Coming into the 2017 season, the Dodgers had high hopes that a healthy Scott Van Slyke could help solve their offensive woes against left-handed starters. In April, Van Slyke showed difficulty hitting any pitcher, whether they were right or left-handed. Van Slyke hit a disappointing .167 against lefties and an ugly .129 overall.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Justin Turner reveals why Dodgers declined his 2023 team option
- Dodgers can’t be scared of Cody Bellinger free agency interest if non-tendered
- Baseball voters lost the plot with Dodgers’ Julio Urías Cy Young snub
- Dodgers take ‘risk’ with 40-man roster additions before Rule 5 Draft
- Angels plunder Dodgers All-Star starter Tyler Anderson in surprise reversal
His on-base percentage was only .250, and he had the second lowest exit velocity among Dodger outfielders, with an average exit velocity of 85 miles per hour. Only Andrew Toles, who is 5’9, had a weaker exit velocity than the 6’4 Scott Van Slyke. While Scott has had some bad luck as evidenced by his BABIP of only .167, he struck out 33% of his at-bats. Not only that but he looked lost at the plate many times, and when he made contact he usually made weak contact, so do not put too much stock into his low BABIP.
While the Dodgers have struggled to hit with runners in scoring position as a team, Van Slyke also had his struggles with only one hit in seven tries. Even though most of his starts came against left-handed starters, he did not get a single hit off of a right-handed pitcher last month. He went 0-7 against them.
About the only thing Van Slyke did do well in April playing defense. In his 35 innings playing the outfield, Van Slyke did not commit a single error in April. The problem with that is Van Slyke is not on the team to be a defensive specialist because he is supposed to mash lefties. Due to his poor hitting performance in the first month of the season Van Slyke gets an F grade.