Dodgers: The players that got away
The Los Angeles Dodgers may be known for developing ballplayers in one of baseball’s best farm systems now, but they’ve had their fair share of history of letting future All-Stars (and Hall of Famers) fall through the cracks as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers occupy a large portion of the annals of baseball history. From their time in Brooklyn to the more recent successes in Los Angeles, the ballclub has been built on some of the history’s greatest ballplayers. 18 division titles, 23 National League pennants, and six World Series titles don’t happen on their own.
To be successful over the decades, a team needs to be smart in how they build a team. That means drafting the right players, developing talent to meet their full potential, and making the right trades and signings to fill holes where needed. For the most part, the Dodgers have done just that, particularly the former.
Since its inception in 1940, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have fielded the most National League Rookie of the Year winners with 18. That list includes Fernando Valenzuela, who is the only player to ever win both the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young in the same season. The Dodgers have also featured consecutive winners on four different occasions; 1952-53, 1979-82, 1992-96, and 2016-17.
But despite all that success, the Dodgers are not without their warts. As with any team, they’ve had to make difficult decisions for the sake of the ballclub that, at the time, looked good in the short-term. While some of those decisions worked out over the years, others came back to haunt them.
Today, we are going to highlight a few such misses, including two Hall-of-Famers and one of the most criminally underrated pitchers of his generation.