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Dodgers Postseason: The Roster Is Filled With Homegrown Players

Looking at players drafted or signed as international free agents

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a walk-off two run homerun, for a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Dodgers have had so many great moments in 2019 from some of their rookies like Alex Verdugo, Will Smith and Matt Beaty. Who could ever forget their three walk-off home runs in a row?

Throughout the season the Dodgers have gotten some excellent contributions from many different rookies. Many have talked about what a great rookie class the Dodgers have this year, and it is true. However, the pipeline of players from the minor leagues has been productive for a few years now. As the playoffs begin it’s notable how many homegrown players the Dodgers have on their roster and will be on the playoff roster.

The Playoff Roster Candidates

The list of Dodgers that were originally drafted or signed as an international free agent are listed in the table below. These are players who have a legitimate shot at making the playoff roster. I have columns for each of the possible series for when they are on the roster.

PlayerHow AcquiredNLDSNLCSWS
Pedro BaezInternational Free Agent / 2007X
Walker BuehlerDraft / 1st Round / 2015X
Caleb FergusonDraft / 38th Round / 2014
Tony GonsolinDraft / 9th Round / 2016
Kenley JansenInternational Free Agent / 2004X
Clayton KershawDraft / 1st Round / 2006X
Kenta MaedaInternational Free Agent / 2016X
Dustin MayDraft / 3rd Round / 2016X
Hyun-Jin RyuInternational Free Agent / 2013X
Ross StriplingDraft / 5th Round / 2012X
Julio UriasInternational Free Agent / 2012X
Russell MartinDraft / 17th Round / 2002X
Will SmithDraft / 1st Round / 2016X
Matt BeatyDraft / 12th Round / 2015X
Gavin LuxDraft / 1st Round / 2016X
Edwin RiosDraft / 6th Round / 2015
Corey SeagerDraft / 1st Round / 2012X
Cody BellingerDraft / 4th Round / 2013X
Joc PedersonDraft / 11th Round / 2010X
Alex VerdugoDraft / 2nd Round / 2014

I did include Russell Martin since he was originally drafted by the Dodgers. This list has 20 players that are playoff roster possibilities with a probable minimum of 15.

Dodgers Prospects: The Incredible 2016 Draft In Retrospect

Working backwards, the years that the homegrown players were signed and the numbers of players for that year are below:

  • 2016 – 5 players
  • 2015 – 3
  • 2014 – 2
  • 2013 – 2
  • 2012 – 3
  • 2010 – 1 (Pederson)
  • 2007 – 1 (Baez – signed as a 3B)
  • 2006 – 1 (Kershaw)
  • 2004 – 1 (Jansen – signed as a catcher)
  • 2002 – 1 (Martin)

Most Homegrown Players In The Playoffs

Of all the teams that entered the playoffs the Dodgers have the most homegrown players according to MLB Pipeline.

The list below sums up the totals for each team. The Dodgers still have not announced their playoff roster and I believe it could be more than 15. I also don’t know if they consider Russell Martin as homegrown.

Team Total Homegrown
Dodgers 15
Twins 14
Cardinals 10
Astros 8
Yankees 7
Brewers 7
Nationals 7
A’s 5
Rays 5
Braves 4

The Future Stays Bright

With the Dodgers having so many homegrown players it bodes well for the future. Of the homegrown players, 12 of them are making close to the Major League minimum wage. This allows continued flexibility as some of the older players eventually roll off of the payroll. Of course, these numbers indicate a team that knows how to find players and develop them. There are more prospects on the way that will continue to bolster the roster over the next few years. With this team, the window to win isn’t closing any time soon.

Familiarity Is A Dodgers Tradition

Since free agency started to cause a lot more player movement starting in 1976, many fans have missed continuity on their teams. The Dodgers, starting in 1973 though their World Championship in 1981, had a consistent presence of players such as Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey. All of them were homegrown. They added players such as Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith and Burt Hooton via trade to bolster the team. How the team operated during that era reminds me of the current team.

Along with the current group of homegrown constants like Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler the Dodgers have made key additions like Justin Turner, Rich Hill and Max Muncy. These players, along with many others, have become fan favorites. Personally, I enjoy watching a team that has a strong group of core players, including many homegrown stalwarts.

Constant team turnover is not something I like to see and I think most fans think the same way. Periodic additions is could but trading out big parts of a roster every year or two is not something I can get behind.

Final Thoughts

As we all prepare for the Dodgers to make another run at a World Series it just seems right that they have so many players we’ve had either on the Major League roster or have been in the minor league system for a few years. We’ve become familiar with them and many are fan favorites. Over the next few years some will end up moving on to other teams and the Dodgers will have plenty of replacements for them. Again, the window for winning isn’t closing for a long time.

Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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