The Los Angeles Dodgers uncovered a real gem when they hired Robert Van Scoyoc to be their hitting coach this past offseason. Obviously, Los Angeles’ current success is due in part to the philosophy and strategy employed by Van Scoyoc. Currently, the Dodgers rank fourth in team hitting in baseball and first in the National league. After losing Turner Ward to Cincinnati in the winter, it was key for this unit to remain stable to have a chance to compete for a third straight World Series appearance.
Now, Von Scoyoc is profiled by Pedro Moura over at The Athletic. Furthermore, the two are talking over some of the brains behind what we see on-screen game over game in regards to the Dodgers’ approach in the box.
First off, Van Scoyoc never comes to the case of a new hitter without extensive knowledge of the player he will be working with.
“I know where he was drafted, how his career went in the minor leagues, what he’s been good at, where he’s struggled, his strengths and weaknesses,”
This is both important, and interesting. By going off the next thing Van Scoyoc says, it seems like a lot of new personnel arrives in a big league city with a team trying to learn him on the fly. Right now, with Van Scoyoc and the boys at the helm; that’s not the case.
“There’s a little bit quicker of a learning curve that we have than the average big-league hitting coach, who is reading a scouting report and going off reputation and other people’s opinions. We have our own opinions formed on these guys, and I think that makes it a lot easier.”
Recently, Sports Illustrated said the Dodgers have one of the deepest benches in the history of the game; statistically speaking. Therefore, many rookies have shuttled up and down from AAA to the big league roster and contributed as reserves. Equally important, Van Scoyoc isn’t trying to change who they are when they get to the big stage.
“You don’t want guys to come up here and learn new ways of doing things. They should be prepared. To me, that’s the whole point of player development. And we still view this as player development.”
Time and again, hitters have glowed when talking about working with Van Scoyoc and associates. If the Los Angeles Dodgers fall short of the ultimate goal in 2019, it won’t be because of the lack of quality work by their hitting coach.