Dodgers: Who Has Been the Biggest Surprise Player of 2020 According to Fans

Which player won the vote for most pleasant surprise of the season?

The Dodgers once again lead the National League in wins, but which Dodger player has been the most pleasant surprise?

The resurgent A.J. Pollock? The power hitting Corey Seager? Austin Barnes back from the dead? All three players have outplayed expectations this year, but whose performance has been the most surprising?

Twitter hath spoken.

3. Austin Barnes

Barnes followed his breakout 2017 season with back-to-back seasons of barely hitting above .200 (.204). The former everyday catcher all but slumped his way off of the Dodgers roster as the rookie Will Smith gobbled up his playing time.

After a slow start again this year, Barnes heated up in August and had a stretch where he collected RBI in four straight games.

  • 2019: .203/.293/.340
  • 2020: .269/.324/.358
  • August 2020: .313/.358/.417

Even more surprising, Barnes had an eight game hit streak that temporarily pushed his season average above .300 (currently .269). Barnes hitting above .300, if only for a fleeting moment, was something nobody expected to see in 2020.

2. Corey Seager

Not even the most optimistic Dodger fan could’ve predicted Seager hitting .331 through 35 games and joining the 2020 NL MVP conversation.

For the first time since 2017, Seager is healthy and it shows:

  • Exit Velocity: 93.9 MPH (Career high)
  • Slugging: .634 (Career High)
  • Isolated Power: .303 (Career High)
  • Weighted On-Base Average: .420 (Career High)
  • Weighted Runs Created Plus: 168 (Second highest)

At this point, it’s a surprise when Seager doesn’t hit a home run or a double in the gap.

1. A.J. Pollock

After a horrendous 2019, Pollock seemed destined to join the likes of Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt as another expensive free agent bust. Missing 64 games with a growth plate infection, the former Gold Glover struggled in the field (-7.2 UZR) and in the box (21.6 K%).

Fast forward to 2020 where you can make the argument that Pollock is the Dodger’s third best hitter behind Mookie Betts and Corey Seager. He’s mashed his way to the second highest OPS of his career (.852) and owns a ridiculous 1.007 OPS against left handed pitching this year.

His gaudy splits against lefties (.359/.366.641) provide protection for the left-handed heavy Dodger lineup. Something they’ll need more than ever with Justin Turner still out with a hamstring injury.

Throw in his superb pinch hitting this year (.429 BA,2 2B,1 HR) and you have your biggest surprise of the season. 

Do you agree with the poll results?

Dodgers: Corey Seager Continues to Have an MVP-Caliber Season

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  1. What a great season for Pollock, Seager, and Barnes. Glad to see all three get healthy and play to their potential.
    I live in AZ so I was happy the Dodgers signed Pollock and was a little disheartened when he had the injury bug again last year. Pollock as he has shown can be a dynamic player. I wish they would give him some at-bats against right-handed pitchers he can hit them too!
    Seager was finally healthy this winter so I expected a comeback year. He has been better than anyone could expect. He may be the Team MVP this year.
    Barnes, for me, is the biggest surprise as he has been terrible offensively the last couple of years. Help from Mookie Betts and the coaching staff finally broke through. The Catching position is not a black hole this year offensively which is a very good thing.
    Now if the Dodgers can get 2nd base to contribute they will be even better!

  2. Our impression of Pollock was colored by his horrible post season. In the regular season his OPS was just a tick under .800 so he wasn’t bad, just a hair above average. This year, you could argue he has been the Dodgers most consistent clutch player. I think Seager is motivated by the fact that he went from star to afterthought with the emergence of Bellinger and the arrival of Betts. Plus he is healthy for the first time in three years. The Dodgers would not be 30-12 if they hadn’t stepped up for Bellinger and Muncy and Pedersen this year.