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Dodgers: MLB Writer Believes Gavin Lux Will Need to Win Back a Starting Job

Lux has a lot to prove heading into 2021 if he doesnt get traded.



The 2020 season was a rough one for Dodgers’ top prospect Gavin Lux. He was late to Summer Camp after the restart and had to start off the year at the alternate location. When he was called up, he failed to produce enough to keep a starting job.

Now heading into the 2021 season, Lux has graduated from prospect status. The time for him to shine in the Dodgers organization is now or never. MLB writer Ken Gurnick was recently asked if the starting job at second base was Lux’s to lose. In his mind, Lux would need to put in work just to get regular reps.

Assuming he’s not traded, he needs to re-establish his credentials, demonstrate consistency that he’s a big league hitter and that the defensive yips that have haunted him are gone.

Lux showed up and severely underperformed in 2020, I think even he would admit to that. Luckily, the Dodgers were in a position to proceed without him and not have it hurt them. With Enrique Hernandez likely out of the picture, the depth at second base suddenly becomes much thinner. 

The Dodgers could theoretically make a few significant moves that force Max Muncy into a full-time second base role. But if that were the case, that would be a fairly significant sign of Los Angeles giving up on Lux as their future at second. If they did go that route, I would expect Lux to be traded rather that riding the bench. 

The talent and the tools are there, it’s just a matter of execution at this point. Lux hit .392 with 13 homeruns in 49 games at Triple-A OKC during the 2019 season. Every other minor league season before that, Lux has shown there is a reason he is so highly regarded among scouts. If he can be the guy that they hope he can be, the Dodgers are going to have an absolutely lethal lineup. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Chris Taylor is the starting 2b now and should be. Lux has to show something before he gets consideration. That said, the Dodgers are not going to trade him – at least not yet – because they need controllable players at major league minimums while they pay Seager, Buehler, Bellinger, and Urias.

  2. When a player puts up such spectacular numbers in AAA it gives reason to believe that will translate to the MLB. The Dodgers have not been that wrong on a player in quite a while.
    Lux is still very young, he was drafted out of HS. He turned 23 this November 23rd. In Contrast, Will Smith is 25 and will be 26 this March. Keibert Ruiz the catcher is 22. There is still time for him to mature into his body and find a mindset to help him improve. All of the Scouts believe he has the tools.
    I believe Lux will turn out to be a plus offensive threat by the end of 2021. He has guys behind him pushing the envelope as Busch is highly rated as a contact hitter and could bump him or move him to SS and eventually if they sign him Seager to 3rd. The Dodgers have Hoese and Vargas also top 10 rated pushing for the MLB. The great news is they have plus rated players pushing to get to the MLB. The Dodgers can get younger and possibly stay very competitive.

    • You’re right Tmax he is young so there’s hope. I don’t see him ever moving Seager off SS because he hasn’t proven the yips are gone and Hoese is currently tracking to be a solid contributor at 3B. I don’t see why Seager ever has to move off SS; Ripken, who’s just as big, didn’t until the very end.

  3. Did Liz ever have the job in the first place? He needs to up his game to replace a consistent Taylor and Kike. Both Smith and Rios set the bar and Lux was ranked higher than both but hasn’t put up the numbers that they have.

  4. I’m not giving up on Gavin Lux (9) because I believe it’s a mental issue with him we all know he has the ability but he has to believe he belongs in MLB and his position is second base he needs step up to the plate and owned it and prove it he belongs there it’s all up to him if he thinks he is a mediocre player then that’s what he will be but if he thinks he is great player then that’s what he will be period. He needs to be mentor by Mookie “MLB” Betts (50).

  5. Gavin’s first at bat was a good one at 4 or 5 pitches with a base hit up the middle. He showed a lot of poise. Yep, Bleeds Blue, it appears to be mental. And he had a lot of good moments in ’19. ’20 was a different animal. Third strikes with the bat on his shoulder. Saw a few of them. And he was 4 for his last 31. With 1 walk. So hope he will have a winter of focus. He has a high upside. But Busch is knocking on the door or they could just stick Chris at second. Gavin needs to take charge.

  6. Nobody in the Dodger organization has more to prove than Lux. He may not be on the team on opening day of 2021 if the right trade presents itself. He is rookie cheap in a time that all teams are losing money. But if he doesn’t show something in 2021, he should be dumped. I never believed the hype. Minor league numbers are indicators, not predictors. You have to do it when it counts. The mental state of Lux is highly questionable. He needs to take the attitude that he is fighting for his baseball survival. Because he is.

    • For the most part, I agree, although I would have traded Lux last off-season when everyone was gushing about him. But there is only so long you can give somebody to show something. Also, the money ball teams like Tampa Bay and Oakland are always willing to dump top flight players to pick up cheapies like Lux. Tampa Bay is shopping Snell who ate the Dodgers lunch in the world series. Oakland is shopping Liam Hendriks. That’s how they run their organizations, and they actually do it pretty well. Lux still has some trade value for these moneyball teams. If he fails again in 2021, I think he’s toast.

  7. Its too early to label him a dud, but I wouldn’t be opposed to using him as a trade chip if they can turn him into something interesting. His swing looks terrible, his fielding is shaky, and even his personality seems a bit rough around he edges. But his minor league career was impressive enough, he could turn it all around.

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