Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down: Taylor is Heating Up, Bellinger is Regressing
This will be a recurring series where we break down the hottest and coldest Dodgers over the previous week, outlining who is trending upwards and downwards.
The Dodgers are on fire right now. They’ve won 5 of their last 6 and look to continue their hot streak against the Washington Nationals. With that being said, let’s take a look at who has been raising their stock and who has seen their stock fall.
Chris Taylor, UTIL
After a dreadful start to the season, Taylor has found his swing. Over the past week, he is hitting .375 (9-24) with 2 home runs, 2 doubles and 6 RBI. He has only struck out 5 times and he has limited his soft hit rate to 5.3 percent. The Dodgers needed Taylor to step up when A.J. Pollock went down with an injury and he has done exactly that.
Alex Verdugo, OF
All Verdugo does is hit… he’s also pretty good at defense but that isn’t carrying him to the stock up list. Over the past 7 games, he is hitting .350/.440/.400. While the power numbers aren’t there right now but he has hit the ball hard in 57.9 percent of his at-bats.
¡Sí se puede! pic.twitter.com/k0NyiNVGcD
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 9, 2019
It’s almost impossible to recall a time when Verdugo had a bad plate appearance. His approach at the plate is arguably the best on the team and he could see his stock continue to rise.
Justin Turner, 3B
Turner hit 4 home runs in the past 2 games and that isn’t even the most impressive thing he’s done. Over the past week, he has yet to put a ball in play that was classified as softly hit; 30 at-bats and no weak contact. In that time, he’s also hitting .367 with only three strikeouts. Turner is showing he’s still one of the best players in baseball, even after a tough month.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP
Ryu has been pitching like one of the best starters in baseball over the past week. He just threw a Maddux (a complete game shutout in under 100 pitches) and continues to dominate opposing hitters. In his last 17 innings of work, Ryu has a 0.53 ERA and has held hitters to a .143 on-base percentage. Perhaps the most impressive part is he hasn’t walked a batter while pitching at home in his last 56 innings.
Cody Bellinger, OF
After the best start to a season in baseball history, Bellinger has seen his numbers start to regress over the past week. He has 5 hits in his past 20 at-bats (.250) with only 2 extra-base hits and no home runs. He has struck out in 40 percent of those at-bats (8 times) and he hasn’t walked. He also has a BABIP of .417 and a hard contact rate of 16.7 percent, meaning he hasn’t been unlucky. No one expected Bellinger to hit .400 all season and he’s finally coming back to Earth.
The wonder is whether that shoulder is causing him more issue than the Dodgers lead on.
Kenley Jansen, RP
It could be unfair to put Jansen on here since the defense let him down in his last blown save, but he still has a problem. Jansen is allowing too many homers and it’s hurting him. In his last 5 2/3 innings, he has allowed 2 home runs and on the season he has a 2.08 HR/9. He needs to fix his home run problem if he wants to remain in the elite reliever category.
Corey Seager, SS
No one should have expected Seager to light up the league in his return from two major surgeries, but over the past week, Seager is hitting .222/.318/.333. He just hasn’t made quality contact as his soft contact percentage is only eight percent below his hard contact percentage over those 18 at-bats. I’m almost certain Seager will break out at some point because he’s so talented. But for now he finds himself on the stock down list.
Joc Pederson, OF
Over the past 4 games Pederson has played in, he’s hitting .111/.111/.111 with a 55.6 percent strikeout rate. Granted it’s only been 9 plate appearances and they have faced a lot of left-handed starters recently. He should heat back up when they start facing a stretch of right-handers.
The Dodgers have had guys heat up at just the right time to help carry the offense. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the cold players break out soon and hopefully the players who have already broken out stay hot.
Is there anyone you see on the verge of breaking out or anyone having poor plate appearances? Let us know.
Not surprised by Pederson’s lack of production, he doesn’t play when a LHP’s on the mound = pouring water on a fire. Seager & Pollock a lost 2019 season, now affecting Seager’s fielding/throwing at shortstop. Ken Gurnick of dodgeers.com stated Bellinger has gone homerless in 31ABs, had that series at San Francisco(not conducive to homeruns), dislocated his shoulder in San Diego, batting avg. has dropped from .420s to .394(after Wed. night), hitting .231 last 7-games(1 rbi, 8 k’s). Trying not to think about problems in bullpen, except for Floro and crossing fingers Urias. Catching position still an automatic-out. Thank you for my ventage.
Bellinger needs to be up front if his shoulder is still bothering him, because it could possibly de-rail the rest of his season. But he is on a shoulder strengthening program so WSS. Exactly right about Joc AND IT IS ALL ON ROBERTS AND HIS PUPPET MASTER. I believe ya know how Dodgers are good at cooling off the hot bats by sitting them due to the handedness of the pitcher .
“Cooling off hot bats.” I like that. The buzz kill.
Turner is heating up at the right time. Bellinger has cooled. But, the way Cody was locked in, I would think he will get back to that place. His approach with 2 strikes will tend to keep any slumps short. That plus his speed and a solid batting coach should make things turn quickly. The batting coach should be on top of this as we speak. And—as has been the case the last few years, the MVP in the room– Justin Turner. He has a way of pulling the team up with him. From fouling off 10 pitches when we need an opposing starter to get his pitch count up, to getting hit by a pitch that is 2 inches inside to rattle the other starter, to being the biggest cheerleader when we score a run and he is in the dugout; Justin is the epitome of the word Team. And Cody, Corey, and the rest feed off that. So, I really think this could be the year where Cody moves up to the next echelon. He is going to break out of the mini slump in a big way and be back on track.