The Dodgers have an uncanny ability, a knack if you will for finding unrecognizable players from obscurity and turning them into productive regulars. Players like Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Rich Hill, Matt Beaty were all toiling in relative obscurity before the Dodgers found them and transformed their careers around. Muncy was a .190 hitting bench guy with the Athletics before the Dodgers turned his career around. Taylor was a part time pinch-hitter and utility guy until the Dodgers worked their magic. Hill had a similar transition.
The latest Dodger player to go from nobody to somebody is outfielder Kyle Garlick. The 27-year old Southern California native just hit his first MLB home run on Wednesday night against the Giants. Garlick then connected again for his second major league home run (off of Bumgarner) in Thursday night’s 9-8 victory over the Giants. He tallied three hits in that game, and scored twice. Garlick is now 7 for 20 since his promotion to the Dodgers. The question is, where in the world did Kyle Garlick come from?
The Dodgers originally drafted Garlick in the 28 round of the 2015 draft. Garlick has always been a good hitter in the minors. He batted .284 with a .342 OBP and slugged 80 home runs during his five minor league seasons. But he never got a chance to prove himself until this year. The Dodgers invited him to spring training as a non-roster invite. Garlick performed well in spring but was sent to Oklahoma City to start the season.
Now with the Dodgers dealing with some injuries he’s getting the chance to prove himself and boy is he. So far through 14 games and 22 plate appearances Garlick is batting .350 (7 for 20) with 2 home runs and 4 runs batted in. He was hitting .290 with 12 home runs in 166 plate appearances with the OKC Dodgers.
Garlick’s success is actually a testament to the Dodger’s system. It seems as if the Dodgers are quite adept at finding these under the radar players who are then indoctrinated into their system before becoming regular contributors. The Dodgers have a good coaching staff, but there still has to be skill and ability in these players to begin with.
Kyle Garlick is just another example of this incredibly unique gift the Dodgers have. They can take any player and magically transform them from bum to hero. Garlick is the latest project to turn into success. To make things even better, he’s got one hell of a cool name. Doesn’t he? Go Garlick!