Numbers Suggest Dodgers Will Be A More Patient Team In 2015

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Looking at Ramirez’s .369 OBP, it’s surprising that he only saw 3.79 pitches per plate appearance last season. Rollins saw 4.15 pitches per plate appearance, which would’ve ranked eighth in MLB among qualified players. However, his OBP of .323 is a steep drop-off from Ramirez’s, mainly because of the difference in their batting averages.

Rollins drew more walks than Ramirez (64 to 56), but that’s largely due to him getting almost 100 more chances at the plate. Replacing Ramirez’s bat isn’t expected from Rollins, but he needs to continue taking pitches and drawing walks at the high level he did in 2014 in order to maximize his offensive value.

After a disappointing first half, Kemp seemingly dominated every pitcher that had the unfortunate task of pitching to him after the All-Star break. From mid-July through the end of the regular season, Kemp drew 23 walks and posted a .365 OBP in 263 plate appearances.

For comparison, he drew 29 walks and posted a .330 OBP in 336 plate appearances during the first half; a far cry from his production in almost 100 more plate appearances than he received in the second half. If the 2011 Kemp is indeed back, it will be hard watching him succeed in San Diego, but that’s yet to be determined as the Joc Pederson era looms.

Before his cup of coffee with the Dodgers, Pederson drew an incredible 100 walks in 553 plate appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque, totaling to a .435 OBP. When he was called up to the Dodgers in September, he didn’t hit much but still drew nine walks in only 38 plate appearances, accumulating to a .351 OBP.

As a result, Pederson saw 4.39 pitches per plate appearances, which would’ve been the third-best among qualified batters only behind Mike Trout and Brett Gardner. While that’s obviously a small sample size, it’s not far-fetched to think he can see that many pitches per plate appearance throughout the duration of a full season.

Pederson’s career .401 OBP and 460 strikeouts in the Minors show that he’s usually seeing a minimum of four pitches each time he steps into the batter’s box. Even if Pederson fails to match Kemp’s power numbers, his tremendous plate patience will be a nice consolation prize in the Dodgers’ lineup.

It’s not a coincidence that each player acquired this offseason has the tendency to see many pitches during a plate appearance. Even if the power has lessened, expect pitchers to throw more pitches than needed per inning because of the overall improved plate discipline in the lineup.

Clearly, this was an aspect of Friedman’s definition for a “highly functional” team, along with solid defense and leadership in the clubhouse.


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  1. on paper…..we will see how it all pans out….on paper does not always translate to actual stats. Little quiz…. How many times have the Dodgers won 100 games or more? Who has the highest WAR in Dodger history? When was the last time the Dodgers won 100 games?

  2. I really wish they’d get rid of Ethier and give more AB to Scott Van Slyke. And before you defend Ethier, know that I’m thinking selfishly and not what is best for the club – although there’s a case to be made that it’d be nice for both. In a small sample size (what was it, like 200 AB?), Van Slyke dropped his platoon-fated ways and hit well against lefties and righties. He also hit on a 30-home run pace. And since I’m thinking selfishly, I’d love draft him in fantasy and see those potential stats be eligible at CF, along with the versatility of LF and 1B. I’m not foolish enough to truly believe you can just triple SVS’s 2014 numbers to get what a full year would look like, but his potential does play to the fantasy game much friendlier than the non-existent value of Ethier. So if the baseball gods visit dodgersnation.com, I ask that you please ship Ethier to Seattle or Toronto or one of those teams who seem to collect lame OFers like him and give my boy Scott a chance to see ABs when Crawford or Puig inevitably go down. Thanks in advance.

  3. I’ll believe it when I see…oh wait thanks to the Dodgers, Tuner Sports West & their unsettling greed I won’t see it. Karma

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