The Dodgers have a history of finding players around MLB that are not living up to their full potential. You can look at guys like Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Max Muncy for no better example. But the 2016 draft class is proving that Los Angeles knows how to dig deep, especially in the later rounds.
When Luke Raley made his big-league debut earlier this month, he became the 11th player from the Dodgers 2016 draft class to reach the big leagues. That’s an incredible accomplishment, even though some of the other guys are now with different organizations.
One of the guys from that draft class is playing like an All-Star to start the season. The Dodgers picked Zach McKinstry in the 33rd round of the draft with the 1001st overall selection. Draft extraordinaire Billy Gasparino recently spoke with the OC Register about Zach and why he fell so far in the draft.
Zach’s had a weird track to where he’s at in that he’s always a little undersized. He didn’t have a lot of strength. He was sophomore eligible, so a lot of guys didn’t know he was draft-eligible that year. He didn’t get noticed as much as his ability and athleticism would suggest. He could hit, could run, had a nice swing, just didn’t have strength. He was a late bloomer physically. That overshadowed his other talents and skill.
Flash forward just a few short years and McKinstry is second on the team in homeruns and runs driven in to start the year. The Dodgers may have taken a flier on him way back in the 33rd round, but it’s paying off big time in 2021.
McKinstry came into Spring Training as the guy everyone hoped would replace Enrique Hernandez. With the ability to play all over the diamond, the comparisons were bound to happen. The biggest difference being he is left-handed, and the Dodgers weren’t expecting the same power contribution.
Instead, McKinstry has shown up and smashed the ball early on.