Dodgers: Who’s Hot?

Dodgers have more and more players joining the hot list during this winning streak. So let’s do a recap of who’s hot and who’s getting there.

Highlights

  • Players Who Have Been Hot All Year
  • Players Heating Up
  • Players Looking Lukewarm
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Hot All Year

  • Mookie Betts

He’s leading all of baseball in WAR. He’s looking locked into the leadoff spot so far OPSing 1.186 and 6 of his 9 homers coming from the 1 spot. He leaves a mark on almost every game he plays. Including a play of the week throw from right that was reminiscent of Puig for Dodger fans. And the most impressive stat of all is his 99% contact rate on swinging at pitches in the strike zone. He can not miss and he is still getting hotter.

https://www.mlb.com/player/mookie-betts-605141?stats=splits-r-hitting-mlb&year=2020
  • Corey Seager

Seager was on a hefty hitting streak before hurting his lower back on a diving play at short. He missed most of the game on the 7th and didn’t return until the 13th. He hit a home run on his first at bat back but then when on an 0-13 slump after that.

But after that he’s gone on a 6 for 12 stretch with 2 more home runs, 7 RBI, 3 Runs, a double, a walk, only one strikeout, and an average exit velocity of 93 MPH his last 3 games. He should still be the best batter in baseball according to statcast. And now he gets to hit right behind Mookie.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/corey-seager-608369?stats=gamelogs-r-hitting-statcast&season=2020&gamelogs_event=&gamelogs_direction=&gamelogs_pitchtypes=&gamelogs_view=statcastGameLogs
  • Tony Gonsolin

He’s now 14.2 IP in and has yet to allow a run to go with a ridiculous 0.55 WHIP. If it was Kershaw who started like this, we would be calling him a Cy Young Favorite.

He hit 98 MPH in his last outing which even surprised Orel and Joe. It was his first quality start this year as well as taking him officially off the prospect list. He is now a Rookie and looks like a ROY contender without any clear favorites in the NL right now. We’ve been saying it for a while but the Cat Man is underrated.

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  • Justin Turner

Fear the Beard for it has returned to its full form. Turner is in the midst of a 12 game hitting streak where he’s hitting .349 with 2 homers, 2 doubles, and a 10% walk rate. His average exit velocity over the last week has been 95 MPH, the same speed it takes for a ball to be registered as a hard hit. That means he is averaging a hard hit every time he puts the ball in play.

  • AJ Pollock

He’s currently OPSing .892, that would be a career high for him. He’s stealing bases again with 2 in his last 7 games.. He’s also got 5 homers, 5 doubles, 11 runs, and 13 RBI out of the lower half of the lineup typically. He’s also chasing at rates so low they’re close to his career best, and 5% less than the rest of the MLB.

  • Dustin May

Another Rookie of the Year contender right here. He’s only 1-1 in 5 starts somehow even though he only has a 3.00 ERA in 24 IP on the best team in baseball. His last start against the Angels was actually his roughest on the year giving up 2 runs and 7 hits with only 2 strikeouts in 4 1/3 IP. But he has also not surrendered more than 2 runs in any of his starts yet.

His biggest issue is the tight leash Roberts has on him. He’s already one of the best pitchers in the game already.

  • Kenley Jansen

7 for 7 in saves, granted he owes one of those to Chris Taylor, Jansen is starting to look like the old lights out Kenleyfornia. He and Roberts decided to focus on movement and feel over velocity and surprisingly both came back to peak form.

  • Caleb Ferguson

No one tell Caleb Ferguson he’s a starter, because he’s an even better reliever. He’s only given up one run in his 10 games so far for a record of 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA. But maybe the most impressive stat is his 13 K’s to 2 BB’s in 9.1IP.

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  • Jake McGee

McGee throws his fastball about 95% of the time. Yet he’s also been lights out out of the pen. He’s 2-0, has a 1.00 ERA, and a 0.67 WHIP. But much like Ferguson it’s perhaps most impressive that he has 13 SO’s to 3 BB’s, but with one pitch.

Heating Up

  • Austin Barnes

Mookie has a Mini Me now in Austin Barnes. Barnes may be the hottest hitter the Dodgers have right now and it couldn’t have come at a better time with Smith on the IL.

He’s 12 for his last 24 and scored both of the Dodger’s runs in their close win against the Mariners. He’s brought his average up over .300 after being under .100 at his lowest point. He’s OPSing 1.187 in his last 7 games, ranking him up there with the best catchers in baseball offensively to go with his league leading defense as well.

