AdministratorDecember 17, 2020 at 7:35 pm
About a week ago it was reported that a few teams inquired about Marcus Semien possibly changing positions. The teams weren’t named but I have a sneaking suspicion that one of those teams was the Dodgers. One thing we know about Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers is they like positional versatility, and the 2 spots the Dodgers have a “hole” at are 3rd base and 2nd base, which is what those teams inquired about Semien playing. He played some at those positions when he first came into the league but has settled into shortstop for some time now.
So, why the questions about switching? Well, he’s been inconsistent at best playing shortstop. Semien has had some pretty rough years there and at least 2 pretty good ones. Why the inconsistencies throughout the year? That’s a good question, I don’t know if anyone has the answers to it. Semien has decent range thanks to his athleticism, and a decent probably average arm. Might he be better at 3rd where he doesn’t have to range as far as 2nd and Shortstop and has a decent enough arm to get it over to first. He is athletic and has fast reflexes so I don’t doubt he can handle 3rd. Or does 2nd make the most sense, use his athleticism to your advantage and make shorter throws from 2nd to first?
Marcus had a bit of a down year at the plate but he’s shown he’s a pretty good hitter and I’m not going to use 2020 as an indictment on anyone because we saw quite a few really good players struggle. Just a few numbers to go over, he had a chase rate of 19% last year the best of his career, and his chase rate has gone down every year so there’s a yearly improvement. For context purposes, the league average chase rate is 30% so he’s better than the league average. He’s about league average at making contact. He’s above average in strikeout rate just a bit above Mookie Betts, and actually better than Mookie Betts in walk rate so he will take his walks. Marcus is also pretty good against lefties with an OPS of .811 in his career. As we know the Dodgers need players to hit against lefties, cause they always seem to struggle mightily against them.
Is he the best option? No, but he’s still a pretty good option and would probably come cheaper than D.J. Lemahieu while being 2 years younger. There’s also a chance that Marcus takes a 1-year deal, kind of a prove-it deal as the Dodgers did with Blake Treinen. Marcus will get to build his value back up while also hoping teams will actually have a good amount of money to spend. The latter part remains to be seen as we’re not sure if fans will be allowed into games yet.
Should the Dodgers be interested in Marcus Semien? In short, yes. There’s offensive upside there, he’s yet another right-handed bat who hits well against lefties which we all know the Dodgers desperately need. He should be average enough defensively with a position switch that he doesn’t hurt you and be a net negative. He will only make the lineup that much deeper. They wouldn’t have to give up tons of prospects and Money for Arenado, Semien would only cost money. It sounds like he wants a short deal so even if it’s 2 years that’s plenty of time to have good production while the Dodgers wait for Kody Hoese and Michael Busch to be ready. Plus Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts have said they wanted a right-handed bat this offseason, Marcus fits that build.
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