It wasn’t too long ago that Gavin Lux was tearing up the minor leagues and was seen as one of baseball’s top prospects to keep an eye on. There were talks of him being the future at second or even short if Corey Seager leaves in free agency this offseason. That’s all in the past now as there’s a new discussion that should take place.
As talented as Lux was and may still be, could he end up being a platoon player in the big leagues?
First things first, this is in no way a smear of Lux or a way to completely write him off, but the 23-year old has not been so hot against left-handed pitching.
How bad has he been?
So far this season he is hitting only .125 with no home runs, 2 RBIs, and 8 strikeouts in 24 at-bats against southpaws. And it hasn’t just been a one year struggle either. It was a weakness for him in 2019 (0.83 batting average) and 2020 (.100 batting average) as well. He’s also struck out 8 times in those 24 at-bats which translates to a 33.3% strikeout rate compared to a 26% rate against righties.
What’s more, is his production against lefties in the minors was a similar story except in 2019. During his dominant run that season, he hit .299 with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs in 97 at-bats. That’s the version of Lux fans hoped they would be seeing in the big leagues. But we’ve only seen small glimpses of it.
While he has been better overall in his last 15 games, that success has mainly come against right-handed pitching.
So now the big question is, is Gavin Lux a platoon player? He doesn’t have a great track record of success against lefties as mentioned above, so should he be benched when a southpaw takes the mound? The quick answer is yes, the longer one is it may still be too early. Lux is still young and forced his way into a role with the Dodgers with his breakout 2019 season. The new environment he found himself in was clearly overwhelming and it’s taken him a while to adjust.
It’s possible that he could work things out in the same way that Cody Bellinger did in 2019. Or he could wind up as a platoon player like Joc Pederson. Only time and results will tell, but if he continues on the same path he’s on right now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him against only right-handed pitching.