As Gavin Lux continues to shred Triple-A pitching, it isn’t yet clear if the star prospect will make his Dodgers debut in 2019, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman simply said “I don’t know” when asked about the possibility of a Lux promotion, as Friedman cited considerations like finding room for Lux on the 40-man roster while juggling the roster status of other players returning from the injured list. “I think more of our mental energy is being spent on how to configure our pitching staff (for the postseason) more than our position players that are doing pretty well,” Friedman said.
Lux entered today’s action hitting an unfathomable .415/.497/.768 over 191 plate appearances for Triple-A Oklahoma City (not to mention “only” a .313/.375/.521 slash line in 291 PA at Double-A before his latest promotion). While he has spent much of his pro career at shortstop, Lux has also seen a lot of action at second base, which would be his logical position both in the event of a September call-up and probably for the future, since Corey Seager isn’t leaving L.A. anytime soon. Then again, the Dodgers’ list of second base candidates is also long — Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez are expected to return from the IL on Tuesday, Jedd Gyorko and Kristopher Negron are utility options, and Max Muncy needs an everyday role if the Dodgers continue to deploy Cody Bellinger at first base. Interestingly, Friedman hinted that Lux could potentially join the Dodgers in a non-roster capacity in September, traveling with the team and learning the ropes of being a big leaguer without actually being on the active roster.
Here’s some more on some of the game’s stars of the future…
- There’s more clarity on a heralded youngster on Los Angeles’ other team, as the Angels currently aren’t planning to call Jo Adell up for his first taste of MLB action in September, Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times tweets. Prospect ranking outlets have Adell as a consensus top-four minor leaguer in the sport, though preseason ankle and hamstring injuries kept him from making his 2019 debut until May 24, and he has only a modest .233/.303/.317 slash line over 67 plate appearances in his first stint at Triple-A. As a result, the Angels look to give Adell more seasoning and some time at winter ball before looking to promote him to the majors. It has been widely speculated that Adell could be an everyday member of the Halos’ outfield as early as Opening Day 2020, as Kole Calhoun is a free agent this offseason.
- Could the Red Sox go with a youth movement at first base next season? Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe wonders if this could be the case, as since Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce will both be free agents, the Sox could turn to either Michael Chavis or top prospect Bobby Dalbec. Abraham notes that while Chavis has played a lot of second base this season, the keystone is “probably not a long-term position for him,” and thus Chavis could be used at first base, in the outfield, all over the diamond as a super-utility player, or potentially even as an offseason trade chip to add pitching. A fourth-rounder for Boston in the 2016 draft, Dalbec (ranked 92nd on Baseball America’s list of the game’s top 100 prospects) has steadily climbed through the farm system and is now hitting well over his first two weeks at Triple-A. Dalbec was originally drafted as a third baseman, but has increasingly seen more time at first base thanks to Rafael Devers establishing himself at the hot corner for the Sox. While Devers and Xander Bogaerts have the left side of Boston’s infield locked down for the foreseeable future, the right side is much more in flux, between Moreland and Pearce possibly leaving and the continued uncertainty about whether Dustin Pedroia will ever be able to play again. The Red Sox are likely to explore the market for first base and second base options this offseason, and Chavis will certainly be in the conversation at either position, Dalbec could also be an important piece of the team’s puzzle for 2020.
- Orioles left-handed pitching prospect D.L. Hall has been shut down for the season following a left lat strain, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports (Twitter link). While the injury isn’t considered serious, Hall won’t have enough time to get back before the Orioles’ A-ball affiliate in Frederick completes its season. The 21st overall pick of the 2017 draft, Hall has a 3.46 ERA and 12.9 K/9 over 80 2/3 innings for Frederick this season, though with a troubling 6.0 BB/9. ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Hall 35th in his midseason top-50 prospects list and Baseball America has Hall 38th in their top 100 list, while MLB.com (62) and Fangraphs (63) are just a touch less bullish on his promise.