3. Speed and base running
With the abundance of home run hitters has come a shortage of quality, fast, baserunners. The Dodgers are the perfect example of this as the team really only has two people on the active roster with base stealing speed.
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Cody Bellinger is easily the fastest Dodger and a big part of that is probably because he actually hustles on every play. Chris Taylor would be the other guy that comes to mind.
There is also Andrew Toles, Tim Locastro and even Alex Verdugo. Two of those three won’t see extended time on the roster, though.
Speed is a huge asset to have in these playoff games where pressure is extreme and every run matters. Look at Mookie Betts and the Red Sox. Betts stole second after leading off with a base hit in the first at-bat of game one.
Clayton Kershaw went from a two-pitch potential pop out in foul ground to a man on second and no outs. That shifted the narrative of the inning and set the tone for the entire series.
Good things happen with stolen bases. Austin Barnes was able to have one of the biggest hits of the NLCS when he singled in Chris Taylor because Taylor stole third base. This forced the infield in and all Taylor needed was a weak ground ball up the middle to score.
It might be a niche thing to ask for in the MLB in 2019 but I genuinely think just having one quick leadoff hitter that can get on base can seriously change things. Dee Gordon, I miss you.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.