The Dodgers OF glut

By: coachemup!

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Outfield Glut

From a quantity standpoint, the Los Angeles Dodgers are set in the outfield. Their depth chart includes Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Andrew Toles, Andre Ethier, Trayce Thompson and Scott Van Slyke.

Pederson, who turns 25 in April, hit 25 home runs last season and has the speed and on-base capabilities to evolve into a star player despite his .224 career MLB average.

After that, it's a disconcerting jumble.

Puig is just 26 years old and possesses five-tool potential, but he's a mercurial enigma whose future with the Dodgers was recently in grave danger

Toles is a great story, but he's got a grand total of 115 big league plate appearances under his belt and was briefly out of baseball and working in a grocery store in 2015.

Ethier broke his leg in spring training and wound up posting a .208/.269/.375 slash line in 16 games. Thompson showed flashes in an 80-game stint but dealt with a back injury and hit .225. Van Slyke posted an identical .225 average in 52 games.

"There are only so many at-bats to go around," Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts said, per's Doug Padilla. "As we sit here with six or possibly seven guys who are major league players, those at-bats are hard to divvy up right now."

Assuming Los Angeles doesn't deal away and/or trade for an outfielder before the start of spring, who emerges?

Toles looks like the front-runner in left field, provided his .314/.365/.505 slash line wasn't a mirage. 

In right, it'll likely come down to Puig and Ethier. The latter turns 35 in April but was a solid contributor in 2015, hitting .294 with 14 home runs.

Don't count out Puig, however. He posted a .900 OPS with four home runs in the season's final month. The Dodgers would also benefit from his success no matter what.

Either Puig starts raking again and helps them win or he puts up strong numbers and they trade him for a significant haul at the deadline or next winter.

Prediction: The Dodgers begin the season with Toles in left, Pederson in center, Puig in right and Ethier and Thompson as the fourth and fifth outfielders.





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