Scott Van Slyke was drafted in 2005 by the Dodgers and made his major league debut in 2012 for the team. He played in 27 games, but was designated for assignment in December; however, he remained in the Dodger organization and came into the season as a Triple-A starter.
Regular Season Grade: B-
Van Slyke finished the season batting .240 with seven home runs and 19 RBI in 53 games with the Dodgers. He was first recalled to the team in May and split the season with the Dodgers and their Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes. He was optioned and recalled five times, but came up for good on September 1.
The 27-year-old played every outfield position and spent a few games at first base. He became a source of Dodgers power early in the season as he hit six home runs in his first 19 games with the team. He hit just one in his final 34 games; however, that one home run was a two-run walk-off home run against the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks on September 10.
The right-handed slugger provided a boost early in the season when the team was struggling with power and scoring runs. Van Slyke handled the up-and-down between teams very well and was productive in limited time.
Playoff Grade: A+
Although Van Slyke didn’t receive a single at-bat in the postseason, he provided one of the highlights of the playoffs when he engaged in a stand-off with Cardinals’ pitcher Joe Kelly before Game 6 of the NLCS. Van Slyke remained on the field after the national anthem in his stance challenging Kelly, who would usually wait to be the last one off the field. The stand-off continued until the home plate umpire told both players to clear the field. Kelly flinched first and Van Slyke was the “winner” of the stand-0ff.
As for on-field play, Van Slyke came on as a defensive replacement late in two games but did not impact the game on the field.
Overall Grade: B-
Van Slyke came back from being left off the 40-man roster last December to become a serviceable player this season. He was one of the few that played well early in the season before the team jelled and went on the 42-8 run.
There may not be room on the roster for Van Slyke next season, depending on what the Dodgers do this off-season, but if he does return it will be as a backup first baseman and outfielder and a power bat off the bench.
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