Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Thinks More is Coming from Gavin Lux
Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux was the top player in the minor leagues in 2019 as a shortstop with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Between those two levels, Lux posted a 1.028 OPS with 59 extra-base hits in 523 plate appearances. On defense, Lux cut his errors at short in half from 2018 to 2019.
Lux has played mostly second base in his time in the big leagues because of the presence of Corey Seager and then Trea Turner at shortstop in Los Angeles. But with Seager and Turner gone, Lux slides into the role as LA’s starting shortstop for 2023.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio over the weekend, and he talked about what the team expects from Lux in 2023.
“But some of these guys are going to be big parts of what we do in LA, and I think Gavin Lux is a great example that. He came up as a shortstop, extremely highly touted, and last year we got to really see just how dynamic of a player he can be. He was having a really good year, and Freddie Freeman has been great for Luxy.
“Then he had a little injury and came back and wanted to get back quickly, and the numbers fell off a little bit. But he really performed well in the ’22 season, and we think there’s even more in the tank. So we’re excited about Luxy, we think he’s going to be in the middle of a lot of things for us going forward.”
Prior to Lux’s neck injury last year, he was batting .297 with an .812 OPS, both numbers right in line with where Turner finished the season. A repeat of that performance would make Lux an extremely valuable shortstop for the Dodgers in 2023; if he really does, as Friedman says, have “even more in the tank,” obviously that could be even better.
It’s wise to temper expectations for Lux in his first year as LA’s starting shortstop, but there are certainly reasons for optimism.
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Most fans want the Dodgers to sign high-priced long contract free agents. That is not the way to keep a winning franchise. Teams need a mix of experienced and young cost-controlled talent to compete year in and year out. The Dodgers were ranked as having the Number 1 Farm system by Keith Law again this year. How does a team consistently drafting at the end of each draft have consistently 1-3 ranked Farm Systems? They spend money and resources on coaching and other support services.
Lux will prosper at SS in his original position. Vargas will be a hit machine and Outman will excel. The Bullpen looks formidable as does the rotation. Plus the Dodgers have incredibly talented rookies like Pepiot, Grove, and at AAA Stone and Miller.
This team by the end of the year should be as formidable as last year but hopefully with more spark.
I am guessing 95-98 wins this year. And a lock for the playoffs.