With the August 1st, MLB trade deadline less than one week away and the Los Angeles Dodgers suffering from an extended bout of injuries to much of the roster, pressure is on the front office to be active in the coming days. While this iteration of management has made it abundantly clear that they are not willing to part with top prospects.
However, with the fans clamoring for the teams first World Series since 1988, Andrew Friedman and Co.’s hand may be forced.
It still seems increasingly unlikely that the team will let go of prospects such as Jose De Leon, Frankie Montas or Cody Bellinger. Those three aside though, it doesn’t seem that there are any other untouchable players. That means name such as Alex Verdugo and Grant Holmes may find themselves being shipped elsewhere if the Dodgers can find a suitable deal.
But, it still doesn’t quite look like those guys will be on the move either which leads us to look at the crop of players that the Dodgers got in this years draft and see what value they may or may not have.
The three biggest names that the Dodgers got this year are shortstop Gavin Lux fresh out of high school, starting pitcher Jordan Sheffield from Vanderbilt and catcher Will Smith out of Louisville.
Lux is the most highly touted out of all them as he was the Dodgers first pick in the draft, coming off the board at no. 20. Lux projects as a top of the order guy with the potential for decent power numbers and what some believe to be a plus rated glove at short. In the rookie league this season, Lux slashed .267/.374/.356 in 90 at-bats.
The main issue with Lux going forward is that the Dodgers already kind of have “The Guy” at shortstop in Corey Seager.
While some believe his size may mean he is due for a move to third at some point in his career, Seager has played well enough at short so far to stop some of those rumblings. Plus, there is also that Manny Machado guy who is set to be a free agent in the near future for whom the Dodgers may decide to open up the checkbook.
Jordan Sheffield is a player that the Dodgers are very happy fell into their laps. A high end first round prospect fell to the supplemental round due to health concerns as he has already had Tommy John surgery. In two seasons at Vandy, he had an ERA of 2.93 with 168 punch-outs.
But, Sheffield still has a very high ceiling as he could be another piece in an already potential crowded Dodger starting rotation a few seasons down the road. Sheffield was taken a year after the team selected another high end pitching prospect out of Vanderbilt by the name of Walker Buehler.
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBaseball) June 10, 2016
Buehler also fell down draft boards due to arm issues but that clearly has not been a deterrent for the Dodgers if they feel the potential outweighs the risk.
The last of the Dodgers high draft picks is catch Will Smith, from the Louisville Cardinals. Smith has a lower profile than the other two but that does not mean he is without value. In his three seasons with the Cardinals, Smith owned a slash-line of .291/.392/.410 with 9 homers and 70 RBI’s.
He figures to be a strong defensive catcher with athleticism rarely seen from the position. His offensive game does need work however and the presence of front office favorite Austin Barnes seems to make Smith the most dispensable of the three.
Former Louisville catcher Will Smith 2-for-6 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored since promotion to Class A Great Lakes Loons. #Dodgers
— Jody Demling (@jdemling) July 4, 2016
I wouldn’t bet on any of these three guys moving just because the team hasn’t had the chance to actually get a good look at them and see if there is anything worthwhile that they bring to the table.
But, if a package for a big name player (Chris Sale, Chris Archer, etc…) is put together, it wouldn’t shock me either to see one of these names involved. Whatever the case may be, this is sure to be an eventful week and this will all be resolved sooner rather than later.
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