The Dodgers do need to inject youth onto the roster and more specifically into the lineup. I have no argument with that.
I will agree that we have no idea what Kasten was alluding to in his comments. But we can all agree that what he actually said was…“We think we are now on the precipice of the next wave of young guys. We need to make room to allow that to happen.”
The problem is that these players in the next wave are not so young. IMO and in Kasten’s words, he was referring to the prospects early in the last decade. That previous wave of players and their MLB debuts:
- Julio Urías – 19
- Corey Seager – 21
- Cody Bellinger – 21
- Joc Pederson – 22
- Yasiel Puig – 22
Current youth wave:
- Miguel Vargas – 22 in MLB debut – 23 next year
- Ryan Pepiot – 24 in MLB debut – 25 next year
- James Outman – 25 in MLB debut – 26 next year
- Michael Grove – 25 in MLB debut – 26 next year
- Jacob Amaya – 24 next year
- Gavin Stone – 24 next year
- Bobby Miller – 24 next year
- Michael Busch – 25 next year
The youngest player in this group, Miguel Vargas, is older than the oldest person was in the previous group, Yasiel Puig.
- 23 year old – 1
- 24 year old – 3
- 25 year old – 2
- 26 year old – 2
Even Andy Pages will be 22 next year and he has only reached AA.
So exactly what qualifies as a youth movement? And which of these next wave can replicate the following?
- Seager was an AS at 22, #3 in MVP voting at 22, ROY at 22, and a SS at 22. NLCS and World Series MVP at 26.
- Belli was an AS at 21, #9 MVP voting at 21, ROY at 21 AND MVP at 23 and SS at 23.
- Joc was an AS at 23 and #6 ROY at 23.
- Puig was an AS at 23, #2 vote for ROY at 22, #15 MVP vote at 22, and #19 MVP vote at 23
Only Vargas can duplicate Joc and Puig and become an AS at 23. But he cannot replicate Seager or Bellinger.
Urías was #7 CY vote at 24, and will undoubtedly be #2 CY vote at 25. He was the NL ERA leader at 25. A WS hero at 23.
Which one of the pitchers does anyone believe will duplicate what Urías did at 23, or 24 or 25?
Bluto made a reference to the 2019 group. Lux, Smith, Gonsolin, May, Beaty, Ríos, Garlick, Verdugo…Out of that group, Bluto said that it would be super-amazing if the next wave produced 4 like Lux, Smith, Gonsolin, and May.
I would prefer the youth movement that produced, Seager, Belli, Joc, Urías, and Puig. That group produced multiple AS selections, an MVP, multiple SS awards, and multiple high MVP vote totals, all before 23.
- Tony Gonsolin will be 29 next year. – #4 ROY at 26 (2020), CY Votes in 2022 (?)
- Gavin Lux will be 25 – No ROY or MVP votes.
- Dustin May will be 25 – #5 ROY at 22 (2020).
- Will Smith will be 28 – No ROY or MVP votes. He will get MVP votes in 2022, and should have been an All Star in 2022.
May has thrown a total of 143.2 innings in 4 years. His high was 56 in 2020, his rookie year. I recognize and understand that May was out for almost two years due to TJ surgery. But doesn’t that have to be taken into consideration? I still consider Dustin May a prospect. He has not done anything yet, but he may.
All four of those players Bluto identified are good MLB players. But the ML has plenty of players that play at that level. Who are the elite players in the organization?
The one elite prospect in the organization is probably Diego Cartaya. He will be 21 next year, but has not reached AA yet. Julio Rodriguez was an MLB All Star, will win ROY, and will get a high MVP vote total at 21.
I am ready for an injection of youth. Will it be spread out like the early last decade group?
- Yasiel Puig – 2013
- Joc Pederson – 2014
- Corey Seager – 2015
- Julio Urías – 2016
- Cody Bellinger – 2017
Or will it be 3-4-5 all in one shot?
Or will it be a smaller number of youth injection and multiple prospects being packaged for a significant upgrade?
We will all learn over the next 3-4 months.
In the past when there was a need,for example a 4th or 5th starter, they went out and signed a journeyman player. That blocked prospects. Now if there is a need they can use a rookie from the farm. Certainly not at shortstop and they certainly need another reliable bat. But they can use Vargas,an outfielder(maybe Outman) and pitchers to be the 4-6 starters.. That’s where our “youth” come into play.
One thing I’ve learned in the last couple seasons is you just have to be good enough when the season starts. See how well the rookies and the team do. Midseason adjustments can always happen.
In August 2016, the Dodgers, in need of relief pitching traded Yordan Álvarez to the Astros for Josh Fields before he played a single game in the minors. Friedman later acknowledged that trading Álvarez was “a mistake” and admitted “I obviously wish I would have said yes to other names the Astros asked for before him.” Friedman first believed that they wanted pitcher Yadier Álvarez.
That guy would fit right in with a youth movement. He came up when he was 22. He’s the same age as Lux.
In the past the Dodgers would typically bring up one at a time, and usually that one was very good and would stick around for a while. I’m fine with trading some of them for players like Machado, Mookie and Trea Turner, knowing full well it’s about the now and a lot of those rentals aren’t likely to stay. I just hope Friedman doesn’t f it up like he did with Álvarez.
Who knows, maybe Puig will be the RFer and Betts the 2nd baseman.
Move a GG right fielder to second base? Maybe in a few years. Not yet. And I don’t think I’m ready for Puig. .841 in the KBO. If it was over 1.000, maybe.
I am right there with you Jeff. There is no real youth movement. Of course, back in the day it was rare for a 19-year-old to crack a roster, let alone a kid under 25. Today teams promote kids a lot sooner. The Dodgers have fared well the last several years despite drafting as low as they do. Where they are still missing the mark somewhat is in the international market. Been a while since one of those signings has made a huge impact on the major league roster.
I think it’s less about age and more about cost-control, no?
But I agree with Jeff, if we can only develop prospects who can turn into players the level of Seager and Urias, we will really be in a good place!
Prospect Nick Frasso get a nice mention on this article about the best fastballs in the minors:
And a look, in The Athletic, on how GMs are thinking about the Shift Ban:
If we see Andrew making some seemingly strange player moves this winter, we’ll have to look at it through a slightly different perspective. No doubt, the analytics guys in the front office have been adjusting player analysis since the day the rules changes were announced. Could very well influence the type of player they go after and/or keep around.
Turner, Reynolds and Trout. That might could help win them a few games.
Todays Dodgers updates from GM Brandon Gomes:
Team still hasn’t made decisions yet on Justin Turner’s option or qualifying offers for Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson. Deadline for those is tomorrow, he added that the Dodgers have been in discussions with Justin Turner’s agent about different contract options
Asked if the Dodgers would like to have him back, but at less than his $16 million option, Gomes only reiterated that “we’d love to have him at Camelback Ranch come spring…” Gomes said that the team and Blake Treinen are talking through different options for his shoulder injury. Gomes said surgery is possible!
The front office believes that said the Dodgers don’t have to go out and get a proven closer this offseason. They like the internal options they already have in the bullpen, as to one of those other options…
Daniel Hudson is progressing well from his torn ACL, Gomes said. Hudson began throwing again at the end of the season, and the hope is he’ll be ready for the start of spring training (or shortly after)
Heyman reports there is a good chance the Dodgers extend the $19.65M qualifying offer to All-Star pitcher Tyler Anderson. I firmly believe there are no bad one-year contracts for a team like the Dodgers if it makes sense with the 40.