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Youngsters Increase Dodger’s Odds of Winning NL West


The Dodgers are entering an interesting phase of their next era of Dodger Baseball. They are beginning a youth movement. A lot of the veterans of this recent run have been let go. Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen among others have all left via free agency. While we are sad to see them go, this opens the door for the newest crop of Dodger prospects to take the field. These kids have helped the Dodgers climb back atop the standings in the NL West.

The kid that has made the biggest impact this season has been 25-year old outfielder James Outman. Originally the Sacramento based left-handed hitter was called up to play in four games in 2022 and clubbed his first MLB home run while batting over .400 during that short stretch. Outman, a seventh-round draft pick in 2018 is batting .274/.371/573 with 8 home runs and a 149 OPS +. Many consider Outman to have a legitimate chance of winning National League rookie of the year. Young players like this are increasing the Dodger’s odds of winning the NL West this season. With improved play from these youngsters means betting on the Dodgers to win the division this year is looking like more of a sure thing. Sports betting is still illegal in California so all you Cali fans will have to wait until the state joins the list of states that have legalized sports betting. Fortunately, according to most states across the country have legalized sports betting. These states host the nation’s top sportsbooks and are ready to take your action on the Dodgers or on any other team.

Another fine young prospect getting an extended look this year is infield prospect Miguel Vargas. The 23-year old Cuban born player has posted a .344 OBP while driving in 17 runs in the early going. Vargas learned better plate discipline during the spring while battling an injury. He has almost as many walks as he does strikeouts. Learning the strike zone is key for young players.

Another solid looking young ball player is Michael Busch. Busch ranks as the club’s #3 prospect, according to The left-handed hitting infielder is a first-round pick with a great baseball pedigree out of the University of North Carolina. This year he has already played in 7 games, while posting a .348 OBP. Busch crushed 54 home runs in the minors, and drove in 193 runs. So it is fair to say that he can handle his own with the bat. On the diamond he can play multiple positions including 3B, 2B, and the corner outfield spots.

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On the pitching side, the Dodgers have several kids knocking on the door. Ryan Pepiot, and Gavin Stone are the most big league ready hurlers. Both have already made their big-league debuts. While Pepiot posted a 3.47 ERA across 36.1 innings last year, he was slated to be in the starting rotation before an injury forced him into the injured list. Stone, a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas figures prominently in the Dodger’s future pitching plans. Another pitching prospect Bobby Miller (another first-rounder) is almost ready to be called up as well. Other young pitchers such as Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin are already regular rotation stalwarts for the Dodgers. The vaunted Dodger’s farm system is finally starting to bear fruit.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

20 thoughts on “Youngsters Increase Dodger’s Odds of Winning NL West

  1. Again, what is going on here?

    There’s zero chance Scott wrote that. It’s tone and style are odd, to say the least.

      1. I was trying to figure out how you went from decrying the Dodgers youth movement to extolling it.

        1. I’ve always been pro-youth, I just don’t think they have anyone super great in the farm, except for Outman. But I want to see, and the only way to see if any of these hyped prospects have anything is to call them up and play them. Outman looks very toosly. Busch, Pepiot, Stone, Miller, Vargas, all need more playing time to find out what they have. Same for Pages, Cartaya, etc. I do not think there is a Bellinger, Seager, or Urias in any of those guys, but some are bound to be productive. Only way to find out is to play them.

          1. All for the youth movement, Scott. Seems the Dodger farmhands spend way too much time in the minors, especially when the guys on active roster are not producing. Yes, they are in first (currently tied with the venom-less Snakes), but they are proving that they cannot win the big matchups. That, coupled with getting stymied by the bottom feeders all too often, makes them just a mediocre 500 ballclub.

            DeLuca gets his callup today. Let’s hope for the best. Nothing to lose. Restraining these kids to the minors, and the elevator rides back and forth, has to really destroy there confidence. It can also make them try too hard when they do get the nod.

            We all know LA has too many potholes. Who knew they even have potholes in the Dodger pitching rotation? Catman today, then the big pothole Syndergaard, followed by Kershaw. Gonna be a bumpy ride against the Reds and Phils. “Maybe” they can steal two from the 27-33 Reds? Coin flip vs. the 28-32 Phils.

