One of the Los Angeles Dodgers biggest surprises so far in this young season has been the production of their rookies. Among them is Joc Pederson, who is second on the team with seven home runs and a .421 on-base percentage.
However, arguably even more of a surprise is the production that has come from part-time player, Alex Guerrero. In limited opportunities, the Cuban utility man hit five home runs and drove in 13 runs in his first 21 at-bats this season. Guerrero batted .423 with a 1.077 slugging percentage in the month of April, which was good enough to earn him National League Rookie of the Month honors.
While he had a very hot April, the 28-year-old has since cooled off a bit as he only has one hit in his last 13 at-bats. According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News, Guerrero knows that pitchers are beginning to adjust to him, and that while he is keeping the same mentality at the plate, he needs to adjust as well:
Pitchers are going to try to start adjusting to what I’m able to do,” he said through an interpreter. “They’ve obviously been watching more video than they were able to before. I have to start adjusting to what they’re going to give me.”
Guerrero’s .333 batting average is second on the team, his five home runs rank third and he’s fourth with 13 RBIs in only eight starts. He also leads the NL with four pinch hits and two pinch-hit homers.
While Guerrero is still left without a starting position, recent injuries to Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig have led to him seeing more time in left field, in addition to his occasional starts at third base to give Juan Uribe a day off.
Whereas Guerrero’s hot bat once made it unfathomable that manager Don Mattingly didn’t have him in the lineup, Guerrero’s playing time moving forward could largely hinge on his ability to make necessary adjustments.
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