Gavin Lux is ranked as the number 2 prospect on the Dodgers by MLB Pipeline, and is on fire in AA. His rise as a prospect in the Dodgers’ system has been interesting after being drafted in the first round in 2016. His first prospect ranking was #12 in July of 2016 and was up to #9 by the end of 2016. By the start of 2017 he was up to #7 but dropped to #13 after a tough season with Great Lakes. He had a great first two-thirds with Ranch Cucamonga and was promoted to Tulsa to finish the season. His 2018 season brought him up to his current high ranking. Recently he’s been very hot by having two consecutive games of going 4-5 with 3 home runs over the last three games.
Gavin Lux's last two games for @TulsaDrillers:
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 24, 2019
Addressing Some Concerns
As with any prospect there are some areas that need improvement. There were a couple of concerns I brought up in December so we’ll take a look at those right now.
His defense at shortstop seems to be a little better than last year in terms of fielding percentage as he is at .938 in 2019 while he as at .928 in 2018 between two teams. He’s only played 5 five games as a second baseman with no errors. For the foreseeable future Corey Seager will the the shortstop for the Dodgers so second base is probably in his immediate future. It perplexes me why he doesn’t play there much yet.
In 2018 Lux slashed .230/.288/.328 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in High-A and .217/.250/.217 in AA. So far he’s slashed .379/.424/.586 in 2019 in AA. That is a huge improvement and we hope that it can continue. The Dodgers are currently stacked with left-handed hitters like Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy. For the Dodgers to bring in more left-handed hitters they have to be able to hit left-handed pitching. Lux is taking a great step forward in hitting lefties and it will help determine how he progresses towards being a big factor with the Dodgers.
2019, So Far
Lux was invited to the big-league camp and ended up with a lot of playing time in Spring Training. I honestly thought he would start the season in AAA but the Dodgers decided to keep a lot of players lower than most thought. So, it was back to Tulsa for Lux.
Lux started the 2019 season pretty hot and hasn’t had any real slumps. He’s only gone two games in a row without a hit despite a slight dip in early May. The lowest batting average he has had .283 and has turned hot again, as of this writing. Overall he is slashing .329/.384/.601. In the power department he’s hit 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 158 at-bats (38 games). In comparison, his 2018 numbers were .324/.399/.514 with 15 home runs and 57 RBI in 463 at-bats.
What Is Next?
With some improvements in his defense and great improvements in hitting lefties what is next? His excellent numbers from 2018 are staying consistent in his first full season in AA into 2019. There isn’t much left for him to do in AA so a promotion to AAA should be imminent. My big question will be, do they start playing him more at second base?
Gavin Lux is proving that he is ready to move up to the next level. It is even remotely possible that he could be a September call-up. However, my big question continues to be, will he play more second base in AA or AAA? The bat seems ready to move up but the question of where he plays needs to be answered. Despite what the Dodgers have done with Max Muncy at second base, the Major Leagues are not the place to learn a new position. Lux needs the repetitions at the position they are targeting him for. With Corey Seager at shortstop it has to be second base, initially.
The Dodgers are in good shape at both shortstop and second base at AA or lower with Lux, Jeter Downs (interview here), Omar Estevez and Jacob Amaya. There are also some lesser known prospects like Errol Robinson, Drew Jackson (recently returned), Devin Mann, Deacon Liput, Leonel Valera and Brandon Montgomery. There is much to be excited about the middle infielders but Lux is probably closest to making an impact with the Dodgers.