Dodgers: Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

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Mar 7, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) looks on against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) looks on against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hits a single against the Chicago Cubs in the second inning during game four of the 2016 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /
  1. Adrian Gonzalez, First Base

Mr. Ole’ Reliable. Gonzalez has anchored the Dodgers’ lineup for the past 4 and a half seasons.

Despite his power numbers decreasing last year, Gonzalez still had a productive season. Gonzalez hit .285, 18 Home Runs, and 90 RBI.

Those are decent numbers for a first baseman, but the Dodgers could really use a power bat in the number 4 spot. Power isn’t necessarily the reason why Gonzalez will be hitting 4th. Dave Roberts likes hitting in the clean-up role.

A big reason why Gonzalez saw a drop off in his power numbers last season was due to his increased ground ball rate. Last year he had a ground ball rate of 46.2%, which is almost 10% higher than his consistent 38% ground ball rate. That increase directly correlates with his his decreased fly ball rate, which was down 10% from the 2015 season.

Gonzalez’s production is still there for a 34-year-old veteran. His OBP was .349, right around his .340 – .350 career average, but the slugging percentage has dropped off by 45 points. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gonzalez drop lower in the order against left-handers. Especially if the next guy plays to his capabilities.

Projected Stat Line:

.280/18 Home Runs/95 RBI/60 Runs Scored

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