The Los Angeles Dodgers have a ton of fantasy potential, like in most seasons. Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in fantasy baseball and will likely be a top 5 pick in most leagues. Yasiel Puig is a top 10 outfielder and top 30 player. Kenley Jansen was among the elite closers before his foot injury. An injury that is likely to keep him out out two to three months. There are a couple interesting names mentioned by SB Nation’s True Blue LA, who could be worth a flier at the end of drafts as possible replacements including Joel Peralta and J.P. Howell.
Outside of the closer role, some questions surround this team, including who will patrol their outfield and what their new additions could look like?
Four guys for three spots:
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a crowded outfield as it stands now and that is after sending Matt Kemp two hours south to their division foes, the San Diego Padres. Yasiel Puig is a top 10 outfielder who should play basically every day. The other two spots seem to be up for grabs. Three guys are in the mix for those starts: Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Joc Pederson.
Carl Crawford (ADP 263.8)
Since leaving Tampa Bay, Carl Crawford has been unable to fend off the injury bug, including averaging just over 100 games a season during his stint with the Dodgers. Crawfords numbers improved rather impressively after the all star break. His batting average, on base percentage and slugging all increased pretty significantly. Not coincidentally, his steals and runs totals went up being on base more. Crawford would be interesting assuming he gets consistent playing time and stays healthy.
Andre Ethier (ADP 446.7)
Andre Ethier’s numbers fell off last season and ended up losing starts in the second half of the season. He is still aiming for starts this season but its not looking likely. Either seems like the piece the Dodgers would want to move, however he is owed $18 million over each of the next two seasons. The Dodgers would likely have to eat a good part of salary if they want to move him.
Joc Pederson (ADP 202.8)
Joc Pederson has had owners in dynasty leagues salivating for some time. The 22 year came up last season for a cup of coffee, but should make his full season debut this year. All indications having Pederson making the big league club out of spring training. He can and should be the starting center fielder for the Dodgers. It makes the most sense defensively but who knows what Don Mattingly has in store for this season.
Pederson intrigues me most of the three, especially if he gets 500 plus plate appearances. The price he could cost may go higher than I’m willing to spend with not a ton of clarification on the roles. Crawford is a late round flier I may target as a lottery ticket with upside.
Infield Additions and Subtractions:
The Dodgers middle infield went through a major transition this winter. Out goes Hanley Ramirez, who is headed to Boston, and in comes not one but two players, Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick. Rollins should slot into the leadoff position most days. Kendrick likely hits in the middle of the order, in the 5 hole most days. Both have the potential to be useful this season. Despite Rollins being on the back end of his career, he should produce runs and steal 25-30 bases. As for Kendrick, he should be a solid option at second base this season, in the top 10-12. He should hit just under .300, with 70ish RBI and 8ish home runs.
Yasmani Grandal was acquired in the deal that sent Matt Kemp to San Diego. Grandal is an interesting fantasy option this season. He will split catching duties with veteran A.J. Ellis. Grandal makes more sense for deeper leagues or two catcher leagues. If he can assume the lead role his value could increase rather significantly.
Stay tuned to the Dodgers spring training news for further clarification on what the line up and closer role could look like this season.
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