Buster Olney Details How The Dodgers Are Wrecking Teams Offensively


The Los Angeles Dodgers have been getting some national attention for their new offensive approach. Of course, the Dodgers have a new hitting coach in wunderkind Robert Van Scoyoc. Furthermore, it helps when you run out of the gates scoring eight runs per ballgame.

Now, Buster Olney writes over at ESPN Insider about the focus behind the Dodgers’ hitting philosophy. In a word, it’s very interesting and in-depth.

Have you felt like the Dodgers are making better contact this season? Indeed, they are doing just that.

But the greatest evidence of change — the manifestation of the effort to improve — is in the next-level metrics. The Dodgers’ early-season swing-and-miss rate is 7.8 percent, the second-best rate in baseball and about half of what it was in 2017. The team’s contact rate on pitches in the zone is 81.4 percent, the second-best in the majors. And the Dodgers — those guys who seemed to hack at everything the Red Sox threw last fall — have swung at the lowest percentage of pitches out of the zone, at 23.6 percent. That’s the best in the majors.

Moreover, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Olney writes that two plans of attack are offered for the Dodgers’ position players. This is where it gets interesting.

Every day, veteran catcher Russell Martin said, each of the Dodgers’ position players is presented with two plans — first, a teamwide approach against the opposing staff, and second, an individualized plan of attack. The rate at which the Dodgers’ staff has been accurate in predicting how opposing pitchers will work has been remarkable, in Martin’s experienced eyes.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Martin said. “It’s another level.

“It’s like having to pass a test — but you’re getting all of the answers ahead of time.”

Obviously – this is an intelligent and unique approach – derived by the man I will start dubbing as ‘RVS’. Certainly, Van Scoyoc is an incredible and brilliant addition to the club offensively. His unique approach and teaching has already shown adjustments being made by the likes of Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes.

The sky is the limit for the Dodgers’ offense in 2019. I truly believe they may be only scratching the surface.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.


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  1. As usual too many people jump to conclusions. Why automatically think this is the new super power house? Many teams in the past including the Dodgers have started off with a bang and then soured and failed, look at how many times the Angels have done that. These last few games are not what the Dodgers started off to be. Yes they will bounce back but give them a lot of hoopla just let it play out at least until September, that’s when we start to bite our finger nails. Then we wonder, are they going to make the playoffs, are they going to falter?

  2. I was curious if it was all fake or legit. I figured we’d find out once they faced a good team with pitching and as it turns out they just took advantage of poor pitching. Also probably didn’t help how the media has been slobbering all over this team during their offensive tear and exposing their strategy like this Buster jag off

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