Dodgers: 5 Surprising Position Players

mwittman
Mar 14, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Chris Taylor (3) throws to first base to complete a double play after forcing out Cincinnati Reds second baseman Tony Renda (49) at second base during the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Chris Taylor (3) throws to first base to complete a double play after forcing out Cincinnati Reds second baseman Tony Renda (49) at second base during the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Los Angeles Dodgers
Mar 11, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodger infielder Darnell Sweeney (37) reacts during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports /

Darnell Sweeney

Sweeney was drafted by the Dodgers in 2012 and at one point was a fast rising prospect. He had the potential to be the Dodgers’ second baseman during a time when they lacked quality second base prospects.  In 2013 he stole 48 bases and hit double-digit homers for Single A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga.

He went on to have two more solid seasons in 2014 and 2015 before becoming expendable and traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Chase Utley in 2015.  Sweeney hit a big regression with the Phillies, batting only .233 in 2016.  He ultimately made his way back to LA in another trade with the Phillies, that sent Howie Kendrick to Philadelphia this offseason.

While he was once considered an intriguing prospect, Sweeney is now more of a utility player.  Essentially, Sweeney was just a throw in for the trade since the main player acquired was Darin Ruf, who was later released and went to play baseball overseas.

He has caught the attention of the Dodgers once again this spring, by hitting .297 with two home runs and playing some second and third base. Sweeney is buried on the depth chart behind Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Charlie Culberson, and Rob Segedin.

He is still only 26 years old, so he could develop into a valuable utility player for the Dodgers in the coming years.  Sweeney will most likely play the entire season at AAA Oklahoma City and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make the AAA All-Star team this season.

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