Monday, January 08, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Scott Alexander!

I think it's becoming clear that any deals done this off-season will be of the variety we saw a few days ago. In other words, we shouldn't expect any blockbusters. Instead, the Dodgers front office will seek to make measured improvements at positions that can be upgraded.

As you surely know by now, the Dodgers consummated a three-team trade last week that saw them get two players for the price of three. Below is a quick rundown of what went down:
Dodgers get: LHP Scott Alexander and INF Jake Peter
Royals get: RHP Trevor Oaks (from the Dodgers) and INF Erick Mejia (from the Dodgers)
White Sox get: LHP Luis Avilan (from the Dodgers), RHP Joakim Soria and cash
For the purpose of this post I thought I would focus on newest Dodger lefty, Scott Alexander. Stay tuned for a post on Jake Peter later on. Per the Dodgers press release:
Alexander, 28, appeared in 58 games with the Royals last year, going 5-4 with four saves and posted a 2.48 ERA (19 ER/69.0 IP) in his third big league season. Alexander, who posted the second highest ground ball percentage among Major League relievers (73.3%), also ranked among American League relievers in opponents grounded into double plays (13, 2nd), grounded into double play percentage (22.4%, 3rd) and ERA (12th). He limited the opposition to a .246 average, while striking out 59 batters against 28 walks in 69.0 innings. 
The Santa Rosa, California, native has gone 5-4 with four saves and has posted a 2.78 ERA in 79 career big league games over three seasons with the Royals. Since making his Major League debut in 2015, he ranks second in the big leagues (min. 75.0 IP) in ground ball percentage (72.9%) behind only Zach Britton’s 78.4%. Alexander was originally selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Sonoma State University.
BTW, Scott is not arbitration eligible until 2020. So, not only do we make what appears to be a nice upgrade over Luis Avilan in the bullpen, but we also maintain effective control of his rights for quite a few more years longer than Avilan. As for what Alexander throws, I let some experts tell you that. Per Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors:
Despite relying almost exclusively on his power sinker — he utilized a breaking ball less than ten percent of the time — Alexander generated excellent results against hitters on both sides of the plate. In fact, he spent most of his time dominating righties, who strode to the plate against him 202 times and managed only a .240/.313/.317 batting line.
On that power sinker David Laurila at Fangraphs shares some quotes from Scott:
“I throw a one-seam sinker. The grip was taught to me in college by Scott Erickson. I think he might have been trying to make a comeback at the time, and he’d come over to our field, at Pepperdine, to work out. I was throwing a bullpen and he saw that my ball had natural movement to it, kind of a natural tail. He asked me what I was throwing, and I showed him my grip, which was a four-seam. He showed me his one-seam grip. 
“I kind of started using it, but I couldn’t really control the pitch, so I stopped. But then, when I got to Double-A in 2011, I was struggling. What I was doing probably wasn’t going to be good enough, so I decided I had to try things. When I was warming up, I’d have the catcher tell me when I threw a good one — a good sinker, a good moving fastball, whatever — and I threw a few with what had become my normal two-seam grip. Then I threw one like Erickson had shown me and the catcher was like, ‘Yeah! That’s good.’ So from that point on, I started throwing it.”
Listen to him talk about the sinker in the video below, via MLB Network on twitter:
Overall, Scott Alexander is a lefty who doesn't strike out a bunch of batters, but does get a lot of contact ground balls due to a hard sinker that is favorably comparable to Zach Britton. With our infield defense being as good as it is he could end up being a huge steal for us.

In celebration of his becoming a Dodger I made the above two fantasy Baseball cards of him.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...