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Dodgers: Don’t Forget About Andrew Toles

April 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Andrew Toles (60) runs after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With a roster loaded with left-handed bats and outfielders, it is easy to forget about Andrew Toles being in the mix. Yes, he is still on the 40-man roster and yes, he has a shot to make the big club out of Spring Training in 2019.

We are not far removed from when he started the 2017 campaign off with a bang, crushing 5 homers and posting a .271/.314/.458 over 102 plate appearances. Of course, Toles’ season was lost when he tore his ACL trying to make a diving catch to preserve a Julio Urias no-hitter.

In his first taste of the MLB back in 2016, Toles emerged as one of the Dodgers’ most reliable bats, and it is simply a shame that we have forgotten about it. He hit .314/.365/.505 with a 131 wRC+ over 115 plate appearances that season. It is important to note that most of his at-bats came against right-handed pitching, but when considering that it will be all he is needed for in 2019, it is completely fine. The Dodgers simply do not need Toles to play every single day.

In 2018, he returned from injury for a short stint with the club, logging 30 plate appearances. I do not put much stock in a .233/.281/.300 line with that sample size, especially because he was coming off of one of the biggest injuries an athlete can sustain.

Analysis

Toles brings some speed, which is always valuable, and I have yet to lose faith in his bat. He is still just 26 years old, which is crazy to think about. That is the same age as Joc Pederson, who was constantly given opportunities to work his way out of slumps. Toles has never really been afforded that kind of treatment by Dave Roberts, even when he was healthy.

If he can show out in Spring Training, there is a substantial role out there for him with the Dodgers. A .286/.333/.459 career line and 110 wRC+, mixed in with solid defense, makes for a solid bench option.

With Toles’ AAA roommate Alex Verdugo pushing for everyday at-bats, there is a cap on Toles’ potential playing time. However, he should be granted an opportunity to carve out semi-consistent at-bats in the Dodgers’ outfield against RHP.

Toles will rebound. Betting against him would be absolutely stupid, considering the mountains he has already climbed in not just his career, but his life. He came back from a major injury, returned to professional baseball after working at Kroger’s, and has battled anxiety. Winning a job out of Spring Training is nothing to Andrew Toles.

I’m hoping Andrew can prove me right and I have complete faith that he will.

Let’s see if he can create moments like this in 2019!

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Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics and Broadcast Journalism dual major at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

6 Comments

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  1. I like Toles, but I think he will be playing for another team before Spring Training. Options: part of a package for Realmuto; or, Kluber; or, Castellanos; or, Renfroe; or, ???

  2. I agree Toles is a great prospect and I am hoping he gets a fair chance this Spring. He has a lot more potential than Pederson in my opinion.

    I disagree with CoCalBum on this and I usually completely agree with him. A trade for Realmuto, Kluber, etc is not happening….This is basically the team they are opening with.

    They have money and prospects to adjust if the team is not competing to win the NL West against very little competition, later in the season.

    The Dodgers have the potential to be better than the 2018 record as, barring major injuries, it will be the same team that was around .590 last quarter of the year. I think the swap of Puig and Kemp for Verdugo and Toles is a net gain. As this article states people forget just how good defensively Toles is and actually Verdugo is the same. Both have very good speed with cannon arms and will probably hit the cut off man more often.

    • Toles would also be just another platoon player and with this roster full of guys who have difficulties hitting either RHP and certainly LHP, this is where this team currently stands and as of right now anyway, This Dodger team in 2019 is NOT even in the ballpark with the teams in 2017 and 2018.

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