Scott Van Slyke, OF/1B
Scott has been a part of the Dodgers organization since his 2012 rookie season. He’s been mainly utilized in a pinch-hitting role and as a backup outfielder or first baseman for his entire career. But has he been a productive one?
In the lone year that Van Slyke had a respectable season (2014), he was an intricate part of the Dodgers bench. That season Van Slyke hit .297 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 98 games. Those are quality numbers coming off the bench and taking an occasional spot start for Adrian Gonzalez. But since then? Let’s just say it’s been a whole lot of nothing from Van Slyke.
In his last three seasons (2015-2017) in a bench role with the Dodgers, Van Slyke is hitting .195 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 365 at-bats. If you add that to the amount of time he’s spent on the DL because of reoccurring injuries, he’s lost his worth to the Dodgers. Yet, Dave Roberts still gave Scotty a roster spot coming out of spring training to open the year.
So why does a trade make sense? Despite his underachieving production with the Dodgers the last three seasons, Van Slyke is still an MLB talent that could prove valuable for another club. Both Van Slyke and the Dodger could both benefit from a change of scenery.
For the Dodgers, they could reasonably get a lower tier minor leaguer to either use as an asset of build up on their farm system. For Van Slyke, he could benefit by possibly having an opportunity to play every day. While I don’t think many teams would value Van Slyke as an everyday first baseman or outfielder, his power upside presence enough of an upside for a team to take a flyer on him.
Van Slyke is 30-years old and soon to be 31. He doesn’t demand much on the payroll and is only under contract until the end of this season. I think he can find a new home and make something out of the back end of his career.