Let’s just assume for a minute that the Dodgers are done. I mean done with deals this off-sesaon. No more acquisitions, trades or free agent signings. It’s over. This is the team with which they will start the season. Should we afraid or should we be excited? I guess it depends upon your perspective. Are a “glass half full person” or a “glass half empty” person? Before you answer that, let me ask a question “Do you think young players get better with experience and maturity?”
- Joc Pedersonis 24 years old. He has hit 51 HR before he is 25. Yes, a number of players have done that, but not too many. Is it possible that Joc gets better with another year under his belt? I think so. He a good kid from a strong family and is a hard worker. I think he will be better and some Bum wants him to hit higher in the lineup… how about leadoff? That would be interesting…
- CanCorey Seagerget any better or will he be a sophomore jinx candidate? He was extremely good last year and I expect improvement again this year. He’s special.
- We saw a glimpse ofAndrew Toleslast year and most liked what they saw, although it was a small sampling. Can he improve incrementally this year? Maybe…
- Trayce Thompsonhit 13 HR in 262 AB’s and then suffered a broken back. It was not as bad as it sounded, but he missed considerable time and is still rehabbing. He’s an athlete and almost 26 years old. He could be a nice player, but it’s early and he has to show that he can do it. I have reason to believe that he can. But will he?
- Next is the enigma by the name ofYasiel Puig. This dude has the ability to be one of the best players in baseball but he can also crash and burn. There might not be any middle ground. FAZ appears to be giving him every opportunity to realize that potential. I hope he can. I believe he can, but I fear he is too big of a knucklehead and I really wish I am wrong! I would love to see Puig reach his potential and feed me huge helping of crow.
- A guy I do believe will get better isYasmani Grandal. He is 28 and in his prime. He’s a hard worker and well respected. I think he will improve in 2017. Just my opinion, but I have been right about him so far.
- Then there areAndre Ethier,Scott Van SlykeandKike Hernandez– all three were not even factors last year – I think they will be this year… at least one or two will.
- We are finally going to see whatAustin Barnescan do. He will be a great backup catcher. He is very, very good behind the plate, but I’ll tell you this: He might be the best second baseman on the team right now. Find another backup catcher and he might solve the problem at 2B. He has an excellent eye at the plate and could be a high OB% leadoff hitter. I am not kidding, I like Barnes a lot! We could do a lot worse than Barnes.
- Here’s something to think about: Justin TurnerandAdrian Gonzalez? Can they play at a high level? They have to, especially Justin. Adrian is older and in decline, but maybe he can evade father time another year.
- Then, there is Clayton Kershaw…
- Finally, there will be some surprises… probably among the pitching staff. Who will step up? There are lots of candidates and that is one of the main reasons I believe in the advancement of the Dodgers in 2017. Who do you think will be the surprise of 2017?