Dodgers: Grading the Outfield for the Month of April

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Apr 25, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Cody Bellinger (35), center fielder Andrew Toles (60) and right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrate after the win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Cody Bellinger (35), center fielder Andrew Toles (60) and right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrate after the win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Los Angeles Dodgers
Apr 22, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Scott Van Slyke (33) reacts to a close call at first base resulting in a third out in the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The call was overturned and Van Slyke scored a run. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

F. . Left Field. . Scott Van Slyke

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.

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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.

Next: April Rotation Grades

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.

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