Dodgers: Searching for the Dodgers’ Next Lefty Masher
The Dodgers have been linked to AJ Pollock and J.T. Realmuto as they seek to balance out their lineup. If the Dodgers want a lefty masher they will need to look elsewhere.
The Dodgers lineup is looking a bit lefty heavy after dealing away Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. The current Dodger OF would be some combination of Joc Pederson and Taylor/Hernandez in left, Cody Bellinger in center, and Alex Verdugo in right field. There is still moves coming but if the Dodgers are indeed interested in Bryce Harper, they will likely seek another right-handed bat to help balance their lineup against left-handed pitching.
Two players that the Dodgers have been linked to besides Harper are AJ Pollock and J.T. Realmuto. While both players hit from the right side, neither have been that great against southpaw pitching. Over the past three seasons, Realmuto has hit just .236 against lefties with only nine of his forty-nine home runs over the last three seasons coming against a left-handed pitching.
AJ Pollock is another outfielder who has been linked to the Dodgers if LA decides to be more creative with their money rather than spending it all on Bryce Harper. Pollock is the classic example of the “if only he stayed healthy” player. Pollock has missed a ton of games over the last few seasons but when healthy is a borderline MVP candidate.
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Pollock has had decent power numbers against lefties the last three seasons hitting 16 of his 38 home runs against southpaws but he has hit just .246 against them. That is lower than his .268 average against right-handed pitching. While Pollock would boost the Dodgers outfield defense when he is on the field, he may not help them against left-handed pitching.
The one player the Dodgers have been linked to multiple times this winter that would help mash lefties is former Rockie DJ LeMahieu. Over his last three seasons, DJ has hit .340 off lefties and posted an OPS of .929. Not only would his bat help, but LeMahieu is one of the best defensive second baseman in the game and would boost the Dodger infield defense. He would also free up Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez to play the outfield when a southpaw is on the mound.
While any former Rockie is going to get scrutinized for playing at Coors Field, LeMahieu has actually shown plenty of power on the road. Over the past three seasons, LeMahieu has hit 20 of his 34 home runs away from the hitter heaven known as Coors Field. The Dodgers have also been linked to Nick Castellanos but his defense is atrocious. If LA wants to find a lefty masher to balance out their lineup, and keep a strong defense, then perhaps DJ LeMahieu is their man.