Andrew Toles has been nothing but dominant after returning from the disabled list back in June. The OKC Dodgers outfielder had been out since April 13th.
On the evening of July 8th, 2016, Andrew Toles made his major league debut at Petco Park. He faced fire-baller Andrew Cashner, where he went 1-4 with a double. After that game, Toles never looked back, finishing the season with a .314 average. In addition, he slugged three home runs, including a grand slam, alongside 16 RBI’s.
Fast forward to 2017, the next season, Toles makes the cut for the Dodgers Opening Day starting lineup. The surging lefty hitter was the Dodgers leadoff hitter that season. He showed not only the fans but manager Dave Roberts that he belongs in the big leagues.
On May 9th of that season, while tracking down a fly ball to the left-field corner, Toles misses the ball and falls down immediately. In obvious pain, Roberts and trainers rush to the wall to check on Toles. At this point, things aren’t looking good at all for the surging left fielder. He went on to miss the remainder of the 2017 season with a torn ACL.
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Oklahoma City has been the home for Toles in 2018. Due to an injury early on this year, he missed some time but was activated from the DL early in June. While playing in just 30 games and seeing the plate 129 times, he is hitting .339. Toles is seeing the ball very well and seems to be back to his old ways.
Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, the Dodgers have a full outfield, to say the least. With Kemp in left, Joc in center, and Puig in right there really isn’t much room for Toles. In addition to those three, Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and even Cody Bellinger occasionally play anywhere in the outfield. In order to give guys like Turner and Kemp days off, it is important to have utility guys like Hernandez available.
So now we ask ourselves, what is next for Andrew Toles? At this point, there is really nothing Toles is doing wrong. The Dodgers front office knows how well he is producing. God forbid the Dodgers happen to face multiple injuries, I have a hard time seeing Toles back in a Dodgers uniform this season (Los Angeles Dodgers that is).
Approaching his prime years as a professional baseball player, Toles has plenty of quality baseball left in him. As we get closer and closer to the trade deadline, other teams will notice him. Toles could most definitely be a top-tier trade piece, just like Willie Calhoun was last year in the Darvish deal.
The twenty-six-year-old also has big league experience as well as big league post-season experience. General Manager’s and front offices will notice that and appreciate his accomplishments. Obviously, the Dodgers are looking for an additional bullpen piece before the first of August, Toles could potentially be the man on the other side of the deal.