A lot of people are scratching their heads as to why the Dodgers optioned top prospect Gavin Lux off of the club’s active summer opening day roster. The Dodgers announced the move this afternoon as they shuffled Lux to their alternate training site, which is where the young man will await another call-up. You would figure the 22-year old infielder was going to be an important part of the Dodger’s plans for the 2020 season.
Here’s the thing, that may not happen this year. Lux was largely unimpressive during his 82 plate appearance and 23-game 2019 campaign. Last year he slashed .240/.305/.400 (18 for 75) with 2 home runs and 9 runs batted in. He struck out in about 25% of his plate trips and walked just seven times. To me he looked like your standard weak-hitting top of the order type hitter with little power. I think he needs a lot of work.
He wasn’t looking particularly impressive during the first spring training this spring and during the second version of spring training this summer as well. While other Dodgers are hitting the ball out of the yard and roping hits all over the diamond, Lux is striking out and making errors in the field.
Unfortunately the minor league season has been cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. So there is not much opportunity for Lux to work on his skills in a low-pressure environment. Maybe there was some kind of exposure situation for the young man, but otherwise there is no other reason for the Dodgers to place him at their alternate training site unless they felt like he needs some work on his game. The Dodgers probably felt like with the short 60-game season, there was little time to be experimenting with a young prospect.
The Dodgers have plenty of other guys who can fill in at second base. They’ll likely give Enrique Hernandez the majority of the playing time. Chris Taylor can man that position as well, and Max Muncy can play second base too. Look, not every prospect is going to make it. It’s sad but true. It’s hard to make it as a major leaguer. The Cody Bellingers, the Corey Seagers, are rare. Most prospects don’t even reach the majors, most become pinch-hitters and middle relievers. Not every prospect is going to turn out to be an all-star or MVP. Lux needs a lot of work, and right now just might not be the time for him. I hope the young man can hone his skills and become an integral part of the Dodgers.