Most Major League Baseball teams have hitters’ meetings before each game, where players discuss the day’s opposing pitcher and share batting strategies. At the Dodgers’ meetings, though, the players do most of the talking, while the team’s three hitting coaches mostly act as moderators.
“It’s a group, a collective effort,” Freddie Freeman told Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times. “I just feel like it’s been such a great process over the course of the year.”
That process seems to be working. The Dodgers score 5.24 runs per game, the most of any major league team, and also lead the league in on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.776).
Manager Dave Roberts says that in his seven years with the Dodgers, he’s never seen a more communicative team. Freeman was responsible for limiting the number of iPads in the dugout during games in the hopes of encouraging teammates to pay more attention to the game than the numbers. And it was the players who suggested a new batting order of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freeman in the top three spots of the lineup.
“When you see three of your best players, having conversations about the order, the pitcher, team offense, everyone follows,” Roberts said.
There’s also more accountability, said Justin Turner. Previous seasons saw only a few players speaking up in meetings. Now, with everyone sharing their insights an approaches, players are able to encourage each other and help them improve their plan of attack even more for next time.
Check out Harris’s story for more info on the Dodgers’ game plans.
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