Although they were handed the loss on Opening Day, the Dodgers have bounced back to rattle off 5 wins in a row. Usually, veteran players are leading the charge early in the season, yet the new wave of homegrown talent is in full control of the reigns for Los Angeles.
By all means, guys like Corey Seager and Julio Urías deserve praise for their recent performances, but the boys in blue are currently enjoying success from a handful of 2016 draftees. While other drafts have netted the Dodgers stars such as Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Walker Buehler, the 2016 MLB Draft may be the most successful for Los Angeles in the past decade.
Just look at the quality and quantity of talent that the Dodgers have on their roster right now from that year.
- 1st Round (20th Overall), Gavin Lux
- 1st Round (32nd Overall), Will Smith
- 3rd Round (101st Overall), Dustin May
- 9th Round (281st Overall) Tony Gonsolin
- 33rd Round ( 1,001st Overall) Zach McKinstry
- 2nd Round (65th Overall), RHP Mitchell White
- 4th Round (131st Overall), OF D.J. Peters
- 7th Round (221st Overall), OF Luke Raley
Gavin Lux looks like the player that dominated in the minor leagues throughout 2019. He was on fire this spring and has continued that level of play to start out the season as the team’s primary second baseman.
What can I say about Will Smith that hasn’t already been said already? The Fresh Prince needs more playing time, plain and simple. Regulating him to only catch 3 out of the 5 pitchers in the rotation is holding him back. Period. If they can give him more opportunities, he’ll easily blossom into one of the best if not the best catcher in the game.
Dustin May just turned in a masterful performance against the Oakland A’s where he fired 6 shutout innings and could have possibly gone one more if it wasn’t so early in the season. He may be the Dodgers’ fifth starter, but he would a top rotation guy on many other teams. Tony Gonsolin recently hit the IL with a shoulder injury, yet he made an impact on this team last season and should do so again this year.
We can’t forget about Zach Attack and his memorable first career home run. While it’s still early on in his career, he’s looking like a better version of Kiké Hernandez. For a guy who was drafted in the 33rd round, the Dodgers got a steal.
In a couple years, the 2017-2020 drafts could churn out even better results for Los Angeles. For now, however, the 2016 draft class has produced a two top rotation arms, a future All-Star catcher and second baseman, as well as a solid utility player with more depth waiting in Triple-A. Couldn’t ask for much more from the organization’s scouting and development staff.