The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most dominant franchises in Major League Baseball, and with their stacked roster for 2021, they’re sure to be a force to be reckoned with. But who’s hot and who’s not? In this blog post, we’ll break down each position on the Dodgers’ roster and take a closer look at which players are poised for success this season and which ones might need to step up their game. From starting pitchers to outfielders, let’s dive into the world of Dodger baseball!
The starting pitcher is the backbone of any baseball team. The Dodgers are no exception, with a strong pitching rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Trevor Bauer.
Kershaw has been a mainstay in the Dodgers’ rotation for years and continues to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. His precision and control on the mound make him a valuable asset to any team.
Buehler emerged as a force to be reckoned with during his rookie season in 2018 and has only continued to improve since then. His fastball consistently reaches triple digits and he’s not afraid to challenge even the best hitters.
Bauer was signed as a free agent this offseason after winning the Cy Young award last year. He brings both talent and personality to the Dodgers’ roster, adding another ace-level pitcher to an already stacked rotation.
It’s clear that starting pitching is one area where the Dodgers excel. Their trio of Kershaw, Buehler, and Bauer will undoubtedly keep opposing teams on their toes throughout this season.
Catcher is a crucial position in baseball, and the Dodgers have one of the best catchers in the league with Will Smith. In 2021, Smith has started off hot at the plate, hitting .288 with six home runs and 17 RBIs.
Additionally, Smith’s defensive skills behind the plate are impressive. He has thrown out eight of 16 attempted base stealers this season. That equates to a caught stealing percentage of 50%, which ranks second-best among all MLB catchers.
Moreover, his ability to call games as a catcher is also noteworthy. The pitchers on the Dodgers’ staff trust him and rely on his guidance during games.
However, it’s not just about Smith for the Dodgers at catcher. Austin Barnes provides solid backup support both defensively and offensively when called upon.
Having two reliable catchers gives manager Dave Roberts flexibility in managing his lineup and ensuring that he can put out a strong team every game.
First base is a crucial position for any baseball team, and the Dodgers are no exception. The current first baseman for the Dodgers is Max Muncy, who has been with the team since 2018. In 2020, Muncy had an impressive season with 12 home runs and a .192 ISO.
However, in 2021 so far, Muncy’s performance at first base has been somewhat lackluster. He currently has a batting average of .243 and an OPS of .802. While these stats aren’t terrible by any means, they’re not quite as impressive as some other players on the team.
Despite this slight dip in performance, many experts still consider Muncy to be one of the best first basemen in the league thanks to his versatility and ability to get on base via walks or hit by pitches. Plus, it’s still early in the season – there’s plenty of time for him to turn things around.
While Muncy may not be performing at his absolute best right now at first base for the Dodgers, he still brings a lot of value to the team both defensively and offensively.
When it comes to the Dodgers’ second base, there is one name that stands out: Chris Taylor. He has been a reliable player for the team in recent years and has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, he had an impressive 2020 season with a batting average of .270 and an OPS of .842.
However, there are also other players who can fill in at second base if needed. Gavin Lux is a young player with potential who could take over the position in the future. And Zach McKinstry showed promise during his debut season in 2020.
But despite having multiple options at second base, Chris Taylor remains the top choice for now. His versatility also allows him to play other positions when needed, making him even more valuable to the team.
While there may be some competition for playing time at second base on the Dodgers’ roster, Chris Taylor’s consistent performance makes him stand out as their top option for now.
The Dodgers’ shortstop position belonged to Corey Seager for the past few seasons, but he has since moved on to the Texas Rangers. This leaves an opening for someone else to step up and take over.
One option is Gavin Lux, who has been playing well in Spring Training and could potentially fill the role. He’s a young player with a lot of potential, so it will be interesting to see how he performs during the regular season.
Another possibility is Chris Taylor, who can play multiple positions including shortstop. He’s proven himself as a valuable utility player for the Dodgers in previous seasons and could provide some stability at this position.
Regardless of who ends up starting at shortstop for the Dodgers this season, they will have big shoes to fill following Seager’s departure. It remains to be seen if anyone can truly replace him or if it’ll take a team effort from multiple players on the roster.
While there may be uncertainty around this position right now, I’m optimistic that whoever steps up will rise to the occasion and contribute positively towards another successful season for the Dodgers.
Third base is a crucial position for any baseball team, and the Dodgers are lucky to have Justin Turner manning the hot corner. Despite being 36 years old, Turner continues to be a reliable bat in the lineup and a steady presence on defense.
Offensively, Turner has been a consistent performer throughout his career with an impressive .292 career batting average. He’s also shown some pop in his bat over recent seasons, hitting 18 home runs in both 2019 and 2020.
Defensively, Turner may not have the same range as some of his younger counterparts at third base, but he more than makes up for it with his sure-handedness and strong arm. His veteran leadership also plays a vital role in helping guide the younger players on the team.
One area where there may be cause for concern is health. Turner battled injuries during the shortened 2020 season, which could become more of an issue as he gets older. However, if he can stay healthy and continue to produce at or near his current level, third base should remain one of the strengths of this Dodgers team.
Left field has been a position of strength for the Dodgers in recent years, with an array of talented players vying for playing time. The 2021 season is no exception, as the team boasts several solid options at this spot.
One player who has made a big impact in left field this year is AJ Pollock. He’s currently batting .306 and showing off his power with seven home runs on the season. His defense has also been impressive, making him a valuable asset to the team.
Another option for left field is Chris Taylor, who’s having another strong season overall as well. Although he hasn’t seen quite as much playing time in left field specifically, he’s proven himself to be capable at the position when called upon.
There’s Matt Beaty, who provides depth and versatility across multiple positions including first base and third base in addition to left field. While not putting up eye-popping numbers so far this year, he remains a reliable player who can step into any role when needed.
It seems clear that whoever ends up occupying left field going forward will have some big shoes to fill given how well these players have performed thus far.
The Dodgers’ center field position is one that has been consistently strong for the team over the years. And 2021 is no exception with Chris Taylor, who’s hot right now, leading the charge.
Taylor has been a key player in the Dodgers’ success this season both offensively and defensively. He currently boasts an impressive .288 batting average, along with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs.
But it’s not just his bat that sets him apart; Taylor’s defensive abilities have also been on full display this year. He leads all major league center fielders in outs above average (OAA) according to Statcast data, showing that he can make some incredible plays out there.
Of course, let’s not forget about Cody Bellinger – another talented outfielder who has played center field for the Dodgers in recent seasons. While he may be struggling at the plate this year, his defensive prowess cannot be denied either.
The Dodgers are lucky to have such depth in their outfield – especially when it comes to center field. With players like Taylor and Bellinger holding down the fort, they’re sure to continue making waves throughout the rest of the season.
The last position on the Dodgers’ roster that we will be discussing is right field. In this spot, Mookie Betts reigns supreme. Known for his exceptional batting and fielding skills, Betts has been a valuable addition to the team since joining in 2020.
At just 28 years old, he has already established himself as one of the top players in baseball. Last season alone, he hit 16 home runs and had a batting average of .292.
Betts’ presence in right field not only adds to the Dodgers’ offensive power but also contributes significantly to their defense. His quick reflexes and ability to cover ground make him an outstanding outfielder.
While some players may be struggling this season or experiencing injuries that are hindering their performance on the field, overall, the Dodgers have an incredibly talented roster filled with both seasoned veterans and promising newcomers. With Betts leading them from right field, it’s looking like another successful year for this powerhouse team in 2021!