MLB is in the fortunate position of having some of the best, young talent in all of pro sports. The Dodgers would certainly fall into that category with guys like Walker Buehler, Corey Seager, Will Smith, Dustin May, and many more. But there is one guy in particular that one MLB expert thinks he would build his team around if given the opportunity.
In a sit-down video conference with Fox Sports, Eric Karros and John Smoltz gave their choice on one young guy to build their team around. For Karros, the answer was easy and he was able to call back to his Dodgers roots.
I’m not straying far from Southern California, I’m going to go with Cody Bellinger. His athleticism speaks for itself. He can play a number of positions…really a gold glove caliber player whether it’s in the outfield or at first base. And with the bat, we saw what he did last year, over 1.000 OPS. But I think probably the most impressive thing is what he did against left-handed pitching last year.
Bellinger won the NL MVP award last year, so it’s not a complete surprise that Karros would go with him long-term. After a somewhat down 2018 campaign, Bellinger came roaring into 2019. As Karros said, one of the biggest difference-makers was that he really figured out left-handed pitching in 2019. The Dodgers’ superstar raised his average nearly 60 points from the year before off of southpaws.
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For John Smoltz, he went a little but younger with his pick. Juan Soto is just 21-years-old and made his MLB debut at the age of 19 against the Dodgers. Since he arrived in the big leagues, Soto has absolutely demolished the ball. He’s hit 56 homeruns in just 266 games and shown that he can make the adjustments when pitchers start to figure him out.
Overall, you can’t really go wrong with either of these guys if you’re looking to build a team around them. Dodgers fans probably have a preference here, but are there any other young guys that you would build a team around?