  2. Did you just say, and try to back-up, that the team with the best record in the NL and 6th best record in MLB was a .500 mediocre team?

    Stay off drugs.

    1. …Gonsolin can barely get through 5 innings, exposing the vulnerable bullpen again. And not we have Syndergaard for game two? Oh boy. Bullpen will no doubt be exposed again. Meanwhile the Reds rookies are shining and running circles over the Dodger Dumpster finds and tired veterans. Poor pitching (14 hits, 7 BB, 2 HBP…. Automatic loss), sloppy defense (2 errors) … the Dodgers are defeating themselves. All I am saying is, if the Dodgers have talent in the farm, “Let the Kids play!” There has to be some kids down in the minors that can at-least throw strikes!

      1. Awe Bluto, another disgraceful loss to a bottom feeder! Another walk off, mind you!. Now, two games behind the Snakes. Go figure (I did!) with Syndergaard on the mound. If the Hammerless Warrior is not DFA’d by the time Urias comes back, then Friedman needs to get his head examined… I guess it is hard to admit you made a $13M mistake in judgment. Anywhere else, that would be automatic grounds to be fired, or HaraKiri! No relief to the weary relievers either. Face it, Noah is done, time to clear out his locker, donate his jerseys to IKEA, so they can use them in their closet displays…. I do not think anyone would dare to steal them, but who knows, in lawless LA.

        Now it is up to Old Kershaw to try and save face… no guarantees! The Dodgers have already lost the series and are extremely vulnerable to an embarrassing sweep. They will be limping into Philly licking their wounds, leaving it to the young arms to save the sinking ship. They cannot afford to lose another series to a bottom feeder. Heck, they may just end up joining the ranks of the Loser’s Bracket before you know it.

        So, Bluto, you can bark out all the stats and numbers you want. They don’t mean squat. All that matters is, “What are they doing today”. Get your head out of those spreadsheets and face reality!

        1. The GOAT Clayton Kershaw dug deep and saved a sinking ship, with the help of a 31 yr old KIDD! Newly acquired Tayler Scott threw 2 scoreless mop-up innings, allowing the regular platoon of weary relievers some needed rest. Whew!

          KIDDS Grove and Miller, and the possibility of Urias’ return from IL on Sunday lead the way to possibly a very smoky Philadelphia. Let’s hope for the best!

        2. No offense, but this has to be the dumbest “take” I’ve read in quite a while. There’s zero chance you actually mean this:

          All that matters is, “What are they doing today”.

          1. Hello Bluto? Still there? Hello?

            Well, in case you missed it, another walk-off😕

            🙄1-9 RISP, 7 LOB, 13 K’s

            Dang, those charts and graphs are just not accurate as we hope. Does not show the real picture.

            Oh Well…. Still can get the series, right? Oh, forgot. Urias was scratched.

  3. I am all in for the youth movement. The Dodger farmhands are definitely getting some opportunities, with the veterans continuing to struggle offensively and defensively.

    The main problem we all know is starting pitching, and it snowballs from there. The. GOAT Kershaw is singlehandedly doing his best to keep the pitching staff afloat, but as we all know, he’s human and will have his occasional hiccups. After Clayton, there is nothing. Gonsolin can barely make five innings, before handing the ball to the weary pen. Syndergaard sucks. Urias is still sidelined, May is down for who knows how long, and Buehler is unavailable. So the kids are getting some early OJT, Stone struggling through growing pains, and Miller doing doing great so far… how long will that last? So, we cannot really say the farmhands are not ready, they are just overwhelmed with the added pressure to be the instant answer to the Dodger skid.

    So, based on the current starting pitching, the burden is on the bullpen, which has been struggling to stop the bleeding and finish games. They are spent. They are also too predictable, as DR continues with his same bullpen rotation, game after game…. Opposing teams know what is coming. Nobody gets rest, as they are called upon every single game. None are used to giving more than one inning.

