Zero. That’s how many players in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup who were obtained by a free agent, major league contract.
This week the MLB first-year eligible player draft kicked off and the Baltimore Orioles had the first pick. This led me to look at the Dodgers current roster and see how many players were obtained via the draft.
The only players in the lineup on Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were not drafted by the Dodgers were Max Muncy, Justin Turner, and Chris Taylor. Both Muncy and Turner signed minor league contracts in 2017 and 2014 respectively, and Chris Taylor was obtained via a trade with the Seattle Mariners. That is it. No other player who started the game came via a major league contract. That is astronomically rare that a team this talented and deep has an overwhelming roster with drafted players. Other than the Houston Astros, no one else can boast that claim.
Joc Pederson – drafted in the 11th round.
Max Muncy- minor league contract.
Justin Turner -minor league contract.
Cody Bellinger – drafted in the 4th round.
Corey Seager – drafted in the 1st round.
Chris Taylor – trade with Seattle.
Alex Verdugo – drafted in the 2nd round.
Will Smith- drafted in the 1st round.
That is a list I am not so sure the Los Angeles fan base can fully appreciate. This front office does its homework. When it’s rumored to be in the mix for a big trade or free agent, they definitely do their due diligence, but the majority of their work is done the week of the draft.
This year the Dodgers took two college power hitting positional players in the first round, Tulane third baseman Kyle Hoese and North Carolina first baseman/outfielder Michael Busch. However, don’t be caught off guard if you see any of the names taken in the later rounds end up playing at Chavez Ravine. Take note of Jimmy Lewis, Ryan Pepiot, Aaron Ochsenbein, Brandon Lewis, and Jack Little who will be looking to make their way to the big leagues.
The 2019 draft class for the Dodgers are out to prove the front office knows what it takes to win on draft day before winning on game day.
Featured photo: Julio Cortez / Associated Press