Look I don’t hate the Dodgers and you don’t hate the Dodgers, but there’s a decent chance we all kind of hate the Dodgers. Even Dodgers fans kind of hate the Dodgers

Green might be the color of envy, historically speaking, but these days in the baseball world, dodger blue has taken the mantle.

The Dodgers occupy an extremely unique place in the baseball psyche as the model for what every owner wants: cost-controlled assets regularly cycling through the system to keep profits high and payroll low. Andrew Friedman was just awarded a contract extension—a smart move considering other owners would line up to pay him a top-of-the-market salary to bring his magic to their front office. This all feels slightly ironic in a world where Dave Dombrowski gets fired the year after winning the World Series while Friedman’s Dodgers fail to win the big game year after year. 

It’s quite a look into what’s valued within the industry. 

One off-shoot = you can expect this club to promote the players who might help them rather than shopping for a big trade. 

 

1. SS Gavin Lux | 22 | MLB | Early 2020

Lux enters the season inside everyone’s top ten with an inside track on an everyday job on one of baseball’s best offenses. Better talents will come along, but this is a uniquely potent match of prospect and setting, Lux having adapted beautifully to Los ANGELES’ coaching and proven his skill for making adjustments. 

 

2. RHP Dustin May | 22 | MLB | Early 2020 

22nd on my Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy BaseballDustin May pitches for the Dodgers and throws a 98 mile-per-hour heater from hell that means to go back home even if it has to dig through half the planet. May is Thor throwing sinkers. Not Mets Thor. Not Hemsworth Thor. Actual. Bleeping. Thor.

Not really. That would be ludicrous. May does limit home runs though.

BECAUSE HE THROWS ACTUAL LIGHTNING!!”

 

3. SS Jeter Downs | 21 | AA | Late 2021 

4. C Connor Wong | 23 | AA | Late 2021

5. RHP Josiah Gray | 22 | AA | Late 2020

Ranked 38th in my Top 50 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy BaseballJeter Downs got the L.A. swing treatment this Spring, popped 24 homers, stole 24 bags, and is looking like the kind power/speed dynamo that elicits itch drool. That said, these Dodgers haven’t been big on stealing. They have the money to buy whatever they want. It’s just good morals, really.”

52nd in my Top 75 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball, Connor Wong was the hottest man on the planet after being promoted to AA then even hotter in the AA playoffs. Something has again clicked in Dodgerland. Plus he’s not just a catcher. They play him all over the diamond. Might wind up with the dream scenario here of a near-everyday player who retains catcher eligibility while infrequently donning the tools of ignorance.”

73rd in my Top 75, “Josiah Gray shows shades of being a Fantasy Master Lothario. Cuddle up with him in dynasty for his ability to suppress home runs and pile up strikeouts, but keep him away from your women.”

 

6. C Keibert Ruiz | 21 | AAA | Early 2021

7. 3B Miguel Vargas | 20 | A+ | 2022

8. RHP Tony Gonsolin | 25 | MLB | Early 2020

121st in my Top 125 for 2020 Fantasy Baseball“Keibert Ruiz is an incredible young catcher who’ll begin this season as a 21-year-old in AAA who walked more than he struck out this year in AA.” 

130th in my Top 150 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball, “few have started their careers as well as Miguel Vargas, who’s run similarly impressive K and BB rates on the hitting side while always being much younger than his competitors.”

Tony Gonsolin is a credit to the Dodgers’ scouting and foresight. A college reliever with a wipe-out splitter, Gonsolin wanted a chance to start, so the Dodgers gave it to him. Flash forward a couple years and pro levels, and we’re looking at a back-of-the-rotation present with the potential for more in the future. 

 

9. OF Andy Pages | 19 | R | 2024

10. 3B Kody Hoese | 22 | A | 2022

Andy Pages hit a loud 165 wRC+ despite being 2.5 years younger than his average competitor in the Pioneer League, and even though his .651 slugging percentage has to be read while licking salt, Pages has all the tools he needs to write a good long book full of home runs by the time he’s reached the end. 

With the 25th pick of the 2019 draft, Los Angeles selected Kody Hoese, a bag-first college infielder with great plate discipline most thought would play well in pro ball. Most were right in this case, and Hoese represents a nice sleeper-ish pick for dynasty Supp drafts. He’d be a top ten pick most years but might fall to the late teens in this talent-rich group.

 

Radio Flier:

1B Edwin Rios has been around a minute and is an afterthought in fantasy circles as an all-or-nothing type who’s blocked, but the club has historically coveted good plate approaches from cost-controlled fringe regulars with upside to beat their expected outcomes, and Rios fits the profile.

 

 

 

 
  1. Dave_W says:
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    What do you think Verdugo does this year and does he get an outright starting spot in the outfield?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I think there might be a lot of moves this off-season so don’t feel confident about his playing time, but as the squad’s constructed now, I think he’s in there almost every day.

      I’m not a huge believer in Verdugo’s power or speed potential, but the juiced ball helps him a lot. Maybe .285 15 HR 5 SB.

      Feels a lot like Benintendi to me—a lot more name value than categorical help in roto.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        I’ve seen Verdugo in person quite a few times while he was at Triple-A Oklahoma City. I think you’re badly mistaken. He’s a fantastic talent.

        Yes, his playing time could be uncertain in Los Angeles. Maybe they trade him or maybe they trade someone else to open up more ABs for him. But as far as his ability to produce at the plate is concerned, I’d bet on him doing a lot more than 15 HR. Dude is a fierce hitter.

        Just my opinion. Wouldn’t normally disagree with you, but this is a player I watched closely many times a couple years ago and he’s done nothing but remain consistently strong.

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Thanks Harley!

          Good call, he does have a ferocity in the box. I like the violence in his lower half and probably painted with too broad a brush. Is not wise to bet against LA hitters adding power.

          Also occurred to me later the playing time is tougher than I initially realized. If Lux takes 2B and Muncy gets 1B, that leaves Joc, Pollock and Bellinger in the OF with Verdugo, Taylor and Kike in support. Which doesn’t account for their courting of Rendon and Turner saying he’d be cool with playing 1B.

          Still think he’s the type they find a way to play more days than not, but it’s gonna he sketchy at times in 2020.

          • Harley Earl says:
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            Appreciate the reply Itch!

            Yeah, playing time really does look like a problem here. Maybe he’s part of the trade to get Lindor or Betts? I wouldn’t blame them for doing it at all to get an elite talent like that, and he’s not going to do anything for them sitting on the bench.

            Violent is a perfect way to describe his swing. I really liked what I saw from him when I got to watch him in person!

            Keep up the good stuff!!

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