The Depth Chart
Our team is in a unique position when it comes to second base. At the Major League level we have no less than four players that can play second base. However, only a few are primary second-basemen. Some other players that may see significant time there have already been covered in other GM Mondays (i.e. Austin Barnes), while others will be in future GM Monday pieces (i.e. Chris Taylor). Because of that, we will not discuss those players.
- Logan Forsythe
- Chris Taylor*
- Austin Barnes*
- Kike Hernandez*
- Tim Locastro
- Errol Robbinson
- Gavin Lux
- Omar Estevez
*Indicates players who may see time at second-base this year, but will not be the primary second-baseman.
The Major Leaguers
As of right now, second base is Logan Forsythe’s to lose. While some may gripe over that notion, remember that despite a sub-par offensive performance, Forsythe had a 1.2 dWAR (defensive WAR). In terms of second-basemen he was tops in the majors in that regard. What does this mean for us? Well, we have one of the best defensive second-basemen in the league, and while his offensive performance left something to be desired, he did show glimmers of hope down the stretch in the postseason. His .297/.435/.351 triple-slash was certainly solid and gives Dodger fans hope he can return towards his 2015-2016 offensive levels. If he can even put up something like a .250/.340/.400 type triple-slash, it would only help all the more.
As for additional players on the Major League roster, most have the ability to play second-base, but are not going to be the primaries. Chris Taylor was originally a second-baseman with the Mariners, and when he first arrived with the Dodgers. However, he has since found his calling in the outfield. So whatever time he does see at second-base will be limited. With Austin Barnes and Kike Hernandez you have similar circumstances. Both are more likely to see playing time elsewhere in the lineup, but both can also play very competently at second-base. For us, it would appear we are fairly well set at the Major League level. There is always room for improvement, but for now we should be very content with who we have at second-base.
With the loss of Willie Calhoun via trade, we lost not only a top 5 organizational prospect but also our top second-base prospect. Now granted, saying Calhoun could play second-base competently would be a stretch, but he still was our top prospect in-house there. Currently our crop of prospects are solid, but nothing special. None of them crack our top 10, with the exception of Gavin Lux on some lists.
Tim Locastro is your prototypical utility player. His primary position is second-base, but he’s also seen time at SS, 3B, and the OF. His minor league triple-slash is .293/.372/.402 which would definitely play as a primary second-baseman. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs had this to say about Locastro in August:
Locastro, for his part, has proven to be a pretty useful ballplayer. The combination of contact skills and defensive ability that first earned him a place among the Five remain. Currently, however, he’s exhibiting them not for Division III school or Cal League team but rather the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate. In 82 appearances for Oklahoma City, he’s produced walk and strikeout rates of 6.1% and 13.4%, respectively, plus a .181 isolated-power figure and 10-for-11 stolen-base record. The 168 wRC+ mark he’s posted would place second of all qualified Triple-A batters — ahead, for example, of power-hitting Rhys Hoskins, who was just basically given Philadelphia’s left-field job.
Beyond Locastro there are more solid, if unspectacular prospects. Errol Robinson made it to AA Tulsa last year to the tune of .273/.357/.352. Mostly known for his defensive chops at shortstop and second-base, Robinson still has some value in his speed and a surprising amount of pop in his bat. Defense will be what carries him to The Show though.
Gavin Lux was the Dodgers first round pick in the 2016 draft. Like Robinson he has a very solid glove and is actually a shortstop first, though the Dodgers did have him play at second-base in 2017. While he has not shown the offensive capability that many expect of him, he still has room to grow at only 20 years old.
Lastly is Omar Estevez, part of the 2015 international spending spree. He has always had enticing tools, but, like Lux, has yet to translate those into counting stats. However, the big difference is the Dodgers have been extremely aggressive in their assignments for Estevez. He spent his entire season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. There is the hope he can develop into an excellent second-base prospect in the next few years, but he could just as easily fizzle out as other international infield prospects like Erisbel Arruebarrena.
Overall second-base is one of the more average positions for the Dodgers. At the Major League level you have Forsythe, who is competent, plus plenty of additional players who can fill in. Throughout the minors you have many players who are solid, but unspectacular. We shouldn’t expect to see any Robinson Cano or Jose Altuve type players anytime soon manning second-base but, with the crop of players currently, we will be just fine for now and the foreseeable future.GM Mondays: Analyzing The Dodgers’ First Base Depth