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Dodgers Roster: 3 Young Players Who Could Take a Step Forward in 2021

(Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

In route to their 2020 World Series Championship, the Dodgers relied on many players that were products of the great talent development team. Recent prospects like Victor Gonzalez, Will Smith, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios all made their MLB rise through the Los Angeles farm, eventually playing contributing roles in the club’s championship success.

The majority of the Dodgers lineup was either drafted by the organization or signed and developed through its minor league affiliates in some capacity. It just shows the incredible depth and farm system the Dodgers have.

As the Dodgers look to repeat as World Champions, we’ll take a look at a couple of players who could see time at the major league level and contribute much more than they did in 2020.

Mitchell White—RHP

Mitchell White made his big league debut in 2020 when he pitched one inning against the Texas Rangers and recorded his first strikeout. He only pitched three innings this season and recorded his first Major League win against the Colorado Rockies. While the Dodgers do have a sizable amount of good pitchers, White can possibly be the first in line barring any injuries or emergency situations.

The right-hander is currently ranked ninth on the Dodgers top ten prospects list. In his last full minor league season, White began the year at Double-A with the Tulsa Drillers posting a 2.10 ERA in seven starts. He later got called up to Triple-A and with the Oklahoma City Dodgers and put up a 5.09 ERA in 20 starts and a 4-6 record. White however also struck 105 batters during that full season. The Dodgers can bring up White as a starter or move him to the pen as a long relief pitcher. Surely a fun arm to watch, the 25-year-old could make multiple starts for the Dodgers next year.

TBPC profiled White as recently as last July.

Gavin Lux—INF

Next year, Gavin Lux might finally be able to get a full season under his belt barring any setbacks. The 22-year-old left-handed bat reported to Summer Camp a tad late and was optioned to the Dodgers alternate site, certainly affecting his big league playing time. Lux wasn’t called up until September and appeared only in 19 games. He only hit .175 with three homers and 8 RBI. The infielder was ranked at the top of the overall major league prospect list for what seemed like years.

The Dodgers are hoping that a .392 2019 batting average in Triple-A eventually translates to the major league level. Depending on what the Dodgers do regarding the free agency of Kike Hernandez, Lux could perhaps platoon the second baseman position or take over depending on his performance. With him being only 22 years old and under team control, the Dodgers surely do not want to rush anything.

Zach McKinstry—INF/OF

Like White, Zach McKinstry also made his major league debut late in 2020. He had a small sample size of plate appearances, only having seven at-bats. McKinstry recorded two hits in those seven opportunities. The 25-year-old lefty-hitter bat a combined .300 along with 19 homers and 78 RBI across two levels of the farm in 2019. Those stats were good to make him a minor league All-Star. He concluded his year with Oklahoma City posting a .382 average.

McKinstry had quite the journey to the big leagues, being selected in the 33rd round of the 2016 MLB draft and spending time recovering from injuries. Throughout his minor league career, he’s improved his statistics, posting better numbers at each level. McKinstry saw time at second base and right field this year and he has proven to be versatile defensively. With Joc Pederson entering free agency, McKinstry could see time in the outfield for the Dodgers, as he looks to cement himself on the big-league roster.

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