Logan Forsythe has struggled at times this year but currently, holds the starting second baseman role. This offseason the Dodgers will have to decide whether to pick up his team option.
Forsythe was brought over by the Dodgers before the season in the deal that sent Jose De Leon to the Tampa Bay Rays. Although his stats are not eye-popping, he has been a very steady glue guy that the Dodgers hoped for when they brought him in to stabilize second base.
Despite a .241 batting average, Forsythe has played steady defense wherever Los Angeles has played him and has a .984 fielding percentage overall. Forsythe has appeared all over the infield at every position except shortstop, although he has played there in the past.
Forsythe has also been a big reason LA is now able to hit left-handed pitchers, which is something they struggled to do last season. Against southpaws, Forsythe is hitting .308 with an OBP over .400 and an OPS over .900.
Despite his struggles against right-handed pitchers, his ability to hit left-handers makes him valuable to the Dodgers, especially since the front office loves to play matchups. Many believe Chris Taylor will be the starting second baseman next season but with the demotion of Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor is now the starting center fielder.
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There is no doubt that the Dodgers have an abundance of young talent, but there are still many questions about who will start where in 2018.
The only cemented positions for 2018 are Justin Turner at third base, Corey Seager at shortstop, Yasmani Grandal at catcher and Yasiel Puig in right field. After that, there are a lot of different scenarios.
Chris Taylor could start in left field, center field or second base. Cody Bellinger could start at first base if Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t get better by next year, or he could start in left field or center field just as Chris Taylor could.
It is also probable that the Dodgers will give Alex Verdugo a shot to win an outfield spot next spring training, with center field being the most likely position for him. Joc Pederson has been demoted, but I would not count him out yet; he could bounce back and reclaim center field next spring.
Forsythe has a nine million dollar club option for the 2018 season, and the Dodgers should pick up his option. While nine million may seem like a lot for Forsythe if he isn’t the starting second baseman next year, it’s a luxury a rich team like the Dodgers could afford to have.
Looking at the list of possible utility players for next season, there are not many options that are exciting. Howie Kendrick is the only feasible starter/utility player available, but he may not want to return to LA after the Dodgers forced him to play left field and ultimately dealt him to the Phillies. Logan Forsythe could start at second base in 2018 or be a top-tier backup who can start for an extended period if an injury arises.
It’s important to remember that Justin Turner has always had knee problems and turns 33 years old next season. The Dodgers would like to give him at least one day off a week, and Forsythe has proven to be the second-best defensive third baseman on the team.
Chase Utley is also 38 years old, so this could end up being his last season. Kike Hernandez could play the infield, but he starts against lefties in center field most of the time and is the primary backup shortstop.
Willie Calhoun was once presumed to be the second baseman of the future, but he was dealt at the trade deadline for Yu Darvish. With the future of Pederson and Gonzalez up in the air, the Dodgers need to bring Forsythe back. With all the questions Los Angeles will carry into next year, they could have a strong safety net in Forsythe.