It’s been a camp for the prospects thus far at Camelback Ranch for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Prospects Joc Pederson, Julio Urias and Corey Seager have grabbed most of the early headlines, and all three have done reasonably well in the first five games. One other prospect that was ranked in the top-10 at his respective position this offseason has also been doing well and making a name for himself. Darnell Sweeney was the ninth-ranked second base prospect by MLB Pipeline; however, you wouldn’t know it by being in camp.
Sweeney has been working in the outfield this year, even getting a start at center field on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians. The 24-year-old talked about the change to his game, “It’s definitely a good thing that I can show them my versatility out here and show them I can play different positions. I know that’s gonna help my stock in the future so that’s one of the things I wanted to do just to show them that I can play different positions and play them at a good level.”
It appears Sweeney is a part of a shift in philosophies in the front office, as versatility is seen as a commodity. Alex Guerrero has been working in the infield and outfield, as well as a few others. Sweeney has climbed the ranks as a prospect since being drafted in the 13th round in 2012, and has impressed thus far. On Friday in Maryvale, the switch-hitter hit a home run over the wall in left field.
While the outfield is new to him, Sweeney is open to playing anywhere for the greater good of the team. “Just whatever I got to do to help the team, that’s what I’m going to do. I was drafted as a middle infielder so of course, I’d love to stay in the infield but whatever I got to do to be in the lineup that’s what I’m going to do. So if it’s center field, shortstop or second base that’s what I’m going to do,” Sweeney said.
If Sweeney can catch on in the outfield like he has in the infield, then the Dodgers could have another prospect making headlines in the future.