The Dodgers Continue to Excel with Homegrown Stars
The Dodgers are quite possibly the best team in baseball and while many claim that the reason for it is their huge payroll, that simply is not the case. In recent years, the only major signings outside of AJ Pollock that the Dodgers have spent major money on have been to keep players they already had — namely Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen, and Justin Turner.
The #Dodgers have signed LHP Rich Hill to a 3-year contract. Congrats, Rich! pic.twitter.com/xaeLeGSkDc
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) December 5, 2016
Current Roster Landscape
On the current 25-man roster, a whopping 16 of the 25 players were developed by the Dodgers.
The other nine players are the following: Dylan Floro, Rich Hill, Joe Kelly, Austin Barnes, David Freese, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, and Justin Turner.
Stars of the System
Some of the most integral pieces — Kershaw, Buehler, Bellinger, Pederson, Verdugo, Seager — were all Dodgers’ farmhands. Even on the list of the nine players mentioned above, five of them were never really afforded everyday playing time until they reached Los Angeles.
#Dodgers have deals in place with 3 of 1st 4 draft picks — RHP Chris Anderson (1st) LHP Tom Windle (2nd) and 1B Cody Bellinger (4th)
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 12, 2013
Kapler and Gasparino
Current Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, once the Dodgers scouting director, and Billy Gasparino, the current director of amateur scouting, have made a combined effort to make sure the Dodgers are in position to contend for years to come.
Most of the players on the roster you see now will be there until 2023 or so, not to mention the fantastic farm system the Dodgers have that has yet to see all its components graduate to the big leagues.
The Dodgers are going to do well in the present and the future and it is largely in part to the fantastic work of Kapler and Gasparino. So the he next time you check out the Dodgers’ lineup, look and see how many are homegrown Dodgers. I guarantee you, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Thank you Daniel, we continually need to be reminded that the FO occupants aren’t the Three Stooges some would like us to believe they are.
They have seemed to learn from the Jason Schmidt’s and Kevin Brown debacles. I’m actually not bothered by the Joe Kelly or AJPollack signings. The best signings were the ones they didn’t make: Harper, Keuchel. Go Blue!
Daniel, please note that Gabe Kapler was never ever officially the Director of Amateur Scouting or even a scout for the Dodgers in any capacity. Rather, he was hired as Director of Player Development, overseeing both the Dodgers major league team and minor league system.
Under this job title, one of Kapler’s most notable approach to player health/and/well-being was to remove any inclusion of junk food from the Dodger player meals, while espousing the holistic benefits of organic ingredients in food. (As an aside, Gabe’s organic food espousing probably would’ve came in handy for the 2011 under-performing Boston Red Sox, who infamously had players eating fried chicken and drinking beer in the dugout).
Kapler lasted less than two years with the Dodgers organization, and before he was sitting pretty managing Bryce and the Philadelphia Phillies…
…his name had surfaced in a Glendale, Arizona police report of an incident involving the alleged physical and sexual assault of a 17-year-old-girl by two Dodger minor league affiliate players (and two female suspects) back in Feb. 2015, at a spring training hotel room (Hampton Inns & Suites). In a nutshell, the victim’s grandmother contacted Kapler via e-mail about the incident; Consequently, Kapler did not report this in, as police file records show; Rather, he tried to arrange a dinner meeting with the girl, her grandmother, himself and the two alleged players in an apparent attempt at damage control. There’s more, but the Feb 2019 Sports Illustrated article, “Truth and Consequences” has all the details
As for Billy Gasparino, this guy IS the current Dodgers’ Director of Amateur Scouting and hopefully, his signings will eventually contribute to the big league team. There certainly are many promising prospects and diamonds-in-the-rough in the farm system, but also keep in mind that this is the guy (along with Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi) collectively responsible for one of the Dodgers’ biggest international signing busts of 2015: Cuban defector Hector Olivera for 6 years/$90 million total.
Fast forward four months later, Dodgers flip Olivera and two expendable players to the Braves in exchange for Braves players Jim Johnston, Bronson Arroyo, Alex Wood, Luis Avilan, and fielder Jose Peraza, while the Miami Marlins unloaded Matt Latos and Michael Morse to L.A.
The only decent trade names in the end was Alex Wood and Jose Peraza (both of whom were traded to the Cincinnati Reds, reuniting with Yasiel Puig.) Now fast forwarded 2 years later to 2017 and Olivera is already retired. So thanks Dodgers FO, for that 6 year/$90 million investment that’s clearly benefitting us to this very day!
Also to keep in mind: Gasparino and his department, which represents the Dodgers when it comes in draft signings, may have violated international draft signing/free agent policies. The key word, of course, is allegedly. As of now, the story has been reported, but there haven’t been further developments as of yet, perhaps due to this being an ongoing, active probe.
One final thing, Daniel, which I respectfully disagree with you upon is your winding-down paragraph where you write:
“The Dodgers are going to do well in the present and the future and it is largely in part to the fantastic work of Kapler and Gasparino.”
No. Oh hell no. Kapler? Double oh hell no to him. Arguably, you could keep Gasparino, but if you’re gonna truly, thoroughly give credit where credit is due, then you have to include the true architects: former GM Ned Colletti and former Director of Amateur Scouting Logan White, et al.
Which would be apropo, after all, since the players that you listed as the “most integral pieces” to team: Kershaw, Buehler, Bellinger, Pederson, Verdugo, Seager are all Ned Colletti and/or Logan White draft signings/acquisitions. BTW, Kenley Jansen was a Dodger farmhand and a Colletti/White signing. Hell, even non-Doyer farmhand Justin Turner is a Colletti guy.
Like the old days when we had rookies of the year, one after another!