The Dodgers have been one of the worst offensive clubs in the majors through the first 11 games of the 2018 baseball season. They’re 21 out of the 30 clubs in batting, 25th in on-base percentage, and have scored just 39 runs ranking them 25th overall and 12th out of the 15 National League teams. However there’s one player who is not part of the mess that’s been the Dodger’s offense this season and that is catcher Yasmani Grandal. The switch-hitting backstop has gotten off to a torrid start to the new campaign.
Grandal was 3 for 4 with a home run and two extra-base hits on Tuesday during the Dodger’s 16-6 drubbing from the Oakland A’s. So far Grandal has played in nine games and is slashing .375/.444/.625 (12 for 32) across 36 plate appearances. He’s the only Dodger to have hit more than one home run this year. He’s hit two and currently leads the team.
Grandal is also tied for the team lead in runs batted in (5) and extra-base hits (4). He’s recorded four multi-hit games and hits safely in six of his nine games as well. Obviously the veteran backstop isn’t going to bat .375 all season but thus far he’s been one of the only Dodger hitters who have actually been productive. He’s only waked four times which is unusual for the normally patient slugger, but that’s fine by me considering how great he’s been raking the ball.
ZIPS projections predicts Grandal to post a 111 wRC+ with 2 home runs and a .330 OBP. So far Grandal has a line drive percentage of 18.2%. In 2017 he recorded a line drive percentage of 16.5%. Perhaps he’s seeing the ball better which is resulting in him hitting the ball harder. Despite drawing just four free passes, he’s not swinging at many balls outside the strike zone too. Last season he had a 31.6% O-swing mark. So far this season he’s posted a 24.1% O-swing rate.
The Dodger bats may be in a season long funk, but Yasmani Grandal has not been part of the problem thus far. When Grandal goes on a tear nobody can pitch to him. Here’s hoping we see many more bat drops in the coming weeks. Keep on slugging YAS!