Dodgers: Too Much Organizational Depth Hurts Some Dodger Players

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 01: A general view as Scott Alexander
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 01: A general view as Scott Alexander /

The Dodgers depth is very important to the success of this team. Though it is helpful for the entire organization, this depth can be harmful to some of the players in the minor league system as they get lost in the shuffle and may never get a real shot at the big leagues.

The Dodgers organization is littered with players who haven’t and may never get their due with the big league squad. These are players who could be in the big leagues with another team, but with the Dodgers, they are buried down the depth chart and have to play in Double A or Triple-A.

These players are good, but the depth of their position will make it extremely difficult to crack the roster. The first of these players that come to mind is Wilmer Font. He is 27 and not exactly a bright young prospect anymore. But he has still been effective in his time with the Dodgers.

Last season in Triple-A Oklahoma City he had a 3.42 ERA in 25 games. 178 strikeouts in just over 134 innings pitched. He was pretty impressive as a starter with the Dodgers minor league affiliate but has no real shot at being a starter with the Dodgers.

With the Dodgers big league starting rotation pretty much set in stone, Kershaw-Hill-Wood-Maeda-Ryu. Even if any of them go down, Font would not be the first course of action. Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias all are options that would be ahead of him. Also, several other veteran options could be argued like Pat Venditte and Henry Owens.

So his only real shot would be in the bullpen, and even that has depth upon depth. So that raises the question, what exactly should the Dodgers do with Wilmer Font. He does have the stuff to move into a bullpen role and be very effective it short bursts. After all the Dodgers have been fantastic at transitioning starters to relievers.

Joe Blanton in 2016 and Brandon Morrow in 2017 both experienced great success as relievers after struggling as starters. Font is not struggling as a starter but being a reliever may be the only way he gets to the big leagues. If he doesn’t move to the bullpen Font may be the perfect candidate for a trade.

Personally, I’d like to see him get a shot with the Dodgers. He has the repertoire to be very good. Font should be a serious contender for a spot on the roster as a reliever and a spot starter. If not the Dodgers could always flip him for a lower level prospect or cash considerations. I’d trust the front office in a deal for another prospect.

More from LA Dodgers News

They have already made a similar deal in the past. They dealt a player who was lost in the organizational depth and had no real shot at a roster spot in the foreseeable future. That player was Zach Lee. They traded him in a now very lopsided deal for Chris Taylor. So if they do trade Font, it is easy to trust the Front Office and their scouts as they have proven time and time again they have a keen eye for talent.

Another player other than Font that is stuck behind depth is Joe Broussard. He is a reliever and was a non-roster invitee this spring training but still has no real shot at making the 40 man roster let alone the 25 man roster. Broussard had a 3.27 ERA last year, and six saves in the minors. He compiled six saves and 74 strikeouts in 63.1 innings.

These are players that are currently buried behind depth, but one player who might suffer from this very soon is catcher Will Smith. Catching is an organizational strength. Starting at the top with two of the top ten catchers in the MLB with Austin Barnes and Yasmani Grandal. Following those two is Kyle Farmer who made himself very familiar with the Dodger fans by notching his first hit against the Giants in walk-off fashion.

For now, after Farmer, it is Will Smith. But who knows just how long that will last. Currently, Keibert Ruiz is on the fast track up the Dodgers system. He is just 19 years of age and has already earned an invitation to spring training and promotions every single year. He jumped into the top 10 prospect list for the Dodgers after yet another monster season.

The only reason Smith is considered above Ruiz on the depth chart is that of Ruiz’s young age. This makes it easier for the Dodgers to slow play Ruiz because if he were Smith’s age and doing what he has done, he would be in the bigs already.

Next: Who's Hot/Not through the first week of spring training games

Every organization has this problem in some form. Players getting stuck in the minors. But the talent that the Dodgers have stuck just seems so good and able to be productive big leagues that it is absurd. The Dodgers organizational depth is both good and harmful at the same time.