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Numbers Suggest Dodgers Will Be A More Patient Team In 2015



Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Looking at Ramirez’s .369 OBP, it’s surprising that he only saw 3.79 pitches per plate appearance last season. Rollins saw 4.15 pitches per plate appearance, which would’ve ranked eighth in MLB among qualified players. However, his OBP of .323 is a steep drop-off from Ramirez’s, mainly because of the difference in their batting averages.

Rollins drew more walks than Ramirez (64 to 56), but that’s largely due to him getting almost 100 more chances at the plate. Replacing Ramirez’s bat isn’t expected from Rollins, but he needs to continue taking pitches and drawing walks at the high level he did in 2014 in order to maximize his offensive value.

After a disappointing first half, Kemp seemingly dominated every pitcher that had the unfortunate task of pitching to him after the All-Star break. From mid-July through the end of the regular season, Kemp drew 23 walks and posted a .365 OBP in 263 plate appearances.

For comparison, he drew 29 walks and posted a .330 OBP in 336 plate appearances during the first half; a far cry from his production in almost 100 more plate appearances than he received in the second half. If the 2011 Kemp is indeed back, it will be hard watching him succeed in San Diego, but that’s yet to be determined as the Joc Pederson era looms.

Before his cup of coffee with the Dodgers, Pederson drew an incredible 100 walks in 553 plate appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque, totaling to a .435 OBP. When he was called up to the Dodgers in September, he didn’t hit much but still drew nine walks in only 38 plate appearances, accumulating to a .351 OBP.

As a result, Pederson saw 4.39 pitches per plate appearances, which would’ve been the third-best among qualified batters only behind Mike Trout and Brett Gardner. While that’s obviously a small sample size, it’s not far-fetched to think he can see that many pitches per plate appearance throughout the duration of a full season.

Pederson’s career .401 OBP and 460 strikeouts in the Minors show that he’s usually seeing a minimum of four pitches each time he steps into the batter’s box. Even if Pederson fails to match Kemp’s power numbers, his tremendous plate patience will be a nice consolation prize in the Dodgers’ lineup.

It’s not a coincidence that each player acquired this offseason has the tendency to see many pitches during a plate appearance. Even if the power has lessened, expect pitchers to throw more pitches than needed per inning because of the overall improved plate discipline in the lineup.

Clearly, this was an aspect of Friedman’s definition for a “highly functional” team, along with solid defense and leadership in the clubhouse.

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Written by Staff Writer

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