Dodgers: Three takeaways from a historic 2019 season
The Dodgers have always been able to produce excellent players from their farm system, and that showed this season. Alex Verdugo was a highly anticipated starter that was finally going to be able to find consistent playing time.
Verdugo had a few appearances in 2017 and a few more in 2018, but nothing compared to the caliber that was showcased in 2019. Verdugo hit .294, had 14 home runs, and 44 RBI. He was able to bring high energy to the dugout and the stadium and was a memorable addition to the team.
Not only was he performing behind the plate but he was a strong defender in the outfield as well. Sadly, his season ended with injuries that left him sidelined from the final months of the season.
Matt Beaty was a surprise that not many saw coming. The rookie came in and took on a role to the likes of Chris Taylor, a clutch utility player. Beaty had the ability to play both infield and outfield and had a great defensive technique.
He was also quite clutch with the bat, as it appeared he frequently delivered hits in crucial situations. On the year, he hit .265, had nine home runs, and 46 RBI. Beaty’s greatness came through his consistency, he was able to be counted on by his teammates and perform.
One of the greatest young assets the Dodgers had was Will Smith. The Dodgers were in need of another catcher with Austin Barnes was struggling and Russel Martin not being able to carry the full load by himself as a veteran.
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Smith had been doing unbelievable things in OKC and was the hottest hitter on the team when he was finally called up. In 54 games he hit .253, had 15 home runs, and 42 RBI. With a few backs and forth callups, Smith was proved himself enough to crack the postseason roster.
Verdugo, Beaty, and Smith were able to bring many memorable nights at Dodger Stadium, including a historic one. In June, during a series against the Colorado Rockies the three of them hit walk-off home runs in three consecutive games, the first time three different rookies had ever done that in baseball history.
The stellar performances brought on by these three proved the Dodgers can produce outstanding players with agility, patience, and talent. Many can hope for another great season from rookies in 2020, with the likes of Gavin Lux and many more.
With 106 wins on the year, the Dodgers were able to stand out in their division and give fans the season of a lifetime. Although it may not have played out as we all would have hoped, we can thank these three factors for an unforgettable 2019 season.