From 1979 to 1982, the Los Angeles Dodgers produced four consecutive Rookies of the Year. From 1992 to 1996, the Dodgers upped the ante with five consecutive Rookies of the Year.
The truth is, for people who have been around baseball, the success of the Dodgers has long been founded upon a strong farm system. You don’t produce nine Rookies of the Year in 17 seasons by accident (and that doesn’t include trading the likes of Pedro Martinez, Paul Konerko and others during that time period).
But to the more recent fan, the Dodgers reputation has become far different. The reality is that most people think of the new Dodgers the same way people think of the New York Yankees — forget the farm system, we’re just going to outspend you.
After all, can you blame them? Guggenheim ownership’s first major move was to trade four prospects for more than $250 million in salaries that came in the form of Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.
The theory is confirmed even further when you look at the Dodgers’ farm system rankings from Baseball Prospectus over the past five seasons:
2010 — 21st
2011 — 18th
2012 — 19th
2013 — 21st
2014 — 14th
To someone who followed baseball in the 80’s and 90’s, the idea of the Dodgers not having an elite farm system for more than five seasons would have been insanity. It would have been the equivalent of the Yankees boasting a middle-of-the-pack payroll for half a decade.
CONTINUE READING: Guggenheim Group Focusing On Prospects