The Dodgers have the major’s best record on July 1 and the biggest divisional lead in baseball. There’s no way they get to this point without the incredible contributions from their young players. The Dodger’s rookies are blazing hot, and it’s safe to say that the youth movement has begun in earnest at Chavez Ravine. According to the top betting sites odds, chances for the Dodgers to win the World Series have substantially increased in their favor since the youngsters started to take off.
There are too many to mention. Alex Verdugo has been possibly the biggest star. The lefty swinging outfielder has provided the Dodgers with an injection of energy into their lineup. Verdugo has posted a 126 OPS+ while slashing .311/.360/.506 with 9 home runs and 37 runs batted in over 278 plate appearances. Since the A.J, Pollock injury Verdugo has played center field admirably and consistently brought a combination of speed and contact to help the Dodger offense.
Verdugo isn’t the only impressive rookie in 2019. Outfielders Matt Beaty and Kyle Garlick have both been very good. For Garlick, who has smashed 80 home runs in five minor league seasons has taken advantage of his sudden opportunity the Dodgers are giving him. Garlick the 27-year old Southern California native has gone 8 for 30 with 2 home runs and an .867 OPS across 33 plate appearances.
Beaty has brought a clutch bat. Overall the 26-year old corner outfielder/first baseman has slashed .290/.305/.430 (27 for 93) with 2 home runs and 15 runs driven in over 95 plate appearances. His strength lies in his ability to hit with runners in scoring position. In those situations he is 10 for 27 (.370) with 13 driven in and a .948 OPS.
Then there is Will Smith. The catcher of the future has already carved out a path for himself with some key hits and solid game calling behind the plate. The top prospect has shown poise beyond his years. The former first rounder has posted a .999 OPS and a solid .345 including two walk-off home runs and three home runs in 29 plate appearances. Even Edwin Rios, a prospect not expected to get much playing time this season has had good at-bats. The big left handed hitting infielder has already collected three hits including notching a triple and two walks in his first nine at-bats.
The Dodger’s veterans like Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen are still the cornerstones of the franchise. However if these young players mentioned above continue to contribute then the Dodger’s chances of winning the World Series in 2019 greatly increase. Let the youth movement at Dodger Stadium commence.