The Los Angeles Dodgers have the deepest roster in the league that will look even deeper when certain players perform better than expected.
Fans and analysts alike are already clamoring at how good this Dodgers team could be in 2020, and chances are, it might be better than anyone will expect because there are going to be quite a few players that are going to exceed expectations.
We pinpointed five. Five players that we like this season and think will perform better than Dodger fans are giving them credit for.
1. Kenley Jansen
This is more than just Kenley’s first good spring outings, although those outings definitely help make this case.
Kenley Jansen was not great last season, at least for his standards. In a year that appeared to be the end of his run as a great closer in the big leagues, Jansen finished the season with a 3.71 ERA and eight blown saves, the most in his career. It was the first time since 2015 that he was not an all-star.
A big reason for this was a slow start last spring that led to a dip in his cutter velocity, which seemingly had a huge impact and led to batters hitting Jansen much more than before.
But in all actuality, in terms of the advanced statistics, Jansen was not actually that bad last season. Jansen ranked in the 87th percentile in strikeout percentage, 95th percentile in fastball spin rate, 98th percentile in exit velocity and 99th percentile in hard-hit percentage.
Batters still were not hitting the ball that well off of Jansen, the problem is that he simply had those nights where he would float a cutter in the middle of the strike zone, leading to a home run and an uptick in the ERA.
He might not ever regain his prime form, but I think we see Jansen return to an ERA under 3.00 this season. Heck, if you take away Hunter Renfroe‘s walk-off grand slam and just assume Jansen strikes him out there then he would have finished the season with a 3.14 ERA. One swing of the bat swung his ERA by 57 points.