July 8, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Enrique Hernandez (14) uses bananas on left fielder Scott Van Slyke (33) beard during the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Up: Holy Depth
The Dodgers used 55 different players this season. While there were some clunkers among those 55, there were a ton of pleasant surprised.
Enrique Hernandez was absolutely stellar this season. He’s sort of the anti-Andre Ethier, as he can really only hit left-handed pitching. His versatility and personality is already making him a fan-favorite, and he just turned 24 in August. Hernandez is under team control until 2021, and if he can keep playing close to as well as he played this season, he’s going to be extremely valuable in the near future.
Justin Ruggiano came out of nowhere and had one of the wildest months I can remember. In 21 games for the Dodgers, Ruggiano had a .291/.350/.618 slashline and hit four homers. That may not be all that impressive, but considering he was rotting away in Seattle’s farm system and injuries and platoon splits made him a starter in game four of the NLDS, it’ll be fun to see if he sticks around.
As weird as it is to say, this was sort of a rebuilding year for the Dodgers. Lots of new faces and a lot of added youth made this season pretty fun. Watching Corey Seager make baseball look ridiculously easy in September and watching Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler and Austin Barnes take the field is exciting. Even though they struggled, all four of them still have their rookie statuses. Add in minor league pitching studs Julio Urias and Jose De Leon, and it’s becoming pretty clear why the Dodgers didn’t go all-in at the deadline. Acquiring a David Price or Cole Hamels may have changed their NLDS fate, but the postseason is so random and the Dodgers are in a good position to get there for the forseeable future.
Next: Injuries Killed the Dodgers