The Los Angeles Dodgers won a franchise-record 106 games in 2019 in large part due to contributions from young players that weren’t expected to make an impact at the Major League level.
Seemingly every rookie that the Dodgers called up to replace injured players filled their role perfectly, and among them was corner infielder Edwin Rios.
The Dodgers drafted Rios in the sixth round in 2015, and he has since developed into one of the best power-hitting prospects in the organization. The team put him on the 40-man roster last offseason to avoid losing him in the Rule 5 Draft, so it came as no surprise that he eventually found himself in the big leagues in 2019.
What was surprising though was how much Rios was able to produce despite getting limited playing time. In 28 games for the Dodgers, the 25-year-old hit .277/.393/.617 with four home runs, 10 runs scored and eight RBI.
He spent a majority of the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City where he slashed .270/.340/.575 with 31 home runs, 72 runs scored and 91 RBI in 104 games.
Unfortunately for Rios, despite his strong production, he fell victim to being in an organization with a ton of talented players so he was left off the Dodgers’ roster in the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers’ trip to Miami to take on the Marlins in the middle of August served as a homecoming for Rios, who grew up in city and attended college nearby at Florida International University.
With many friends and family members in attendance, Rios had his best game of the year on Aug. 14 against the Marlins. Getting a rare start at first base, he went 3-for-4 with a walk, two home runs and three RBI in the Dodgers’ 9-1 victory. The home runs marked the first two of likely many in Rios’ career.
There are a ton of question marks surrounding the Dodgers’ roster going in 2020 that still need to be sorted out and will affect Rios’ place on the team.
Considering he has done all he can do in the Minors and is perhaps best served as a designated hitter, Rios is a prime trade candidate for L.A. this offseason. If he does stick around, then he will be another depth piece that can fill it at either corner infield position throughout the course of the year.
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