Somehow this still feels like Mookie’s accomplishment though.

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  • Chris Taylor

Again Chris Taylor continues to be a WAR machine for the Dodgers. He’s actually 4th on the Dodgers right now. Behind only Betts, Seager, and Kike thanks too his defensive prowess. But Taylor has been the third best Dodger as far as the field and the plate.

Over his last 7 games he’s slashing .346/.370/.462 which is right around the OPS he produced during his amazing 2017 campaign. He also filled the Seager hole beautifully when he needed to, but has been pretty spectacular in the field.

Not only is his cold start over, he could be heading towards his NLCS MVP production level.

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  • Matt Beaty

Beaty has been struggling with his role off the bench this year until a couple days ago. He reached his low at batting .100 and then a 4/5 stretch has brought him back up to .240 and an OPS of .801. More so, he came in clutch again. And that’s the Beaty we love.

Read our deep dive on Beaty Here.

  • Brusdar Graterol

Maeda almost pitched a no-hitter for Minnesota yesterday and that was hard to watch for Dodger fans. But boy did we get a return in Bazooka Graterol.

He’s had 3 games where he gave up limited damage but has looked amazing and more comfortable with the Dodgers lately. And they seem more comfortable with him now using him in high leverage situations.

And even though his stats seem worse than they are (and his expected stats say they should be better as well) Graterol has a 0.00 ERA in the 7th inning or later.

  • Adam Kolarek

Poor Kolarek has had a roller coaster year for a guy that has continued to perform against the odds. With the 3 batter min Kolarek was almost out of a job being the Dodger’s Juan Soto Lefty specialist. But he has shown the ability to get righties out just as well. Now the Dodgers are sending him up and down due to talent overflow.

Still Kolarek is one of the relievers with a 0.00 ERA on the year in 6 games. He’s pitched 7 innings to a tune of 5 strikeouts and a 0.57 WHIP. Oh and he’s picked up 2 wins because he’s an early inning reliever. (His career total is 10). Frankly he’s doing great and deserves a roster spot or a trade to a team that has room for him because he is hotter than ever.

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Lukewarm

  • Kike Hernandez

He’s the 3rd most valuable Dodger this year completely off his incredible and versatile defense. But his bat has been consistently disappointing. He’s only slashing .211/.286/.421 with 5 runs and 3 RBI in August so far. But again with the value he brings defensively everywhere, he’s worth sticking with until we have 9 hotter batters in the lineup.

It’s also interesting that most of his damage has been done at Dodger stadium with an OPS of .902 at home vs .462 on the road. He is by no means hot, but we can’t call him entirely cold either.

  • Walker Buehler

Buehler remains 0-0 even though he’s started 4 games with a 5.21 ERA. He’s allowed 2 or more runs a start as well never making it through 6 innings. But he’s had two clear enemies to start the year, home runs and walks. A very bad combination.

He’s given up 5 in his first 4 starts this year after only giving up 5 in his first 10 starts last year. A year he also started off slow. He’s also given up 8 walks after taking 6 starts for the same amount last year.

But in his last two starts he’s only given up one homer to go with 11 SO and 5 BB’s. He’s trending in the right direction he just hasn’t been able to piece it all together yet after his late start. The odds of Buehler receiving any individual accolades has basically been thrown out the window but her can still turn this year around in time for when it matters. We miss our ace.

  • Cody Bellinger

Things are far from great for the Reigning MVP but it looks as though he may be turning a corner.

Since August 11th Bellinger has hit only .172. However, his expected statistics say he should’ve hit .304 due to his 93.5 average exit velocity to go with an average of a 13 degree launch angle. That’s normally line drive city.

His K% was at 21% which is pretty average, but pair it with his 12% BB rate and 50% hard hit rate and he’s looking a lot better this last week.

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  • Blake Treinen

He gave up 4 unearned runs to Arizona, but he also couldn’t miss bats. He’s also given up 6 walks in 11 appearances this year. He also finally gave up an earned run against the Angels a couple appearances ago. Those are the reasons we don’t think Treinen is hot or heating up just yet. But he’s looking very close.

He’s only given up 1 walk and 4 hits vs 5 strikeouts in his last 5 appearances. He also pitched his longest outing of 1.2IP last night, winning the game against the Mariners, and technically pitching in what would’ve been a save scenario for the first time as a Dodger. If he can keep missing bats and hitting the zone like he has been, he’ll be hot in no time.

Treinen and Jansen hot is a very scary thing for hitters.

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