Andrew Toles signed with the Dodgers late last season after being out of baseball for a year, literally bagging groceries for part of 2015. He began the 2016 in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, and ended it starting in the outfield in October.
What went right
Toles is one of the great Dodgers success stories in recent years. After hitting .331/.374/.511 in 82 games across three minor league levels, the outfielder was called up to make his major league debut just before the All-Star break.
Just like he did in Class-A, Double-A and Triple-A, Toles just kept hitting once he got to the majors. He doubled in his first major league at-bat, and hit .314/.365/.505 in 48 games with the Dodgers.
Despite his relatively limited time with the Dodgers, he led the team with eight pinch hits on the season, going 8-for-21 (.381) with three doubles and a triple in those situations.
Toles scored a run in seven straight major league starts from July 29 to Sept. 6.
That production earned Toles a starting nod against right-handers in the playoffs, starting eight of the Dodgers’ 11 postseason games. Toles was 8-for-22 with a pair of doubles in the playoffs, hitting .364/.423/.455.
What went wrong
Toles went over two weeks between starts in August, dealing with a foot injury and a brief trip back to the minors.
Toles hit .208/.260/.292 in 77 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers between the majors and minors, and it remains to be seen if Toles will be an everyday player or the business end of a platoon.
He got extended playing time in September, especially against right-handed pitching, but hit just .213/.229/.277 down the stretch.
Stats: .314/.365/.505, 3 HR, 9 doubles in 48 games; 1.4 rWAR, 1.6 fWAR
Salary: $507,500; a pro-rated share during his time in the majors, roughly $191,000.
Game of the year
Down 8-2 late at Coors Field on Aug. 31, the Dodgers scored three runs in the eighth inning and five runs in the ninth for one of the most memorable wins of the year. The final blow was a grand slam by Toles with two outs in the ninth inning against Colorado closer Adam Ottavino.
Toles was 3-for-4 with a double and five RBI in the game, capping a nine-game, four-start August that saw him hit .550 (11-for-20) with seven extra-base hits and 12 RBI in 24 plate appearances.
Toles has 87 days of major league service time and three option years remaining.