There probably isn’t a power-hitter in all of baseball more slept on than Edwin Rios. He has 12 home runs in 123 career at bats, which comes out to a homer once every 10.25 AB’s. Yeah, that’s pretty good.
He’s played in only 60 combined games for the Dodgers over the last two seasons, mainly being used as a depth piece off the bench. Rios was on the postseason roster for every series this season except the NLDS, where he was dealing with an injury.
For the Dodgers, not only does Rios provide a powerful bat, he provides them with versatility in the field which will help him find more playing time moving forward. Though it’s a small sample size, he’s spent 26 games at third base, 18 games at first base and one game in left field. Many expect Rios to become more of a full-time third baseman, depending on what the club plans to do with Justin Turner.
“The last few years, defense has been a priority for me,” he said earlier in the season. “Each offseason, just trying to get better. Trying to see what works for me. I feel like I’ve gotten to a spot where I realize where my body works best and what arm slots work better. Hope it’ll translate on the field.”
2020 was a great year for Rios, as he was able to drop his strikeout percentage significantly from 2019. He dropped it from 37.5% to 21.7%. However, with a much better eye at the plate, his walk percentage dropped significantly as well, dropping from 16.1% to 4.8%.
Getting frequent homers from Rios was great, but 42% of his total hits were via the long ball. Along with his eight homers, he added six doubles and only five singles, so you’re essentially getting all or nothing from him. That was evident in the playoffs, as he went 2-for-14 with his only two hits being home runs. He struck out eight times and walked three times.
He’ll be spending the offseason working on his craft with the hope of contributing more for his team in 2021. “I’m just trying to get better every day,” he said. “Just trying to find a way to tune up my game and be the best version of me. I look forward to keep doing that.”
Stats: .250/.301/.645/.946, 8 HR, 17 RBI, 13 R, 19 H, 149 OPS+, .336 wOBA, 114 wRC+
Game of the year
He didn’t have a lot of starts last year, but his biggest moment came in extra innings during the first week of the season. After a back-and-forth battle against the Astros, Rios launched a two-run homer in the 13th inning to give the Dodgers the 4-2 lead, and ultimately the win.
Rios has one year and 43 days of service time. He’ll be back in 2021, and he could find himself having a larger role depending on what the team decides to do with their starting third baseman, Justin Turner.