As the 2019 season has progressed, the Los Angeles Dodgers have leaned on plenty of younger talent en route to their seventh straight National League West title.
Will Smith has become the team’s starting catcher, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are playing pivotal roles in the pitching staff and even Gavin Lux has been getting plenty of playing time since his call-up on Sept. 1.
All in all, the Dodgers promoted three of their “big four” prospects that started the season in the minor leagues: Lux, Smith and May. The only exception is catcher Keibert Ruiz, who missed the rest of the year after breaking his finger in early August.
While Smith has graduated from prospect status, the rest of the quartet made the most recent update to MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list end-of-season update, highlighted by Lux at No. 2.
That marks a leap of seven spots from No. 9, where Lux was ranked in MLB Pipeline’s midseason update to the list in July.
Dustin May, who has flashed potential but been uneven at times in his first Major League experience, dropped one spot from 32nd on the midseason rankings to 33rd on the most recent list. Ruiz comes in right behind May at 34th.
Two other prospects who have spent the season in the lower Minors also made the updated rankings. Pitcher Josiah Gray moved from No. 98 on the midseason list to No. 76, while shortstop Jeter Downs makes his MLB Pipeline Top 100 debut at No. 88.
Both Gray and Downs join the Dodgers in the offseason as the primary return in the trade that sent former All-Stars Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds.
Both spent most of the season’s first half with the High-A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, where they excelled and eventually earned promotions to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers.
Meanwhile, Smith, Lux and May are all battling for spots on the Dodgers’ postseason roster. While Smith has outproduced veterans Austin Barnes and Russell Martin at the plate this year, he has been slumping lately and lacks the postseason experience that both veterans have.
Lux is battling for a spot as a second baseman, with Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez all able to play the positions as well. However, Lux’s path to postseason playing time may have gotten a little easier after the Dodgers announced that outfielder Alex Verdugo would miss the NL Division Series.
May, meanwhile, has a 4.11 ERA in 30.2 Major League innings. He has been primarily used as a reliever lately and would likely play that role in the postseason as well.