The Los Angeles Dodgers pride themselves in their depth. At the beginning of the season, the Dodgers were attached to many of the top free-agent shortstops. Instead, they filled the position in-house. The starting shortstop initially was given to Gavin Lux whose season ended after an injury during spring training.
After the injury, the front office gave the starting position to their backup shortstop, Miguel Rojas. Initially, he was traded to bolster the infield depth. Since the start of the season, the Dodgers have fielded three different players at the position because of low productivity and injuries.
The Dodgers also traded for Amed Rosario and brought back Kiké Hernández as infield backup. In order for the Dodgers to maintain their two-game lead for first in the National League, they need to play their best options at the position.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Shortstop Situation for the Rest of the Season
For the purpose of keeping it interesting, Mookie Betts will be excluded from the analysis since he is great at everything he does. I will choose from Rosario, Rojas, Taylor, and Hernandez.
In order to decide who the Dodgers need to start at shortstop, let’s examine each player’s offense, defense, and wins above replacements (WAR). For a player to stand out, he must excel in the majority of aspects.
Here are the answers:
For the purpose of the analysis, I asked Chat GPT to identify the one offensive stat that matters when it comes to baseball. Chat answered with OPS, on-base + slugging. In this category, Taylor leads the group with an OPS of .724.
Taylor has lowered his strikeouts as the season progresses from 30 a month to 13. He has 12 home runs, is batting .214, and has 33 runs batted in.
Taylor batted .244 in the month of July, showing improvement from the beginning of the season.
For defensive analysis, I asked Chat GPT to identify the one defensive stat that matters when it comes to baseball. Chat answered with OAA, outs above average. Miguel Rojas edged out Taylor by one point.
Rojas’ trade back to the Dodgers was driven by his defensive skills and flexibility. Rojas would easily be the starting shortstop in any team not contending, but for the Dodgers, his skills would be best as a defensive sub later in games to maintain a lead. His leadership and years in the league help the young rookies, but it’s not enough to make him the everyday shortstop.
To break the tie, I looked at each player’s wins above replacement, which Taylor edged out Rojas by .1 point. It was a close match, but according to Chat GPT’s most important stats when it comes to offense and defense, Chris Taylor should be the starting shortstop going forward in the season.
Taylor won the role by .1 point, but if Mookie would have been taken into consideration, he should be the starting shortstop because of his OPS and his WAR. The only category where he lost was his OAA. Betts has a -2 outs above average. His skills are needed in right field.
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