    Offense continues to try and provide runs. Sometimes up to 5-6 runs a game, but more often than not, it is not enough. Opposing teams continue to pound Dodger pitchers, sometimes with the help of shabby defense. So no matter how many runs the Dodgers score, they still come up short, as their “Achilles Heel”, RISP, still haunts them…. They can score 6 runs, but still have 1-9 RISP, and end up losing. Betts, Freeman, Smith, and Martinez cannot do it alone. There are five others in the lineup that are tickling the Mendoza Line. A lot of the offensive woes can be attributed to poor baserunning. The Dodgers inability to steal bases. Stealing bases can put pressure on the opposing pitchers, forcing them to throw more fastballs (ccokies). Moving runners can put runners in scoring position, prevent Force Outs, and GIDP’s. Turn a routine fly out into a sacrifice fly.

    Stealing bases seems to work for the opposition, right? Going back to Dodgers pitching woes, look at the inability of Dodgers pitching battery to prevent stolen bases. Opposition is capitalizing on Dodgers inability to hold runners and prevent stealing. More often than not, baserunners are two thirds the way to second, before Smith or Barnes even get the ball. Why can’t the Dodgers baserunners do the same?

    So, the Dodger woes cannot be attributed to just pitching. Management’s overly optimistic beliefs has created a deep hole which the team cannot climb out of, the hole growing deeper by the day. At this time, I have no answer…obviously, neither does the Dodger Brass.

  4. Another disgraceful loss to a bottom feeder. Another blown series… so much for “just win the series”, as the Dodgers slowly sink in the West. Are they the .667 team everyone seems to think they are, or are they just a .500,/sub .500 team they look like? 3 1/2 games behind the Snakes and no light at the end of the tunnel.

    Phillies beat them with basic Baseball 101. “Put the ball in play”, “let the opposition beat themselves”, smart baserunning”.

    Dodgers continue to try and compete with the longball, coming up short with routine fly outs, and leaving baserunners stranded again and again. Feast or Famine Offense…maybe a HR or most likely a Strikeout/Flyout/Groundout. So the best they can do is have a “Mendoza” caliber batter in the cleanup spot? Pretty pathetic.

    Pitching staff is a shambles. So, DR starts a struggling Ferguson in a bullpen game, just after getting smacked with a walk-off HR the other night. DR had the Phillies shaking in their cleats….More like licking their chops! So, we basically only have just two capable pitchers, Kershaw and rookie phenom, Bobby Miller.

    Not a pretty sight, Dodger Fans.

    1. Our Dodgers limped home after a miserable road trip, closing with a dismal Bullpen Game performance. They have had a day of rest to lick their wounds. Now, 3 1/2 games behind the Snakes and dropping fast. What happened to the team with the best record in the NL, Bluto?

      People ask, “Are regular bullpen games sustainable for Dodgers?” Well, to be perfectly honest, “NO!” Not when your bullpen stinks, and two of your four starters are raising the white flag by the 4th inning.

      Time to get real, Dodger Fans. The Dodgers need help! They are not as deep as they think they are.

      1. The Pitching is pretty bad this year. The bullpen especially. They’re going to need a lot of help to not sink further in the standings if they are continuing to give up 5-7 runs per game.

      2. The team with the best record in the NL is slumping.

        They’ll still win the West easily. Will probably have the best record in the NL as well.

  5. I thought this series vs. the Chisox would work out to be the perfect series to “reset” after the disastrous road trip. It started great, with an easy win for Gonsolin paired with lights out relief. Then, what should have been nothing more than a Camelback-like “walk in the park” scrimmage turned into a nightmare. Kershaw was definitely not at his best, but the Dodger offense managed to grab a 4-2 lead for Kersh in the 6th. I thought Kershaw was going to steal a win. Then the relief corps returned to form, giving up 6 runs in the 8th-9th, losing 8-4. Dodger pitchers gave up a total of 3 dingers, serving up two “cheezy” pitches to Mr. Burger King.

    After the 4 run spurt by the Dodgers in the 6th, the Offense petered out. That would be the only runs they score. The team was a disastrous 2-13 RISP, 10 LOB, 9 K’s. Betts, Freeman, and Martinez a combined 1-12.

    So, Kershaw is The GOAT, but the old guy is proving to be more and more human every game. He will have his bad days… especially when his team fails him offensively and defensively.

    AZ lost, but Gnats are closing fast. Panic time yet, Dodger Fans?

    1. Asking questions, even silly ones, to a large Dodger fan population on a blog with three people active on it is a VERY odd thing to do.

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