One of the downsides of being a fan of one baseball team is you can get a skewed view of how good an opposing player is, simply because of small sample sizes. Ask a fan of the Dodgers, and they will probably tell you Kole Calhoun is a great hitter. He’s not, of course — his career OPS is 102, which is barely above average overall and downright lousy for a right-fielder. But his tOPS+ against the Dodgers is 150, which means he has hit 50% better against Los Angeles than he has overall.
We also remember the damage guys do against our team more than the times they’ve failed. Calhoun’s gaudy numbers against L.A. come mostly on the strength of two seasons. In the eight years he’s faced the Dodgers, he’s been really bad four times, solid twice, and otherworldly twice (2015 and 2019). We remember the 2.147 OPS in 2019, but we forget the .553 OPS (in twice as many plate appearances) the next year.
All of which is just a preamble to try to explain why anyone would be interested in Los Angeles signing Jurickson Profar. In 2020, Profar hit really well against the Dodgers, and more recently he threw a couple guys out on the bases. For some people, that’s enough to make them forget he has a career 94 OPS+ and isn’t much of a defender.
Not Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, though, who did a mailbag column and answered a reader question about Profar:
Do you know if Jurickson Profar is on the team’s radar at all as a potential acquisition? I’m all for letting the young guys play, but I feel like it wouldn’t hurt to add a solid veteran bat with some experience playing around the diamond. — Ben M.
I don’t see Profar as much of a fit. He has played all over the diamond, but shouldn’t, as evidenced by the Padres effectively turning him into strictly a left fielder in 2022. His defensive metrics in left field weren’t all that great there, either. He’s a solid player and hitter with good bat-to-ball skills and the ability to draw walks, but he doesn’t hit for much power for being essentially a left-field-only option at this point.
Fabian is right, of course. Profar has played every position except pitcher and catcher in his career, and he’s had several seasons in which he played at least five different positions, but in 2022, he played nothing but left field and DH. While his 111 OPS+ was solid overall, a .391 slugging percentage from a left-fielder is not great. Of the 14 left-fielders with at least 350 plate appearances in 2022, Profar had the fifth-worst slugging percentage, better only than Jesse Winker, Tommy Pham, Christian Yelich, and AJ Pollock, all of whom got regular playing time more because of name recognition or lack of other options than because they deserved it.
So no, Profar isn’t a good fit for the Dodgers.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!