For the past couple of seasons, the Dodgers’ leadoff spot has been a revolving door and a real weakness. For the first time in years, Los Angeles may have found a guy who will hold down the spot and set the table for the Dodgers’ high-powered offense.
According to Baseball Reference, since the 2015 season 13 players have batted in the leadoff position for the Dodgers at some point. The list includes Jimmy Rollins, Darwin Barney, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Chris Heisey, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Justin Ruggiano, Scott Schebler, Austin Barnes, Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick. However, all of these players have failed to hold down that role.
Chase Utley started at the position the most in 2016 with 114 games. While he performed admirably, he is no longer the player he once was and will be turning 39 in 2017. This offseason the front office acquired Logan Forsythe who will be the Dodgers’ Opening Day starting second baseman and leadoff hitter.
Forsythe moved to the leadoff position last year for the Tampa Bay Rays and made 125 appearances at the top of the lineup card. He found some success last season, batting .264 with 20 home runs, 52 RBI’s, 76 runs scored, and an OBP of .333. Forsythe also stole six bases while being caught six times.
While none of these statistics jump off the page, these are just the numbers that the team is looking for from a leadoff hitter. Forsythe will bring stability to the top of the lineup and at second base, something that has been missing for the past couple of seasons. In addition, Forsythe, at the age of 30, is much younger than Utley.
Finally, Forsythe should see an uptick in his batting performance this season due to the depth of the Dodgers’ lineup. With great hitters like Seager, Turner, and Gonzalez slated to bat right behind him, Forsythe should see more hittable pitches.