 55 wRC+ in his 69 PAs, with 21 strikeouts. Only the plus side, he played error free in his 165 innings in the field.

Chris Taylor’s 66 PAs went much better, with a .291/.400/.491/.891 line and a 145 wRC+ playing 137 2/3 innings in left. Hernandez added an .869 OPS in 14 PAs, thanks to a double and a homer driving in four runs.

Center Field

(.273/.365/.573/.938 in 260 PAs)

While not quite near an MVP level, Cody Bellinger’s .241/.352/.504/.855 line and 131 wRC+ across 335 2/3 innings in center led the position that was clearly a strength of the team.

Of course, the former MVP was outperformed by Pollock’s .310/.375/.672/1.047 line in 64 PAs and 134 innings. With 6 homers and 3 doubles making up half of his hits at the position, Pollock finished with a 177 wRC+.

As is the case at many of these spots, Taylor and Enrique Hernandez filled in a few times and combined for 30 PAs in center while covering 66 innings in the field. Mookie Betts apparently hit a double in his lone at-bat as the center fielder, which amounted to two innings, and Terrance Gore spent one inning in center all the way back on July 24.

Right Field

(.302/.371/.580/.951 in 272 PAs)

All five players who played in right this season finished with an OPS above .900, with Betts landing as the worst of the bunch.

Managing a line of .285/.357/.551/.907 and a 145 wRC+ in 438 2/3 innings, Betts unsurprisingly landed second in the NL MVP vote.

However, Pederson’s 203 wRC+ in 22 PAs, Hernadez’s 217 wRC+ across 15 PAs and Zach McKinstry’s 241 wRC+ in 4 PAs all topped Betts. Amazingly the group managed to finish 15-for-38 when filling in for Betts, with three homers for Pederson in his brief time at the position.

Betts played all but 100 innings at the position, easily beating out anyone else at any position while 196 of his 246 PAs came in the leadoff spot. This is really just an excuse to again point out how wonderful it is to look forward to the next 12 years.

Designated Hitter

(.273/.354/.432/.786 in 260 PAs)

While I’m happy to create some filler content for this website, especially given my absence from writing since the season ended as I mentioned above, I still refuse to go into much detail on the 15 different players that played DH for the Dodgers in its first (maybe only) year in the NL.

Pollock edged Justin Turner and Pederson to lead the team in PAs at the position, with 46 across 13 games landing just ahead of 42 for the others. Seager also finished just behind at 39 PAs, with the Dodgers mostly utilizing the spot to rotate its regulars through to get a little rest from playing the field. For Corey Seager, it also allowed him to occasionally be in the lineup while dealing with a hamstring injury.

Seager connected on three homers in his nine games as a DH, driving in 12 runs on a slash line of .343/.385/.657/1.042.

Pollock’s DH line of .214/.261/.357/.618 was actually a hindrance to his rebound season, though he wasn’t actually the worst at the position as Pederson’s .167/.286/.250/.536 was even worse.

Turner’s .323/.500/.419/.919 helped offset some of the struggles to keep the position ahead of the struggles at first and second base. It sure would be nice to see the DH return and give the Dodgers an extra place to put Turner assuming he does return to the team in 2021.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.