When we think of the Dodgers, we often think of the World Series championships. We also tend to think of the money behind the team, and the long history of being one of the best organizations in baseball. But more recently, we think about analytics and how the club operates well at every level.
One area that they have thrived is that of scouting and drafting talent. There is no better example of this in recent history than with the Dodgers 2016 draft class. That year alone should prove just how good the club is at developing players.
The Dodgers took Gavin Lux with the 20th selection that year out of Indian Trail Academy. That was an easy choice and Lux would debut just 3 years later. They also selected Will Smith just 12 spots later.
But it’s not the obvious guys that make the 2016 so impressive. The Dodgers also scooped up 3 more guys after that, each of which has already debuted. Those picks were Jordan Sheffield(36), Mitchell White(65), and Dustin May(101).
This past Friday, Luke Raley became the 11th player selected by the Dodgers that year to debut. They also had Zach McKinstry make his big league debut, the 1001st selection in the 2016 draft. Add in the fact that 3 more guys have the chance to make their debuts in 2021, and you have one heck of a draft class.
DJ Peters has been knocking on the Dodgers’ door for a number of years now, though he remains relatively blocked in the outfield. Cody Thomas is now with the Oakland A’s and it probably better primed to get to the big leagues this year. The same can be said of Errol Robinson who was taken by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft.
Just to set the record straight, it’s not very common for players to debut so quickly. That just makes what Will Smith, Dustin May, and Gavin Lux did so special. But it also goes to show how quickly and efficiently Los Angeles knows how to developed players.
The Dodgers are here to win now, but they’re also setting themselves up to win long term. It’s good to be a fan in LA.