There’s been little drama or intrigue this spring in Dodgers camp. There have been minimal injuries and very few camp battles. Most of the roster is set with the exception of left field. It’s a continuous fight between five players. Matt Kemp, Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo and Trayce Thompson are all playing for the starting left field job. As of this moment Matt Kemp version 2.0 seems to have the edge over everyone else. But anything is possible between now and opening day on March 29.
So far Kemp has impressed with his powerful bat. He showed up to camp in great physical shape and it looks like all of the hard work he’s done is paying off. Kemp is batting .379 (11 for 29) this spring with 4 home runs (leading the club) and 7 runs batted in. Most importantly he’s struck out just five times in 29 at-bats. Defense will always be a concern with him, but as long as he’s serviceable out in the field then his bat will more than make up for his defensive shortcomings.
Of course Andrew Toles is a fine mix of athleticism, range, and speed. That doesn’t mean that Toles doesn’t have power, because he certainly does. Toles has had a good spring as well. He’s batting .355 (11 for 29) with 2 home runs and 9 runs batted in. He looks completely healed from the knee injury that cost him most of the 2017 season.
Two of the other players, Alex Verdugo and Tracye Thompson have hit well, but with little or no power. Verdugo is a young toolsy prospect, whom many believe is ready to break out. He’s batted .333 (9 for 27) with 2 home runs and 9 runs batted in over 14 games this spring. Thompson, (who is out of options) has batted .320 (8 for 25) but has driven in only one run and has yet to hit a home run in spring. We all know that spring numbers don’t mean much, but Thompson has zero extra-base hits this spring. It’s amazing that Thompson is even able to play at all considering he had to overcome fractures in his back.
And then there’s Joc Pederson. The former starting center fielder has not played well and has not had much playing time lately. Joc is batting a paltry .152 (5 for 33) with 9 strikeouts in 12 games. Joc has really fallen far on the depth chart and on hard times.
So I wanted to post a poll and see what you guys are thinking. Who do you think will be the starting left fielder? Vote Now! Or receive a visit from P.Diddy. Now get in that polling booth! I mean open your browsers and clickity-click.